How to find out if you are in an Emerging Church
By Pastor David Cox
When we understand what an emergent church (see my previous posts), we must understand that these are wolves in sheeps clothing, that have slowly and astutely inserted themselves within the body of Christ to work the work of Satan. But they will never identify themselves. You will see them as nice, reasonable, friendly, courteous people that are the most likeable people in the world. Maybe, after things have gone done the trail a real long ways, somebody strange and new will stand up and start saying some things that just knock you down. They will say things something like against the Bible, that it really isn’t our guide for our lives. Jesus isn’t really God. Everybody is already saved, and there is no need nor reason to try and witness or present the gospel to the unsaved because everybody will eventually go to heaven anyway.
In my previous posts, I have shown that the Emergent Church is basically a doctrine of demons, coming straight from the pit of hell, and its objective is to destroy traditional church as God has taught us in Scripture. In the first post, I added a video of an interview that explains much about how and why this movement is demonic and antichristian.
Any one or more of these things will be said, and you will be bolled over, but as you look around and expect a mass riot from your friends and neighbors in that church, nobody even takes notice. You are in an emergent church, and never knew it.
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Mark #1 – A Church without Truth
The emergent church rejects the truth of the Bible. But they use the Bible like other churches and will never say they outright reject the Bible. The taletell sign of what they are and where they are going is how they use the Bible.
First of all, Scripture is in general not a central part of their sermons. Good churches will have sermons built around theological questions or current issues in life which are answered looking at what the Bible has to say about it. The Emergent Church will also embark on answering the same types of questions, but their argument, burden of proof to convince is not what God has said, but what seems right, what is logical, reasonable, or would appear right to them. You can identify this error by when a preacher makes a statement, something is right (you should do it) or something is wrong (you shouldn’t do it), or in some way change your life, and yet he uses no evidence of Scripture to convince you. Worse is when he uses Scripture, but in a simple reading of that passage in its context, that is not the obvious conclusion of Scripture. They misuse Scripture or ignore the authority of Scripture altogether.
A biblical church seeks to give biblical proof, verses of the Bible exposited correctly to defend what they believe and practice. This is an obsession with a biblical church. A biblical church has a very clear statement of faith in which they expose their doctrine and practice. This is what the Bible says as they understand it.
An Emergent church refuses this. While they too have very clear doctrinal beliefs and practices, they are not going to offer it easily for somebody to see. Here think, a visitor who wants to perhaps visit the church can get on their website and see where the church stands. The emergent church will make this impossible to do.
Moreover, even the very name of the church is now clouded in secrecy. We can get a church history book and see what the Presbyterian churches historically believed, what the Methodists, the Baptists, the Nazerene, the Pentecostal, etc. churches usually or historically hold to as far as doctrine and practice. But the Emergent Church will use a name for their church like “Bethel Towers”, or “Community Fellowship”, or “St. John’s Chapel”. What these names communicate as far as history and doctrine is zero. You know nothing from them as far as where they are. This is not an accident but by design.
They are constantly preaching and teaching against other churches and groups that believe something. They want to sublimely insert a foundation that “nobody can be sure of anything in the religious world”. While this is their view of other churches that believe something, if you use that same philosophy against them in their teachings, they will get mad at you. Nobody ELSE knows anything, but they themselves are experts on the religious scene. Somebody who truly believes that they know nothing about a subject will be open to somebody who does know to teach them. These people are not ignorant about religion, they are simply antagonist against religion, and refuse to let anybody tell them anything about it.
Scripture is the guide and authority of our faith.
If this is not stated, restated, and emphasized constantly, then your church is off. If you do not see what the leaders of your church do being constantly influenced and formed by their studies into the Word of God, which they do for guidance, then your church is not a New Testament biblical church.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
These people are not true Christians, not faithful ministers of God. But they pretend to be exactly that.
Mark #2 – They reject religion formally.
Within Scripture, there is a certain formality associated with religion before God. You will not see any man approach God on his feet with his head held high. The first thing you should learn about God is that God is holy, and we are sinful. The only real approach to God is in humility because of our sin. This evokes an attitude of humility and reverence when approaching God.
The Emergent Church is the church where every comes as they are. If you want to come in your pajamas, that is fine. There is no formality before God. When people go before a judge to argue their case, they dress formally. They want the judge to take them seriously. They think nothing of showing respect for the judge’s position of being a judge over them. They are courteous and formal. But the Emergent Church attacks God and all associated with Him, so they want their people and their services to reflect this informality. There will be the coffee shop mentality, of come as you are, there is nothing important going on here really.
Mark #3 – They exalt “relevant” as being as of an extreme priority.
What does being relevant really have to do with church? The issue is that they say that the teachings and preachings of a traditional church are irrelevant for the normal lives of people that attend there. In some cases, there are cold, dead churches that do not see teaching and preaching as morality formation within their hearers. This is a valid complaint.
But being relevant as they want to emphasize it is not necessarily right either. Rather than seeing what God says about drugs, sex, rebellion, homosexuality, fornication, alcoholism, laziness, the work ethic, matrimonial relationships and sexual purity, they want to deal with all of these issues from a humanist point of view which is void of moral absolutes given by God in and through the Bible.
One of the points here is that they consider the moral character of God, both given abstractly in commands and prohibitions, and also in the embodiment of them in the person of Christ as all being wrong. They think that we (Christians) should live more like the world.
An Emergent Church is going to have a very specific mindset that you can easily spot. They are going to order their priorities such that they see social causes and relational things are always going to take priority over spiritual, eternal things. This is seen by where they concentrate their time, energy, priorities, etc. This church will see it extremely important to feed the hungry, but not to give them the gospel. They will go to extremes to clothe and provide the needy, but they give nothing for their spiritual needs of their soul. If you take 4 Sundays and write down how much time, energy, money, and priority is spent on social and relational issues, and then see how many times Scripture is exposited in such a way as to rebuke, exhort, and direct us into spiritual things of eternity, you will see everything tip in the favor of social and relational things.
For the Emergent Church, the spiritual side of religion is just an error that they warn against, and show an example of being a “Christian” without showing spiritual concerns or getting involved much in the eternal side of things.
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