INDEX TO ALL EIGHT SECTIONS
Foreword and Introduction: Why Brian McLaren in particular? Who is Brian McLaren?...Short Bio. Index to sections
Part I...The Secret Message of Jesus: Overview The "secret" message... isn't such a big secret. The New Testament emphasis on doing good works to "the brethren". Do modern day Christians get it?
Part II... God's Coming Kingdom: Are God's coming kingdom and the second coming of Christ literal physical events, or are they to be seen in a 'spiritual' sense? What does the Bible say? The dual 'now' and 'then' message of the Kingdom. How McLaren redefines the word "Kingdom, the phrase "Eternal Life", and changes God's "will" to God's "dream" in order to 'prove' his points.
Part III... A Gospel of Transformation, Evacuation... or Justice? The wrath Of God.The "amazingly subversive" Book Of Jonah. The justice and judgement of God. While there is no question that, as McLaren says.. Jesus will condemn and destroy evil, who or what, according to the Scriptures, is evil? Revelation...example of the "literature of the oppressed", territory of the lunatic fringe, or our only hope. Does God plan to "destroy creation"?
Part IV... McLaren's All Inclusive Kingdom: God's promise to Abraham... who exactly would be "blessed"? Practicing what he preaches... Brian McLaren and Jewish leaders. Services done to "Tash".... unbelievers saved without explicit faith in Christ. Salvation. Does seeking salvation make a person "self-centered" and "narcissistic"? The Bible's conditions for entrance into the kingdom. Redefining repentance and the word "transgression". Demon worship. What's in a Name? What exactly Is a "Christian"? Did Gandhi seek "to follow the way of Christ"? The inclusiveness AND exclusiveness of Jesus. What determines one's 'status' in the Kingdom? The Pax Christi. Many shall come from the east, and from the west..
Part V... The Lambeth Conference: Three questions asked Brian McLaren after the Lambeth Conference. Should Christianity be seen as a "threat" or "welcome friend" to other religions, and are they caretakers or enemies of the Gospel
Part VI... Glossing Over the Occult: Occult ceremonies are not harmless 'traditions'. Contemplative spirituality...practices learned learned from a myriad of sources outside of Christianity
Part VII... McLaren And The Bible: Is the Bible inerrant, infallible, absolute and authoritative, or are Christians resorting to the authority of extra Biblical words and concepts" to justify their own belief in the Bible's ultimate authority? Is the sole purpose of the Scriptures to equip God's people for good works. Seeing the Bible as narrative, does not mean forgetting the all-important meta-narrative. Genesis literal or "deep mythic language"?
You Are Here Part VIII... Conclusion: God A or God B? Re-writing and sanitizing the Message. Profane babbling. Brian McLaren, the New Age, and the antichrist. Ideas that blends harmoniously with New Age beliefs. McLaren and the "visionaries"
ON THIS PAGE
God A or God B?
Re-writing and Sanitizing The Message
Brian McLaren, the New Age, and The Antichrist
Ideas That Blends Harmoniously With New Age Beliefs
McLaren and The "Visionaries"
God A or God B?
In all the years I have been doing what I do, I do not believe I have never come across someone who can throw as much of a spin on the Scriptures as Brian McLaren does. In fact had I not known how influential this man is, I would shaken my head at how utterly devious, even stupid, people can be, then dropped the book into the nearest re-cycle bin. But since that was not possible..
Brian McLaren comes across softly, using non threatening language, and often gives the reader the impression that the topic in hand is just something that he has thought, or wondered, about. But, that does not prevent the seeds of very deceptive and treacherous, ideas from being sown.
What I find tremendously sad is that when McLaren came across flaws in the church's traditional version of Jesus' message, or other Biblical doctrines, he did not go to the Scriptures to find out where that message had deviated from the truth. Instead he came up with theories of his own that have far less in common with the Bible, than does the conventional message put out by the church. The front flap of McLaren's book A New Kind of Christian is a tragic example of his thinking. It says
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the church. Not since the Reformation five centuries ago have so many Christians come together to ask whether the church is in sync with their deepest beliefs and commitments. 
Does anyone besides me find that a completely outrageous statement? The church is not required to be in sync with ANYONE'S "deepest beliefs and commitments". The teaching of the church are required to be in sync with the Word of God... nothing more, nothing less. And if that does not jell with what many Christians believe, well.... it's their problem. It is they who are dead wrong, and could very well be in a very precarious position regarding their salvation, and their status with the Ancient of Days.
Similarly McLaren said
Think of the kind of universe you would expect if God A created it: a universe of dominance, control, limitation, submission, uniformity, coercion. Think of the kind of universe you would expect if God B created it: a universe of interdependence, relationship, possibility, responsibility, becoming, novelty, mutualilty, freedom. I'm no sure which comes first- the kind of universe you see or the kind of God you believe in, but as a Christian who believes in Jesus as the Son of God, I find myself in universe B getting to know God B.
This is why, for starters, I am a Christian. The image of God conveyed by Jesus as the Son of God, and the image of the universe that resonates with this image of God best fit my deepest experience, best resonate with my deepest intuition, best inspire my deepest hope, and best challenge me to live with what my friend, the late Mike Yaconelli, called 'dangerous wonder,’ which is the starting point for a generous orthodoxy.” 
In other words, McLaren's version of God is does not come from what God has told us about Himself, but from personal preference based on the type of universe McLaren envisions. Since the Biblical God does not fit McLaren's "deepest experience", and does not resonate with his "deepest intuition", He has to be remade. Similarly, McLaren's version of Jesus comes not from the Scriptures, but from bits and pieces chosen from among the various traditions.
The resulting sanitized version of God, Jesus, and the Gospel message, is one we can feel good about. One that people can "accept", as did an agnostic Jewish friend of McLaren's who, when told about Jesus' 'save the planet' mission, said "I could believe in a Jesus like that". 
Re-writing and Sanitizing The Message
It does not take a great deal of time and effort to cherry pick the Gospel texts that can be used to mislead and deceive. It takes a great deal more time to study the Bible as an integrated whole, and learn and teach accordingly. Sadly the pick and choose method used to back an agenda, is an all too common ruse that never fails to fool large numbers of people. In The Secret Message of Jesus, McLaren does several things to 'prove' his points.
He not only picks only the sayings of Jesus that seem to fit in with his own preconceptions of the kingdom, and conveniently leaves out troublesome parables and key teachings of our Lord, to say nothing of huge portions of the rest of the Bible, that stubbornly refuse to fit in with his ideas. For example, he has taken the entire book of Revelation, which does not fit in with his idea of a "transformed" world, and applied it to the first century Roman empire.
He selectively reinterprets a small portion of what Jesus said, by either taking them completely out of context, or subtly twisting those saying just enough to make them 'fit' a little more smoothly,
He very cleverly redefines select New Testament words and phrases, such as kingdom, eternal life, and the will of God.
And finally, he has thrown a smoke screen around the Biblical message of salvation, suggesting that the traditional concept is self centered and narcissistic.
At this point, to avoid any possible misunderstanding, I would like to qualify that there is no question that if everyone (or at least most people) did everything they could to improve conditions for someone else, this world would be a far better place. Born again Christians especially should be moved to pity for the "least of these", and do whatever is possible for them, especially in lieu of buying Benny Hinn a new Rolex, or paying for another another multi million dollar home for one of the many crooks masquerading as Christian preachers.
However McLaren's little book is perfect for those (and they seem to be a legion) who are quite happy accepting the misconstrued, rewritten, and sanitized version of the Lord's teachings, which enables them to not have to accept the Lord of the teachings. Accepting McLaren's version of God's will and His coming kingdom, and his deliberate perversion of the purpose of the events of the book of Revelation, can very well cause people to believe that their efforts towards peace, or assisting the needy, are sufficient to make them part of something "immeasurably important" .... building the Lord's kingdom.
As shown, the Bible strongly disagrees. God Himself will build His own physical kingdom, and it is up to each and every one of us to decide whether we wish to be part of that it.
In The Secret Message, McLaren says that after we realize that there is such a possibility, as the kingdom of God, we must adjust and arrange our lives to be part of it, to seek it to work with it and for it . To this end McLaren skirts anything and everything that can be construed as harsh, divisive, exclusive, or even absolute. Paraphrasing what one reviewer rightly said on Amazon, the truth has to be edited, softened, toned down, censored, rewritten, cleaned up, and modernized to suit the religious sentiments of the day.
Accepting McLaren's teaching that the Lord will will not impose His "will" on this world, will not pronounce judgement on it, will not destroy all sin and evil, will not annihilate anyone who's name is not found written in the book of life, and will not bring to earth His own literal kingdom of peace and plenty, which He will personally rule from Jerusalem, is unbelievably dangerous. It can, and will, cause people to disbelieve the harsh reality of their own coming judgement, thus very effectively removing any, and all, reason for them to save themselves, by whole heartedly embracing the offer of salvation given us by the Lord.
It is so easy, so convenient, and SO perilous to believe this different gospel, rather than the one preached by the Lord and His early church. The apostle Paul could have been speaking directly to those people who read and believe McLaren's misleading theories, when he said....
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ]
For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2 Corinthians 11:4 ]
And for those that think I have been particularly harsh in this article, well, I am afraid that the charge is true.
Over and over again I read Brian McLaren being described as a warm, caring, human being. One blogger wrote that he thought McLaren is "a gifted public speaker; warm, gracious, fabulous voice, funny, serious and engaged". The page is even titled "McLaren is not a wolf in sheep's clothing". .
Another blogger mentioned that he loved McLaren's "gracious attitude displayed in a written interview". He goes on to say that he plans on starting to read "this brother's books" which "push the limits of the status quo". He adds that likes the sound of that, although he doesn't know whether McLaren is "a theological nut case". 
One comment made on Tim Challies' blog post "Everything Must Change" was
Brian Mclaren wouldn't be nearly as popular if he didn’t have the appearance and demeanor of one big cuddly teddy bear 
Sadly, this seems to be more than true. The fact that a Christian author's "attitude and demeanor" trumps the fact that he contradicts the Bible at every turn and twist, is a tragic indicator of how low we have fallen. When someone says they 'like the sound of something', with little regard for whether or not that "something" is Scripturally true, is simply what the Bible predicted, many centuries ago, would happen... "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires." [2 Timothy 4:3]
Finally, from McLarens own site came the following comment, made by a "young (30's) PCUSA pastor", who described himself as "passionate and very hopeful for the future of the Church (even the mainline)." His very nauseating words only serve to show the depth of the deception...
I want to thank you--for your wisdom, words, deep and meaningful insights, and your ability to communicate so much so well to so many souls like me. I've read (most of) your books, falling deeper and deeper into agreement with them, you, and so much of the emergent movement... A new generation of young leaders like you hold so much promise. Don't let anyone or anything discourage you. You are needed! 
I have no doubt that, viewed from a secular standpoint, many of the positive things said about McLaren are true, and he is immensely warm and likeable.
Note: Reading McLaren's open letter to Charles Colson shows another side to the warm, generous, kindly human being. Although I am sure some would argue the point, to me, much of it smacks of arrogance and superiority. Especially the following two excerpts from the letter (Emphasis Added)
".... you have always impressed me as a thoughtful brother in Christ, and I believe you are more capable than many of better understanding the issues surrounding postmodernity than many of your colleagues ..." I understand that you are reacting against something that's really dangerous, and perhaps under those circumstances, a little hyperbole is excusable. Besides, I realize that a one-page column or short radio broadcast might require some … I won't say "dumbing down,” but I will say "simplification." 
However, the rules do not stay the same when it comes to man's ultimate destiny. When what he believes can mean the difference between life and death, between heaven and hell. Anyone who strikes at the very heart of Jesus' kingdom message by twisting the Scriptures and, by doing so, leads countless sheep astray, cannot be classified as a "nice man". He is a viper that is making a shipwreck of people's faith. An evil worker whose "profane babblings eat like gangrene" and, because of his different gospel, is "accursed". Please note that none of those are my own words, but applied to false teachers by the first century apostles themselves.
I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema (accursed). [Galatians 1:6-8. Emphasis Added.]
Incidentally the "profane babblings" that "eat like gangrene comment" was directed at two men who Paul said had "gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place" and that these teachings had "upset the faith of some" [2 Timothy 2:17-18]. I truly wonder how much worse Paul's statements would have been had he been talking about Brian McLaren, whose teaching are false on so many levels, and whose influence extends all over the globe.
Jon Zens & Cliff Bjork make an extremely relevant point, when they say mere external reform is far from sufficient, and the suggestion that (Emphasis Added)...
It is only as the Holy Spirit brings men, women and children into the kingdom of Jesus Christ through regeneration, repentance, and belief in the gospel that we can ever expect to see a turning from this world's idols to a willing obedience unto the living God".
"To suggest, therefore, that society's moral corruption can be arrested by "values" in line with an alleged "Judeo-Christian tradition", is not only absurd – it is an affront to the redemptive accomplishments of Jesus Christ, "for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Gal. 2:21). If society can be significantly improved by an ethical code – apart from faith in Jesus Christ – does not true evangelism become, at best, a secondary issue? 
Conclusion II... Brian McLaren, the New Age, and The Antichrist.
Idea That Blends Harmoniously With New Age Beliefs
However, what really concerns me, and should deeply concern any other halfway knowledgeable, right thinking Christian, is that 1) McLaren's ideology has certain features in common with the Dominionists, who believe that Christians will take over and transform our world (by any means necessary including internal warfare), then hand paradise to Jesus on a silver platter when He returns. Both the gospel Brian McLaren preaches and the one taught by the Dominionists, focus on what man can and, according to the latter, will accomplish, not on what God has already told us He will do. [See Dominion Theology... The Stench And Foul Smell Of Joel’s Army].
But there is another factor that is immensely more concerning. Through the course of writing this article, two questions, one beginning with "how", and the other with "why" have often come to mind.
How is it even possible for anyone to read their Bible, and then come up with such radically preposterous ideas, so completely and clearly in opposition to everything the Bible teaches.
And why would they do so?
The problem is that McLaren's theories are not as asinine as they first appear. The words "asinine" means utterly stupid or silly. Brian McLaren is neither.. In fact he is an extremely clever man who has used his proficiency in the English language to weave a very compelling web... one that appeals to a decent person's better instincts in two ways.
1) He makes orthodox Christians appear to be snobs who pride themselves on belonging to an exclusive club, and who have an us-versus-them mentality. Putting forth the idea that thinking about one's own personal salvation is self centered and narcissistic, could very well give the reader a slight sense of unease. His book, The Secret Message, may well make those that are not thoroughly proficient in the Scriptures, feel guilty that they may be selfishly scrambling for a lifeboat for themselves, when the whole point of salvation is the saving of "the whole ship".
2) On the other hand, suggesting Jesus intended us to work for, and bring about, God's kingdom could very well give a person a sense of importance, of achievement, of being tremendously useful. After all, who does not want to feel that they are able to participate in something unimaginably bigger than they are.
While the goals expressed by McLaren may come across as noble and altruistic, his 'transforming the world' idea blends harmoniously with, and flows very smoothly into, New Age beliefs. The New Age movement has, over the last several decades, gradually been gathering momentum over the face of this earth. It is fueled by unholy forces that oppose both God and man, and shepherded by humans outside the church who have no comprehension of the dark forces they deal with and, of course, by an "evil and adulterous generation" inside the church, who so blithely ignore the warnings from the God they profess to serve.
If you are a Christian and not familiar with the New Age, especially Alice Bailey's Lucis Trust, I strongly suggest you get acquainted with both immediately, if not sooner. The short version is this...
Alice Bailey, under the guidance of an ectoplasmic apparition from hell, who called himself Djwhal Khul ("The Tibetan"), wrote some 24 books and founded the Lucis Trust (formerly Lucifer Publishing Co.) has not only spawned several other organization... the Arcane School, Triangles, World Goodwill, Lucis Publishing, Lucis Productions, Lucis Trust Libraries, the New Group of World Servers, but also which enjoys "Consultative Status" with the United Nations and maintain the UN meditation room.
The Lucis Trust was once called Lucifer Publishing, because... (The following statement is quoted verbatim from the Lucis Trust website.)
"The Baileys' reasons for choosing the original name (Lucifer Publishing) are not known to us, but we can only surmise that they, like the great teacher H.P. Blavatsky, for whom they had enormous respect, sought to elicit a deeper understanding of the sacrifice made by Lucifer. Alice and Foster Bailey were serious students and teachers of Theosophy, a spiritual tradition which views Lucifer as one of the solar Angels, those advanced Beings Who Theosophy says descended (thus 'the fall') from Venus to our planet eons ago to bring the principle of mind to what was then animal-man. In the theosophical perspective, the descent of these solar Angels was not a fall into sin or disgrace but rather an act of great sacrifice, as is suggested in the name 'Lucifer' which means light-bearer." 
And the purpose of these groups? At their core ALL of them exist for one purpose... in their words "the helping of the Great Ones and the rendering to Them that intelligent assistance which will make their plans for humanity materialize" [The Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 516]. That plan is centered around making conditions suitable (By occult meditation and reciting of the Great Invocation) for what they call "The Reappearance of The Christ". Except that this Christ has nothing to do with Jesus Christ of the Bible.
In other words, they are paving the way for the antichrist.
And what is this Great Invocation that Sara McKechnie refers to?
The Great Invocation was given Alice Bailey by 'the Tibetan', who revised (or added) stanzas several times. The first stanza was given her in 1936, and the last revision took place in 1945. It has, for decades, been printed on millions of bookmarks, and in the front of every Alice Bailey book published by Lucis Trust. The term invocation means "calling down," "calling forth," "calling into." The Great Invocation has been described as a call for "the Christ to return to Earth". Here is the current Great Invocation, in it's entirety [Emphasis Added]
From the point of Light within the Mind of God Let light stream forth into the minds of men. Let Light descend on Earth
From the point of Love within the Heart of God- Let love stream forth into the hearts of men. May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known Let purpose guide the little wills of men –The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men -Let the Plan of Love and Light work out-And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth. 
(Any Christian who asks who these Masters/spiritual Beings/higher intelligences are, definitely has his, or her, head buried in the sand.)
It is said that the Invocation makes "powerful changes" to the person using it, which I do not doubt for a moment, considering where it came from,
“No one can use this Invocation or prayer for illumination and for love without causing powerful changes in his own attitudes and his life intention; character and goals will be changed and life altered and made spiritually useful. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he" is a basic law in nature; the constant turning of the mind to the need for light and the prospect of illumination cannot and will not be ineffectual". 
The claim that "The Invocation belongs to no one individual or group. It belongs to all humanity. Tens of thousands of people of goodwill throughout the world are using it every day" is very chilling, because... [All Emphasis Added]
The science of invocation is in reality the intelligent organisation of spiritual energy and of the forces of love, and these, when effective, will evoke the response of spiritual Beings who can work openly among men and thus establish a close relation and a constant communication between humanity and the spiritual Hierarchy”. 
It is a request, a demand, an appeal to higher energies and intelligences and is based on inner action, which is no less effective than outer action”. 
Any Christian who is not keenly aware of just what the New age is up to, is in the unenviable position being completely ignorant of what really matters. Running off to the next 'conference', or reading the next hot shot book, is not going to prepare you for what is around the corner. Imagining that the antichrist will arrive 'sometime", is closely akin to sleepwalking, because even as I write this, a good portion of the pagan world is doing all in it's power to make conditions conducive to the appearance of "The Christ" by, as they put it... raising the global consciousness of the planet. In other words.... the antichrist is on his way. Therefore, if you have been snoozing on the porch, I strongly suggest it is time to wake up, and start educating yourself. A good place to start is here
New Age ... An Overview
Alice Bailey and The Lucis Trust
The Global Alliance
The United Nations
The Days Of Noah
McLaren and The "Visionaries"
McLaren, as a supposed minister of God, has no qualms about being associated with people who's vision comes from beings that call themselves "The Masters". For example: an archived page on the Vision Project web site, lists dozens of people from all walks of life, each of whom has a "Vision for Humanity". A link below each name leads to a short piece by each of them, about what their vision happens to be. As explained at the top of the page [Emphasis Added]
Most of the authors wrote an original essay for the Vision Project on the topic, A Vision for Humanity. Some of the authors were not able to prepare an original essay for the project but allowed us to use anything they had previously written.We are also including essays from some visionaries who are no longer living, but who are contributors to the emerging vision. 
What is both fascinating and thoroughly reprehensible is that Brian McLaren's name appear just below Dale McKechnie... Vice-president of the Lucis Trust, and Sara McKechnie... President of the Lucis Trust, Dale McKechnie says his
He goes on to say [Emphasis Added]
Religious teachings state that the goal currently set before humanity is to bring the Kingdom of God into manifestation; or in metaphysical terms, the kingdom of souls. This seems to be the directive of our Creator. And the Law of Evolution (a cosmic Law) has brought us to a certain intelligent stage where the emergence of a new kingdom can happen here on the Earth. 
Which could make a person wonder whether McLaren borrowed his kingdom ideas from Dale McKechnie, or whether it was the other way around. However, I am afraid it is neither. Whether McLaren knows it or not, both of them got their theology from non-human sources. Perhaps this excerpt from Sara McKechnie's essay will make the reader sit up and pay attention.. very careful attention.
We are also told in the writings of Alice Bailey that "that which is not existent somewhere within our apparently complex planetary system cannot be imagined.” If this statement is inverted, we realize that all that we can imagine — can envision — must already exist on some level. And this assurance underscores the profound import of the fourth stanza of the Great Invocation: "From the centre which we call the race of men let the Plan of Love and Light work out...” Our — Humanity's — task as the planetary throat or creative center is to bring the vision into manifestation on the outer planes of life. And for this we need to draw upon every bit of the intelligence and creativity of which our collective humanness is capable. 
So is it possible that McLaren's name just happened to be added to the wrong position on the wrong list?
I am afraid not.
McLaren literally denies that God's "will" for the future had already been determined, and will not be changed. He denies the second literal coming of Christ, denies that God will judge people based on their faith and what they have done with it, denies that God will establish His own physical, political kingdom on earth. He denies that salvation means being saved from God's wrath, and that "eternal life" means just that.
In fact, his entire belief system and body of teachings resonates with the New Age vision of the coming age of peace and prosperity on earth, and if there just happens to be 'someone' who can come and show us how to achieve that... well all the better.
In A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren says
"many who consider themselves orthodox watch dogs will consider the message of this book an intruder on their turf: 
Not exactly true. McLaren's beliefs and teachings are an intrusion on God's turf. Something He doesn't take very kindly to.
So, if you call yourself a Christian, perhaps it is time you re-read, and obey, Titus 3:10-11
All URLs were good at the time of writing (July 2012)
 Brian McLaren. A New Kind of Christian. HarperOne; February 2011 Reprint edition
 Brian McLaren. The Secret Message of Jesus. April 2007 Thomas Nelson Paperback Edition. Pg.85
 Brian McLaren. A Generous Orthodoxy. Jesus Savior of What? Zondervan/Youth Specialties. January 24, 2006 paperback Edition. Pg.110 (Pg 101 of the 2004 Hardcover edition)
 The Thin Edge. http://thin-edge.org/2007/10/19/what-do-you-think-of-brian-mclaren/
 http://www.brianmclaren.net/ July 30, 2012 blog
 Brian Mclaren. An Open Letter to Chuck Colson. http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/000018.html
 Jon Zens & Cliff Bjork. A Better Society Without The Gospel? www.inplainsite.org/html/a_better_society.html
 Evolution of The Great Invocation. http://souledout.org/gi/gievolution.html
 Brian McLaren. A Generous Orthodoxy. Zondervan/Youth Specialties. 2004 Hardcover edition. Pg. 37. (Chapter 0). (This chapter seems to have been added since the 2006 Paperback edition)