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The Emerging Church

The Emerging churches are difficult to define. Emerging churches consists of those who are rethinking Christianity against Postmodernism. The Emerging churches are complicated, contradictory, confusing, and their beliefs are evolving. They usually hold to the principles of social justice, collective salvation, and liberation theology. There is a variety of beliefs and practices from church to church. They are seeker-friendly and some adopt universalism and New Age Spirituality. It is about experience over reason, spirituality over religion, feelings over truth and subjectivity over objectivity, a post-modern way of thinking. They discount the Word of God, mock exegetical preaching and teaching.

The Emerging Church isn't a new church that is being established but is existing church leaders taking their church into a new or modern approach, as they would say, for a modern world that now exists. Man has outgrown the old established ideas of Christianity and it must change to keep up with postmodern man. In reality it is a new religion taking over established churches and changing them into an evolving belief that appears to be heading toward New Age beliefs. In addition, they aim to transform traditional bible-believing churches into the new emerging model and are doing what they can to bring that about. Brian McLaren, one of the emerging leaders, tells them to be patient and not to try changing the churches overnight.

Emerging Church groups believe in some or all of the following:

When it comes to doctrine the Emerging churches disagree on nearly everything except God's final judgment. They reject God's final judgment in favor of His saving all humanity and creation into a paradise which all will participate. This is also taught by some Dominionists and is linked to the building of God's kingdom on the earth prior to the return of Jesus.
This view is incorrect in that it does away with all the end-time prophecies and does away with the necessity of Christ dying for our sins. Since they believe they will return the earth to a paradise like condition there would be no Heaven nor Hell. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ will set up His kingdom and not mankind.

The Jesus of the Emerging church is not the same Jesus that is taught in the Bible. The Jesus of the Emerging church welcomes almost everyone into His fold except those who believe Jesus is the only way. They do not see Him as coming to die for our sins.
The truth is that Jesus is the only way, John 14:6, and Acts 4:12. Proving that Emerging church teachings are contradictory to the Bible.

The Emerging church teaches that to follow Jesus you don't necessarily have to be a born-again Christian. The mission of Jesus was to show us how to live.
The truth is the Bible tells us that Christ died for our sins, 1 Corinthians 15:3. The Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost, Luke 19:10. He came not to judge the world but to save it, John 12:47. Clearly the Emerging churches teach another Jesus, 2 Corinthians 11:4.

They teach that Jesus is seen as the One who had the Christ-spirit in Him. Therefore man can attain this same spiritual level that Jesus did through meditation and other spiritual disciplines. This is what they mean when they say we can be a “Christ Follower”.
The truth is that Jesus Christ is God and is therefor omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent which mankind will never be. Man cannot become God but the Bible says that those that have been born again He has made kings and priest unto God and they will reign with Him, Revelation 5:10.

Here is an example of how the Emerging Church interprets the Bible. One of their leaders, Brian McLaren, explained that John 3:16 is not talking about spiritually lost people but is talking about the earth. He says the Kingdom of God is not a spiritual term or a religious term but a political term and means God's eco-system.
The truth is clearly stated in the verse and needs little explanation. This interpretation of the Emerging church is straight from the devil to deceive all who listen.

At least one emergent teacher says that unbeliever's don't want anything to do with going to church or with Christians who take the Bible literally. However, they will readily accept Christ as an example to follow. The reason that unbeliever's have a faulty knowledge of Christianity is because of those Christians that take the Bible literally and they act different than those who are lost.
The truth is that one is saved they become a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17, so the Bible teaches the opposite of the Emerging church. True Christians will be different. Then the Bible also tells us that we are to live differently after salvation and not like the unbeliever's whose life style is against the teaching of the Bible, Galatians 5:19-26. A literal interpretation of the Bible takes one to the truth. A correct understanding of the Bible can only be found in the literal, grammatical, and historical method of interpretation. This is one that is based on the actual words and their ordinary meaning. This is interpreting Scripture without using the allegorical method or spiritualizing unless it is clearly indicated in the passage.

By using the literal meaning of words, assigning to every word the same meaning it would have in its normal usage it allows for the many figures of speech, parables, allegories, types and symbols. These are clearly known by correctly analyzing grammatical relationship of the words, phrases, and sentences to one another. With a literal interpretation one can not twist scriptures to mean anything they want, and they get the real meaning, instead of someones thoughts or imaginations.

Looking at a passage grammatically requires us look for the meaning by making sure of the meaning and form of the words, the function of the words, and the relationship of the words. The correct view of a passage must also take in the historical context. To properly understand the Bible we must look at the historical setting, circumstances of a passage and the culture in the time it was written.

The allegorical method of interpreting the Bible is used by those who want to change it's meaning. This method of interpreting scripture is used to replace Israel with the church. Those who wanted to replace Israel with the church and say that the Jews were no longer God's chosen people, resorted to this method since one can make scripture say nearly anything they desire. This was the method that brought in the anti-Semitism of the church. With this method the real meaning of any passage is disregarded in favor of the allegory. This method has resulted in many false churches and beliefs.

The Emerging church teaches that one of their pillars is the teaching that God is the ground of all being. Jesus, they say, states that God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things. This is what Hinduism teaches and is pantheism, God is in everything.
The truth is that God is not “in” everything, He is outside His creation and upholds His creation, Colossians 1:16-17.

They also teach that the church is required to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
The truth is the Bible teaches that just before Christ returns in the air for His Church there will be many who will mock the idea of Christ's return, 2 Peter 3:3-4. No where in the Bible does God tell Christians to set up the Kingdom of God.

It is said that one of the problems is the Emergents view on relativism, the belief that there are no absolutes. However, one of the leaders of the Emerging church, Brian McLaren rejected relativism. From relativism the Emerging church may be going into inter-spirituality. Inter-spirituality is the outcome of contemplative prayer and is the uniting of all religions and the denial of Christ as the only way of salvation.
The truth is that the Emerging church is ever evolving and it is rejecting many teachings of the Bible. No one at the present time can tell what it is evolving into or where it is going.

The Emerging church has a belief in contemplative mysticism. This provides a bond that draws many churches together, including the Catholic Church and many pagan religions and the New Age. Contemplative mysticism is an effort to commune with God experientially and find spiritual understanding outside of the Bible.
The truth is that the Bible is the only Word of God and when one goes outside the Bible they are disobeying God, Revelation 22:18-19. God doesn't allow us to change His Word nor to add to His word and this is what the Emerging church is doing.

The Emerging church wants a positive Christianity and therefore they have a judge not philosophy. We can not judge each other. The world doesn't like judgmentalism and criticism, so the church has to stop judging. They must be tolerant with no negative teaching.
The truth is they are referring to Matthew 7:1 which is the most often used and misquoted verse in the Bible. They pull this one verse out of context and use it as is often done, by those seeking to change God's Word. Believers use it to stop anyone from telling them what they are doing wrong in their life so they can continue in their sin without confrontation. This verse taken in context just means that we can't judge anyone unless our life is right with God. Christians can not judge anyone's salvation but we can and are required to judge what they do, whether it is right or wrong. If they are committing a sin we are to point it out to them in a godly manner. Christians are required to point out erroneous teachings and teachers and to contend for the faith once delivered to believers, Romans 16:17; Jude 1:3. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets but we can not beware of them unless we judge them, Matthew 7:15.

The Emerging church supports women at all levels of ministry including women pastors.
The truth is the Bible teaches against women pastors, 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:5-7. There are many other places of ministry for women in the church --- Sunday school teachers, nursry workers, writing, women's ministries, abortion counseling,culinary ministries, church decorating, missionary ministries, secretaries, music ministries, and assorted childrens ministries. It important to your female readers that they find that there are areas where they can have part in the overall functioning of the church.

Here is a partial list of leaders of Emerging Churches and the list is growing fast. Rob Bell, John Burke, Mark Driscoll, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Joel McClure, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Mark Scandrette, Dave Sutton, Karen Ward, Dallas Willard, Dieter Xander.

There are many other things that could be added to this list of false teaching but this is meant to be a short overview of the Emerging Church. It is clear that the Emergent Church is attempting to bring on a second reformation by doing away with the authority of the Bible, denying the absolute truths of the Bible, and teaching and preaching more about feelings than God's Word. The truth is that they are false teachers that bring in destructive heresies, 2 Peter 2:1. Sadly, they will have many followers, 2 Peter 2:2. As we noted above, Jesus told us to beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves, Matthew 7:15. This is an excellent description of the Emerging church.


The Emergent Church Movement is designed to bring about a Second Reformation by abandoning the authority of the Bible, elevating the importance of feelings, and denying the existence of absolute truths.

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