Have you heard about the Emergent church? I keep hearing that it is growing in influence and popularity and that it is evil. I am not sure why it is evil as the people calling it evil do not want to be upfront and specific about it. Just that it is evil and should be avoided. I wish I could just take their word on it, but if something is evil I would like to know why. Guess that is because I come from a charismatic background and have been called evil by these people as well. Well, I am not evil, but the charismatic movement is evil because it does not limit God to scripture alone but wants to experience Him as well.
So here is one of the articles that helps to denote the evilness of the Emergent church:
This online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been blessed of Jesus to be used as one of His “go-to” ministries in the area of the ne0-Gnostic corruption called Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which is now pandemic within mainstream evangelicalism through its foolish embrace of the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church with its quasi-universalism in a new version of Progressive Christian theology under their spiritual circus “big tent” Emergence Christianity.
Mainly reformed theology buzzwords here. This is reformed meaning the new Calvinist movement and not reformed as what was started by Martin Luther. So what is specifically evil and sinful about this movement that should be avoided? I am still not sure.
This is from Emergent Village which is a focal point for the movement:
We are committed to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. In the words of Jesus, we seek to live by the Great Commandment: loving God and loving our neighbors – including those who might be considered “the least of these” or enemies. We understand the gospel to be centered in Jesus and his message of the Kingdom of God, a message offering reconciliation with God, humanity, creation, and self.
We are committed to a “generous orthodoxy” in faith and practice – affirming the historic Christian faith and the biblical injunction to love one another even when we disagree. We embrace many historic spiritual practices, including prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, solitude, silence, service, and fellowship, believing that healthy theology cannot be separated from healthy spirituality.
I took this from Wikipedia:
Drawing on a more ‘Missional Morality’ that again turns to the synoptic gospels of Christ, many emerging-church groups draw on an understanding of God seeking to restore all things back into restored relationship. This emphasises God’s graceful love approach to discipleship, in following Christ who identified with the socially excluded and ill, in opposition to the Pharisees and Sadducees and their purity rules.
Under this movement, traditional Christians’ emphasis on either individual salvation, end-times theology or the prosperity gospel have been challenged. Many people in the movement express concern for what they consider to be the practical manifestation of God’s kingdom on earth, by which they mean social justice. This concern manifests itself in a variety of ways depending on the local community and in ways they believe transcend “modernist” labels of “conservative” and “liberal.” This concern for justice is expressed in such things as feeding the poor, visiting the sick and prisoners, stopping contemporary slavery, critiquing systemic and coercive power structures with “postcolonial hermeneutics,” and working for environmental causes.
That does not sound too bad. Here is a bit more and where I can see where part of the uproar stems from:
We are committed to honor and serve the church in all its forms – Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Anabaptist. We practice “deep ecclesiology” – rather than favoring some forms of the church and critiquing or rejecting others, we see that every form of the church has both weaknesses and strengths, both liabilities and potential.
A rather novel concept. Work past doctrinal differences and come together to do what God has called us to do. I can see both the benefit and problem with this approach. More resources allows for a more efficient method to accomplishing something. But if we work together, will I be condoning practices that I do not agree with?
I can really identify with several areas that the emerging church represents. Many of the spiritual practices that they promote are greatly missed in today’s society. There needs to be more prayer and meditation with God. We do not study the Word near enough and service and true fellowship is severely lacking. I have been feeling this way for a long time.
The church we most often identify with in the west is not representative of Jesus but more of western society as a whole. That is not what I want nor what I signed up for. The emergent church is trying to get back to a Jesus focused belief system. I can see why denominations are fearful of this. This should be a wake up call for them, but many are ignoring the truth and clinging to old ideas and ways.
Somewhere along the way the church separated itself from the experience of God and focused on only studying God. This is what happened to the Pharisees. You have to have the relationship with God and that does not come from the Bible alone. Now before anyone gets too upset, we can not rid ourselves of the Bible. The Bible is what has to keep our experientially relationship with God in check. Without the Word and Holy Spirit as our guides, we will go off in every direction and come back with something that resembles God but is definitely not God.
You can see those issues with the emergent church. The spirituality aspect can too easily drift towards eastern methods. Meditating not on God but rather on one’s self. The desire to bridge the distances between people and groups is wonderful, but it gives way to not calling out sin because it might be offensive. Homosexuality is wrong and should be called out as such. I have dear friends who are Catholic, but our theologies are very different even though the vocabulary is similar. If we want to live like Jesus, then we need to live like Jesus.
I would like to see the western church become more emergent in aspects. Instead of hiding behind scripture and doctrines, I would like to see them step out with scripture and apply it to those who are hurting and in need. Not just the ones who first claim their values, but to everyone and let the mercy of Jesus be seen by all.