Blatant Bias: Anti-Israel Mennonite Monkey Business

Bias: Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. (wikipedia)

There are no words for this outrageously classic piece of anti-Israel church replacement theology.

Opinion: Being pro-Jesus on Israel-Palestine
Apr 27, 2015 by Tom Harder

There is a growing concern among evangelical Christians for the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Prominent leaders such as Lynn Hybels of Willow Creek Church and Gary Burge of Wheaton College are visiting the Holy Land, learning firsthand about the conflict and returning home with a passionate call to do something about it. They are also returning with a deeper understanding of the conflict’s causes and imbalances and the ways the Bible has been used to perpetuate it.
A primary example of the latter is the belief that God commands us to support the state of Israel without question or condition. “Whoever blesses you I will bless, and whoever curses you I will curse,” God declares in Genesis 12.
However, the “you” is not Israel, let alone the modern state of Israel. It is Abraham, whom God intended to be a blessing to all nations and who became the father not just of Judaism but of Christianity and Islam.
A second example is the belief that Palestine rightfully belongs to modern Israel because God promised it to them. Often overlooked is the conditionality of God’s promise: It depended on biblical Israel’s faithfulness to God’s covenant.
Over and over, the biblical prophets chided Israel for its unfaithfulness, particularly its lack of justice for the oppressed. The prophets, in other words, were pro-Israel, but that didn’t stop them from naming injustice when they saw it. (For a thorough, biblical analysis of this issue, read Burge’s Whose Land, Whose Promise?)
Jesus was pro-people, pure and simple. He wanted the best for everyone. But he also wanted the best from everyone. And so he didn’t hesitate to confront injustice when he saw it. One could even argue that he took sides — with the poor and oppressed, just as the prophets and the Torah did before him.
Becoming the oppressors
Many Israeli Jews — particularly their European forebears who experienced the Holocaust — know all too well what it is like to be oppressed and persecuted. They are understandably determined that it never happen again.
But visitors to the Holy Land, if they look closely enough, discover an awful irony. The oppressed have become the oppressors and the persecuted the persecutors.
The victims are the Palestinian Arabs (both Christian and Muslim) who had been living in historic Palestine long before the Jewish immigrants began arriving — displacing the Palestinians, destroying their villages and declaring an Israeli state.
Palestinians who remained in Israel must now live as second-class citizens. Those who fled eastward now live under military occupation, their movements severely restricted, their olive groves destroyed, their water sources seized by the thousands of Israeli settlers living illegally in the West Bank. Those who fled to the area known as Gaza live in what many call an open-air prison.
In 2009, Palestinian Christian leaders wrote a letter known as “Kairos Palestine” to Christians in the West, pleading not just for our prayers but our attention, compassion and help. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to support Israel militarily and without condition, giving scant attention to the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people.
If we follow Jesus’ example, we will be pro-people. We will want the best for everyone. We will remember that in God’s economy, everyone should be able to live without fear, beneath their own vine and fig tree — including both Israelis and Palestinians (Micah 4:3-4).
We will denounce violence, whether committed by Israelis or Palestinians. We will work for peace with justice for all of Israel-Palestine. But if we follow Jesus, we must stand up especially for the oppressed and hold the oppressors accountable to the standard of living and loving required by God.

Tom Harder is co-pastor of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita, Kan., and chair of the Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network (Menno-PIN) Steering Committee.

http://mennoworld.org/2015/04/27/latest-issue/being-pro-jesus-on-israel-palestine/

*Menno-lite has had enough of the monkey business and betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word in not only the Mennonite denomination, but the modern day church as a whole. There may be a faithful remnant, and many of the Mennonite people do good works, however, it is time to move on.

Thank you to all for your readership and support.

~ Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ~ Romans 1:22

Mennonites Promoting the Mesa Document – the New Direction of the Same Old Emerging Conversation

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change
Proverbs 24:21

For ninety years, Mennonite World Review has independently published a newspaper to serve Mennonites and the Anabaptist movement. In more recent years they began publishing a website and The World Together Blog. This Anabaptist-themed blog contains articles written by Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, Conservative Mennonite, Quaker and other “Anabaptist-influenced thinkers”. This blog seems to be one of the ways that Plymouth Brethren defector Brian McLaren has been making inroads into Mennonite circles. One of the current articles on The World Together Blog by change agent McLaren concerns the direction the emerging conversation has taken and how it has led to his latest project, the Mesa Document.

Here is an excerpt of McLaren’s article as it appears on the Mennonite blog:

What’s happening in the emergent church conversation?
Nov 19, 2014 by Brian D. McClaren

I was asked recently for my view of what’s happening in the emergent/emergence conversation in North America. Here’s a very short overview, from my perspective.
The conversation continues to grow, not by creating a new slice of the pie, but by seasoning nearly all sectors of the pie. Even where the word “emergent” is not used, ideas from emergence leaders are being considered and adopted, leading to new experimentation and openness.
Influence in the Roman Catholic world is still relatively small, but growing numbers of Catholic scholars and leaders are listening, reading and engaging, from lay people to (yes) the Vatican. Catholic influence on the emergence community continues to be strong, especially through the spiritual practices of the monastic and contemplative traditions.
Much of the Mainline Protestant world has opened its arms wide to the emergent conversation, from bishops to parachurch organizations to denominational leaders to local pastors to grassroots activists. A few years down the road, I think Mainline engagement will become even more overt and significant, but already most Mainline Protestant denominations are experimenting with creative new approaches to church planting and worship/liturgy renewal. Key next steps may include the creation of a national, trans-denominational campus ministry, collaborative and transdenominational church planting and “branding,” new approaches to theological and ministry education, and the development of a new genre of progressive Christian worship music.
The evangelical community has, by and large, decided to double down against LGBT inclusion and equality, and because many emergence leaders see equality as a natural and unavoidable expression of the gospel, their voices have been marginalized by prominent gatekeepers. But beneath the surface, influence continues to expand, especially among young evangelicals and those uncomfortable with the marriage between American evangelicalism and the religious right. Along with LGBT equality, surprising numbers of evangelicals are quietly but consistently moving towards greater concern for the full equality for women, the environment, racial and interfaith reconciliation, the elimination of torture, peacemaking, poverty reduction and related issues. And theologically, they are eager to engage with questions that have been suppressed — including rethinking penal substitutionary atonement theory, biblical inerrancy and interpretation, and the violence of God. For practical reasons, it will often be best, in the short run at least, for these conversations to happen without association with the term “emergence.”

SOURCE:
http://mennoworld.org/2014/11/19/whats-happening-in-the-emergent-church-conversation/

After perfectly describing what the one world church of the anti-Christ might look like, McLaren goes on to explain in this article that, as the first wave of the emerging church leaders are aging, a new wave of young (politically correct, sin tolerant, atonement rethinking, Bible doubting) leaders is rising. These radicals are “making room for Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Evangelicals and others to work together for the common good.” Since this new unstructured wave of emergent spawn requires new structuring, McLaren recently got a group together to make a global document of sorts, detailing their new ideas and goals. In May of 2013, Brian McLaren asked for large sums of money to go toward this project which was yet to be named[1]. What he has to show for this effort is called the Mesa Document.

The Mesa Document pdf[2] explains how the goals for this restructuring were formulated in Thailand, based on conversation, dreams and friendships around the world, and is dated Halloween, 2013. An excerpt describes:

“The journey was often frightening and difficult. Whenever we found someone who shared our questions, desires, and dreams, we gathered around a table for conversation. Through conversation, we became friends on a journey. And from our friendships, we gained the courage to try new things. . . We chose the name Mesa, the Spanish word for table, because it suggested a space of conversation, companionship, and nourishment for life, work, and action.”

They are always attempting to try ‘new things,’ but had they consulted the Bible for wisdom, they might have save themselves a lot of time and resources, for as the wisest man in the world said, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” (Ecc. 1:9-10) Then in the book of Acts we saw the wise Bereans who studied in contrast with all the Athenians and strangers who spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. (Acts 17:21). All scripture is written for our benefit, but only to those who study and take heed.

Although McLaren and friends say they believe in Jesus, nothing is mentioned about the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the re-writing of this new kind of church (because they don’t believe the written word is inspired or inerrant). According to McLaren’s perspective, here are the new directives on the Mesa Document:

• We believe in Jesus and the good news of the reign, commonwealth, or ecosystem of God, and we seek for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven by focusing on love — love for God and neighbor, for outsider and enemy.
• We seek to know, serve and join the poor in the struggle for justice and freedom . . . through advocacy, relationships and action.
• We seek to honor, interpret and apply the Bible in fresh and healing ways, aware of the damaging ways the Bible has been used in the past.
• We seek to reconnect with the earth, understand the harm human beings are doing to it, and discover more responsible, regenerative ways of life in it.
• We seek the common good, locally and globally, through churches of many diverse forms, contexts and traditions, and we imagine fresh ways for churches to form Christlike people and join God in the healing of the world.
• We build inclusive partnerships across gaps between the powerful and vulnerable – including disparities based on wealth, gender, race and ethnic identity, education, religion, sexuality, age, politics and physical ability.
• We engage conflict at all levels of human society with the creative and nonviolent wisdom of peacemaking.
• We propose new ways of encountering the other in today’s pluralistic world and we collaborate with other religious and secular groups in alliances for the common good.
• We host safe space for constructive theological conversation, seeking to root our practice in theological reflection and seeking to express our reflection in practical action.
• We value the arts for their unique role in nurturing, challenging and transforming our humanity.
• We emphasize spiritual and relational practices to strengthen our inner life with God and our relationships with one another.

Why did McLaren and friends travel all the way to Thailand to re-define words into a language the new kind of gatekeeper-phobic church will be comfortable with? As much as McLaren has been preaching that everything must change, these “new” concepts sound like the same old ways the emerging church has been using to integrate ideas the world already accepts: reconnecting with mother earth, social justice, the new tolerance, politically correct peace building, ecumenism, interfaith, LGBT inclusiveness, transformation of humanity through the arts and inner spiritual disciplines. The world drinks this church blend the same way it accepts the New Age message of Oprah’s tour with Rob Bell.[3] In their process of redefining terms for the new kind of church, McLaren and friends have ignored the words of Jesus (whom they claim to believe in) when He said to His beloved friends, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:9)

What began in Thailand in 2013 will be completed in 2017 with a final Mesa gathering. Meanwhile, more gatherings and conversations will take place until then.[4] Other emergent friends of McLaren associated with Mesa are Doug Pagitt, Frederick Buechner, Phyllis Tickle, Steve Chalke and Tony Jones. In fact, partnering with Mesa is Oasis, where Steve Chalke is founder of the Oasis Charitable Trust.[5] McLaren’s friend Chalke denies the penal substitutionary atonement by Jesus Christ on the cross, calling the cross ‘cosmic child abuse’.

McLaren ends his article on the Mennonite blog by expressing interest to see where others would add, subtract or differ. In answer to that, Menno-lite would like to propose that these new leaders add the words that God has already said (in the Bible), from which McLaren and friends appear to have subtracted. But that would just start another never ending conversation out of which a barrel of semantic monkeys would emerge.

In conclusion, those who call themselves Mennonites and point to such false teachers would do well to read the words of their founder and namesake, Menno Simons, who said…

“it should be observed that the church of anti-christ is brought forth by faithless preachers, who are actuated by the spirit of anti-christ … who, with the false prophets preach Peace, Ezek. 13:16”
-Menno Simons [6]

*To find out more about Brian McLaren and this project, read here:

The latest diabolical ideas to ‘EMERGE’ from BRIAN McLAREN
http://www.takeheed.info/pdf/current-concerns-2013/McLaren_and_Mesa.pdf

_____

Endnotes:

[1] DONATION PLEA: BRIAN MCLAREN RESPONDS
http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/05/donation-plea-brian-mclaren-responds/
[2] The Mennonite blog article has a link to the Mesa Document entitled Mesa Friends in Pattaya, Thailand (31 October 2013)
http://www.mesa-friends.org/downloads/Statement%20from%20Mesa%20Pattaya%20October%202013%20FINAL.pdf
[3] Rob Bell and Oprah Wrap Up New Age Tour—EQUALLY YOKED
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16411
[4] http://mesa-friends.org/
[5] http://www.oasisuk.org/changemakers
[6] Menno Simons, CONCERNING THE CHURCH, AND AN INSTRUCTIVE COMPARISON HOW WE MAY DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, AND THE CHURCH OF ANTI-CHRIST.
http://www.mennosimons.net/ft068-concerningthechurch.html

Related:

Brian McLaren and a New Era of Bible Reading
http://www.thebereancall.org/content/brian-mclaren-and-new-era-bible-reading

Brian McLaren’s Platform at Menno Weekly
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/brian-mclarens-platform-at-menno-weekly/

MB Herald Promotes Brian McLaren
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/mb-herald-promotes-brian-mclaren/

MB Herald calls A New Kind of Christianity “a book on freedom”
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/mb-herald-calls-a-new-kind-of-christianity-a-book-on-freedom/

The Morphing of the Emergent Movement: Can You See It Now
http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/the-morphing-of-the-emergent-movement-can-you-see-it-now/

All Who Truly Believe

A reminder from the pen of Menno Simons, preserved for the benefit of modern Mennonites (the Menno-lites) who still identify with his name but not what he believed or stood for….

“All those who sincerely believe the righteous judgment of God and his eternal wrath over all sin and wickedness, and do not doubt in spirit, look at the fallen angels; they look at the first, depraved world, at Sodom and Gomorrah, and upon disobedient, refractory Israel. They take particular notice how God humbled his innocent Son, who knew no sin, and in whose mouth guile was not found; how he was humbled, and made the most miserable among men for the sake of our sins. Yea, that he was so beaten and tortured, that while extended on the cross, he piteously complained to his Father saying, “My God, my God, why halt thou forsaken me?” Matt. 27:45.
All who truly believe this, will certainly flee from all unrighteousness, as they would from the fangs of a serpent; they turn away from all sins, and dread them more than a burning fire, or a piercing sword, for their whole mind and conscience testify to them, that if they knowingly and willfully sin against the law and word of God, and do not receive Christ in a pure and good conscience, live according to the flesh, and despise the inviting voice of God that they will fall under the dreadful, eternal sentence and wrath of God.”

SOURCE: Menno Simons, THE TRUE CHRISTIAN BELIEF.
http://www.mennosimons.net/ft026-truechristianbelief.html

Timothy, Take Heed

In the January 2014[1] issue of the MB Herald is an article called They will know us by our theological arrogance[2] by Tim Neufeld[3]. In it he gives advice to move past all the drama of winning theological differences and arguments, and be known by our “love for one another”. The first suggestion is to read broadly and the last is to practice what you preach. For the second idea, he writes:

2. Learn about traditions outside your own.
The history of the church includes different periods, styles and practices of Christian faith. For example, Richard Foster identifies six historical traditions in Streams of Living Water: contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical and incarnational influences of spirituality. Exposure to other traditions leads to gracious embrace of those who are theologically dissimilar.
Occasionally, I attend an evening vespers service at a nearby convent where worshipping with a small group of Roman Catholic sisters has taught me the importance of quiet reflection in the presence of Christ. We pray, read Scripture and sing with a serene reverence that ministers to the core of my busy soul. I’ve had similar experiences of prayer and worship at a Greek Orthodox monastery located in the mountains an hour from where I live.
I don’t always understand the observances or agree completely with the theology of these communities, but I’m deeply challenged by the piety of their worship.

The problem with this idea is that there is a difference between learning about other traditions and immersing yourself in them while participating. This is how so many Christians have become involved in contemplative spirituality. Richard Foster[4] not only identifies other traditions, he teaches the spirituality behind them and has led countless sincere Christians onto the path of the contemplative mystics. Neufeld is right that there is piety in the worship of Roman Catholic nuns and the Greek Orthodox tradition, but which Jesus[5] are they worshipping? How can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)

Neufeld’s third point also involves a caution. While recommending talking to Christians from other cultures to create awareness, he says:

Native American pastor Richard Twiss’s challenge toward reconciliation, especially among and on behalf of First Nations people, has shaped my understanding of forgiveness and oppression.

There is nothing wrong with talking to Christians from other cultures. The difficulty here is that Richard Twiss “continues to teach that the Great Spirit is the Holy Spirit by wearing the cultural items associated with the Great Spirit, even though it is a historical fact that the Great Spirit is a pantheistic god that required blood rituals and human sacrifice. Richard Twiss claims that what he is doing is not syncretism, when it is the very definition of syncretism.”[3] This is something that was further confirmed recently at the Emergent Village Theological Conference that he took part in.[4]

Tim Neufeld’s prayer that those outside the church will know us for our love, not our theological arrogance, should be the prayer of every Christian. We should practice what we preach and learn from others, but not at the expense of compromising doctrine and leading others astray, whether it be into contemplative spirituality or syncretism. Doctrine is important. In the Bible we read Paul exhorting another Timothy to…

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Timothy 4:16

The truth is, we can be known as loving and caring and still hold to doctrine and stand up for truth.

Finally, the MB Herald directs readers to Tim Neufeld’s blog, Occasio (timneufeld.blogs.com), where he promotes Bono, U2 Sermons, and the One Campaign (one.org), of which Bono is on the board of directors.[8]

Timothy, take heed.

Endnotes:

[1] http://mbherald.com/january-14-issue/
[2] http://mbherald.com/they-will-know-us-by-our-theological-arrogance/
[3] Tim Neufeld is associate professor of contemporary Christian ministries at Fresno (Cal.) Pacific University.
[4] Richard Foster:http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/fosterlinks.htm
[5] Watch: Another Jesus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dncdIxJeA8U
[6] “Richard Twiss is spreading the doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation and is endorsed by them. He claims that the Great Spirit of the Indians is the Holy Spirit of the Bible. . . He continues to teach that the Great Spirit is the Holy Spirit by wearing the cultural items associated with the Great Spirit, even though it is a historical fact that the Great Spirit is a pantheistic god that required blood rituals and human sacrifice. Richard Twiss claims that what he is doing is not syncretism, when it is the very definition of syncretism.”http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/twissquotes.html
Also see: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/reasonstoreject.html
[7] At the 2010 Emergent Village Theological Conference, which Richard Twiss was a part of, a blog for the event states:
“Richard Twiss . . . began by blessing us with sage incense and having a member of his team dance a healing dance. . . . He moved from rejecting his reservation upbringing, to re-discovering his heritage and hating white people, coming to faith in Christ through evangelical churches, walking away again from his heritage, to re-re-discovering his Native culture and integrating it into his faith.” – Emergent Village Theological Conference, http://iowaemergent.blogspot.com/2010/11/emergent-village-theological-conference.html
*Also related: NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT: Can Cultures Be Redeemed? (Some Things You Should Know About the Indigenous People’s Movement) http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11295
[8] For an eye opening revelation on Bono and the One Campaign, please read this informative article with pictures, video clips and links, here:
U2′s Bono, Unorthodox Superman http://www.submergingchurch.com/2013/07/05/u2′s-bono-unorthodox-superman/
Also see:
Bono: David sang the blues and Jesus did some punk rock https://www.thebereancall.org/content/bono-david-sang-blues-and-jesus-did-some-punk-rock
Also related: U2’s Music And Moments Of Vertigo by Tim Neufeld http://www.usmb.org/u2s-music-and-moments-of-vertigo

Mennonite Church USA Same Sex Marriage Symposium

The following are excerpts from a Mennonite World Review article about the recent Mennonite Church USA symposium on homosexuality in Newton, Kansas.

Page 1 begins:

NEWTON, Kan. — Contrasting views on same-sex marriage in the church highlighted a symposium on homosexuality Oct. 25-26.
Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA, which has seen eight congregations withdraw after a Kansas pastor officiated at the covenant ceremony of a lesbian couple, sponsored the event.
“The Church and Homo­sex­ual­­ity: A Conversation That Can Hold Us Together” drew 130 people to Faith Mennonite Church.
The main presenters were Keith Graber Miller, a professor of Bible, religion and philosophy at Goshen (Ind.) College, and David Boshart, executive conference minister of MC USA’s Central Plains Conference. Both are ordained pastors.
Boshart advocated welcoming gay and lesbian people in the church while not supporting same-sex marriage as a ministry of the church.
Graber Miller argued that same-sex relationships can be loving, pure, just and fruitful and that the church should bless and honor them…

-page 1, MC USA district airs contrasting viewpoints during homosexuality symposium

Page 3 continues:

Loving relationships

Graber Miller said there is no evidence that the biblical writers knew of genuine same-sex orientation. He said they condemned abusive acts but did not address loving relationships.
“Seven passages, including about 50 verses in the Old and New Testaments combined, deal with this issue, and in every case the context suggests idolatry, violent rape, lust, unnatural behaviors or exploitation,” he said.
“I believe the biblical passages dealing with same-sex sexuality are addressing something other than the loving, community-affirmed, covenant same-sex relationships we know today.”
The church has long acknowledged the reality of same-sex orientation, he said.
“Would it not be good to channel those orientations into loving, God-blessed commitments marked by monogamy and fidelity, supported and held accountable by bodies of believers?” he asked. “That would allow for sustainable, life-giving commitments in a way that hiddenness, denial and denunciation do not.”
Graber Miller called for MC USA and its conferences to allow congregations to dissent from the denomination’s stance on homosexual practice — an issue that he said is not at the core of Christian faith nor central to the Anabaptist tradition.
“I’m asking that conferences allow those congregations and their leaders who painstakingly and faithfully come to views divergent from what is considered the norm — divergences rooted in communal congregational discernment of Scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit — to be allowed to coexist alongside those with other views,” he said.

-page 3, MC USA district airs contrasting viewpoints during homosexuality symposium

Source: http://www.mennoworld.org/2013/11/11/mc-usa-district-airs-contrasting-viewpoints-during/

Related:

Canadian MB conference begins a discussion of sexuality
Canadian Conference of MB Churches http://www.mennoworld.org/2013/11/11/discussion-begins-canadian-mb-church/

The Conversation Has Begun https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/the-conversation-has-begun/

As Simons Says…

THE DOCTRINE OF THE PREACHERS.

As I have presented to the reader, the first part in relation to the sending and calling of a true preacher, according to the word of God, I will now, through the grace of God, present in like manner the second part, relating to the doctrine; for there is but little difference between their calling and their doctrine, as the calling is, even so, most commonly, is the doctrine.

Where the spirit of God urges or moves to preach, there will the word be incorruptibly taught in the power of God; and upright children of the spirit will thereby be born. But where flesh and blood calls, there will a carnal doctrine be taught and carnal disciples will be made, for that like produces like is incontrovertible. I deem it unnecessary here to prove this with much scripture, for their actions bear testimony.

The Scriptures plainly show how a preacher rightly called by the word of God is to rightly teach that word without perverting glosses, without any mingling of leaven; as Peter says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God,” 1 Peter 4:11. They are the children of the Holy Ghost who speak the word of the Spirit, as Christ said, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you,” Matt. 10:20. “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God,” John 3:34. To preach the word salutarily and unblamably, is one of the highest and greatest commands enjoined by Christ. He said, “Go ye in all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15.

The Gospel, the word of God, preached unmingled, in the power of the spirit, is the only right, true seed from which are born the truly believing and obedient children of God. If the church of Christ brings forth children from the doctrine of man, and not from God’s word, she is not faithful unto Christ, and her children are not of his seed….

More here:

http://www.mennosimons.net/ft013-doctrineofpreachers.html

From the complete writings of Menno Simons HERE.

Richard Rohr Impacts the Mark Centre, the Mennonites, and Maybe Millions

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and Founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An international author and spiritual leader, he teaches on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness and contemplation.

In a recent video clip for a conference on Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I Am Seeking, Rohr says that most of us believe things because our church told us to believe them, but there is something called The Univosity of Being (one voice)…

“When you speak of God, when you speak of angels, when you speak of humans, when you speak of animals, when you speak of trees, when you speak of fish, when you speak of the earth, you are using the work Being univocally . That might seems like an abstract philosophical position but I hope you can see how that creates an inclusive universe where everything is sacred where you can’t divide the world into the sacred and profane anymore. It’s over, and yet, most Christians to this day, in what was called the mainline orthodoxy still, most Christians I meet, Catholic and Protestant, still have the world divided into the sacred and the profane.”
-Richard Rohr, Franciscan Mysticism Conference preview
http://secure.lenos.com/lenos/cac/FranciscanMysticism2012/

This is a view that basically puts the Creator and creation on a continuum which makes God susceptible to revolutionary critique by materialist science. In other words, it’s the philospher’s slippery slope towards Darwinism and atheism.  It also leans towards panentheism, the belief the universe is contained within God and that the universe is part of God (see PANENTHEISM! WHAT IS THAT?).

Rohr is also a promoter of the Cosmic Christ, whom he believes is the foundation for interfaith dialogue. He writes:

“Only a truly cosmic Christ is adequate to the breadth of our problems and the depth of our hopes today….I personally do not believe that Jesus came to found a separate religion- as much as he came to present a universal message of vulnerability and foundational unity that is necessary for all religions, the human soul, and history itself to survive.”

– July-Sept. 2002 Radical Grace, “A Cosmic Christ” by Richard Rohr.
http://www.lospequenos.org/RohrDossier/Material/9.3%20Cosmic%20Christ.pdf

There are other major problems with his teachings:

In January of 2008, Rohr was a “presenter” at a conference on “Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening.”5 Consistent with contemplative spirituality, Rohr taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things. Rohr taught that the teachings of both Jesus and Buddha call people to transformational honesty. He declared, “They are both teaching us how to see and how to see all the way through! They both knew that if you see God for yourself, you will see the Divine in all things.”6

Hazards unfolded by Emerging Church leaders
By Richard Bennett
http://www.bereanbeacon.org/emergentchurch/The_Hazards_unfolded_by_Emerging_Church_leaders.pdf

In spite of these major concerns, in Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal For Listening To God by Steve and Evy Klassen of The Mark Centre (affiliated with the BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches), Steve Klassen quotes Richard Rohr on page 9 (from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See). Then on page 78 he further explains:

“…I have been able to read some of Richard Rohr’s writing and also have the privilege of meeting him on a men’s retreat. His writing and his teaching have impacted me deeply, especially in the area of meaning, purpose and identity. He said, “your importance is given and bestowed in this universe, which is the unbreakable covenant between you and your Creator. You are declared important; you cannot declare yourself important.”

-Steve Klassen, Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal for Listening to God, p 78

Does this philosophy fit with what the Bible says in regards to our importance in the universe?

Behold, thou hast made my days [as] an handbreadth; and mine age [is] as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state [is] altogether vanity. Psalm 39:5

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. Galatians 6:3

Is the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches at all concerned that the Mark Centre’s director admits to being deeply impacted by the writings and teachings of  a proponent of the “Cosmic Christ”  whose spirituality is linked with Matthew Fox – who also believes in the Cosmic Christ as well as pantheism (that God is in all things) and panentheism (that all is in God)? Should they be concerned that Steve Klassen counted it a privilege to have met a major advocate for interspirituality? Are they at all aware that Rohr’s teaching encompasses Eastern and new age fringe beliefs from gnostic mysticism to medieval metaphysics (mantra meditation, Enneagram, Univosity of Being, etc.)? Or what about Rohr’s all male retreats where men sometimes remove their clothing to release the demons (source), or that he has prayed to ‘Father Mother God’ (source), and has reportedly presided over same sex marriages? He is even on the same Vision Project list as his friend Brian McLaren. And now he has deeply influenced the author of a journal that will be used by hundreds of MB students, missionaries and pastors worldwide through the Mark Centre, whose strategy is to affect millions through contemplative spirituality.

Is anyone concerned?

RELATED:

The Mark Centre’s New Book
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-mark-centres-new-book/

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-mark-centre-and-silent-prayer/

Brian McLaren’s good friend Richard Rohr
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/brian-mclarens-good-friend-richard-rohr/

Priest: ‘The boy always gets naked…’
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/060123

THE ENNEAGRAM GPS: GNOSTIC PATH TO SELF
http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Enneagram.html

Richard Rohr Teaching on the Ennegram
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RNt0MH9dWA

Mystic Madness: Spiraling Down into the Pit
-read how Richard Rohr (the Kything Monk) and friends represent a revival of occult mysticism within the Roman Catholic Church
http://www.apostasyalert.org/REFLECTIONS/mystic.htm

Bongos, Dancers, and Father-Mother God
http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=b9f5f434-6ee1-4c6c-821a-cb2495d30ade

Dossier/documentation of Father Rohr’s disturbing teachings, tapes and writings:
http://www.lospequenos.org/RohrDossier/

Fr. Richard Rohr on “The Cosmic Christ
http://vimeo.com/25939181

Panentheism! What is That?
by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 17, No. 3, May/June 2012
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel52.pdf

What is panentheism?
http://www.gotquestions.org/panentheism.html

What is pantheism?
http://www.gotquestions.org/pantheism.html

Brian McLaren and Fellow Visionaries
http://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/brian-mclaren-and-fellow-visionaries/

* NOTE: In the link below, notice that Starhawk (a leading practitioner of feminist Wicca (witchcraft) in the United States and teacher at ex-priest Michael Fox’s Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality) was invited to speak at the Center for Action and Contemplation, founded and directed by Richard Rohr. The CAC classes were in “Elements of Magic.”

http://www.lospequenos.org/RohrDossier/Material/8.2%20Pepper%20RE%20Starhawk.pdf

More about Starhawk here:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Starhawk.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starhawk

Also see:

WITCHCRAFT, WICCA AND NEOPAGANISM
http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Wicca.html