In this piece Apprising Ministries will show you why no genuine Christian denominations and churches should be inviting Brian McLaren, leading Guru of the postliberal cult of the Emergent Church, in to teach at any level whatsoever because he is actually speaking on behalf of Satan.

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the Church of God, which He bought with His Own blood.

I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the Truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!
(Acts 20:28-31)

Brian McLaren Arises Denying The Sacrifice Of Christ On The Cross

When we are in confrontation Jesus says we should, “take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses’ ” (Matthew 18:16); and so, this is what I will do here. For now leaving aside his own statements—which wiggle like a big bowl of jell-o—our first witness that Brian McLaren Is In Denial of the Biblical vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross will be The Lost Message Of Jesus (TLMoJ) by Steve Chalke (w/Alan Mann, 2003).

This book is supposed to be really good stuff as none other than “The Rt Revd N.T. Wright” tells us that TLMoJ, “Steve Chalke’s new book is rooted in good scholarship,… Its message is stark and exciting.” So here is what McLaren says concerning this “good scholarship” which is so “exciting” to N.T. Wright:

Steve Chalke’s new book could help save Jesus from Christianity. That’s a strange way of putting it, I know. Not that the real Jesus needs saving. But when one contrasts the vital portrait of Jesus painted by Steve with the tense caricature drawn so often by modern Christianity, one can’t help but feeling the “Jesus” of modern Christianity is in trouble. The Jesus introduced by Steve in these pages sounds like someone who can truly save us from our trouble.
Brian McLaren, author of The Church on the Other Side
(emphasis mine)

Note that 1) Roshi McLaren admits it is another Jesus, and 2) he says that Chalke paints “the vital portrait of Jesus”. O, high praise indeed; and not only that, but Guru McLaren also tells us Chalke, “could help save Jesus from Christianity.” Below is what Chalke writes in TLMoJ:

The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic child abuse — a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a construct stands in total contradiction to the statement “God is love.”

If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and refuse to repay evil with evil. The truth is the cross is a symbol of love. It is a demonstration of just how far God as Father and Jesus as his Son are prepared to go to prove that love. The cross is a vivid statement of the powerlessness of love. (182,183)

Leaving aside the fact that this last sentence is straight out of the Cult of Liberal Theology, here is what Chalke had to say in defense of his antichrist doctrine:

Steve Chalke said; “In my view, the real problem with penal substitution (a theory rooted in violence and retributive notions of justice) is its incompatibility, at least as currently taught and understood, with any authentically Christian understanding of the character of God or genuinely Christocentric worldview — given, for instance, Jesus own non-violent, ‘do not return evil for evil’, approach to life.”

”Hence my comment, in The Lost Message of Jesus, about the tragedy of reducing God to a ‘cosmic child abuser’. Though the sheer bluntness of my imagery might shock some, in truth, it is only because it is a stark ‘unmasking’ of the violent, pre-Christian thinking behind such a theology.”
(Online source)

So here now we have a clear and present denial of the substitutionary atonement. As an added bonus let also me bring to your attention something D.A. Carson points out in Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church. Dr. Carson tells us that in McLaren’s very naïve (at best) view:

substitutionary atonement doesn’t address the question of why, if God wants to forgive us, he doesn’t just do it. How can punishing an innocent person make things better? “That just sounds like one more injustice in the cosmic equation. It sounds like divine child abuse. You know?” (166)

The sentence in quotations above is actually a citation from McLaren’s book The Story We Find Ourselves In, which was also published in 2003. Notice how the language used by both Chalke and McLaren, and yes, we know McLaren’s book is “fiction,” is virtually identical. So it’s little wonder why Sensei McLaren would be so happy to tell us that he thinks Steve Chalke paints “the vital portrait of Jesus”.

Satan Would Be Stimulated and Encouraged To Do Away With Christ’s Cross

Our second witness for this piece is the book Reimagining Christianity (RC) by the Very Reverend Alan Jones. Yet another book McLaren has endorsed, and which also denies the correct Biblical view of what Christ did on the Cross. In his endorsement of Jones’ book of heresy Swami McLaren is pleased to inform us:

It used to be that Christian institutions and systems of dogma sustained the spiritual life of Christians. Increasingly spirituality itself is what sustains everything else Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.(back flap, emphasis mine)

Then on page 168 of RC, where Alan Jones is “reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from [an] authentic spirituality” that McLaren tells us so “stimulates and encourages” him “deeply,” we read another definite denial of the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, which just happens to be a cardinal doctrine of the historic orthodox Christian Church. Yet Kaisan Jones writes: “implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution was the name of this vile doctrine” (emphasis mine).

By now some might be saying: “Ok, we have a denial of one theory of the atonement; so what? How does this somehow mean that Brian McLaren is speaking for Satan?” I’m very glad you asked. So let’s do something kind of unheard in today’s highly subjective postevangelicalism; we’ll turn to the Bible. In chapter 16 of the eyewitness account of the Apostle Matthew we read:

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
(v.21, NASB)

If we approach this verse without postmodern presupposition it’s pretty obvious the Master is prophesying the sacrifice of His life. The following from his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels by J.C. Ryles is helpful here:

We find our Lord revealing to His disciples a great and startling truth. That truth was His approaching death upon the cross. For the first time He places before their minds the astonishing announcement, that “He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer—and be killed.” He had not come on earth to take a kingdom, but to die. He had not come to reign, and be ministered to, but to shed His blood as a sacrifice and to give His life as a ransom for many. (198)

However, the ever ebullient and impetuous disciple:

Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” (v.22, NASB)

It Was Always God’s Plan For Christ To Sacrifice Himself For Sinners

But how could God “forbid” what He Himself had decreed some 700+ years before:

Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants?

For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:4-10)

Concerning this passage of Holy Scripture the great Hebrew scholar Dr. Edward Young brings out in his classic three volume commentary on Isaiah:

Despite the innocence of the servant, the Lord took pleasure in bruising him. His death was not in the hands of wicked men but in the Lord’s hands. This does not absolve from responsibility those who put him to death, but they were not in control of the situation. They were doing only what the Lord permitted them to do.

Emphasis falls upon the Lord, for inasmuch as the end to be attained, peace, is founded upon the divine nature, the means by which it was to be attained must also be in accordance with the divine character and of divine appointment. The pleasure of the Lord had in view the accomplishing of the divine will. Hence, all attempts of sinful man to produce a Utopia upon this earth are not only wicked, they are foolish. (353, 354, emphasis his)

I do hope Brian McLaren was paying attention to a real scholar of the Bible. And now I will tell you why I’m saying that Spiritual Master McLaren is speaking for Satan by denying the substitutionary atonement. You see, this is exactly what Peter himself was doing in our text when he “rebuked” His Creator by telling Him that He was not going to go through with this vicarious sacrifice on the Cross — “This shall never happen to You.”

Satan Speaks To Thwart The Will And Plan Of God

And now look at who Jesus tells us was actually speaking in this denial of the penal substitutionary atonement:

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (v.23, NASB)

As Dr. John MacArthur has written, “Christ came with the express purpose of dying as an atonement for sin (John 12:27). And those who thwart His mission are doing Satan’s work” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, 1155). Then from his own insightful commentary on Matthew Robert Mounce hits the target dead on when he says, “those who oppose the will and plan of God are emissaries of Satan” (New International Biblical Commentary, 164). The truth is that the Holy Spirit has told us with crystalline clarity that the “mission,” as well as “the will and plan of God,” for Jesus was for Him to give His life on the Cross as a sacrifice for sinners.

Men and women, duplicitous deceivers like Steve Chalke and Alan Jones who—along with Emerging Church publicity machine Maharishi McLaren—are attempting to “thwart” our Lord’s work by opposing “the will and plan of God” as they attack and deny Christ’s “mission” of the substitutionary atonement on the Cross. Therefore, while doing the Devil’s “work” as his “emissaries” they are absolutely not speaking for God; but rather, vipers like Brian McLaren truly speak for Satan. Don’t be fooled.

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