“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1:3-4
It has crept and slithered through America infecting countless victims. Its goals are compromise, ambiguity, tolerance, globalism, mysticism, and in some cases, universalism. Its path is destruction and its foundation is sinking sand.
The ‘Emergent Church’ is a movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries. Followers, participants, and those who identify can be described as evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal or post-liberal, reformed, neo-charismatic, and post-charismatic. It is part of the Cult of Liberalism.
They seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “Postmodern” society. It is an untraditional network of individual believers and churches that prefer to be understood as a “conversation” or a friendship rather than an organization. What those involved mostly agree on is their disdain for fundamental Christianity and disillusionment with the organized, traditional, and institutional church.
The emergent, or emegring church favors the use of simple story and narrative in preaching style. Adherents often place a high value on good works or social activism. The hallmark of the emergent church is the liberal, new age aspect including the practice of contemplative monastic meditation and prayers. While some do emphasize eternal salvation, many in the emerging church emphasize the here and now (taking care of the earth, etc.) and reject the inerrancy of Scripture.
Regarding doctrine, these folks generally reject systematic Christian theology, the integrity of Scripture, and gospel exclusivity. They don’t believe Christianity is the one true religion and many associated with the emergent church promote homosexuality. Some deny the deity of Jesus Christ; they call for diversity, “unity,” and camaraderie among all religions, and they modify and expand their teachings. It is quite clearly and simply a war against the Truth.
At an emergent church workshop in San Diego about ten years ago, former national coordinator of the Emergent Village, Tony Jones stated:
“This is about our belief that theology changes. The message of the gospel changes. It’s not just the method that changes.”
What? I submit to you that Jesus never changed his message to fit the times! Sadly, too many believers are uninterested, uninformed, or just plain apathetic about the Bible and understanding the times we live in where relevance is emphasized more than repentance.
In a revealing comment about why Jones departed from the traditional Bible church, he described his younger days in a Protestant church like this:
“I’d say there was one word that summed up my religious life: obligation.”
Rather than seek Christ’s kingdom first and dig into Scripture, Jones decided to travel the world and see how other religions and worshippers found peace through prayer and meditation and he adopted other forms of spirituality in his pursuit of religion.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
Jones is not alone. These influential men are best-selling authors in Christian stores, speakers at entertaining music festivals, popular on the political Christian Left, and well-known leaders in religious circles. They and their dangerous doctrines have invaded the true body of Christ. The goal in this expose is to provide a basic understanding as well as direct quotes from those who have done great damage to the Church, not to explain or refute each one in detail.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Here are a few more quotes from Tony Jones:
“In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ [Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer] can live lives in accord with Biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.”
“I think the Bible is a f***ing scary book (pardon my French, but that’s the only way I know how to convey how strongly I feel about this).”
“Some people today may find it compelling that some Great Cosmic Transaction took place on that day 1,980 years ago, that God’s wrath burned against his son instead of me. I find that version of atonement theory neither intellectually compelling, spiritually compelling, nor in keeping with the biblical narrative.”
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. 2 Peter 2:1-3
Next, Tony Campolo is an author, professor of Sociology at Eastern College, former spiritual counselor to President Bill Clinton, modern mystic, popular religious commentator, and a leader of the progressive evangelical movement, “Red Letter Christians.” I remember hearing Campolo speak in California in the late 80s. I remember laughing a lot because he’s a great entertainer. He knows how to reach both young and old. His theology is more concerning than his presentation.
On June 8, 2015, Tony Campolo reiterated his support for the LGBTQ community, saying:
“As a social scientist, I have concluded that sexual orientation is almost never a choice and I have seen how damaging it can be to try to “cure” someone from being gay. As a Christian, my responsibility is not to condemn or reject gay people, but rather to love and embrace them, and to endeavor to draw them into the fellowship of the Church.”
He has concluded that it is “almost never” a choice? The fact is those within the medical, psychiatric, and scientific communities do not all agree with Campolo. Let’s clarify that we are to love all people and most believers try doing so; the difference is in accommodation. You can stand for God’s truth, love and accept someone without approving of their sin or lifestyle. A few more classic quotes from Campolo:
“Going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia… There are many ways…It doesn’t make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place.”
“…we want to see God at work converting society, converting the systems, so that there aren’t the racist overtones, the economic injustices, the polluting of the atmosphere.”
“I learn about Jesus from other religions. They speak to me about Christ, as well… I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.”
“On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse.”
“But the overwhelming population of the gay community that love Jesus, that go to church, that are deeply committed in spiritual things, try to change and can’t change…”
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:6-8
Brian McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, MD, he serves as a board chair for Sojourners, an emergent church leader and a founding member of Red Letter Christians.
“I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts…”
“Yes, I find a character named God who sends a flood that destroys all humanity except Noah’s family, but that’s almost trivial compared to a deity who tortures the greater part of humanity forever in infinite eternal conscious torment, three words that need to be read slowly and thoughtfully to feel their full import.”
“For many Christians, their faith is primarily about what happens to people after they die. That distracts them from seeking justice and living in a compassionate way while we’re still alive in this life. We need to go back and take another look at Jesus’ teachings about hell. For so many people, the conventional teaching about hell makes God seem vicious. That’s not something we should let stand.”
“In this light, a god who mandates an intentional supernatural disaster leading to unparalleled genocide is hardly worthy of belief, much less worship. How can you ask your children…to honor a deity so uncreative, over reactive, and utterly capricious regarding life?”
“In the Bible, save means ‘rescue’ or ‘heal’. It emphatically does not mean ‘save from hell’ or ‘give eternal life after death,’ as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon.”
Jim Wallis – is a leftist radical and lifelong political activist best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners’ Magazine, for which he accepted money from George Soros, who has financed groups supporting abortion, Islam, and atheism. Wallis supports same-sex marriage, adheres to big tent progressive “Christianity,” and has been arrested 22 times for acts of civil disobedience. He served as a spiritual adviser to President Obama.
“I don’t think that abortion is the moral equivalent issue to slavery… I think poverty is the new slavery. Poverty and global inequality are the fundamental moral issues of our time. That’s my judgment.”
“Jesus didn’t talk about homosexuality at all; the Bible talks about the poor again and again and again.”
“Christianity will be impotent to lead a conversation on sexuality and gender if we do not bodily integrate our current understandings of humanity with our theology. This will require us to not only draw new conclusions about sexuality but will force us to consider new ways of being sexual.”
“As more Christians become influenced by liberation theology, finding themselves increasingly rejecting the values of institutions of capitalism, they will also be drawn to the Marxist analysis and praxis that is so central to the social justice movement.”
More on Jim Wallis from Stand Up for the Truth
“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:30
Rob Bell is the former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI, a promoter of new spirituality and mysticism, and a former pop icon in the emergent church movement. Thanks in part to his liberal theology and to Oprah, Bell has been welcomed into millions of naive and unsuspecting Christian homes. Bell once described himself this way:
“I have as much in common with the performance artist, the standup comedian, the screenwriter, as I do with the theologian. I’m in an odd world where I make things and share them with people.”
Pastor Joe Schimmel wrote that Bell takes every possible liberty to “deny reality and to either explain Hell away or get everyone into Heaven, regardless of his or her rejection of God and the Gospel.” Bell tries to empty Hell of God’s holy wrath, and “he creates an exit door from the inside out and claims that Hell is merely what we make it.”
Rob Bell quotes:
“Repentance is not turning from sin. It is a ‘celebration’ of life in Christ. Anyone who tells you that you need to repent is not talking about Christianity.”
“Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number ‘make it to a better place’ and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever? Is this acceptable to God? (from Love Wins)
“This participation is important, because Jesus and the prophets lived with an awareness that God has been looking for partners since the beginning, people who will take seriously the divine responsibility to care for the earth and each other in loving, sustainable ways.”
(And on page 178) “This God whom Jesus spoke of has always been looking for partners, people who are passionate about participating in the ongoing creation of the world.”
“What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? …Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live?” (from Bell’s book Velvet Elvis)
“When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter—they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth.
“Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” Luke 13:22-24
Next, Doug Pagitt is another leader in the emergent church movement. An author and pastor of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, Pagitt was asked, “Is homosexuality incompatible with Christian faith?” He replied:
“NO. Being Gay and Christian is not a contradiction in any way.” (But wait, there’s more!)
“The inerrancy (of Scripture) debate is based on the belief that the Bible is the word of God, that the Bible is true because God made it and gave it to us as a guide to truth. But that’s not what the Bible says.”
“God is constantly creating anew. And God also, invites us to be recreated and join the work of God as co-(re)creators… Imagine the kingdom of God as the creative process of God reengaging in all that we know and experience… When we employ creativity to make this world better, we participate with God in the recreation of the world.”
“[T]he early evangelists recognized they could help the Jesus story make sense if Jesus was seen as someone who was chosen to appease the wrath of God – hence, the ‘anointed one’ who could do what no one else could do…”
Finally, Shane Claiborne is an author, co-founder of The Potter Street Community – formerly The Simple Way, a graduate of Eastern University and is a part of The Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. Like Tony Campolo, Claiborne is a Red Letter Christian. He is a leading figure in the New Monasticism movement and is featured in the documentary “The Ordinary Radicals.” He is an environmentalist and wrote the foreword to Ben Lowe’s “Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation.” He once stated that he “gave up Christianity to follow Jesus.”
In the words of Shane Claiborne:
“There are extremists, both Muslim and Christian, who kill in the name of their gods.”
“So for those of us who have nearly given up the church, may we take comfort in the words of St. Augustine: ‘The Church is a whore, but she’s my mother.’ She is a mess and has many illegitimate children. But she is also our momma…” (from Irresistible Revolution)
“But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that’s why God invented highlighers, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.”
If you’re like me, you had to look closely at some of the above quotes; something about them seems a little off. This can test our ability to judge between truth and error. Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not a matter of knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is the difference between right and almost right.”
How did we get to the point where many of these liberal, emergent ideas and teachings have blended in with truth and sound doctrine? How have they slithered their way into modern Christianity? The answer goes back to the book of Genesis and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Remember how the serpent deceived Eve by questioning God? (“Did God really say…”) He then encouraged them to disobey God as he declared, “You will not surely die…” (Genesis 3:1-4)
All it takes is a seed of doubt and invitation to sin. Many progressive leaders and deceivers question absolute truth and promote ambiguity and confusion. No wonder these men are so popular – they’re going with the flow of pop culture. Paul warned about conforming to this world (Romans 12:2).
False teachers have been around since the early church days. The major issue with the emergent church is that they reject the authority of Scripture. These teachings were not accepted by evangelical Christians overnight. We can trace the rapid advancement of the emergent church to the late 80’s and 90’s, when people began talking about how to modernize and re-create church to be more attractive to the unchurched.
Heck, Robert Schueller actually went door to door in the 1970s in California asking people what they wanted in a church – and he then set out to give it to them. How is that biblical? Who decided it is better to attract the world by giving them what they want instead of what they need – salvation and sanctification resulting from repentance of sin and growth as a disciple of Jesus?
Going further back to the hippy flower-power days of the 1960’s, the new fad was all about peace, love, free sex, and rebelling against authority. Absolute truth and Biblical standards were questioned and labeled as too rigid, leading some to moral relativism which is an ethical judgment. It is the claim that no ethical system is better than another, and rests on the belief that morals and values are subjective.
Some churches responded to the 60’s rebellion by trying to convert as many as possible and accepted them as they were. ‘Come as you are’ was the new slogan. Jesus does meet people right where they are, but there’s an important distinction: He loves people too much to leave them that way, and unlike the emergent church, His message never changes!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
During the 80s, successful business executives were already mentoring church leaders on how to build their church and grow their ministry. Nowhere in Scripture does it teach Christians to model the church after the world! Austrian-born Peter Drucker was one of the men who, along with New Age business gurus Bob Buford and Ken Blanchard, promoted this alliance between the secular business world and evangelical Christian churches.
America’s most influential pastor, Rick Warren, has called Drucker his mentor. And yet in a 2001 interview, Drucker denied being a born-again Christian. Drucker was a disciple of philosopher and mystic, Soren Kierkegaard, and was also influenced by Zen Buddhism. At a 2005 Pew Forum on religion, Warren proudly stated, “I’ve spent twenty years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him….” I’m not suggesting Warren is not a Christian. His influences, however, should be noted. By the way, Drucker believed that in the twentieth century, the rise of the corporation was the “most significant sociological phenomenon” of the first half – and the development of the mega-church was most significant in the second half of the twentieth century.
The overall effect of the emergent church may be hard to evaluate, but its influence is probably much greater and more devastating than we know. Many churches began watering down the true gospel in an effort to lure potential new members and not offend people. Some Pastors and church leaders simply wanted to increase their market share, so to speak. The “mega-church” and seeker-friendly or seeker-sensitive movement began to grow and a skim milk diet replaced the meat of God’s word. Many Pastors became CEO’s and sermons resembled mini-seminars. The follow-up or discipleship training also took a back seat, and lots of baby Christians went back out into the world without a solid biblical foundation.
Those decades also brought us the development of the Christian music industry. Most of the industry pioneers were authentic, God-fearing, and ministry-minded, but I wonder if they would approve of Christian music as a whole today? In some cases, bands are more into the entertainment aspect than writing about Scripture and building up the body of Christ. Biblical truth became irrelevant to young Christians and grace was way over-emphasized.
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” Galatians 5:7-9
Many churches in America now have beautiful buildings, sports facilities, coffee shops, bookstores, great music and sound systems, state of the art lighting, and good drama or video presentations, but how much of their service time is spent preaching the solid truth of Scripture? Many seem to put more of an emphasis on programs keeping people within their own walls or on entertaining the flock rather than feeding them God’s Word. Well, at least the youth are kept happy and occupied.
Young people like to take action for a cause, and many works-based efforts call for organizing, social or environmental action and partnership with government agencies and other religions/leaders. This is a clever way to lure those who are not as mature in the faith.
Another controversial message being promoted is that of social justice, which in its modern use is apostasy. Apostasy means a departure from the faith or one who denies the fundamental doctrines concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Wallis’ Sojourners mag for example, puts more emphasis on the environment, immigration, “income inequality,” and poverty than on the Gospel, salvation, repentance, and sin.) The Bible does not teach that the church must work with government or world leaders to implement man’s solutions to our deepest needs and problems. We can no longer deny the fact that humanism, liberalism and secular-progressive influence is alive and well -not only in government, education, media, corporations, and the entertainment industry – but in the Church.
In 1995 for example, Jim Wallis founded ‘Call to Renewal’ for the purposes of advocating for leftist economic agendas such as tax hikes and wealth redistribution to promote social justice. He himself stated, “That’s what the gospel is all about.” In 2005, Democratic Senators (including Harry Reid) met with Wallis to devise clever ways to use religious language to pull evangelical voters away from Republicans.
According to TraditionalValues.org, Wallis was hired to fool Americans into believing secular liberals had found “religion” in part by sprinkling references to God and faith into their speeches. Wallis has criticized America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, capitalism, conservative Christians, and jumped on the race card express saying, “would there even be a Tea Party if the president of the United States weren’t the first black man to occupy that office?”
I first learned about Jim Wallis in 2010 when he was invited to give his message at a Christian music festival in Wisconsin called Lifest. (Organizers have also had Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, author of The Shack, William Young, and others.) Wallis, a progressive Democrat, was given the main stage to preach on unity (read: uniformity). He promoted his politics, criticized Fox News and conservative talk radio, and then called conservative Christians ‘divisive.’
Robert Meyer wrote about this in a Renew America column stating:
It is interesting that secularists who otherwise wish to absolutely separate church and state, anxiously merge them back together if such a union can be used as a pretext for promoting a leftist political agenda… As Obama’s spiritual advisor, Wallis wanted to cast a pejorative pall on those who vocally oppose Obama, thus sneaking a political message into what was thought to be an apolitical presentation.
Because there were many good bands and speakers there, some people tried defending his appearance stating the over-used analogy, “don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.” So, lets reason here: because of some good music and other speakers, it’s okay that people happened to hear a false gospel as well? Having Wallis there was a mistake. It divided churches and ministries as a result and also exposed the worldview of festival organizers. It would have been a different story had there at least been a Christian conservative present to debate or refute Wallis and in fact, that was suggested prior to the fiasco. Lifest stuck to their guns and argued that those who objected to Jim Wallis were the divisive ones.
We can just agree to disagree, right? Sorry, that may be fine when dealing with petty arguments between friends or family, but when it comes to deceiving people with false doctrines, we can’t simply look the other way. Shouldn’t we care when truth is misrepresented? But this is exactly what progressives and those in the emergent church do and have done for decades now. Unfortunately, people most often side with those conforming to culture and oppose those who are contending for the faith.
In fact, Brian McLaren once made the list of the 25 most influential people in the evangelical church according to Time Magazine. ‘Evangelical;’ they keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means! And Christians living hypocritically don’t help the cause.
It is a serious issue because his teachings seem to reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the work on the cross, and dilutes what the Bible says about Heaven and eternal life. McLaren is changing Biblical doctrine to fit his own ‘We Are the World’ type of theology, which, similar to Rob Bell, stomps out the reality of Hell and the fact that Jesus became our substitute on the cross in order to redeem us. He doubts the reliability of the Bible and yet, he has been one of the more influential people on the church in America? No wonder we’re sinking like the Titanic.
Many of today’s youth have been raised in a culture (and sadly in some churches) where feelings, fun, and sensitivity matter but sound doctrine and the truth of God’s word aren’t a priority. This invites the justification of sinful behaviors and tolerance of sin. Our culture has redefined the word ‘tolerance’ to mean love, unconditional grace, warm fuzzies, and the acceptance of not only the sinner but the sin as well. We must not mistake God’s loving-kindness and patience with our understanding of tolerance; God is never tolerant of sin, disobedience, and rebellion.
Without the Holy Spirit working in our hearts through the preaching of Scripture, there can be no conviction. Without revelation of sin and conviction, there can be no repentance leading to forgiveness. We shouldn’t be surprised that many young Christians have their spiritual foundations built on the sand. The Lord Jesus Christ said something very serious about those who cause little ones to stumble. He said in Luke 17:2 that it would be better that a millstone would be tied around the neck of the one who caused them to sin. These guys have no business teaching Christian theology and it’s amazing that so many ‘believing’ consumers buy into their feel-good, motivational doctrine. Part of their gospel is one of a social worker putting their faith in man (humanism) and government.
Dr. Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute, sternly warned about liberal theology and the emergent church saying,
“It is a cult because it follows every outlined structure of cultism; its own revelations; its own gurus, and its denial—systematically—of all sound systematic Christian theology. It is a cult because it passes its leadership on to the next group that takes over—either modifying, expanding or contracting—the same heresies; dressing them up in different language, and passing them on…it denies the authority of Scripture, it ruins its own theology. And it ends in immorality; because the only way you could have gotten to this homosexual, morally relativistic, garbage—which is today in our denominational structures—is if the leadership of those denominations denied the authority of the Scriptures and Jesus Christ as Lord…Test all things; make sure of what is true (see 1 Thessalonians 5:21). I’m not being harsh; I’m not being judgmental. I am being thoroughly, consistently, Christian; in the light of historic theology, and the holy Bible.”
So what should we do? Since not enough Christians know the dangers and the extent of the emergent church movement and their radical teachings, we need to promote awareness starting with what is true. We need to dig deeper in to the Word of God than ever before and know it so well that if we hear a counterfeit message, we’ll recognize it immediately! We need to talk to our pastors and Christian friends. Liberalism, humanism, and secularism are growing cancers in both church and culture so let’s not ignore the causes.
Let’s get out of our comfort zones and take a stand for Christ. The spiritual battle rages all around us and the enemy is on our doorstep. Satan has been at work at a church near you spreading his deceptions. The good news is that we are on to his schemes. Mature believers know that the emergent church teachings are contrary to the gospel of Christ. So suit up in the full armor of God and pray for discernment. Light dispels the darkness and the darker the times, the brighter the light of Christ.
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. Romans 13:11
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Revelation 3:11
*This article has been UPDATED with more quotes, links, and news articles: originally published in 2010 at Good Fight Ministries here:
The Emergent Church – Part 1, Pastor Gary Gilley
What IS the Emergent Church? – C.A.R.M.
Red Letter Christians – hating religion, loving Jesus?
The Emergent Church Movement, Part 3 – Richard Bennet
Social Justice Politics and Christian Confusion
The Contagious Cult of Liberalism
Cotton Candy Christianity: Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Neutrality
Oprah Defines God, Influences Millions of Christians
Rick Warren’s New Age Daniel Plan
Brian McLaren and the False Teachers
Errors of the Emergent Church – Eric Barger
The Submerging Church – Pastor Joe Schimmel
Emergent Church info. Berean research
Stand Up for the Truth emergent links
I found this reading to be very helpful in my understanding of being a true Christian for Jesus Christ, thank you for this information on the things to look for while trying to do the will of my Savior Jesus Christ.
This is such a good article..well written. So many people still do not know what Emergent is and they need to. The Word of God stands on it’s own. Who do we think we are to change it and make it say what we want? These people are doing so much harm and so many are blinded by their hipness and how cool they are. Dear Jesus, let us be a people able to discern in these last days and not shrink back when we hear error being taught, no matter the names we are called. Let God be true and every man a liar. Thank you again for this article.
God bless you, Sarah, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Keep seeking and speaking the truth in Christ!
Sheila, thank you so much. Sadly, once deceived, many professing Christians have a difficult time admitting their error and pride prevents them from submitting to Jesus alone and the authority of His Word. Let’s keep standing firm in the true faith, speaking His Word and converting us as many as the Lord wills.
Even the very elect will be fooled! So close to truth and yet stinking of apostacy! Thank you David for this post!! Sharing for the sake of my children and all who would be tempted to follow this non-biblical path. OPEN OUR EYES, LORD!!!!!!!
Thank you, David, so much for tackling what feels to me like one of the slimiest of heresies! I had called in to the radio program today, and one of the things I meant to tell you, but I was a bit nervous being on air, was when I read a couple of your articles which then drew me to stand up for the truth podcast, I so appreciated your intellect and clear thinking and unwavering stand on the truth. And this article is a great example of all of that! 🙂
In God’s providence I had just spoken with a Christian friend yesterday about the emergent church and wished so desperately that I had a sample of the quotes of some of the worst offenders. And there you were in Jan Markel’s daily newsletter! 🙂
God bless you in your daring and bold faithfulness to Christ our King who deserves no less!
Excellant article, well researched, written and it’s comforting to know that not everyone is being fooled!! Thank you for being a ‘watchman on the wall’ and encouraging and informing.
I agree with and support your article, at least 99% of it’s content and conclusions. I am concerned only about how you categorize meditation and contemplative prayer practice as a bad thing. These are long held Biblical practices in the Bible and can be found in the lives of Daniel, David and other great saints. I would agree that if the proponents of emergent church are not believing in the Bible then they are likely not practicing meditation as the saints of old did. But be careful not to throw into doubt that these are needed and good practices. The Psalmist says “I meditate day and night on your word oh God”. My concern is these are needed practices in the Evangelical church and are shunned for fear of being called liberal or new age. Prayer comes in many forms and can be called by many names (reflective, meditative, contemplative, discursive, intercesion, listening) all these forms can be found in the Bible and can be useful if they draw us into closer relationship with our Lord and savior.
Thanks for taking the time to read, comment, and share this, Ida. Yes, give us wisdom for these times!
It was great hearing from you, Kira! God bless you and thanks for your encouraging words. Love Jan Markell and her ministry. If we all tried to do our part for the Lord Jesus using whatever means He provides, this would perhaps be a very different nation and church. Keep seeking and speaking the truth in love and let’s pray for HIS will and for the saints, especially the remnant of believers.
Thanks Allene, and God bless you and your family. We know the truth and there is only one; the rest are cheap counterfeits who have conformed to this world. Keep the faith and let’s encourage our family in Christ!
I appreciate your feedback, Ralph. Good points as we do not want to lump everyone into a particular category concerning meditation. What I did not explain is the difference between meditating on the Word of God – which we are encouraged to do throughout the Bible – and using other forms of meditation such as emptying the mind, repetitive prayer, chanting, relaxation, visualizing, most forms of yoga, and contemplative prayer. (The best thing we can do is find IF or where ANY of these are specifically mentioned and supported in Scripture.) Check out a few resource links on the bottom of this post and search meditation, etc. It is a subtle deception the enemy uses to get people to focus/meditate on things other than Christ and His Word. These things can all sound good or harmless on the surface, but it only takes a slight course adjustment to get us completely off track. Thanks and God bless!
Hi David, this article is very compelling and it also made be think more about the spiritual downfall that is dismantling our nation and culture as a whole. I’m a 19 year old college student and I’ve gotten a few glimpses of the social justic movement. I have yet to witness it full on in person, but I do know that it is running rampant on college campuses. I’ve even seen videos and read about stories in which students and professors have demonstrated and expressed their absolute outrage for anything that does not fall in line with this movement all in the name of tolerance. Prior to beginning college, I’d never really heard of this movement let alone seen the damaging effects it has and continues to inflict on our society. As far as social justice in relation to Christianity, I think I’m starting to see tiny portions of it unfold in the organization I joined called intervarsity. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but intervarsity is a Christian organization that was created sometime in the twentieth century (I believe around the 30s or 40s if I’m not mistaken, I may be wrong), and it has since spread to many college campuses in America. It is a non-denominational network of small chapters or “microchurches” that wants to allow college students to react to Jesus (I’m paraphrasing). If you go onto its general website, since it has multiple websites for each individual campus chapter, you’ll see its full mission and what it entails. I think you’ll find that it centers a lot of its beliefs around the one bible verse in which Jesus instructs people to sell everything they have and give it to the poor. I even heard one of my chapter leaders reference this very verse at an event we call commond ground. While this organization does believe that Jesus is the son of God sent to earth to pay the ultimate price for our sins, I think there are some social justice undertones that it is trying to convey to us. I absolutely believe that the poor will always be with us as the Bible says but this movement is putting emphasis on this temporary life and apologizing for God’s promise of eternal life. Heaven and hell to many of its followers are merely ideas and this belief is toxic and what is polluting many churches across America. I can’t stand to see some of my friends being deceived by a movement that disguises itself as Christian and righteous but is just a political, Marxist agenda. It also parades around as a tolerant movement but is in fact intersectionalist and divides people even further, ranking groups on this unseen social justice hierarchy. When I hear my friends expressing some of the same sentiment as the social justice members, I just want to reach out to them and show them what the word of God says. Something that has been weighing heavily on my heart is the social justice movement and its outlook on race relations in our country. Many of its followed are deeply and understandably concerned about the racial tension in our country, but I guess I see things from a different point of view than they do. I truly believe that racism can never be eliminated from every society and while we should embrace our differences, we should also come together as one body in Christ and recognize that we are all sinners. I don’t like the idea of collectivism and generalizations and how it lumps everyone of the same, in this case, race,together. More generally, the social justice movement does a very great job of generalizing and grouping those people they deem as oppressed and marginalized or oppressive and non-marginalized into categories based on superficialities. It’s very disheartening to me and it is dividing us further. I apologize that I’m digressing but the rise of the social justice movement is raising many concerns for me and I feel that God is calling me to do whatever I can to spread His word and testify to my peers about how this whole movement contradicts God’s Word yet still has the audacity to justify its causes with diluted versions of scripture. Thank you for bringing awareness to the spiritual and moral issues plaguing the church and our country. I’m glad that I came across your website, and just know that there are people my age who are listening to you. They may seem few and far between, but I hope that they will not be ashamed or afraid to defend all of God’s word.
Bless you for your heart for God’s Word, for His Truth, and especially in the midst of such heavy opposition from the enemy. It has been decades since I was your age and even eight years ago when I finished my Masters degree on a Christian campus things were starting to amp up, but I have never seen anything like what is currently going on at college campuses that you’re dealing with.
Stay true, stay strong, find like-minded believers. “Wide is the gate that leads to destruction, narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life and few there be who find it.” Just know that you are not alone!
I appreciate you taking the time to comment and apologize for my delayed response, Alana. Being 19, you are light years ahead of most in your generation and obviously more informed than average. Intervarsity has done some good work and there is most likely some variation from one location to the next however, Jesus did not instruct us to sell everything and give to the poor! That is not the context; He was dealing directly with the rich young ruler’s heart issue. This is a common practice of many in the emergent church, taking Scriptures out of context. Also ‘unity’ and ‘common ground’ are often preached by those who would have us compromise our stand on the inerrancy of God’s Word and its integrity. It sounds like you are informed and aware so proceed with caution, Alana.
You also hit the nail on the head regarding liberalism in the church which can be described in part as a movement that disguises itself as Christian and righteous but has a political, Marxist agenda. They are mostly tolerant of those who agree with them, just like the Left in American society. Perhaps you might consider writing about the biblical idea of justice vs the repackaged “social justice” movement in order to reach more young people with the truth. Keep researching and speaking the truth in love. So glad to hear from you; stay strong in Christ!
There are quite a few conceptual problems and misrepresentations presumed as fact in this article, one of the primary being confusing the emergent movement with modern liberalism (or epistemological relativism). I do not have the space, nor feel it fitting to discuss it in this medium, as these issues are part of living dialogue. But, I offer you this humble response: may the Spirit blow where the Spirit wishes and may all come to know the indescribable, mysterious love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Excellent David. Keep up the great work for the Lord.
I am very concerned about the ability of emergent ideologies to destroy church communities and Christian relationships. I have tried to talk to church leaders about their endorsement of emergent teachers and they are simply refusing to talk to me. They are not capable it seems of discussing my concerns they would rather shun and reject. I spent 15 years in a religious cult listening to false doctrine. When we left the members of the church shunned us and bad mouthed us. We have seen the destruction of false doctrines. But this teaching is far more insidious as it is in plain sight.
I am now hearing about something called missio dei. I can’t seem to find anything much about it except that it seems to be the origin of the term missio so which is another word for emergent. Do you know anything about this phrase?
Thank you so much for your concern, Ella. Sorry to hear you’ve been denied a dialogue with church leaders. Many don’t want to even consider the possibility they could be wrong so pride is another issue. Glad the Lord Jesus saved you our of a cult; I’ll be writing about a few of these in my next book. I have not heard of missio dei, but did just check on line and what I’ve seen was interesting, but need to get more information. Proceed with caution and be prayed up. Thank God for discernment and the Holy Spirit! I don’t know why more people don’t take the time to ask for wisdom and listen to Him. God bless you, keep in touch if you’d like.
David…I’m just curious…who did you vote for in the last presidential election???
If I told you Ted Cruz was my first choice, would it matter in terms of truth, the church, and eternity? I may be wrong, but perhaps you would have an argument against any candidate I’d mention.
See http://www.inthatdayteachings.com to learn where “styles” of church come from. There is the overbearing know-it-all style. Where did that come from? Short answer:
Sub-taught church leaders have known for a long time to sell a nominal text of the bible with a HUGE portion of sub-text emotion: greed (prosperity give-to-get,) fear (rapture,) or laziness (emergent.)
Most leaders, even blog leaders… hate and despise the idea there is a meat way above the milk way of two camps of subtext emotion hating each other. See http://www.inthatdayteachings.com as there actually is a way up and out of sub-text overlording of one rotten emotion or the other.
It was kind of hard reading all of that. The Holy Spirit pounds at me when teaching me truth. I sometimes think of how I got to where I am. How I am able to discern more and more every day. I sometimes feel like we are walking amongst zombies. So therefore I no longer get frustrated the stronger I get.
The fact is, just as you inserted scripture in order to blast their way of thinking, there is much more from the Bible that you could add.
I always loved how God had a soft heart for the common man.
It always put things in perspective for me and gave me confidence that this blue collar worker can see and hear with eyes wide open. That through surrender I receive a gift that if applied will supply me with all the wisdom I need.
I burned many bridges before I came to my faith, but I am made new. Ones walk with God can be very taxxing, as I think it should be. Prompts, convictions, repenting, learning, falling, getting back up, feeling that love as you look upward saying in tears, “and that is why You are God.!!”
Keep up the great work Dave. And say hi to Mike for me.
I’m curious if you think that Steve Furtick and Perry Noble would be considered part of this movement or not. Something doesn’t sit quite right with me with these men and their followers and mega-churches in general but I’m not sure exactly what it is that concerns me. Thanks
Thanks for taking the time to read it, Todd. All we can do is trust the Lord Jesus, pray for discernment, and do our best to live according to His teachings. The Christian faith is becoming less popular and the path will appear even more narrow. The great deception and falling away is prophetic and we need to brace ourselves for what may come. Keep seeking Christ and speaking the truth, brother! Our redemption is drawing near…
Thanks for getting in touch, Margaret. I am unable to say for sure if I would place these men in the emergent category, but have plenty of concerns about Furtick; few regarding Noble. I do know when a person’s charisma seems to attract more attention than Jesus, there’s a problem, whether it be narcissism or flat out false teaching as in the case of Furtick. (Word Faith theology, etc.) Stay strong in Christ and His Word, Margaret! Blessings…