Barbarian Lies, Part II
This installment will deal primarily with a particular lie he tells about John the Baptist and its ancillary sub-lies. The theme lie is that John the Baptist was a "barbarian" (That's good.) and all the bad guys in the New Testament were "domesticated" and "civilized." (That's bad.) Just like your mom told you, one lie leads to another. In order to support this lie, some more have to be spun so the reader will think he knows all about John from reading Erwin. Like all false teachers, McManus depends heavily on the fact that most church goers are biblically ignorant. One read through any one of the gospels would tell the reader McManus is rewriting history.
LIE #6. John the Baptist preached the avoidance of God's wrath through repentance to only the religious class. The "irreligious" are, evidently, just fine and don't need that message. Page 22. Here our misguide to hysterical Christianity writes, "...his (John the Baptist) fire-and-brimstone message was entirely directed toward the religious, not the irreligious...He had no patience for domesticated religionists who were drowning in their own self-righteousness." (Notice the self-righteous tone of the author here!) Yes, in Erwinland only the irreligious are righteous. The rest of you are just on the way to hell, unless you repent of your repentance.
The slight of keyboard here is accomplished by equating the corrupt religious authorities of John's time with ALL religious authorities today--well, except for Erwin, of course. The point is, don't trust or submit to your dad or your pastor or your church or your denomination. They are bad, like the Pharisees. McManus and you are righteous, like John, Moses, and Paul. Your dad and your pastor are self-righteous. You and Erwin are not self-righteous. How do we know that? Well, because Erwin says so.
McManus simply lied about the whole thing. John preached the whole gospel to the whole crowd--Pharisees, Sadducees, and commoners. Read what the Spirit says in Luke 3:7-9: "So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, 'You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham for our father," for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'"
The truth is that he did not even begin in Jerusalem. He started in the wilderness and the people of Jerusalem came out to hear him while he was still out there in the country of the Jordan.
LIE #7. John the Baptist was not an ascetic like we all thought for lo these past 2000 years. No, every Christian, Christian cleric, Christian theologian, pastor, priest, nun, pew-sitting believer or non-believer, and each and every choir member who ever existed from Pentecost until the advent of Erwin McManus has been seriously wrong. John was a law-flaunting, uncivilized, mouth-foaming, uneducated, out-of-control barbarian. Page 22. Erwin prattles, "He (John) was a barbarian in the midst of civilization. And frankly the civilization made him sick." This is truly a monument to the biblical illiteracy and spiritual laziness of the typical Evangelical. Anyone who can swallow a line like this is obviously due for a scriptural tune up. Such a person doesn't read the Bible much. McManus made a bet that a lot of young, naive, church-going males would be stupid enough to by his book. And his story. He won the bet.
Where in Scripture is there any indication that civilization made John the Baptist sick? No where. Where in Scripture is there any indication that civilization as a concept or a practice is evil apart from the effects of the fall? No where. One must be reminded that God told man to go out and multiply--hence, civilization is mandated by God Himself.
To further this ridiculous idea, Erwin says King Herod was "civilized" and John was a "barbarian" in Chapter 2. Herod, you might recall, had taken his brother's wife. John preached against this barbarity and Herod jailed him for it. Yet, in Erwinland, the sexually uncontrolled drunk is civilized and the tea-totalling, mostly vegetarian preacher is the barbarian. Just what sort of glasses did Erwin use to read the New Covenant anyway? Or did he bother?
LIE #8. Education bad. Ignorance good. That is, according to the example of John the Baptist. Page 22. Far from the biblical standard of studying to show oneself approved, the fictious John the Baptist of Erwinland, is into eating locusts and watching MTV as sermon prep. Again, where in Scripture are we told John had no formal training of any kind? While it's possible, it's not to be assumed. He probably did have formal training, since he was the son of a priest, Zacharias. Arguing by silence, he must not have had kidneys since they are never mentioned in Scripture.
LIE #9. No one could have anticipated that an austere man like John the Baptist would introduce the Messiah. Page 22. "To say the least, he was not the person whom anyone was expecting to prepare the way for the Messiah." That's right. In Erwinland, they don't have the books of Isaiah and Malachi. In fact, no Israelite ever had any notion of just how austere the prophets could be in Erwinland.