Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TONY CAMPOLO QUOTES

Some christian leaders look up to Tony Campolo. What's even more scary is that some christian youth pastors look up to him and consider Campolo to be a mentor of theirs. I get nervous when I realize this. I know of one youth pastor in particular who has made this statement, that Tony Campolo was his mentor. I have heard this youth pastor reference Campolo on more than one occasion while addressing the youth.

How is a parent to know how much of Campolo's teachings are trickling down through their youth pastors to the teenagers as these teens attempt to learn true biblical doctrine through a trusted youth pastor?

If you're a parent or a teenager whose youth pastor mentions his admiration for Tony Campolo please take a look at some of these quotes of his and you let me know if you're comfortable with anyone looking up to Tony Campolo as a mentor or as a christian leader:

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"Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditions but have much in common with each other."

-Tony Campolo
(Page 149, Speaking My Mind)

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"I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus; that's my evangelical mindset. However, I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians"

-Tony Campolo
(National Liberty Journal, 8/99)

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"...what can I say to an Islamic brother who has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked? You say, "But he hasn't a personal relationship with Christ." I would argue with that. And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ. You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn't know it."

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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"We cannot allow our theologies to separate us" (speaking on the relations between Muslims and Christians)

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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"What can we learn about that kind of spirituality that can help us find common ground? No theological statements were made, no compromising beliefs, no attempts to come to a common denominator. And yet, a kind of spiritual oneness.

That's the place where we come together, in common need and common suffering, as we reach out to one another in love, leaving judgment in the hands of God, sharing out of our own faith. I mean the last thing we are asking in those times is—is your theology the same as mine?—and vice-versa. All of the sudden in the hour of suffering there is a commonality. And that's where we meet. It's in mystical spirituality and in communal mutuality that's where we come together."

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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"It seems to me that when we listen to the Muslim mystics as they talk about Jesus and their love for Jesus, I must say, it's a lot closer to New Testament Christianity than a lot of the Christians that I hear. In other words if we are looking for common ground, can we find it in mystical spirituality, even if we cannot theologically agree, Can we pray together in such a way that we connect with a God that transcends our theological differences?"

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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""Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God ... I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystical experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?"

-Tony Campolo
"Speaking My Mind", pages 149-150

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"Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is being saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving"

-Tony Campolo
EP News Service, Oct. 4, 1985

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"...during times of reflection I sensed that believing in Jesus and living out His teachings just wasn't enough. There was a yearning for something more, and I found that I was increasingly spiritually gratified as I adopted older ways of praying--ways that have largely been ignored by those of us in the Protestant tradition. Counter-Reformation saints like Ignatius of Loyola have become important sources of help as I have begun to learn from them modes of contemplative prayer. I practice what is known as "centering prayer," in which a sacred word is repeated as a way to be in God's presence."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

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"I've got to push everything out of mind save the name of Jesus. I say His name over and over again, for as long as fifteen minutes, until I find my soul suspended in what the ancient Celtic Christians called a "thin place"--a state where the boundary between heaven and earth, divine and human, dissolves. You could say that I use the name of Jesus as my koan."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

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"Today, some of the most spiritual people I know claim to be without religion."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

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"He saved us in order that He might begin to transform His world into the kind of world that He willed for it to be when He created it. … When Jesus saved us, He saved us to be agents of a great revolution, the end of which will come when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God”

-Tony Campolo
"It's Friday but Sundays Coming", page 106

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"Our call is to be God’s agents, to rescue not only the human race but the whole of creation.”

-Tony Campolo
TEAR TIMES, “Why care for creation?” 1992

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"...Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ... The hymn writer who taught us to sing “Amazing Grace” was all too ready to call himself a “wretch” ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ...”

-Tony Campolo
"Partly Right" 1995

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“What I am trying to say is that Jesus who incarnated God 2,000 years ago is mystically present and waiting to be discovered in EVERY person you and I encounter”

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 171

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“I do not mean that others represent Jesus for us. I mean that Jesus actually is present in each other person."

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 192

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“That a new humanity will be brought forth from this Christ consciousness in each person."

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 65

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“One of the most startling discoveries of my life was the realization that the Jesus that I love, the Jesus who died for me on Calvary, that Jesus, is waiting, mystically and wonderfully, in every person I meet. I find Jesus everywhere."

-Tony Campolo
an address at Prestatyn in the UK, 1988

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“There is a feminine side of God. I always knew this ... It is this feminine side of God I find in Jesus that makes me want to sing duets with Him ... Not only do I love the feminine is Jesus, but the more I know Jesus, the more I realize that Jesus loves the feminine in me. Until I accept the feminine in my humanness, there will be a part of me that cannot receive the Lord's love. ... There is that feminine side of me that must be recovered and strengthened if I am to be like Christ ... And until I feel the feminine in Jesus, there is a part of Him which I cannot identify.”

-Tony Campolo
"Carpe Diem: Seize the Day", 1994, pages 85-88

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"going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia....There are many ways....It doesn't make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place."

-Tony Campolo
"Carpe Diem: Seize the Day", 1994, pages 85-88

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"Anyone who resists the notion of women preachers is functioning as a tool of the devil."

-Tony Campolo
opening session of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's general assembly June 26, 2003

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"When in fact we live in a society that makes life hell for gays and lesbians, this community has got to stand up and say, 'We're on your side as you struggle for dignity,' and, 'Yes, we will defy anybody who says otherwise, even if we have to go to Disneyland to prove it.'"

-Tony Campolo
"Campolo: Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence"
Jun 27, 2003, By Gregory Tomlin,Baptist Press

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"I have already made the point that we need to have to win people to Jesus Christ, but we must also preach the whole Gospel which not only calls people to love Jesus but to bring His justice into the political and economic arena in which we live."

-Tony Campolo
"Campolo: Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence"
Jun 27, 2003, By Gregory Tomlin,Baptist Press

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"On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians, as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse."

-Tony Campolo
"20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch", page 117

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"One of the meanest arguments against public schools comes from alarmists who contend that public school students can be forced to study under homosexuals and might even be subjected to homosexual seduction. This contention makes me furious - not because I believe there are no homosexuals in the public school system, but because of the implication that homosexuals are some kind of special threat to children."

-Tony Campolo
"20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch", page 84

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"I'm not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians."

-Tony Campolo
Charlie Rose show on January 24, 1997



----WOW! If you need more, I'm sure I can find more but I believe this ought to be plenty to convince any true christian to avoid Tony Campolo at all costs. How can a christian hold up Tony Campolo as a mentor with comments like these, especially someone who is involved in teaching the youth?

63 Comments:

Blogger Hank said...

Kenny,
Have you any quotes that Mr Campolo makes about his view of Scripture. It would seem that Mr Campolo fears a humanly constructed Hell far more than a divinely constructed one. Or that he does not believe there is a divinely constructed one. Either way I would be interested in his view of Scripture.
Thanks

6:55 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Campolo has done a lot of good things, but those Islam and demon possession quotes are awful.

"On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians, as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse."

I don't see anything wrong with the quote above, unless there was something in the context that got lost. Maybe he meant romantic love whereas I'm reading in agape or filio love, but I think that is one of the main messages the church should give to gays: It is great to love others of the same sex, provided that you don't have sex with them. It is called friendship.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Neil,

I do not believe you can remain a homosexual and be a christian, therefore the term "homosexual christian" is an oxy-moron.

It says in 1 John 3 that a person cannot be in Christ if he continues to sin. Homosexuality is a sin.

how can "homosexual christians" have "deep love"? This could only be one thing.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous David A said...

I think you have misquoted Campolo - at least once. His comments about going to heaven being akin to going to Philadelphia were made in the context of demonstrating to someone next to him on a plane that indeed - only Christ is the means do do so.

He told this story in one of his video series and I am sure that was the context.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Thanks for these. I find myself with even more respect for Campolo than I already had.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I really like your plan. I'm going to link to The Vault in my Weekly Roundup on Saturday.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

please delete the last comment and this one - it was for another blog - that's what happens when I get too many windows open!

5:27 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

Would it not be prudent once again to look in the Scriptures for an answer. I have been hearing for sometime the debate over whether homosexuality is a genetic predisposition. Many would say it is and therefore it is not likely, God would make one into something they could not repent of. I think one should examine not only a predisposition to a certain type of sin but rather the disposition all men have to sin period. According to Scripture I Corinthians 6:8 …” you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” If I act on a desire to have a sexual relationship with someone other than my wife am I not injuring both myself and all others involved with me? I think perhaps all sin is deadly whether I am a reviler, murderer, swindler or what ever. All sin is damaging because it is against the design of God for man to know and enjoy his Creator. It is interesting Paul would choose to use two words for the homosexual. One that implies a certain type of behavior and one that implies more of a disposition. Paul says in I Corinthians 15: 56 “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” Anything not of faith is sin, according to Romans 14:23. Jesus said …”all the law and the prophets are summed up” in love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore if one says homosexual love is not lust and not contrary to the Law of God, I would very much like to know the reason behind it I once asked a friend who insisted homosexuality was a predisposition and therefore not a sin. The reason given was the words of one homosexual’s lament that the lifestyle was so painful it must be genetic. (There have been studies that support the statement, and some that shed doubt.) I asked my friend how many of those they knew to be homosexual, had been molested as a child. Although this can not be considered a test study, in this case, they ALL had been molested. The only book in the Bible that is openly sexual in nature is the Song of Solomon. Three times in that book it says, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.” 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4. Why do you suppose they are warning the young to wait for something. Is it possible sexuality is really important and any deviation from God’s prescription for it is deadly and SIN. (I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and need lots of money. If you have more than I, look out.) Who made us, and Who knows us as no other? Who has loved us sufficiently to suffer as cruel a death as one could imagine for something that is not even wrong? I trust the Scripture and unless I can be convinced by the Word of God and reason I can do no other. I pray if Mr. Campolo loves our Lord he will begin to trust His Word above the doctrines of men or his own feelings.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

Patrick, How much respect for the Bible do you have?

7:07 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Plenty, but I'm guessing my interpretation of scripture and yours might not agree with each other in a lot of areas.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Wayne said...

Kenny,

I greatly appreciate your exposure of men such as Tony Campolo and the inestimable damage they are causing the church. These quotes of his will prove quite valuable to exposing his true heart so that others might see the deception for what is really is.

Why do some choose to defend teachers above the Word of God? Whether or not a single quote of Campolo's is taken out of context is not the issue. Everything else listed is more than sufficient to see that Tony and other Emergents who might follow his line of thinking or a more 'generous orthodoxy' are false sheep in wolves clothing. These men are experts in newspeak or doublespeak and they're content with reimagining and contsructing new terms to fit a secular agenda.

To anyone who cares to understand what I speak of further, take a cursory search on google video for Rick Warren clips and read his interviews. Also, be sure to study up on the concept of dialectic praxis. Dean Gotcher posted his book online found here ->

THE DIALECTIC & PRAXIS

My prayer is that more Christians will take a stand for the faith and that God may open the eyes and hearts of these men before it's too late.

Neil:

There is a great audio clip found on Crosstalk America that covers the issue of homosexuality quite well.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Tony has always pushed the limit. Many are drawn to his boldness and confidence. May more Christians have his zeal, but not his theology.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Hank said...

To Patrick,
Good. I guess the next question would be is truth relative or can it contradictory?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Wayne, thanks for the link.

I am extremely well versed on the topic of homosexuality and Christianity. I am 100% in the camp saying that the behavior is a sin.

I think Kenny usually right on and I appreciate his ministry here, but to say that someone who retains a temptation can not a Christian is Biblically baseless and counterproductive.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Linda Nathan said...

You are right on about Tony Campolo. Thanks for posting these quotes to expose where he's really at. So much passes for "Christian" today that isn't - including Mr. Campolo.
On another note, you recently left a comment on my husband's blog at www.gloriousriches.blogspot.com asking if you could link it to this blog. Richard's been too busy to look at his comments for a while and asked me to tell you, yes, please do link to his blog. He and I both thank you for what you're doing and are honored to link with you. --Linda Nathan

7:50 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

I had to consider Mr. Campolo's statement, "Anyone who resists the notion of women preachers is functioning as a tool of the devil." and, "Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence" aside from all other statements and look at this from Scripture. Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! I have to ask myself do I do that? I am not the wisest or smartest man so prudence would request the wisdom of others to check my opinions for whether they are only my perceptions guided by my culture or truth. I have always believe the Bible prevented women from leading in the church. I would refer to I Corinthians 14:34 as a passage that would out of context insist women not even speak in church but that would contradict other Scripture that seems to call women to participation in the church. Philippians 4:3, Titus 2:3, Luke 2:36-38, Acts 2:17, Acts 21:9 to name a few from the New Testament. I Timothy 2:8-12 speaks to the dynamic of church polity and could also be seen as a prohibition to women speaking in a church much less preaching. As always in any literature if one is to understand an author it is prudent to listen intently to context. I timothy is a call to a church leader. The text in I Corinthians is in relation to prophetic interpretation and fits well into the context of Ephesians 5:22-24 but must not be divorced from 5:25-33. I fear that today’s trend to degenderize everything has diminished both genders and the Author of humanity is better equipped to define humanity than humanity. At this point I am drawn to a passage in II Peter 3: 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
I have for the past 21 years been married to a women who intellectually my superior. I would be a fool to ignore her wisdom. Yet I would be a greater fool to ignore the Word of God as He calls me to love her as He loved His church and be responsible to and for her as her head. Not because I am smarter bigger or stronger but because I am called as a man to be her head. I must read and obey Scripture, Philippians 2:1-4 would be a good one here, and sacrificially lead those God has entrusted to my care, whether as a leader in my home or in the Church of God. Other passages such as Matthew 20: 20-28, Mark 9: 33-35 and Luke 22: 24-27 speak of the Lord’s call to all who are called to lead. Sin is always the problem and sin is always a result of a man wishing to supplant the authority of God with that of a man, male or female. I do not say Mr. Campolo or anyone else is evil. I say God is my judge and I trust Him to change my heart here if it is wrong and I invite those who feel they are His servants here to challenge these words.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Campolo is a joke or should I say what he says is a joke.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Romans 8:33 Paul says " Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies." I would be cautious of Judging Mr. Campolo so severely. I am convinced he is in error but not that he is reprobate. If he is one for whom Christ has died the people of God must love him and call him to repentance. I was tempted to rail against him for his position, that I disagree with. Better that I show him or any other that the issue is one of truth and Scripture and because I believe he disagrees with the Scripture. Jesus said in John 13:35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." I am not saying, (please pay attention to this) that love means ignore the evil. It does mean confront the evil by the power of the Holy Spirit through exposition of the Word and because you love the Lord and His body fearing anything else could be pulling up the wheat with the tares. Truly there may be a time when one must turn their back and shun the other but I fear we are far too quick to do that. If there is one mark that defines Mr. Campolo it is that he is a humanist, perhaps a Christian humanist. I categorically believe humanity only finds real truth when he finds God. God is not defined by us and the man who insists that God must conform to his standards is above all a fool. That is why when he says it is of Satan that one disagrees with women ordination I question if he has placed his own interpretation on a par with Paul's and point out that he spars with Peter as well.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous slave2Messiah said...

If these quotes are accurate, then wouldn't Campolo be guilty of preaching a gospel different than the one the Apostles handed down? [Gal. 1:8-9]

The Apostles believed and preached and DIED for the uniqueness of Jesus and the exclusivity of the Gospel.

Also, to say that Jesus "lives in" non-Christians or that we can/do/should have fellowship with Muslims because of our "like" spirituality is clearly error [2 Cor. 6:14-17].

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a born again Christian, a hard-core evangelical. I thank you for your complilation of Mr. Campolo's quotes, because I didn't know much about him. Now I really appreciate Tony Campolo - the way he articulates that the message of Christ is universal, for all people. I believe that this is in line with Christ's teachings, as he was the Lord of the Jew, the Gentile, the Tax Collector, the Unclean, etc. It was the Samaritan who Jesus said was the one who followed the law, much to the dismay of the Jewish leader. Mr. Campolo is shocking. And refreshing. Much like Jesus.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i do not not know who you are, nor did i read all the quotes you posted or all the comments others left i only read the intro a quote or two and your closing remarks. i have one thing to say. i dont know much about being a christian but isnt your time better spent not trying to put down a brother. there are so many more important things to be talking and writing about. there is so much pain, hurt and need in the world, why waste your time on such foolishness? dont judge. its that simple. look at the log in your eye before the speck in your brothers eyes. leave this foolishness behind, you want to write? write about whats real, whats neccesary. by writing this you are not representing jesus. he was all about love. rethink your thoughts.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

So, I'm confused. He's comments seem scripturally sound to me. There may be a few in here that raise some eyebrows, but I feel like you are all quick to bring down this 'heretic' while our own respected clergy are falling to sexual sin, lust, gluttony, fallacy, greed, etc. He preaches love, I'm all for it. Everyone but the Lord has their own take on scripture, he seems to be no different. I love the Lord and I try and love people, he seems to understand that too. Am I wrong?

Godislove(andsodoI).
Colin

12:18 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Also, I'll just assume you all respect C.S. Lewis and his commentaries on contemporary Christianity and the Church. What do you make of this quote? "I am often praying for others when I should be doing things for them." Does that defeat the power of prayer? I've struggled with this quote before. I still respect C.S. Lewis, he was an amazing thinker and theologian, but sometimes authors and the like have different takes on scripture sometimes. That doesn't make them love Jesus any less.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me just say this. If everyone who calls Jesus Lord (as Mr. Campolo does) was doing as much for the poor and oppressed as Tony Campolo is, well the world would look like a much different place. Perhaps you should spend less time pulling apart his words and have a look at his actions, and then let your faith move you to action as his faith has moved him to action.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous JC said...

Anyone, believer or not, can be moral. Anyone can help the poor. But what makes us different from the non-believer is Jesus Christ, repentance and faith. Certainly Campolo might be helping the poor and needy but beyond that his theology has a lot to be desired. 2 John makes it clear that theology is important. If we lose that, we lose "what we have worked for" (v. 8). If we have the wrong Jesus, we have the wrong theology. And no matter how many good things you do in life, it will all amount to nothing because good deeds do not get you into heaven.

12:33 AM  
Blogger climbsunshine said...

I was very frustrated, angry, and saddened as I read this initial posting and the commentary. It would seem that most people in this discussion disagree with Campolo based on his comments regarding Muslims, Christians, salvation, and Jesus. I sincerely believe that you are taking his comments out of context. I am a graduate student, a life-long believer in Jesus Christ, and huge supporter of Campolo. I have heard him preach numerous times, I have read many of his books, and I have attended multiple conferences/seminars which he as given. I have also met him personally on several ocassions.

Please understand that pulling 25 quotes from various places does not constitute a full understanding of Campolo's theology. One could easily do the same with Jesus or Paul and randomly list 25 things they said which may sound off-base if not taken in the fullness of their teaching throughout scripture. For example, imagine if one was not fully familiar with the teachings of Paul and read this quote: "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." (Romans 7:14-18) How is one to interpret this if given no further context? It would seem that this "great" father of the faith is really just a giant failure. If Paul couldn't successfully live out the Christian life, than how could I?

However, those who know the full context of what Paul was teaching understand the point that he is making--that victory does not come from our ability to follow the law, but rather from the ability of God to save us from our sin exposed by the law (vs. 7-14 and 24-25).

Here is another example from the teachings of Jesus. Imagine what you would think of Christianity if you read these two quotes online but had no context for them: "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisses and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20) "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. . . I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich amn to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:21, 23, 24)

Based upon these two passages, given no other information, one could easily conclude that living a Christian life is based on works and reaching a level of perfection that is all but impossible. However, those who know the context know that the point is that meeting God's standards IS impossible--BUT "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (vs. 26).

Campolo is making truly insightful comments and revealing amazing truths, however, I believe many of you are missing these points, because you are focusing on small bits and pieces rather than examining the whole. I know this because I have read the whole of many of these documents which you have quoted. When Campolo speaks of Jesus living in non-Christians, he is not speaking of living as in salvation, he is speaking in regards to the parable of the sheep and the goats where Jesus teaches us that He is intimately connected with everyone--so much so that when you feed a hungry person, you are feeding Christ himself. When you refuse housing to a stranger, you are refusing Christ himself. In addition to this reference, Campolo's words also refer to Genesis where we learn that all humans are made in the image of God. If we are made in His image, then should be able to recognize it in each other.

Campolo is not making theological statements regarding the nature of salvation, rather he is calling us to build bridges of love and relationship with other people who we would normally view as "other." He is calling us to look into their eyes and recognize the fingerprint of God and to love them as He does.

I really encourage all of you to fully explore and prayerfully reflect on Campolo's ideas. Not just a few quotes, but the totality of what he teaches and lives. I know many of you have questions and concerns, but, at the least, please remember these truths: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8) "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being pollutted by the world." (James 1:27) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

I believe that Tony Campolo is a beautiful example of these teachings which are the essence of what God calls us to as His followers. The only question, then, is whether or not we are willing to allow God to so radically transform us into people equally devoted to such a pure and faultless religion. Tony Campolo does not make me feel the need to question his theology; he makes me question my Christianity. Whether or not I am truly living a life worthy of the calling I have received as Christ's daughter and co-heir to the throne with Him. Living a life of moral or theological perfection is not God's highest aim for us. It is loving Him and loving others passionately. Truly doing so inherently requires serious action. How are all of you faring in that area? Tony Campolo has set a very high standard. Maybe that's why satan has urged so many to try and tear him down.

Just some thoughts in defense of a man after God's own heart . . .

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew in respect for Tony Crapola when he spoke at my D.T.S. in 2004 and told us that God has never (and would never) be on our side or support us in our war against terror. He also went on to say there has never been a "just" war (including the revolution, civil war, star wars, or W.W.2) and that God is never on our side in combat (regardless of the numerous miracles and answers to prayer that prove otherwise.) But the thing that gets the most respect from me is when he told me and my friend that God is against hunting, and that there is no reason for it under ANY circumstances. (the friend with me at the time was a hunter whose family relied on deer meat they killed in order to survive through the winter months when work was scarce.) There were several other shocking and extremely un-biblical based comments made but those were the two that I enjoyed the most. Being a Marine, its good to know I can pray to God for safety in combat and he won't answer.
Three cheers for tony!!!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romans 14
"Who are you to pass judgement...And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand."
I think this scripture directly supports what he is talking about when Jesus saves, even if people aren't aware of who is saving them. I'm working on not judging others--but it's difficult not to judge people who judge--that's ironic. If you are truly worried about the influence of others on your children--then it just shows the doubt you have in yourself, what you're teaching, and what you truly believe.
For anyone who went to their Bible or their heart to see what they really felt about what Tony is saying--they owe him a gratitude. It is a blessed thing to discuss what you believe and love--Thomas was allowed his doubt and in the allowance, true power and understanding was shown and achieved.

2:59 PM  
Blogger asmith said...

Please... I just want to warn you against getting up in arms against someone who (even in your selected quotes) believes that Jesus is the way to salvation. Trust me, I've seen and experienced what attacks like this can do. They only breed bitterness, contempt, and a judgmental heart. And I know the fear that it seems is coming through this article, fear that speakers like Tony are "misleading" the young, but let me tell you (from personal experience) that allowing that fear to remain is actually more damaging than anything you disagree with, because it eats away at your trust in God as the revealer of truth to those that follow him.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

One would only have to read the Bible and hear Mr. Campolo to see that the two have a different message. What could be more important than protecting your children from erroneous teaching?

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for rounding up so many great Tony Campolo quotes all in one place. Excellent work.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really sad that you all cannot see there are different angles on certain scriptures. Your blindness turns more away from Christ than anything else.
You sit in your cubes and deny someone who is a devout servant of Christ over quibbles and interpretations. You dare denounce someone as a false prophet because you consider condemning homosexuals to be more important than feeding the poor, helping the needy.

White washed tombs.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous svend said...

As a Muslim, I have to say that your theological criticisms remind me of the doctrinaire smugness of Wahhabis.

I say the same thing to you that I say to closed minded Muslims who assume that only Muslims are saved: Why are you so miserly with God's mercy, and where do you get off assuming that your narrow debatable interpretations are the only conceivable conclusions on such complex issues?

It's fascinating how ferociously many Christian bloggers on the right react to his olive branch to Islam. Apparently, hatred of Islam is truly an article of a faith for a lot of you.

This doesn't have to be a zero sum game, you know. One can believe in the truth and perfection of one religion (as I do Islam) without assuming that it necessarily entails the complete exclusion of all other belief systems and that, therefore, adherents of other faiths are abandoned by God. (The Quran, incidentally, constantly and conspicuously couples faith with good deeds and explicitly says that all will be rewarded for their actions, good as well as bad, in the next life. It doesn't say only Muslims will be rewarded.)

Also, seems to me that your assumption that God is so curtailed by time, space & the vagaries of circumstance that He could never save a person who didn't say the "magic words" is both impious and ironic given your criticisms of Catholicism for its emphasis on Works.

Aren't you reducing faith to works here? Do you believe faith in God/Christ is some kind of vending machine, or do really believe that God works in mysterious ways that sometimes are beyond our understanding?

I for one don't think you're going to Hell. In my view, you're quite mistaken about Christ's divinity--he was a prophet, you know :-)--but that doesn't mean you're lost in and of itself.

Such a more nuanced position to truth is admittedly hard for some people to understand, but then so's Quantum Mechanics. Complexity doesn't disqualify truth.

Maybe you should cut Campolo some more slack and stop playing the Pharisee. He might understand something about Christ's message that you have yet to grasp fully.

In any case, he's a lot less likely to unleash World War III than the guys you seem to be holding up as standard bearers of Christian orthodoxy.

Peace.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sin is sin...should we rise up agaist every person in the world who sins....and aren't we ALL sinners...havn't we ALL fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus views all sin as equal...that means telling a lie, being a drug addict and JUDGING others are all equal....just like being a homosexual is a sin. So why do we as Christians of a LOVING God pick and choose who we should love because of their sin? Would the church, the body of Christ, turn away an unmarried pregnant teen (bc she sinned and had sex outside of marriage)? NO, the church SHOULD embrace her, love her and lead her to a forgiving Lord. A homosexual should be regaurded in the same way, their sin is no greater than yours or mine. The church should be a magnet for the lost....for the sinners...not the representation of an angry Father who shakes His head and says, "your not welcome here". That would be going against everything Jesus stood for. We are called to LOVE, the Hold Spirit will judge...that is not our job. We need to show more love and attract "sinners", like us, to the church where they can recieve healing, forgivness, and a new family. A loving family.

There are 2,000 verses in the bible that mention caring for the poor. In The Beatitudes, God tells us what God will bless---the poor, the peacemakers, the hungry, those who mourn, those who show mercy---so why would we ask God to bless us having no mercy or compassion??

Maybe we should stop trying to judge gays and concentrate on taking care of the "least of these"...in which He clearly states 2,000 times in His word.

And for the record, I love and respect Tony Campolo. He goes beyond religion, race, borders and America to love like Jesus did...to see through love and grace. After all, Jesus is bigger than religion or our own borders.

What scares me is anyone who thinks their children should stay away from his teachings.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Generation said...

I have read alot by Tony and from reading all of these quotes I have concluded that you are wrong. Most of your quotes are not taken within the context of the whole book or artical. It is like one of the first commentors to this blog. He quoted 1st John and said if you have sin you are not a Christian. But if you read the whole book of 1st John you find john saying in the begining that "If we say we (Christians) are without sin we are liars"

Shame on you (both of you) Go do something for the Kingdom of God and stop picking on other Christians What if we direct our energy to ac

12:22 PM  
Blogger THE ANALYST said...

Sadly, You have made three errors in your quotations:

1) You have taken much of what was said out of context
2) You have misunderstood what was meant on several occasions, because you don't know what Campolo actually believes
3) You have missed God's message through Campolo, that we should focus not on divisive doctrinal issues but on taking care of the poor. If we were to actually do as Christ said and take care of the poor, both the conversion and revival would be beyond containment to the spiritual forces in the dark realm.

As far as the quotations, some of them were not bad enough to have been posted even if what sounds like being said was actually what was being said, which is proof that we as a church are very divisive at times.

Secondly, Campolo is not a Universalist, he simply takes Jesus at His word that He would be the savior of all mankind. Not that all would come to salvation in terms of the coming destruction, but rather that He would make life better for all of humanity. And, if you disagree that He is present in His influence on all mankind, then it you who is in error, not campolo.

Thirdly, Campolo believes that homosexuality is a sin, but he believes that our dealings with homosexuals is eveident of a lack of love, which is also a sin.

Besides, you cannot convert anyone apart from the Holy Spirit's influence in their life. If you preach against "gays" all you accomplish is turning them off to the truth of God's love. If the Holy Spirit is not convicting a non-Christian of sin, leave it alone. Instead, woo them unto Him with love. It is His Holy Spirit which leads the charge to repentance anyway, not us with our tracts in hand and prejudices in mind. If you are so caught up on the fact that "gays" are living in sin that you cannot be their advocates in this world of Spiritual oppression, then you have missed the point of the gospel. Which sadly is the condition of the church at large.

8:56 AM  
OpenID reformedpilgrim said...

I must say that I am not a Campolo fan. Some of the things he has said in the past i totally disagree with. I haven't been able to pin point exactly what Campolo beleieves regarding fundamental Christian truths. I like him and i dont like him. I like his passion and sincere heart for the poor and the love he has for sinners. But i dont like some of his theological stances. I like your comment "the analyst" because it is balanced and fair. You make a good point regarding the Holy Spirit being the one who convicts.

Reformed Pilgrim

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Some of these comments are really out there- even for Campolo. Reading his comments and some of your comments, I am once again reminded what a sick, weak religion "Christianity" has become. It is no wonder people are falling out of church and many are disgusted with this watered down version of Christianity. I am a born-again Christian... a "Christ-follower" if you will. Being a Christian (or Follower of the Way as Christians were first known) is simply that... following Christ and His teachings. Christ loved the sinners yes, but he also converetd them. He didn't just leave them to continue in their sin or encourage them to "pretty it up". Jesus was definitely not politically correct as Campolo. Suggesting that homosexuality is ok if not acted upon sexually is an absolute lie from hell and a twisting and tearing down of Biblical principles! If God "made" people of a homosexual orientation but then said it was a sin to act upon those feelings, what kind of God would He be? Doesn't the Bible say that God will not suffer us to be tempted more than we can bear? Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord and I think the so called Christians who promote, encourage, and defend it are equally guilty. I have known several homosexuals and have always treated them with respect... I am in no way saying it is right to mistreat them or hate them. But as the odl saying goes "hate the sin, but love the sinner." Christians are too afraid to stand up for what is TRUE and RIGHT! So many people are too busy trying to fit in with the Lrod and make Christianity fit this silly mold of acceptable religion. Reading these comments, I was sickened. What a shame that there are these frauds parading around in the name of Christ, pushing their own agenda, and promoting lies? We must make God absolutely weep with shame that many people of His church have turned their backs on His morals and teachings.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and by the way, i do believe that that are Christians who struggle with homosexuality. I have a good friend that was homosexual before he got saved and even now, there are times he struggles. But I do not in any way believe that there are true Christians who actively practice homosexual relations with no guilt or conviction form the Holy Spirit. Only God knows their hearts but if they are continuing in this sin with no shame and no conscious, I would have to think that they are most liekly not true Christians. If the Holy Spirit was truly present in their heart, I believe He would be working in their lives, convicting them, and encouraging them to abandon this lifestyle of sin.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Shawn Beaty said...

Read Campolo for yourselves. all of these quotes are out of context. Stop reading goobers like this guy and think for yourselves

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really one sided and in each case lacks context. Please explore for yourself.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Out of context or not, these quotes lift up a genuine effort at grasping the Gospel. One need not agree with all a disciple says to appreaciate discipleship. And in the end, we are not saved by our theology, we are saved by Christ!

Mike

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Dyar said...

While I agree that some of his views are not correct I think you will be hard pressed to find any pastor in full compliance with scripture. I think the reason many attack him is more the fact that churches and pastors have guilt that they do not do more for the poor and are spending all their money on structure and salary.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, NONE of Campola's statements are out of context. He is a false teacher. If his supporters read/studied their bibles, they would know this. Emergent garbage!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Max said...

I'm sorry, but I must point out that this is a colossal waste of your spiritual energy. When you could be praising God with fellow Christians, you are wasting your time in trying to create more divisions amongst those within the faith. This is true: the only two things that make you a christian are that you accept Jesus Christ as your one and only savior and recognize that there is a God who wants a personal relationship with you. Tony Campolo does both of these things. It is the Pharisaical mindset that you present in this blog that will drive those who are hungry for Christ away. In this excessively pious attitude we will not bring glory to God. I suggest that you assess your motives, rethink your narrow worldviews, and begin to love as Jesus our lord and savior loved, for right now, you are bringing no such glory to his name.
Because, "Nothing can separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." - Romans 8:37-39

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These Campolo quotes are arranged in a way that alludes to new age leanings.
Give it up man.
I believe, as does Campolo, that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. If this isnt a biblical enough way to test ones spirit, then concider Jesus' saying that "a house divided against itself will soon fall." If Campolo was an agent of Satan, would he encourage people to avoid addiction to materialism, give their whole lives to the cause of Jesus Christ, and read the bible more?
"Give up your decadent gluttonous lifestyle you overcomfortable upper middle class North American capitalist... and give your All to what matters to GOD!!!"...OK, so that sounds like Campolo's on the wrong team???
please.
If you buy that and fall for this arrangement of quotes, you don't know the difference yet between true Christian mysticism, mature Godly understanding, and the new age.
Keep seeking God and renewal of the mind through the bible. Channel your fear and paranoia into searching the scriptures and prayer afresh! (and not with an agenda of slander.)
Oh how we love an "aha!" moment... when the eye of critisism is on others rather than ourselves.
I'm aware that we're all at differing levels of learning, so I'm holding back. I need all the grace I can get.

Go with God.
rrrevolution@hotmail.com

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These Campolo quotes are arranged in a way that alludes to new age leanings.
Give it up man.
I believe, as does Campolo, that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. If this isnt a biblical enough way to test ones spirit, then concider Jesus' saying that "a house divided against itself will soon fall." If Campolo was an agent of Satan, would he encourage people to avoid addiction to materialism, give their whole lives to the cause of Jesus Christ, and read the bible more?
"Give up your decadent gluttonous lifestyle you overcomfortable upper middle class North American capitalist... and give your All to what matters to GOD!!!"...OK, so that sounds like Campolo's on the wrong team???
please.
If you buy that and fall for this arrangement of quotes, you don't know the difference yet between true Christian mysticism, mature Godly understanding, and the new age.
Keep seeking God and renewal of the mind through the bible. Channel your fear and paranoia into searching the scriptures and prayer afresh! (and not with an agenda of slander.)
Oh how we love an "aha!" moment... when the eye of critisism is on others rather than ourselves.
I'm aware that we're all at differing levels of learning, so I'm holding back. I need all the grace I can get.

Go with God.
rrrevolution@hotmail.com

4:23 AM  
Blogger matthew j moses said...

It's funny I stumbled across this blog and I know nothing

4:34 PM  
Blogger matthew j moses said...

It's super sad to see people spending time and effort villianizing a fellow brother and sister. By hand picking some quotes and trying your hardest to find ways to discredit someone who is earnestly trying to create bridges in sensitive forums of thought.

This type of accusing, judgmental, slandering accepted inside of Christian blogs gives me hope that we can do a lot better at learning how to love one another. And over time maybe we'll appreciate the various forms of theology and the specific focus each has.

"In Essentials, Unity; in Non-essentials, Liberty; in All Things, Charity," -Augustine

4:48 PM  
Blogger joni said...

I am a Christian parent who wishes that I had exposed my children to MORE of Tony Campolo's thinking. My reason? They would have seen a Christianity that was inclusive instead of divisive, a love that was given freely instead of needing to be earned. That sums up the character of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Booberry said...

You know, some of these comments are tragic. They seem more concerned about seeing Campolo in a positive light than protecting the veracity of the gospel.

I have known of and read many of Campolo's books for years. His relentless attacks on thos who do not think as he thinks speak for themselves, yet I see no one who would come to bat for him, take him to task for these types of comments.

For those who think better use of time would be spent elsewhere, rather than condeming a "brother," first let it be said that by his own words, I do not consider Campolo to be a brother in Christ. Whether he is or is not a Christian is for God to decide of course, but from the outside and based on his teachings, it seems apparent to me that he is preaching another gospel.

We know that Paul in Galatians spoke very harshly about those who would come preaching something else entirely. He said "Let him be ACCURSED!"

Campolo is unfortunately much more interested in being friends with world than in protecting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he believes that Jesus lives in others that are not necessarily Christian, one can only wonder where this is stated or implied in Scripture? Surely, this is another gospel; one which mocks Christ's own words of John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."

Those who hear the gospel and reject it do not wind up being Christians because they become involved in some social gospel.

I'm also very tired of hearing Muslims speak of the hate Christians apparently have for them. Yet, their own Quran is filled with hateful rhetoric for anyone outside of Islam.

Because I say that Islam is wrong, that has nothing to do with hate. Because I say homosexuality is wrong, that also has nothing to do with hate. Hate is when someone is so incensed by someone else, that they wish to kill them. There is absolutely none of that in me.

Yet, in our society, the Christian is more and more being seen as intolerant because they have the audacity to preach one way of salvation and dare to suggest what sin consists of. The fact that we may do that does not mean we do not see our own sin. It is BECAUSE we see our own see that we are also able to see the sin of others.

Tony Campolo, Brian McClaren and others are doing a tremendously huge disservice to the gospel of Jesus Christ because in their desire to be found favorable by the world, they are turning the gospel into something it is not. In the meantime, people die and go to hell every day. Tell me then how Tony Campolo really loves people by withholding the truth from them?

In actuality, Mr. Campolo loves himself a great deal and wishes above all things to receive the accolades of the world.

I am also amazed at how many "anonymous" posters there are here - probably the same person.

This then is his (only) reward.

10:10 PM  
Blogger akicita71 said...

Sorry, but you quoted a whole lot of reasons why I ADMIRE Dr. Campolo. I read these quotes, and frankly felt a renewed sense that perhaps there is hope for Christianity yet. Perhaps it's not doomed to be a narrow, dogmatic Pharisaical commodity after all. Go, Tony!

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Michael A. Gelman said...

I couldn't state it any better than akicita71. Take a look at what Jesus did when he was here. He ate and drank (wine) with the sinners. That's who he chose to spend much of his time with. The only people he criticized were the folks who were just like you. The religious men who thought they were above other people.

You know what? I really don't like most homosexuals or Muslims, either. Even so, I know that God loves us all, and expects us to treat all others with love and respect. Someone needs to say it, and frankly, I don't think it's you.

Thanks for reminding me of how much I love Tony Campolo!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:52 AM  
Blogger ra said...

The quote on there are many ways to Philadelphia is out of context.... Tony's point in this story (a favorite one of his) is that there is a single way, not many.

-Rob Alexander www.trinitypartners.org

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

As a non-Christian, Tony Campolo is a hero. He teaches the word of Christ, and those are words are kindness, love, and compassion. I rarely hear that from the Christian Right. Jesus preached love and compassion, not capital punishment, guns, capitalism, smaller government, etc...

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Youth Pastor and Tony Campolo is a great inspiration for me and my ministry. If only all of my students were to grow up and be like Tony this world would be transformed into a place God's will is done "on Earth as it is in Heaven".

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, when Campolo says Jesus is in non-Christian people, it was a message about reaching out to those that need the love of Christ...that Jesus presents Himself in the most unlikely of people...those that need for us as Christians to reach out to and show the love of Jesus.

I really think your post slamming Campolo is motivated by something...it's definately not motivated by the Holy Spirit.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are any of you witnessing to the homosexual? He is. Are any of you witnessing to the Muslim? He is. Once you start doing that you will realize that he has to be more worried about his words towards them then offending you. The easiest thing a Christian can do is stand and shout the laws of God. Its sometimes an act of pride. Shouting the laws are important but I feel it is much harder to save souls and having a personal relationship with that person.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I suppose if you are a frightened, narrow-minded Christian you might take offense at Tony Campolo. Maybe you're not familiar with the Gospel in three words: "God is love." It's hard for some people to grasp.

3:37 PM  
Blogger tarzantheman said...

After reading these quotes, I have even MORE respect for Mr. Campolo than I already did. The Church has needed to get out of its dogma for generations...leave the "comfort zone" that was pressed on us by our parents and grandparents.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Ras Nicholas said...

WWJD.

Jesus Loves Any Person.

Jesus Does not descriminate.

ANybody against these quotes Probablly supports the War. Is probablly Very patriotic.

I Am Praying for all of you who are against these teaching to truly learn who Yeshua Ha'mashiac ( Jesus Christ ) is and Our Father Yahweh !

Once you truly die to your worldy self then you will understand

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you're completely missing the point. he speaks a lot of truth and even if some of his beliefs are slightly different than yours, that doesn't mean he's a bad influence by any means. people who spend their time trying to drag down other christians aren't exactly any closer to being "holy" or "righteous"..maybe stop wasting your time critiquing tony and do something productive with your own life. at least tony has brought about a lot of change and transformation within the world. what have you done?

6:07 AM  

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