From Lighthouse Trails-
"A lot of people see Jesus as just for Christians but I keep discovering that his teachings are really about what it means to be human." - Rob Bell, Manchester Evening News (June 15, 2007)
According to a news report from Manchester Evening News (Britain), emergent leader Rob Bell is "setting out on an ambitious theatre tour of Britain with his message, Calling All Peacemakers." As do most emergents, Bell believes in a universal/interfaith religion where all one has to do is add Jesus to their own religion - it isn't necessary to become a Christian and identify with the body of Christ. One can remain a Hindu, continue practicing Hindu rituals but just say they like Jesus the best. This is what we call the new missiology, and its evangelists include Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and many other emerging church proponents.
Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason ministries has done extensive research and analysis on the new missiology. In his article, "A New Evangelism for the 21st Century," Oppenheimer states:
Can a Christian now call himself a Muslim? The word Muslim is made up of two words, Islam and Mu. Muslim does not just mean submission; it means submission to the God Allah; not the Lord Jesus Christ or Yahweh. Can a Muslim be called a Christian and walk with Allah? This seems to make no doctrinal or practical sense, unless they change the names and the meaning. This only brings confusion. Why do this when you can introduce Yahweh as the true God without any baggage and shuffling around in names, nature or descriptions? The answer is that you may not see the same results. This is what this is all about isn't it, results; pragmatism, the end justifies the means.
In a book by Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson titled Idolatry in Their Hearts, they show how widespread this new missiology has become. Listen to some of the comments made by a few new missiology evangelists:
New Light embodiment means to be "in connection" and "information" with other faiths.... One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna."-Leonard Sweet
I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other religions.-Rick Warren
I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.-Thomas Merton
Allah is not another God...we worship the same God.-- The same God! The very same God we worship in Christ is the God the Jews-and the Muslims-worship.-Peter Kreeft
Oppenheimer and Simpson ask the question, "Can one be a Hindu or a Muslim and follow Jesus?" They explain why the answer is no:
One cannot be in relationship with Jesus within the confines of a false religion. One must leave his or her religion to follow Jesus, not just add Him on....
This broadens Jesus' statement of the road being narrow into a wide, all encompassing concept. What is concerning is that these same kinds of statements are also made by those who are New Agers that hold a universal view. Alice Bailey said, "I would point out that when I use the phrase 'followers of the Christ' I refer to all those who love their fellowmen, irrespective of creed or religion." (Idolatry in Their Hearts, Oppenheimer/Simpson - 2007)
In an article titled "Will the Next Billy Graham Be a Mystic?" we can see where Rob Bell's spiritual persuasions lie. He admits that he is influenced by Sister Virginia, a Dominican sister from a spirituality center that practices the occultic-based Reiki. This helps to explain why Bell stated: "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life."1
The Manchester Evening News article title reads: Hitting the road on a mission of true faith." But is this true faith? Jesus Christ was referring to "true faith" when He said "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." As a world that has rejected Christ races quickly toward destruction and so many are lost in spiritual darkness, as believers (calling ourselves Christians), let us not grow weary and turn away from "true faith" that offers light (The Light of the World) to lost sinners.