I was meditating on God’s Word tonight and began thinking about the manifold errors of the emergent church movement. This aberrant, cultish stain on the fabric of the Bride of Christ’s gown is a relatively recent yet wildly successful development in the devil’s ongoing efforts to lure sinful men down a path that leads toward a big flashing neon sign that says “HEAVEN”, but which is in truth the broad way that leads to everlasting destruction.
The emergents never cease to amaze me with the mental gymnastics they employ in order to dance around the edge of truth.
Sometimes they dodge and weave.
Sometimes they obfuscate and deny.
Sometimes they protest and whine.
And sometimes they rage and attack.
Yet the more I learn about the shallow “I’m okay, you’re okay” easy-believism espoused by the adherents of the emergent message of false hope and empty promises the clearer it becomes that root of the problem with the emergent crowd is their wholesale aversion to authority.
They loathe it.
They upbraid it.
They reject it.
God’s Word is authoritative. It is His full and complete revelation to men and its truth is self attesting. It answers the all important question “what must sinful man do in order to be reconciled unto a Holy God?“, and it is true because He says it’s true. It’s a matter of God’s authority vs. man’s authority. The natural man in his fallen state automatically has himself set up as his own god in his heart. This situation is the unavoidable consequence of the fall and is inborn into every child that enters this world, with the exception of One; the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since the natural state of man’s heart is sinful and he holds his own sinful reasoning as the ultimate authority – the highest court of appeals – through which all information flows including matters of life, living, morality, ethics, and his entire system of belief – his worldview – he is the enemy of God. Sinful men hate God. Sinners don’t “like Jesus but hate the church”, sinners hate God and anything to do with Him fervently and completely, though whether or not this visceral hatred always reaches the level of conscious awareness in every sinner is a different matter entirely.
There is no way around this untenable situation because there is only One True Living God, the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe, and sinful man isn’t Him. The law of God exposes to men that they are desperate and doomed to eternal punishment because they are utterly unable to meet God’s requirement of absolute holiness and perfection due to their sin nature. Men cannot keep God’s perfect law and are are thus summarily condemned and damned by the law.
But God, Who is merciful and just chose in His good pleasure and by His unmerited grace not to leave men doomed and without hope under the law. Instead He stepped out of eternity and down from His throne of indescribable glory to become a simple man born of a humble, unknown, common Jewish handmaiden in a nondescript, unimportant backwater Middle Eastern village during a time when the tiny seemingly insignificant nation of Israel was under the iron fisted rule of the greatest military power the world had ever known.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Why did God do this? Was it for something good he saw in sinful men? Are we the “pearl of great price” for which Christ suffered and died an unspeakably agonizing death upon the cruel cross of Calvary in order to purchase? Were we worth it? The short answer is, no. He did it for no other reason than because He is completely good and chose by His own counsel and perfect will to rescue some men from certain destruction.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:13-24)
Everyone won’t be saved, that heresy is known as universalism. Yet even more unsettling is the fact that all who profess Christ won’t be saved either.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)
How can we explain this? From inspired scripture of course, and its clear teaching that there are two streams of Christianity living side by side, one genuine and one false:
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matthew 13:24-30)
The emergent church is the bastard child of the union of the unholy trinity of the doctrine of Robert Schuller who has usurped Christ’s role as the Holy Prophet of His people, the false teaching of Rick Warren who has usurped Christ’s role as High Priest of His people, and sinful love of self which in the natural man always usurps Christ’s unique role as King.
Prophet, Priest and King: in these roles Christ exercises the full range of His power and authority over His people as their teacher and exhorter (Prophet), their intercessor and high priest (Priest) and their absolutely sovereign and omnipotent ruler (King). The Bible explains all this clearly, but sinful men don’t want to hear about these things, instead they seek to suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
Men like Robert Schuller want to speak of a new reformation that’s based on sinful man’s self-esteem and on being man-centered instead of God-centered. This is nothing more or nothing less than religious-humanism in contradistinction to the more commonly known secular-humanism.
The poisonous seeds of Robert Schuller’s man-centered spiritual pornography bore fruit in the person of one Rick Warren, a boot-licking Schuller disciple who has taken Schuller’s anti-gospel message and refined it with the aid of modern mass-marketing, public relations and successful management techniques. Warren’s negative deceptive impact on the broader professing church is hard to overstate. His media arm reaches around the world and his high powered public relations spinmeisters diligently massage, rework, and redefine his message of self empowerment to make it sound almost exactly like Biblical Christianity, almost. Warren’s gospel appeals to the lowest common denominator and reinforces man’s sinful tendency toward self-centeredness with another gospel that seeks to satisfy “felt needs” with a Christianized placebo.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
Interestingly the emergent church is a reactionary movement against the shallow, self-absorbed, cookie-cutter sameness and generic plainness of Warren’s seeker-sensitive pseudo-gospel message. All the seeker-sensitive churches tend to follow Warren’s Devil Driven methodologies and formulas in unflinching lockstep, which has produced a virtual army of spiritual zombies who stumble blind and dead in their sins and trespasses all the while believing and being reassured that they are truly born-again Christians, and the emergent zombie killers loathe them for it. Yet in their rebellion and zeal the emergents have taken it upon themselves to reimagine and challenge everything including the very foundations of the Christian belief system. In this they go too far in their efforts to distance themselves from the Schuller-ized/Warren-ized false Christianity which currently pervades and dominates the modern American spiritual landscape.
“We can’t be too sure about the things the Bible says and means” they say.
In their false humility and rebellion against God’s authoritative revealed Word they say things like “We’re not arrogant enough to think we can KNOW FOR SURE what to believe”.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15)
The emergent error was spawned from the seeker-sensitive error which was spawned from the same man-centered error that resulted in the fall of man in the first place. It all ends up back at authority. Either God is God or man is god, but not both. The answer man gives to the question of authority determines whether the One True Living God sits upon His rightful place on the throne of one’s heart leading to eternal life, or whether our own natural, sinful corrupted reasoning rules and reigns leading to death and destruction. One authority leads to joy unspeakable in the presence of the Lord forever, and the other authority leads to eternal damnation and hellfire.
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:34-35)