- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rob Bell, the former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church and a best-selling author, told Oprah Winfrey that it’s only “moments” until America’s faith leaders accept and embrace gay marriage.

“It’s inevitable,” he said during a “Super Soul Sunday” special Valentine’s Day broadcast, the Christian Post reported. “[The American church] is moments away.”

He appeared on the show with his wife, Kristen, to talk about marriage and their new book, “The ZimZum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage,” the Christian Post reported.

“Marriage, gay and straight, is a gift to the world because the world needs more not less love, fidelity, commitment, devotion and sacrifice,” she said, the Christian Post reported.

Ms. Winfrey then praised the couple for including gay marriage in their book.

“One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness,” Mr. Bell said, the Christian Post reported. “Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”

Ms. Winfrey then asked when the “church” would grasp that point, with Mr. Bell replying “we’re close” and that “it’s evolving,” the Post reported.

“Lots of people are already there,” he said. “We think it’s inevitable and we’re moments away from the church accepting it.”

But if the church rejects the notion of gay marriage, it risks becoming “even more irrelevant,” he said.

“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles and coworkers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life,” he said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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