Friday, September 9, 2011

Is Brian Lyin'? - Answering with God's Word of Truth: Part 2

BRIAN  McLAREN 
Now we continue with this article to expose Brian McLaren (Why he needs exposing is a valid question as his statements are so blatant, one would think such would not even be necessary! However given the day in which we live when discernment is in such a (needlessly!) short supply, we shall proceed!) and his falsehoods which he promotes in his books as well as speaking engagements.

Take note, that given his background, his education, the church that he helped found, it stands to reason why he would believe as he does, when one examines the fruit of his life, as represented in his books, articles and conference speaking engagements.

The LORD Jesus Christ said,

Matt 7:15 - 20 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them
.

There are those that would say that we have no right to judge any one, even Brian McLaren and others that espouse liberal, post-modern, and emergent style doctrines. However if we are to "know them" by their fruit, this means that we must discern or judge what kind of fruit it is that they're bearing.

Some might say, "Well I take only the good stuff. Any of the bad, I leave alone." Or, "When chewing the meat, I spit out the bones." and "You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Yet the LORD told us, that a corrupt tree CAN'T bear good fruit! If some of the fruit is perceived as corrupt, it's because the tree itself is corrupt and if the tree is corrupt, looking for good fruit among the bad is an exercise in futility!

We must judge (that is discern) in order to do this! If we don't, then as the ravening wolves masquerading as sheep that they are, we stand the risk of endangerment and deception! With that in mind, let us proceed and discern the statements that Brian makes and allow the Word of God to reveal them for what they are -

McLAREN QUOTES: Twelve Questions Posed -
1) "I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases."
— Brian D. McLaren (A Generous Orthodoxy)

McLaren rightly expresses doubt and uncertainty where he himself is concerned, as he is a flawed, imperfect being: we all are! So any utter lack in confidence is approprate. That any should ascribe similar beliefs toward's God's Word is however, detrimental to the faith. As well as this, ambiguity is prominent among Emergent teachers and promoters; uncertainty is seen as humility while being confident about the Bible is seen as arrogance! Yet Scripture presents the truth, that we can be certain of God and His Word which is precise in its propositional truths:

Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Psalm 119 exhibits a few passages where the Psalmist "hopes" in the Word of the LORD (vs. :49, :81, :116). The Hebrew word for 'hope' in the first three verses implies "hope, trust, patient [waiting]" and in the last case (vs. 116), the word means "expectation". Far from ourselves being uncertain, and the Scriptures providing no means of certainty, we can trust God's Word, and expect the Truth of such to be trustworthy!

One of the primary reasons for the First Epistle of St. John is that the believer having acquired, then maintains a knowledge and certainty of that which they believe according to the truth:

1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him
. (See also: 1 Jhn 3: 24; 2:3, 5; 4:6, 13). And as well as this:

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

2) "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.

John 3:3, 5 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God".

Mark 9:47 "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:" (See also vs. 43, 45) .

If McLaren honestly read the entire Gospel fairly, I think he would come away from them with the very idea he seems to refute here! The kingdom of God must be entered into by spiritual means, specifically a spiritual regeneration of our [dead] spirit with the Life giving power of God's own Spirit; if anything should "offend" us and disallow our entrance into the kingdom of God we will face hellfire instead. Note the counterposition of the kingdom of God - it's hellfire, both are locations apart from our physical reality (Luke 17: 20-24). That such places exist is attestable from the Scriptures.

Was the LORD's mission in fact, all about "helping souls get into heaven"? The entire mission of Jesus indeed can't "be boiled down to that bottom line" for there is much that will happen once this old world is folded up and discarded for a new one, but the salvation of souls is the primary mission during this age wherein sinful man knows virtually nothing about God, much less the way of righteousness; without this spiritual generation, nothing that follows (the kingdom of God, the new Earth and Heavens, the eternal purpose and destiny of God for His children, etc.) will benefit the human soul that isn't born again. Listen to the words of the LORD Himself:

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The LORD then addresses the issue of the kingdom of God, and the idea that many at that time believed it was near at hand; the LORD corrected that notion in the parable that follows (vs. 11 - 27). Note that the kingdom and the rewards associated with it are brought when the KING Himself returns from heaven (vs. 15; Acts 1: 11).

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John 3:12-17 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved
.

The above verses ably demonstrates that the LORD Jesus indeed has come to save us from our sins, and to usher us into everlasting life, that is, the kingdom of God, which life manifests itself in the hearts of true believers and disciples of Jesus Christ invertly, but will overtly be manifested at His arrival (soon to come on the planet nearest you (the one under your feet)!).

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


3) "At their best, religious and spiritual communities help us discover this pure and naked spiritual encounter. At their worst, they simply make us more ashamed, pressuring us to cover up more, pushing us to further enhance our image with the best designer labels and latest spiritual fads, weighing us down with layer upon layer of heavy, uncomfortable, pretentious, well-starched religiosity."
— Brian D. McLaren


Religion and spiritual communities will always seek to drape any participants in the self-righteous robes of works (whether its helping the poor, the environment, prayers and meditation, self-realization, Gnosticism in its primitive sense [acquiring enlightenment], etc.), and asserts that salvation is obtainable (only) by the means self effort. Nakedness in the sense that McLaren is using it means an openness and honesty without any concealments; only what is genuine. Yet at the same time, what he is himself offering is inclusivism ("spiritual communities"), the means by which anyone, Christian or not, may find a "naked spirituality"*. It's pertinent to understand that nakedness is something that the LORD Jesus Himself finds requires remedy and for which only HE can provide:

Revelation 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Isaiah 61:10 ¶ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels
.

* (Buddhist, Hindu, and Jewish disciples don't have to adhere to Christianity) Brian McLaren has stated: "Then I must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making adherence 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. This will be hard, you say, and I agree. But frankly, it's not at all easy to be a follower of Jesus in many "Christian" religious context, either."4) Interdependence, though imbedded in nature, is foreign to the Western individualism so ingrained in American (U.S.) Christianity. [That's why McLaren's 'new kind of Christian' often uses words like 'journey' and 'conversation' to describe Christian life beyond the postmodern divide. Conversation implies Christians can learn a lot by interacting with - and listening to - the world, especially non-Christians.] 'Their questions are an essential facet of our discipleship,' McLaren says. 'They change us.' ... [quoted in an expose from the Crossroads web site]

Christians are individuals in the sense that we do not acquire our salvation collectively, i.e., the saving of a society or culture, which is among the 'loftiest' goals of the Emergent Church, but for which the Bible expresses no mandate; it's always on an individual basis that the Gospel of salvation is presented:

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

1 Peter 2:6-8 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed
.

The LORD Jesus stated that He is the true Vine (John 15:1-8), and that we are the branches; vineyards all have one thing in common - all the branches of their vines are individually connected to the vine!

As for rejecting our 'Western culture' and instead, embracing nature for lessons learned there and in cultures other than our own.
Nature is a poor teacher in many respects for spiritual truth. Nature can be quite cruel and 'anti-Christian' in its tornado's, droughts, earthquakes, etc. as nature itself is in a fallen, sinful state no less than humanity (Rom. 8:22).

As for other cultures "changing us" we are not in an absolute sense, to allow ourselves to be changed, "conformed" or re-modeled by anything of this world - the only One that has license to change us is God Himself, and that, to the likeness of His Son! I'm not speaking of non-spiritual issues such as adopting another's cultural practice such as missionaries engage in for the intent of identifying with the people they are ministering to, but the conforming of one's beliefs to merge somewhat or even altogether to those of another culture in order to 'reach them'.

Rom 12:2,5 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another
.

The issue of our discipleship revolves around Jesus Christ, dying to our sinful selves and being brought to spiritual life by His resurrection power and has NOTHING TO DO with dialoguing and conversing with other cultures so that we may adopt to their way of thinking so that we may 'reach them'. The only One that can reach the heart of sinful man is the Spirit of God Himself!

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (See also Matthew 16: 24 - 27; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 8: 2 - 10).


5) "You might tell me that you have been engaging in some deep questioning and theological rethinking. You can no longer live with the faith you inherited from your parents or constructed earlier in your life. As you sort through your dogma and doctrine, you’ve found yourself praying less, less thrilled about worship, scripture, or church attendance. You’ve been so focused on sorting and purging your theological theories that you’ve lost track of the spiritual practices that sustain an actual relationship with God. You may even wonder if such a thing is possible for someone like you."
— Brian D. McLaren

Having sincere questions is good, particularly for young believers who are not yet conversant with the Bible; obviously its in asking such questions that we learn, even in secular spheres. Theological re-thinking can also be a good thing - if we are moving from error to truth! I can tell you that when I first became a Christian, I had some pretty unorthodox, unbiblical beliefs! Yet once I began learning the scriptures, I submitted to them out of a heart of love and obedience to the LORD, forsaking my own thoughts and beliefs and embracing the Truth of God's Word! Forsaking your parents religion can also be a good thing - if its a false religion! Dumping "theological theories" in exchange for the pure Word of God is always desirable and right. Of course if one's desire to read the Bible, pray and worship diminishes one must ask if their relationship with God is first authentic and if so, then is there unconfessed sin standing in the way and inhibiting the relationship. If one finds the heart growing cold towards the things of God, one need only to ask of God to stir up the heart of His child, and He will do so.

The crucial point here is that God is the Absolute Authority, and His Word is, well . . . HIS Word! So any questioning, re-thinking or forsaking tradition and family custom is fine, so long as we don't merely replace these with our own idea about what is true, and rely solely upon the Scriptures for Truth.

As for "losing track of spiritual practices that sustain an actual relationship with God" goes, the only basis of relationship with God is by the blood of the Lamb that has covered our sins, and the Spirit of God that indwells the believer at their spiritual rebirth where they then by God's authority become His children!

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God
.

Eph 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby
:

Psalms 119:128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

Deut 4:2, 6 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people
.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isa 42:8-9 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

1 Thess. 2:12-13 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe
.

6) 'Certainty is overrated,' McLaren declares.... 'History teaches us that a lot of people thought they were certain and we found out they weren't.'...

History has proven the fallible nature of human beings; those that do not learn from history (and the recorded failings of people contained therein) they are doomed to repeat them. Yet we cannot transfer the fallibility of mere humans with the infallibility of God and His Word. As God is both Almighty and All Knowing, it follows that He is entirely capable of sending a message to us. What His 'challenge' is, is how to send it in such a way that we who receive it will know that it's genuinely from Him and not some clever forgery.
God has instilled many evidences that the Bible is indeed His Word, both internal and external evidences; the most prominent and convincing of these is prophecy:

Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure
:

Daniel 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand:

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
. (See also Rev. 19:10)

7) "This is a book about getting naked—not physically, but spiritually. It’s about stripping away the symbols and status of public religion—the Sunday-dress version people often call “organized religion.” And it’s about attending to the well-being of the soul clothed only in naked human skin."— Brian D. McLaren

McLaren's book may well be ". . . about attending to the well-being of the soul. . ." but that's humanism, where the needs, desires and satisfactions of humanity is the central focus. That's not the focus of the Bible however; the focus in the Word of God is not on the needs of mankind, but upon the glory of God and His plan and purposes for the ages. This includes the salvation of mankind and the subsequent fulfillment of his life, but this is secondary to the pleasure of God Who created us for that very purpose.

Listen to Paris Reidhead explain the infinite difference between these two extremes - the worship of humanity and its satisfaction and the worship of God and obedience to Him:
The GLORY of GOD "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" (4 mins, 23 secs)

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
(See also Eph. 3: 11)

2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


8) "We’re seeking — imperfectly at every turn, no doubt — an incarnational theology, a theology that brings radical good news of great joy for all the people, good news that God loves the world and didn’t send Jesus to condemn it but to save it, good news that God’s wrath is not merely punitive but restorative, good news that the fire of God’s holiness is not bent on eternal torment but always works to purify and refine, good news that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more."
— Brian D. McLaren

God's wrath is restorative? God's chastening is restorative, but His wrath is measured out in judgment upon any unrepentant people that refuse His will in their lives (John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 2:5, 8; 5:9; Eph. 2:3; 5:6; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 6: 16, 17; 11: 18; 14: 10, 19; etc.)

God indeed didn't send His Son to condemn the world, but to obtain salvation (John 3: 17). . . for now: yet there is a time coming, a time of judgment and condemnation will be realized then, even though its an actual spiritual reality already in the lives of those outside of Christ Jesus' grace and salvation:

John 3:18-19, 36 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him
.

9) "Doesn't the religious community see that the world is changing? Doesn't it have anything fresh and incisive to say?...". . .

I can't speak for "the religious community" as I left religion behind in 1980 and I've not looked back since. I and all true Christians are a part of the body of Christ in the truth of biblical Christianity, as opposed to religious Christianity or philosophical Christianity. Ours is not a religion, but as a living relationship commenced (on our part) by receiving Christ Jesus as LORD as well as Savior, but which truly commenced when Jesus Christ gave up the Ghost on the cross (John 19:30), and later breathed upon the disciples and said "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22). As for "anything fresh and incisive" the Bible has much to declare, even if the religious community may shun the Word of God:

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Hebrews 8:7-8 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah
:

The world in the fundamentals has not changed at all; technologically there have been some advancements of course, but morally and spiritually mankind is just as corrupt and sinful as it ever was; perhaps even more so. Religion provides the stale, moldy bread of ritual, dogma, duty and obligation. Since the Scriptures claim that they have the answer not only to the sin dilemma, but also vital new life in Jesus by the Spirit; what need then is there for change, except for how the Emergent and liberal church would like to pervert the Scriptures and make their own interpretation of them more compatible with the philosophies of all other religions that subscribe to a works-oriented means for salvation or its equivalent. In a way, there are really only two religions in the world. John MacArthur explains it very well in this presentation of There are only Two Religions.


10) "I meet people along the way who model for me, each in a different way, what a new kind of Christian might look like. They differ in many ways, but they generally agree that the old show is over, the modern jig is up, and it's time for something radically new.... You begin to wonder if maybe you're at the front edge of something -- if your tentative and anxious steps 'off the map' are actually the beginning of a new adventure into terra nova, new ground, fresh territory." . . .

Jeremiah 6:16-19 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it
.

2 Peter 1:3-8 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
.

To me, the "old path" of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and life empowered by His Holy Spirit is more than enough; these Emergents and Post-moderns can see their "new way" all they like, but nothing they can possibly come up with can improve on what God has already accomplished through the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, and grants to us new life!


11) "...if we have a new world, we will need a new church. We won't need a new religion per se, but a new framework for our theology. Not a new Spirit, but a new spirituality. Not a new Christ, but a new Christian."
Brian McLaren - A New Kind of Christianity.

Hebrews 13: 8 - 9 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. .

As stated before, its really not a new world at all; its the same ol', same ol' sinful world under bondage to satanic rule as it has ever been. Since Jesus Christ our LORD is the same, and we are His followers, we will not be needing a 'new church' or a 'new framework' or 'a new spirituality' either. As Christians the life we possess is eternal, not temporal; its alive and vital, not stagnant; its new in the breath of the Holy Spirit, not old in stodgey religion and ritual.

There is nothing about the genuine Christian life that needs any changing at all; what does need changing however are the views and beliefs of such as Brian McLaren and those like him, if they ever hope to acquire this new life in Jesus Christ and become new by born into God's family as a real believer.

Paul didn't seem to feel it necessary to find some new doctrine or new theological frame work to present to the churches - he stayed with the tried and true, repeating the same things over and over again:

Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

12) "One other thing I want to do for you, if you are going through a low tide of faith. I want to encourage you to step up to a new level of Christian thinking by investigating some new authors and speakers....The fact that your faith is struggling means that you need some new teachers.... Philip Yancey ... Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walker Percy and Thomas Merton." —Brian McLaren

A low tide of faith? Step up to a new level of Christianity? When did Jesus ever speak of such a thing as "step[ping] up to 'new level of Christianity"? If the path to Christian maturity is to be obtained, its by stepping down, dying to self and becoming a servant of all (Mark 9: 35; 10:44; Gal. 2:20).

Romans 10:16 - 17 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God
.

Review Hebrews Chapter 11 and witness how those who heard the Word of the LORD, and obeyed were empowered to accomplish great things - simply by placing their faith in God and His Word to them!

If any are struggling with their faith, it's not new teachers that they need; they need to return to their One Teacher Who alone can impart faith and power to live victoriously through Him - Jesus Christ our LORD:

Ephesians 4:17 - 18, 21 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus
: (emphasis mine).

And these new teachers that McLaren lists . . . among them Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk and foremost leader of the Contemplative Prayer Movement??
And Philip Yancey, another advocate of contemplative prayer as well as one that affirms and admires the faith of the gay church? With new teachers like these, who needs heretics?
Give me faithful preachers and teachers who will instruct out of God's Holy Word, affirming and extolling its pages as the infallible, inerrant Word of the LORD, and the true Gospel of the One and Only Jesus Christ, and I won't need anything else, much less anything new!

Suffice it to say that Brian McLaren and those like him want to redesign, reconfigure and expand the evangelical church into a 'mustard tree sized' corporation (a mutation of the mustard shrub that grows far larger than normal and is capable of housing birds, or "fowls of the air" a biblical idiom for demonic spirits and their influences; See: Matt. 13:31 - 32) of 'Christ-followers' (and which Christ would that be!?) that would find themselves comfortably compatible with people of other religions, sharing the same ecumenically-correct and global faith that will ultimately place them in deceptive allegiance to a one world government and religion, which themselves will serve the anti-Christ in the soon to come Time of Tribulation.

If you doubt that this is in fact, the direction that Brian McLaren is going in, you only have to look into some of his latest affiliations with many of the most prominent leaders of The New Age Movement as ably documented by Eric Barger of TAKE A STAND! Ministries. To understand where the New Age Movement (which is far, far from dead by the way!) review the articles on The TRUTH Under FIRE - FALSE TEACHINGS, FALSE PEACE & FALSE CHRIST: Article of Three Parts

Some resources used in the production of this two part article are:

Ignorance is Bliss Theology of Brian McLaren

Theopedia's portrait of Brian McLaren Note: at the bottom of this page there are several links worth your while in both critical and favorable capacities on McLaren's works.

The Church that Brian Built

Where McLaren went to College

The Drucker-McLaren-Emergent Church connections:

The Leadership Network - Mother of the Emergent Harlot - from Lighthouse Trails ministries; also:
Buford, Drucker and the Emerging Church

Apprising Ministries Examines Pagitt & Emerging Chemistry

Unlimited Links on the Lies of All Things Emergent, Purpose Driven, Post-modern and Global by Crossroads Ministries











May our great LORD and GOOD SHEPHERD keep us, His beloved sheep, safely in the sheepfold and may we all sit at His noble, nail-pierced feet and learn of Him always, thus - ably discerning any and all falsehoods that may come our way. May we hold the Lamp of God's Scriptures high, and proclaim loud and long the true Gospel! May we, by the Word of Truth, admonish and warn all our brethren saints as those that God would use as watchmen and watchwomen on the wall! NIKAEO AIONIOS!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is Brian Lyin'? - Answering with God's Word of Truth: Part 1

The following will be done in two parts; Part One will cover some back ground material on Brian McLaren, his personal and professional history, his schooling and the church which he helped to establish. Part Two will be about statements he has made and will provide biblical rebuttals to them. If you want to skip this first part, you can get to the second at this link provided here: Answering McLaren from Scripture

EMERGING and EMERGED -

Many of us have already heard something about the Emergent Church movement, and among its top-most 'leaders' (they claim they don't like such titles though) is Brian McLaren, a prolific writer, speaker, activist and missional messenger.

Here is a brief biography on him:

"Brian McLaren - (b. 1956) is a pastor, author, and speaker. He has been the pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church (their vision and discipleship explained later) since 1986, a church he helped form in 1982. McLaren has a BA and MA from University of Maryland, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Carey Theological Seminary in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

"McLaren is a noted spokesperson for the Emerging church, having written several provocative books in this area. In his 2004 book, A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan), he offers what amounts to a manifesto for the Emergent movement.

"Critics say that McLaren's theological journey has now led him outside Christian orthodoxy altogether. Tim Challies notes that in McLaren's latest book, A New Kind of Christianity, "he denies the Fall, he denies original sin, he denies human depravity, he denies hell. And that is just in the first few pages. Needless to say, all of this leads him to a radically unbiblical view of the cross and the purpose and work of Jesus."

McLAREN's ROOTS -

He is a graduate of Carey Theological College which is having him back as a guest speaker, talking about his books (over twelve to date with another one coming out in about another year). This theological college is conversant with and accomodates teachings and practices of spiritual formation.

From their own web site:
"Carey Theological College is a graduate school placing emphasis on practical experience and in-service learning, on theological reflection, on Scripture, proclamation, justice, integral mission, evangelism, service and equipping ministries. Spiritual formation is integral to all programs whether at the level of the Master’s degrees or the Doctor of Ministry.

"Described as moderate evangelicals within the orthodox Christian tradition, Carey is a ministry of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada and works closely with our international mission board, Canadian Baptist Ministries.
"

And what is spiritual formation? Roger Oakland states in this article:

"Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement."

From Richard Foster, a leading advocate of contemplative spirituality and author of many books, most notably Celebration of Discipline:

"When I first began writing in the field in the late 70s and early 80s the term “Spiritual Formation” was hardly known, except for highly specialized references in relation to the Catholic orders. Today it is a rare person who has not heard the term. Seminary courses in Spiritual Formation proliferate like baby rabbits. Huge numbers are seeking to become certified as Spiritual Directors to answer the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction."

At The RED PILL Consortium, we have written several articles on this subject; simply go to the search engine, type in 'contemplative prayer' and find the links to them.

Brian McLaren, a graduate of Carey Theological College which fully endorses spiritual formation, is spoken of favorably by contemplative prayer and spiritual formation advocates, and frequently associates with them, though he himself seems marginal in his own support of this practice.

HIS CHURCH THAT HE FOUNDED -

The church that he founded in the early 80's with eleven people, originally simply called 'Community Church' has become a thriving fellowship of several hundred people, called, Cedar Ridge Community Church and they have a vision, where they "dream of heaven on earth" and "where everyone is accepted and respected and their journey cherished, regardless of their background, beliefs or place in society" and [where] "a community of people devoted to following Jesus together, learning to live like him and helping one another grow in their relationship with God; where we are gradually transformed to become better people: working as agents of love, peace and hope wherever they are; serving our neighbors, caring for the poor, helping the oppressed. Imagine a community of people who live simply and ethically, who share their land and resources with their neighbors; a community that treasures the Earth and reaches out beyond global, cultural and political barriers to offer friendship and practical support."

If Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists are respected and accepted despite their false beliefs, how can they possibly follow Jesus or grow in their (non-existent) relationship with Him? On their web site one is hard pressed to find "the LORD Jesus Christ", but rather only "Jesus" and occasionally as "Master" and they classify themselves as "followers" or "apprentices". The way of their Discipleship includes such conduct and motives as "Jesus . . . teaching about a different way of life that he called the Kingdom of God. It's a way of life where we love our enemies, where we forgive those who have hurt us, where generosity is more important than wealth, where kindness is more important than being right, where the weak and poor are put first, where it's better to give than receive and where leading is about serving."

But did you notice something missing? Look at what else they say:

"Discipleship is the means by which we surrender our lives to the way of Jesus and his Kingdom. We see discipleship as the foundation, the core, the motivation for everything we do. We are unapologetically committed to following Jesus and, as his apprentices, we look to his life, his teaching and his presence with us now for the transformation that needs to take place in our lives. This transformation is an ongoing process of change where we become better people. . ."

Notice how Jesus is not "LORD", how these apprentices follow the way of Jesus, rather than He Himself being "the Way"! Also there is talk of growth and transformation but with no mention whatsoever of repentance of sin, the Cross, of justification by faith (Rom. 5:1), of being born again of God's Spirit - that their means of transforming power is "look[ing] to his life, his teaching and his presence" - yet the LORD Jesus Himself taught of spiritual rebirth (John 3:3-5) and of the cross (Matt. 16: 24), and by this means, the ONLY Way and means of acquiring His presence in our lives and hearts as His temple (1 Cor. 6: 19).

If our lives with Jesus and the relationship we have with him is as a Master or Tutor with apprentices, then all of this becomes merely an educational, instructional, philosophical, apprentice-style life, rather than what the Bible declares it to be: a real, spiritual dynamic in which Christ Jesus our LORD actually dwells within us and transforms us by His Spirit (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 2:20). Discipleship is not about learning the way of Jesus apart from carrying our crosses, dying to self, and becoming spiritually alive - not to others primarily, but by and for our LORD God and the LORD Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, and then secondarily, spiritually alive so that we may minister to others (with ourselves last in priority).

This is the background of McLaren's schooling (though he has attended other schools as well) and the church he founded and pastored for twenty years (he stepped down to attend to writing books and articles and to conduct speaking engagements).

McLAREN - A 'DRUCKERITE'

McLaren also was a part of Peter Drucker's team, The Leadership Network which later morphed into what's known as the Emergent Church Movement (ECM). For excellent documentation of Drucker, his vision and creation of this Leadership Network, get a copy of Paul Smith's book The New Evangelicalism: The New World Order, which covers this and a lot of the history behind the downfall of biblical Christianity in America in these recent times.

For a brief review of the book, follow this link to The TRUTH Under FIRE.

Should you wish to purchase this book, The Berean Call is offering it; you may find ordering info and phone numbers on their site. Also the books by Roger Oakland, FAITH UNDONE, and Warren Smith's books A WONDERFUL DECEPTION and DECEIVED on PURPOSE are good resources on these issues and have much to say about Peter Drucker, who by his own admission is not a born again Christian, but a devotee of Kierkegaard and Buddhism! - So why are these supposed 'Christian' leaders in this Network giving heed to his counsels and directions?!

LINKS to FOLLOW THIS TEACHEROUS TRAIL BY -

For more information that documents this insidious infiltration of the church by Drucker (and Bob Buford), his ungodly philosophies and their influence on prominent and popular religious leaders, Christian in name only, follow these links:

Rapture Forums Reveals Bob Buford's Part in All This

Apprising Ministries on EMERGING Leaders from Drucker

Herescope: Contemplative Leaders Networked for a Global Order

This concludes Part One of this article; Part Two will incorporate statements made by Brian McLaren and biblical responses directly from God's Word - the exclusive Truth - Source (sorry Brian, not you!) that the church has available!