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“EVANGELICAL” BELIEVES IN BREATHING GOD

From  – www.wayoflife.org

Leonard Sweet, a very influential “evangelical,” believes you can breath God in your nostrils. In his 2012 book I Am A Follower, Sweet quotes Sufi poet Kabir who says, “God is the breath inside the breath.” Sweet then makes the following blasphemous, pagan comment: “All of creation is made alive with the holy breath of the Creator. Breathing Yahweh breath is breathing the holy breath of life. Yahweh. … Our breathing and heartbeat are in tune with the name. Breathe in ‘Yah’ and breathe out ‘weh’ … I guarantee you will relax.”

This heresy is the product of contemplative prayer, which Sweet is recommending in this passage. Sweet is the author and co-author of more than 30 books. He was twice voted “one of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport magazine. Rick Warren recommends Sweet’s book Soul Tsunami (his recommendation is printed on the cover). Warren and Sweet collaborated on an audio set entitled Tides of Change, and Sweet spoke at Saddleback Church in January 2008 for a small groups training conference. Sweet has spoken at Bill Hybels’ Willowcreek Community Church. Sweet’s book Jesus Manifesto (co-authored by Frank Viola) was recommended by Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer, who has spoken at Southwide Baptist Fellowship and Trinity Baptist College, Jacksonville, Florida.

*****

Who else is in this group?  Other emergent newagelicals are Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah Winfrey, just for starters. Many got their start in theology of mysticism by reading and studying Jurgen Moltmann and Ken Wilbur.

Eugene Peterson and the Message

June 30, 2011

David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

Eugene Peterson (1932- ) was for many years James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College. He also served for 35 years as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. Today he is retired and lives in Montana.

The New Testament portion of The Message was published in 1993 and the complete Bible in 2002. It is called a “translational-paraphrase” and is said to “unfold like a gripping novel.”

In fact, it IS a novel!

It was translated by Peterson and reviewed by 21 “consultants” from the following schools: Denver Seminary (Robert Alden), Dallas Theological Seminary (Darrell Bock and Donald Glenn), Fuller Theological Seminary (Donald Hagner), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Trinity Episcopal School, North Park Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Richard Averbeck). Columbia Bible College, Criswell College (Lamar Cooper), Westminster Theological Seminary (Peter Enns), Bethel Seminary (Duane Garrett), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Paul R. House), Covenant Theological Seminary, Westmont College, Wesley Biblical Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute (John H. Walton), Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Gordon College (Marvin Wilson).

The Message is widely recommended by well-known Christian leaders. In keeping with his love for every corrupt Bible version to appear since the Revised Standard, Billy Graham printed his own edition of “The Message: New Testament.” Warren Wiersbe, who should know better, says, “The Message is the boldest and most provocative rendering of the New Testament I’ve ever read.” Jack Hayford says, “The Message is certainly destined to become a devotional classic — not to mention a powerful pastoral tool.” Rick Warren loves The Message and quotes it frequently, five times in the first chapter of The Purpose-Driven Life. J.I. Packer says, “In this crowded world of Bible versions Eugene Peterson’s blend of accurate scholarship and vivid idiom make this rendering both distinctive and distinguished. The Message catches the logical flow, personal energy, and imaginative overtones of the original very well indeed.” CCM artist Michael Card says, “Peterson’s translation transforms the eye into an ear, opening the door of the New Testament wider than perhaps it has ever been opened.” Leighton Ford says, “The Message will help many to transfer God’s eternal truths to their contemporary lives.” Joni Earckson Tada says, “WOW! What a treasure The Message is. I am going to carry it with me. This is a treasure that I will want to use wherever I am.” The Message is also recommended by Amy Grant, Benny Hinn, Bill Hybels, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Chuck Swindoll, Toby of DC Talk, Gary Smalley, Gordon Fee, Gordon MacDonald, Jerry Jenkins, John Maxwell, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Phil Driscoll, Rebecca St. James, Rod Parsley, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, Tony Campolo, Bono of U2, Vernon Grounds, to name a few. (This information was gathered from the NAVPress web site.).

The Message sold 100,000 copies just in the first four months following its summer 1993 release.

Peterson told Christianity Today that a major turning point in his ministry was a lecture by Paul Tournier sponsored by the liberal Christian Century magazine and held at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore (“Books & Culture Corner: The Contemplative Christian,” by Nathan Bierma, Christianity Today web site, Sept. 29, 2003). In his 1973 Masters Thesis “Paul Tournier’s Universalism,” Daniel Musick warned: “Paul Tournier was an unrestricted universalist. His writings, personal correspondence with him, and interviews with many who knew him support this conclusion. An analysis of his soteriology over 35 years of writing reveals a transition from reformed roots to an unbiblical, neo-orthodox perspective influenced by Emil Brunner and Karl Barth.”

Peterson has recommended The Shack. Though fictional, this book’s objective is the redefinition of God. It is about a man who becomes bitter at God after his daughter is murdered and has a life-changing experience in the very shack where the murder occurred; but the God he encounters is most definitely not the God of the Bible. Young’s depicts God the Father as a black woman who loves rock & roll, and well as a man with gray hair and a pony tail. Young’s male/female god/goddess is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, and puts no obligations on people. (For documentation see “The Shack’s Cool God” at the Way of Life web site, http://www.wayoflife.org.)

Peterson has also recommended Rob Bell’s universalistic book Love Wins. Bell says hell is in this life and most men will eventually be saved. He writes: “This insistence that God will be united and reconciled with all people is a theme the writers and prophets return to again and again. … The God that Jesus teaches us about doesn’t give up until everything that was lost is found. This God simply doesn’t give up. Ever” (Love Wins, Kindle location 1259-1287). Bell calls the preaching of eternal hell “misguided and toxic,” a “cheap view of God,” and “lethal” (location 47-60, 2154-2180). He says there is something wrong with this God and calls Him “terrifying and traumatizing and unbearable” (location 1273-1287, 2098-2113).

That kind of talk apparently resonates deeply with Peterson. No wonder he loves the non-judgmental god/goddess of The Shack.

Peterson is a big promoter of Catholic contemplative mysticism. He is on the Board of Reference for the international ecumenical contemplative organization Renovare (pronounced Ren-o-var-ay, which is Latin, meaning “to make new spiritually”), founded by Richard Foster. At the October 1991 Renovare meeting in Pasadena, Foster praised Pope John Paul II and called for unity in the Body of Christ through the “five streams of Christianity: the contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice and evangelical” (CIB Bulletin, December 1991). Foster advocates the practices of Catholic mystics and “the integration of psychology and theology.” In his book entitled Prayer Foster draws material from Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Bernard of Clairvaux, Madame Guyon, Teresa of Avila, even St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Renovare promotes guided imagery, visualization, centering prayer, astral projection, Zen meditation, and Jungian psychology (Calvary Contender, Feb. 15, 1998).

Along the same line, notice the heroes of the faith that Peterson quotes in the article “Spirit Quest” (which is a Native American Indian term for seeking intimacy with and revelation from pagan spirits): “Single-minded, persevering faithfulness confirms the authenticity of our spirituality. The ancestors we look to for encouragement in this business — Augustine of Hippo and Julian of Norwich, … Teresa of Avila — didn’t flit. They stayed” (Christianity Today, Nov. 8, 1993). Augustine, Julian, and Teresa had authentic spirituality? Not when tested by Scripture. Julian of Norwich said, “God showed me that sin need be no shame to man but can even be worthwhile” (quoted by Kenneth Leech, Soul Friend, p. 146). Julian also said, “God is really our Mother as he is our Father,” and called Christ “Mother Jesus.” Augustine was the father of a-millennialism; taught that the sacraments are the means of saving grace; was one of the fathers of infant baptism, claiming that baptism takes away the child’s sin; taught that Mary did not commit sin and promoted prayers to her; believed in purgatory and the veneration of relics; accepted the doctrine of celibacy for “priests”; and laid the foundation for the inquisition; to name a few of his heresies. Teresa of Avila was probably demon possessed; she levitated and made strange noises deep in her throat, experienced terrifying visions and voices, and held to Rome’s sacramental gospel that works are required for salvation.

Peterson was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College, and it is obvious that he has been influenced deeply by the Catholic and pagan “spirituality” in which he has immersed himself for so many decades. I have spent many days studying in the Regent College library and the bookstore features many works by Catholic mystics, such as those already named, as well as by rank theological modernists. There is no warning whatsoever in regard to these books.

The mystical “spirituality” that is so popular in evangelical and charismatic circles today is a yearning for an experiential relationship with God that downplays the role of faith and Scripture and that exalts “transcendental” experiences that lift the individual from the earthly mundane into a higher “spiritual” plane. Biblical prayer is talking with God; mystical spirituality prayer is meditation and “centering” and other such things. Biblical Christianity is a patient walk of faith; mystical spirituality is more a flight of fancy. Biblical study is analyzing and meditating upon the literal truth of the Scripture; mystical spirituality focuses on a “deeper meaning”; it is more allegorical and “transcendental” than literal.

Peterson defines spirituality as “a fusion of intimacy and transcendence” (“Spirit Quest,” Christianity Today, Nov. 8, 1993). This confuses the sensual intimacy of earthly relationships with the spiritual intimacy the believer has in this life with God.

It is not surprising that Peterson’s translation has a New Agey flavor to it. He even uses the term “as above, so below,” which is a New Age expression for the unity of God and man, Heaven and earth. In the book As Above, So Below, Ronald Miller and the editors of the New Age Journal say: “This maxim implies that the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one. Heaven and Earth, spirit and matter, the invisible and the visible worlds form a unity to which we are intimately linked” (quoted from Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church, Ravenna, Ohio: Conscience Press, 2004).

In light of this, consider the following quotations from Peterson’s The Message:

Matthew 6:9-13 — “Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best — AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge!”

Colossians 1:16 — “For everything, absolutely everything, ABOVE AND BELOW, visible and invisible … everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”

THE MESSAGE IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL BIBLE

In Romans 15:13, The Message says, “May the God of green hope fill you up with joy…” and in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, it says that those who “use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t quality as citizens in God’s kingdom.”

THE MESSAGE IS THE PRO-HOMOSEXUAL BIBLE

The Message tampers with God’s Word about homosexuality. Consider the following two examples:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

KJV – “ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

THE MESSAGE – “Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who do not care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom.”

1 Timothy 1:10

KJV – “For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”

THE MESSAGE – “for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever!”

One brother rightly observed that “The Message is simply a forerunner to what will be a ‘christless,’ sinless Bible.”

CONSIDER SOME OTHER EXAMPLES OF THE AMAZING LIBERTIES THAT EUGENE PETERSON TAKES WITH THE WORDS OF GOD

Matthew 5:3

KJV – “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

THE MESSAGE – “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

Comment: Being poor in spirit is to be at the end of your rope? Then vast numbers of unsaved people are candidates for heaven on this basis.

Matthew 5:8

KJV – “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

THE MESSAGE – “You’re blessed when you get your inside world, your mind and heart, put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”

Comment: This must be transcendental, because it doesn’t make any non-transcendental sense.

Matthew 5:14

KJV – “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

THE MESSAGE – “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”

Comment: “God-colors”? I didn’t even learn about God-colors when I was a member of Parmahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship Society before I was saved!

Matthew 5:43

KJV – “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.”

THE MESSAGE – “Jesus said, You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’”

Comment: The Lord Jesus was not quoting the Mosaic Law; He was referring to the teaching of the Pharisees who had perverted the Law. The Law of God did not command, “Hate your enemy.”

Matthew 9:34

KJV – “But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.”

THE MESSAGE – “The Pharisees were left sputtering, ‘Hocus Pocus. It’s nothing but Hocus Pocus.’”

Comment: This is clearly a “translational-paraphrase.”

Matt. 11:28-30

KJV – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

THE MESSAGE – “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”

Comment: The Message sounds like an iron tonic television commercial here!

Matthew 28:19

KJV – “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

THE MESSAGE – Matt. 28:19 — “…baptism in the three-fold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Comment: The Message gives an Anti-Trinitarian, Jesus-only spin to this verse, which teaching claims that God is not three Persons in one Godhead but that He simply manifests Himself in three ways.

John 1:18

KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

THE MESSAGE – “No one has ever seen God, not so much of a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day.”

Comment: To translate “the only begotten Son” as “this one-of-a-kind God-expression” is not only heretical; it is absurd.

John 3:5

KJV – “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

THE MESSAGE – “Jesus said, You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation–the ‘wind hovering over the water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life–it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom.”

Comment: Peterson’s “translation” gives the baptismal regenerationists the best support they have ever had. The Roman Catholics who write to debate me would love this version.

John 10:30

KJV – “I and my Father are one.”

THE MESSAGE – “I and the Father are one heart and mind.”

Comment: To add to the words of Christ in this strange manner, it truly appears that Peterson has no fear of God.

Acts 8:20

KJV – “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee…”

THE MESSAGE – “Peter said, ‘To hell with your money!’”

Comment: Since Peter cussed some the night he denied his Lord, I suppose Peterson believes he was still cussing in the book of Acts.

Romans 8:11

KJV – “…he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

THE MESSAGE – “…he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself.”

Comment: Peterson spiritualizes Christ’s resurrection here.

Romans 8:35

KJV – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

THE MESSAGE – “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.”

Comment: Revelation 22:18-19 should cause Peterson (and everyone who approved The Message) to lose a lot of sleep.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

KJV – “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

THE MESSAGE – “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears, and the sun shines bright! … Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

Comment: It is the “translator” who is squinting in a fog!

Philippians 2:12

KJV – “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

THE MESSAGE – “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.”

Comment: This is another New Agey, heretical spin to the Scriptures.

Colossians 2:10

KJV – “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”

THE MESSAGE – “You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him…”

Comment: What? And this mess was reviewed by 21 scholars and approved by the likes of J.I. Packer?

1 Peter 3:1

KJV – “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.”

THE MESSAGE – “The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs…”

Comment: Peterson has done away with wifely subjection. Do we have the “feminist version” here?

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

The Emerging Church -The Latest Heresy By Stephen Holland

steveholland.jpg

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

1

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,

5

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.

5

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.”

6

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

8

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

9

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

11

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

12

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,

9

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

14

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

15

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?

13

See 1 Corinthians 14:40

14

Ephesians 6:1

15

Hebrews 13:17

 faithundonelarge.jpg                    oakland-roger.jpg

                                                        “FAITH UNDONE” by Roger Oakland 

                the emerging church…a new formation or an end-time deception

One would be hard-pressed to find a more complete description of the various end-time deceptions currently exploding in our churches in one single paperback book.   Roger has accomplished this feat in “Faith Undone”.

Why is his book so relevant today? Consider this statement.  “In the near future, Christians of every denomination will have to decide whether to support or reject the spirituality behind the emerging church.”

Here are some of the topics he covers in his 13 chapters.

  • Emerging Spirituality
  • Mysticism
  • Post-Modernism
  • Labryinths
  • Contemplative Spirituality
  • Yoga
  • The “Eucharistic” Christ
  • Purpose Driven Ecumenism
  • The Kingdom of God on Earth
  • The New Reformation

From Chapter 1 – A New Kind of Church

“It is not the ambience of the emerging  church that causes me to write this book. It is the theological underpinnings….But is this ‘new reformation’ actually the way God has instructed us to go?… A new form of Christianity will replace faith with a faith that says man can find his own path to God and create a perfect kingdom of God here on the earth.  The Word will become secondary to a system of works and rituals driven by ancient mystical practices.” (pp. 12-13)

This last sentence “The Word will become secondary to a system of works and rituals driven by ancient mystical practices”, is so very true of every deceptive practice being introduced into the church and the world today. This falls in line with occultist Alice Bailey who said “the teachings of the East and of the West must be fused and blended before the true and universal religion could appear on earth”.*  When the church embraces occult teachings, we have to come to our senses and take notice of what is happening right in front of our eyes. The Bible warns of this deception but people do not want to listen.

Roger also says:

“This book does not attempt to identify every key player in the emerging church movement. There are too many…my objective  is not to attack individuals but rather to unveil a belief system. Thus, this is not a book out to get the bad guys. On the contrary, it is a book that seeks to rescue those involved with the emerging church and countless others heading in that direction.”

“In the near future, Christians of every denomination will have to decide whether to support or reject the spirituality behind the emerging church. If the emerging church continues unfolding at its present pace, mainstream evangelical Christianity will be restructured so that the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ will be considered too narrow and too restrictive.” (p.20)

This is happening this very instant and many are totally unaware. This is why Roger’s book is so important. Let’s take a look at some of his other findings. This is from Chapter 6, When West Meets East

“In the early ’80s, I became aware of a major shift in thinking that was sweeping the Western world. Religious pagan practices of the past, once relegated to a world of darkness, were now being embraced as the ways and means of ushering in an age of enlightenment….Every method and therapy imaginable imported from Hinduism, Buddhism and every form of Eastern mysticism suddenly was in vogue. The age of enlightenment had arrived, we were told.” (p.93)

This cannot be more true.  Think back even farther when the Beatles swept in from England in the mid 60’s.  They themselves delved into Hinduism and Transcendental Meditation because of George Harrison’s fascination with the East. The baby-boomers of today are already familiar with these practices so it is no wonder that it is not a stretch for them to readily accept yoga and meditation into their life. What does Roger have to say about this?

“Today it is  becoming increasingly common to hear about churches promoting Christian yoga or Christian leaders suggesting the best way to enhance one’s prayer life is by getting in tune with God through repeating a mantra. What was once described as New Age and occultic is acceptable now in some Christian circles. ”

“Anyone who cares to do the research will find that yoga and its connection to Eastern religion remains the same. Linking oneself with the universal energy is still its goal. A Christian can believe that yoga is for health and well being if he or she wants, but the facts have not changed.”

“Can a Christian incorporate Hindu spiritual practices in order to get closer to the Jesus Christ of the Bible?” (pp. 94,96) 

Roger goes on to explain why the answer to this question is NO. But you will have the read the book for the remaining argument. Let’s go on to Rick Warren and some of his extraordinary quotes found in Chapter 9, The Kingdom Of God On Earth.

“Rick Warren’s reformation, which will bring in the Kingdom of God through global cooperation for a common cause, will include Catholics, Muslims, and homosexuals – a combination hardly similar to the 16th century reformation…Rick Warren believes that God has shown him not only the boundaries (or lack of them) of this coming global kingdom, but also the strategy to bring it about. Before Warren came up with the plan, he says he asked Jesus to show him how to reach the world. He explains:” (p.149) (Warren’s comments in red)

RW   “Then I said, ‘How did You do it? You wouldn’t have left us without a strategy.’ And I found the answer in a passage in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 where Jesus sends His first followers out…He says, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace in every village, in every government, in every business, in every church.* The man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer. Could be Muslim. Could be Jewish. Because when Jesus said, ‘Find the man of peace, there were no Christians yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross. There was no resurrection. He’s just saying, go out and find somebody to work with.” (pp. 149-150)

“Jesus did not say they were to look for a man of peace of every town, Rather he said ‘whatsoever city or town ye shall enter , enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go hence”  (Matthew 10:11)…it is important to realize that the criterion for staying in a house was not the greeting of peace itself but whether those in that house received their message.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)

“Let me speak very boldly here: if we are going to link hands with those who believe in another gospel or no gospel at all for the sake of establishing an earthly, unified kingdom, we will not be building the kingdom of God.” (p.151)

RW  “I stand before you confidently right now and say to you that God is going to use you to change the world…I’m looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ What will happen if the followers of Jesus say to Him, ‘We are yours’? What kind of spiritual awakening will occur?” (p. 153)

“What does Warren mean by ‘whatever it takes’?

I am going to advance to Chapter 12, A New Reformation, for the next Rick Warren quote.

“In an article written by Rick Warren, “What Do You Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau?”, Warren told pastors and church leaders not to be discouraged about slow change in their churches. He told them it would take time…and in many cases, it would take these resisters either leaving the church or simply dying. Warren exhorts:” (p.204)

RW  “If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it has been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration. I’m saying people are going to have to die or leave.  Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land.  That may be brutally blunt, but it’s true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.” (p.205)

“By making statements like this, Rick Warren marginalized those who won’t go along with the new reformation that he is hoping for. While Warren doesn’t say that people should kill them, he does say that God may have to end their lives, just like when ‘God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land.'” (p.205)

These are frightening statements and I am sick of Rick but he will have to be dealt with. There is so much more in “Faith Undone”, like Warren telling his followers that the details of Christ’s return are none of our business, (I can’t tell you everything!), but we must move on to the emergents.

There are so many involved in the emergent movement that one needs to go to www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com or http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/ to check out all the names, but Roger gives much attention to Brian McLaren. (blue comment) McLaren was named one of the country’s top 25 “Most Influential Evangelicals” in 2005 by Time magazine.

“In an interview, Brian McLaren questioned the idea of God sending His Son to a violent death, calling it “false advertising for God”:

BL  “One of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching then-I won’t say, the only, and I certainly won’t say the primary–but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctine of hell basically says, no, that’s not really true.  That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does.  The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.”

“What an extraordinary example of faith under attack and the consequences of thinking outside the box. If McLaren is right, all those who have ever lived and believed in Christ’s atonement have been misled and wrong. McLaren has taken the freedom to to reconstruct what faith means by distorting the Scripture, or worse yet, saying the opposite of what the inspired Word of God says. This is blasphemy!” (pp.192-193)

I have resisted taking the final comment from Roger’s book from the last chapter, Or An Endtime Deception, even though there are many gems to pick from, and have selected this from p.217

“The emergent reformation, when it comes to fruition, will stand on the side of the line drawn in the sand that says all humanity is One–regardless of religion, beliefs–we are all One. That One-ness will mean one with all creation too, and inevitably with God. This is what the New Age movement is striving for–a time when all of mankind will realize both their unity and divinity–and the Gospel as we know it, according to Scripture, will be no more.”

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

Others mentioned in the book – Alice Bailey, Rob Bell, Ken Blanchard, Marcus Borg, Bob Buford, Tony Campolo, Peter Drucker, Richard Foster, Matthew Fox, Thomas Keating, Dan Kimball, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Erwin McManus, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Doug Pagitt, Leonard Sweet, and Robert Webber among others.

How is it that this one book can cover so many names and issues?  It is because they are all related and together they have one goal and purpose in mind, which is Faith Undone, a must read for every Christian.

Order this book at Lighthouse Trails Publishing.

* Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy p.280

* Government, business, church is Druckers 3-legged stool.

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