Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Emergent Monday - Arranging The Deckchairs

A very odd thing about the Emergent Church is their view of the "Kingdom Of God". Jesus Himself told us where the Kingdom of God is, yet leaders in the Emergent Church are bound up in their desire to move it from it's current location (where it's pure and  safe and holy and clean) to a more convenient (for them) location, like right here on sinful ol' Earth. If they had been paying attention they'd know that the Kingdom of God is already here, but you can't see it because it's in our hearts.
20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21)
According to John McArthur, Jesus "was inaugurating an era in which the kingdom would be manifest in the rule of God in men's hearts through faith in the Savior (Rom. 14: 17). That kingdom was neither confined to a particular geographical location nor visible to human eyes. It would come quietly, invisibly, and without the normal pomp and splendor associated with the arrival of a king. Jesus did not suggest that the OT promises of an earthly kingdom were hereby nullified. Rather, that earthly, visible manifestation of the kingdom is yet to come. Somehow in their theology the emergent leaders have turned their backs on the message of Jesus Christ and are running the risk of sucking thousands and thousands of souls down into hell along with them.

These people, whom tens of thousands of eager followers believe to be responsible leaders and backed by the Gospel of Jesus, are teaching that if they can make the earth a nicer place to live then God will move his kingdom to here on earth. The practitioners of emergent heresy like Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, and Bruce McLaren profess that true salvation comes by ignoring the message of Jesus Christ and concentrating instead on the works of man. They refer to something they call "God's Dream" which they profess that God imagines an ideal future for the world that we can bring about by our works and this becomes "The Kingdom Of God".

I suspect that they did not consult God on this plan.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)
According to Bob DeWaay in his article The Emergent Church: Undefining Christianity "The Emergent Church movement is an association of individuals linked by one very important key idea: that God is bringing history toward a glorious kingdom of God on earth without future judgement. They loathe dispensationalism more than any other theology because it claims just the opposite: that the world is getting ever more sinful and is sliding toward cataclysmic judgment. Both of these ideas cannot be true. Either there is a literal future judgment or there is not. This is not a matter left to one’s own preference."

The emergent church truly believes that every one is going to be saved  - and not just those that have accepted Jesus as their savior and repented their sins, but rocks and birds and and big eyed puppies and little kitties and Hitler and Stalin and Mao. In his book Death By Church author Mike Erre said that God is saving "all of creation" (p. 100) and that the "church" is not the substance of the kingdom of God (i.e., the whole of creation and all of humanity is). In fact, Erre says, the church is not the kingdom of God at all - it only points to the kingdom of God, which incorporates all of creation and, if the church does all the right things it can have the privilege of being part of that kingdom too. 

Is all of creation saved? Can we throw out that entire "Narrow is the gate" nonsense? If so then Mike Erre is claiming that Jesus is a liar when he said
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
If Jesus is not lying then how is all of creation going to be saved? We know that the bible is the word of God, so what is written in there is true, so try this test: walk down any city street and ask every one you meet "Do you believe in salvation through Jesus?" You'll find in a very short time not all of creation is going to be saved.  You'll probably find out that the path to salvation is narrow because it doesn't need to be very wide. So what does that make the word of Mike Erre?

The emergent church places more value on works, social activism, diversity, and social justice thank it does scripture. Brian McLaren preaches an “evangelical” vision that emphasizes tolerance and social justice and ignores the need for sinners to repent and believe the Gospel of Christ. He and other leaders in the Emergent church are more interested in universal health care, elimination of global poverty, the environment, the minimum wage, etc. These things in themselves may be all well and good but without faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ what do you have? In James 2:17, James said that faith without works is dead, but works without faith is just as dead because those works are done for your glory and not God's glory. 

The emergent church is clearly ignoring the Gospel and engaging in a series of works for their own glory and not for God's glory. While these works are wonderful things to do, without faith all these works are nothing more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Actually I think Pastor Joe Shimmel said it better: "All they're doing is making the Earth a nicer place to go to hell from."

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