Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Emergent Church" Leader Brian McLaren: New Rings of Heresy

I've pointed out before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) that "emergent church" guru Brian McLaren is not just another left-leaning apostate, he is a definite heretic -- a New Age apostate dressed in neo-evangelical clothing who deliberately, arrogantly and effectively dupes the ignorant and undiscerning.

Steve Camp has said about one of McLaren's previous books, A Generous Orthodoxy, "There are no rules, no models, no denominational walls; no truth constraints; no theological grids; no ecclesiastical structures; no polity; no historic faith; no seemingly observance of hermeneutics for properly interpreting Scripture; no common meta-narratives; and not even any agreed definitions to common biblical terms and truth. It's just him learning, growing, evolving, experiencing, left unfinished kind of Christianity."

Ah, pop psychology trumps theology. Self-involvement trumps revelation. And Oprah Winfrey trumps centuries of solid biblical scholarship.

Yet, like usually happens, these kinds of malcontents continue to get more more and more bizarre. To see just how weird, here's an excerpt from an Eric S. LeMasters' article showing the latest evolutionary steps of Brian McLaren.

...Just as each ring of a tree represents a new season of growth, so the church expands organically across different sects, [McLaren] said. “If you look at the outermost ring of all the sectors of the Christian faith, they’re all responding to the same environmental circumstances… and stresses. And on that outermost ring, that’s what’s emerging.”

If any word sums up McLaren’s theology, it might be the word “organic”. And the common abstraction of God as a judgmental, unmoving and unchanging force through history is one he intends to challenge.

One of the goals in McLaren’s book, A New Kind of Christianity, was to “rescue” the Christian faith from its “Greco-Roman” casting he says was imposed on it by centuries of theology. The contemporary conception of God, he says, often more closely aligns with the platonic ideals of perfection – a god whom McLaren dubs “Theos” – that eternally rages at its less-than-perfect creation. He instead attempts to reframe scripture and the gospel in terms of its Jewish, story-driven roots in which the Bible is seen more as a “library” of spiritual guidance than a “constitution” that demands rigid adherence, and God is conceived as a benevolent, dynamic personality that constantly improves upon and works with its creation...

McLaren said he rejects the doctrine of a fallen creation; rather, the earth and its sinful inhabitants are in a continual state of movement away from God’s goodness, which throughout history God has been constantly trying to restore to himself. Thus the emergent nature of the church is the expression of God’s continual creation and improvement – what McLaren characterized as the “quest”-like adventure of the Christian life of faith.

Conversely, a “refusal to grow” with this constant unfolding of creation is what McLaren defines as sin...

“But [in] the biblical theme of justice, the primary issue is poverty and how we respond to the last, the least, the lost, the outsider, outcast and so on.” It’s life on the fringes and outskirts that sees the renewing growth, he argued.

When asked at the gathering how he’d describe his own “model” of God, McLaren invoked the image of a “non-linear trinity” relationship in which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (characterized by McLaren as female) exist in a perpetual, “dynamic, relational dance” in which there is “eternal movement… of honoring and movement of caring.”

McLaren went further, expressing man’s connection to God as a connection to the whole of the created order itself. “So to be connected to God necessarily involves being connected to your neighbor, and even to your enemy. And in our world we’d have to say to the created world: to the trees, and the coal, and the air and the arctic ice shelf, and the polar bears and everything else.”

He concluded: “To me, if we start thinking about God in that way – of just this majestic, mysterious, profound dance of mutual love of honoring and respect, ultimate reality [as] this movement of love – that invites us into this unending quest and a beautiful way to live.”

McLaren's Oprah Winfrey/John Lennon theology is a tragic example of the apostasy mentioned in yesterday's post, the apostasy that has so terribly weakened the modern church.