Barbarian Lies, Part I
LIE #1. Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and Hindu prayer are the same and addressed to the same God. Page 14. We read, "Every devout believer--in fact, any person of faith from any religious persuasion, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever--believes in prayer, but we all know prayer is supposed to be us talking to God." Actually, no. Christians do not believe in prayer. Biblically informed Christians believe in God. Since they believe in God, they pray to Him. Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims do not pray to the same God as Christians. Some pray to Allah and some to ancestors and some to various gods in the Hindu pantheon. Those are the gods they believe in. And, yes, many pagans believe in some sort of magical power in prayer. Some that call themselves Christians do as well. However, biblically informed Christians do not practice any sort of witchcraft or sorcery. They simply speak to their Father. The power is in Him, not in their prayer or some formula for speaking to a deity. Even the act called "prayer" in other religions is different than Christian prayer. Further discussion of this can be found here.
This man is a Southern Baptist pastor. Why is he equating Christian prayer to that of other religions that don't even acknowledge the Christian God?
LIE #2. There are other sources of truth beside the Scripture. Page 14. Pastor McManus has found out that another source of spiritual knowledge has emerged. How does he know this? Because he watched the movie "Braveheart." Well, there you go! He writes, "One of my favorite characters in Braveheart was the Irish guy who joined William Wallace in his crusade. Remember him, the crazy guy who talked to God?" McManus then relates that this character said God had told him that Wallace's fight was to be "fashionable." This is then seen to indicate to McManus that the fight he is calling the readers to is "fashionable" and only the "finest people" will involve themselves. Obviously a flattery to enlist the naive. At any rate, he calls the young and naive to listen to God for information they will not get from the Bible on pages 14-15.
LIE #3. We are saved to engage in a religion that glorifies self. Page 14 again. At the top we read, "You have been recreated to live in a raw and primal spirituality." This is a lie on three levels. First on the level of the individual believer, the Spirit says in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." This is in contrast to McManus' vision of barbariansim for the young Christian. Second, as to God's ultimate purpose, His glory is the reason for our salvation. I Chronicles 22:10 says this about the salvific work of Christ: "He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever." Isaiah 43:6-7 says,
"I will say to the north,
'Give them up!'
And to the south, 'Do not hold them back '
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
Third, on the level of how God and His saints relate to the rest of the world, Malachi tells us that the point of salvation in God's plan for the nations is the glory of His name. "'For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,' says the LORD of hosts."
LIE #4. Christians who exhibit discipline, self-control, and submission to proper authorities in the church don't really love and obey Jesus. Page 15. McManus writes, "Barbarians (folks of whom McManus approves) are not welcome among the civilized (church) and are feared by the domesticated (folks of whom McManus does not approve.) The way of Jesus is far to savage (good to McManus) for their sensibilities." Parentheticals added for clarity based on the content of the entire book. Notice the three-fold drive-by smear against real Christians. First, obedient Christians are weak--"domesticated" in McManus' terms. Second, obedient Christians are fearful. They are scared of the "barbarian." Third, obedient Christians don't obey Christ. Instead, they think He is savage.
LIE #5. Jesus was a "savage" Who lacked self-control and obedience. Page 15 again, and see the same quote as point four. Jesus' obedience and self control are on display throughout the gospels. Even at His clearing of the temple, He did not show uncontrolled anger. He started by taking the time to make a whip, beat the dickens out of enough of the phonies inside to scare everyone else out of the temple and gave the a short lesson on the theology of worship, complete with at least one biblical quote while doing so. In addition, He constantly told all who listened that He did only what the Father told Him to do. This exhibits both self-control and obedience, not savagery or barbarianism.
I will continue this article in segments.