GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Controversial author and former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville came out in support of marriage equality during a forum March 17 in San Francisco.
During the forum at Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church, Bell was asked about his position on gay marriage, and responded by saying, "I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs -- I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are."
Bell was also asked what he thought the future holds for the Evangelical Church.
"I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn't work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told 'we're gonna change the thing' and they haven't. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And I think that when you're in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it's very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we've talked about God, which don't actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we've done it in the name of God and we need to repent."
Bell released two new books on March 13 -- "What We Talk About When We Talk About God" and "Love Wins: For Teens."
Bell left Mars Hill Bible Church in January 2012.
In 2011, his controversial and New York Times bestselling book "Love Wins" hit bookshelves around the country. Much of the controversy was centered on Bell's thoughts about hell -- as in, does it exist?
In 2011, Time magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
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