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Summary: Exploring the dangers of the post-modern Emergent Church movement

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The Dangers of the Emergent Church

Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

First we must ask what is the Emergent/Emerging Church?

The emerging church is a Christian movement of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that crosses a number of theological boundaries: participants are described as Protestant, post-Protestant, Evangelical, post-Evangelical, Liberal, post-Liberal, Conservative, post-conservative etc. At this point somebody might say – “I don’t get it, what is it, what does all that mean?” In some ways that’s the point, the emergent church doesn’t really make sense except to say they are doing their best to re-invent Christianity into whatever they want it to be!

I can’t help but to automatically think of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:33 “God is not the author of confusion”

Proponents say the movement transcends such labels as liberal, conservative, evangelical etc.. They describe the movement as a "conversation" to emphasize its developing and decentralized nature. There is no Emergent Church denomination, there is no official organization, there are no set standards or creeds and you will probably never see the word emergent on a church sign or billboard. They rarely if ever advertise “Hey, we are an emergent church!” Not only do they not advertise it they likely would never even admit it for if they did that might scare people off! That being said they do share certain things in common.

So they describe the movement as “a conversation”, and they are commitment to dialogue. I was told of one particular church that was described as “emergent” so I went to their website. On their website it said “when you come to our church you can expect to be greeted warmly and offered a cup of coffee, or you can select from a variety of snack and refreshments. You will find people discussing such topics as “the existence of God” etc…. I about fell over! Doesn’t it seem strange that the existence of God would be a topic of conversation in a church? If you don’t have that issue settled you got issues! The existence of God is declared in a local church not discussed as if its open to debate. You would expect a debate like that in on a college campus or among a group of agnostics but NOT in a local church!

Participants and proponents of the Emergent Church seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a postmodern society. What those involved in the conversation mostly agree on is their disillusionment with traditional Christianity. They support the deconstruction of modern Christian worship, modern evangelism and the nature of the modern Christian community.

In reading up on the definition of the Emergent Church Two words stand out – Postmodern & Deconstruction – what do they mean?

Postmodernism involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or in this case the Christianity. On the surface it appears the post-modern Christian or the emergent church member believes that words do not convey any type of certainty. Practically everything is open to debate or quote “conversation”! This seems strange since the essential doctrines of the Christian faith have been in place for 2000 years, and now they want to reexamine everything?

The idea that we need to rethink or reappraise our approach to Biblical truth seems to deny that Biblical truth actually exist! Or at least if it does exist we cannot actually be sure of what is true and what isn’t. At the very least it leads to doubt in the literal interpretation of the Word of God. In other words the emergent church asks the question “Hath God Said?”

Listen we know what the Bible says, some people don’t like it, some don’t believe it but we know what it says! One of the founders of the emergent movement was asked about his view on homosexuality and he said “I am reluctant to comment on this because no matter how I answer I will end up offending somebody”, and that was the end of his answer. You see He knows what the Bible says but he doesn’t want to say it because it’s not popular and somebody might be offended.

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