Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted
May 4th, 2009 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors
[B]eloved, Inow write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way ofremembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spokenbefore by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostlesof the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come inthe last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? II Peter 3:1-4
If you are a Christian who believes that the Bible is God’s inspiredWord and believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again, you are beingmarginalized. And you might not even know it. It may surprise you toknow where this marginalization is coming from. We’re not speaking ofthe world today . . . we are talking about people who say they are Christians and who happen to be very influential. In fact, one of them, Rick Warren, was just named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the entire world.1
In an April 2009 article in Sojourner’s magazineby emerging church leader, Brian McLaren, McLaren clearly has targetedChristians. But not just any Christians. McLaren is talking aboutChristians who believe Jesus Christ is coming back again, suggestingthat these type of Christians are the reason there is no peace in theMiddle East. He says what these end-time believing Christians are doingis “terrible,” “deadly,” and “distorted.”
McLaren says that he grew up with a dispensational view (the beliefthat Jesus Christ will return and establish his kingdom on earth) buthas come to realize this view is “morally and ethically harmful.” Helikens this belief system to racism in the 50s and 60s and says:
These doctrinal formulations often use a bogusend-of-the-world scenario to create a kind of death-wish for World WarIII, which–unless it is confronted more robustly by the rest ofus–could too easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Anyone who is familiar with the writings of occultist Alice Baileyor New Age author and futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard knows that theybelieve this very thing. In fact, McLaren is sounding more and morelike them all the time, and his article in Soujourners is further proof of that.
It isn’t just Bible-believing Christians who McLaren is upset with –he’s also angry about Israel and the very idea that she is a specialnation in the eyes of God. This is why he names Christian Zionists andDispensationalists in particularly, because they tend to be two groupswho hold fast to the belief that Israel is indeed a special nation tothe Lord.
It is ironic that just a week ago, the House of Representatives passed the HR1913 hate crimes bill,which is supposed to deter hateful behavior toward others. Here,McLaren, who was chosen to be an advisor to Obama (a strong proponentof hate crime legislation), is speaking so hatefully about those whohold to biblical beliefs saying they must be robustly confronted by “the rest of us” [all human beings except the biblical ones].
Others have joined McLaren in this effort to silence and marginalizebiblical Christians. Rick Warren’s chief apologist (and we were told astaff member at Saddleback) recently posted an article on the Internetthat said ministries that defend the faith (he referenced LighthouseTrails) were like mentally unstable cultists, “who are not normalpeople, average complainers, critics and typical dissidents who aregenerally unhappy about life itself . . . they are deadly.” (Please contact Saddleback Church to verify this: (949) 609-8000.)
Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind,says that “‘rigid’ Christians who believe in the possibility of Jesus’soon return” are “the real problem for the whole world.” According toCampolo, they are to blame for wars, and a host of other evils in theworld. This is what Alice Bailey and Barbara Marx Hubbard believe–andtheir obvious hostility towards believers shouts out from the pages oftheir writings.
There are others too who speak in derogatory language aboutChristians who believe Titus 2:13, which is: “Looking for that blessedhope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour JesusChrist.” In Mark Driscoll’s book Vintage Jesus, he ridicules Christians who believe there will be an Armageddon and a rapture (pp. 44, 157).
Perhaps one of the more serious attacks on Christians waiting forChrist’s return (serious primarily because of his huge influence) comesfrom Rick Warren where he states in The Purpose Driven Life thatthose who study Bible prophecy are not fit for the kingdom of God. Mostreaders may have missed this because of the way the passage isorganized, but if one studies this carefully, with a Bible by theirside, it is not difficult to see. Roger Oakland explains:
Warren tells readers to think about something other thanBible prophecy: “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus onfulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.”
Warren ends this section of his book by stating that Satan wouldhave you “sidetracked from your mission” and by quoting Jesus out ofcontext, Warren says, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted [bystudying Bible prophecy] from the work I plan for him is not fit forthe kingdom of God” (Living Bible). But Jesus was not referring to His return when He made that statement, which in the King James Versionsays: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, isfit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). The Purpose Driven kingdom ofGod leaves no room for Bible prophecy, and in fact, condemns those whostudy it. The apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had adifferent view. He writes: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy;whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth ina dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in yourhearts.” (II Peter 1:19)
Christians are called to witness and be watchmen. No Scriptureexists that tells us to ignore the events that have been pointed out assignposts indicating the return of Jesus. If we do, we might be likethe foolish virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bridegroom (Matthew25:1-13).(from Faith Undone, pp. 154-157)
In Warren Smith’s book, Reinventing Jesus Christ,Smith discusses something Barbara Marx Hubbard calls the SelectionProcess. This is a process that New Agers believe in which Armageddonwill only have to happen if those who believe in it (biblicalChristians) remain on the earth for thus there would be aself-fullfilling prophecy. She believes, as does Alice Bailey (thewoman who coined the term New Age), that the world cannot evolve, andthere cannot be peace until it is rid of these kind of people. If itis, then there can be what is termed an Alternative to Armageddon.Sound far-fetched? Just keep in mind that Barbara Marx Hubbard is arespected author–in fact, she was instrumental in the early stages ofwhat is now the lobbying group for the soon-to-be Department of Peace that over 60 Congressmen are supporting.
We believe that this effort to put labels like cultist on believerswill only grow. Another example is emerging church writer ThomasHohstadt, who asked in a recent article: How Do We Know We Are Not in a Cult?He answered this question by basically saying that you are a cult ifyou believe you have all the answers and if you believe truth can becontained or absolutely defined. You see, in emerging spiritualitydoubt and uncertainty are exhalted, and the opposite“virtues,”–certainty and faith–are condemned. Incredible as it seems,those who stand on the Word of God will, in the end, be called evil,deadly, and cultish.
The growing hostility against Bible-believing Christians continues.And yet, in Matthew 24:6, Jesus comforts us with these words: “[S]eethat ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, butthe end is not yet.” Let us remember and take heed to the words Jesustold his disciples: “I must work the works of him that sent me, whileit is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Asbelievers we will stand for the truth, but we will continue to lovethose who persecute. We are inspired by the many saints who have gonebefore and courageously, by His grace and strength, stood. “Therefore,brethren, stand fast.” (II Thessalonians 2:15)
THE FINAL SHAKING
5 months ago