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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is the Emerging Church?

By Justin Edwards

Because this blog is dedicated to defending the faith, it is essential to define the greatest threat to biblical Christianity today: the Emerging Church Movement. The leaders of this not-so-New Age-movement seek to destroy the essential doctrines of Christianity, which are core fundamentals of the faith even unto salvation. Such doctrines include the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the reality of a physical hell, original sin, and even that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

The energy that binds these heretical teachings is contemplative spirituality and mysticism. Contemplative prayer (also known as centering prayer)  is nothing short of transcendental meditation (TM), and its religious system is mysticism, which provides a bridge for all religions leading to universalism.

The following article from Got Questions provides a general overview of the Emerging Church, and in the days and weeks to come I will provide key resources explaining this movement in more detail including the occult religious practices it offers. I will indeed be naming names.

If you are part of an emerging church or are seeking more information about the dangers of this movement, I encourage you to stay tuned.

Question: "What is the emerging / emergent church movement?"

The emerging, or emergent, church movement takes its name from the idea that as culture changes, a new church should emerge in response. In this case, it is a response by various church leaders to the current era of post-modernism. Although post-modernism began in the 1950s, the church didn't really seek to conform to its tenets until the 1990s. Post-modernism can be thought of as a dissolution of "cold, hard fact" in favor of "warm, fuzzy subjectivity." The emerging / emergent church movement can be thought of the same way.

The emerging / emergent church movement falls into line with basic post-modernist thinking—it is about experience over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, spirituality over religion, images over words, outward over inward, feelings over truth. These are reactions to modernism and are thought to be necessary in order to actively engage contemporary culture. This movement is still fairly new, though, so there is not yet a standard method of "doing" church amongst the groups choosing to take a post-modern mindset. In fact, the emerging church rejects any standard methodology for doing anything. Therefore, there is a huge range of how far groups take a post-modernist approach to Christianity. Some groups go only a little way in order to impact their community for Christ, and remain biblically sound. Most groups, however, embrace post-modernist thinking, which eventually leads to a very liberal, loose translation of the Bible. This, in turn, lends to liberal doctrine and theology.

For example, because experience is valued more highly than reason, truth becomes relative. Relativism opens up all kinds of problems, as it destroys the standard that the Bible contains absolute truth, negating the belief that biblical truth can be absolute. If the Bible is not our source for absolute truth, and personal experience is allowed to define and interpret what truth actually is, a saving faith in Jesus Christ is rendered meaningless.

Another area where the emerging / emergent church movement has become anti-biblical is its focus on ecumenism. Unity among people coming from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and diversity in the expression of corporate worship are a strong focus of the emergent church movement. Being ecumenical means that compromise is taking place, and this results in a watering down of Scripture in favor of not offending an apostate. This is in direct opposition to passages such as Revelation 2:14-17, Jesus' letter to the church of Pergamum, in which the Church is warned against tolerating those who teach false doctrine.

False doctrine seems to abound within the emerging / emergent church movement, though, as stated previously, not within every group espousing emerging / emergent church beliefs. Because of this, care must be taken when deciding whether or not to become involved with an emergent church group. We all need to take heed of Matthew 7:15-20, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

While seeking new ways to witness to a changing culture is admirable, utilizing ways which compromise the Truth of the Gospel in any way is nothing more than promoting false doctrine and leading others away from Christ instead of to Him.

Recommended Resource: The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception by John MacArthur


  1. In America, belief in Christ, and church attendance are all falling rapidly. This emerging church fad is an attempt to water down Christianity to make it more palatable to the younger, skeptical generation.

    Either way, Christianity is steadily going the way of the dodo in America. This is but another indicator of this trend.

  2. you got that right, Anonymous. it is one of the most evident signs that the return of the King is at the door step. the falling away is happening before our eyes!

    - 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition,

  3. The problem with relativism is that everything becomes relative to the person, which results in there being no one single truth. This them means that each person becomes their own "god", because God is the ONLY one to whom all things are relative to. And it's trying to be like God that resulted in the first sin at the Garden of Eden.

    Unfortunately for Man, there is only one Truth, and that is Jesus Christ. His death on the cross for our sin provides the ONLY way for us to be saved from eternal separation in Hell. But the Emergent church, who has discarded Sola Scriptura, accepts all "religious" backgrounds and beliefs, under the umbrella of Ecumenism. And scripture warns us about those who would preach "another gospel" in the first chapter of Galatians. Christ is the way, the truth and the life; none may come unto the Father but by him. That along with the preaching of the cross begin foolishness to those that perish, but to us who are saved it is the power of God, are two verses that I am sure the Emergent Church would try to erase from existence if they could.


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