The New Missiology - Keep Your Own Religion, Just Add Jesus
The new missiology says three things:
1. You can keep your own religion Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism you just need to add Jesus to the equation. Then you become complete. You become a Buddhist with Jesus, a Hindu with Jesus, a Muslim with Jesus and so on.
2. You can throw out the term Christianity and still be a follower of Jesus.
3. In fact, you can throw out the term Christian too. In some countries you could be persecuted for calling yourself a Christian, and there is no need for that. Just ask Jesus into your heart, you don't have to identify yourself as a Christian.
me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing
out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical
mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained."Donald
Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 115
must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal
making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable
in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers
of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."Brian
McLaren (leader of the Emerging
Church movement), author of
A Generous Orthodoxy
"I'm not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish … or you may have no religion at all. I'm not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion."Rick Warren, September 2005, United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast to 100 World Delegates, Listen to entire transcript. (Right click, then choose "Open in New Window." Wait for file to load. It might take a few minutes.)
Barbarian Way and the New Missiology:
An Enemy to Christianity
In The Barbarian Way, [Erwin] McManus tells readers that the story of the Crusades "awakens within me a primal longing that I am convinced waits to be unleashed within everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ." But McManus has an unusual definition of "follower of Jesus Christ." He says: "When asked if they [Barbarians] are Christians, their answer might surprisingly be no, they are passionate followers of Jesus Christ." This might sound OK on the surface, but it is part of the new missiology and the new evangelicalism that Rick Warren and others proclaim, "God doesn't care what religion you are, just add Jesus to what you already have." Thus you can be a Buddhist with Jesus, a Hindu with Jesus - that's OK. McManus clarifies this when he states: "The greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity." He elaborates more:
They [Barbarians - who he tries to convince readers they should be] see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no different from any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity, they're not about religion; they're about advancing the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago (p.6).
While some may think McManus is talking about some kind of true revival, he's not, not a revival towards the Jesus of the Bible anyway. McManus' Jesus is all together different. And using the same lingo that most contemplatives use (and New Agers for that matter), he tells readers that they have been "recreated to live in a raw and primal spirituality" that listens "to the voice of the Spirit... Barbarians are not welcome among the civilized and are feared among the domesticated." The book reads more like a primer to prepare for an anarchist war than instruction and exhortation on how to live the Christian life according to the Bible. He says:
The way of Jesus is far too savage for their sensibilities (those who are "civilized")... Why a reckless call to awaken the barbarian faith within us at the risk of endangering this great civilization we have come to know as Christianity? ... It is time to hear the barbarian call, to form a barbarian tribe, and to unleash the barbarian revolt. Let the invasion begin.
The book is hard to read because the theology alone is so poor. McManus continually twists things around such as saying that John the Baptist's message of repentance (and Hell) was only for the religious leaders of the day, which isn't true. Or when he suggests that Jesus didn't like Israel, when Scripture tells us He wept for Jerusalem. This revolution that McManus would like to see is one that would eradicate Christianity off the face of the earth. He, like Rick Warren, insists that Christianity is thoroughly corrupt, and that a new movement is needed. McManus states:
Two thousand years ago, God started a revolt against the religion He started. So don't ever put it past God to cause a groundswell movement against churches and Christian institutions that bear His name.
Here he erroneously states that God revolted against Judaism, which simply isn't true. In reality, God established the Law and the Prophets through the Jew whom He refers to as the apple of His eye. Jesus came as a sacrificial Lamb to save, and He informed his followers that the time is fulfilled - he wasn't overthrowing a religion - He came to fulfill prophecy. And now McManus' confused thinking extends to Christianity, suggesting now God will revolt against it as well. Read the rest of this article.