The Mennonites, Brian McLaren and the Neopagan Gospel Unite

Brian McLaren has written a chapter in a book called The Love: Of the Fifth Spiritual Paradigm, published by The Oracle Institute.

On page two of this book is a Prayer for Mother Earth by Joyce Pace Byrd, a spiritual guide who has a collection of poetry called Poems from the Labyrinth. On page 4 is Sophia and Sustainability by Bernice H. Hill, senior analyst at the C.B. Jung Institute, who writes on page 5: “It is written that Sophia pre-existed God and gave birth to the male godhead.” In chapter ten of The Love, sandwiched between The Metta Sutta: The Buddha’s Teaching on Love by Karen Lang and Why Are There So Many Religions? by Barbara Talley (member of the Bahai Faith which promotes a belief in one continually unfolding religion), is Brian McLaren’s contribution called Good News for All People.

But what exactly is McLaren’s good news for all people? Is it the good news of the gospel, that Christ was our substitute on the cross where He died for our sins and was resurrected so that we might have eternal life through Him?

In the following section McLaren explains why his understanding of the Christian message will be good news even for non-Christians:

Even if only a few would practice this new way, many would benefit. Oppressed people would be free. Poor people would be liberated from poverty. Minorities would be treated with respect. Sinners would be loved, not resented. Industrialists would realize that God cares for sparrows and wildflowers so their industries should respect, not rape, the environment. . . . The kingdom of God would come not everywhere at once, not suddenly, but gradually, like a seed growing in a field, like yeast spreading in a lump of bread dough, like light spreading across the sky at dawn.44

In most matters of historical, theological importance, McLaren is quite doubtful that one can be sure of anything. He considers the Bible to be mostly narrative.45 He concludes that only persons who naively do not realize that their understanding of the Bible comes from Enlightenment foundationalism think that terms such as authority, inerrancy, infallibility, revelation, objective, absolute, and literal are appropriate to justify ones view of the Bible.46 By making the Bible mostly narrative,47 McLaren hopes so save it from yielding a clear theology and create space for his own planetary salvation gospel.

Source- Emergent Delusion
A Critique of Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue87.htm

Further proof that McLaren’s “good news for all” is another gospel is further evidenced by the mission and beliefs of the publisher of The Love, The Oracle Institute:

The Mission of the Oracle Institute shall be to serve as an Advocate for Enlightenment and a Vanguard for Spiritual Evolution.
-http://theoracleinstitute.org/authorspage

The Oracle Institute was founded in 2004 by Laura George and a group of like-minded souls who believe that the world is on the verge of a major Spiritual Paradigm shift, the likes of which we have not seen since Jesus left the planet. The Oracle founders also believe that we have the ability to co-create with God – and with you – to manifest the future we seek. To us, our collective future depends on earnestly seeking and then holding fast to: Truth, Love, and Light.
-http://theoracleinstitute.org/cms/founders-page

In their description of The Love, The Oracle Institute states:

This international collection of essays, articles, and poetry explores the core message relayed to us by the great prophets: Love is the Way. The narrator of this work is Laurel from The Oracle Institute, who believes that humanity is at the dawn of the New Millennium – the prophesied era of peace and Love which represents the fifth stage of humanity’s collective spiritual evolution (…) the enlightened teachers assembled in The Love also have an urgent warning: We shall not survive this critical juncture of human history nor reach our God-given potential unless we embrace each other, our planet, and the animals which now depend upon us for their survival. Therefore, until a unifying theosophy emerges to end sectarian strife, humanity should adopt the simple yet elusive … religion of Love.
-http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/02774.htm

Besides their New Age bent and tolerance of any religion except for Christianity, the symbol of The Oracle Institute (see: theoracleinstitute.org) is the Pentagram.

Many Neopagans, especially Wiccans, use the pentagram as a symbol of their faith similar to the Christian cross or the Jewish Star of David. It is not, however, a universal symbol for Neopaganism, and is rarely used in actual rituals and spells that Pagans and Wiccans actively practice in. It is more of a religious symbolism that is commonly explained by reference to the basic understanding that the five points of the pentagram represent the four elements air, earth, fire, and water with the addition of Spirit as the uppermost point. As a representation of the elements, the pentagram is involved in the Wiccan practice of summoning the elemental spirits of the four directions at the beginning of a ritual.

The outer circle of the “circumscribed” pentagram is sometimes interpreted as binding the elements together or bringing them into united harmony with each other. The Neopagan pentagram is generally displayed with one point up, mostly because of the “inverted” goat’s head pentagram’s association with Satanism; however, within traditional forms of Wicca a pentagram with two points up is associated with the Second Degree Initiation and in this context has no relation to Satanism.

Wiccan and Pagans do not believe in Satan or what Satan traditionally represents. They instead worship gods such as Gaia, The Horned God, and often Norse, Greek, and Egyptian gods.

http://www.thenewageblog.com/pentacle-vs-pentagram/

It’s no surprise that McLaren’s ‘good news’ gospel fits into the pages of a book published by such an organization. In his book Everything Must Change (pp.262-263), Brian McLaren suggested following the global model of Jim Garrison, now the director of Wisdom University, a school of esoteric/occult studies (www.wisdomuniversity.org).

From what he said at Northwest Nazarene University in 2009, it sounds like McLaren’s good news for all people is not about saving lost souls, but saving the earth…

For three days in February this year at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, Brian McLaren, a leader of this movement, redefined Christianity. He said the term “the world” in John 3:16 is not talking about spiritually lost people, but is talking about the Earth. They then showed a film by the Sierra Club.

He says Jesus came to save and die for the Earth? He then said the term “Kingdom of God” is not a spiritual term or a religious term, but it is a political term and that it meant God’s eco-system or God’s global love economy.

Source: Defining The Emergent Church Movement by Nathan Jones

This is not the gospel of the Bible, but this is the direction that McLaren and his new kind of Christianity is headed. Only those whose feet are firmly planted on the Rock (Jesus Christ) and His Word will stand firm while those who compromise and ignore it will continue to slide down the slippery slope of deception.

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Matthew 12:30

This should shed some new light on the upcoming Refreshing Winds 2011 conference with Brian McLaren which is being promoted in the December MB Herald. Where is the discernment? Do the Mennonite Brethren leaders know they are promoting a teacher whose ‘gospel’ resonates with neo-pagans and will lead many away from the truth? Shouldn’t the readers of the MB Herald and members or contributors to CMU or the MB Conference of churches be extremely alarmed about this latest promotion? Why are they condoning this teacher who preaches another gospel? Will anyone speak out? Where are the watchmen?

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13

Note: While one of the main missions of the MB Herald is to “teach and equip for ministry by reflecting MB theology, values and heritage and by sharing the good news,” they have included a disclaimer in fine print that says “Advertising and inserts should not be considered to carry editorial endorsement.” As this magazine is distributed to the Mennonite flock, the sheep will just have to be discerning enough to know what is spiritually safe and unsafe. But are they? Reader beware.

Related:

Brian McLaren Denies the Gospel
http://thinkerup.blogspot.com/2006/06/brian-mclaren-denies-gospel_24.html

Brian McLaren and Mountain building–The 5th Spiritual Paradigm…
http://livingjourney.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/brian-mclaren-and-mountain-buildingthe-5th-spiritual-paradigm/

Naked Bridge Builder comes to Canadian Christian University
http://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/naked-bridge-builder-comes-to-winnipeg/

Update:

Refreshing Winds
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/refreshing-winds/

*Also find Refreshing Winds review Parts 1-5 HERE.

*NEW (May 2011):

Connecting the “Dots” on Brian McLaren
http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/uncategorized/connecting-the-dots-on-brian-mclaren

UPDATE: ***NEW*** (July, 2011)

Surprise, Surprise…Brian Mclaren Aligns (openly) with New Age Leaders
http://www.ericbarger.com/mclaren.NA.htm

Brian McLaren Finally Comes Out of the Closet as a New Ager
http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/07/brian-mclaren-finally-comes-out-of.html

*** UPDATE:

Brian McLaren Leads Commitment Ceremony At Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

McLaren family wedding ceremony included “traditional Christian elements.”
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2012/09/brian_mclaren_l.html

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12 thoughts on “The Mennonites, Brian McLaren and the Neopagan Gospel Unite

  1. Q1. Why are they condoning this teacher who preaches another gospel?

    A1. Because they don’t know the biblical gospel and are confused as to how bad MacLaren actually is. If you have no standard from which to measure, you cannot actually measure anything.

    Q2. Will anyone speak out?

    A2. Yes, but only in the context of local coffee shops or living room conversations. Nobody will publically speak out because people are scared of the reprisals that may occur by their pastors or denominational leadership (see question 1). People who fear man instead of God will not pick ANY issue as the theological hill to die on.

    Q3. Where are the watchmen?

    A1. Dead or run out of town. The Canadian MB conference is bound and determined to lop their own head off in ritual self-sacrifice to atheistic and neopagan philosophy.

    Q4. What are you going to do about THAT?

  2. I wrote the following two letters to pastor friends of mine who were promoting the event without a lot of knowledge of MaClaren’s theology:
    While driving home my wife and son mentioned the Brian MaClaren poster
    on your wall. They felt I needed to
    talk to you about it…..I shrugged it off, but they intimated it was my
    responsibility. We as a church also received one, but disposed of it.
    Here’s the deal. Many people don’t know MaClaren’s deep slide into
    errant and heretical theology over the years.
    I must say I was surprised when I discovered, months ago, that he was coming
    to CMU…(a mennonite university our EMC conference supports)
    an EMC voice, (more liberal than me) wrote to CMU expressing
    he concerns. I wrote to —————-, an Anabaptist
    professor at CMU. He was also concerned and encouraged me to write to the
    “higher ups”….
    Some of our Mennonite church communities are getting quite liberal in
    their theology….By liberal I mean moving away from the authority of the
    Scriptures….grappling with things like substitutionary atonement, the
    reality of God’s judgment, relegating the the apocalyptical passages to past
    tense or mere symbolism, acceptance of homosexuality as part of God’s plan,
    the exclusivity of Christ….etc. MaClaren fits this bill perfectly, infact
    he pushes the envelop further and further. Truth be told I wonder if,
    presuppositionally speaking, I have anything in common with him…
    I’ve studied MaClaren’s views for a few years now….(I go to his
    web-site 3 times a week or so to see what he is saying….) I’ve actually
    written him 2 or 3 times. I’ve read some of his writings in his books. His
    following is fairly large as he was rated one of the top 25 influential
    evangelicals awhile ago…..though I wouldn’t consider him an evangelical.
    He is a very likeable guy with tremendous social skills and writing
    abilities. I believe he was a literature major in university and his
    writing clearly reflects that skill. His personality is also very endearing
    and he comes across as very humble at times
    I cannot give you his system of theology in a comprehensive way; but I
    can give you some of the outworking of it. Here are some of those:
    1. He does not accept the propitiation aspect of Christ’s work on the
    cross.
    2. I believe he’d be close (or has already) to rejecting the
    substitutionary work of Christ on the cross.
    3. He says clearly in his 2nd latest book that eschatology like ours (yours
    and mine) is not only dangerous; it’s immoral.
    4. He uses Acts 8 (The Ethiopian eunuch story) to help bring acceptance to
    the gay lifestyle.
    5. In the Matt 25 parable of the king and the 3 servants, he sees the king
    as representing the wicked Creaser, and the lazy servant as actually being
    the hero in the story because he doesn’t but into quick money schemes.
    6. I believe he has rejected the “fall of man” tenant and would say that we
    need to put some hard work into totally re-interpreting the
    Scriptures….from bottom up.
    7. Eternal judgment as we know it would not be a part of his language.
    8. The redemptive blood of Jesus wouldn’t be a part of his language any
    more either.
    —we could go on and talk about other issues…..I could gladly give you my
    copy of his most recent book. I bought a copy for critical purposes.
    I’m writing to let you in on my findings and make you aware of where
    this is all leading….You do with the poster and promotion of the seminar
    as you feel led. There is something to be said for attending these for
    critical or “educational” purposes….or to get a better understanding of
    where the liberal part of emergent theology is leading….But I also feel
    the “burden” to warn or make people aware of some of these false teachings
    that are swirling around in these last days that will leave the church
    totally powerless and nothing more than a social club.
    I love you, my bro….you’ve been a huge encouragement to me!
    glenn
    letter # 2
    Bro Dave,
    Thanks for not slugging me over the head! I appreciate that… I know we’re dealing with some potentially eruptive material. Let me give you some of my heart….esp from the last few weeks:
    I have a prophetic heart and feel it necessary to “pay head to the gospel once and for all handed down to the saints” (Jude) I believe we could be on the cusp of a huge “falling away”…..spoken about by Jesus (Matt 24:12-13) and Paul (2 Thess 2:3). I just preached through Jude and am now in 2 Peter. Both letters powerful warnings of the false preachers who were moving in…Peter and Jude both use strong language. It’s actually interesting to note how much space the NT gives to this thing of deception and false teaching….Jude, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, Titus, Galatians, 2 Corinthians were all written primarily or secondarily to counter false teachers or false teachings….and that does not include 1 and 2 Timothy’s words, 2 Thess’ words, Rev 2 and 3….etc. Jesus was very harsh with them as He saw them in the churches of Thyatira, Ephesus, and Pergamum….2 John says if we welcome these people in (who’ve run ahead of the gospel) we share in their wickedness….In today’s world of post-modernity, tolerance, and pluralism, we have a hard time with this thing of Truth and the unchanging realities of Scripture….We see the “fall-out” in the main-line churches…the empty pews, the powerlessness, the social club mentality….are we next?
    There’s no doubt that both MaClaren and Bell have raised some good questions…..about unbiblical western Christianity. We are in trouble. More trouble is looming….
    We’ve lived in a pampered, lukewarm, consumerist, passionless, and prayer less way….I, however, believe MaClaren is going in the opposite direction in many ways from where we need to be going.
    My feeling is; we should listen to what the Chinese church is saying….Or the fiery voices from the past…..or the places where the Kingdom of God is breaking in with deliverances, salvations, signs and wonders, and suffering….
    I have followed MaClaren’s voice for a few years now….through his web-site…and have read some of his writings…He’s getting louder and clearer about his views that, previously, he was elusive about.
    Our main CMU connection, Bro Pierre Gilbert, was also concerned and encouraged me to write to the CMU higher ups….Terry Smith did a better job than I would’ve…
    Dave, by all means, let’s do a coffee some time….
    It’s a slippery theological “skating rink” out there….it seems everyone is going in every which direction….but I do believe Jesus will come back for a passionate, love-sick, unified Bride….and I want to make sure I’m one of them!
    your bro
    glenn

  3. Hello,
    I received very gracious responses from the two pastors….the one pastor who pastors a Vineyard church; was totally unaware of MaClaren’s views and scrapped the poster immediately. The other pastor appreciated my words and wants to get together after attending the event. I don’t want to come across as a crusty, self-righteous judgementalist; but would rather like to have the heart of anguish that both Peter and Jude had when they wrote their NT letters…
    glenn

    • That’s encouraging news. Hopefully your experience will spur others on to do likewise with the same humility. God bless you!

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