There are some religions and/or denominations that have coined a leader, so to say. I say that this can be a dangerous thing. Maybe I am just blind to this fact, but I would say that Christianity does not have a human leader. Of course I know that Jesus is the leader of Christianity, so to say. When I reference people like John MacArthur, John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, and others, yes, I view them as people who I would like to emulate in their walk with Christ, but I in no way view them as a leader of Christianity in the sense that other religions do. What I am getting at is that some religions have human leaders and/or false gods, and that makes them false religions. For example:
Islam – Muhammed
Buddhism – Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)
Hinduism – Divas
Jainism – Tirthankars (Parsva, Mahavira, etc.)
Catholicism – The Pope
Emergent Church – Brian McLaren
Mormonism – Joseph Smith
Scientology – L. Ron Hubbard
The one I want to mention specifically here is the Emergent Church. Brian McLaren has been called the leader of this movement, and they consider themselves a branch of Christianity. However, they are not a branch of Christianity. They are more of a cult – a false religion.
Now, am I saying that it is wrong to have someone to follow? Not necessarily. As my title suggests, it can be dangerous to have a leader. So what makes the Emergent stream dangerous? Their theology is badly skewed. They tend to question God’s sovereignty, they deny the substitutionary atonement, they deny the existence of hell, and they generally have a low view of scripture (HT: MkDr).
My overall point here is to emphasize that we don’t need a human leader. We don’t need someone to interpret the Bible for us. We need to follow Christ and Christ alone. God is revealed in His word. What He says is truth. When we start to question what He says – as the emergent church is doing – then we are basically saying that He could be wrong, and that is a slippery slope. Another dangerous “movement” is the prosperity movement and “original leader”, Kenneth Hagin. But that is a subject for another time.
– Adam Smith
Update (7/20/09 21:15): The comment section has been restored for this post. However, you may want to check out my comment policy before commenting.