The NCR Sheds More Light on the Mennonite Brethren’s 2011 Youth Convention Speaker, Shane Claiborne

The National Catholic Reporter published a very interesting article this November about Shane Claiborne called Urban monk works to see ‘the church we dream of’. Claiborne is scheduled to speak at the 2011 U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches youth convention in San Antonio, Texas. In the NCR article we learn that…

“Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr describes him (Claiborne) as “a third way kind of person.” The Catholic nonviolence community might just call him a Catholic Worker by any other name.”

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest who has been a presenter at conferences such as “The Third Eye” Contemplation as an Alternative Consciousness and Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening where he taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things (Source: WHO IS RICHARD ROHR?). Not only has Claiborne captured Rohr’s attention, he has also participated in speaking engagements with Rohr and friends, including Brian McLaren (see here and here).

The National Catholic Reporter article also explains why Claiborne is respected and admired by Roman Catholics…

“The story of how Claiborne came to live amid what the young monastics call the 21st century’s desert goes far in explaining why he symbolizes the connections evangelicals are making with wellsprings of Catholic spirituality and practice. People like Claiborne and his community have taken up consideration of the mystics, the monastic tradition, the Catholic social justice tradition, and even certain liturgical elements while maintaining at best a loose connection to institutional church.”

The next discovery in the article is that…

“one of the greatest influences on his (Claiborne’s) thinking was sociologist and theologian Tony Campolo.
“He was one of the most articulate students I’ve ever had,” said Campolo. “He’s become an icon; young people flock to him wherever he goes.” Claiborne’s popularity, Campolo believes, shows that “young people are looking for a radical form of Christianity, not religiosity.” ”

Red Letter Christian Campolo, whose theology is off in more ways than one (see here), has stated on many occasions that he has turned to the ancient spiritual practices of the Roman Catholic church. As Roger Oakland writes, “Tony Campolo may claim he is an evangelical Christian, but the facts speak loud and clear. The mystical New Age practices he promotes are more closely tied to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Catholicism than to biblical Christianity.” (Source: Tony Campolo: On Being “Born Again” by Centering Prayer, Understand the Times)

Then there is the issue of homosexuality. The NCR reports Claiborne’s views…

“He recalled a meeting in North Carolina in 2004 with about 100 people from a range of communities — from the Bruderhof to evangelicals to Catholic Workers — that gave birth to the new monasticism. Claiborne was helping to moderate a conversation on sexuality. “It was a nightmare, but it was really interesting. So we said that what we could agree on was we want to support monogamous, married couples and their children and celibate singles”
He said the statement did not attach gender to the monogamous couples. “The different communities would resolve that in different ways. I’m not a pastor so it doesn’t come out that people would ask me to marry them in a same-gender relationship. Personally, I would not be able to do that if I were a pastor, but I also don’t have any shame in saying, ‘I’ve got a pastor friend who would love to marry you.’ ”
He said he considered his view an example of the non-dualistic thinking that Rohr speaks about. “This is how I feel and I’m unapologetic about that, but there may be more than what I see.” Claiborne more than once makes the point that he and other young monastics don’t claim to have all the answers and deeply distrust those who make that claim.”

Claiborne seems to be just as confused on this issue as his guide, close friend and greatest influence Campolo (see Campolo on same-sex marriage).

Does the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches really want their youth to be influenced by someone who is promoted by the National Catholic Reporter as one who symbolizes the connections evangelicals are making with wellsprings of Catholic spirituality and practice? Does the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches really want their youth to learn from someone who is praised by Richard Rohr and mentored by Tony Campolo? Do parents know that this influential speaker scheduled to speak at the 2011 youth convention has no problem with same-gender marriages and is part of the new monasticism movement that has taken up Roman Catholic mysticism?

Shane Claiborne may be a very likable character, but where is he leading our youth?

{Note: This November 5-7 there was a conference called the Call To Action 2010 National Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., the largest gathering of progressive Catholics in the United States. The theme for the assembly was Faithful Prophets: God Alive in Every Generation. Keynote speakers included Shane Claiborne, Asra Nomani and (dissident nun) Sister Joan Chittister, OSB.}


MB Herald Spotlights Claiborne’s Socialist Propaganda

Shane Claiborne will be the keynote speaker for the 2011 National Youth Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches

MB leaders respond to concerns about conference speaker




The emerging church sees increasing need for spiritual directors


13 thoughts on “The NCR Sheds More Light on the Mennonite Brethren’s 2011 Youth Convention Speaker, Shane Claiborne

      • That same thought rarely leaves my mind. This is my hope and prayer. May there be sincere, godly repentance and a return to faithfulness to God and His Word amongst the MB leadership.

        Are you able to add a facebook link to the bottom of your blog postings? I plan on putting this on my facebook page. I can do so by copying and pasting the link into my facebook, but it makes it easier if the link is right on the blog posting itself.

        Blessing to you!!

      • To my understanding, only those with facebook accounts are able to add a facebook badge to their wordpress blogs, but thank you for the link.

  1. As far as I know, all you have to do is add a code to your blog to get the button for facebook and many other communication modes. If you go to you can grab the code and place it in your blog, just like adding any other html/javascript code to either your sidebar or the bottom of your blog.

    • You will now find a SHARE button at the bottom of each individual post which includes facebook. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Pingback: Youth convention speaker raises eyebrows « Menno-lite

  3. Pingback: Naked Spirituality comes to Winnipeg Today « Menno-lite

  4. Pingback: Mennonite Church Canada’s Slide into Apostasy « Menno-lite

  5. Pingback: Mennonites and Shane Claiborne – Conscientious Tax-Cheat « Menno-lite

  6. Pingback: Claiborne’s next stop – Emerging Festival « Menno-lite

  7. Pingback: Nine Churches Say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference « Menno-lite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s