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The Justice Creed

August 20, 2008

After reading Rhett’s review of Carson’s ‘Becoming Conversant with the Emergent church’, I somehow wound up on Brian McLaren’s personal website. Having looked at the old version of the site, I was quite surprised by what I saw.

I didn’t realise he was THAT biased. I mean, you cannot be serious… I didn’t know the secret message of Jesus had NOTHING to do with justification and imputed righteousness.

At least BMac (seems a hip enough nickname for him, kinda like a 1980’s desktop PC) appears to have his agenda out in the open these days. Gone are the Generous Orthodoxy days of calling himself Catholic-Anglican, Calvinist-Arminian, Seeker sensitive- whatever else there is. I like that he’s come out and admitted that he’s leaning so far left that it would be unsurprising if he called Hillary a self-serving fundamentalist.

I like the transparency, Brian. I’m just not a big fan of your music. Reading through 11:57, I had a chuckle (and a bout of nausea, not induced by Holy-Spirit conviction).

We made a suicidal system, and we pumped it full of toxin, and we killed off lots of species, and we made the world an oven. And we built a lot of churches, and we saved a lot of souls, but we destroyed a lot of good things, and our way of life was full of holes.



Dark valley, shadows of death.Please be our shepherd Lord. Still waters, green pastures. There we will be restored.

I’m speechless. Why didn’t you call the album, ‘Twisted Scripture’?

So my little nomadic internet journey took me to the Matthew 25 Network. I saw the BMac under Obama-messiah endorsement, and I really didn’t need to know any more. I also notice that the Matthew 25 Network seemed to have solved the ecumenical dilemma.

Which led me back to the other open window on the BMac homepage. Clicking on ‘resources’, I came across the Justice Creed.

So I celebrated my post-modern liberty of altering this historic creed.

Justice. Dude.

Justice. Dude.

Hope you all like it.

Justice Creed (Jono’s revised and updated version)

We believe that the living God is just
And that the true and living God loves left-wing politics.
God delights in just laws and rejoices in just people.
God sides with those who are oppressed by injustice,
And stands against oppressors.
God is grieved by unjust people and the unjust systems they create and sustain.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for left-wing politics, and
God’s kingdom belongs to those willing to be persecuted for the sake of left-wing politics.
To God, left-wing politics is a weighty thing which can never be ignored.

We believe that Jesus, the Liberating King, came to free humanity from injustice
And to display the left-wing politics of God,
In word and deed, in life, death, and resurrection.
The left-wing politics which God desires, Jesus taught, must surpass that of the hypocrites,
For the justice of God is a compassionate justice,
Rich in mercy and abounding in love
For the last, the least, the lost, and the outcast.
On his cross, Jesus drew the injustice of humanity into the light,
And there the heartless injustice of human empire met
The reconciling left-wing politics of the kingdom of God.
The resurrection of Jesus proclaims that the true left-wing politics of God,
Naked, vulnerable, and scarred by abuse, is stronger
Than the violent injustice of humanity, armed with weapons, conceit,
deceit, and lies.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is here, now,
Convicting the world of sin and obstructing left-wing politics,
Warning that God’s judgment will come on all that is unjust.
We believe that the Kingdom of God is left-wing politics , peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Empowered by the Spirit, then, we seek first God’s kingdom and God’s left-wing politics ,
For the world as it is has not yet become the world as God desires it to be.
And so we live, and work, and pray,
Until left-wing politics rolls down like water,
And flows strong and free like a never-failing stream.
For we believe that the living God is just
And that the true and living God loves left-wing politics .

Some will say I’m being unkind here. I should perhaps be more civil, less sarcastic.

To be honest..

when I go to the circus, I laugh.

Forgive me.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2008 9:08 pm

    This is funny. 🙂

    Those lyrics are really something. Wow. Even better when you listen to the music.

  2. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 9:55 pm

    So we can we expect McLaren’s books to be subjected to a good ole book burning 😉

  3. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 9:56 pm

    I jest – do delete that comment if you want. 🙂

  4. August 20, 2008 10:06 pm

    Nah i’ll leave it up. I wouldn’t burn his books. Books cost money.

    I admit to nearly having thrown Generous Orthodoxy through a wall though.

    The arrogance…

  5. August 20, 2008 10:10 pm

    You know what having his books on my bookshelf does for me?

    It reminds me to seek any new directions and make any statements with a great deal more humility and care than I did when I got on the EC bandwagon.

    It’s a lesson a lot of young aspiring theologians and pastors have to learn, I guess.

    Fad doesn’t have to = bad. But in future I will refrain from thinking it will solve more problems than it actually will.

  6. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:28 pm

    I admit to nearly having thrown Generous Orthodoxy through a wall though.

    That’s understandable from your frame of reference and perspective. I thought it was fairly weak – never felt like throwing it through the wall… I just never bothered finishing it.

    Great comment, Rhett. Us Christians have a bad habit of getting caught up in “the next big thing” – whether it be Emergent, the “new reformed”, the Florida “outpouring” or things such as “the Purpose Driven Life”. We should always be careful how willing we are to swallow such things. Where there is good, let’s take it, where there is bad, lets critique it.

    Your comment is a healthy one.

  7. August 20, 2008 10:49 pm

    Frank would you like to define the ‘new reformed’ you managed to place inbetween the Emergents and Todd Bentley’s now defunct circus?

  8. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:51 pm

    No 😉

  9. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:53 pm

    …. except to say that where extremes exist, often extremes are created to act as correctives and swing things back the other way. Christianity has faced an extreme of liberalism… you can work the rest out 🙂

  10. August 20, 2008 10:55 pm

    Great comment, Rhett. Us Christians have a bad habit of getting caught up in “the next big thing” – whether it be Emergent, the “new reformed”, the Florida “outpouring” or things such as “the Purpose Driven Life”. We should always be careful how willing we are to swallow such things. Where there is good, let’s take it, where there is bad, lets critique it.

    Agreed. I’m happy to have on my bookshelf literature from Donald Miller to Derek Prince, Josh Harris to Joyce Meyer, from John McArthur to that Power of Positive-Thinking guy. May not agree with the whole spectrum but equipped with discernment and humility they’re definitely tools for spiritual growth.

  11. August 20, 2008 11:01 pm

    Yip, totally. That’s why I value Carey Baptist so much as a bible college. I’ve had Calvinist lecturers, Arminian lecturers, even an Open Theist lecturer. One of the lecturers is putting together a course called “missional church” and you know where that is going. One of the lecturers would be quite negative of the EC.

    All of that is in the mixing pot. But they also teach critical thinking; and I’ve been able to learn a ton from a lot of different perspectives. Yeah; I have my own perspective, and I think it is the right one in light of the info I have (just like everyone else), but being exposed to others has been valueable.

    Go Carey.

  12. August 20, 2008 11:13 pm

    Personally, I think I’m my analysis of various ‘new things’ in the theological world is the most humble and care-ful that I’ve seen…

    (explicit sarcasm)



  13. servant permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:16 pm

    That’s why I like Carey… and BCNZ for that matter.

    Dale, was there a typo in that comment?

  14. August 21, 2008 12:21 am

    Frank, I was expecting that sort of reply out of you.

    If you want to say the New Reformed is about Driscoll methodology, then you’d perhaps have a point. The broader Emerg*** movement is a new thing in that one could claim it adds a new methodology to 19th cent liberalism. Reading Fosdick alongside some of the contemporary authors shows much similarity.

    But the New Reformed really is a growing following and increase of interest in the theology that has long been the mainstay of protestant Christianity. I would hardly consider a revival of interest in the writings of Edwards, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon etc as being a “big thing”/evangelical fad such as the purpose-drivel life. To insinuate it as such would be to display a massive ignorance towards historical Christianity.

    The New Reformed is hardly anything ‘new’ in the sense of the world, merely a desire to return to the high ground of the true gospel and the sovereignty of God in salvation.

  15. servant permalink
    August 21, 2008 12:34 am

    Sorry for being ignorant about historical Christianity – please forgive me 🙂

  16. August 21, 2008 12:38 am

    I think I left it open enough that you could easily defend yourself and say you don’t view it as a fad.

    In that case, I look forward to it being the longest lasting fad, perhaps a few hundred years of the New Reformed fad would be good for the church.
    I look forward to thousands upon thousands of kiwi’s chanting Jonah 2:9.

    That’s the kind of semantics I can dig.

  17. servant permalink
    August 21, 2008 1:03 am

    Jono, It’ll keep swinging like a pendulum. One doesn’t have to look at Christian history too hard to see it swinging all over the place.

    Interest in the authors you mention has always been there, a conservative swing against theological liberalism amongst young people has not – that’s new. Young people are notorious for aligning to that whch is seen as rebeliousness – thus, when the ‘establishment’ embraces liberalism, the young swing towards conservativism as the kick back. The “new reformed” is a kick back – not the theology itself. Once that becomes the establishment, a kick will happen in the other direction.

    It’s life…. watch that pendulum swing.

  18. servant permalink
    August 21, 2008 1:05 am

    With that in mind – I feel no need to defend myself. I haven’t been attacked… unless of course, you felt like you were laying the smack down on me.

  19. August 21, 2008 2:43 am

    Probably our speculation on the sociological reasons for church culture swings is going to be just that: speculation. I’m sure that there are some well researched sociological and historical books out there dealing with these things in detail.

    Perhaps (here’s my speculation) the current scene bares some relation to the scene at the time of liberalism (which Barth and the fundamentalists reacted against).

    I find it hard to identify many conservative evangelical (evangel = gospel, so gospel-centred) churches that aren’t i nthe Reformed tradition. I’m not saying this ground has it 100% right, I’m just saying that if you are young and somewhat conservatively inclined in a theological sense, it can be hard to find another place to call home.

    That’s certainly how it is for me. Even though I am egalitarian (which means fine with women in equal positions of leadership) and charismatic (in that I believe in supernatural spritural gifts) and I don’t read an ESV bible(!), and I know most Reformed authors often aren’t into that, they are also the ones I can find who are most likely to treat the bible and the cross with the high regard I feel they should be.

    Again, let me be clear, I am not pronouncing judgement on people who don’t see things like I do. I could be wrong, so help me God. But if you can show me an Evangelical theologian who does those things, please do, I will buy their book immediately.

  20. August 21, 2008 2:45 am

    Sorry I should clarify: and evangelical theologian NOT in the Reformed tradition.

  21. servant permalink
    August 21, 2008 3:26 am

    I’m not sure of Ben Witherington’s stance on spiritual gifts – but he’s certainly a pillar in my view. What would be your thoughts on Ben?

    He’s written books about women in the New Testament. I’m yet to read them, but am keen.

  22. August 21, 2008 3:42 am

    I’ll be first in line to buy Witherington’s book on election.

    The two CORE issues for me are these: the innerancy and suffiency of scripture, and the centrality of the gospel of first importance (in Paul’s words), that Jesus dies and rose again for our sins.

    I find those core issues because I’ve been convinced by various authors and people but most especially by a plain reading of scripture.

    So what I’m saying is this; I’d love to be able to find a theologian who affirms those things (and I don’t mean with a myriad of qualifications) who isn’t i nthe Reformed tradition.

    I don’t want to argue whether these things should be core. Perhaps a learned theologian like Wright will convince me otherwise when I read him, and Im not so closed as to assume that is impossible. I just want to know (out of interest) whether respected theologians that affirm these things exist outside of the Reformed tradition.

  23. August 21, 2008 5:59 am


    Few books have impacted me like ‘Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire’ by Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat…

    Also ‘The Lost Letters of Pergamum’ by Bruce Longenecker is brilliant…

    that’s all for now… 🙂


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