Thursday, October 05, 2006

Brian McLaren -- Causing Confusion Again

I have always liked Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. It was such sad news when I heard about his tragic death. The first thing I thought was, "oh no, so young, his poor kids and wife". What a sad occasion. Another thing I have always observed and admired about Steve Irwin was that it seemed like everyone liked him. He had an enthusiastic charisma which was infectious. He brought an appreciation to his audience for wildlife and nature all around us. He was very entertaining to watch and we learned a lot from his wildlife adventures.

This post is not about Steve Irwin. This is about Brian McLaren's take on Steve Irwin, calling him a "missionary". I have a real hard time with this one. I have no idea about Steve Irwin's standing with Jesus Christ. I do not know whether or not Steve Irwin was rightly related to God. Brian McLaren again is creating confusion with his inclusive assumptions about Steve Irwin's standing with God by referring to him as a missionary based on his love for nature. Brian McLaren is very reckless with comments such as those in his article. Based on McLaren's own comments he has categorized Steve Irwin more closely in the category the person described in Romans 1:25 than a missionary sent by God to preach the gospel. According to McLaren: "...saving love is in the heart of everything. Steve’s saving love was for wildlife..."

I am not making any comments on Steve Irwin's spiritual condition, McLaren on the other hand is doing such.

It is my understanding that our love for God should be so all-consuming that our love for other things in comparison looks like hate. Luke 4:26. Again, this is no comment on Irwin, but on McLaren's comments about him.

You have to read McLaren's article about Steve Irwin to understand what I am talking about. In an honorable attempt to say something nice about the Crocodile Hunter, I believe Brian McLaren has created more confusion within the faith.

Below is an excerpt from the post on beliefnet Brian McLaren: A Tribute to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Unlikely 'Missionary':

"I know this might sound strange, but I think the man was a kind of missionary. He knew why he was put here on this planet; he knew his mission, and he knew it was more than a job. It was a vocation, a truly spiritual calling, an invitation and solemn duty to join in the care of God’s sacred creation.

What characterized Steve’s mission? Saving love – and especially for the creatures that are often misunderstood, despised and hated - crocs, sharks, snakes, spiders, and their kin."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Brian's commentary on Steve Irwin being a "missionary" as his passionate calling and MISSION to care for the earth and its creatures, a vocation that is given to humanity in Genesis 1 and 2.

As a child of the Reformation, and particularly Luther, I see that each person's vocation is holy. Luther said that the maid scrubbing the floors had a holier work than the bishop at his prayers. Brian was lifting up Steve's very holy work, his vocation, and giving honor to that.

Brian McLaren is calling us a return to this understanding of vocation, calling and mission. Yes, pastors and church missionaries have particular missions, but so do all of us. Your use of the word "missionary" was a narrow one. Those of us who are children of the Reformation include a broader definition of the term.

Read 1 Peter 2- we are ALL called to be part of a holy priesthood.

While we cannot say how Steve related to Jesus we can say that he was faithful to his calling as a priest to serve and care for God's creatures on this planet.

Hope that makes some sense. Thanks for generating some conversation that we might learn from one another.


4:06 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

I'm not sure if that is the same thing McLaren is talking about. I do not believe he is "reformed". I do not believe he is comfortable at all with the 5 Solas. I know he has difficulty with T.U.L.I.P. As far as I can tell McLaren has no problem with Catholicism. He calls himself a catholic in A Generous Orthodoxy. He speaks like a Universalist.

This article by McLaren simply shows more of his inclusivistic tendencies. It is very consistent with what he writes and says.

If McLaren meant what you are saying, I don't think it is not clear in this article.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Carl said...

Steve Irwin was working to save God's creation. Plain and simple.

What are you doing with your life, Kenny, besides nitpicking with semantics??

-Carl Peters,

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really believe that Steve was faithful to his calling as a priest to serve and care for God's creatures on this planet ? He probably was faithful to himself , his own gain , and his mission to save the crocs world wide, the man never spoke about the Lord or stated he was a christian and even if he was I believe he wasted his time trying to save God's creatures.
. The creation of man is what the Lord is concerned about ... after all he died for man not crocs. Any way how arrogant is man thinking he can save the creatures and the earth , only God can give life or take it away because He is sovereign. I watched Steve's shows and I enjoyed them but to say he was a priest to serve an animal sounds like earth worship.
The Lord wants us to use the earth for our gain . Yes I said that ..
Why is man so impressed by people who work to "save " the animals and the earth ? To try and make Steve a saint for the Lord is totally whacked out.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really does not matter how many crocs he saved . Do you really think the Lord is going to say to Steve " well done croc hunter , I am very pleased at all the work you have done saving the animals."
Steve is in Hell if he did not repent and make Jesus his Lord.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

We need to weep for the lost in prayer. Celebrity or just a common person, to God everyone must bow and declare that Jesus Christ is supreme Lord and Savior, just pray that more do it while alive and receive the benefit of being priviledged to be in God's presence.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Gigi said...

With all due respect .... the agents and technicians over at the US Fish & Wildlife Service probably do more (and better) preservation work than any celebrity could hope to do. With a few exceptions, such as Jacques Cousteau, celebrities are usually instrumental in bringing attention to a problem; rarely do they solve it. And, safly, Cousteau was no Christian, as much as he saw of God's creation.

Mr. Irwin's death was a tragedy, even though he died doing what he loved best. A lot of people fulfill their dreams. But in this culture of celebrity worship, something was seriously overlooked: he had no business messing around with that stingray. I was raised watching my father fishing stingrays .... he had a certain respect for them.

Not to digress, as for McLaren, the more he drifts away from the truth, the weirder his comments will be.


12:00 AM  
Blogger Ken Silva said...


With all due respect, when you say: "Brian McLaren is calling us a return to this understanding of vocation, calling and mission," this is rubbish.

McLaren is a man who had doubts about the historic orthodox Christian faith (the Reformation you say you are a child of) read his book "Finding Faith." You are a chid of luther praising a heretic like Brian McLaren who found a way through the neo-orthodoxy of the emerging church to openly deny sola Scriptura and sola Christus.

He also denies the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the Cross. McLaren's calling pastors away from the true mission of the Church: sekk and save the lost people. McLaren believes in a universal moral atonement where allegedly Christ died for all of creation.

Just as Rob Bell these men are foolish enough to believe all men are saved already and we just have to get them to understand that. This is to deny the need for regenration, without which no flesh will see God. I've been studying this spiritual weasel for over a year now and in my lastest article I point out that now McLaren's headed to Canada to further infect it with his new liberalism:

8:06 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

I know of no one else who has done more of a thorough job of researching the teachings of Brian McLaren as has Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries. Anyone taking any time at all researching Emergent, McLaren, and Rob Bell ought to spend most of your time reading his site

You will learn a lot!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Mark and Sara said...

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God NOT OF WORKS.

I liked Steve Irwin, very likable, seemed to be a family man, don't know that much about him. I do know that I never heard him speak of the Savior. Not saying he wasn't saved, but with such a public platform, being considered a hero to many kids, he certainly had opportunity to share the Gospel with millions, yet did not.

Being a nice guy won't get you to heaven, neither will saving the planet. The only thing that matters in eternity is what did we do with Jesus?

4:22 PM  

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