Apprising Ministries brought to your attention a while back that  Shane Hipps is the new co-teaching pastor now along with his good friend, and Emerging Church (EC) icon Rob Bell, at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. as I pointed out in Silence Shane Hipps, both having a Masters Degree from Fuller Theological Cesspool, which vomited forth the semi-pelagian (at best) Church Growth Movement—from which the EC extends as a deformed arm—is something they already had in common.

Following I’ll give you a transcription of the first clip from Hipps used by Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough on his Fighting for the Faith (F4tF) program below, which originally aired on the Pirate Christian Radio network yesterday. Before I do let me remind you that, despite their practice of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) and adhering to the foolishness you’ll hear preached, both Hipps and Bell are somehow still considered evangelicals; in fact, each spoke at the Zondervan National Pastors Conference last year: 

John is the ultimate unifier and integrator of two religious systems that have nothing in common; the Jews and the Greeks…nothing in common…nothing at all in common…didn’t even use the same language most of the time. So here John comes along and says, “Hey (to the Jews) you know that thing you talk about…that wisdom…that beautiful wisdom that you talk about? Yeah, that…right. You know that?”  And to the Greeks he says, “Hey, you know that logos…that mysterious, beautiful thing with life and fire and light? That, yeah right?” Both of those things, wisdom and logos…they are actually one thing. And they found full and complete expression in the person of Jesus. (pause)

So here’s what’s so stunning: at a time when it was unthinkable to try and unify religions, John is basically saying your religion totally valid…I love it…I’m even using your language…and your religion…I love it…it’s beautiful, totally valid…I’m even using your language, but I just want you both to know that there’s something bigger than what you’ve got.

There’s something that transcends what you have; it doesn’t nullify what you have, it doesn’t get rid of what you have. It just moves beyond it. So John does this unbelievably beautiful thing of basically saying, “I want to get past the religious divisions among us in our world. I don’t want to get past it…Jesus comes to bring us past it.” Jesus is the ultimate unifier of these various diverse ways of looking at the world…

So these…these external things…religion is about making these distinctions…and guess what? That isn’t a bad thing. Having a distinct religious identity marked by some boundaries, knowing how you’re different from other religions isn’t a problem. John isn’t trying to get rid of that, he’s trying to point beyond it.  Keep it, but move beyond it. 

To lose your religious identity is like losing a sail at sea. The sail is like religion, the wind is the Spirit. You need a sail to catch the wind…to harness the wind, but you gotta’ realize that that sail isn’t the wind. The sail is actually dependent on the wind. See, here’s the crazy thing, the Spirit (the wind), doesn’t need sails in order for it to move about the world. The sails need the wind. So the Spirit in order for it to move and operate in the world has no need of religion, but we (those of us made the way we are) for some reason need sails in order to catch the wind. We need religious structures, external things we can touch and see and traditions and lineages that teach us so that we can better catch the wind.

Now some sails are built better than other sails; some sails are bigger than other sails, some sails are a different shape than those other sails, and those differences matter. And sometimes, one sail is better than another sail in the same way that some religions are better equipped to catch the Spirit of God. Some religions are not as well equipped to fully capture and be compelled by the Spirit.

That excerpt, which has far more in common with Eastern mysticism than it does the Christian faith, comes from a sermon Hipps preached called Wind in the Sail; and he goes on to say:

Just because we claim Jesus as the center of our religion does not make us one and the same with the wind of God. It just means we have another sail. I happen to think it’s a better sail than most other sails. I happen to think it’s a more effective sail than other sails (that’s why I chose this particular sail), but it ain’t the wind. (pause)

This is what John is doing and it’s extremely innovative and it’s very unsettling that he’s inviting us beneath and beyond the things that make distinctions between us. He’s pointing beyond the sail to the wind and he desperately wants us to experience the wind…the logos…that animating, creative life force that gives you breath right now in this very moment. That’s what John’ll be pointing us to, so as we go through this series, that’s what we’re going to be experiencing and exploring is this whole thing of the logos becoming flesh, and the difference between our…how we operate in the world and how God animates everything that is in the world. 

And that’s why it says, “It was the life and light of all people.” It didn’t say the light and life of the people who believe in Jesus. This logos affects everybody including Osama bin Laden, as long as he’s got breath, in him, is a spark of the divine.

In an earlier broadcast Rosebrough had shared that in a personal conversation Hipps told him, “salvation is when Jesus came to awaken us to the breath of God [i.e. pneuma] within us.” Those familiar with the Quakers will recognize what Hipps preaches is completely consistent with their myth of the “inner light.” As one who’s background is in Comparative Religion, and from my personal study of spurious CSM—from sources within many religious systems—I can tell you this is the classic delusion mystics will eventually receive, regardless of whatever religion they may happen to be with.

They speak of this experience using words like “enlightenment” and “transformation,” Buddhists call it “satori”; but the result is always the same—and is stated along this line: I was filled with an overwhelming sense of God’s presence/love, and I then realized I was one with Him/it, as well as with the creation itself—which for many of these mystics is also alive and dwelling in God i.e. panentheism. The problem here is EC preachers like Hipps and Bell are claiming the above skubalon is in line with Christianity, when what they really are involved in is a neo-Gnosticism.

Now against this backdrop, as you listen to Rosebrough review Hipps’ 1st sermon a couple of weeks ago, as he officially became the new co-teaching pastor at MHBC, you’ll find out that Hipps holds to destructive higher criticism of the Bible. Note carefully as he makes sure to tell us that the Book of Jonah, from which he bases the sermon Rosebrough is reviewing, is not to be taken as historical. Rather, in order to bring in his subjective and mystical interpretation received through CSM and reading progressive/liberal theologians, Hipps will tell us we that need to treat the account of Jonah as allegory. 

In other words, right in lockstep with the new kind of progressive Christian theology—the Liberalism 2.0—now being advanced by EC guru Brian McLaren, Hipps will be teaching us how to we’re to read the Scriptures more than literally ala “Progessive Christian” scholar  Marcus Borg. All of this really isn’t that suprising when you know that McLaren and his friend Marcus Borg are now listed as part of the the interspiritual Living Spiritual Teachers Project as teaching a “faith” compatable with others in the project such as Quaker mystic Richard Foster, the Dalai Lama, and even New Age guru Marianne Williamson.

As Rosebrough says concerning Shane Hipps and treating the Bible as allegory, “Whenever you hear a pastor talking like that, run for your life.” The reason being, once we’ve left the proper biblical spirituality of the historical-grammatical hermeneutic, we’re then helplessly off-roading right into the spiritual swamp of self-centered subjectivity. This you’re about to hear from Shane Hipps, now teaching right alongside Rob Bell, who is himself without a doubt the rock star pastor i.e. the Elvis of this neo-liberal Emergence Christianity de-formation of the historic, orthodox Christian faith.

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