FRANCIS CHAN Runs Into ROB BELL At The Airport & They Get Into A Fist-Fight (VIDEO)

Rob Bell released “LOVE WINS” on March 15, 2011 and set the evangelical world ablaze with what many considered heretical views on hell and judgement.  Two months later Francis Chan releases a video response to the controversy of Bell’s book and announces that he’s working on a book to rebutt some of the views Bell defends in “LOVE WINS.”  Another two months later and Chan releases “ERASING HELL: What God Said About Eternity, And The Things We Made Up.”  The two seem to be at opposites—diametrically opposed to the other’s view.  Conservatives and fundamentalists are watching the back-and-forth with bated breath.  What will happen with these two?  Who knows?  Then the unthinkable happens . . . Francis Chan runs into Rob Bell at an airport.  Oh Lord, how could this have happened?  They spot each other.  Time stops.  Their eyes lock.  Chan clenches his fists, Bell bites down on his teeth.  It’s a stand-off.  You can hear a pin drop.  People all around are stopped in their tracks watching them.  Flights are halted.  Oh lord.  A fist fight breaks out! Chan swings with the right, his deadly hook aimed at Bell’s jaw.  Bell ducks.

“Hey man, what you doing?”  Bell yells back flustered.

“You betrayed me man!” Chan shouts back, readying his stance for a black belt round house kick.

Well at least that’s how imagined it would’ve gone down.  But apparently not.  After running into each other, the two chatted for a while and posed for this picture.  (It was taken by someone traveling with Bell).

Have to say though, I’m so happy  to see them friendly with each other no matter what their differences may be.  “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.”  Well, maybe that’s not the best quote because some of you may think hell and judgement are “essentials.”  But you get the picture.



8 Responses to “FRANCIS CHAN Runs Into ROB BELL At The Airport & They Get Into A Fist-Fight (VIDEO)”

  1. There is more to this hug than the camera captures…

    Several years ago, I had the privilege of studying under Rob for a season of introspection and transformation. He was leading one of the fastest growing churches in the world, and becoming a global name in the unfolding story of the Church.

    He taught me about contextualization, and about how to study the Text with humility and passion. He taught me how to set boundaries, and how to rest in the finished work of God’s redemptive work of the cross. He taught me about love and about grace and about forgiveness.

    A few years later, I fell into a series of self-destructive choices and landed in jail. I had plummeted from the faith and wanted nothing to do with the professional religious venom that I had experienced by other Christian leaders. When Rob heard about my (very public, and humiliating) fall from grace, he personally reached out to me and mentored me back to the Table of restoration in Jesus’ Name. He didn’t care what the haters said, he just showed me, from the bible, how to be reconciled to God.

    Shortly thereafter, my family moved to Asheville, North Carolina to start a new church family. We wanted to create a safe place to explore a dangerous faith, and we wanted to reach out to people on the margins… people who felt unwelcome, people like me.

    Last year I attended a church planting conference (Exponential, 2011) in Orlando, Florida. I was so excited to hear Francis Chan. To me, Francis Chan had always modeled sincerity in biblical application and missional living. I sat in the front row of the balcony, and poised myself to take notes…

    But then my heart broke, in the opening session. Francis made a few comments that were sarcastic, directed at Rob Bell. The awkward laughter generated electricity in the crowd of thousands, and there had been a clear line of separation between Francis Chan and the trending heresy of Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’.

    But I knew that the months surrounding the release of Rob’s book brought an unprecedented amount of toxic venom from evangelical leaders across the country. In the name of apologetics, Rob, Kristen, and their three children have been scrutinized and deconstructed to the point of nausea. I know it hurt, more than he would be willing to say.

    So as soon as the first session was over, I went directly to Francis Chan and confronted him. I shared with him my disappointment and the hurt that had been caused by “off the cuff” jokes, and that perhaps there were a more healthy platform from which to communicate our differences.

    Francis Chan looked me (vein pulsing in forehead), and I about melted in fear. Who am I to question this prophet of the Lord? I’m just a spiritually-limping, recovering Pharisee. I apologized if there was no truth in my claim, but exhorted him to do an inventory of his soul and question is motivation.

    Francis Chan began to weep. Tears began to fall as he received my humble, sloppy words. He thanked me for confronting him, and admitted that he felt convicted by the Holy Spirit for taking a cheap shot at another brother. He also added his deep angst over the recent work of Rob Bell, and that it could be very confusing to the emerging generation. “But I promise you,” he said..”I will personally call Rob, and we will talk privately about our differences!”

    A few minutes later, Francis Chan opened his 2nd session with a lengthy apology to Rob Bell. And the twitter generation responded accordingly.

    I have not seen Rob since this incident, but I did follow up to see if Francis Chan had followed through with his promise. Yes! Indeed, two of the most beloved voices in our generation had talked privately about their (clear) differences, and have agreed to disagree ~ under the banner of Christ’s greatest commandment. Love.

    I stumbled into this picture, and wept.

  2. Hey Jay,

    Loved your comment man. I’m thrilled to have your voice added to the conversations here at awaken generation. Your sincerity and heart for people who’ve been there for you when you were at your lowest, clearly shines through and I applaud you for that, clearly this issue hits home in a very personal way for you. Loved hearing your story.

  3. Eternity with Christ or with Satan -how essential to consider?

  4. Thanks Jay. That was both amazing and heartfelt.

  5. Rid yourselves of denominational allegiances. You allegiance is not man-made Mr. Chan.

  6. robbell is promoting a different religion. he changed some of the primary beliefs to bring in masses
    we can be cordial to anyone doesn’t mean they agree.
    How can two walk together unless they agree?

  7. The doctrine of fiery, eternal torment has always been a subject of debate… it’s the denying of the centrality of the finished work and the exclusivity of Christ that are the problem.


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