The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Timothy 1:5-7)

The First To Present His Case Often Seems Right…

Apprising Ministries pointed out in Shane Claiborne, Sort Of, Apologizes For Rob Bell that a couple of days ago Rob Bell, the Elvis of the  egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, which is a cult of postliberalism—now morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC)—made it a point to tweet the below: 

Yes, yes, yes: http://www.esquire.com/features/best-and-brightest-2009/shane-claiborne-1209 @realrobbell (Online source

I previously pointed out that the link above takes us to an article in Esquire a couple of weeks ago by Shane Claiborne called What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff. As I also told you in it Claiborne, who’s aligned with a group called Red Letter Christians (RLC) along with people like Claiborne’s friend Tony Campolo, EC guru Brian McLaren, his friend Tony Jones and Richard Rohr—a leading teacher of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism—takes it upon himself to “apologize” for the universal Body of Christ.

But the truth is, Claiborne’s actually apologizing for the usual stereotypes that ECers just love to criticize while they’re seeking friendship with the world. The article that Bell points us to, while sharing his own emphatic agreement, begins with Esquire telling us of Shane Caliborne, “This radical Christian’s ministry for the poor, The Simple Way, has gotten him in some trouble with his fellow Evangelicals.” Now I do hold to the doctrine of historic evangelicalism, but I stopped calling myself an evangelical two years ago, so I’m definitely not arguing for what evangelicalism has become.

With that in mind, 1) in spineless “anything goes” evanjellyfish today Claiborne, who’s an author who books are put out by the evangelical publishing arm Zondervan, is hardly in “trouble” with anyone. And 2) the differences those who hold to what evangelicalism has been historically do have with Claiborne, and his Red Letter cohorts in/around the EC, would have to do with their reimagined social gospel. Essentially such as these have transformed their Jesus into some glorified Social Reformer, who’s message is essentially the same as that of the original Cult of Liberal Theology.

This is why you’ll see them so easily able to fellowship as brothers with, for example, unbelieving posers who deny virtually everything the historic orthodox Christian Church has taught like Living Spiritual Teacher and “Progessive Christian” scholar Marcus Borg. So Claiborne’s supposed trouble would possibly stem from what you’ll see in Shane Claiborne And Mysticism’s Gospel Of Goodness, where you’ll see his mentor Campolo tell us that Muslims and evangelicals “don’t have to give up trying to convert each other.” O no; instead it seems that:

What we have to do is show respect to one another. And to speak to each other with a sense that even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people,… (Online source, emphasis mine)

Obviously that’s not true; but yet Claiborne still goes on in agreement:

That seems like a healthy distinction—between converting and condemning. One of the barriers seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently… (Online source, emphasis mine)

Again, unregenerate sinners do not experience the “love of God” as does the Christian indwelt by the Holy Spirit because He already told us in John 3:36 — for God’s wrath remains on [them]. And as nice a man as Shane Claiborne certainly seems to be, and despite all of the noble endeavors he may be involved with, Claiborne just doesn’t have the right to simply make stuff up about Jesus in contradiction to the Word of God in the Bible. So with this now cleared up, next time I’ll give you another angle concerning Claiborne’s Christianity as he expresses it in the Esquire apology piece.

Because, very unfortunately, Claiborne’s version of the Christian faith sure appears to agree with the mystic myths of Shane Hipps; who’s the new co-teaching pastor at the Mars Hill Bible Church of Rob Bell. Claiborne’s speculation that Muslims “experience God differently” certainly sounds an awful lot like Hipp’s own fickle fantasy, which I have already documented for you in Shane Hipps, Co-Pastor With Rob Bell, Says All Religions Valid. Frankly, it’s somewhat tied to the tired old EC/liberal chestnut below that Claiborne trots out in Esquire:

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” (Online source)

Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts, I’ll Believe Whatever I Want To Thank You Very Much

I dealt with this previously in Fixing Ghandi when gay affirming “pastor” Jay Bakker, another who’s invented his own version of the Christian faith, tweeted virtually the exact same thing. Just like all non-believers Mahatma Ghandi, who showed absolutely no indication whatsoever of saving faith in Jesus Christ, simply “loved” his own personal Jesus whom he’d conjured up. So essentially what Ghandi was actually saying is:

“I like the Christ whom I have made up in my own mind, I do not like Christians who remind me of the doctrine that He actually taught. Your Christians are so unlike the teachings of the imaginary Christ that I happen to like.”

Though I’m by no stretch of the imagination a fan of C.S. Lewis, his famous quote regarding Jesus, is very applicable here in the case of someone like Mahatma Ghandi. Lewis cuts right across Ghandi’s eternally flawed view that Jesus was but an exemplary human religious leader:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. (Mere Christianity, 56)

You see, as fine a human being as Ghandi may have been, he did not believe Jesus was his Creator in human flesh Who died for his sins. Well, here’s what Jesus said in those red letters to other religious leaders who also would not/did not believe this — “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I Am, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24, Greek); and, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). You’ll notice that Jesus left us no escape clause; as He didn’t add unless you happen experience God differently.

So, to use Claiborne’s idea right back at him; let me ask you Shane: What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff? Are you going to live those words out as well; will you stop your mystic speculations and now start telling people the whole truth? Ah but, here now is another one of those emerging problems; you see so-called Progressive Christians e.g. fellow RLCer Diana Butler Bass aren’t so sure in the first place that Jesus ever meant what I quoted above in the way normally interpreted. In other words, according to their own version of “non-exclusive” Christianity, words about the exclusivity of the Gospel aren’t found in the red letters.

Well, maybe I should also ask people to forgive the church visible for allowing this Emerging/ent/ence new Liberalism 2.0 to ever give them the idea that it is proper Christianity, even as it’s rehashing all of the same old arguments once pressed forward in the original liberalism, which have long ago been debunked. Yes, there are those of us who are sorry for these Red Letter Christians like Shane Claiborne who are now attempting to pass themselves off as somehow speaking for the Body of Christ, even as out of the other side of their mouths they’re criticizing those that they say are doing the same thing.

Finally, perhaps the church should also be asking the world’s forgiveness for such as these who are trying to straddle some inclusive fence and embrace almost anything at all that has labeled itself Christian. I mean, shouldn’t we also say that we’re sorry for emerging Red Letter Christian hypocrites like McLaren and his protégé Tony Jones who pose before the world as being so loving and tolerant; who say they really believe the “red letters” where Jesus is speaking in the New Testament, and yet practice homopression by refusing to offer the Gospel to those who unrepentantly practice the sin of homosexuality.

Well, I’m sorry to tell you that, if you’ve buying the Christianity Claiborne’s selling, I’m afraid you’re only receiving a bill of rotten—though man-pleasing (see—1 John 4:5)—goods.

See also: