The Emergent Church
The phenomenon of doing church in a completely different way is one of the hallmarks of what’s been termed the Emergent Church. If it were just a matter of wanting to improve upon what’s considered church, including church meetings and functions of all types, this would not even be an issue. This “movement,” however, is born out of exactly what the Bible describes will happen in the last days. The Bible describes a time when a large portion, in fact, a majority portion - of professing believers in Christ will not really be true to Him or what He taught and how He lived. The focus is now on being free from the old-fashioned constrains of having to deal with the “sin” problem. The world and professing Christians are getting more sick and tired of this whole attitude about “sin” that we’re now told isn’t really in the Bible.
Popular televangelist Joel Osteen is promoting this life-style of a carefree attitude about sin because, as he says, God loves you and therefore, He winks at the things we do wrong. In fact, sin is too strong a word, so it is swept under the rug and replaced with “Christian” duties of helping the poor, cleaning up our cities, getting “Christians” elected into public offices, and supporting solid education for everybody; and any and all “social” programs are elevated as the expression of what it is to be truly Christ-like.
Frowned upon are the people who insist that biblical doctrines, instead of social activities, are to be upheld . A social gospel however, cannot save! This is why heretics like Joel Osteen, Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Peter Drucker, Beth Moore, Toni Campolo, Richard Fox, and many others are twisting the Scriptures and lying about Jesus’ mission when He walked the earth. In short, they claim that Jesus didn’t really come to save us from our sins, but rather He came to clean up the earth and show us how to live by serving others in every manner of social work. Sin, they say isn’t a problem, and in fact, doesn’t really exist, except in the minds of those hard-core religious nuts who don’t know what love is.
The meaning of emergent or emerging is “Emerging out of a fluid or anything that covers; an issuing forth; rising unto notice; arising unexpectedly; calling for prompt action; urgent. In Philosophy/Biology = appearing as something novel or unpredictable in the course of an evolution.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1960, pp. 268-69)
Proponents of this “Church” movement desire a change in the way people view the Gospel, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom, and the whole of Scripture. The implementation of this desire is accomplished by the deconstruction of the Church. This deconstruction is accomplished by taking the true doctrines and trashing them for the social gospel of supposedly fixing this world’s problems, but a gospel that is devoid of any power to save souls. The ultimate purpose is for a global church transformation in which nobody is excluded. This is, of course, what is known as “Universalism,” which claims that all are eventually saved, whether or not they believed in Christ. The takeover of the world’s governments by the socialistic/communistic ideology is well under way, but the professing church has to be a part of all this until Satan no longer needs her. We know from Revelation chapter 17 that he will destroy the whore - the false church - which is Christian in name only and is headed up by the false prophet who is aligned with the political anti-Christ. What’s interesting is that it is God who put it in the mind of anti-Christ that he no longer needs her and to thus destroy her completely in verses 16&17. Matthew 7:15 informs us to be aware of false prophets, “…which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
Leaders in this movement claim that they don’t have any written dogma, but their many books, CDs, and DVD teachings tell a different story. They all agree on the major points of their perverted doctrines, such as, there is no sin, social activity is number one, Christ was only a good man and not actually the son of God, there is no hell to pay, etc.
They have mapped out three main lines of attack. The first is what they call “Change Agent.” This is where brainwashing takes place through seminars, workshops, conferences, leadership training gatherings, etc. This is used to train individuals how to run an emergent church under the guise of being biblical. All this is borrowed from the business model ala business mentality guru Peter Drucker. This man was an admitted “church goer” and tither but also admitted that he didn’t believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. To him, the church, as an already existing organized community, was an instrument that could and should be used to effect social change.
The second way of attacking the institution of the existing Church is known as Leadership Network. This was headed up by Bob Buford, whose extensive hand in this has caused great success in paving the way for their convoluted communistic, that is, “fake Jewish” Talmudic theology.
Since all of these concepts work in tandem, we’re not surprised to see the third wave of attack to be aimed directly at our youths. In 2001, Young Leader Networks were hosting labs where participants were taught to “act as a transforming presence” in the Christian experience. Something called the Tierra Nova Project was designed by the leadership network, and was considered the vanguard movement to transform evangelicalism. In all this, no transformation of the Roman Catholic Church was sought. In fact, some of the signs of an emergent church are that they engage in Roman Catholic practices that are totally pagan like candle lighting for souls, the veneration of supposed “saints,” reading of the liturgy, etc. Hard to believe for some but true nonetheless is the fact that all major youth organizations have been infected with the all-inclusive anti-biblical false gospel for at least the last 65 years. It was for this very reason that “youth groups,” of which the Bible never speaks, were created to sever teenagers and young adults from their parents in church services, thus splitting up a unity in the family and simultaneously what was taught to them at church, the youth having their own preacher in the form of the totally un-biblical “youth pastor”.
Practices that are not prescribed or even mentioned or taught in any way in the Bible became popular through evangelists and so-called “faith healers” who stirred the emotions of the public and had great tent “revivals.” What they revived was the honoring of devils and demons but under the guise of true Christianity. Among the false practices and customs that began to be accepted are the sinner’s prayer, the altar call, the youth groups, bible colleges, Sunday school classes, steeples on churches, a hierarchy of a priesthood called Nicolaitans, which in the book of Revelation Jesus twice said He hated. All this plus the ever-present outright pagan customs of the Roman Catholic, the Coptic, the Orthodox Greek, Russian, Churches, etc. is now being included into the emergent way of doing Sunday meetings. All of these things served to water down the serious message of the Cross and the salvation that it bought to those who would believe in truth and walk it out. Today, you just have to walk it out in the prescribed emergent way of doing for society, and engaging in witchcraft practices steeped in superstition and paganism.
Consider some of the heresies espoused by the heretic leaders: Brian McLaren claims that “…the kingdom of god will be radically, scandalously inclusive.” (The Secret Message of Jesus, pp. 74, 94)
“Universalism is not as bankrupt of biblical support as some suggest…” (McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, p. 103)
“It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish context …Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place His truth in others too?...the gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity.” (McLaren, An Emergent Manifesto, p.194) What does he mean by Manifesto? So much for not having “official” doctrine. Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” is considered to be Communism’s official basic policies.
Brian McLaren claims that the message of Jesus has been misunderstood for the past 2000 years. He claims that the real gospel is not that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again after three days. Instead, Jesus’ message was that the kingdom of God is at hand. He claims that this kingdom is something we have to help build. This is why all the social activity is pushed so hard. As already mentioned, basically it’s all about the earth and not getting souls saved.
Listen to what John Hicks has to say: “I no longer find it possible to proceed as a Christian theologian as though Christianity were the only religion in the world. Surely our thinking must be undertaking, in the “one world” of today and tomorrow, on a more open and global basis.” (God and the Universe of Faiths, p, 102)
More heresy follows: “If we accept the premise that Jesus literally purchased, that He literally purchased our salvation with His blood …and He paid the Father…then this approach, first of all portrays God the Father as being vindictive and blood-thirsty and totally incompatible with biblical forgiveness…It also presents another great difficulty. If Jesus literally paid for our sins with His blood, and a paid debt is no longer a debt, and He died for the sins of the whole world, then we can come to only one conclusion and the theological word for that is Universalism, which means that everybody will be saved.” (George Otis Jr., The Sentinel Group-transformational lecture to YWAM, [Youth With A Mission] 1981, lecture #4)
I already stated that our youth have been infiltrated with false teachings. The above quote is how all major college “Christian” groups have been polluted. Notice that this was back in 1981, and Otis is preaching a cross-less and therefore worthless gospel while denying the truth of Scripture that we are saved by grace through faith. (Eph. 2:8) Yes, Jesus paid the price for all humanity but humanity must come to Him in true faith after having truly repented of their sins. Even though our sins have been technically paid for, we can’t claim it for credit until the conditions to be able to claim it are met. What are these conditions? To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord. Obviously, this doesn’t just mean that we can speak those words and we’re done; it means we speak those words because our heart has made the change so as to make the words a confirmation of what took place in our hearts. After that, our outward actions prove that our hearts were changed and that our salvation is real. The Emergent Church denies this!!!
“I am a convinced Universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God.” (William Barclay, www.tentmaker.org/biographies/barclay.htm) What an obvious idiot!!! On what basis can he conclude that the love of God will pardon sinners, apart from true repentance, without which forgiveness cannot and will not kick in? God’s love is intelligent love – not sloppy agape. Psalm 5:5 states, “The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.”
Psalm 11:5 tells us, “The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
Proverbs 11:20 informs us that “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord…”
And Paul the apostle without flinching states, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord come! (1 Cor. 16:22) In case there is doubt as to what is meant by “love the Lord” consider studying (John 14:21-24; 1John 1:6, 8, 10, 2:4, 3:8,16, 18; 4:8, 16, 19, 21)
The quote from Barclay shows that he, as well as the others, know nothing of Biblical truth and purposefully twist the little they may know. They do this to take as many people with them to hell as they can.
“Messianic Muslims, who continue to read the Koran, visit their mosque and say their daily prayers, but accept Christ as their Savior, are the products of their strategy, which is being tried in several countries.” A YWAM staff writer wrote: “They continue a life of following the Islamic requirements, including mosque attendance, fasting, and Koranic reading, besides getting together as a fellowship of Muslims who acknowledge Christ as a source of God’s mercy for them….YWAM is also adopting this approach in India, where a team is working with a Hindu holy man.” (Charisma Magazine, May/June 2000, p. 39)
Heretic Alan Jones in “Reimagining Christianity” says, “The church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in the Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” (p. 132)
Just a few more examples, to give you, the reader, a clue, on how perverted and how far reaching this emergent church trash actually is.
“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” (Sabbatical Journey, Henry Nouwen; Henry is a New Age writer widely accepted in “Christian” circles)
“Although we may have different concepts of God’s nature, although we pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names – Allah, or Yahweh, God or Brahma – never the less, we are speaking about the same unique Being.” (The Bahai Concept of God; http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-2-.html)
I know that most evangelicals don’t know it but they have a pope too, similar to the RCC. Listen to his idea of salvation.
“They (the heathen) may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they are going to be with us in heaven.” (Billy Graham, Straightway, September, 1997)
One more from the Evangelical pope:
“I used to think that pagans in far off countries were lost, were going to hell-if they did not have the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that…I believe there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God-through nature, for instance and plenty of other opportunities, therefore of saying yes to God.” (Billy Graham, McCall’s Magazine, 1978)
Because of the clout that many give Graham, those very same people will believe what he said he believed and never search the scriptures for themselves. Since God is no respecter of persons, we shouldn’t be either. Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Col. 3:25
The truth is that Billy Graham started out good but seems to be ending rather badly. Dave Hunt has written, “…early in his ministry Graham denounced Catholicism along with communism and Islam as three of the world’s greatest evils. What changed? Certainly not Roman Catholicism. Yet in a shocking turn-around Graham crusades began to be promoted and financially supported by the Catholic Church including being staffed by nuns and priests as counselors, a practice that still continues today.” (TBC, vol. XXIII, No. 8, August, 2008)
See if you can reconcile Billy Graham’s quotes above with just a couple of verses of what the Bible says of salvation: Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” John 3:7
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: For it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone that believes; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom. 1:16
In speaking of the name of Jesus Peter informs us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
I don’t know about you but I choose to believe the Bible, not Billy Graham. I have nothing against the man. In fact, I loved listening to him on TV when his “crusades” were televised. I cannot find much fault in the messages which he gave during those crusades; rather the fault lies in his associations with hundreds of political world leaders and even God-hating knuckle-heads like the Dalai Lama and many other outright unbelieving pagans. Scripture is crystal clear concerning the world. If you get along with those in the world and you’re liked, and Billy is liked by everybody, you’re not pleasing the Father, and you should be checking yourself to see if you’re a true child of God. See 2 Cor. 13:5 concerning “still being” in the faith and on being hated by the world see John 15:18; 17:14; 1 John 2:15; 3:13; etc.
We’re called to be world over-comers, not to stand side by side with it. Many think it’s OK to stand in picket lines protesting one of the many sins this world is into. We’re to leave the world alone and not side with them as if we have things in common. Of course abortions are murderous acts, of course the pollution is killing us, of course drunks should be stopped from driving, etc. etc. etc. This is however what the world does. Our agreement with the evils that some of them point out is not enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. They are still going to hell, while we await heaven, there is no commonality between us. Also, playing with the world will get us dirty to say the least and maybe worse as some fall away from the faith. We can never “clean-up” this world. This is why we’re commanded to not be yoked together with the unbelievers or their world [system]. (2 Cor. 6:14)
The Emergent Church proponents tell us we’re to engage in and with the world to help heal its ills. These “ills” are in fact sins for which there is only one remedy, namely true repentance from them on an individual basis. This is something we have no control over. Another name that’s being used much today is the “social gospel”, discussed earlier. Help fix society’s ills and then we’ll be doing the real work of the Lord they say. Nothing could be farther from the truth!!! Society won’t be healed of its ills. Society will slide further and further into sin and deprivation, there is no cleaning it up!!! We’re called and commanded to be the example in how we live our lives, especially during hard times of whatever nature. The world is watching us who have confessed Christ as Savior and Lord. The Bible tells us that only a few will want what we have. The vast majority will hate us even more because they hate Jesus. (John 15:18)
All this nonsense about aiding society is watering down those professing Christians even more but sadly, many aren’t able to recognize it. Biblical discernment can’t be in place when the Word of God is trashed to mean what it doesn’t.
One of the things that the emergent Church thrives on is the superstitious mindset of many who believe that they are “Christians”. However, Roman Catholic practices have been brought into the evangelical church by way of the saying of the rosary, walking the labyrinth to find one’s true inner self when commuting with the Source, the use of lots of candles, the veneration of so-called saints, the reading of pre-written creeds and prayers which is lead by the priest and echoed by the congregation, crossing one’s chest, and bowing down to statues and other “Christian”, that is, pagan relics.
The evil practice of the Eucharist, which is an un-bloody re-sacrificing of Christ, is totally forbidden by Scripture. First, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins according to Hebrews 9:22 and Jesus went to the Cross once and for all not repeatedly. Hebrews 9:26 Therefore, any action of “re-presenting” Him on the cross, as the Council of Trent puts it as the crucified one, is an abomination to the Lord.
That all of the above is obviously total paganism should go without saying. Remember however the superstitious nature of most of all those who adhere to such idolatry and consequently see nothing wrong with it.
Evangelicals all over have added crucifixes to their altars, they recite the Nicene Creed, religious artwork, usually of human “saints” are added to the décor of evangelical churches, the practice of celebrating “Advent” Sundays, the reading of the so-called Church-fathers, and the use of tattoos is now standard practice in much of the evangelical world.
These “churches are spreading like wildfire. Congregants want to be free to worship God any way they want, never mind His stipulations of obedience and holiness to what He’s already said in His Word. Comfortable is the key here. All of the practices, whether drawn from Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, or elsewhere were modified slightly so as to get the flavor but in an easy listening “coffeehouse” atmosphere. The God commanded stipulation that if we’re going to worship Him we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth got thrown out the window in favor of being comfortable. This is the God that people want, the one that they can invent and the one who doesn’t put unwanted and in their learned opinion, outdated rules and regulations on them.
The phenomena of “seeker friendly” churches as they came to be known, that is, churches which advertised come as you are, everyone welcome, traditional and contemporary services, great youth program, etc. All the stops were pulled in order to attract people to fill up the pews. What happened to the fact that Church is a place for believers to gather in order to praise and honor God? How can an unbeliever do those things? Never mind, we need more giving therefore, it stands to reason, more people = more giving.
While the just mentioned seeker friendly churches were bringing them in, they could not keep them long. There are those who desire a deeper understanding of God’s Word, because shallow teaching stemming from little to no knowledge of actual biblical doctrines, is rampant among so called pastors of evangelical churches, many of whom were trained, and I use that term lightly, in two year bible colleges. Even those who graduated from actual seminaries don’t fare much better. The watering down of God’s Word and the professing Church’s acceptance of the world’s way of thinking and doing has been in play for many decades. Unless God calls an individual into service for Him to serve as pastor and because that person loves God and His Word, similar to how King David loved the Word of the Lord, that individual is no more than a hireling.
According to Carl Anderson, senior pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church going to more traditional services based on practices popular in medieval times brings us back to God instead of the self. He argues that traditional practices will help evangelical churches grow beyond the dependence of “celebrity” –status pastors.
One of America’s favorite pastors, Rick Warren states that, “Fundamentalism of all varieties, will be one of the big enemies of the 21st century.” What they don’t like and what doesn’t fit in with the “purpose driven” mentality of the above and many others, is that fundamentalists stay true to the basic truths of biblical doctrines. This of course flies in the face of the “change agents” and the plans they have for the Church. There are absolutes. There is a day of judgment coming for those who oppose the will of God and that there is only one way to God, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:6 says: “ I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.”
“Emerging Church propaganda has created a major controversy within a number of fellowships that once were led by Bible believing and teaching pastors. Pastors sympathetic to the Emerging Church say that Christianity must change or be re-invented if we are going to reach the post-modern generation. …Christianity is no longer relevant for the post-modern era and the gospel can no longer reach young people who are looking for experiences.” (Roger Oakland, Can Right Be Wrong? HFTW Update, Winter 2008, p.13)
“While teaching the Scriptures verse by verse and telling people about the soon coming of Christ had its day, it is no longer relevant today. Emerging Church proponents equate ‘reaching people’ with ‘finding new ways of doing so by encouraging them to come to church by means of augmenting the Scriptures by stimulating the senses with sounds, smells and images.’” (ibid)
This longing to “reach” young people is a joke. What they are reaching them with is a watered down gospel that cannot save even an ant, much less a human soul. It is a trick of the devil to make everyone feel like they’re really going after young souls for heaven when in reality the young souls are being prepared for hell and the Lake of Fire. Changing Christianity means changing God Himself who is the Word, which cannot be done without destroying its power to save. Just because youth want experience is no reason to cater to them in that regard. In fact, it is experiences that are the easiest to fake. Anyone can say that they heard from God, or that God gave them a scripture, or that they had a dream, or a word of knowledge. This nonsense is being promoted by thousands of books available to one and all, looking for experiences, and thus find your inner man /self.
Many are fooled into self-deception and are therefore guilty of turning their back on God while thinking they are serving Him. Since it’s not “cool” to tell people that without accepting Jesus the Savior no one will be saved, they instead put their time in reading and promoting each other’s books and articles. “…for a mind blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History About Everything.” [Ken is a New Age guru and no Christian!]
The bottom line to all this is the creation of a one world church. This must come to pass as God has prophesied it long ago. One major view of emergent is that it is vital to have a one world global community of faith. In this view, which is just repackaged New Ageism, all religions have some truth. This same, many paths lead to God, scenario is as old as Babylon itself. A getting closer to God is promoted by doing all these ritual’s such as counting beads, walking the labyrinth, Eastern prayer and meditation practices through Yoga and Zen instead of obeying God like we’re told to do in the only actual holy Scripture, the Bible.
In his book “The Secret Message of Jesus”, Brian McLaren names Martin Luther King Jr. (pp. 147, 154, 157-8, 169) St. Patrick, St. Francis, Teresa of Avila, Desmond Tutu, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela (pp. 78, 125, 169) as being lead citizens in God’s kingdom. However, as Pastor Gary E. Gilley of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois correctly points out: “Not a single one of these would meet the biblical criteria of a true Christian…” ( http://www.svchapel.org/Resources/Book Reviews/book_reviews.asp?...)
The Emergent Church is nothing more than a bunch of phony Christians, some of whom may have started out good, leading the masses who are weak in the true faith in God by the gospel, astray by introducing them to old pagan practices that were and are forbidden in the Bible. Because too many people have been just pew sitters instead of Berean’s, they have been duped into believing that looking up for our redemption is no longer valid in today’s society. (Luke 21:28)
Following is a small list of some of the common “buzz” terminology in Emergent and New Evangelical circles:
Change Agents, Paradigm shift, New Reformation, Ancient Future, Vintage Christianity, Transformation, Impartation, Collective Consciousness, Ecumenism, Multi-Culturalism, Syncretism, Inclusiveness, Dominionism, Tolerance, Relativism, Contemplative Praying.
Spurgeon had it right when he long ago said, “Beware of the leaven (destructive forces) of worldly pleasures, for its working is silent but sure, and a little of it will leaven the whole lump (take over and destroy). Keep up the distinction between a Christian and an unbeliever and make it clearer everyday…Avoid the appearance of evil. ‘But we must not be too rigid says one.’ There is no fear of that in these days. You will never go too far in holiness, nor become too like your Lord Jesus. If anyone accuses you of being too strict and precise, do not grieve but try to deserve the charge. I cannot suppose that at the last great day our Lord Jesus Christ will say to anyone, ‘You were not worldly enough.’”
Likewise Scripture too has this to say about mixing with the world, “A little leaven, (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith, or misleads the whole church].” Galatians 5: 9- Amplified Bible
Revealing are the words of Adam Weisshaupt, the founder of the infamous Illuminati. He states, “The most wonderful thing of all is that the distinguished Lutheran and Calvinist theologians who belong to our order really believe that they see in it [illuminati] the true and genuine sense of the Christian religion. Oh mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?” (As quoted in The World’s Last Dictator, by Dwight L. Kinman, underline & highlight mine) TWLD, Solid Rock Books, Inc.; 1995