Emerging Church

“Professing to be wise they became fools” (Romans 1:21)

My first thoughts: May the Emerging Church stop emerging. But that is highly unlikely because we are heavily into the last days apostasy and this particular church movement has moved along at a fast pace making inroads into one church after another for over 20 years–if not much longer in varying degrees. A significant amount of confusion surrounds the Emerging Church movement as with any group that calls itself Christian, yet works dogmatically to redefine the meaning of true biblical Christianity.

The Emerging Church movement is structured on the thought that the gospel needs to be presented in a new and different way and that Christianity should be offered to the world in a new light because we live in a post-modern society, one that cannot easily accept the fundamental biblical teachings of Christianity. And that we kind of evolve as we go along in life, so it is up to us as individuals make up our minds about what is truth as it suits us. Hmmm.

This is relativism, and there is nothing new about it. It is a tactic used to take us away from the Bible, but sadly, millions of people are unaware of this and continue falling for the rhetoric within this movement. The Emerging Church proponents believe that straightforward Bible teaching could cause division and discomfort so it is better to find ways to reinvent the Bible’s teachings and have a new, more “accommodating” approach to reaching others.

Underestimating the power of the written Word of God is a common disconnect with these people, a tragic mistake that is taking many away from the God of the Bible. It is important to have a loving, friendly approach to reaching others and to genuinely try to relate to personal circumstances when sharing the gospel, but not at the cost of diminishing the gospel truth. It is not a loving strategy to withhold clear teachings in the Bible and risk the loss of a soul forever to hell.

Emerging Church advocates often use fragmented biblical teachings to replace the true gospel; everything becomes relative, there are rarely any absolutes. If you don’t know your Bible and understand where we are in prophetic history, then what is touted as a tolerance could seem quite attractive, maybe even genuinely Christian–depending on what it is being tolerated.

Anti-biblical religions cannot be considered as candidates for tolerance. No matter how they try to sell it: When those who teach precepts other than true biblical doctrine are embraced by professing Christians as fellow advocates of the Christian faith, then we have a mutiny quickly morphing into heresy.

So how can such a movement be growing so fast? Consider the fallen nature of man and his need to reign supreme. Only a believer redeemed and seriously committed to the

Bible with a renewed mind and spirit through the intervention of the Holy Spirit can understand: Using relativism and opening doors to liberal theology void of the basic tenants of biblical truth is a very dangerous undertaking.

This strategy is the same old song and dance the devil has always used to take people away from Christ’s teachings. The song that the Emerging Church movement is singing is totally off-key and the dance they are dancing is some sort of tiptoe technique that inevitably causes one to trip and fall, and even get badly injured.

“Let’s all get along even if we modify the teachings of the God of the Bible.”

Who are the leaders of this movement?  More than we can count, but here are some the big names who are out there pushing this watered down agenda to the masses: Brian McClaren, Allen Jones, Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell, Spencer Burke, Tony Campolo, Doug Pagitt, Marcus Borg, Tony Jones, Dave Fleming, Richard Foster.

You might be wondering, where does Rick Warren fit into this picture? Rick Warren is very supportive of this movement and sees it as a positive trend. He and the others on the list have a couple of major things in common. First, they are almost always into “experience” over substantive biblical doctrine–which is a very New Age approach radically redefining the teachings of the Holy Bible. [1]

Second, Emerging Church enthusiasts are generally completely clueless when it comes to Israel. Israel is reduced to a distant nuisance from past history and most of them erroneously believe that the Christian church has replaced Israel–a lie from the deepest pit in hell.

Another major problem with the Emerging Church is its emergence into Ecumenicism, rubbing shoulders with others who have anti-biblical or quasi-biblical religious beliefs, including Islam. This gathering together is not done to further the truth of the gospel but to show some sort of strange placating camaraderie, accomplishing nothing more than placing a muzzle over the Scriptures.

It seems that social popularity ranks very high with this group while rewriting the Scriptures as they go along their merry way inaugurating one reinvented doctrine after another. Attempting new ways to witness the truth of the Bible can be a positive thing, but in this case more often than not, the truth of the gospel is compromised resulting in nothing more than the teaching of false doctrine and pulling seekers away from the true God of the Bible.

A small number of emergent pastors do admit the importance of teaching doctrinal truths properly defining Christianity, Mark Driscoll and Dan Kimbell are examples. Nevertheless Driscoll recommends “contemplative prayer” which is without a doubt based on unscriptural Eastern mysticism. He takes Scripture out of context to defend the mystical prayer technique and is also known to use vulgar language in public. Dan Kimbell may be the most conservative Emerging Church proponent in the group. Brian McClaren has been know to be very liberal in his teaching and has often been called a false teacher. [2]

The majority of this Emerging Church advocates thrive on what they perceive to be intellectual and emotional human superiority, although they may not realize it or see themselves that way. After all, if you want to modify God’s inherent Word and create new ways to define the gospel and Christianity in general, surely you must be more capable than God and know something He doesn’t.

As an overall group, they reject the literal interpretation of the Bible including the coming millennial reign of Christ. They think that the church will be able to usher in a new worldwide peace and that things will get better without God’s literal physical intervention. And those who adhere to the literal interpretation of the Bible are intellectually and spiritually inferior.

As a whole, the Emerging Church folks clearly do not understand their Bibles and one wonders if they even care.

Below is a list of common traits found by examining emerging church material. These are general points that do not necessarily apply to all emerging churches: [3]

1. An awareness of and attempt to reach those in the changing postmodern culture.

2. An attempt to use technology, e.g., video, slide shows, Internet.

3. A broader approach to worship using candles, icons, images, sounds, smells, etc.

4. An inclusive approach to various, sometimes contradictory belief systems.

5. An emphasis on experience and feelings over absolutes.

6. Concentration on relationship-building over proclamation of the gospel.

7. Shunning stale traditionalism in worship, church seating, music, etc.

8. A de-emphasis on absolutes and doctrinal creeds

9. A re-evaluation of the place of the Christian church in society.

10. A re-evaluation of traditionally-held doctrines.

11. A re-examination of the Bible and its teachings.

12. A re-evaluation of the place of Christianity in the world.

The Emerging Church movement is particularly seductive and dangerous especially to newcomers of the faith who are only beginning to learn the Scriptures and to all Christians who have never really studied their Bibles. Without necessarily meaning to, this movement has a propensity to take people away from Christ and more into themselves and the world and also accept teachings that are unbiblical..

Beware of those who call themselves Christians but teach a contemplative method of relative-minded redemption. Only one method of redemption is possible and that is solely through Christ and Christ alone.


[1] http://www.inplainsite.org/html/rick_warren_new_age.html#RW-Emerging

[2] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1640

[3] http://carm.org/what-emerging-church