You may have seen the following quote from lead pastor, cultural architect, national and international consultant…*deep breath*…futurist, author, distinguished professor and all around neatly nifty guy Erwin McManus floating around the internet: “The greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity.” O the Emergent profane howls will probably erupt: “Not fair, it’s an old quote and now you take it out of context, bringing it up again just to draw attention to it to slander this fine man of God.”

Nope; I just took it right off the The Barbarian Project: Summer Internship 2007 page at the Mosaic website. So if there’s slander involved, and of course everything always out of context, then human potential advocate Erwin McManus is doing it himself. But I can tell you this much, it is patently obvious that McManus literally hates Christianity. See it for yourself. What follows below is a transcription of Clip One of the “Video excerpts from The Barbarian Way” right under his picture on the top right of the page.

Watch Erwin McManus as he mocks Christianity, which he says is “essentially no different than any other world religion”:

But you know what happens, don’t you? You know, we start going to church. We-we, start being pulled into the magnetic pull of civilized religion. And the truth if the matter, if we would just stop and reflect, is that Christianity is essentially no different than any other world religion. It’s as empty and hollow as Buddhism and Hinduism and Islam.

At Mosaic people come to me and say, “Are you saying only Christians go to Heaven?” And I say, “Of course not. Christians need to come to Jesus just like Buddhists and Hindus and atheists,” And they go, “Ok! As long as it’s fair. Because people outside of Christianity are looking in and they know; this cannot possible be what God meant. But we don’t seem to know it.

But a large part of McManus’ mission is “correcting” our awful Christianity, which he has told us is essentially the same as “any other world religion” because it’s “as empty and hollow as Buddhism and Hinduism and Islam.” McManus’s barbarian passion to free us from Christianity is also evidenced by 2006 Intern “Adrian” who tells us, “The internship taught me to truly experience Jesus. I was a good Christian before I came….I leave as a genuine follower of Christ.”

Well now, wherever would I get the idea that Erwin McManus is hostile to the historic orthodox Christian faith? Hmm, could it be…from McManus himself! In his review of The Barbarian Way (TBW) this is the way Dr. Gary Gilley perceived McManus’ agenda as well:

He is highly critical of any who do not accept his “barbarian way,” calling them domesticated, civilized Christians (p. 12) and equating them to the Pharisees and Judaism of the first century (pp. 15, 59, 114) . What McManus and his ilk miss is that Jesus never condemned the Jews for their religious system (God set most of it in place) nor for their complacency (their religious enthusiasm is everywhere evident). He condemned the Pharisees for invalidating the Word of God with their own agenda (Matthew 15:1-9) and the people for following that agenda. This would be the exact concern Jesus would have with the barbarian way. (Online source)

In any event, this webpage from Mosaic that I bring to your attention here is about what McManus calls “The Barbarian Project” which we’re told is, “a 10 week summer internship” at Mosaic. The “unique character-transformation process” actually sounds kind of scary:

This leadership development experience is designed for women and men who want to become ministry leaders of the future. The Barbarian Project will challenge you to become a person of character, an entreprenurial leader, and it will envision you to see humanity as God sees it. We strive to develop your leadership skills in many facets as well as challenging you to engage a unique character-transformation process.

That’s right folks, you will “see humanity as” Erwin McManus “sees it” and he’ll teach you to be a man-lover just like he is:

I’VE COME TO LOVE THAT WORD–HUMAN. I MEAN, HUMAN-ity can be a pretty bleak place to live, but when you begin to see what we’re really capable of, our potential for good, it can be breathtaking. (Soul Cravings, Entry 14 On Becoming Human, caps and italics his, bold mine)

Unfortunately for McManus and his barbarian Christ-followers Jesus has a starkly different view about the nature of His creatures whose rebellion would cause Him to hang on an old rugged Roman cross:

“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood… What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person (Genesis 8:21; Mark 7:20-23).

Consistent with McManus’ disdain for Christianity his Barbarian Internship doesn’t resemble the Christian faith at all but rather sounds more like the man-loving doctrine of Human Potential one might hear from Lou Tice or Ken Blanchard:

The internship will consist of weekly interactions centered around the core values of Mosaic, unleashing your creative spirit, catalytic leadership, maximizing your potential, and creating momentum in spiritual communities. You’ll be challenged in areas of self-awareness, relational intelligence, character-transformation, and proactive leadership.

We do note that the Barbarians will get around to “actively sharing the Gospel with people who don’t know Jesus,” but as we have seen with Erwin McManus this is not the genuine Gospel of the Biblical Christian faith. No doubt God the Holy Spirit saves people in spite of McManus adulteration of the Christian faith, just as He does other teachers of the counterfeit gospel in this man-centered new evangelical religion like Rick Warren and Rob Bell and Joel Osteen. But this is actually God working in spite of what they preach.

So now you’ve been warned but if you’re still bound and determined to try and attend this program all you have to do is remember that, “Each Barbarian must raise $2,000 before they begin the 10 week experience.” Undoubtedly the Christian will be a much better steward of his money and time by avoiding this Barbarian Way of Erwin McManus. I’ll leave this with this from Ruben Aguilar in Barbarian at the Gate, which is his own review of TBW. As someone who used to attend Mosaic and who knew Erwin McManus, Aguilar knows what he is talking about when he says:

Taking risks seems to be a high priority with McManus and he goes to great pain to warn that to be in God’s hands is not safe: “It is a path filled with uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.” How exactly does one achieve that one can only guess. There is no real substance here only empty platitudes. We are told to have an “untamed faith,” to be an “innovator,” to possess a “dangerous mind,” to live a “primal” life. But what does that mean? How does one know if he is living the barbarian life and not one devoted to his own pleasures?

McManus draws a list of unnamed members of his church who have chosen vocations all over the world as varied as doctor, film editor, fashion designer, chef, and psychologist. The lesson to be learned by this is that these members decided to “pursue the dreams that were waiting to be realized.” So how is this relevant to living a godly life? And what makes this kind of positive thinking much different than say, an Anthony Robbins or Ken Blanchard? (Online source)