Friday, March 16, 2007

Emergent Leaders--Paving the Way to Apostasy?

As a follow up to the last post, this one from Lighthouse Trails blog is interesting. I am inclined to agree with them. I believe this whole emergent thing is just filled with problems. Are we incapable of relying on the Holy Spirit to grow His church or must we embrace, kiss, hug and slobber all over the world so they except Jesus?

Here is their post:

Some say that some emerging church leaders like Dan Kimball and Mark Driscoll are not part of the Emergent movement, that the two are very different. According to one of the strongest catalysts for the emerging church movement, Zondervan Publishing, Kimball and Driscoll are indeed part of the "Emergent movement." Zondervan describes its 2007 book, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches as: "Five of the emergent movement's most prominent leaders debate their views on Scripture, Christ, atonement, and more." Those five are Dan Kimball, Mark Driscoll, John Burke, Karen Ward and Doug Pagitt. Be that as it may, emergent and emerging are just words, but those who adhere to them are going in the same direction, and as we stated in our article, Emerging Church Confusion: What Does it Really Mean?, emergent leaders are feeding the emerging church movement and making it what it is and will become.

Incidentally, in Zondervan's book, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, Robert Webber, the editor of the book, says that "traditionalists have been out of touch with cultural changes, and the contemporaries who have become so thoroughly enmeshed with and catechized by culture are out of touch with the traditions. This reality has created what seems to be an unalterable division between devoted Christians" (p. 213). This is a scary statement and here is why: In Dan Kimball's book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church, he makes it clear that "traditionalists" are those who take the Bible literally. Webber says those kind of Christians are out of touch with today's culture (in other words they don't dress like Rob Bell with hip glasses or wear their hair like Dan Kimball or drink beer at the bars with gays, or cuss in public like Mark Driscoll). That makes them abnormal and oblivious to the world around them according to Kimball. What is scary here is that Webber would like to see the two types of Christians (those literalists who believe everything the Bible says and those emergents) come together: "What are we to do? Should we encourage the split? Or is there a new direction for us all? ... What will it take to create an Ancient-Future faith (Webber's name for the emerging church)?" (p. 213) He goes on and tells the solution: "First, an Ancient-Future faith calls us to return to our ancient roots in the first centuries of the church." He explains that these "ancient roots" include "spiritual formation" (contemplative mysticism) and he says that while there have been reforms throughout history (such as the Reformation), we do not need to be divided over them (he includes Catholicism) and says we are "connected to the same family. This ecumenical conviction is central to an Ancient-Future Vision" (p. 214).

Dan Kimball and Robert Webber have laid out what will be a persuasive argument to many who have not really taken a close look at what these emergent leaders are proposing, but take heed, if this "ecumenical conviction" comes to pass then evangelical Christians will all be practicing mantra meditation, walking through labyrinths, practicing lectio divina and doing the sign of the Cross ... and it will have far greater implications and results than just thick glasses, slicked back hair and sitting in pubs sipping beer. It will be disastrous for those who have yet to hear the true gospel message of Jesus Christ, which is the only thing that can save their souls.

In emerging church leader, Scot McKnight's book, The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus, McKnight says that Protestant Christians are the only Christians who do not honor Mary. He recommends that Protestant churches all practice a "Honor Mary Day" (p. 144), saying she "leads us to a Jesus who brings redemption ... To listen to Mary is to hear the message of Jesus' death and resurrection as a mega-event whereby God established a new kind of power, a new kind of family, and a new kind of kingdom" (p. 145). McKnight describes this great event as a time when the world will come together and worship Mary.

Today, Christendom has become filled with leaders who have lost their way. If Christian leaders like David Jeremiah and Josh McDowell, who are now promoting emerging leaders, continue in their present direction, they will be responsible for countless lives losing their chances for hearing the true gospel, and these leaders will be helping pave the way for an interspiritual, mystical, apostate religion.


Blogger Phil Perkins said...

I say encourage the split. Do it. Get it over with. The sooner the better. What has the holy to do with the profane?--pun intended.

In Christ,
Phil Perkins.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if this "ecumenical conviction" comes to pass then evangelical Christians will all be practicing mantra meditation, walking through labyrinths, practicing lectio divina and doing the sign of the Cross ...

Not if their pastor is Mark Driscoll :)

12:42 PM  
Blogger J. K. Jones said...

Good post. You picked up on the thing that bothers me about the movement. It sounds as if some have decided that we can no longer find the one true meaning of a passage of Scripture because we all have different perspectives on the passage. We all bring “baggage” and “agendas” with us that cloud our interpretation. This is a massive change in the way we interpret the Bible (hermeneutics). It has debilitating consequences.

It seems to me that someone is trying to use words and sentences to convince me that words and sentences have no meaning, but I could be wrong.

2:12 PM  

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