In the satiric tradition of the Sacred Sandwich we take you back in time to the first century for our reimagined version of the Philippian jailer who awakens after a violent earthquake. As he shakes the sleep from his eyes he sees that the prisoner’s chains have come off and the cell doors have sprung open. Knowing that he would be executed for allowing his prisoners to escape the jailer draws his sword to kill himself when suddenly he hears the voice of Tony Jones:

“Hey dude, relax,” he says, “No need to get all excited. Don’t worry; be happy. Everybody’s still chilling out here! As a matter of fact man, we’ve just had a fantastic session of meditation. Tonight two among us finally reached satori; and now they are enlightened like us! It’s so cool.”

Even so, frantically calling out for the torches to light up the darkness, the disheveled jailer rushes in tripping over the icon Brian McLaren and Tony Jones were praying before and tumbles into a heap before them. Brushing the dirt from his face the jailer asks these Emergent Church leaders, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

McLaren and Jones turn to each other with a knowing look and softly chuckle. Jones says to McLaren, “Um, Brian I’m thinking that you’d better handle this one I’m probably a bit too intellectual in my approach for this guy. You do remember how I’m already on record as laying out a pretty complex understanding of why I think putting the qualifier absolute in front of truth is really a modernistic fallacy.”

Guru McLaren slowly scratches his head, and as he turns to the jailer he replies, “Oh yeah buddy, I’m not about to forget that–got us locked up here in the first place there Tony! So my brother, in answer to your question let me first pose this particular query to you. It might be a bit difficult to do because I don’t have my power point materials here, but what is it that you think you must do? The first thing you must consider would be this: Is there truly something one needs to actually be saved from?”

“And this is yet a whole other question, is it not dear one? Let us contemplate for a moment upon where you got the idea that you need to be saved in the first place. For you see, this just might have actually come from God, but we do not want to presume we can know with certainty. So it could, or rather, perhaps it does all depend upon your own perspective? Now do you begin to understand? We could wonder if you were saved already, then why would you even need to ask such a pointless question? For you see, in your culture ‘god’ can actually mean many things, and our brother the Very Reverend Alan Jones has told us that together as shattered pieces of the Whole we must search for the answer to that great mystery of the Sacred.”

“Oh, and yet somehow we still ask; can someone be saved–as far as we might understand that term of course–until he knows what it is he that might be saved from? Now, there are the more conservative among us, like that rascal John MacArthur, who would dare to possibly think that Christ would simply be the Savior of all men. Ah but is that all there really is to this word we use; to this ‘Gospel’ so-called? I’m sure this is possibly an aspect of it, though I am just as sure that I might be wrong. However, I must ask you dear seeker, what really is the point of the Gospel anyway? For I have recently discovered that thus far the Church of those who are followers of Jesus the Liberating King have never really understood His secret message that the kingdom is already here and in us.”

“So, my friend if you wish to join us in our Contemplative/Centering Prayer you are more than welcome to, or not. For this you alone must decide. However, if you do want to join us just pull up a piece of sacred dirt here next to me my brother and right along with us you can practice the presence of whatever god you are sincerely worshipping in your particular faith tradition. So you see it really doesn’t matter anyway because your question, ‘What must I do to be saved,’ has no actual meaning as together we can all become one with the Creation itself, which is in God.”

To which Tony Jones nodding his head, smiles and adds, “Why would we need to be saved from that which, in uncertain truth, we really are, unless somehow we do not realize that we are already? Do you see? So now, surely you must finally understand that you can’t understand. Fellow sojourner, what you have just asked is actually a question with no philosophical basis in this reality of non-reality. That is of course, unless you might happen to think it does. Oh but that is for another day!” Both Jones and McLaren laugh.

It’s not too hard to imagine that this jailer would likely go away scratching his head saying, “You know, I’ve never actually heard jell-o speak before.”

Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3)

Contemplative Spirituality Creates A Mystic Mush God

A.W. Tozer was right when he said that “mankind has succeeded quite well in reducing God to a pitiful nothing! The God of the modern context is no God at all. We must get back to the Bible and the ministration of God’s Spirit to regain a high and holy concept of God. Oh, this awesome, terrible God!” And this is the main problem with these emerging Hollow Men of the Emergent Church.

The truth is that they are becoming more and more deluded (see–2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) through Contemplative/Centering Prayer (i.e. transcendental mediation) with other deceived so-called “Christian” mystics, as well as with those in other “faith traditions,” into dwelling upon some alleged divine mystery of “the Sacred” they all supposedly share. I cover this a bit further in Interfaith Worship and the New Evangelicalism.

However, at the same through their neo-orthodox (at best) view of Holy Scripture, which is a highly subjective and existential interpretation of the Bible, they are actually reducing the true “awesome, terrible God” of Biblical revelation into a palid caricature of themselves. But the Lord already told us long ago this would happen:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:21-25, ESV)

Writing many years before this current Emergent rebellion against the Bible and spiritual cancer within the Body of Christ Charles Spurgeon captured seducing spirits like Emergent Guru Brian McLaren and Emergent theologian Tony Jones with their doctrines of devils quite well when he said:

There are men who profess to believe in God yet do not tremble before Him but are impudent and presumptuous. This is not the kind of faith that saves the soul. Saving faith leads to repentance and to the love of God and to holiness and to a desire to be made like unto the Savior.