A large advert appeared in the Belfast Telegraph of Saturday 13th August 2011 for meetings scheduled to take place the following weekend, 19th-21st August. The headline speaker was listed as Shane Claiborne and I recognised that name from my previous research into what was called ‘The Emerging Church’.
In the light of the short time between now and the upcoming meetings I’m posting this brief article to expose some of the problems associated with ‘the ministry’ of Shane Claiborne.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed Ministries – 14th August 2011
Excerpts from article by Ken Silva of ‘Appraising Ministries’
“A few years ago, Shane interviewed Tony Campolo for an article in Cross Currents Magazine. We think it’s still relevant.”… The following section below comes from the interview mentioned…
SC: Both Muslims and Christians are very evangelical in the sense of desiring others to come to faith in their God. When we talk about inter-religious cooperation, does that mean that we need to stop trying to convert each other?
TC: We don’t have to give up trying to convert each other. What we have to do is show respect to one another. And to speak to each other with a sense that even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people, God loves them, and we do not make the judgment of who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.
I think that what we all have to do is leave judgment up to God. The Muslim community is very evangelistic, however what Muslims will not do is condemn Jews and Christians to Hell if in fact they do not accept Islam.
SC: That seems like a healthy distinction—between converting and condemning. One of the barriers seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently… (Online source, bold mine)
Resisting the urge here to wrestle with the serpent I’ll just say that, as far as it concerns Islam and hell, Campolo is quite mistaken so I simply refer you to the Quran itself:
And, by thy Lord, verily We shall assemble them and the devils, then We shall bring them, crouching, around hell. Then We shall pluck out from every sect whichever of them was most stubborn in rebellion to the Beneficent. And surely We are Best Aware of those most worthy to be burned therein. (Surah 19:68-70, emphasis mine)
Of course what Campolo and his disciple Claiborne are talking about is not the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ; but it is a primary online source giving you a glimpse at the gospel of goodness that these men personally believe. And this false teaching is completely consistent with the universalism one sees as they study mysticism as I have for years now. However, even if Campolo did happen to be correct when he dreams “even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people,” then this question comes emerging: Then why should they ever need to convert in the first place?…
conversion has now been redefined to mean joining them in their social gospel of goodness, which they usually express something along the lines of living the way of God in Jesus and being co-creators with Him in order to make God’s dreams for the world come to pass. But it’s well past time now to finally awaken from your slumber and realize that if this reimagined Emergence Christianity, where all of mankind is already the family of God, is true then there really is no Gospel left to preach.
And so I wonder; just who might have come up with that little idea?
Excerpts from article entitled
God’s Dream = PEACE
A Global Kingdom Dream
“God’s Dream” seems to have become the new mantra for peace. It is bandied about by leaders who have very similar agendas, both within and without the church. Below is a summary of the results of our search. This represents only a small summary of the overall picture. We must hasten to point out that we did not simply pick and choose evidence to back up this premise. Rather, it is very obvious that “God’s Dream” does have a meaning, and this meaning is universally shared by those who bandy the term about, and the meaning is almost always connected to the idea of restoring paradise type conditions, or building the kingdom of God on Earth, by man’s efforts for the purpose of creating peace on Earth…
Shane Claiborne is an Emergent leader who actually worked with one of the “God’s Dream” icons, Mother Teresa in India.
He launched The Simple Way Community in Philadelphia and is “a prominent activist for nonviolence and the redistribution of resources to the poor.” He has also endorsed a number of Emergent books, often referring to “God’s Dream” in the context.
· The prophets point us to what is ahead – the fulfillment of God’s dream for creation. And they invite us not simply to wait but to begin enacting that dream now.
· A dynamic and hope-filled book to provoke the ecclesial imagination. May it help us grow closer to God’s dream for the church. 
· I don’t agree with Doug on everything… and that’s part of the fun. We need to learn to disagree well, and laugh and spar together as we run after God’s dream.
· People respond well to stories, and I think people, and especially younger generations are aware that the world we’ve been handed is fragile and are already asking, that is God’s dream for the world and is it different from what we see? Extreme poverty and conflict are hard to deny.
[15.] Quoted at http://www.rmcumc.org/CHI/DistrictSites/MetroDistrict/MetroDistrictNewsUpdate062708.pdf
[16.] Book endorsement for Signs of Emergence by Kester Brewin.
[17.] Book endorsement for A Christianity Worth Believing by Doug Pagitt.
[18.] “Interview with Shane Claiborne,” by Sara Barton, ·May – June, 2007. See also these links: Here, Here, and Here.
Final quote from Ken Silva’s article referenced earlier
Emerging Church spokesman Dan Kimball has revealed to us that Emergent Wolves Enter Your Sheep Pens Through Youth Groups. The truth is that the time has arrived when we must reject these Emergent dreamers and their quasi-Christian universalism with its warped and toxic neo-liberal repainted social gospel ala Walter Rauschenbusch. And when all said and done, in the end, Claiborne is really just a Rob Bell with dreadlocks.