Brian McLaren, recognized as the major leader of the Emergent Church, …characterizes himself as “a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian.”
Brian McLaren, recognized as the major leader of the Emergent Church, is not too sure what he believes about the essential truths of Scripture (except to doubt many of them). He is not too sure what he is but we know what he is not—sane, sensible, or scriptural. Note the confusion of the poor man: He characterizes himself as “a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian.” (Subtitle of A Generous Orthodoxy.) Well, that seems to cover the waterfront! He seems to be a little bit of everything, except a Christian!
McLaren is a fevered ecumenist who has met with major Jewish leaders from a group known as Synagogue 3000’s with the purpose to break down walls of separation. He wrote, “We have so much common ground on so many levels.” He notes. “We face similar problems in the present, we have common hopes for the future, and we draw from shared resources in our heritage. I’m thrilled with the possibility of developing friendship and collaboration in ways that help God’s dreams come true for our synagogues, churches, and world.” (From Doug Pagitt’s website, “Emergent Christian/Jewish Leaders Meeting News Release,” 12-7-2005.) Emphasis added.
The Emergent Church leaders are working closely with Jewish leaders in an attempt to find ways to work together in bringing about “God’s dreams” for His Kingdom on earth. God’s dreams! Brian did not get that from Scripture but it made the Jewish leaders feel good that an “evangelical” was reaching out to them after breaking down and climbing over the walls that separated them.
EC leaders pitch this cooperation between Jews and “Evangelicals” as a real spiritual awakening, unique to history as they share their respective faiths to do God’s work together! You will look in vain to find even a suggestion of that in the Bible. In fact, you discover the opposite. When Jesus told the Jews the truth, they crucified Him. When Stephen spoke to the Jewish council as recorded in Acts 7:51-52, he did not “dialogue” with them but charged: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.” They stoned him! Maybe that’s why these pitiful “Evangelicals” don’t preach Christ to modern-day Jewish councils. They also just don’t understand that it is a sign of love to tell people the truth.
Brian McLaren reveals his twisted view of ecclesiastical separation in his book A Generous Orthodoxy when he says, “I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.” (Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260.)
McLaren declared that if Muslims, Buddhist, Jews, or atheists, are “happy being Muslim, or Buddhist or Jewish or atheist,” then he says we should not “shoe-horn them out of their religion” into Christianity. (Impact News, “Sojourners Chairman: Jesus Cared More About Earth Than Heaven,” 6-4-07.)
McLaren wrote, “…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: Uncovering the Truth that could change everything, p 7.) Emphasis added.
Of course, the Christian message and motive is not to save religions but to spread the message of Christ. And I wonder if Brian is a little hyperbolic to suggest that the future of the planet rests upon various pagan religions getting together for a religious powwow—which is exactly where all this is headed with the help of people like EC spokesmen.
You don’t think that is their motive? Let Brian speak even more clearly: “Today, he [Apostle Paul] might speak of reconciliation of the war veteran with the pacifist protester. The tattooed and pierced granddaughter with her prim and proper grandmother…. Christians with Jews and Muslims and Hindus.” (Ibid p. 99.)
McLaren declared that the Hindu leader Gandhi “sought to follow the way of Christ without identifying himself as a Christian” (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 189). No, Gandhi was a pagan and McLaren and his co-conspirators in the EC are merging the Emergent Church with paganism.
McLaren swallowed the Kool Aide when he wrote, “My knowledge of Buddhism is rudimentary, but I have to tell you that much of what I understand strikes me as wonderful and insightful, and the same can be said of the teachings of Muhammad, though of course I have my disagreements. … I’d have to say that the world is better off for having these religions than having no religions at all, or just one, even if it were ours. … They aren’t the enemy of the gospel, in my mind….” (A New Kind of Christian, pp. 62, 63). How in the world can a sane man declare that pagan religions that deny all the essential doctrines of Christ are not the enemy of the Gospel? Muslims deny the divinity of Christ and even reject the fact He died on the cross! Brian had better understand that it is bad to be wrong but disastrous to be wrong for all eternity.
Alan Jones, wrote, “The image of the child Jesus sitting on the Buddha’s lap appeals to me and captures the spirit of this book. It is an image of the Kingdom. ‘The Kingdom’ is a sort of shorthand signifying an inclusive community of faith, love and justice.” (Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity, p. 12.) He declared on page 16, “The phrase, ‘I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian’ is extraordinarily wise.” Such a person, taking that position, is as lost as a goose in a snowstorm!
On page 88, Alan shows that he is a one-worlder when he comments on a “Eucharist” service in Australia. “Aboriginal dancers led the procession into the cathedral and later led the offertory procession to the altar. During communion, representatives of the Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Baha’i faiths read passages from their sacred writings, and after communion an aboriginal leader offered a dream-time reflection. Was this Christian? The answer, as far as I’m concerned, is ‘Of course.’ ” But I say, “Of course not!”
At Jones’ Episcopal church in San Francisco, he said “we ‘break the bread’ for those who follow the path of the Buddha and walk the way of the Hindus.” (Reimagining Christianity, p. 89.) Then he breaks bread with pagans! Obviously, Episcopalians have more problems than whether or not to ordain women as priests!
To prove that anything goes in the EC crowd, Jones even endorsed witches on page 22! “I discovered that the nice woman next to me on a plane recently is a witch who values the spirits in trees, rivers, and mountains. She struck me as strong and gentle and full of love. I thought, ‘How great to be a member of such an interesting and caring family.’” Hand me a barf bag!
EC leaders are so gracious, kind, thoughtful, even sweet to all kinds of heretics, mystics, one-worlders, witches, and other oddballs and very unkind, uncivil, and unrelenting to Bible-believing Christians! EC leaders love to hate Fundamentalists! EC tolerance does not reach that far! No doubt, many will charge me with being unloving, jealous, bigoted, Pharisaical, and hateful; and I wonder what those same critics think about Paul’s warnings in his charge to church leaders to “reprove, rebuke, exhort.” Moreover, what of Jude’s command to contend for the faith?
It is also noteworthy that our critics in the EC can make outrageous statements about us and they are never unloving, hateful, etc. Note McLaren’s statement (put in the mouth of his fictional character Neo): “I don’t dislike fundamentalists, taken individually—they tend to be pretty nice folks. Get them together in a group though, and I get nervous. I start to twitch and break out in a rash” (p. 9). Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity, p. 9.) Every real Bible believing Christian should be offended by that outrageous statement.
EC people love every weirdo and all pagan religions with all their cockamamie teachings but are not loving, kind, and gracious toward Bible believing Christians! EC leaders have a warm embrace for the pagans and vicious umbrage for true believers. And they talk about returning to the teaching of Christ!
Copyright 2008, Don Boys, Ph.D.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 13 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. His most recent book is ISLAM: America’s Trojan Horse! These columns go to over 11,000 newspapers, television, and radio stations. His websites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com.)