mē genoito

May it never be! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” (Ro 3:4)

Jekyll Dan or Kimball Hyde?

The emerging church pastor Dan Kimball had been vociferous in attacking Christians accusing us of mischaracterizing the emerging churches. It is my sense that Kimball is attempting to silence the critics by marginalizing them as incredible, error prone and hateful. By doing so, no one would or should pay any attention to the critics of the emerging churches. This is one prong of his strategy.

The second prong of his strategy is to give the impression that there is a wide array of theological positions held by emerging church pastors, many of whom are very orthodox. If only the Christians would give the time to visit an emerging church to find out what they are all about and maybe read some of their books e.g. Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives. Well the underlying premise of Kimball’s accusation is that none of the critics have attended their events or read any of their books.

Lastly, Kimball makes a big deal about the fact that he is as orthodox as anyone can be when it comes to the “Core Doctrines” of Christianity. Unfortunately I just don’t know if Kimball can be trusted on his profession of orthodox Christian doctrines, simply because his actions just does not match his rhetoric.

Here is another example of Kimball’s heretic action which contradicts his claim of being orthodox. First let me remind you the “core beliefs” Kimball professes and defends.

On Kimball’s blog post People outside the church are worth all the criticism, he writes

Because of the seemingly unorthodox way Erwin goes about ministry, he gets criticism from certain contingents of Christians. The blog post told how Erwin told his church that he would take all the heat from those watchdog type of critical websites if it meant that people, like the friend at the men’s retreat would put faith in Jesus. It is so refreshing to read stories like this with someone becoming a Christian from a very non-Christian background and world. And it is so refreshing to hear Erwin say that even though he gets criticized, he feels it is worth the heat to see people trust in Jesus as Savior.

** Update: you can watch the fellow that was blogged about getting baptized and him professing his faith before he was baptized here and hear Erwin’s interview with him when he was at Mosaic here too. (emphasis added)

I wonder what he meant by watchdog type, was that intended as a derogatory slur? I wonder would he consider Bereans the watchdog type. Anyway, we will save that one for a later date.

The person that Kimball claims to have become a Christian is named Jon Gordon. The question I am asking is does Jon Gordon’s professed Christian belief match Kimball’s professed orthodox core beliefs? Who is Jon Gordon? He is an energy expert by his own admission. No. He is not a chemist for the petroleum company or a nuclear scientist. He is a metaphysical energy expert.

Let’s take a closer look at Gordon’s conversion testimony.

In an interview with Jon Gordon, Erwin McManus was asked the question “Is everyone going to hell, except for you Christians?”. McManus’s reaction to the question was he was being setup. I don’t understand why McManus found the question so difficult and uncomfortable. This is about as easy a question as you can get for a Christian who holds to the “core beliefs”. McManus answered by saying,

“When Jesus walked this earth, He said that He would not, He did not come to condemn the world but bring the world life. And ah, so I said, that I am not about to do what Jesus would not do. And so, if He as God would not condemn the world or bring the world life, I am not going to condemn the world. I am just going to bring the world life.”

Gordon thought a bit and said that it was a good answer.

Excuse me? God would not condemn the world? You have got to be kidding me. In a twisted sense that might be true because the World already stands condemned. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Jn 3:17-18″
Because the World stands already condemned, that was the message of John the Baptist and his call for repentance. Jesus Christ came to save those who recognize their condemned state and accept Him as our savior. 15 He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mk 16:15-16″

The question for the Christian is how can Kimball who proclaims to adhere to the “core beliefs” accept McManus’s contradiction of the Bible and the state of humanity. If the World is not condemned and there is no condemnation then why do we even need Christ? Furthermore, the Lord Jesus said clearly in Mark 16:16, whoever does not believe will be condemned. Kimball’s fundamentalist rhetoric does not match his actions.

And this is how Gordon begins his journey to his profession of faith. Gordon’s path to conversion begins with his experience of seeing signs i.e. seeing a cross. So he went to see his Buddhist energy healer, Gordon asked his Buddhist energy healer about this Jesus thing and the signs he’s been getting? Now this is interesting, Gordon’s quest to faith is not through asking about people who follows Jesus but a Buddhist. I know God can use a donkey to reach a man like Balaam, therefore He can certainly use a Buddhist to reach Gordon. The question a fundamentalist Christian or Kimball needs to ask at this point is did this Buddhist give the truth from God?

The Buddhist tells Gordon

“is the way that God sets things up, is all energy. You can be a Buddhist. You can try to practice enlightenment and you can spend your whole lifetime just trying to connect with God and get to enlightenment and you may not make it. 99.9% of the people will not get there. Christianity is sort of like spiritual cheating. What you can do is just, if once you receive the grace, once you believe and receive, then Jesus takes your pain your burden, your soul pain and He clears out all that heavy energy all that negative energy and just clears it out for you. And then you are free to connect with God.”

This is how Gordon understands what it means to believe in Jesus.

Let me get this straight, to believe in Jesus is akin to spiritual cheating to attain enlightenment? Believing in Jesus and He will clear out all that negative energy? I am sorry but did Gordon actually became a Christian or did McManus and Kimball just became New Age Buddhists? The Jesus that Gordon believes in is not the Jesus that I know in the Bible or the Jesus that I have the relationship with.

The most disturbing thing is not Gordon’s pseudo-Christianity. It is Dan Kimball’s Jekyll and Hyde Christianity. Although Kimball profess to hold to Christian “core beliefs” but his action is to accept those who deny and contradict the gospel as true Christians.

  • Kimball should not have accepted McManus’s implication that those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior will not be condemned.
  • Kimball should not have accepted the fact that Gordon never had to confess and repent of his sins and accept Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross as the ONLY way for salvation.
  • Kimball should not have accepted Gordon’s New Age enlightenment as Christianity.

I am sorry but the God and the Christian beliefs that Kimball, McManus, and Gordon believes in is not the God and beliefs that I and Christians for the last two millennium have believed in. I am sorry but Kimball just can’t be trusted when he claims to believe in those “core beliefs”.

2 Responses to “Jekyll Dan or Kimball Hyde?”

  • danield says:

    I have to be honest here and say I really struggled with whether or not to take the time to comment on this post. You are certainly entitled to your perspective and opinion but I believe you obviously have an agenda against Dan Kimball (and perhaps others like him) that has caused you to walk into scenarios like this with only the ability to see what you want to see, regardless of what anyone else says. I trust that will probably be the case with your response to my comment as well.

    I don’t know Dan Kimball personally so I cannot speak or comment on him in any other way than what I have seen from the outside. Like all men, we are all fallible, but I do believe that Dan Kimball is genuinely trying to pursuer a true relationship with Christ while leading others to do the same. His methods may differ from your preferences but perhaps God is speaking and working through Dan in ways he is not in you or I. I don’t think that is reason to discount Dan or others. I think it is cause to celebrate the way that God speaks and moves in us all in unique and personal ways.

    My main reason for commenting here is what you wrote about Jon Gordon. You obviously don’t know Jon personally either so your comments are just your own interpretations off of what you read on Dan’s post and via Erwin McManus’s messages with Jon. My question to you and to others, who are attempting to preserve “fundamentals” as you would say, is this, “Why don’t you first, before posting a derogatory blog post, try to contact someone like Jon Gordon and speak to him personally?” You may find more information about his journey that puts things into a little more context than just a few sound bites or brief blog post. In another light if you disagree with his path then perhaps you could offer him your perspective in a loving way that encourages him as a brother in Christ rather than condemning him because of his past.

    Many of your comments about Jon specifically in your post where jumping back and forth between several events (audio recording that were spaced over a 3 year period) but you failed to mention that as it would have given context to the situation.

    Yes, Jon Gordon was into “new-age” energy and metaphysically energy but in Christ he is becoming a new man. Just seems odd to me that you want to adhere to fundamental values (which I agree with 100%) but then in the same voice you almost appear to want to keep this new brother down and chastise him because of his previous life rather than celebrate the newness that is developing through Jon’s pursuing the real Jesus. Didn’t Jesus call ordinary, flawed men and invite them to follow Him? These disciples went through a period of learning and transformation before they shed their old selves.

    You also noted “Gordon’s quest to faith is not through asking about people who follows Jesus but a Buddhist.” That statement is erroneous. You have no idea how and where Jon’s path has taken him and who he has interacted with along the way. Does it matter who he interacted with in human form anyways as long as he was interacting with God and asking God to reveal Himself to him? To give him discernment to follow truth and come to understand and follow God with his heart, soul and mind?

    In context though, so you are aware, Jon did spend a lot of time with believers, not just his Buddhist healer. His Buddhist healer just said that final comment that connected a few dots for Jon and it was a rather ironic way in which someone could have that final “Ahhh hahhh” moment.

    It’s crazy to me that issue would rather be made with the fact that Jon received a comment from a Buddhist healer that helped him accept Jesus versus worrying more about helping those in need, feeding the hungry, uniting as one Body of Christ, etc.

    I’ve personally worked with Jon and known him as a friend for over 6 years. I’ve watched him grow and watched God work in him in ways I just continue to be amazed by. Honestly, after a year of two of us working together I questioned whether or not I was in the right place by working with him but God kept speaking to me and saying “Stick in there and be a friend to Jon and just witness to him by letting your life pour into his.” I did and God has done amazing things in both our lives. It’s as if God spoke audibly to me and told me that He was going to use Jon’s platform and transformational testimony to do amazing things for His Kingdom. But that will all come to pass in God’s time, not my own, not your own and not in Jon’s own.

    Does Jon have a lot to learn? Yes but then so do I and so do most of us. Has Jon been receiving spiritual counsel from men of faith? Yes. Has Jon been pursuing Jesus through the Bible, prayer, the church? Yes. Is he still going to look at and say some things that may use terminology that relates back to his past self, sure but that doesn’t mean he is not growing, he is learning.

    Salvation happens in an instant but transformation happens day by day.

    I don’t intend this comment to be abrasive so I hope it does not come across in that way. The last thing we need as followers of Christ is to create more strife between us. I just wanted to share another side of the story that comes from the vantage point of someone who is a born again Christian and who knows Jon Gordon personally, and has for many years.

    Just seems ironic to me that our great commission is to reach people for Christ so that they may come to know Him but as soon as they enter into this relationship with Him, there are groups out there who would rather focus more on who that person was rather than who they can become in Christ. By taking shots at Dan Kimball and using Jon Gordon as an example you end up putting innocent people in the cross-hairs. That runs a dangerous risk of damaging their faith walk when it is very vulnerable in the first place. Just imagine how you might feel when you are already dealing with the discomfort of trying to move out of “self” and attachment to the material things of this world to pursue the higher calling of Jesus and then you are also assaulted by the very same people whom whose team you are trying to get on.

  • teleologist says:

    Dear danield,

    I have to be honest here and say I really struggled with whether or not to take the time to comment on this post. You are certainly entitled to your perspective and opinion but I believe you obviously have an agenda against Dan Kimball

    Well, I am glad you took the time to make your comment here. I appreciate your perspective and I think you have a couple of points that I can further self evaluate, in spite of our numerous disagreements.

    Let me start by saying I am not sure what you mean by “agenda”, which usually has a negative connotation associated with this word. If you meant that I think Dan Kimball is wrong and much of what he does not match what he professes as Biblical “core beliefs”, then yes. If you meant that I think it is appropriate for me to criticize/test what Kimball say and do against Scripture, then yes, that is precisely what I am doing. Just as you are pointing out what you think are problems in my post. I would not label your comment here as having an agenda.

    I don’t know Dan Kimball personally so I cannot speak or comment on him in any other way than what I have seen from the outside. Like all men, we are all fallible, but I do believe that Dan Kimball is genuinely trying to pursuer a true relationship with Christ while leading others to do the same.

    I agree with you that Kimball is genuinely trying to pursue what he believes is the right path. Unfortunately I do not think that is the Biblical path and I am only judging him according to the Word of God. I do not expect Kimball to be infallible, none of us are, but I do expect him, like the rest of us, to espouse the truth of what the Bible said and pursue that instead of compromising the Truth for cultural mores.

    His methods may differ from your preferences but perhaps God is speaking and working through Dan in ways he is not in you or I. I don’t think that is reason to discount Dan or others. I think it is cause to celebrate the way that God speaks and moves in us all in unique and personal ways.

    I wish it is that simple i.e., it is only a difference in methodology. Our disagreement is at the core of what the gospel is and how is a person saved. I do not discount Kimball out of personal preference but chastised him in accordance of clear teachings from the Bible.

    Please remember my criticism of Kimball’s actions is not a one way street. It is not as if the Emergent community is sitting idly by and makes no criticism of conservative Christians. Many emerging church leaders, Kimball included, would call fundamentalists like myself hateful and unloving. They have no idea of what is in my heart and how much I would desire all would come to a true knowledge of Christ. You can’t help someone who is dying from poison by giving them sugar coated placebos. If you think Kimball is genuinely seeking to lead others to Christ, why would you not at least give the same benefit to fundamentalists who would tell Kimball that they are going down the path of destruction? We are not criticizing the Emergent community because we hate them, but it is because we love them.

    My main reason for commenting here is what you wrote about Jon Gordon. You obviously don’t know Jon personally either so your comments are just your own interpretations off of what you read on Dan’s post and via Erwin McManus’s messages with Jon. My question to you and to others, who are attempting to preserve “fundamentals” as you would say, is this, “Why don’t you first, before posting a derogatory blog post, try to contact someone like Jon Gordon and speak to him personally?” You may find more information about his journey that puts things into a little more context than just a few sound bites or brief blog post.

    I hear you. Your point is well taken here. I don’t know Jon and have no reason to think that he would be interested in dialoging with me but if he does maybe you can have him send me an email. teleologist@gmail.com

    Just a minor correction, my evaluation of Jon Gordon was not based on Kimball’s post but on the videos on Gordon’s own website.

    In another light if you disagree with his path then perhaps you could offer him your perspective in a loving way that encourages him as a brother in Christ rather than condemning him because of his past.

    I know it may seem harsh to you in a post setting like this and I agree I probably could have said it in a less offensive tone. However, I don’t think my assessment is incorrect. If Gordon has grown from the time that he made those videos, I wish he would have given us an update on his change and renounce what he had said. It is my understanding of Scripture, according to what Jon has said in those video, I can’t in good conscience tell him that he is truly saved. I would be lying to myself and to him by giving Jon a false sense of security of salvation if I tell him that.

    You are also wrong when you say that I am condemning Jon for his past. It makes no difference to me and more importantly according to the Word of God what his past was. My main concern would be for Jon to come to a true knowledge and saving faith of Jesus Christ.

    Many of your comments about Jon specifically in your post where jumping back and forth between several events (audio recording that were spaced over a 3 year period) but you failed to mention that as it would have given context to the situation.

    It was not clear to me that the events he was describing spans over a 3 year period, not that it would have made any difference. In the end, his understanding of salvation is still not based on repentance and the redemptive works of Christ and Christ alone. His idea of believing in Jesus is still a Jesus that takes away his negative energy and a shortcut to Buddhist enlightenment. What possible benefit could there be by telling him that he is now a Christian when he believes in another gospel.

    I know the emerging churches and many postmodernists have a problem with hell and Jesus being the only way. But the Bible tells us that there is no other name given under heaven by which we can be saved.
    12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Ac 4:12
    Hell is a real place, as a Christian we can’t get away from it. Just because it is unpalatable to some, are we suppose to just throw it out the window?

    Just seems odd to me that you want to adhere to fundamental values (which I agree with 100%) but then in the same voice you almost appear to want to keep this new brother down and chastise him because of his previous life rather than celebrate the newness that is developing through Jon’s pursuing the real Jesus.

    Absolutely not. I have no desire to keep anyone down. However, the fact is that there is no new life if there is no true knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

    Didn’t Jesus call ordinary, flawed men and invite them to follow Him? These disciples went through a period of learning and transformation before they shed their old selves.

    Please do not confuse the difference between justification and sanctification. It is true the disciples and all Christians are to grow in Christ. However, the difference between Christians and Jon is that we have been justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. All Christian have accepted the fact that we are sinners saved by grace through faith that Christ and Christ alone has paid for the wages of our sins through his death and resurrection. It is also the recognition that without repentance and acceptance of Jesus’ atonement all would be lost and are heading to hell. For this reason we are desperate to save and preach the gospel to all those who would listen and accept this Truth. You are not doing him any service by leaving out these essentials of the gospel message.

    You also noted “Gordon’s quest to faith is not through asking about people who follows Jesus but a Buddhist.” That statement is erroneous. You have no idea how and where Jon’s path has taken him and who he has interacted with along the way.

    If I am in error then it is not my fault. That is precisely what he recounted in the video. Have you listened to the video on his website?

    Does it matter who he interacted with in human form anyways as long as he was interacting with God and asking God to reveal Himself to him?

    You will recall I did raise the example of Balaam’s donkey. Unfortunately in this case, it does make a great difference who he interacted with to receive that knowledge of God. His knowledge and acceptance of Jesus is a different Jesus than that is in the Bible. He made it very clear in the video the Jesus that he accepts is a Jesus that is described by the Buddhist, which is the Jesus of energy and enlightenment. What was it that the apostle Paul said, “8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Ga 1:8

    In context though, so you are aware, Jon did spend a lot of time with believers, not just his Buddhist healer.

    Regrettably I am aware of the kind of believers he spent time with. People like McManus who has made absolutely no attempt to correct his erroneous view of the gospel and what it means to believe in Jesus. McManus, who distorted the Word of God by implying that those who do not accept Jesus would not go to hell.

    What about you who claim to be his friend and agree with the fundamentals 100%? Have you corrected him about his believe in a false Jesus and present the true Gospel to him? Until he accepts the gospel that is written in Scripture, he is still dead in his trespasses.

    It’s crazy to me that issue would rather be made with the fact that Jon received a comment from a Buddhist healer that helped him accept Jesus versus worrying more about helping those in need, feeding the hungry, uniting as one Body of Christ, etc.

    You are misunderstanding or mischaracterizing what I said. My problem is not with Jon receiving a comment from a Buddhist. The problem once again is with Jon receiving a comment of a different Jesus than the Jesus we Christian believe in.

    I’ve personally worked with Jon and known him as a friend for over 6 years. I’ve watched him grow and watched God work in him in ways I just continue to be amazed by. Honestly, after a year of two of us working together I questioned whether or not I was in the right place by working with him but God kept speaking to me and saying “Stick in there and be a friend to Jon and just witness to him by letting your life pour into his.” I did and God has done amazing things in both our lives. It’s as if God spoke audibly to me and told me that He was going to use Jon’s platform and transformational testimony to do amazing things for His Kingdom. But that will all come to pass in God’s time, not my own, not your own and not in Jon’s own.

    That’s great that you continue to befriend him, but you are doing a disservice by letting him think that he is a Christian when he has not accepted the gospel. If he has accepted the gospel I wish he would remove the video from his website and give a testimony that authenticates his true conversion.

    Finally, I appreciate your comment and I welcome the dialog. I also welcome your substantive criticism any specific points I’ve made. We can agree to disagree but my motive is to fight for the Truth that is given to us through the Words of God. My opinion and personal preference is irrelevant. Kimball’s personal preference and certainly the postmodern cultural preference is irrelevant. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Leave a Reply