Saturday, July 29, 2006

Campi, the EC, and McLaren

Christian recording artist Steve Camp has posted three articles (over at his blog Camp on This) by Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL, on the emerging church. You can view them here: 1, 2, and 3. Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, CA, and a leader in the emerging church, has written a response to those posts, which can be found in the comments sections.

Whether this is a continuing series, I do not know, but Steve has written his own post on another of the leaders of the emerging church, Brian McLaren - read it here. In this post, Steve has some very strong words about McLaren:
Brian McLaren is without doubt the unprecedented leader and poster-child of the Emergent Church/Emerging Church ecumenical postmodern movement within evangelicalism today. He and his minions have challenged two thousand years of orthodox biblical Christianity on its most essential doctrines (the veracity and authority of Scripture; justification by faith alone; imputation of the righteousness of Christ; substitutionary atonement; the omniscience of God, Hell-eternal punishment, etc.) and is winning ground among some evangelicals with his heretical and aberrant beliefs.

In light of this, I would humbly submit the following question that no one in the entire EC ecumenical movement has ever addressed: Why hasn't anyone within the EC ecumenical movement (including conservatives like Mark Driscoll and Dan Kimball) publicly called for the church discipline (Matt. 18:15-20) of Brian McLaren for his aberrant and heretical theological error?
Steve asks an intriguing question, but I don't wish to discuss the merits of it here. My concern is more pragmatic. If some of the leaders of the EC movement did call for church discipline, how would that church discipline be carried out? McLaren is the pastor of the church, so would it be the responsibility of his congregation to carry out the discipline? If his congregation refused to do so, what would happen then?

An aside: If you decide to visit Pastor Gilley's website, you'll want to take note of the staff section of the web page (or just go here). You'll see that his son Brian is the youth pastor. I must admit, I'm always a bit leery of churches where the nepotism is so obvious, as in this case by having the senior pastor's son on the pastoral staff (excepting for churches where the senior pastor's wife is the secretary - I don't mind that). It seems like the pastor think that the church is his own, and he can decide to hire whomever he wants to for other pastoral positions.

Whenever I hear about this scenario, I generally imagine the senior pastor of the church saying to the congregation, "Folks, we've searched high and low for a good man to come and look after our youth, and I think we've found the perfect man for the job. He just so happens to be my direct descendant!" (loud clapping)


  1. It is despicable to hire your family to serve under you in ministry. Unless, of course, you live in Louisiana where nepotism is no cultural taboo. That's why it's okay that I hired my brother-in-law to be the student pastor.

  2. Pastor Brad: I certainly don't think your hiring of your brother-in-law was a despicable thing. My beef is with pastors who pick their sons as a replacement for them - many pastors go the youth-pastor-to-senior-pastor route. Such was the case at my wife's childhood church, and needless to say she wasn't impressed. I don't believe that pastors should utilize their pulpit to insure their sons' futures.

    I certainly don't consider nepotism to be a negative thing in all circumstances. Take family businesses, for example. A father/mother wants to pass down his/her business to the children, and there's nothing inherently wrong about that. In fact, it can be a very good thing. I don't, however, consider the pastorate as a family business. No offense to Joel Osteen, of course... :)