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The Emerging Church—What it is

The Emerging Church Facts

Please watch these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGSQjtWTpaw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkhq0R0TIyM
The hippie-like emerging church is moving in power and its philosophies are being slyly introduced into so-called Biblical Christianity. It actually has been reaching in and taking hold for many years. This is a demonic movement that has loomed out of hell. It has no problems with satanism, New Age, Catholicism, Episcopalism, etc. It also covets diversity and affirming mandates. It seems anything goes.

As I write my Revelation commentaries, I can see the church slowly entering the religious realm that will someday fight against the Christ of the Bible—who is completely chaste, pure, undefiled, harmless, separated from sinners and made higher than the heavens; Hebrews 7:26. This emergent, ecumenical religious body, foreseen in Revelation, will be he heathenistic, worshipping countless false gods as Israel did in her apostasy being documented in the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. Israel was condemned for displaying more false gods than the pagan nations that surrounded her. The church seems headed in that same direction.

The church today wants to mirror a Hollywood mentality. It is the avenue that unveils every new contemporary way. Even Christians will turn to it to see how they should be acting, what they should be wearing and what new lingo should be flowing from their lips.

It is no wonder the church wants all people coming in its doors to see a new look—a Christianity that implements the best of productions…videos that entertain more than they preach convicting truth if any truth is presented.

The church of today relishes explaining Christ to an audience that loves the satanic sensual realm, people who love mystical (demonic) books and movies with “sexy” included. Today’s contemporary church presents an apostate Jesus for all to enjoy. The true Jesus Christ hates Hollywood’s worldly productions. He hates the fact the church desires to imitate this state-of-the-art fanfare. He hates the fact pastors want to refer to the entrainment business in their sermons in a positive way. These so-called men of God want to use television programs and movies to get a point across while attempting to entertain at the same time. They want to be one with their entertaining-loving congregation. They do not want to be different. They do not truly fear and tremble before God.

The LORD hates all sin and He hates this realm that does not uplift His holy name with His holy, innocent and pure ways.

The church does not present a Christ who was despised and hated of men. A Christ who was the song of drunkards and the object of gossip because He taught holy righteousness and separation; Psalm 69:12f. Jesus Christ was not a Hollywood star nor was He a rock star nor did He desire to be. He walked the hated road of separation. He was totally separated from man’s desires for fame and popularity. His kingdom was not of this nasty world.

Many believers are into pornography and movies that show skin. Today’s church attendees relish the thought that everyone can come to church as they are. Many men (including pastors and teachers) of the church like women dressing provocatively. They like a bit of cleavage showing and it shows in most every church today. It wasn’t that long ago that such a thing was viewed as disgraceful.

Our churches need Biblical change not emergent change. Fellowships need to throw out the false Jesus of sensuality, and move in the true Christ of holy righteousness. The Christ of innocent chastity.

For churches to make a positive change, pastors and leaders need to follow all the instructions for the church structure, exhibited in the books of Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter, Jude, Ephesians, etc. They must focus on the true Jesus Christ who never lies nor does His holy, inerrant provided Word.

They must throw off the emergent social mandates. He calls churches to preach, teach the Word, evangelize, pray, perform communion, minister and to humbly sing hymns and spiritual songs. God made the church simple. He does not call for community incentives to raise money through silly fundraisers. All church monies are simply to be collected from those who give cheerfully on the first day of the week.

Adding to the church mandates is pharisaical. Christ condemned the religious leaders as they added their own traditions to Scripture. Pastors feel they have to add program upon program. When one program fizzes out, they add another. And every silly program has to have a theme to catch the attention of a floating congregation. Getting back to the simple commands is the only answer no matter the dwindling congregation. Actually, it would probably become most blessed if every way was followed.

It is not about numbers; however, it is about evangelism and the harvest is plentiful. But it is not man who gives the increase it is God. Remember Christ did not need any rock group and fun comedians. It is totally blasphemous to imagine such a thing. He never implemented music as he spoke nor did the apostles. He left no example to entertain and leave an audience in awe. We are to follow His example totally, not man’s, not Hollywood, and not the emerging church exampled.

The church is a complicated socialized structure of the emergent mindset. It is in trendy “conversation” with the world, when it is to be alienated from the world. We are strangers and aliens on this earth. The church is not to mingle in the social stream of a community church. The church is not of the community of men, it is of the realm of God alone. We are to be separate from satan’s children. We are the called out ones. We are not one flowing river of social reform. We are not a “village” of one-mindedness with the globe. We do not engage in “peer to peer” dialog with those who have not been born again. We have nothing in common with the unsaved outside of normal life behaviors. Our true family is of the true saints, not those who curse our Savior. Satan is the father of blasphemes and the nations that blaspheme Christ, being made clear in Revelation chapter 13. The emerging church is a blasphemous church that will manufacture more strength when satan moves to center stage on a gigantic scale when the apocalypse reaches nearer.

We should not want to partake of the contemporary experience. We are called to the ambassador role in total humility. We are not to conform to the culture that surrounds as if we were one in the same. Our calling is not humanitarianism, it is evangelism.

May the apostate emerging church wake-up and reach upward for truth.

In Him who warns of every wayward way taught in the church today,

Val Lee (It is my heart to follow the apostles’ example.  For many walk according to what they think or have experienced or what others think or have experienced. This hurts my heart and such actions made Paul and the other apostles weep. We are to walk according to their example and teachings without questioning; 1 Corinthians 11:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Peter 3:2 and Jude 17. Those who do not are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is their destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is their shame, who set their minds on earth things; Philippians 3:17-19)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_church

Wickipedia edited:

The emerging church (sometimes referred to as the emergent movement) is a Christian movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries: participants can be described as evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal, post-liberal, charismatic, neocharismatic (both Pentecostal and charismatic) and post-charismatic. Participants seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “postmodern” (meaning after the modernist movement. A style and concept in the arts characterized by distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions) society—a new cultural society. Proponents of this movement call it a “conversation” to emphasize its developing and decentralized nature, its vast range of standpoints and its commitment to dialogue.

The emerging church favors the use of simple story and narrative not strong Scriptural charging. Members of the movement often place a high value on good works or social activism, sometimes including missional living or new monasticism (commune or monastery). Many emergents emphasize the here and now.

Some have noted a difference between the terms “emerging” and “Emergent.” Whilst emerging is a wider, informal, church-based, global movement, Emergent refers to an official organization, the Emergent Village, associated with Brian McLaren, and has also been called the “Emergent stream.”

Emerging churches can be found throughout the globe, predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. Some attend local independent churches or house church labeled “emerging” while others worship in traditional Christian denominations.

Dr. Stuart Murray states:
It will bring together the most helpful of the old and best of the new, blending the dynamic of a personal Gospel with the compassion of social concern. It will find its ministry being expressed by a whole people, wherein the distinction between clergy and laity will be that of function, not of status or hierarchical division. In the emerging Church, due emphasis will be placed on both theological rootage and contemporary experience, on celebration in worship and involvement in social concerns, on faith and feeling, reason and prayer, conversion and continuity, the personal and the conceptual.

The emerging church seeks a post-Christendom approach to being church and mission through: renouncing imperialistic approaches to language and cultural imposition; making ‘truth claims’ with humility and respect; overcoming the public/private dichotomy; moving church from the center to the margins; moving from a place of privilege in society to one voice amongst many; a transition from control to witness, maintenance to mission and institution to movement.

In the face of criticism, some in the emerging church respond that this it is important to attempt a “both and” approach to redemptive and incarnational theologies. Some Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are perceived as “overly redemptive” and therefore in danger of condemning people by communicating the Good News in aggressive and angry ways. A more loving and affirming approach is proposed in the context of post-modernity where distrust may occur in response to power claims. It is suggested that this can form the basis of a constructive engagement with twenty-first century post-industrial western cultures. According to Ian Mobsby, the suggestion that the emerging church is mainly focused on deconstruction and the rejection of current forms of church should itself be rejected.

The emerging church is a response to the perceived influence of modernism in Western Christianity. As some sociologists commented on a cultural shift that they believed to correspond to postmodern ways of perceiving reality in the late 20th century, some Christians began to advocate changes within the church in response. These Christians saw the contemporary church as being culturally bound to modernism. They changed their practices to relate to the new cultural situation. Emerging Christians began to challenge the modern church on issues such as: institutional structures, systematic theology, propositional teaching methods, a perceived preoccupation with buildings, an attractional understanding of mission, professional clergy, and a perceived preoccupation with the political process and unhelpful jargon (“Christian-ese”).

As a result, some in the emerging church believe it is necessary to deconstruct modern Christian dogma. One way this happens is by engaging in dialogue, rather than proclaiming a predigested message, believing that this leads people to Jesus through the Holy Spirit on their own terms. Many in the movement embrace the missiology that drives the movement in an effort to be like Christ and make disciples by being a good example. The emerging church movement contains a great diversity in beliefs and practices, although some have adopted a preoccupation with sacred rituals, good works, and political and social activism. Much of the Emerging Church movement have also adopted the approach to evangelism which stressed peer-to-peer dialogue rather than dogmatic proclamation and proselytizing.

A plurality of Scriptural interpretations is acknowledged in the emerging church movement. Participants in the movement exhibit a particular concern for the effect of the modern reader’s cultural context on the act of interpretation echoing the ideas of postmodern thinkers such as Jacques Derrida and Stanley Fish.

Therefore a narrative approach to Scripture, and history are emphasized in some emerging churches over exegetical and dogmatic approaches (such as that found in systematic theology and systematic exegesis), which are often viewed as reductionist. Others embrace a multiplicity of approaches.

Some leaders in the movement publicly welcome open discussion with other religions regarding the definition of Christian faith. Others in the movement label the practice differently, calling the interfaith dialog a means to share their narratives as they learn from the narratives of others. Some Emerging Church Christians believe there are radically diverse perspectives within Christianity that are valuable for humanity to progress toward truth and a better resulting relationship with God, and that these different perspectives deserve Christian charity rather than condemnation.

The movement appropriates set theory as a means of understanding a basic change in the way the Christian church thinks about itself as a group. Set theory is a concept in mathematics that allows an understanding of what numbers belong to a group, or set. A bounded set would describe a group with clear “in” and “out” definitions of membership. The Christian church has largely organized itself as a bounded set, those who share the same beliefs and values are in the set and those who disagree are outside.

The centered set does not limit membership to pre-conceived boundaries. Instead a centered set is conditioned on a centered point. Membership is contingent on those who are moving toward that point. Elements moving toward a particular point are part of the set, but elements moving away from that point are not. As a centered-set Christian membership would be dependent on moving toward the central point of Jesus. A Christian is then defined by their focus and movement toward Christ rather than a limited set of shared beliefs and values. John Wimber utilized the centered set understanding of membership in his Vineyard Churches. The centered set theory of Christian Churches came largely from missional anthropologist Paul Hiebert. The centered set understanding of membership allows for a clear vision of the focal point, the ability to move toward that point without being tied down to smaller diversions, a sense of total egalitarianism with respect for differing opinions, and an authority moved from individual members to the existing center.

Authenticity and Conversation

The movement favors the sharing of experiences via testimonies, prayer, group recitation, sharing meals and other communal practices, which they believe are more personal and sincere than propositional presentations of the Gospel. Teachers in the Emerging Church tend to view the Bible and its stories through a lens which they believe finds significance and meaning for their community’s social and personal stories rather than for the purpose of finding cross-cultural, propositional absolutes regarding salvation and conduct.

The emerging church claims they are creating a safe environment for those with opinions ordinarily rejected within modern conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Non-critical, interfaith dialog is preferred over dogmatically-driven evangelism in the movement. Story and narrative replaces the dogmatic:
The relationship between words and images has changed in contemporary culture. In a post-foundational world, it is the power of the image that takes us to the text. The bible is no longer a principal source of morality, functioning as a rulebook. The gradualism of postmodernity has transformed the text into a guide, a source of spirituality, in which the power of the story as but on potential moral reference point has superseded the didactic. Thus the meaning of the Good Samaritan is more important than the Ten Commandments – even assuming that the latter could be remembered in any detail by anyone. Into this mileau the image speaks with power.

Those in the movement do not engage in aggressive apologetics or confrontational evangelism in the traditional sense, preferring to encourage the freedom to discover truth through conversation and relationships with the Christian community.

Missional living

Participants in this movement assert that the incarnation of Christ informs their theology, believing that as God entered the world in human form, adherents enter (individually and communally) into the context around them, aiming to transform that culture through local involvement in it. This holistic involvement may take many forms, including social activism, hospitality, and acts of kindness. This beneficent involvement in culture is part of what is called “missional living.

This approach leads to their focus on temporal and social issues, as opposed to a perceived Evangelical overemphasis on eternal salvation. Drawing on research and models of contextual theology, Mobsby asserts that the Emerging Church is using different models of contextual theology to Conservative Evangelicals. Conservative Evangelical Churches tend to use a ‘translation’ model of contextual theology, (which has been criticized for being colonialist and having a very low opinion of culture and humanity), where the Emerging Church tends to use a ‘synthetic’ or ‘transcendent’ model of contextual theology. The Emerging Church has charged many Conservative Evangelical Churches of withdrawal from involvement from contextual mission and seeking contextualisation of the gospel.

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June 14, 2009 - Posted by | apocalypse, Apostasy, Bible, Christianity, Evangelism, Israel, Religion, Scripture, Theology, Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Really interesting post. Just came across it at http://justtheory.com/.

    Comment by justin | June 14, 2009

  2. Thanks Justin, you were kind to leave a note and the link.

    Comment by Val Lee | June 14, 2009


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