Paul wrote to Shane Claiborne:
Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Shane,
I have red your book, Irresistible Revolution, and have things from the Lord to say about it, setting things straight by His Word and Spirit, not only for your sake, but for many others that might be wondering about the gospel you preach and contemplating it as the way of Christ.
Let it be clearly said and known that yours is not the gospel of Christ. You preach another gospel, of another Jesus, one who is a social worker that puts his trust in unregenerate mankind, and thinks to create a new world out of the old material. The resurrected and living Jesus made it clear that this can never be. He said you must be born again. The old must be put away. Jesus did not come to feed the poor, but to put away sin, and then to finish the job by putting away the old man who sins. That is what the cross is about. The cross is not about sacrifices. It is about obedience unto death. Here is the difference:
“And if I distribute all my possessions to the poor, and give up my body to be burned, but am destitute of love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 WNT).
What is love? The love that counts with God is not what we do for Him, but how we respond to Him by faith. He is the Initiator of all love, because He is love. We are devoid of His love. That is why we need Him, the Savior.
The love of Christ realized in mankind is through obedience to Him by His faith. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
The wonderful thing here is that if you can receive what I say, and recognize your wrongness, you will not lose. If you repent you will gain even your life, if you continue in the truth. But first you will lose your life. You may think you have already done so, but as Paul the apostle said above, even giving your body to be burned does not prove you have lost it for God. I must tell you that you have not.
Jesus said that even if your works were wildly successful, to the point that you gained the whole world, with everyone doing things your “simple way,” you would still lose your life because you are doing your own thing, as religious and impressive as it might be to others (Mark 8:35-36). Since it is not His way, it does not bring life. Continue on the course you are on and it will not go well for you, Shane. I say that by revelation of God and His Law. It cannot be otherwise.
“In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us what God blesses – the poor….”
You leave out the essential qualifying point, two little words which tell the whole story, a very different one from yours. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
He is not talking about the physically poor. He is talking about those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, meaning, after Him. He is not talking about those who lack physical resources, but about those who lack spiritual resources and know it. He is talking about those who are not rich in themselves. Many physically poor are very rich in themselves. But God says to not favor the physically poor (or the rich):
“You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15 HNV).
“These also are for the wise: To have respect of persons in judgment is not good” (Proverbs 24:23 MKJV).
God accepts no man’s person (Galatians 2:6). You accept persons – the poor, the religious, and, when it comes down to it, all men. Jesus entrusted Himself to no man, but you entrust yourself to all. That is because you do not follow Christ, Who goes without the camp and tells us to do the same (Luke 9:58, Hebrews 13:12-14).
If you were following Him, you would hear His voice. But you do not even know that He presently speaks. Not once in your book have you spoken of hearing from Him. Instead you appeal to dead men, like Ignatius, whom you honor rather than the living God. You write:
“Church father Ignatius said that if our church is not marked by caring for the poor, the oppressed, and the hungry, then we are guilty of heresy.”
The Church of God is marked, first and foremost, by walking in the love of Christ, which is keeping His commandments and oneself unspotted from the world. Ignatius represents the Catholic Church, which you honor, the very embodiment of hypocritical and false love, whose works cover over great wickedness. The Catholic Church is responsible for more poverty and bloodshed than any organization on earth, yet you use it to promote alleviation from both! You cannot get any more contradictory. The ravenous wolf will help you feed the sheep, but for the same reason the wicked old woman fed Hansel and Gretel.
You could not have chosen a better source or quote describing the church you belong to than this one:
“So for those of us who have nearly given up the church, may we take comfort in the words of St. Augustine: ‘The Church is a whore, but she’s my mother.’ She is a mess and has many illegitimate children. But she is also our momma….”
Your confirmation is also true. The Catholic Church is a whore, and mother to many illegitimate children. She is part of, and representative of, Mystery, Babylon the Great.
Just as Jesus said to call no man “father,” so it is also right in the sight of God to call no woman “mother.” You call Teresa “mother” contrary to the commandment of the Lord, but speaking the truth about yourself. She, and the Catholic Church, is your mother, in vehement opposition to God and His rulership.
That is why you find fault with God on so many things, one example being the matter of the Gibeonites and Saul. It was God, not David, Who determined the needed course of action. God declared that Saul had blood on his hands, having slain those promised safety. It was for this reason that He brought the famine on the land. That is what He told David, who inquired of Him.
You compare David’s obedience in delivering up the seven sons of Saul to the Gibeonites to what the US has done in Iraq, stating that “the currency he [David] uses is human lives, as with our present war. He hands human beings over to be massacred; of course, they are not his own children.” I will not go into all the differences between the two situations here, but will declare what is essential: Your comparison is blasphemous. You cavalierly condemn a man of God, who by doing a solemn act of obedience, as required by his Lord, saved many lives by putting away the curse on his people. (Jesus is called the “Son of David.”)
You do not know the ways of God, Shane. The problem is that you teach what you do not know, which you have no right to do. You misrepresent God, substituting an image of men, the social do-gooder and court jester jesus you have made in your own image.
That is why you cannot tell the right hand from the left, saying things like:
“There are extremists, both Muslim and Christian, who kill in the name of their gods.”
Muslim extremists follow Muhammad, doing as he did. He killed in the name of his god. Christian extremists, those who actually believe and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, do as He did, laying down their lives in the Name of God (read The Answer to Islam). Those who kill in the Name of Christianity are not Christians at all; therefore they cannot be called “Christian extremists.” The Catholic Church manifestly has nothing whatsoever to do with genuine Christianity – never did and never will. It is, as Augustine says, and as you say, the whore. Her end is spelled out quite clearly in Revelation 17 and onward.
You do not even recognize that Islam does not follow the same God, the Lord Jesus Christ. To you it is all the same. You think everyone can follow Jesus’ example, but how are they to do that when they deny Him in all their ways, being taught to do so by the traditions and commandments of men? Besides, we need to follow Jesus, not His example. The latter is what men think and make of Him, the former is the living God Who leads us by His voice and makes us in His image.
You quote Muslim women you met in Iraq, who asked, “What has happened to the God of love, to the Prince of Peace?”
Are you not aware that Islam denies the Prince of Peace? That is what is happening with them. Their religion, religious book and teachings deny the sacrificial death and justifying resurrection of Jesus Christ, which alone brings peace. How can those who deny the Prince of Peace expect to see God and have peace? How it is you sympathize with the plight of those who adhere to Muhammad’s blasphemous teachings, and do not stand up for the One you profess to serve and love? By not telling them the truth, for which they will hate you, as will all men, you perpetuate the terrible circumstances suffered by Muslims, in Iraq and elsewhere. The commiseration of “love” and “understanding” you offer them empowers a victim mentality and foments vicious hatred, ready to turn at any moment on the patronizing, self-righteous one.
A proverb for you:
“Peace is to him who brings war for good, but woe to the one who speaks peace to hide war.”
You say: “To Iraqis: God bless you. I love you, and if my country bombs your country, I will be right here with you.”
Yes, we who believe do bless our enemies. However, we do not yoke ourselves with them and suffer the fruits of their sins and ways. Doing that, you are destroyed with them. There is a better way. That way is repenting, coming out from among them, knowing the Lord and identifying with Him, and speaking the truth. The truth is that God has taken peace from America and Iraq:
“ And another horse came out, a red horse; and it was given to him who was seated on it to take peace from the earth, so that people might put one another to death: and there was given to him a great sword” (Revelation 6:4 BBE).
You say you are for peace, but you are found fighting against what God has ordained. You falsely say:
“Only a few stubborn anarchists or Jerry Falwell are going to argue that September 11th was what America deserved.”
We are neither anarchists nor Jerry Falwell (or of his ilk), yet we declare, from the throne of God, that America had fully sown for 9/11, and not only deserved it, but needs it. How greatly America still needs to repent of her arrogant, light, self-seeking and treacherous ways. This is why there is The Muslim Scourge, among other plagues on America, here now and coming. You are quite blind and foolish to say such things, not at all knowing the ways of God. Repent, Shane.
You say there are prayers that people should not emulate, Psalm 109, for example. Once again, you blaspheme, attributing evil motives to God, Who inspired David to pray those things. You do not believe or know that the Psalms are about the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:44). His testimony is the Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Neither did David have an evil motive in speaking the testimony. He was a holy man of God (2 Peter 1:21). The Message and the messenger are one. The Scriptures are spiritual, holy men of God speaking as inspired of Him, but you interpret them carnally.
The very words you cite are acknowledged by the apostle Peter as inspired by God (Acts 1:20).
You think your way is very free and fun, full of love and laughter, but let me tell you that you are laying heavy burdens on people with your gospel. Because the Lord is not in it, they will not find peace for their souls, but will be left to follow their whims, as are you:
“So it’s not hell that make me shudder but God, because I have no idea what in the world God’s going to dare me to do next.”
That is not God daring you, but you daring yourself. The wise man warned against depending on your own discernment:
“What you think is the right road may lead to death” (Proverbs 16:25 GNB).
I see you on the road to death, Shane, and I have plainly warned you. There are a couple things you said in your book that are true, which you should also take to heart. I quote:
“And the serpent tempts them to eat of that fruit by telling them that if they do, they will be like God.”
“Too often we just do what makes sense to us and ask God to bless it.”
Stop trying to know God and do His will in your own understanding and willpower.
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