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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Emergent Monday: Repentance in the Emergent Church (lol)

As I've mentioned before, repentance is a command from Jesus, it's not a small thing, it's found throughout the New Testament. In Luke 5:27-32 He explains exactly why he's here, to call the sinners to repent. This whole repent thing is also mentioned in Mark 1:14-15, and Matthew 3:2, and Matthew 3:8, and Luke 13:1-5, and Luke 15:10, and Luke 24:46-47, and Acts 2:38, and Acts 3:19, and Acts 11:18, and Acts 17:30 ... wow, that's eleven references in the New Testament alone, and that's not nearly all of them. So with eleven plus references to repent you may get the impression that repentance is important, and if you did get that impression you, of course, would be right. 

But what if you didn't get that impression, what if you didn't like the entire idea of repentance for the forgiveness of your sins? What if you decided to redefine the word and make it fluffy and warm and not the internal war with sin that it is? In that case you'd be Rob Bell and you'd be condemning people to hell. 

According to Matt Slick at carm.org
Repentance is properly understood to mean a change of mind, a change of the intention from wanting to sin to not wanting to sin, that results in a change in action. It involves the decision to make a change of behavior and/or attitude about something. Biblically, repentance means to turn from sin with a heartfelt desire to change and not do it again. (source)
According to Rob Bell
"repentance is not turning from sin. It is a 'celebration' of life in Christ." (The gods Aren't Angry Tour)
He further stated that anyone who tells you that you need to repent is not talking about Christianity. Newsflash: We are sinners, objects of God's wrath, spiritually prostrating yourself before your creator and realizing that you deserve to be squashed like a bug for your sinfulness isn't really a celebration, but then Rob Bell isn't really a preacher, he's kind of like a spiritual Dr. Phil but without the flash and pazazz. 

But Rob Bell isn't the only one out there with a strange and different meaning of repentance, this is kind of an emergent church thing, and the original emergent church, the roman catholic church, kicked off the whole 'repentance as punchline' phenomenon. Translated from the Latin Vulgate version of the bible the catholics changed Luke 16:30 from 
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. (KJV)
30 But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. 
Do penance? Doing penance is nowhere in any other bible, it's a huge, glaring error in translation that the catholic church refuses to correct. Due to this translation flail millions of Our Fathers have been needlessly chanted, millions of Hail Marys have been droned, and billions of dollars have filled the pope's coffers. (Now you know why the catholic church refuses to fix the translation) How many flagellants did this mistranslated verse inspire? Do you really think that God, our loving creator, wished for us to mutilate ourselves for any reason at all? Really? And worse of all how many souls were lost because they were told by the church in Rome they didn't have to repent, all they had to do was say a prayer, or commune with the dead, or fill the church coffers.

Fast forward to a few years ago when a book called "The Shack" swept the Land of the Goats. The Shack  was for all intents and purposes a guide to the new age emergent church. God the Father was repackaged as God the Aunt Jemima, Jesus was rebranded as a nice Jewish boy with a handsaw and maybe a good sermon or two in him, and the Holy Spirit was repackaged as a kind of blurry Asian pagan chick. A really good example of The Shack's dangerous heresy can be summed up in one line. In The Shack, God The Chubby Black Woman says:
“I don’t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation” (p. 223).
Compare that nonsense to Isaiah 2:11, Isaiah 5:15, John 3:19, Romans 3:19, 1 Corinthians 11:27; James 3:1, James 5:9, Jude 4, Revelation 11:18, Revelation 20:11-15. What the author of The Shack is saying is that there's no need to repent because there's no sin. Jesus died, God's cool because I wrote him/her that way so party hearty mates! Unfortunately for the goats who read The Shack, God has a different message and yes repentance is required, and yes, punishment will commence. 

The social gospel of the Emergent Church is a gospel which focuses on people rather than God, worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. Their goals include eradicating hunger, helping the homeless, prospering financially, etc. While some of these goals are noble ideals, they are actually the fruits of repentance and salvation, not the goal or the way to salvation. The true Gospel  goes so far beyond "love they neighbor" which is the second great commandment, yet the emergent church only pays lip service to the first and greatest commandment, because doesn't loving God  with all your soul and all your heart and all your mind at least imply obedience to His word? 

When we were told to spread the gospel to the world, we weren't told to make one up if the original didn't fit our needs. He didn't say "Don't like repentance? Pick something else... try penance, you can make a few bucks off that." nor did He say "Repentance? No biggie! Go ahead and ignore that part."

Remember Christian, if a man preaches to you and fails to preach the need of repentance or changes the meaning of repentance he's preaching a false gospel. And that's a really, really Bad Thing
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9)

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