I was at Mosaic’s annual men’s advance, Highlander, this last week. Erwin McManus was the speaker on Saturday night, and with him was the energy coach, Jon Gordon. You may have recognized that name from earlier comment threads brought up by several of our readers. Many watchdoggies criticized McManus for his involvement with this new-age leader. They said it was shameful and an abomination that Erwin would associate himself with such an unbiblical personality.

Jon spoke this weekend, explaining that when he met Erwin for the first time, they began a conversation about Jesus Christ and spirituality. As Gordon continued this conversation via email and radio broadcasts, he began to wrestle with the ideas found in the scriptures. It was when Jon recently went to a Buddhist healer that his struggles came to a head. The healer explained that you could work your whole life at Buddhism and not arrive to enlightenment. The healer went on to explain that Christianity was “spiritual cheating.” In essence, Jesus Christ comes down to us, so that we might become Children of God thru him. It was at that point where this new-aged Jewish man became a follower of Christ. He was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean a few months ago.

Jon said that he had seen all the websites criticizing Erwin for his relationship; he was worried about how Erwin would respond. Tonight during our gathering at the Mayan Nightclub in downtown Los Angeles, Erwin told the crowd that he would take all the heat from those websites if it meant that Jon would come into a relationship with Christ.

As I heard this story unfold over the weekend, I was amazed. Amazed at how God works. Amazed with the irony of it all. I read over this article written a few months ago by Ken Silva, and could only smile. Here is a guy who spends his time criticizing Erwin McManus for involvement with Gordon (not to mention trashing his own denomination in the process). Around the same time, Erwin was helping Gordon find his way to Christ. On top of all of that… Gordon made his final decision for Christ through the influence of a Buddhist healer. Isn’t it funny how God works?

I guess some sit back and criticize. Others are too busy doing the work of their Father, even when they are being pounded for it. And God often uses very unconventional methods to accomplish His will.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 9th, 2007 at 12:54 am and is filed under Humor, Ken Silva, Linked Articles, ODM Writers, Original Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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35 Comments(+Add)

1   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 8:33 am

Let us all rejoice with the angels, a sinner has come home!

2   Nate    
July 9th, 2007 at 8:58 am

I guess the old saying is true:
Those who can’t do, teach. or….
Those who won’t do, criticize.

3   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 9:18 am

Hey Nate, how do I get my letters bold or italics?

4   Tim    http://churchvoices.com
July 9th, 2007 at 9:24 am

Henry,

For this exercise you need to replace the [] with the greater than/less than signs (if I use the actual code it won’t show up.

[b]What is inside will be bolded[/b]
[i]What is inside will be italicized[/i]
Like so

5   Tim    http://churchvoices.com
July 9th, 2007 at 9:25 am

Also, yes this is incredible thing. The fruits of a Godly ministry.

6   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 9:34 am

[f] [/b] /k/ [(i]

Still don’t get it. Totally right brained. Is there a website?

7   Tim    http://churchvoices.com
July 9th, 2007 at 9:48 am

Make sure you replace the [ with greater than and less than signs.

Try this

8   Nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 9th, 2007 at 9:55 am

Henry,

when you want to start the bold, you type [b] (except use greater/less than symbols in place of the [ ]). Then type what you want to be in bold. To close off the bold type [/b] (except use the greater/less than symbols in place of the [ ]). You won’t see the bracketed symbols.

9   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 10:01 am

Tim, thank you for condescending to a computer neanderthahl.

I don’t care what Chris L. says, I believe you to be a Christian gentleman.

Now my ongoing education of you guys can be ornamented with some true focus. I always wondered how people did those little tricks, I’ve seen others also. Thanks again!

10   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Nathan,

A relationship with Jesus The King… Who opened the gates to the Kingdom…

That is what it is all about isn’t it…

Blessed,
iggy

11   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

One of the most blatant fruits of hatred, pride, and bitterness is the revealing inability to revel in the salvation of a sinner who was saved under the ministry of one with whom you disagree. Just like Jonah could not rejoice in the repentance of Ninevah, so some believers can not only fully rejoice in the salvation of others, they can only feel skeptical resentment.

What a colossal sin against the Lord and what smug self righteousness. Can we not even for a second lay down our weapons and humbly praise God for anyone’s salvation? I know, some will say they doubt his salvation or that they will wait to see some fruit. Yet we don’t say that about our own children now do we? Or even if John MacArthur gave witness to a man’s salvation there would be no question.

Maybe we’re afraid of rejoicing in a false conversion. Everyone of us has done that, let God Himself judge the heart. I have often said, Rick Warren could invent a cure for AIDS and some would lash out that he did it in prideful liberalism.

When you have lost the sincere unction to rejoice over the salvation of a sinner you have ceased walking in the Spirit. And if you are so stingy with your rejoicing, then you are prideful, and unwilling to rejoice in a sinner’s salvation unless he gets saved in your particular camp.

That my friends is not only self righteousness, it is idolatry.

12   Chris P.    
July 9th, 2007 at 4:45 pm

We are back to the central issue. Is anyone saved by having a personal relationship with a believer?
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word, The Word is the important component, not am I having weekly coffee with the person.
Peter preached to a crowd of people that he had never met before, and 3000 were saved.
We all celebrate the genuine conversion of anyone. Does anyone here thank the Lord everynight for all who were saved on any given day, of which we are aware of or not?

The problem is what we are teaching them after they enter the Kingdom. The church is grossly deficient in the discipling department.

I do not care how big the church or ministry is. That is not a sure sign of God’s approval.

I resent the inference that those who contribute to CRN, including Ken, are doing nothing in terms of evangelization, and/or discipling new believers. As I said come and see what we do before you pass pious judgment.
The other danger is that the “unconventional” will become as much of a formula as the sinners prayer, or stadium crusades.
The moral of the story is not that McManus is allegedly vindicated, but that God works and wills as He chooses through those whom He chooses. Things don’t just happen.
remember he spoke through a donkey and its owner, as well as the high priest who would eventually send His Son to the cross.
Nix the pomposity.
Who really cares about Gordon?
He is merely a “living proof text”
The real church does not write countless tomes on methodogy, nor does it constantly draw attention to itself.

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Chris P.

Your lack of the faithfulness of God to complete the work He began in someone… overwhelms me…

It seems you have a faithless faith that sees God as weak and totally dependant on us to teach others… and I ask, have you heard of the Holy Spirit?

Be blessed,
iggy

14   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

“We all celebrate the genuine conversion of anyone. ”

Obviously wrong. I am somewhat taken aback by the testimony about this guy Gordon who I know nothing about, but his faith leap from eastern mysticism to Jesus is inspiring. Even his description of Christianity as “cheating” was a refreshing stab by a new believer concerning grace.

You are wrong, Chris P., many will not rejoice in his salvation. And many will claim they do.

15   Nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 9th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Chris P,

no one comes to faith in a vacuume. 9 times out of 10, people come to faith as a result of a person sharing the word (like Erwin did). People always say that coming to Christ has nothing to do with “by having a personal relationship with a believer”. However, it was because a believer was obedient and intervened in my life that I am saved today.

16   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Chris P,
“He is merely a “living proof text”
The real church does not write countless tomes on methodogy, nor does it constantly draw attention to itself. ”

Like, say, write a book that bashes with over generalizations other beleivers for their style and methods and declare war on them?

Hmmm…. We are one Body… and just because you do not like some of us… that is YOUR problem… for Christ has accepted us…we are here…

You still seem to claim a godliness yet deny the power of God.

Be Blessed,
iggy

17   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 9th, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Chris P., I don’t suppose you could make your point…in, say, ten words or less?

Because I don’t get what you said. Where did you get a “vindication” out of this story?

Let me take a stab at it for you, in five words or less: “I still don’t like McManus.”

18   Nate    
July 9th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Julie,
Let me take a stab at it for you, in five words or less: “I still don’t like McManus.”

Wow, that could not have been more spot on accurate!

19   phil    
July 10th, 2007 at 6:54 am

Well, he might be a Christian, but he got saved in the wrong way – that’s my paraphrase of the critics. It just proves that some people will never be happy. It’s a shame, really.

20   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2007 at 7:23 am

Chris P,

I was looking at your quote above…

So you think that no one in the real church would write “tomes of methodology”.

You are saying then that Calvin, Luther, and many others were not part of the “real church” by your definition?

LOL!

It seems that you are saying that even Peter was not of the “real church” as he seemed to draw a bit of attention to himself as he preached and the 3000 were converted…

It also seems that if this statement is true… then John MacArthur is not of this so-called real church with his writings as it seems to draw a bit of attention to himself and his church…

Boy… you are a load of contradictions if you ask me. LOL! I have been laughing about that statement for a while now!

Be Blessed,
iggy

21   phil    
July 10th, 2007 at 9:45 am

Nathan,
I just saw that Dan Kimball linked your post here on his blog. That’s pretty cool.

22   Daniel D    http://www.danieldecker.net
July 10th, 2007 at 11:53 am

Nathan:

Thanks so much for sharing this story. It’s important for others to remember that God, not us, brings people to Him… often in strange or unusual ways that we can’t even imagine. Our role as believers is to simply be an example, show God’s love, and trust God to reveal himself to those who seek Him, at least that is how I understand it to be.

Erwin mentioned on stage about a guy who initially “bugged” him to be on the show with Jon. I’m that guy. I’ve worked with Jon Gordon for over 5 years and even though I am a believer and Jon wasn’t, God kept speaking to me and telling me to hang in there and just be Jon’s friend and witness to him in subtle ways as his testimony, conversion and platform would one day do huge things to help others come to Christ.

Fast forward a few years and God’s promise has held true. I think we forget that it’s not up to us but it’s up to God. While many can spend their time and resources slamming guys like Erwin for befriending the lost (as the Pharisees did to Jesus), the far more productive thing to do would be to start living like Jesus and caring more about what God desires.

I put Jon’s story with Erwin and Jon’s Baptism video up online if anyone wants to check it out.

http://www.jongordon.com/story.html

23   Matt    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Mosiac has posted this sermon online. I haven’t listened to the whole thing but sounds like an awesome testimony so far.

Anyone notice Ken has no response to this article? Great thoughts, Nate.

24   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
July 10th, 2007 at 1:29 pm

There’s nothing to respond too Matt. :-)

25   nathan dude    http://www.perlaetus.blogspot
July 10th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

ooops….

you got him here, Matt. :-)

26   nathan dude    http://www.perlaetus.blogspot
July 10th, 2007 at 1:37 pm

quack, quack, quack, quaaaaaack.

27   Daniel D    http://www.danieldecker.net
July 10th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Nathan:

Did my post come through from earlier today where I added the link to listen to Jon Gordon sharing his story on stage at Mosaic with Erwin?

Thanks.

28   Nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 11th, 2007 at 12:32 am

you can get the podcast at http://www.mosaic.org/podcast or simply look up “Mosaic” under podcasts in iTunes.

29   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2007 at 12:46 am

Ken,

“There’s nothing to respond too Matt. ”

Not even “Praise God.” ?

So someone’s salvation is not really that important to you after all?

Be Blessed,
iggy

30   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2007 at 12:59 am

God is good though isn’t He Ken… to save poor sinners like us…

Blessings,
iggy

31   LayGuy    http://www.layguy.com
July 11th, 2007 at 1:48 am

Great article.

I too have been significantly impacted by the approach McManus takes. He has his own slant on things that inspire on a different level.

I wrote Mr Silva and he responded in his pompous way which I will publish on my site in due course.

Having said that, I do appreciate the likes of Silva cause at times the “Body of Christ” is all over the place in it’s teaching.

So if I sound contradictory on this post, I probably am! I like new ways of looking into things (although I like to stay clear of the more extreme emergent stream) and I like having the authority of scripture not challenged by mankind (but to do so without attacking every man and his dog like what Silva et al do)

That’s why Mark Driscoll @ Mars Hill does it for me.

32   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2007 at 7:48 am

I repeat my former observation. One can get so entrenched in a particular camp, that they cannot even rejoice in someone’s salvation.

I once posted a praise, just a praise to my Lord, and in it I used the phrase “place my faith on Jesus” which was only a part of the post. One reformed brother commented that he disagreed with that phrase. I asked him if he coulld ever just be edified by someone’s testimony without putting his reformed headphones on and he replied that no, he could not.

Sad.

33   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2007 at 8:13 am

Rick,

Totally off the topic… but how can one be offended by the phrase “place my faith on Jesus”? I mean where did this man think we should place our faith?

That is what I talk about at times… I was attacked on Steve Camps site once for using a small me on God/man in reference to Jesus… I was called an apostate over that! I then cut and pasted out of the KJV where Jesus was referred to a man… small “m”.

It is not that we should not take care in our words and theology, but often the choice in the battles are so nit picky that the important things are often lost in the battle.

But you know that would take giving grace, mercy and love to another and I wonder if there is no place for those things in reformed theology… or at least how some practice it.

Be Blessed,
iggy

34   Lloydie    http://blog.myspace.com/lloydie77
July 11th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

I’m amazed that anyone thinks that how Jon came to accept Christ is weird or not normal. How can you not hang out with people who don’t know Jesus? That’s exactly what Jesus did. Having a problem with Erwin hanging out with a new age guy violates much of Jesus’ ministry. It’s like Tony Campolo hanging out with Bill Clinton. How else was Bill ever going to live a life for Jesus unless someone went to him? I suppose we’re not allowed to hang out with homosexuals because people might think we’re gay, or we shouldn’t spend time with alcoholics because it would look like we’re condoning overindulgent drinking. How do so many people miss such an obvious teaching about spending time with the spiritually sick? I have no idea why we even have to have this conversation!

35   Dan Wilt    http://www.danwilt.com
July 12th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Beautiful. The vehicles we come to faith by are many, and unique, and it takes great hearts to weather the criticism and faithfully live out a flesh and blood Kingdom message.

Thanks for the post, and thanks Erwin, for tipping another domino.

3 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. how to save a life - erwin mcmanus and jon gordon    Jul 10 2007 / 3pm:

    [...] Thanks to christianresearchnetwork.info  (completely different from Silva’s christianresearchnetwork.com) for the tip.  See their article for more on the story.  I like how they commented on how some of us can keep ourselves busy by critiquing, while others keep ourselves busy advancing the kingdom of God. If you liked that post, then try these…Mosaic Movement Resources by Lon on October 25th, 2006Short-term missions… by Lon on October 19th, 2006The mission is a movement… my story by Lon on March 3rd, 2006 [...]

  2. LayGuy Eye | July 11 2007 at layguy.com    Jul 11 2007 / 10am:

    [...] Emerging Church guru and Elvis Presley wannabe, Dan Kimball has a great article on how there are heaps of “online bashers” who like to diss their fellow Christian bro’s and sis’. Yeah on ya Mr Kimball, you are one of the convicting voices I spoke about in my edit of my “pumped” post. Kimball refers to the story on New Ager Jon Gordon’s acceptance of Christ through his conversations with Erwin McManus of Mosiac. McManus is one of my favourite “inspirers” and cops a beating from heaps of conservative Christians out there. A very interesting story to follow through. [...]

  3. DanWilt.com :: Conversations On Emerging Worship    Jul 12 2007 / 3pm:

    [...] » How to Save a Life No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTMLallowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]