“JOIN ME TO STAND COURAGEOUSLY FOR THE TRUTH, EVEN IF IT COSTS YOU DEARLY” (Attributed to an unknown commentator)
I have been sending out emails to folks from my church and other friends, on a regular basis for the last eight months or so, trying to get many people aware of the Emergent church movement, and the New Age style practices invading our churches today. Many of them had never heard at all about “emerging” or any of the recognized leaders in this heretical movement. (Heresy: any opinions or doctrines at variance with the orthodox position regarding essential core beliefs.)
Since many were not aware, but have expressed an interest in receiving my information, I will also post the content of some of my emails on this blog. So here is the first one. I plan to put up some short “bios” of the primary culprits of the movement, along with some of their most incriminating statements from their books or interviews.
Here is the first installment of “profiles in emergent”, and it will cover Brian McLaren. Although sometimes small sample quotes don’t tell us the whole picture, just the quotes by themselves have left me no doubt as to which way Brian McLaren leans to as far as theological beliefs regarding Christianity. I have done more extensive research on him, and I encourage you to do the same. I leave you to decide where you stand, and if you need further info, I will gladly provide it or link you to more resources.
As a Nazarene, I am disappointed that several Nazarene universities have invited Brian McLaren to speak. He has appeared at Northwest Nazarene University for a three day seminar, and most recently, spoke at the student chapel at Point Loma Nazarene University. Other Nazarene universities (Mid America, Mt Vernon,Trevecca) have invited either Brian or many of his colleagues such as the infamous Tony Jones, who I will feature in the next few weeks.
Author, speaker, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region.
Some of his more well known books are:
“A New Kind of Christian”, “A Generous Orthodoxy” which is a personal confession and has been called a “manifesto” of the emerging church conversation.
“The Secret Message of Jesus”, explores the theme of the kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus.
He is on the international steering team and board of directors for emergent, a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders (www.emergentvillage.com, http://www.emergent.info). He is also active in global networking among emerging leaders (amahoro.info).
Take some time to read through these quotes and comments of his and let me know if you agree with me that Brian McLaren is a false teacher:
QUOTES FROM BRIAN MCLAREN:
(Much thanks to thinkerup.blogspot.com for their excellent compilation of these quotes)
“I hesitate in answering “the homosexual question” not because I’m a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question.”
–Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006
“Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say “it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.”
–Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006
ON AN UNDERSTANDING OF HELL:
“Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell].”
–Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2, Out of Ur, May 2006
“The church has been preoccupied with the question, “What happens to your soul after you die?” As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, “Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die.” I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don’t think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line.”
—Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church
ON THE PURPOSE OF JESUS COMING TO EARTH:
“What if Jesus’ secret message reveals a secret plan?”…. What if he didn’t come to start a new religion–but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?”
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 4
“Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope’s, whoever’s) is orthodox, meaning true, and here’s my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture I’d have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open! To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 293
“…many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine… many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people…. A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions.”
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 7
ON ALAN JONE’S BOOK “REIMAGINING CHRISTIANITY”:
“…. Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.” (Brian McLaren’s comments on the back flap of Alan Jones’ book Reimagining Christianity where Alan Jones states the following about the Christ’s crucifixion: “The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” (p. 132)
“The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” (p. 168)
“Perhaps our ‘inward-turned, individual-salvation-oriented, un-adapted Christianity’ is a colossal and tragic misunderstanding, and perhaps we need to listen again for the true song of salvation, which is ‘good news to all creation.’ So perhaps it’s best to suspend what, if anything, you ‘know’ about what it means to call Jesus ‘Savior’ and to give the matter of salvation some fresh attention. Let’s start simply. In the Bible, save means ‘rescue’ or ‘heal’. It emphatically does not mean ‘save from hell’ or ‘give eternal life after death,’ as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon. Rather its meaning varies from passage to passage, but in general, in any context, save means ‘get out of trouble.’ The trouble could be sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger or evil.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 93
ON DETERMINING WHAT IS TRUE:
“How do you know if something is true?…First, you engage in spiritual practices like prayer, Bible reading, forgiveness, and service. Then you see what happens; you remain open to experience. Finally, you report your experience to others in the field of spirituality for their discernment, to see if they confirm your findings or not.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 199
ON ORIGINAL SIN:
“The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.”
–Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, p.134
ON CHRISTIANITY AND ITS RELATION TO OTHER RELIGIONS:
“The Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat”
–Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p.254
ON WHO GOES TO HEAVEN:
“This is how I feel when I’m offered a choice between the roads of exclusivism (only confessing Christians go to heaven), universalism (everyone goes to heaven), and inclusivism (Christians go to heaven, plus at least some others). Each road takes you somewhere, to a place with some advantages and disadvantages, but none of them is the road of my missional calling: blessed in this life to be a blessing to everyone on earth.”
–Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p. 113
ON WHO IS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS:
“I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”
—Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260
END OF QUOTES
Not much more comment from me here, I leave you to “rightly judge” these statements in light of scripture, and decide whether Brian McLaren would be a welcome speaker at your church or college. Again, this is a short summary to highlight Mr. McLaren. There are many sources of extensive research material, such as Lighthouse Trails Research, and Apprising Ministries, and more. Check out the links on my main page to find out more and come to your conclusions.