Emerging Church/New Spirituality: Part 7 (Conclusions and summary)


With all the positive and exciting things taking place in the church at large -signs and wonders, the enjoyment of God's manifest and tangible presence, thousands being saved every day, it's disappointing to have had to devote so much time and energy to this topic.

Unfortunately, however, it's necessary in view of the growing influence the liberal Emerging Church/New Spirituality is having within mainstream evangelicalism - its teaching and practice can now be found within every denomination and stream.

A Gospel of inclusivity is being promoted - everybody must be in.  Biblical principles and gender issues are blurred.  Universalism is the new orthodoxy and many indulge in the pleasing notion that all will be well for all human beings at the last day.

But the Bible knows nothing of this easy-going inclusivity and optimism.  We have a God who divides and makes distinctions.  He created male and female, we have law and grace, the sheep and the goats, faith and doubt, sin and holiness, heaven and hell.

These binaries are anathema to the liberal Emerging Church/New Spirituality.  To them God always loves, never judges; he universally includes even those who offend him and he never draws immutable lines.  Its theology is completely man-centred.

Compromised the objective and exclusive claims of biblical Christianity

Whilst rejecting reason, objectivity and transcendent truth in favour of experience, emotions, image, narrative and subjective feelings, the liberal Emerging Church has compromised the objective and exclusive claims of biblical Christianity.

It embraces ancient pagan mysticism and spirituality whilst jettisoning many fundamentals of the Christian faith.  It waters down the moral teachings of the Gospel.  It denies the exclusivity and uniqueness of Christ.  In rejecting biblical authority, revelation and inerrancy it's become theologically heretical.  In rejecting God’s self-revelation in the Bible – it's created God as a figment of their own imagination – a counterfeit and distortion.

A different Kingdom

It seeks to build an all-inclusive multi-faith religion of tolerance which it sees as the answer to the world’s ills – a Utopian Kingdom of religious inclusivness and tolerance.  Panentheism, Pantheism, Syncretism, and Universalism are its bedfellows.  A doctrine of demons promoting the New Spirituality (One World Religion).


A Postmodern Christianity

In embracing the tenets of Postmodernism, it reinvents Christianity to appeal to the Postmodern culture.  In so doing, it becomes the enemy of the true Gospel offering instead a counterfeit - another religion and Gospel altogether.

Instead of declaring the truth as Christians have done down through the ages, in each new culture, by the preaching of orthodox Christian doctrine, it leaves Postmodernists doubting that objective truth can be known.  It replaces theological certainty with myth, ritual and intellectualism.

Dr Peter Jones, in his book ‘One or Two,’ says:

Christians can begin to believe that the culture’s rejection of the church is due not to the timeless confrontation between God’s power and worldly power, but to an overly narrow understanding of the gospel.  This attack on the church comes from the inside.  The search for cultural approval has led some Christians to modify both their message and their behaviour.  They criticise the church for having been focused on individual salvation at the expense of social justice (and argue) that God should not be known so much through the revelation of biblical truth or through his work of vicarious atonement, as through human love and mystical experience.

DeYoung and Kluck in their book 'Why We're Not Emergent,' say:

The Emergents have many good deeds.  They want to be relevant.  They want to reach out.  They want to be authentic.  They want to include the marginalized.  They want to be kingdom disciples.  They want community and life transformation . . .

However Emergent Christians need to catch Jesus’ broader vision for the church - his vision for a church that is intolerant of error, maintains moral boundaries, promotes doctrinal integrity, stands strong in times of trial, remains vibrant in times of prosperity, believes in certain judgment and certain reward, even as it engages the culture, reaches out, loves, and serves.  We need a church that reflects the Master’s vision - one that is deeply theological, deeply ethical, deeply compassionate, and deeply doxological.

A present danger

Since many within evangelicalism are being seduced by its teachings, it presents the biggest threat to the church for many decades.  Its teachings and practices are being embraced by some of the most active and progressive parts of the church worldwide.  Bible colleges are beginning to refashion their teaching along emergent lines.  Younger Christians especially are being drawn to its deception.

Those who question its views are branded as Fundamentalists, heresy hunters and bigots.  Sadly, Emergents are falsely humble, intolerant and closed to correction, often claiming that critics simply don't understand them.

Pray for true discernment

Deception is always camouflaged with half truths.  We need to pray for God’s on-going protection over the church at large that more do not get swept up into deception.  We should also ask that he gives the leaders of the liberal Emerging Church genuine discernment before it is too late:

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Tim 4:3-4).

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Tim 4:3-4)

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