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 accommodates 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: 

 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!

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