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Erwin McManus: The Emergent Penetration of the Southern Baptist Convention


By Ken Silva


Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? [1]


McManus' Theology Is Emergent

We look a little closer at rising Emergent SBC "Lead Pastor and Cultural Architect" Erwin McManus of Mosaic, which in SBC Pastor or Human Potential Advocate we're told "emerges as a reference point for the future." The Emergent Church is in its basic essence a repainted/reimagined social gospel of the new liberalism and has penetrated much deeper into the ranks of the SBC than I would ever have thought.


Erwin McManus, the "distinguished lecturer and futurist" [2] at Bethel Seminary has an interesting connection to "World Renowned Futurist" and Emergent theologian Leonard Sweet. Sweet gives a glowing endorsement of McManus' book An Unstoppable Force (UF). And you might also wish to make note of the endorsement of some other guy named Rick Warren:


"I love this book because Erwin loves the church. Growing churches require growing leaders. This book will help you along the way." - Rick Warren - Lead Pastor, SaddlebackChurch. Author, The Purpose Driven Church.


"If I could only require one text for all my divinity students, if I could only recommend one book for every religious leader, this would be the one." - Leonard Sweet - E. Stanley Jones Professor of EvangelismDrewUniversity, Madison, NJ. [3]

In my view having the endorsement of Rick Warren for a book I had written would be bad enough. But if that book I had written was so far a-field from the historic orthodox Christian faith that it had the ringing endorsement of a theologian who recommends panentheistic "Quantum Spirituality" I would very quickly be looking for a torch! And yet McManus uses this endorsement because his own theology is just as corrupt as Leonard Sweet, who just happens to be a very close friend of Emergent Church Guru Brian McLaren.


Here is Emergent, and not to mention dominion, theology as the blurb for UF says: "Erwin McManus offers a vision of the church taking its rightful place. An unstoppable force created to change the world." This wrong idea of the "followers of Jesus" bringing the "kingdom of God" to fruition upon this earth is exactly what the redefined social gospel of the Emergent Church teaches. However, Christ Jesus of Nazareth clearly says – "My kingdom is not of this world" [4]


One would have to think that God the Son–the LORD God Himself in human flesh–would be a fairly reliable Source as to things of this nature. The Emergent boys like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren hold an inclusive view of the atonement which says when Christ died on the Cross He reconciled not just all men but even the entire "world" itself (Greek: kosmos) back to God and therefore all men are already forgiven. Whether McManus goes that far in his own view but he does hold their warped Emergent view of the so-called "divine potential" of all mankind.


The Leadership Of The SBC Has A Critical Decision To Make

One can't help but wonder exactly how many red flags have to fly over an individual like Erwin McManus before leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention finally takes note. Let me also bring to your attention once again the upcoming On Target Evangelism Conference I mentioned in Why Would the SBC Embrace the Emergent Church where McManus will be speaking alongside the very questionable Ken Blanchard. Just how "on target" in their evangelism can men be who are so obviously enamored with the human potential movement and new age philosophies?


Erwin McManus is without a doubt a growing part of a very real penetration of the EmergentChurch into the Southern Baptist Convention. I close by bringing you into the Emergent Village (EV) that you may see for yourself what I have been researching for this past year. Under About EV we read: "EmergentVillage is a growing, generative friendship among missional Christians seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ." [5] Sounds good at first glance but one needs to know a couple of other important facts concerning what this actually means in regard to the genuine Christian faith.


1) Brian McLaren is on the Board of Directors and the EmergentChurch cannot be separated from this heretic who denies both the inerrancy of the Bible and the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross. And 2) Contemplative Spirituality is a core doctrine of the EmergentChurch with its theology in stark opposition to the Reformation. This is absolutely proven beyond question in a section called Values & Practices. Note also the reference Brian McLaren's "a generous orthodoxy" as we read of Emergent:


We are committed to a "generous orthodoxy"...affirming the historic Christian faith... We embrace many historic spiritual practices, including prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, solitude, silence,...healthy theology cannot be separated from healthy spirituality... We are committed to...the church in all its forms – Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Anabaptist. [6]


The obvious embrace of the apostate Church of Rome, which Dr. John MacArthur calls a front for the kingdom of Satan, as a Christian church reveals this movement cannot possibly be of God. So this will now bring us full circle back to the non-negotiable underlying spiritual principle within our text of 2 Corinthians 6 – Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?


And now also is a huge decision laid by Christ Jesus Himself at the feet of the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention like Dr. Frank Page who has been praising and applauding these Emergent deceivers who have now penetrated our ranks in order to draw disciples away after themselves: Will you obey God rather than men?