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Archive for August, 2009

By W. E. McCumber       Article Source      Website 

 

The duty is simple.  The gurus and leaders of this emergent movement, conversation, dialogue—call it what they will—do not base their teachings and writings upon Scripture but upon their own opinions.  They do not submit to the authority of the Bible but seek to impose their authority upon the Bible.  They dismiss the clear witness of the Bible to itself as the inspired Word of God.  When this has been done the witness of the Bible to God, to Jesus Christ and to salvation from sin is rejected outright or dangerously distorted.

 

As a consequence, to them Jesus is no longer “the Way.”  He is “a Way,” and all ways lead ultimately to God and heaven.  Devotees of other religions are not to be converted to Christ. Instead, we should encourage them to blossom fully in the soil of religious beliefs they have already chosen.  Our goal is not to make them Christians, but to encourage them to be the best they can be within the structures of belief and behavior of their ancestral faith.  That is unscriptural and untrue, whoever says it.

 

It is true that some who form the listening audience when these emergent leaders are paid (by our institutions with our tithes and offerings) to expatiate upon their concept of truth do not accept all they offer.  They insist that they are putting an orthodox spin upon it all, and clinging to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, insisting upon salvation through Jesus alone, and giving lip service to the unique authority of Scripture for faith and life.  Why in the world should we pay someone to voice opinions we then have to caution against and recast in order to use?

 

These who listen to the emergent gurus claim to be mining the emergent movement for structures of thought and strategies of engagement that will help them reach increasing numbers of people for Christ.  If you keep tabs on them, however, you will find that the longer they preach and teach the closer they come to the beliefs of those gurus who want to dismantle historic, Bible-based Christian doctrines.

 

Leaders of the emergent movement claim to have no interest in theology or doctrine.  They try to sell themselves as men and women concerned only, or at least mainly, with discovering ways and means of gaining attention to and involvement in genuine Christianity.   Despite their disclaimers the emergent movement is creating theology and disseminating doctrines and making converts to their re-interpreted and inoffensive Christ.

 

The duty of opposing them arises out of their rejection of the authority of the Bible.

 

The danger in opposing them is more subtle.  I’ve spent over 30 years as a pastor and another nine as a college teacher.  I know that in our denomination there is a strong and stubborn streak of anti-intellectualism.  Some of our people, including some of our preachers, seem to think that ignorance is a fruit of the Spirit.

 

The same God who created us as emotional beings also created us as rational beings.  To go to church and unscrew your head in order to have some acute feel-good experience is to slander true worship.

 

The danger is that we shall allow our opposition to heresy to be voiced only or chiefly by leather-lunged fanatics instead of informed and reasonable proponents of what John Wesley called “good old Bible religion.”  We cannot effectively oppose false teaching by merely turning up the volume.  Noise level, even happy noise level, is no substitute for “reasonable service.”

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Brannon Howse was the guest speaker on the August 25, 2009 CrossTalk America program.  It is definitely worth a listen AND worth downloading onto your ipod.  You may also order CD’s of this program here. 

 

The program description states:

This edition of Crosstalk features Brannon Howse as he lays out the factors that prove how America and the world are emerging toward a new “synthesis” at a political, spiritual and overall ideological level.  This is the final step in the dialectic process theorized by German philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel.

In America alone, Brannon cites the educational establishment, the apostate church, occultism/pagan spirituality and the government-corporate complex as factors that are leading America to do its part in this new world synthesis.  Brannon concludes that this new synthesis involves the merging of Christianity and Marxism.    

 

Brannon describes quite well what is happening in many denominations across America.  The Nazarene denomination has been overcome with emerging philosophies, mysticism, and liberal social justice constructs.  

You may listen to the program HERE.

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My friend Manny Silva wrote an excellent piece on his blog entitled:  Emergent Ideology is Here, What Will You Do?  I highly recommend it.

 

No longer can anyone sit and not be aware of the liberalism that has infiltrated the Nazarene denomination like a crimson tide.  The people sitting in the pews need to investigate what is at the core of emergent/liberal ideology.  It is NOT what it appears……a movement to engage the community and be like Jesus. 

 

It is liberalism.  It is a down-grading of trust in scripture.  It is a move towards universalism and ecumenism.  It is a works-based and mystically based religion.   It lowers God to the level of man and elevates man.  It questions God’s power and sovereignty from beginning to end.

 

This ideology and its accompanying mystical practices, have been introduced     s l o w l y  into  the Nazarene denomination mostly through the Nazarene schools.  Now pulpits all over the United States are paying the price from these influences.  The pulpits have been compromised with a new breed of shepherd.  These shepherds have been taught to bring these changes in  s l o w l y  into the sleepy congregations and it has worked.   Those who have questioned the changes have been marginalized as mean-spirited fundamentalists instead of Bereans.   Congregants that have approached their pastor about some of the concerns of those waving the red flag of warning, have been told to dismiss them as troublemakers looking to make a profit or garner attention. 

 

Now that it is here, what will YOUR stance be?  Accept it, or stand against it?  Research it, or ignore it?

 

Acts 20:31   Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

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Slice of Laodicea has posted a link in regards to Jon Middendorf’s presentation of Emerging Theology at the M7 Conference held in February 2007 in Kansas City.

 

Jon is one of many Nazarenes who have embraced  emergent/liberal philosophies and is frequently given an opportunity to move  its teachings  into the Nazarene denomination.   You may view the article here.

 

Unfortunately,  most of the people in the Nazarene church have no idea what is at the core of emergent philosophies because it is cloaked in good works and experiential feel good worship.   They see it as something good….a new way to do things.   They have no idea that some of the basic foundations of the faith that the denomination once stood for are being undermined.

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