What God Creates, Satan Perverts OR What is John Eldredge’s Work Being Perverted Into?

I have friends who feel very strongly the other way, but as an artist myself I do not believe that artists need to make statements concerning the meaning behind their work.  Once the art leaves the artist, it becomes the property of society and any interpretation of that art (or re-interpretation of that art) is solely on the shoulders of society.  It may be something completely different than what the artist intended, but then again art requires not just the artist, but the consumer of that art as well.  One cannot function without the other.

Still — it’s that very inability to control the effects of your art that’s got to be eating at John Eldredge.  If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know I’m a big, big fan of John’s works.  Found a lot of good in them myself and have taken much to heart (most notably, “Waking the Dead” which I listen to once a year.)  It seems that others have been using John’s works for…well…according to the website CrooksAndLiars.com:

On Saturday an internal intelligence report on La Familia from the Mexican justice department surfaced in Milenio, bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.

There are four separate references to Eldredge in the Mexican intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings. La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as “la divina justica”–divine justice.

The report says La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno aka El Loco o More Chayo (”The Craziest”) has made Eldredge’s books required reading for La Familia and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate the Colorado-based evangelical’s writings throughout the Michoacan countryside.

Reynolds goes on to cite Christian blogger Tim Challies:

John Eldredge became a major player in the evangelical world with the release of The Sacred Romance which he co-authored with Brent Curtis (who has since died). Following The Sacred Romance he wrote Wild at Heart, Waking The Dead, The Journey of Desire and more recently, Epic. I have read all of these except for Waking The Dead and The Journey of Desire. Eldredge’s books are targeted primarily at men and his writings have great appeal for men, many of whom feel that society has forced them to be like Mr. Rogers – harmless and just a little effeminate. Eldredge encourages men to be real men – to head to the wilderness and be the rugged warriors we all want to be if we look deep inside ourselves. Eldredge continually writes about William Wallace of Braveheart or Maximus, the main character in Gladiator – real manly men.”

As Reynolds explores in two follow-up posts, the way this has translated on the ground in Mexico is a wave of violence directed against not merely rival drug gangs, but also anyone who fails to live up to its version of “masculine Christianity”:

“La Familia doesn’t kill for money, doesn’t kill women, doesn’t kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die. Everyone should know this: Divine justice.”–message left with five severed heads on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruacan, Michoacan, September 6, 2006.

… From all available information so far, it appears that La Familia has developed into a faith-based right-wing populist social movement emanating from and orchestrated by an organization that happens to be a well-armed, well-financed violent criminal enterprise.

… La Familia is strongly pro-family (and all that that implies) and requires its members to abstain from alcohol and drugs. There is an indoctrination program all La Familia recruits must go through that inculcates “ personal values, ethical and morlal principles consistent with the purposes of the organization.” Last year La Familia brought in two motivational speakers to lecture its members. The group is hierarchic and maintains a strict top-down emotional control of its members.

Think of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, only with more money and firepower and you get the idea.

On Saturday an internal intelligence report on La Familia from the Mexican justice department surfaced in Milenio, bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.
Salvaje de Corazon_140cb.JPG
There are four separate references to Eldredge in the Mexican intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings. La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as “la divina justica”–divine justice.

The report says La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno aka El Loco o More Chayo (”The Craziest”) has made Eldredge’s books required reading for La Familia and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate the Colorado-based evangelical’s writings throughout the Michoacan countryside.

Reynolds goes on to cite Christian blogger Tim Challies:

John Eldredge became a major player in the evangelical world with the release of The Sacred Romance which he co-authored with Brent Curtis (who has since died). Following The Sacred Romance he wrote Wild at Heart, Waking The Dead, The Journey of Desire and more recently, Epic. I have read all of these except for Waking The Dead and The Journey of Desire. Eldredge’s books are targeted primarily at men and his writings have great appeal for men, many of whom feel that society has forced them to be like Mr. Rogers – harmless and just a little effeminate. Eldredge encourages men to be real men – to head to the wilderness and be the rugged warriors we all want to be if we look deep inside ourselves. Eldredge continually writes about William Wallace of Braveheart or Maximus, the main character in Gladiator – real manly men.”

As Reynolds explores in two follow-up posts, the way this has translated on the ground in Mexico is a wave of violence directed against not merely rival drug gangs, but also anyone who fails to live up to its version of “masculine Christianity”:

“La Familia doesn’t kill for money, doesn’t kill women, doesn’t kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die. Everyone should know this: Divine justice.”–message left with five severed heads on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruacan, Michoacan, September 6, 2006.

… From all available information so far, it appears that La Familia has developed into a faith-based right-wing populist social movement emanating from and orchestrated by an organization that happens to be a well-armed, well-financed violent criminal enterprise.

… La Familia is strongly pro-family (and all that that implies) and requires its members to abstain from alcohol and drugs. There is an indoctrination program all La Familia recruits must go through that inculcates “ personal values, ethical and morlal principles consistent with the purposes of the organization.” Last year La Familia brought in two motivational speakers to lecture its members. The group is hierarchic and maintains a strict top-down emotional control of its members.

Think of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, only with more money and firepower and you get the idea.

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~ by WriterRand on June 7, 2009.

6 Responses to “What God Creates, Satan Perverts OR What is John Eldredge’s Work Being Perverted Into?”

  1. […] into the U.S.”&#32&#32&#32Interesting to see whether/how much Mexican drug d&#101&#97&#108ers What God Creates, Satan Perverts OR What is &#74&#111&#104n Eldredge’s Work Being Perverted Into? – former&#108&#121&#103ay.wordpress.com 06/07/2009 I have friends who fee&#108&#32&#118ery strongly […]

  2. Honestly, I think that kind of violence and hyper-masculinity is merely a natural extension of Eldredge. I have yet to meet a guy who was a fan of “Wild at Heart” who was also kind and understanding of guys with SSA issues. In fact, I’m pretty sure Eldredge would be the kind of guy who would tell a SSA to “man up” and change their “feminine” mannerisms. I can’t support people like that, and I think, even theologically, Eldredge is way off on things.

  3. I agree with Jay.
    I am not sure God “created” (or inspired) anything by Eldredge in this vein.
    He is the head of a movement of Christians too caught up in their own culture for their own good.

  4. John Eldredge is a Godly man speaking the truth in love. He is compassionate and thoughtful. Masculinity was God’s idea, not Johns. Any truth revealed will be distorted by the masses who don’t have understanding. Distortion of his writings is to be expected…it always is. It doesn’t diminish the truth of his writings.

  5. it would be quite beneficial to define who Eldredge says is the enemy…..lucifer himself, and that is the only fight that I have ever known John to have picked. Paul, whose previous alias was Saul in the new testament, persecuted christians, believing that he was doing God a favor. He twisted scripture itself to defend his actions…Jesus was no more guilty of leading a violent cult than John Eldredge is. From a woman who is ecstatic to have her husband being restored…rising up out of the ashes of abuse…having become an abuser himself…and now a kind, generous, strong man who is very alive in his very valiant heart…I say….thank you, John, for representing truth so well. God bless you!

  6. I think Eldredge talks about masculinity in terms of a man’s essence – his heart, his mind and outlook, rather than his physical demeanour or indeed his sexual orientation. At no point do I think he is suggesting men go about behaving like bufoons. There is, I think, a longing in every man to hang out with other men and to do something that is physically demanding or slightly edgey! I think it’s what draws men to sports such as ice hockey, tootball and rugby. I have read ‘wild at heart’ – I am quite comfortable with the content which applies to men irrespective of their sexual orientation. I agree that every single man needs the affirmation of their own father and that the lack thereof causes hurt and a myriad of issues. If anything, for boys who think they may be gay, this affirmation is possibly more important. There will always be those who mis-interpret to justify their behaviour but it doesn’t mean their right. The Bible is possible the most misused book on the planet.

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