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, January 7, 2013

Emergent Monday: Is My Church Submerging?

Pastor Joe Schimmel, senior pastor at the Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley CA has been a leader in exposing the emerging church for what it really is: a Submerging Church; submerging into the depths of humanism, heresy, and apostasy. Emergent pastors are now preaching the joys of polluting the purity of the Gospel with Hinduism and Islam, they're ignoring the fact that God made man in His image and are busy remaking God in man's image. Pastor Joe's websites, GoodFight.org and Submerging Church.com are both a real eye openers to what is happening in the formerly God centric world of the evangelical church. At one time it was thought that the emerging church was a passing fad, but Pastor Joe plainly shows that the emerging church is here, it's real, and that the Bible is right when it says that the emergent church is not going away until Jesus comes back to fix things. 
1 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. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 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)
Recently we've had a few new families start to attend my beloved First Congregational Church of the Bereans, all of them begging to be fed the Gospel. They saw the churches that they had been attending for years slowly submerging into the unbiblical morass of the seeker sensitive, purpose driven emergent church. One couple had pointed out to their pastor the issues they were seeing and they were politely ignored. Another couple said in effect "I want to go to Church, not Starbucks." 

So is your church submerging into emergence? Here's a few things to look for:

Is scripture the primary focus of your pastor's sermon? If not, why are you going there to begin with? If he's telling you how awesome you are, then you're probably listening to Joel Osteen, change the channel. In Christianity sermons are God centric, not You centric. If he's telling you the most important thing to your salvation is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, that's awesome, that's what we Christians are called to do. But it has nothing to do with our salvation.These are the fruits by which we are known, and it glorifies God to see us do these things in His name. But if I reject Jesus Christ and still feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless am I saved? Rob Bell says yes. Jesus Christ says no. You decide.

Does your pastor emphasize building the kingdom of God on earth over the return of Jesus? You may want to have a chat with him - where in the bible does it say anything about anyone but God building His own kingdom? To even imagine that man can build the Kingdom of God here on earth is sheer arrogance and completely unbiblical.

Is your church starting to promote the mystical and mysterious in order to reach the postmodern generation through dark sanctuaries, candles, icons, incense, prayer labyrinths or prayer stations? Why? Where in the bible are those distractions? If your church has a long historical liturgical attachment to these things like in the Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic church that's one thing, but these devices are springing up in evangelical churches that have no history or need for these devices.

Is your church proudly announcing that they are re-inventing Christianity in order to better serve this generation? Christianity is a biblically based doctrine, yet the emergent church is "re-inventing" Christianity to reach the post-modern generation. Christianity is the Bible so think for yourself: what in the bible needs to be re-invented to serve this generation? Wait! Before you answer that, review what Paul said:
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2Tim 3:16-17)
Now ask yourself what is so special about this generation that makes the bible inadequate? 

Is your pastor telling you to avoid reading bible prophesy? Many emergent churches want their flock to ignore bible prophesy, but if God didn't want us to know about bible prophesy, why would he give it to us? Twenty seven percent, 27%, of the bible is prophesy. So why is your pastor telling you to ignore over a quarter of God's word? Maybe you should ask him what else you should ignore; maybe salvation through faith and grace thing? or possibly Romans and Hebrews (after all, we're neither Roman nor Hebrew, right?) 

Is there a movement toward ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace invading your church? My reply is close to: "Where in bible prophesy does it say that peace will reign over the earth?" Lets face it Christians, it's going to get ugly, really really ugly before Jesus comes to set things right and there's Nothing we can do about it except pray for deliverance and Jesus' saving grace. As Pastor Joe Schimmel once said - we can do everything we can to make the Earth a better place, but in the end all we're doing is making it a better place to go to hell from.

Is your pastor praising the validity of other world religions and claiming that there are many ways to reach God? Before you slap that coexist bumpersticker on your car (which was designed by a Satanist by the way) reflect on the myriad of ways that Jesus said there are to reach God:
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)

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