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One of the most humbling and important books I am presently reading is War on the Saints.  This book has forced me to take an even closer look at testing the deceiving spirits that are ever-present in this world. 

One very important previous lesson that I have learned is that as my faith in the Lord grows so does the attacks from the enemy.  Every time I learn a spiritual truth from the Lord, Satan pounds back with discouragement, fear or temptation. When the Lord called me into the discernment ministry, I was filled with excitement at His calling…but I also was at first worried about the opposition I would face.  When the Lord called me to teach Bible study, I was willing but afraid at my lack of experience.  The enemy whispered to me…You can’t do this….This is too hard…This takes up too much time…

I only share this because the deceiving spirits are very determined to undermine our walk with the Lord in these end-times.  But with the help of the Lord and the other teachers who are forever encouraging me with their training…I trust the Lord will equip me with all I need to do his His will….and He has.  What a wonderful God we have!

Not only do we have to face the evil strategies Satan throws at us personally, we have to determine whether or not our spiritual leaders have been deceived themselves.  All throughout the Bible we are warned of false teachers who will attempt to lead us astray.  Some of these teachers will be deceived by the seducing spirits and may truly believe they are in the truth. But they are themselves deceived by giving into greed, seeking honor, and enticed by the spotlight that surrounds them. Others are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing. They know the truth, yet bury it deep into their conscience so that the truth no longer sears them. Both are dangerous and will mislead the masses into the kingdom Satan is building here on earth.

“There are many deceived ones among the most able teachers today because they do not recognize that an army of teaching spirits have come forth to deceive the people of God and that the special peril of the earnest section of the professing Church lies in the supernatural realm, from whence the deceiving spirits with “teachings” are whispering their lies to all who are “spiritual,” i.e., open to spiritual things. These “teaching spirits” with “doctrines” will make a special effort to deceive those who have to transmit doctrine and seek to mingle their teachings with truth so as to get them accepted. Every believer must test all teachers today for himself, by the Word of God and by their attitude to the atoning cross of Christ and other fundamental truths of the Gospel, and not be misled into testing “teaching” by the character of the teacher. Good men can be deceived, and Satan needs good men to float his lies inder the guise of truth.” [1] emphasis mine

So one has to ask…Self, do I know the Word of God thoroughly enough to recognize a false teaching? Self, when a teacher gives scripture do I check to see if it is given in context with the passage? Self, do I support a false teacher and mislead others because of this lack of knowledge?  Self….am I deceived?  What tough and humbling questions these can be. 

How we hate to admit that we are vulnerable to deception. But we must!

The man is deceived if he is a hearer but not a doer of the Word of God ( James 1:22).

He is deceived if he says he has no sin ( 1 John 1:8).

He is deceived when he thinks himself to be “something” when he is nothing (Gal. 6:3).

He is deceived when he thinks himself to be wise with the wisdom of this world (1 Cor. 3:18).

He is deceived by seeming to be religious when an unbridled tongue reveals his true condition (James 1:26).

He is deceived if he thinks he can sow and not reap what he sows (Gal. 6:7).

He is deceived if he thinks the unrighteous willl inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9).

He is deceived if he thinks that contact with sin will not have its effect upon him (1 Cor. 15:33). [2]

Doubt is actually a tool that can be used to question the experiences in our spiritual life.  It is this doubt that leads us to question the spirits and to see if they are from God or Satan. Too often we quickly snuff out the light we would receive by turning our back to the fear of discovering a truth we have ignored. We are clearly instructed to test the spirits in 1 John 4:1-3.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

Next in 1 Timothy 4:1-2

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

Teaching deceptions will abound. Verses from the Bible will be plucked and regrouped to create false theologies. Words will be twisted from their historical meanings to create “new”, “fresh”, teachings. I was taught not long ago to read the Bible from beginning to end. When done…read it again in this way. There are no “secret teachings.”

“All genuine ‘truth’ is in harmony with the only channel of revealed truth in the world–the written Word of God. On the other hand, all teachings originating from deceiving spirits:

1. Weaken the authority of the Scriptures;

2. Distort the teaching in the Scriptures;

3. Add to the Scriptures the thoughts of men; or

4. Put the Scriptures entirely aside.

The ultimate object of the forces of falsehood is to hide, distort, misuse or put aside the revelation of God concerning the cross of Calvary, where Satan was overthrown by the God-Man and where freedom was obtained for all his captives.

Countless concepts and beliefs which are opposed to the truth of God are injected into the minds of ‘Christians’ by teaching spirits, rendering them ineffective in the warfare with sin and Satan and subject to the power of evil spirits. All new insights and systems of beliefs should be therefore tested by the truth of God revealed in the Scripture, not merely by texts or portions of the Word but by the principles of truth revealed in the Word. Since Satan will endorse his teachings by ‘signs and wonders’, ‘fire from heaven’ and other supernatural signs are no proof of a teaching being from God…” [3] emphasis mine

The end-times will be filled with spiritual deceptions that will deceive many. Signs and wonders, supernatural manifestations, prophetic visions, prophetic words, inner voices, physical manifestations (jerking, shaking, falling, undulating, head wagging, slaying) will all have to questioned by the discerner. Do not let your doubts go unchecked by searing them with a hot iron or by simply dismissing them. If you do this you will open yourself up to deception. You will not be able to discern the lies of Satan. 

You may want to pray something like this.

Lord, show me the truth even though I may not want to hear it. Close any doors that I have allowed to be opened that deceives my heart and mind. If I have believed any of Satan’s deceptions… immediately remove them from my life.   Amen

“War on the Saints” by Jesse Penn-Lewis  

[1] pg. 29

[2] pg. 22

[3] pp. 32-33

From Christian Research Network: 

“The video above has to be seen to be believed. It was produced by A Little Leaven and shows the latest heresies being spread by ‘Pastrix” Paula White. In this video Paula outright DENIES that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God AND tells us not to pray to Jesus. She also mangles the Biblical teaching of Christ’s Atonement on the cross for our sins and turns it into a teaching about prosperity.”

This is one shocking video…right before Easter too!  I have never seen the crucifix so horribly misrepresented. Length 5:45 minutes.

Here are some quotes.

“Jesus’ hands were pierced by the nails to restore dominion to the works of your hands.”

“Jesus’ feet were nailed to restore total dominion in your walk.”

“Jesus bled on the inside when He was bruised to break every iniquity which is the repeated sins of your forefathers.”

PW – “I now come into a priestly anointing.”

LH – “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not….I am a Son of God.” 

LH  – “Jesus said ‘Do not pray to me.'”

May God have mercy.

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The first time i heard of Rick Warren was when that kidnapped women supposedly saved her captor. Remember this:

                                

New York Times
September 28, 2005
Celebrated Hostage Gave Crystal Meth to Captor
By EDWARD WYATT   Ashley Smith, who was held hostage in her apartment in March by the man now charged with murder in the Atlanta courthouse shootings, was hailed as a hero after she disclosed how she had persuaded her captor to surrender, partly by reading to him from the spiritual best seller “The Purpose-Driven Life.”

But in a memoir released yesterday, Ms. Smith also recounts that she gave the kidnapper some of her supply of crystal methamphetamine during her captivity and that she did not tell the police for some time afterward.

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Almost 2 years have passed since that incident. I do not know what has happened since to that women or her kidnapper but i sure know a lot more about Rick Warren. 

When i first heard of “The Purpose-Driven Life” i assumed that it was probably a good book and full of inspiration for the Christian life.  But here is what i discovered instead….

http://www.inplainsite.org/html/saddleback_church.html

by David Cloud

Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, pastored by Rick Warren, is one of the most influential churches in the world. Warren says, “This is a world class church making a world class impact.” He is right about the impact, but sadly that impact is not encouraging strict faithfulness to God’s Word. Everything about Saddleback is shallow. Truth has been boiled down to such a low common denominator that not much is left. For example, the Saddleback Statement of Faith has six simple points.

Note the following statement on salvation, which we are quoting in full: “Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.”

Note that the gospel is not actually given in this statement. There is nothing about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nothing about His shed blood and atonement. Sinners are exhorted to trust Christ but that is not explained in any sense whatsoever.God has commanded us not only to believe sound doctrine but also to earnestly contend for it (Jude 3).

That means we are to fight aggressively against that which is false. This is exactly what we see in the uncompromising ministry of the Lord’s apostles. Their epistles contain strong and clear warnings about false teaching. Paul often named the names of the false teachers. Such a ministry naturally causes divisions between those who are committed to the truth and those who are following error. Paul made no effort whatsoever to avoid doctrinal controversy.

Our day is described plainly in Bible prophecy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Rick Warren claims that he has not compromised the Word of God with his principles and methods, that he has only modernized them; but when I look into the book of Acts and the Epistles I see a different kind of Christianity, a different kind of church there, than the one that Rick Warren has devised. Thus I must reject Warren’s Purpose Driven methods and I must warn those who have an ear to hear, regardless of how small that crowd may be, that they not heed the siren call of the contemporary church growth gurus. It is fearful that this church is influencing thousands around the world.

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Have you heard of Warrens Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan?  What possibly could be wrong with wanting peace on this earth.  Well, plenty….the way Warren is planning to achieve this peace.  Wait a minute..doesn’t the Bible predicts wars and rumors of war?  Does Christ ever predict peace before his return?  Nope. Here is what P.E.A.C.E. actually stands for:

P – promoting reconciliation

E – equip leaders

A – assist the poor

C – care for the sick

E – educate the next generation

Sounds great doesn’t it?  But let’s take a look at Matthew 24:6-11 Here is what Jesus says about the signs of His return.

Mat 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these things are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

I attended a kick-off celebration at a neighboring church who is signing on to the “40 days of Community”. The workbook i purchased from their table is subtitled, “Better Together…What on earth are we here for? A CHURCHWIDE SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAMPAIGN.” First we watched a video of Rick Warren.  The ad in the New Age section* of my local paper said he was speaking at the church, but this didn’t happen. The pastor called the video a “Rick-Fix”. Here are some of the pastors quotes:

You cannot fulfill God’s purposes by yourself.

The 40 Days of Community takes us from, me and God, to we and God.

Do this as a cell group.

We are to impress others with our love of others.

We are to focus on our relationships together.

We have the longing for belonging.

The key in interdependence.

Okay, so here we have a program that is stressing the relationships that we have with one another instead of the relationship that we have with God. On our little worksheet that was handed out to us, we learned that the “Community” is God’s answer to lonliness, getting more work done, defeat, waiting, and witnessing. 

Here is where i lost it….What is witnessing the pastor asked? “SPREADING THE LIFE MESSAGE” was the answer.

Life message? Hello….Excuse me?  What about the Gospel? Is this what Rick Warrens main thrust is. THE LIFE MESSAGE.  I am still not over this. Let’s thumb through the book.

pg. 30 ” This is your chance to choose your spiritual legacy, which will also transform your physical legacy.”

(I thought we were to do God’s will for us, that He had plan for our lives…does this mean i get to choose God’s will for me? My spiritual legacy? I have no desire for legacy. All the Glory is for God, not man…..)

pg. 44 “We is more powerful than me.”

pg. 57 “The bottom line is this: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Non-believers, like most of us, are looking for deep, true, supportive friendships.”

(Not me…i search only for Christ, He takes care of the rest)

pg 59  You’ve got to spend time with nonbelievers in order to becomes friends with them.”

( I thought we were not be friends with the world but to be separate)

There is some really good stuff in the book too. Inspirational but that’s about it…This is a book about good works.  Good works…is…er…good!… but even a non-believer can do good works, so what is the difference here? This body of good-workers support and love and pray for each other….This is absolutely wonderful…but? Okay, time to move on.. let us take a look at the Missions Projects Booklet and see what this particular church has selected. Food drive, county park clean-up, Crisis Clinic, HIV/Aids Foundation, Hospice of *****County, God’s Kitchen and Closet…OK.. again all good stuff.  BUT NO EVANGELIZING……There is NO training for evangelizing, no mention of evangelizing. 

 What is the Great Commission?  

Great Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread his teachings to all the nations of the world.

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Scanning this book “Better Together”, it is very easy to pick up on questionable statements. But the rule is this.  I Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (KJV)

This is from the King James Version. “Better Together” uses the NIV, GW, CEV, NCV, NLT, LB, Msg, TEV,GNB, NASB, NKJV, NJB, and the ESV. It must be nice to have so many versions to select from. In fact, there are thirteen versions. Then you can select the version that best matches the point you want to make. 

I applaud those who want to serve Christ and do His will, and encourage those who in His will are seeking the lost and spreading the Gospel.  But many professing Christians do not even know what the gospel message is. The Gospel is this…Jesus died and rose again, and He took our sins upon Himself. We need to repent of our sin and turn AWAY from it.  It is our faith that leads and sustains us as our santification grows in Christ.

What is Christ asking you to do for Him today? By having a relationship with the Lord, He will reveal what His specific plan is for you.  He will lead you. He will guide you. Yes, we need our brothers and sisters in  Christ, but His will be done…not our will that is created by another man’s agenda.

kim

*see https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/is-there-new-age-religion-in-your-town-just-look-in-your-newspapers-religion-section/

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The Moses Code Movie Blasphemy and The Big Shift 

Update: Since this article was published, the original movie trailer for the Moses Code was removed without explanation from both YouTube and the MosesCode.com website. They have replaced the original with a different one that does not contain the blasphemous, “I AM” statements referred to in this column. I look forward to their explanation as to why they felt they needed to remove it.  

This article is from http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3159/Ingrid_Schlueter

A movie will be unveiled on April 5 that should get a prize for honesty in blasphemy. Unlike the emerging church celebrity authors and speakers who shuck and jive when asked direct questions about God, salvation, and truth, The Moses Code is produced by those who will tell you right out what they believe. What they do believe is breathtaking in its Satanic audacity. In the original movie trailer, now removed mysteriously from YouTube and the MosesCode.com site, promoters of The Moses Code cheerfully announce that I AM is something all of us can say. Towards the end of the original clip, one young man looks up and into the camera and tells viewers, I am the way, the truth, and the ‘light’.” The website says the following:

For the first time a major spiritual film release is being combined with a worldwide prayer vigil focused on shifting the planetary consciousness.

Join millions of people from every corner of the globe in learning the most powerful manifestation tool in the history of the world. Then on one momentous day we’ll use the code to promote peace and compassion for all beings through over 1000 gatherings worldwide.

This is the chance for humanity to use the Law of Attraction to create peace on the deepest level.

Coming on the heels of The Secret, the New Spirituality teachers featured in The Moses Code are in hopes that by teaching everyone about the power of declaring themselves God, they can help along the “Shift” in planetary consciousness that everyone is talking about today.

The Shift is the name of another movie under production featuring New Spirituality gurus like Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson, alongside leftist environmentalists like Al Gore and religious figures such as Archbishop Desmond TuTu. Their message is the same, as though it was taken from the same script.

“A massive worldwide phenomenon is in progress, offering seeds of great hope for the future…We are in the middle of the biggest social transformation in history, THE SHIFT.”

Working on the Evangelical end of things, emergent author Brian McLaren is also promoting a Big Shift, calling his nationwide tour, The Deep Shift Conference. A heretic who does not believe in hell and who rejects the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, McLaren is taking his Shift Experience to Willow Creek Community Church in April where he will be teaching youth workers and pastors from evangelical churches across the country about how they need to change their ministries to accommodate the Big Shift in thinking.

Emergent authors Phyllis Tickle and Tony Jones are also on board promoting a big spiritual shift. They prefer to call it the “Great Emergence”. Speaking at the Zondervan sponsored National Pastor’s Convention this week, Phyllis and Tony have titled their speech, not surprisingly, “The Great Emergence.” 

What is emerging is another Jesus and another gospel. The Big Shift that all of the New Spirituality gurus are buzzing about marks the advent of the worldwide apostasy that is now upon us. Just as the Lord assigns roles to fulfill in His Church, the enemy assigns roles for his purposes. Over the two decades of researching the New Spirituality teachers and the inroads they have made into evangelical churches, it is evident to me that deception comes in many forms today on many different levels. Whether it is the spiritual bubble gum from Joel Osteen that serves to deceive the shallow masses or whether it’s the quasi-intellectual postmodern poison served up to college students by men like McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball and so many others, it’s all deception working towards the same end.

It is one thing to identify the counterfeit Christ of Marianne Williamson or the latest New Age author on the Oprah Winfrey Show (Eckhart Tolle is her latest protégé ), but what happens when authors published by the big “Christian” publishers are saying the same things? What happens when our celebrity emerging church leaders are using the same language, calling for the same things, and promoting the same false doctrines that redefine Christ and the Scriptures as the New Spirituality authors?

Compare these two quotes. One is from a popular emerging author and speaker who spoke at a conference with men like Andy Stanley and Rick Warren and regularly rubs shoulders with those in the new Evangelicalism. The other quote is from one of the world’s leading New Spirituality heretics. Can you tell which is which?

Quote 1

“The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and ‘in-formation’ with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness. New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another.”

Quote 2

‘Third Jesus’ can be seen only when we move into a new human awareness that will carry us beyond tribe, prejudice and even beyond our religious systems. As a Christian, I welcome his insights into my Jesus and his provocative call to me to enter the ‘Christ Consciousness’ and thus to become more deeply and completely human.”.

The first quote is from emerging author Leonard Sweet who spoke at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, attended by thousands of evangelical leaders from across the nation. It’s from his book, Quantum Spirituality, in which he thanks New Agers Willis Harmon, Matthew Fox and Ken Wilbur, to name a few, for their influence on him.

The second quote is from John Shelby Spong, in a book endorsement for Deepak Chopra’s brand new book, The Third Jesus, which is a brazen introduction of the cosmic Christ of the Big Shift everyone is talking about.

Both authors are talking about the same Christ-consciousness. They are describing the same thing—one from inside of evangelicalism, one from outside. Both popular author Rob Bell and occultist/New Spirituality teacher, Barbara Marx Hubbard, speak of being co-creators with God. Bell tells us in his latest Nooma video, “Open”, that creation is unfinished and that God needs us to be fellow creators with Him to finish the job

.…we have to understand that Jesus took very seriously the creation poem Genesis, that the Bible begins with. And in this creation poem God creates, but God creates things that are capable of creating more, and so God creates trees but then gives trees the ability to create more. God creates animals and plants and fish but then empowers them to create more. And then God creates people, and gives them the ability to create more. So everything in creation is essentially unfinished, God leaves the world unfinished, and invites people to take part in the ongoing creation of the world…

Hubbard’s occult “Christ” in her channeled book, The Revelation, instructs us about our participation as co-creators of the world.

“Those of you who hear these words are to carry on the commandment given to John two thousand years ago. You are not only to prophesy the end, the tribulations, and the New Jerusalem, you are to act it out. You are to discover the blueprint and become co-creators with God. You are to see the first fruits of the NEW BEGINNING.”

Yes, there is a Big Shift underway. The two spheres that were once irreconcilably opposed to one another, (Evangelicalism and New Spirituality) are coming together. The overlap has begun. But millions of evangelical Christians in the pews are distracted. They haven’t researched these issues. They don’t know their Bibles. They accept without question whatever Zondervan or Thomas Nelson put out. They watch the DVD’s their church screens like Rob Bell’s Nooma videos and they don’t catch the language. It is slippery. It is subtle, but the enemy is getting bolder with each passing day. There is a lack of sobriety and vigilance, and now the enemy is walking boldly in the front doors of our churches and Christian colleges.

At bottom, the New Spirituality blasphemers like the producers of  The Moses Code are more honest than the emergents when they state openly that they believe they are the way, the truth and the life. At its core, their message is the same as many within the emerging “conversation”. The Bible is not a product of “Divine fiat”, Rob Bell says, “it’s a human product.” (Christianity Today, 11/1/04) The end result? We become God in our own minds. We can make things up as we go. Where does it all end? Rob Bell ends up promoting doctrines of demons—that we are co-creators with God, or rejecting the existence of hell, or the atonement, like Brian McLaren. That’s where it all ends. When you abandon a high view of Holy Scripture, your rebellion will take you places you never dreamed you would go. At some point, God blinds those who willingly believe a lie. With the full counsel of God in our hands, we are without excuse if we choose to participate in the Big Shift. The Shift is here, but those who serve the risen, ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ will stay separate. They will reject the anti-Christ doctrine of “oneness” of the New Spirituality and they will stay faithful at all costs.

“We are discovering Christianity as an Eastern religion as a way of life.”

The Emerging Church -The Latest Heresy By Stephen Holland

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Preached on: Sunday, February 10, 2008

Westhoughton Evangelical Church

King Street, Westhoughton

Lancashire, UK BL5 3AX

Online Sermons: http://www.sermonaudio.com/revholland

Now a few year ago I heard a talk given on the Emerging Church and after it went away

and thought, “I haven’t a clue what he was on about.” So I hope after this session that

you will not go away with the same opinion.

If you have not come to hear of it, the chances are you soon will. A search on the internet

search engine Google will bring up no less than 616,000 references to what has come to

be known as Emergent or Emerging Church.

A check to your local Christian bookstore and see you find such titles as A New Kind of

Christian or Vintage Christianity for New Generations or The Forgotten Ways or The

Lost Methods of Jesus or Adventures in Missing the Point, Liquid Church, A Generous

Orthodoxy: More ready than you realize, Finding Faith Post Christendom, Changing

Worlds, Changing Church, Emerging Church, Emerging Churches, emerging-

church.intro. Those were just found on one shelf in one Christian so called bookstore.

There could be added-and will be many more titles added-to the list in the coming

days. Some authors with in the Emerging Church are Brian McLaren, Ralph Bell, Dan

Kimball, Doug Paget, Leonard Sweet, Spencer Burke, Yurgin McMannis, Tommy Collolen, Jason Clock, [?], Richard Foster and Tony Jones. And we could add also to that

people like Tony Campolo and Steve Chalk.

A tour is apparently being planned in 11 states of the USA to run from February to May

of this year. That tour is called “Everything Must Change Tour.” The title, of course,

that gives almost the game away. We are told by the organizer, Brian McLaren that this

is a tour for people short on hope. This tour is named after McLaren’s latest book Everything Must Change. The subtitle of this book reads: Jesus, Global Crisis and a Revolution

of Hope. This tour is for people of all thoughts, but seems especially aimed at those who

are fed up and disillusioned with-quote-traditional church. It is for people looking for

new ways of doing church. That is the in word today, doing church.

So what, may you ask, what’s all the fuss about?

Well, the very term “Emerging Church” suggests itself that they are emerging from

something. The very titles of the books just quoted suggest the same thing. Terms like

“lost message” or “new kind of Christian” or “forgotten ways” or “finding faith” or

“missing the point” or “post-Christendom” or “changing worlds, changing church.” All

this suggests some form of revolution is taking place or is about to take place and within

branches of the professed Christian Church.

So what, again, you may be asking. After all, the Church has changed, hasn’t it, from

one generation to next and from one century to another. And, of course, our world is

every changing.

There is nothing wrong, of course, with change. None of us, I take it, came here today by

horseback like many of our forefathers would have done or are dressed like our Puritan

brethren of the 17century. We live in a very advanced age where change is happening

at an incredible pace.

Is the Church in danger of being left behind or even in danger of extinction all together

unless she adapts? These people would tell us, “Yes.”

Men can doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ is at a low point as far as man can see. We

are told that excluding deaths and transfers 1500 people are thought to be deserting

churches in Britain every week. The promised hopes of the decade of evangelism have

not materialized. In the early 1990s it was hoped that about 20,000 new churches would

be opened by the close of the century. Rather, a survey has revealed that only 1867 new

churches were opened in England while 2557 closed. We are told that the fall in church

attendance was expected to decline in Scotland from 17.1% in 1980 to 10.3% by 2005. In

Wales from 14.1% to just 6.4% while in England from 10.1% to 6.7%.

The attendance of young people in churches seems to be even more depressing. In 1979

1,000,416 under 15s attended church. In 1989 it was 1,177,000 and by 1998 it was down

to just 717,100. One has estimated that 94% of young people are not in church on a Sunday. [?] of course, in spite of all its boasts and claims has failed to stem the decline. The

situation seems bleak and desperate. The Church is being increasingly told that she is out

of date, out of touch and irrelevant to our post-modern generation.

What is the answer to our plight? Is this new phenomena, the Emerging Church, the savior of the supposed dying Church? Have we found the answer in this newest of movements? One author things to think so. Michael Moynagh in his book emerging-

church.intro he says this of his own book, “It argues that church of a different timbre is

key to Christianity’s revival, perhaps survival in the western world.” He does, though, go

on to say, “But Emerging Church is not a magic solution. Emerging Church is not a quick

pick me up for a sick body. It is a collection of new vessels for new…for all the ingredients that are essential to Church and up dimension in worship and in dimension in community, announced dimension in mission and an of dimension as individual churches see

themselves as part of the body of Christ.” End quote.

Well, how would we define the Emerging or Emergent Church? How would you define

the Church? Well, let me give you a quote from one of the leading spokesmen, Brian

McLaren, and see if you can figure it out for yourself.

On the front cover of his popular book A Generous Orthodoxy he says this. “Why I am

missional and evangelical and post Protestant and liberal conservative and mystical poetic and biblical and charismatic contemplative and fundamentalist, Calvinist and Anabaptist, Anglican and Methodist and Catholic and Green and incarnational and [?]…”

You are not surprised, “Yet hopeful and emergent and unfinished Christian.”

Well, you were beginning to thinking that here is a man who really isn’t quite too sure

what he is all about. He seems to be one who certainly hasn’t arrived at certainty. And

this really sums up the whole Emerging Church. It doesn’t quite know what it is itself or

where it is going.

Michael Moynagh says, again-quote-“Emerging Church is a mindset. We will come

to you, rather than a model. It is a direction rather than a destination. It rests on principles rather than a plan. It rises out of a culture rather than being imposed on a culture. It

is a mood scarcely yet a movement.”

The same author goes on to say-quote-“Emerging Church is more than a pragmatic

response to declining numbers. It is a theological vision, a wide eyed vision that escapes

a blinked past, challenges the status quo and calls for new forms of Christianity in which

individuals can encounter Christ authentically. Might these communities renew inherited

congregations and become the crucible of the Church in the Postmodern world?” End of

quote.

Though the Emerging Church has no leaders, official leaders or base, one widely recognized as a leading spokesman and author is Brian McLaren. He says, Brian McLaren

says, “Right now Emerging Church is a conversation, not a movement. We don’t have a

program. We don’t have a model. I think we must begin as a conversation then grow as a

friendship and see if a movement comes of it.”

Moynagh says, “The lack of a single term reflects how cutting edge it all is. Not even the

language has been defined.”

Leonard Sweet, one such Emergent pioneer, has used the acronym EPIC to describe what

Emergent is all about. E stands for experimental. You see, this is because the Postmodern man, we are told, wants to experience the spiritual. The P stands for participants because Postmodern man wants to enter into things and not just be an observer. So, you

see, we may as well do away with the sermon and have a conversation instead. The I relates to image because our Postmodern man, supposedly, in this generation is sight oriented so we might use things like images-artwork, film and video-in our presentation

and in our worship. C is for communal because Postmodern man wants essential community and belonging.

Well, these things are not necessarily wrong, of course, in and of themselves, but there is

more to it than seems to be. It is not just all innocence.

Rob Dell, who is another one of the leaders in this movement puts us in the picture when

he says, “This is not just the same old message with new methods. We are discovering

Christianity as an Eastern religion as a way of life.”

Well, having no official position as yet has caused one critic to comment, “The Emerging

Church is a rather slippery name for a rather slippery movement. By slippery I mean that

the movement is so new-originating in the late 1990s-so fragmented, so varied that

nailing it down is like nailing the proverbial Jello to the wall. There are no official leaders

or headquarters. Some have said that there are thousands of expressions yet only a few

churches have sold out to the concept. And even those claiming the name can’t agree on

what is going on. Although maybe they are not yet a force to be reckoned with, this

movement will no doubt grow, have its adherents, take its casualties and then give way to

the next heresy to attack the Church of Jesus Christ.”

We need to be very clear that what we are dealing with here in the movement Emergent

Church. We are not simply dealing with differences within evangelical theology or with

secondary issues upon which Christians must agree to disagree. We are not dealing with

what the apostle…we are dealing with what the apostle Paul would describe as “another

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gospel.”It is another gospel which is not a gospel to begin with.

Here is another devilish attempt at muddying the waters of the pure gospel of Jesus

Christ. Well, should we be concerned? Should we be taking a few hours out on a Saturday to look at this new phenomena that is coming in to the Church and claming to be

Christian? Well, we should be as concerned as the apostle Paul was concerned in combating heresy that attacked the Church in his own day. We are called to “earnestly con

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tend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”And Paul says that we are

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“set for the defence of the gospel.”

So the answer is a definite yes. We should be concerned about this false, heretical Emerging Church that is coming upon the scenes and you will soon see to hear about it or get to

hear about it.

One pastor on the fringes of the movement, although it is not entirely Emergent in the

heretical sense of it, Mark Driscoll, who was one of the early young pastors who got involved in this and how it all started in the United States as a group of men gathering together to meet. None of them seemed to have much theological understanding at all, but

they seemed to get together and hold conferences. And out of this grew the Emerging

Church. But he says, “I have to distance myself from one of the many streams in the

Emerging Church because of theological differences. The Emerging Church is the latest

version of Liberalism. The only difference is that the old Liberalism accommodated modernity and the new Liberalism accommodates Postmodernity.”

This really brings us to the heart of the movement. The Emerging Church is a move to

make the gospel attractive and acceptable to Postmodern man. The big challenge, we are

told, is how to tap in to the heart and mind of our Postmodern generation. In order to do

this we must start, of course, they say, with 21st century man, start with where he is at.

1

See Galatians 1:6

2

See Jude 3

3

See Philippians 1:17

How do we do that we ask. Well, we must start with experimentation. After all, as one

Emergent leader tells us, “That is exactly what God did when he created the world.”

Moynagh says this. “Experiments are one of the defining features of Emerging Church.

What is evolution if it is not a history of experimentation? One species flourishes. Another doesn’t. A third mutates.”

Of course we tell him if he read Genesis he would know there is no such thing to begin

with so his movement would flop there.

But he goes on and it gets even worse. He then goes on to say that that is exactly what

God did, experimented when he created Adam. To quote him again, “Does Genesis

two,” he asks, “contain a picture of God in experimental mode? He places Adam in the

Garden and then decides that it is not good for man to be alone. ‘I will make a helper

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suitable for him.’He forms all the animals and brings them to Adam to see what he

would call them. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. Has God’s experiment not

succeeded? So God tries again. He creates the woman. The experiment produced the

desired result. God seems to be learning.”

He quickly, of course, see the heresy cries coming and admits that seems to go against

one of the basic attributes of God. But he says that God seems to limit himself. He goes

on to say, “It is a part of God’s perfection that he can be surprised by creation. He has

created in us, for example, with not the songs that humans compose. Each new chart

buster can amaze and perhaps delight him. There is something [?] fitting about a wonderful surprise. Is God to be denied that emotion?”

Do you see where these people are coming from? No understanding of a theology of

God.

One fellow Emergent leader, George Lings, takes great delight in what has been said.

And he adds this complement in the book, “I am glad Mike has been daring and picked

up on the open and creative relationship God has with his creatures to which the Bible

testifies,” to which I say-and this is me-it most certainly does not. And then he goes

on, “And which makes so much better sense of a world where things go wrong. I would

only add that God’s grand experiment or risk was to choose to create beings who have

genuine freedom to love him or not. All the rest flows from this audacious fact.” We are

also told, “Experimentation is part of human being. So it will be second nature for Christians to try and try again with church.”

So after 2000 years we have still not got it right and we must keep on trying and experimenting.

To say that the Emerging Church has a faulty theology of God is an understatement. Any

heresy usually has a defective view of God himself and the Emerging Church has gone

4

See Genesis 2:18

wrong on its attempts to spread the gospel because it has a wrong view of God and a

wrong view of the Bible.

Well, at the heart of the Emerging Church is the adopting of a Postmodern culture. We

are living in what has come to be termed as Postmodernism. You see, we pass through

the Premodern era, a period stretching from Medieval times up to the French Revolution

of 1789. That was the Premodern era. In such a period man had difficulty in believing

the supernatural. Spirits, demons, hell, heaven and an afterlife and even much superstition is said to have abounded in that period. You would not have had difficulty in persuading people that God or even gods existed. Such beliefs, however, began to be challenged and their sources of authority. This began the Modern era, said to have begun with

the Enlightenment period. Philosophers like Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) began to challenge and question the dogmas of the past age. The Enlightenment would bring in the

age of Modernity.

One writer, Michael Kruger, says, “With the rise of the Enlightenment there came a new

guardian of truth to replace the Church. Science. No longer would human beings stand

for the irrational musings and archaic dogmatism of religion. Science, with reason as the

foundation, was the new god. And all intellectual theories had to bow and pay homage in

order to be seriously considered. Science viewed Christians as being naively committed

to ancient myths, unable to see past their bias and to take an objective and neutral look at

the world. So Modernity proffers the idea that mankind, armed with rationalism and science, is able to access absolute truth and make unlimited progress toward a better life for

itself. Therefore at its core Modernity is a celebration of human autonomy.”

Well, such a period, of course, was a very exciting period in the history of mankind. It

was a period of discovery, a period of development and a period of growth. It appeared

to offer mankind hope for the future. However, the discoveries being made were not too

deliver. Not only has science and learning not provided man with the satisfaction desired

and prayed for, but it has neither provided him with an answer to life’s most perplexing

questions.

In the area of religion the Modernist theologians have destroyed any belief in a supernatural God who spoke through a divinely inspired and infallible Bible. These two

worldviews, then-Premodernism and Modernism-have failed miserably. Of course,

we would expect them to do so as neither can be said to be firmly rooted in the Word of

God.

Well, we now come to our present worldview today. It is called Postmodern,

Postmodernism, a Postmodern generation. Well, it is a matter of debate among scholars

as to when this new period began, but many place it at the time of the collapse of the

Berlin wall in 1989. Some have put it somewhere in the 70s with the sexual revolution

and all the rest. But whichever we say, it is a new era that has come in, Postmodern.

With both Premodernism and Modernism failing to satisfy, man has become disillusioned. Answers to the meaning, purpose and direction of life have not been found. Man has been looking for truth and meaning. The Premodernist stores it in a revelation-albeit

the wrong one-the Church. Well, at least the Church of our day. The Modernist stores it

in science and reason. The Postmodernist now sees his worldview as one in which, for

example, that there is really no such thing as truth. So that is Postmodernism. There

really is no such thing as absolute truth. Absolute truth, he tells us, cannot be. Truth is

rather created and not found. So a culture, for example, may invent its own truth. And

yet another culture, its own version of truth even though they may be contrary to each

other. But there can be no universal truth that belongs to all and everyone. In other

words, there is no absolute truth and it must not even be sought.

Michael Kruger says, “Postmodernity, in contrast to Modernity, rejects any notion of objective truth and insists that the only absolute in the universe is that there are no absolutes. Tolerance is the supreme virtue and exclusivity, the supreme vice. Truth is not

grounded in reality or in any sort of authoritative text, but is simply constructed by the

mind of the individual or socially constructed.”

Another author says, “For the Postmodernist thinkers the very idea of truth is decayed

and disintegrated. It is no longer knowable. At the end of the day truth is simply what

we, as individuals and communities, make it to be and nothing more.”

If you think that is not yet affecting your worldview you are wrong. It is. We have so

many different paths in society, don’t we? So many religions. We are not allowed to say

that one has absolute truth, somebody else is wrong. No, no. You can’t say that. Everything is relative. If it is right for them, then it is right. If they are happy, if that is their

belief, then it is acceptable.

But for Postmodern thinking, “Well if it is…if to them, you know, it’s a flower, it’s a

flower. If to somebody else it’s a weed, it’s a weed. It is whatever you think it to be.”

And hasn’t that come in even in subtlety in things like, with so called, certain crimes,

homophobic crimes, so called, racist crimes, so called. If the person perceives it to be

such then it is. There is no real objective truth.

If such is now the culture and the world we are living in how are we to get the gospel

across?

Well, first we must…first we are to remember that the world in which we live must never

be allowed to shape the gospel that we believe. The Emerging Church has embraced-

like its forefather the Modernist-the belief of its age. It, too, denies that there is such a

thing as truth.

Take the words of Brian McLaren, one of its main architects, “Ask me of Christianity.

My version of it, yours, the pope’s, whoever’s, it is orthodox meaning true. And here is

my honest answer. A little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian’s understanding of the world and God, Christian’s opinion on soul, text and culture. I

have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong. And

even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open. To

be a Christian in a genuinely orthodox way is not to claim to have truth captured, stuffed

and mounted on the wall.”

This is a man who claims to give adherence to the Word of God.

Christians for over 2000 years have believed, rejoiced and often died for the absolute

truth they find in the teachings of Christ and his Word. Yet after all these years we are

now told that there really is no such claim on truth.

Interesting that, McLaren’s latest book is called The Secret Message of Jesus. He and those who follow him are constantly telling us that they are dissatisfied with doing church the traditional way. They are tired of evangelical right they tell us. They are seeking to break free from all that they belonged to the past. Could it be, I ask, that such people have never known the truth and have never known the real Jesus of the Bible? Could it be that they are so dissatisfied because they have never known the liberating power of the gospel of Jesus

Christ? I believe that is so. Christians have traditionally and robustly rejoiced in the certainties and steadfastness of the foundation of the gospel. We have read about it,

preached it with conviction and sung about it with rejoicing. It houses the Emergent

Church, Emerging so called Christians see such.

Rob and Christine Bell, his wife, in the beginning of being interviewed said this concerning the Bible, but they have discovered the Bible as a human product. “I do the thinking,”

she says, “that we figured out the Bible, that we knew what it means.” Now she says, “I

have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel life is big again like life used to be

black and white and now it is color.”

Brian McLaren sums it all up in the closing of his book A Generous Orthodoxy. “Consider for a minute what it would mean to get the glory of God finally and fully right in

your thinking or to get a fully formed opinion of God’s goodness or holiness. Then I

think you will feel the irony. All these years of pursuing orthodoxy ended up like this, in

front of all this glory, understanding nothing.”

So McLaren would like us to believe at the end of it all we really end up understanding

and knowing nothing. And yet the Christian can say with a certainty like Jeremiah nine

verse three, “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant

for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me,

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saith the LORD.”

Unbelief and uncertainty like this is found nowhere in the teaching of Christ or the New

Testament epistles. In fact, the Christian message is not only solid, but simple, too. The

message of the Bible is neither lost, uncertain, complex or difficult. It is a message that is

clear, plain and easy to understand.

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Jeremiah 9:3

Oh, yes, there may be a few difficult passages in Daniel or Revelation to interpret, but the

overall message of the Bible is simple and plain. And for people like Christine Bell we

would say she ought to get on her knees, humble herself before the God of heaven and

submit to his authoritative, inspired, easy to understand revelation.

The message of the Bible is not complex. They seem to great delight in saying, “We can’t

understand anything. We don’t know truth. We don’t know what it is all about. And yet

life is big again.”

We say, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest

6 the light of the glorious gospel…”

How do we share the gospel, then, in their eyes with the unchurched? Well, one of the

key words in the Emerging Church is missional. That is the big word, missional. We

want to be a missional church.

What do we understand by missional? Well, the old meaning, of course, of doing missions, going to the lost, preaching the everlasting gospel of God’s saving grace and rescuing sinners from hell and seeing them get into heaven is not quite what they mean by

missional. A clue to what being a missional Christian is all about is found in the

McLaren’s work, his most well known, although he seems to be spewing out these books

and heresies one after another. But in [?] he says this. “But what about heaven and hell

you ask. Is everybody in? My reply. Why do you consider me qualified to make this

pronouncement? Isn’t this God’s business? Isn’t it clear that I do not believe this is the

right question for a missional Christian to ask?”

Let me break in and say there what caused men like William Carey and others to leave

everything behind was the eternal soul of the people that they were to go and preach to,

but that they were concerned about the eternal destiny of man’s never dying soul.

Not so being missional within the Emerging Church. McLaren goes on, “Can’t we talk

for a while about God’s will being done here on earth as it is heaven instead of jumping

to how to escape earth and get to heaven as quickly as possible? Can’t we talk for a

while about overthrowing and undermining every hellish stronghold in our lives and in

our world?”

Doesn’t this sound very much like the old “damnable heresy” of the Modernist, Liberal

social gospel that emptied our churches and robbed the gospel of all its saving power?

He goes on to say, “Missional Christian faith asserts that Jesus did not come to make

some people saved and others condemned. Jesus did not come to help some people be

right while leaving everyone else to be wrong. Jesus did not come to create another exclusive religion, Judaism having been exclusive based on genetics and Christianity being

exclusive based on belief which can be a tougher requirement than genetics.”

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2 Corinthians 4:4

McLaren has no understanding of the New Testament gospel at all. He himself admits

so. He says, “We must continually be aware,” and this is him speaking, “that the old, old

story may not be the true, true story.” He goes on, in other words, “We must be open to

the perpetual possibility that our received understanding of the gospel may be faulty, imbalanced, poorly [?] or downright warped and twisted.”

Here we must retain the good, Protestant, evangelical and biblical instinct to allow Scripture to critique tradition including our dominant and most recent tradition and including

our tradition’s understanding of the gospel. In this sense, Christians in missional dialogue

must continually expect to rediscover the gospel.

Note how he is prepared to us-or we would say misuse-Scripture to critique what he

says is tradition. He wants us to rediscover the gospel he says. Yet he doesn’t even know

what the gospel is himself. This really is the gospel according to Brian McLaren. It is a

gospel full of uncertainty, mystery and we say falsehood. And he wants us to join him in

his journey of rediscovery?

The gospel of McLaren and the Emerging Church is not the saving gospel from sin and

hell, but another gospel of making a better world and a better you.

But he goes on to say, “From this understanding we place less emphasis on whose lineage, rights, doctrines, structures and terminology are right and move emphasis on whose

action, service, outreach, kindness and effectiveness are good in order to help our world

get back on the road to being truly and wholly good again the way God created it to be.

“We are here on a mission to join God,” he tells us, ” in bringing blessings to our needy

world. We hope to bring God’s blessing to you,” he says, “whoever you are and whatever you believe. And if you would like to join us in this mission and the faith that creates and nourishes, you are welcome.”

I say, “No thank you.”

Note his intention is to join God in bringing blessing to a needy world. He tells us it

really doesn’t matter what you believe. Why, of course, would you when none has arrived at truth anyhow or orthodoxy anyway because he has imbibed a Postmodern age?

His gospel is not to get you into the kingdom, but to bring the kingdom to you.

Dan Kimball, another Emergent leader, says, “Our faith also includes kingdom living.

Part of which is the responsibility to fight local and global and social justice on behalf of

the poor and needy. Our example is Jesus,” he tells us, “who spent his time among the

lepers, the poor and the needy.”

Are we saying that these thing are unimportant and unnecessary? Well, by no means.

Jesus did, in fact, heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the hungry and perform other miracles. We are not saying doing good works is a bad thing. No, they follow the fruits of the gospel. Yet we must always remember that the forming of such miracles was first and

foremost to point to who he was and what he had come to do, of course, to testify that he

was the Savior of lost sinners.

Jesus, in fact, said virtually nothing about social injustice, nothing about the environment

or political tyranny or eradication of poverty or making the world a better place.

What is the true gospel itself? Whereas it has transformed the lives, that society has been

so changed for the better, this was never the priority of Christ, the apostles or the early

church. Christ did not come to bring a paradise to earth through his Church. He came to

rescue sinners from the wrath to come, to give spiritual life to the dead, to draw men back

to the Father, to be a propitiation for men’s sins, to shed his blood for the forgiveness of

those sins, to provide a mansion in heaven, to reconcile sinners to a holy God. He himself

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has said that he had not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword.As the truth divides

and brings a different color…literal thought, of course where people fight each other. That

is not the gospel. Christians willingly lay down their lives for the gospel, but the sword is

the Word of God which cuts against truth and separates from truth and error. That can

never happen with McLaren’s gospel or the gospel of the Emerging Church because it

has imbibed a Postmodern culture that tells us there is no such thing as truth.

So he certainly can’t earnestly contend for the faith because he doesn’t know what that

faith is. This aspect of the social here and now gospel is seen in McLaren’s two questions that he asks which are these. What are the biggest problems destroying our world?

And what do the life and teaching of Jesus have to say about these global crises?

The Emerging Church is more world focused than heaven focused. The early Church

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looked for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.The Emerging

Church is man centered. Its starting point is not with the truth as expressed in God’s

Word, but-imbibing a cultural philosophy of the day-truth cannot be established anyway.

The well being of man is the beginning. We hear things like, “We will come to you

rather than you come to us.” “We’ll do church on your terms rather than on ours or the

Bible’s terms.”

Rob Bell writes for the media in the States, but all this may be new to you, but it is big

news in the States and it will come over here. They consider him the next Billy Graham

although why I am not sure. He has neither gifts nor theology, well, as he had in his

younger day. Rob Bell says, “For Jesus the question wasn’t how do I get into heaven, but

how do I bring heaven here. The goal isn’t escaping this world, but making this world the

kind of place God can come to. And God is making us into the kind of people who can do

this task, this kind of work.”

7

See Matthew 10:34

8

See 2 Peter 3:13

One wonders which Bible are these people reading. He seems to be ignorant of the fact

that Scripture teaches, “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements

shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned

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up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved….”What does Peter say? Not

put on a global mask to solve the world’s dilemmas and problems, but in light of this Peter says, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on

10

fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”There, and as we

have quoted earlier, “We look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth right

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eousness.”

I want to look-the time is moving on-to the mystical aspect of the Emerging Church.

Due to the fact that the Emerging Church is not truth based means it is susceptible to all

forms of error and falsehood as one might expect. As we are not moved by the truth of

God’s Word then we will seek experiences outside of that Word. And that is exactly

what we find in the Emergent movement. There is no real Jesus in the Emerging Church.

I believe it is not the Jesus we find in the Bible. Christ himself warned that, “Many will

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come in my name.”And there appears to be as many Jesus’ in the world as there are

Jones’ in Wales. The big question is: Which Jesus do we have and which Jesus are we

following?

Peter Rollins, an Emergent Leader in Northern Ireland-so it has come over into this

country already-Icon. They all have strange names. They don’t have, you know, Emergent Evangelical Church or Emergent Church. They have stupid, silly names. And here is

one Icon. And the very name will suggest where it is going.

Icon, “We as Icon,” they say, “are developing a theology which derives from the mystics,

a theology without theology to complement our religion without religion.”

You notice all this double talk. It doesn’t make sense. And you read their books. It

doesn’t make sense. Much of the Emergent Church thinking is not based on what the Bible teaches. And they do not derive their theology from the Bible, but rather, their theology-if it can be called that-from experience.

Dan Kimball, another Emergent leader says, “The old paradigm taught that if you have

the right teaching you will experience God. The new paradigms says that if you experience God you will have the right teaching.”

Another Emergent leader [?] in England, so it has arrived on our shores near to here,

Sanctus One, you know, so it is not, you know, the Baptist Tabernacle or somewhere.

They adopt one of their silly names. Sanctus One which is actually in Manchester says,

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2 Peter 3:10-11

10

2 Peter 3:11-12

11

2 Peter 3:13

12

See Matthew 24:5, Mark 13:6, Luke 21:8

“We believe that God is not defined by theology. Experience is vital and experience defines us.”

Now in our second talk I am going to jump to the next section because we will be all afternoon otherwise, but I want to jump on briefly and then we can close with some questions. You see, this searching for meaning and experience has not driven this movement

to the Word of God, but back into the world of Medieval Catholicism and Eastern mysticism.

Of course the Roman Catholic Church will endorse anything that furthers its own cause.

An official endorsement in 1965 by the Vatican reads this. “In Hinduism men seek release from the trials of the present life by ascetical practices, profound meditation and

recourse to God in confidence and love. Buddhism proposes a way of life by which man

can with confidence and trust attain a state of perfect liberation and reach supreme illumination either through their own efforts or by the aid of divine help.” And then they go

on to say, “The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions.”

The Second Vatican Counsel then or some time afterwards mentioned, “It longs to set

forth the way it understands the presence and function of the Roman Catholic,” in this

context, “Church in the world today. Therefore the world which the Counsel has in mind

is the whole human family seen in the context of everything which envelopes it. This is

the reason why this sacred synod in proclaiming the noble destiny of man and affirming

an element of the divine in him offers to cooperate unreservedly with mankind in fostering a sense of brotherhood to correspond to this destiny of theirs.”

You are not surprised, then, at the Emerging Church going down the pathway not just to

Eastern mysticism, but to Romanism as well. In Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality and

Contemplative Practices in Youth Ministry Tony Jones advocates 16 ancient future, both,

spiritual tools or disciplines such as-quote-“the Jesus prayer, [?] diviner, silence and

solitude, stations of the cross, center in prayer, [?] and the labyrinth.”

Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic priest says this, “Assuming that the Roman

Catholic Evangelical split over the gospel is a thing of the past,” which we know it is not,

“Jones begins by defining his Postmodern approach to youth ministry by combing aspects

of what he sees as common spirituality and evangelicalism, Roman Catholicism and

Eastern Orthodox traditions along with Eastern religious practices gleaned from Buddhism and Hinduism.” Then it goes on, “Tony Jones’ involvement with youth ministry

and leaders of youth ministry is particularly dangerous. This is the cause of cases of obscure heretical practices from papal Rome when he then passes off on the unsuspecting as

if he has rediscovered a long hidden spiritual treasure for Postmodern Christianity. His

major goal is to make his very Roman Catholic view of the past come alive in the present,

something Bible believers should consider carefully especially regarding his very young

audience.”

This man, by the way, Tony Jones, is a foul mouthed individual who uses foul language

of the worst kind even in describing the Bible. It is for this reason that you will find some

Emergent Churches lighting candles, crosses and other ritual things being performed, all

done in seeking a deeper experience of the divine. So they light their candles. They will

have their crosses They will have their music and their lights. Of course, they will all be

different.

But what are they doing? They are seeking an encounter with the divine. They are seeking an encounter with the spiritual. For the true evangelical we say we are not seeking or

searching for the divine God out there whoever he may be. We have found him in Jesus

Christ, the Jesus alone in the pages of God’s Word.

We are never against experiences, but experiences come from the Word of God and are

based and tested by that very Word.

You will notice many of these people talk about seeking the divine and their masks that

they are having with McLaren and all this everything must change in 11 states of the

United States. They are all telling, “We are seeking something.”

I am not seeking anything. I found it. I am not seeking God or deeper experiences. He is

there in the Word in the written page.

And just in closing: Many young people will be attracted to this Emergent Church. They

will pack them out. The man we just quoted from, Tony Jones, you have seen his influence as to so many Emergent leaders among the youth. The Emergent Church targets the

young and is of particular attraction to young people. One of the reasons is that it uses an

anything goes approach in worship. You can have your bands. You can have your hip

hop, your reggae, whatever music you want. You can have it. You can bring your drums

and whatever you want into worship, whatever is appealing, whatever you want, whatever you are into. Bring it along.

And people will think, “This is great.”

But it is just like the world. You can bring anything into it. All forms of worship and

fleshiness come in. It would not amiss to say it is an almost anything goes approach. Any

form of music no matter how much it represents the debased culture around us seems to

be acceptable and even encouraged. So it will attract the young people who have no understanding of the gospel.

Another reason for why it attracts and will attract the young people is because it appeals

to their sinful nature. It has almost a no rules policy. If you are to go into an Emerging

Church you will find standard. Whatever is right for you is right. You will find one

standing, another sitting, another slouching because anything goes. Just fill out whatever

takes your fancy. We will have appeals, not appeals. There is no such thing as, “Let all

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things be done decently and in order.”However, this pandering and [?] to the young is

sinful.

The young of our church-and they are to be those who are shown authority and leadership-they are not to be those who are considered as to what they would like to see in

church or what pleases them or what will attract them or what will keep you here. Leadership shall be done by those who are mature adults in the faith. And this pattern of lead

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ership is seen right throughout Scripture. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord.”

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your

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souls.”Considering those who would be leaders there is one that ruleth his household

well having his church or household in subjection.

See, man’s heart is rebellious and will be attracted to this fleshy, false gospel of the

Emergent Church. It is a denial of the clear truth oriented certain foundation of biblical

Christianity.

And I am going to close by summing up two quotes from the Emerging Church and then

we will hand back to our chairman. Sanctus One, an Emerging Church in Manchester

says, as stated on their blog site, “Churches in the West are increasingly experimenting

with more symbolic, reflective spiritualities [?] from Orthodox and Celtic traditions and

sing digital technologies and ambient music. How far can we engage with the Eastern

spiritualities of our Sikh, Hindu and Muslim neighbors whilst retaining our Christian integrity? What might an Emergent Church look like in a multi faith context?”

Our second quote, “Does a little dose of Buddhism thrown into a belief system somehow

kill off the Christian part?”

Real Christians would say a loud, “Yes.”

“My Buddhism doesn’t, except for the unfortunate inability to embrace Jesus,” as if that

is a side issue, “is a better Christian based on Jesus’ description of what a Christian does,

but almost every Christian I know…”

It could be well, he doesn’t know any Christians.

“If they are using Matthew 26 as a guide she would be a sheep and almost every Christian I personally know would be a goat.”

And I say in the Emerging Church they are all goats and may be warned and discerning

about Emerging Church?

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See 1 Corinthians 14:40

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Ephesians 6:1

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Hebrews 13:17

                            drummer-2.jpg drummer-3.jpg drummer-1.jpg

Article from: http://www.calvin.edu/worship/stories/drumming.php

What is it about percussion that appeals to worshipers in so many cultures? How does drumming together help Christians build community?

John Meulendyk, pastoral lay assistant at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, could plainly see the problems facing Ferndale, Michigan. Like many inner-ring suburbs of Detroit, Ferndale is losing people, jobs, and income. Meulendyk gathered five women at his church to pray and discern how to Djembe drum from West Africaaddress these changes.“We wanted to do a worship renewal project that would be ecumenical, something to unite the congregations in our community. We sat in prayer. We thought about this question: If we put aside all the theology, what unites us? “It’s our Heartbeat..

Human beings are created in the image of God. However, because of sin we have lost our connection with God and with each other. Through Christ’s redemption we receive the courage to explore our lost connections with one another. In the syncope of our beating hearts echoed through the African drum, Christ creates a way for us to confront our most daunting fears and prejudices of others. In terms of worship renewal, by following the rhythm of our beating hearts through the drum, God gives to us an embodied connection with others.

This new relationship creates worship – a space, whereby, we and others are renewed in sensing God’s own heart beat. We all have that in common. And 90 percent of cultures have a drum beat,” says Meulendyk, who has degrees in divinity, pastoral ministry, osteopathic medicine, public health administration, and dental surgery. So Zion invited local congregations to join them for a worship drumming project. Its results continue to resound in worship services and new relationships. 

Many cultures use percussion in worship. Thirty years ago, when Meulendyk was a missionary dentist in Guatemala, he noticed that using hand drums and marimbas helped missionaries spread the gospel and connect with Quiché Indians.

Young and old, black and white, richer and poorer, Baptist and Episcopal, people fell under the spell of recreating rhythms from a Catholic liturgy in Ghana. Not that it was easy to learn the multi-layered patterns of metal gankoqui bells, gourd rattles, djun djuns (double-sided drums), and djembes (single-headed, goblet-shaped drums). “The big struggle is to hold on to your rhythm when everyone else is doing a different one,” Meulendyk said.

***********************

Let us reread some of these statements:

“If we put aside all the theology, what unites us? “It’s our Heartbeat..”‘

Through Christ’s redemption we receive the courage to explore our lost connections with one another”

“through the drum, God gives to us an embodied connection with others.”

Put theology aside? Lost connections with one another? Through the drum, God gives to us……?

“People fell under the spell…”

We have learned from studying eastern religion that the occult practices of meditation and mindless repetitions, cause an altered state of consciousness. This is the doorway to divination. The Bible forbids this. So, this is yet, another sickening practice that is being brought into the church under the guise of spirituality. Worshiping in an altered state will NOT connect you with the Lord Jesus Christ. It will bring you into harmony with the angel of light. Satan is the angel of light the deciever.

This is just one more form of apostasy, and it weighs down my heart to see these Christians so vulnerable to deceit. God will give us nothing through the drum….God is reached through prayer and reading of the Holy Bible.

March 2008
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