Thursday, June 12

Part two, Emergent danger.....

It isn't through ancient pagan practices of mystics that the believer draws strength and power but through Jesus Christ and the very foundation of salvation or goodness isn't an ability to be drawn from outside influences. "Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:9).

Unfortunately and fortunately (dependent on your view), emergents share many things with other Christian groups such as a belief in contextualization, caring for the needy, friendship evangelism, and fellowship. Terms and catch-phrases can be interchanged between these opposing movements, which further smudge the demarcation lines between Christianity and Emergent theology. By claiming these as their own, the emergent church believes that they can sway 'resistors' and their children by claiming these are distinctive essences of the true follower. Regardless of the fact these have been a part of the evangelical movement for hundreds of years, supported by the biblical principles found in Scripture and the teachings of Jesus Christ, they have been poorly taught to the generations through the congregation and family. Cultural Christianity, which is the poor cousin of the emergent Christian, has said one thing and done another. Emergent is from the same family.

David Kowalski expresses in his article Appropriate Response to the Emerging Church Movement, a clear analogy of the Emergent movement,

"If we think of this distinctive essence of emergent as a lake, we can observe that some people, such as Brian McLaren, are swimming in its deepest spot, while others, such as Scott McKnight, are wading in the lake at a shallower depth. Still others (perhaps John Ortberg and Rick Warren fit this description), seem to enjoy boating on the lake and occasionally drinking its water, enjoying friendship with the movement while maintaining a distinctly Evangelical identity."

Which brings me full circle to McLaren's statement in his book, "If you thought your house was going to burn down tomorrow, there would be no incentive to clean your room?"

My incentive, as McLaren puts it, to clean my room ---that is, to conform my life and my goals to the model presented in the life, ministry, and salvation gift of Jesus Christ is rather really simple. I would put it in the format of a father's teaching responsibility to his young son (because I have experience there),

"If you clean your room, and keep it clean, you will have time to enjoy yourself with the time you save and be content in the fact that anyone who comes over to spend time with you will see a well-kept and inviting room in which to play. Let tomorrow worry about itself."

When God places His righteous and holy fire to the tinder of our room, will it ignite into a firestorm that claims everything and reduces it all to a charred mess or will we find that all that is truly valuable has already been safely removed before the flame consumed it all?

I agree with McLaren on one thing that is the focus of his book: the past holds the answers for our future. What I disagree with is what he chooses to call good.

Once again the serpent is whispering half-truths and outright lies within our ears so that we can be cut off from the hope and love of our Creator. All we have to do is taste the fruit.

"Stop quarreling with God! If you agree with Him, you will have peace at last, and things will go well for you. Listen to His instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty and clean up your life, you will be restored. Give up your lust for money, and throw your precious gold into the river. Then the Almighty Himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver." Job 22:21-25

Some research sites I used:
Jones, Alan., Reimagining Christianity, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons), 2005.
Pagitt, Doug and Jones, Tony, eds., An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books)
Kowalski, David., Appropriate Response to the Emerging Church Movement, (

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