bonar crump

bonar crump
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pastor Loses Job Amidst Rob Bell Debate

by Tom Breen
Huffpost Religion

DURHAM, N.C. -- When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

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Making his new belief public is both liberating and a little frightening for Holtz, even though his doubts about traditional doctrines on damnation began long before he heard about Rob Bell's book.

A married Navy veteran with five children, Holtz spent years trying to reconcile his belief that Jesus Christ's death on the cross redeemed the entire world with the idea that millions of people – including millions who had never even heard of Jesus – were suffering forever in hell.

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Gray Southern, United Methodist district superintendent for the part of North Carolina that includes Henderson, declined to discuss Holtz's departure in detail, but said there was more to it than the online post about Rob Bell's book.

"That's between the church and him," Southern said.

Church members had also been unhappy with Internet posts about subjects like gay marriage and the mix of religion and patriotism, Holtz said, and the hell post was probably the last straw. Holtz and his family plan to move back to Tennessee, where he'll start a job and maybe plant a church.

"So long as we believe there's a dividing point in eternity, we're going to think in terms of us and them," he said. "But when you believe God has saved everyone, the point is, you're saved. Live like it."


  1. Very interesting article. Whether Holtz does indeed start up a new church or not, I hope he will not be discouraged from exploring his faith and seeking answers to his questions - and I hope also that he will continue to have the courage to speak out! Thanks for sharing this Bonar!

  2. We are all saved?? Then why did Jesus Himself say there would be people in hell so many times--just to mislead us? No--it was so we would turn from sin and BE SAVED. The Methodist "preacher" presupposes that all are saved from Jesus' death on the Cross prior to their belief--WRONG and DEADLY!! He deserves to go--just like Rob Bell and all his ilk, who deny God's Word and are false teachers and are bound for hell themselves.

  3. Anonymous...I've been writing about you lately. Glad to hear from you. If you're interested check out my 4/21/2011 entry titled WE WISH YOU ALL TO HELL...


    "We’re after theological perfection. And not you or anyone else that is uncertain of who God is or how God works or how it all started or how it all will end will ever be allowed to stand in our way. We will bully you in the name of “love”. We will scowl at you in the name of “righteousness.” We will demean and ignore and provoke and gossip and twist the very fabric of time into the reality of our liking. We will smugly wish them all to the very hell that they deserve."