Shane Claiborne is loved by the liberal, progressive, emergent church. So it is no surprise that the liberal progressives running the ELCA have chosen him to speak to the youth of our denomination.
So let’s dive in, here is what we know about Shane Claiborne:
Nine churches objected to Claiborne speaking at the US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference. An article published in the Christian Leader says Claiborne has “universalist tendencies” and that he “distorts the gospel.” (read here)
Claiborne had this to say when another of his speaking engagements at Cedarville University was cancelled. -
“A university must believe its students are able to 'test the spirits' and work out their salvation ‘with fear and trembling.’ We are not talking about junior high kids, but young adults who are capable of discerning truth from fiction, and who need to be trusted with and exposed to diverse perspectives.” (read here)
Based on Mr. Claiborne’s quote, it should be pointed out that the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering is recommended for kids ages 14 to 18.
This is what Shane Claiborne had to say about revered Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler:
“I think even Bonhoeffer was wrong. There’s an interview with Hitler’s secretary in a movie called Blind Spot, and she tells about when the assassination attempt failed, and Hitler was very interestingly protected from the bomb, he was convinced at that point, more than ever before, that God was protecting him and his mission, and he went forward with renewed vigilence like ever before. So I would say on the day that Bonhoeffer did that, the cross lost, and that violence just perpetuated.” (see here)
Mark Tooley in the Weekly Standard writes:
“Shane Claiborne is a Christian counter-culturalist and pacifist who went to Baghdad in 2003 to express solidarity with Iraq when the first U.S. and Allied missiles landed.”
“CBS News asked him whether he was a traitor:
If this bloody, counterfeit liberation is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If depleted uranium is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If the imposed 'peace' of Pax Americana is American, I am proud to be un-American.”
“In Jesus for President Claiborne wants Christians to disavow their country and all civil governance in favor of exclusive allegiance to a nonviolent Jesus whose chief mission is resisting ‘empire.’ But Claiborne's interpretation of Jesus, his few selective quotations from early church fathers notwithstanding, is largely divorced from the universal church's understanding of the Savior. Instead, Claiborne insists on a narrowly reinterpreted Jesus as distilled by Yoder and several others in 20th-century America for whom Jesus is more social critic than Resurrected Redeemer.” (see here)
Barton Gingerich of the Institute on Religion & Democracy writes:
“Claiborne often touts radical political themes. His 2008 book Jesus for President likened American to the Third Reich and the biblical Whore of Babylon . . . Claiborne has also praised Occupy Wall Street and recently called for an ‘excorcism’ of Wall Street.” (see here)
Claiborne told gatherers at a retreat for Indiana United Methodist clergy, “The crisis in our faith today is not right believing, but right living.”
“Claiborne also demanded liberalized immigration policies for the U.S. through a story about Christians sharing communion over a southern border fence.” (see here)
Another article tells us how “Shane Claiborne has publicly announced his withholding 30 percent of his taxes to protest all U.S. defense spending.” (see here)
The same website reveals this statement by Mr. Claiborne, “If someone’s hungry, while someone else has food, then they’re a thief if they don’t share it.” (see here)
Claiborne also said this, “To be pro-life, when you live in a neighborhood like mine… means we have to figure out what to do when a 14 year old girl gets pregnant. . .That then becomes everybody’s responsibility. So if we’re really going to be pro-life, then we’d better have some foster kids and we’d better have some teenage mothers living in our homes to show for it.” (see here)
Claiborne was a speaker at the very controversial 2012 “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference. Mark Tooley, President of The Institute on Religion & Democracy wrote that “Christ at the Checkpoint is primarily a public relations scheme to dissuade American evangelicals from pro-Israel views.” (see here)
“Shane Claiborne. . . warned on July 4 that ‘patriotism can be a dangerous thing if it leads to amnesia about the dark patches of our nation’s history.’ He proposed that instead of Independence Day, Americans celebrate ‘Interdependence Day,’ to recognize that ‘we are part of a global neighborhood.’" (see here)
In an Interview with Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne said, "One of the barriers [between religions] seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently?" (see here)
Here is another quote by Claiborne, “When we truly discover how to love our neighbor as our self, Capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.” (see here)
Author Dave Hunt sums up Shane Claiborne’s teaching this way, “Some of Claiborne's agenda toward the poor is commendable and may be well suited to social welfare programs such as the Peace Corps or UNESCO, but it does a terrible disservice to the biblical gospel. ‘Biblical’ needs to be underscored here because the gospel has specific content that can only be derived from the Bible. The gospel is what the Bible is all about. It is God's way of salvation. . .Since the gospel has an eternal objective (e.g., it is a person's only means for spending eternity with God), there is nothing of temporal significance that should be given priority over it.
The history of the social works-oriented gospel, of which so-called progressive Christians Wallis and Claiborne are only two of the latest representatives, is a testimony to what may have begun with sincere intentions or even ‘in the Spirit’ (Galatians 3:1-3) but has degenerated into various forms of works-salvation, which constitutes ‘another gospel’ (Galatians 1:6-9) - a gospel, of course, that can save no one. When ‘good works’ take priority over the clear proclamation of the gospel by preaching and teaching, they become a leaven that ultimately subverts the gospel. Good works can only result from salvation - they are the cart that follows the horse. When the cart leads, the horse is in serious trouble.” (see here)
This is what our youth will be subject to at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. It seems to me that the ELCA leadership is intent on making the youth of the ELCA into carbon copies of their liberal, progressive, Bible-doubting selves.