March 16, 2006

Barry Taylor: A Man With a Mandate

A long-time mentor of Pastor Chuck Smith Jr., pastor of Capo Beach Calvary Chapel, is a British musician by the name of Barry Taylor. Taylor is a leading voice in the Emerging Church movement and the pastor of Sanctuary Church in Santa Monica. He filled in for Pastor Smith Jr. on Sunday, March 9, 2006. Below is a portion of his message: 


While most Christians were disgusted with the immoral messages of the films highlighted by the Academy Awards this year, Barry Taylor celebrated the films as moral and of substance. That’s because Barry Taylor’s religion is unapologetically inspired by today’s culture and as such this is what you get.

This comes at no surprise. In the year 2000, it was pointed out to Chuck Jr. that Barry Taylor’s website of his Sanctuary Church linked to the Metropolitan Community Church in Hollywood – the "gay church." Capo Beach Calvary had linked to Sanctuary that linked to the most degrading and defiled places on the Internet. The MCC linked to stories that claimed that Jesus and the Apostle John were homosexual lovers, as were David and Jonathan. They linked to websites promoting sodomy and the worst perversions known to mankind. Yet, Barry Taylor’s kingdom includes those who celebrate perverse sex.

Perhaps when these Emerging Church leaders fulfill their mandate to make homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle, then they can freely come out of the closet themselves. That may sound cynical, but one must wonder about their passion for attacking the church of Jesus Christ for its stand on homosexuality. Those who believe Romans 1 that sodomy is an abomination to the Lord, are being labeled as legalists, Pharisees, and holier-than-thou. It makes one wonder about their motives and their defensiveness in supporting the gay community.

The word Barry Taylor uses is "Inclusivity." This is a similar term that certified heretic, Carlton Pearson, uses to describe his teaching that there is no judgment of hell and that all are going to heaven -- pagans and Christians alike. Pearson told a reporter, "The Gospel of Inclusion is the exciting and liberating news that in the finished work of the cross, Jesus redeemed the entire world to God from the cosmic and organic sin imposed upon it by Adam, the original man. In effect, the world is already saved, they just don’t know it; and, unfortunately, most Christians don’t believe it." []

This is the same rhetoric we are hearing from the Emerging Church theologians. They just are not as straightforward as Pearson. They are using the "frog in the kettle" technique to get Christians to slowly go along with their heresy step by step. They do not want to end up on the outside looking in as has happened to their contemporary, Carlton Pearson. The following excerpt shows the subtlety of this deception.


Barry Taylor – CBC March 9, 2006

Here’s the interesting thing: I thought that this year, the Academy Awards were really quite interesting, for a number of reasons, not the least of which, the five pictures that were nominated for best picture, which were Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Good-Night and Good Luck, Munich, and Capote. All dealt, the central core, with a very important and contemporary social, ethical, or moral issue. And that’s never happened in the entire history of the Academy Awards – that every single movie is a movie that has meaning and understanding and complexity at its context, at its center. I find it sad on some fronts that the entire gross of those five movies was less than The Wedding Crashers’ summer totals in the US alone. Well, some may say, well that’s because the American public wants to go to the movies to escape. I actually don’t think that’s true…and instead, movies that have substance and complexity get sort of slightly overlooked. But not overlooked by the Academy this year, which I think is really quite profound. And one of the things that I do is I teach on theology and on popular culture and I direct this annual – I’m the co-director of an annual -- conference that’s held in Hollywood at the Director’s Guild that’s called "The Real Spirituality" where we discuss the intersections of theology and film and every year we get together with like film makers and theologians and discuss issues. And this year we were handed our conference topic on a plate because the five pictures that get nominated all have substance to talk about –issues that are important and that matter and I think a lot of that has to do with a post-9-11 world in which we live that people are really beginning to be willing to explore things. I also think that popular culture and films in particular are becoming a central location for the discussion of ethics and morality in our culture. And I really think that it’s important that we that love and are attempting to follow God take note of that and realize that the world is not going to hell in a hand-basket, not thinking about morality and ethics and all of those things. It’s actually exploring them in quite deep and profound ways, and all of those films, the five pictures that I mentioned, every single one of them is absolutely worth seeing and any one of them could be a month-long series of biblical discussion over the central issues that they raise. They all have points of – you know – hot buttons – you know – Brokeback Mountain is the gay cowboy movie, but if you saw the Academy Awards, you know that every cowboy movie was a gay cowboy movie… The problem is of course, is that people jump to what they assume – and this is what the church did a lot – they jump to what they assume the movie is doing, which is just advancing the gay agenda. Well, if you see the movie you realize that it’s actually more than a film about homosexuality; it’s actually about love and loss, and isolation and the tension that many people live with of being unable to find fulfillment in their soul in their life because of predicaments and circumstances and situations that conspire and work against them. Or Capote, that deals with Truman Capote and his whole transition from fiction-writer to non-fiction-writer to his investigation of the murders in Kansas in the late 50s, early 60s and that whole thing. And it’s a really interesting journey through kind of the narcissism of contemporary culture and our fascination with celebrity and manipulating people to achieve our own agendas. And it’s not just Paris Hilton that’s doing that. We’re living in a culture where that’s the way we sort of enact and interact with the world… (Shows clip of the film that won best picture, Crash, compares it to Lent and uses it as an example of confronting bigotry.)

{Talks of reading the gospel of Mark as if it were a song.) But mostly when I’m reading it, what I’m looking for is the rhythm of the story, the feel of the story. It’s like when you listen to music, you lock in, you click in to the rhythm, and you go, ‘oh, I can dance to that,’ and off you go, do a little jig. Um, and I think sometimes it’s the same when you read the Bible. I mean, it’s really funny to me – and I’ll just throw this out there – but we’re all the time going ‘well, the Bible says, well, the Bible says, well, the Bible says.’ But Paul, in the Bible, says that the spirit gives life, not the letter of the law. And we keep thinking that because we say ‘the Bible says’ we’re on the right side of the argument. And I actually think we’re on the wrong side. I think it’s the side of the spirit that we need to be on – the spirit of the story – not every dot and every ‘t’ crossed, because we can’t because there’s so much distance between us and the actual events… In Mark’s gospel, I’m looking beyond the facts, because for me, Mark’s gospel may be true; it may be factual; it may all have happened; but Mark’s gospel is about more than the facts of what happened. Facts are not the end of the story, it is part of it…

Again and again and again and again, through all of these symbolic lessons, there are two things that come up through Jesus’ actions – two things again and again that are central to his vision of the reign of God. They are compassion and inclusivity. Where the old order kept people out, Jesus brings people in. Where the old order said, ‘your sin keeps you out,’ Jesus said your sin brings you in. Where the old order said ‘you’re too dirty,’ Jesus says ‘let me take your dirt and hang out with me.’ How can you hang out with tax collectors and sinners and hookers and call yourself a prophet? Easy, when you understand the kingdom. And so his actions again and again and again, compassion and inclusivity…(Tells story in Mark of Jesus walking on the water past the disciples boat being tossed about.) The kingdom is a frame of reference. That’s what it is, a frame of reference. It’s a way of putting life in a different focus and it can take your breath away cause it’s so big. So what’s your limit? Gays? Is that where your line’s drawn? Right-wing fundamentalist? Or maybe you are a right-wing fundamentalist, so you don’t like liberals. Is that who you keep out? Those who misinterpret scripture, is that who we keep out? What is it? We all have em. I’ll start here. What are my bigotrys? What are my lines of stuff? That is the question. And then the question is, can I lift up my eyes over that and see beyond the boat to the horizon on the shore where Jesus is walking, cause if I can, then the winds of resistance die down and peace comes to my boat and peace comes to the world and it becomes a better place. Now that may sound a little idealistic, but I’m 50 now so I’m going to be idealistic the whole darn year and every time I show up here I’m going to tell you how big I think the kingdom should be. I’m going to tell you how inclusive I think it should be; how expansive I think it should be; how much we don’t get it and how much we should and how blind we are.


[Disclaimer: True Christians do not say that homosexuals and hookers can not get saved, only that once they repent and are born-again, the sin that so easily entangled them will no longer control their lives. The Lord will transform them as they walk in obedience to Him, putting that sin to death. They will not trump up their sin and ask the church to accept it as just a normal yet different lifestyle. Yet that is what the Emerging leaders want.]


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