By Chad Davidson
Emergent leader Brian McLaren recently wrote a blog updating everyone with what is happening inside the emergent church movement. In the article titled, “More on the emergent conversation,” McLaren states:
“The conversation continues to grow, not by creating a new slice of the pie, but by seasoning nearly all sectors of the pie. Even where the word ’emergent’ is not used, ideas from emergence leaders are being considered and adopted, leading to new experimentation and openness.” (Source)
He goes on to talk about how many Catholics are coming into the fray when it comes to emergent leanings stating:
“Influence in the Roman Catholic world is still relatively small, but growing numbers of Catholic scholars and leaders are listening, reading, and engaging, from lay people to (yes) the Vatican.” (Ibid)
We have actually been able to see this as of late as “America’s Pastor,” Rick Warren, accepted an invitation to speak at the Vatican this past week.
But he doesn’t stop there! Don’t forget that many of the major protestant churches are going the way of the emergent church. (Should we look any further than the United Presbyterian Church?) We also must reluctantly agree with the statements made by Mr. McLaren later in the article when speaking about this.
“A few years down the road, I think Mainline engagement will become even more overt and significant, but already most Mainline Protestant denominations are experimenting with creative new approaches to church planting and worship/liturgy renewal” (Ibid)
While McLaren claims that the emergent church is “not […] creating a new slice of the pie”, the truth is that the “seasoning” he says that he has placed on the pie is one of adding and taking away from the scriptures, as God’s word warns about:
Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
This is the same man that, in an interview with Leif Hansen, made the following statement:
“The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.” (Source)
As the statement above makes clear, this is not a special “seasoning” that the emergent church is attempting to add to the gospel, they are completely throwing it out and making up their own. They have decided that the doctrine of hell just doesn’t fit the god that they have created in their own minds. A much more palpable god that can taste good for anyone. But that god doesn’t exist, except in their own minds. The very cross is a distraction for McLaren because he doesn’t understand its message, or hates the message that Christ truly brought.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” –1 Corinthians 1:18
Of course, it is going to get in the way of McLaren’s theology; it does not lineup with a universalistic god that the emergent church has established. The sneaky infiltration that has begun in the church did not start with the likes of McLaren, Pagitt or Rob Bell, it started way earlier than that, and is warned about repeatedly:
“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” –Jude 1:4
And by Peter as well:
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” –2 Peter 2:1-3
The church should be keeping their eyes peered for these wolves! They will not spare the flock, and as you can see from his article, he is more than happy to watch the emergent church slither it’s way in through liberal theology and mystical contemplative prayer.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” –1 Peter 5:8