The idea behind this introductory article is to give you a little working knowledge concerning a vastly diverse, yet at the same time, amazingly similar, development within the rapidly fading and compromised Body of Christ in this “One Nation Under Delusion,” which has become loosely known as the Emergent Church Movement (ECM). And as I do we’ll focus primarily on uncovering the true satanic source of this maze of a movement. What I hope to do here is to help you see that if the Christian Church does not confront it immediately this insidious blight upon the Evangelical community is going to be such a deadly threat to the youth our country as long as the Lord tarries. The poison fruit of relativism here in skeptical postmodern America, steadily nourished as it has been by the theory of evolution, is the rotten root from which the leaders within the ECM will literally redefine Christ right out of His Own Church.

Watch For “The Shift”

Christian author and researcher Berit Kjos gives us some further insight into what is happening with the so-called Emerging Church when she points out that ECM radically redefines Christian terminology and the true mission of our Lord’s Church. What happens is that “Personal relationships–are replaced with the group or community mentality. The emphasis then becomes to please people rather than God, which leads to a misplaced tolerance–for what God warned us to shun as in forbidden things are now okay. Next, absolute truth becomes–subjective, always changing, defined by the group–with little or no Biblical insight–a denial of an objective source for truth. As truth is thus obscured it leads to religious pluralism believing: All religions (1) lead to the same place, (2) are valid paths to salvation. And the tragic result is the destruction of the Creator’s authority and His creatures then reject traditional authorities and the inevitable result is to end up following subjective feelings and the group consensus.”
(adapted from http://www.crossroads.to/charts/postmodernity.htm)

One of the things you will hear constantly from those involved in the ECM is this misapplied idea of relating Christianity to the postmodern paganism of contemporary American culture. And in that regard you will run into what is often referred to by those who have bought the Devil’s ECM deception as “the shift.” The following is from Emerging Worship, which was produced by the worship students at Indiana Wesleyan University:

What is “the shift?” The shift is referring to the recent shift in culture, from Generation X (baby boomers, etc.) and the Seeker-sensitive Movement to a whole new era of ministry and evangelism within the church.

What is the “emerging church?” A movement of people wanting to experience life and God in a fresh and personal way.

What makes the emerging church different? The emerging church does not fall short of understanding and meeting the needs of today’s growing culture. It is now more in touch with the needs of our culture because it is OUR culture. It is a matter of reaching in rather than reaching out. We don’t just see the needs but we go after them.

As we examine this particular statement closely: “The emerging church does not fall short of understanding and meeting the needs of today’s growing culture,” you will see Satan’s strategy revealed. Men and women, remember that the Bible clearly tells us – There is a way the seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV). And God the Holy Spirit alerts the wise among us of the enemy’s encroachment – in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). The alleged “shift” and all of this “understanding and meeting needs” is absolutely nothing more than a regurgitated repackaging for a younger audience of the deadly venom of the cult of Liberal Theology (aka modernism) which then petrified in the psycho-philosophies of Robert Schuller and has now been crowned in the purpose driven life–of Schuller protégé Rick Warren’s new religion.

And then the spiritually clueless seeker sensitive worship students of IWU go on to inform us about the way so-called “postmodern” culture supposedly thinks:

Characteristics of the “shift in culture.”

• Post-Modernism is a continuation of Modernism. Many of the views and beliefs in the post-modern generation are founded on ideas in the modern.

• Open mindedness. People of this generation are flexible in how things are done. They are looking for change and are willing to at least try new things, if not take them in completely. There is an extreme openness to new ideas and new ways to worship as the Church does not want to get caught up in the legalism and hypocrisy that Christians today are labeled with. It’s getting more difficult to identify Christians as being close-minded in this aspect.

• Cultures change, so the Church must change. Paul wrote in his first letter to the church in Corinth, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” The Church needs to be flexible and willing to accompany the desires and needs of the emerging culture as it changes.

• Post-Modernism accepts contradiction. Many times beliefs clearly contradict actions and this is accepted. Ex. There are t-shirts with a smiley face on the front with “I hate you” written underneath.

• There is a hunger for spirituality. The post-modernists are tired of the politics and systemization of religion and seek a pure, spiritualized religion.

• Pluralism is ok. Most post-modernists believe that all paths lead to God. They aren’t too sure of whom that God is, but He’s there and anyone has access to Him.

In subsequent articles we’ll break down the above aberrational thinking more specifically, but for our purposes here let me zero in on the heart of Satan’s scheme which can be synthesized as: The Church must change for the emerging postmodern capricious culture and accept the contradicting views of truth from their personalized spiritual experiences because God understands that people today have many different ways to come to Him in worship. In other words, man now decides how he will experience God because a changing postmodern culture finds the concept of absolute truth too narrow for their way broad way of thinking. They have now become enlightened to the belief that good ol’ God is just happy that people today wish to worship Him in whatever way their particular culture may happen to teach.

The Oldest Lie–Pride

What is missed here is that in order to decide how God truly feels about the way He wishes His creatures to relate to Him mankind would have to be God; unless that is, the infinite Creator had chosen to reveal what His desires were along that line to His finite creation. You see when we look at this issue with spiritual eyes given us by God the Holy Spirit something else entirely “emerges,” doesn’t it. Genesis chapter 3 verse 1 – “Did God really say…Yea, hath God said? This is simply an extension of the oldest lie there is, and it is merely Satan’s same old double-barreled attack he’s been using since the Garden of Eden. Strategy number 1) Knock out communications–blowup the Word of God–the Bible. The Devil wants man to begin to rely on himself, his “flesh,” his own pride-filled self-centered sinful nature, his own depraved reasoning; get him to trust what he believes with all his heart.

Oftentimes preachers here will rightly quote Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? However, ECM adherents will tend to slough that off as some primitive OT concept and since we are supposedly more enlightened now we can understand that this antediluvian people just didn’t comprehend the unconditional love and acceptance of God that Jesus of Nazareth was teaching. But as will happen with every single malicious man-centered theology that Satan will ever vomit onto our Creator’s earth, Christ Jesus our Lord–Whom these people profess to know–actually teaches exactly what the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament themselves have always said when the Master points out:

What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” (Mark 7:20-23)

Which then leads us into serpentine strategy number 2) Confuse your enemy–spread lies through propaganda that cause division–get them to turn on each other. Genesis 3:4 – “Ye shall not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. Verse 5 – For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God. The KJV actually captures the Devil’s true intent much better here – ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. You see the lie is not that man can be like God His Creator–for Christ came to make the way for just that purpose–but that is a whole other deception. No, Satan’s lie here is that mankind can be “little gods” (recognize the Word Faith Movement?), he can decide for himself by following the dictates of his own heart what is right and what is wrong. Then Satan has set mankind up for the oldest lie there is–saying just as the Devil once did – “I will make myself like the Most High”.
(Isaiah 14:14, NASB).

We Need To Fight The Right Enemy

Can you now see just how simple all of this really is? For clarity please allow me to make one quick digression that I am led to make at this point. It’s really beyond me how so many seem to consider what I have been writing about here at Apprising Ministries to be so controversial. Beloved, since this website was literally given to this new ministry as a gift in September of this year, all I have been doing is very simply pointing you back to what the Bible itself actually says. As such I am only writing from a modified Evangelical position many of the same things my fundamentalist brothers have also been writing, but with a little more willingness to “disagree agreeably,” that too many of them appear to lack.

Remember how our Lord tells us – How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). And Satan smiles as he watches those of us who are true Christians turn our guns on each other; fighting over nothing while the world Christ sent us to reach goes to Hell! In the Spirit brethren I beseech you as this apostasy grows–put away petty differences over reputable Bible translations, what gifts our Lord has for us today, and just how it is that God saves us–when the Bible says – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. O how our Lord’s heart is breaking as He watches His children attacking each other as the enemy’s forces overrun His neglected watchmen to destroy the people we are supposed to be reaching for Christ.

Dear Christian, please, let our guiding principle be that which we find in the third chapter of Philippians. I am going to quote it first from the King James Version for my dear fundamentalist brethren, and then I will reference it again from the New International Version for my Evangelical brothers, and you will see that what God the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us stubborn sheep has not been muted. Philippians 3:15 – Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. And – All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Today I sound the Lord’s clarion call to His true Soldiers of the Cross: “Lay down your animosity amongst yourselves and take up your swords and fight the right enemy!” This is summed up in the next verse of Philippians 3 – Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing, and then this same verse 16 from the NIVOnly let us live up to what we have already attained. Can you see beloved of our Lord; let us mind the same thing and live up to what we have already attained. And one thing we have already attained is the adoption as children of the living God – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1). No doubt it is well past time for us to stop our petty squabbles and live up to this incredibly undeserved call!

Jesus Christ Has Come In The Flesh

As we wrap up our opening discussion of the Emerging Church Movement, in his article “Christianity and the World’s Religions,” Sir Norman Anderson brings us to the central issue confronting us with ECM and postmodern paganism in adrift America when he points out:

The final question, for the Christian, must be the view he takes of the other world religions and their followers. First, how is he to regard the other religions as such…are these other religions ultimately derived from God, and do they represent stepping stones or stages on the road to his final revelation of himself in Christ? Or are they Satan-inspired, poor counterfeits of the truth as it is in Jesus, designed to keep people from the only Savior and the only gospel that can save and satisfy? Or again, do they represent man’s varied attempts, sincere but mistaken, to reach out after the unknown God?

None of these alternatives can, by itself, be regarded as adequate. In every religion, for example, there is something of the truth, and all that is true ultimately comes from God; so it is possible to see some reflection of the “Light that lightens every man” everywhere displayed (e.g., in the recurrent idea of a savior-god and of the need for sacrifice). As William Temple put it: “By the word of God—that is to say by Jesus Christ—Isaiah and Plato, Zoroaster, Buddha and Confucius uttered and wrote such truths as they declared. There is only one Divine Light, and every man in his own measure is enlightened by it.” This was the view taken by Justin Martyr and the Christian philosophers of Alexandria in the second and third centuries, and it has been held by many others down the years. But we must remember that in non-Christian religions (other than the Judaism of the OT) there is also much falsehood, and no falsehood comes from God, but from the “father of lies.”

It is this fact that has led some Christians to a diametrically opposite view: that the non-Christian religions as a whole are basically from Satan rather than God. Those who adopt this attitude give prominence to the darker side of the ethical teaching of these religions and the more regrettable elements in their theological concepts, and they explain those rays of truth undeniably present in the non-Christian religions in terms of the fact that even Satan himself can, and sometimes does appear as an angel of light. Above all, it is insisted, these religions inevitably deny—whether by explicit statement, as in Islam, or by implicit teaching, as in the great pre-Christian religions—the unique claims of the “Word made flesh” and deceive men into believing that there is a way to God that does not rest on the fundamental need for the redemption that God himself made available at the cross on which Jesus died (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, CD Rom).

And the very reason that Satan is mounting a furious attack on the Bible–through scholars who have been duped by so-called “New” Evangelicalism–which is simply the Cult of Liberal Theology with a new coat of paint and a different name–is because the Holy Scriptures that Christ Jesus–the Creator God Himself come into His Own creation–taught His true followers to revere as every Word that comes from the mouth of God speak with crystalline clarity:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit (1 John 4:1-6).

Men and women, verse 5 gives us the real reason why the seeker sensitive message of the purpose driven life of Rick Warren is thriving, and why the “shifting” message of cultural acquiescence espoused by Emerging Church leaders like Brian McLaren and Dan Kimball is being readily accepted by this nation of postmodern paganism. False prophets like Rick Warren and Brian McLaren speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. May the Lord grant them ears to hear what Christ Jesus has to say, before it’s too late and they lead any more people onto the broad road that leadeth to destruction:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

“Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. Jn 15:23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. Jn 15:25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason’” (John 15:18-25)

The absolute truth is…if the greatest Preacher of the Gospel of God, and the ultimate Example of the Christian faith, couldn’t get this message that targets the very self-ish sinful nature of man across without being hated, then we must finally come to realize this: No matter what the compromised Church would ever do to try and adjust the message to appease any culture, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ must always come back to the offense of the cross (Galatians 5:11).