Will the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Emergent Church Submerge Your Church?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The short answer is no if solid, Bible-believing Christians preach truth and stand on the Word of God. However, in today's world of apostasy, the stakes are higher and so are the casualties. The Emergent Church is not new, but it hid in the shadows until recently. I recently had this email:
Jan: When you first started talking about the Emergent Church I thought, sure, this is a California experience. I didn't have to worry. How wrong! In Michigan it is now everywhere!
When Pastor Bob DeWaay told me one and a half years ago that it was the next step beyond seeker-sensitive and worse than that, I thought, how is this possible? He was right. As a matter of fact, CBS News did a feature on it calling it a powerful new movement and the fastest-growing one in Christianity with up to 20 million participants. The clip is played on the broadcast from August 5 now posted on "radio archives" here:http://www.olivetreeviews.org/radio/mp3/ When you really learn of all its goals and practices, this should send chills down your spine.
Roger Oakland, one of the best analysts of this movement, and Bob DeWaay, reported a lot of startling information on air. I have made my own conclusions here. The emphasis goes well beyond the Bible to extra-biblical paraphernalia, extrasensory images, sounds, smells, silence, darkness, icons, statues, rosary beads for Protestants, Yoga, contemplative prayer--all for a FULL SENSORY IMMERSION in the divine. Why are these things even necessary when the "old time religion" did well preaching a solid gospel with no bells and whistles? Why do we have to encounter God with our "senses"? He lives within us--that's sufficient. He's a prayer away, hardly dependent on candles and incense and icons. Why do Protestants have to draw on Catholic and Orthodox practices to "get closer to God"?
Try to pin these folks down as to their beliefs and be prepared for frustration and confusion. Pastor DeWaay related on air how frustrating his debate was with Emergent leader Doug Pagitt as Pagitt dodged every question making sure the Emergent Church would NOT be defined. My conclusion: It draws on many religions but is leading to the participation in the one world religion.
According to EC leader Brian McLaren, most anyone can follow Jesus including Buddhists and Hindus. He emphasizes "injustice, oppression, greed, and war." Finally, a major truth comes out: This is just the old social gospel. But his most troubling statement is that we need to ". . . emulate Roman Catholicism to become more mystical in our reverence of God." Why did we have the Reformation, I ask? So that we could get far from Rome and closer to God! He has it backwards, as is his whole movement. The longing for the mystical will lead one to become a victim of every wind of doctrine!
As Roger Oakland states, this is not a revival but a return to darkness. It cannot be countered until Christians become better informed about it and when the darkened rooms, candles, and other touchy-feely services spring up in your church and you say something and demand a return to basic Bible doctrines and solid gospel preaching. These Emergent leaders are not "brave new voices." They are deceptive wolves devouring naive, usually young "sheeple," leading the Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers down a path to further darkness. What will these youth "emerge" into? Confused, questioning young people with no solid grounding, believing in nothing and thus falling for everything.
I received this email from Australia today. It shows that our churches are in deep trouble but let's not end the thought there. God can still do a great thing in our churches; yet the Bible talks about the end-time apostasy. In II Thessalonians 2:3 it talks about the "falling away" in the end-times. Some translations call it the "great falling away" . . . in other words, no small thing. The writer states this:
Jan: Where I live in an area of the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, every church is compromised, every church. To receive any good, sound Bible teaching, I have to rely on the internet and my Bible and the help of God's Holy Spirit.
To get Roger Oakland's DVD on the Emerging Church, see my Web site and "Our Products" here:http://www.olivetreeviews.org/catalog.shtml To purchase the DeWaay/Pagitt debate DVD, visit www.cicministry.org. Also see this category of "Spiritual Deception" on my Web site, http://www.olivetreeviews.org/topics/spiritual_deception.shtml to learn much more about this and other deceiving movements prominent today. This topic will be covered at our October 6-7 Understanding the Times 2006 conference. All information is here: http://www.olivetreeviews.org/conferences.shtml
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