Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Emergent Church Alert!

By: Angela Lee Price

There are so many new aberrant and heretical movements popping up within Christianity that, truly, it is hard to keep up with them all. And, it appears, sadly, that there are far too few pastors within the Black Church willing to speak boldly and consistently about them in an attempt to defend the faith.

There are a couple of brave souls defending the faith. On the national scene, Pastor John Cherry of From The Heart Church speaks boldly and consistently about the dangers of the prosperity message. Locally, my pastor, Dr. Kevin Cosby of St. Stephen Church speaks consistently about the “Joy Boy” preachers, as he calls the purveyors of the prosperity message, and he’s even dedicated an entire month-long sermon series entitled Beware the Counterfeiters to warning Christians about false teachers. He kicked butt and “named names!” That’s it, on the pastoral level, to my knowledge.

Although I am not a licensed minister, I am a radio announcer, communicator, writer and researcher who has dedicated almost nine years to diligently studying material from the online discernment community. I launched Jesus Saves Newsletter in September 2005 out of love for the people around me. I desperately want them to see what the Lord is showing me about apostasy in the last days.

The Emerging Church movement is sweeping the nation, appealing to young Christians with its “unplugged” MTV-like, dimmed-lights approach to introspective Christianity. David and Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails Research Project, Al and Jean Dager of Media Spotlight, and Roger Oakland of Understand the Times have all written about the players, background, tenets and concerns of the Emerging, or “Emergent” as some refer to it, Church movement.

The following is a fact sheet from Understand the Times International that summarizes some of the major characteristics of the Emerging Church Movement and the direction it is headed. Brian McLaren is the prominent promoter and leader of the Emerging Church Movement. On his website, Roger Oakland states, “Every sincere Bible believing Christian needs to be aware of what is happening and what role the Emerging Church Movement plays in the last days apostasy that the Bible foretells.”

Facts to know about current trends happening in the name of Christ that are undermining the authority of scripture and leading towards the Emerging Church:

Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority for many well known leaders of the new evangelicalism.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods that promote church growth and a social gospel.

There is more and more emphasis on “what’s in it for me” in the “here and now”, and less and less concern regarding the warnings of scripture regarding the imminent return of Jesus and a coming judgment ahead for planet earth.

More and more Christian leaders are looking for the Kingdom of God to be established here on earth by human effort and deny that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period that is to come.

Many bridges are being established that lead in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

An experiential mystical form of Christianity is being promoted to attract and reach the postmodern generation called the “Emerging Church.”

We are being told that Christianity needs to be re-invented in order to provide meaning for this generation.

Christianity is being dumbed-down as the Word of God comes under attack and images and sensual experiences are being promoted as the key to experiencing God.

In order to re-invent Christianity we are told we need to go back to the past and find out what kinds of experiences were successful to attract people to Christianity. These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy and the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Many church leaders are beginning to consider that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “Church fathers” that communion is more than a symbol and for remembrance and that Jesus actually becomes present in the communion wafer.

There is a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace that claims there are many ways to God and that Jesus Christ is not the only way.

Please visit the following websites for additional information on the Emerging Church Movement and write me with your findings after your research is complete. I would like to know whether you agree or disagree with the online assessments of the Emerging Church Movement:

Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Media Spotlight
Understand the Times
Eastern Regional Watch
Discernment Ministries, Inc.
Herescope


Related articles by Angela Lee Price:
Noel Jones: Word of Faith Theology is Crippling the Black Church, May post
  • Church Growth: Is Bigger Always Better?, April Archives
  • Radio Responses to 50 Most influential Christians in America, March Archives
  • The 50 Most Influential Christians In America, February Archives
  • Are You Letting Yourself Down?, February Archives
  • Prophetic Or Pathetic, February Archives
  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road...to Heaven?, January Archives

    Remember, it is not Buddha, Confuscious, Muhammad, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

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