Tuesday, June 24, 2008

McLaren's Vision Is Coming True!

Brian McLaren* has a vision. His vision is one where Christians cease from understanding the Bible in a linear way and begin to see it as a never ending circle of questions with no answers. His vision is one where Christians cease to believe that "no man comes to the Father except by me." His vision is one where Christians accept pagan religions as all equally valid as Christianity and equally capable of delivering salvation. His vision is one where Christians begin to accept multiple interpretive models within the church of Christ, all somehow able to bring about "different truths."

Brian McLaren's vision is coming very close to being realized. Tonday, June 24, 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released it's newest poll. You can read all about it by clicking on:


The poll findings are entitled as: "Religious Beliefs and Practices / Social & Political Views: Report 2." The findings are stunningly terrifying. There are, of course, many details of such a report but three are of urgent concern for the churches of Christ. According to Pew's data, we comprise approximately 1.5% of the U. S. population. How many of us who actually participated in the poll are not known.

Three questions and three answers have profound implications for the on-going work of the church of Christ which is to "make disciples, baptize and to teach all things whatsoever Christ taught in the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles and the Revelation."

The first question is:

"Can salvation be found apart from Jesus Christ?"

The second question is:

"Can the Bible be correctly interpreted in more than one way?"

The third question is:

"Is the Holy Bible the inspired Word of God in it's entirety?"

We KNOW the CORRECT answers to these questions but is disturbingly instructive to hear what AMERICA is saying. We NEED to know for God, by inspiration, tells us to "be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks concering the hope that lies within us with meekness & fear." - I Peter 3:15

Here are the conclusions of the Pew people regarding question #1:

"A major survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans (70%) have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A majority of those affiliated with a religion, for instance, (70%) do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation."

Here are the conclusions of the Pew people regardign question #2:

"...almost the same number (68%) believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion."

Here are the conclusions of the Pew people regarding question #3

"A similar pattern is evident in the views of the Bible. Nearly two-thirds of the public (63%) takes the view that their faiths sacred texts are the Word of God. But those who believe Scripture represents the Word of God are roughly evenly divided between those who say it should be interpreted literally, word for word (33%) and those who say it should not be taken literally (27%)."

There we have it. Nearly three-quarters of those claiming to have some kind of "religious affiliation" are already part of Brian McLaren's vision. God help us! The "Great Commission" has a greater need than ever before here in the United States!

*Brian McLaren is leading personality in the Emergent church movement. He has written a number of books, including his most well know manifesto, "A Generous Orthodoxy." McLaren, though not a Christian in the New Testament sense of the word, is nevertheless a popular consultant to the "ZOE Group," a touted author and writer by "New Wineskins Magazine" and is slated to give a major address at this Septembers "Summitt Lectureship" at Abilene Christian University. McLaren is a close associate of agnostic cleric Alan Jones from San Fransisco who denies the veracity of Scripture. For more detailed information on McLaren and Jones see my April 9, 2008 posting on this very blog entitled: "Time Traveling Error - From the Fall...to a Congregation Near You." [RM]