Placing my tongue firmly in my cheek–with a lot of reductio ad absurdum–I present to you this expose in hopes that maybe we can teach our Lord a little bit about how to reach this postmodern world we live in. Meaning no disrespect to the Creator of the universe of course, but apparently He’s just grown so hopelessly out of touch with the people that He created. So what we’ll do here is attempt to give our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God the benefit of a little of our human insight into this matter of Christianity and how to do Church today.

When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
(Matthew 8:18-22)

The Ecumenical Church Of Deceit Says Jesus Got It All Wrong

Let’s begin with our text above. Look closely now at verse 18 – When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Well, we can obviously see here that this is not exactly the approach we would recommend in the new evangelical Ecumenical Church Of Deceit. Jesus sees a crowd and then immediately goes across to the other side of the lake! Oh no, this is all wrong; the Master should have stayed there, begged them to accept Him as Savior and get them to say a little prayer of salvation so He could pad the rolls of His Church. Maybe this modern Bible translation got it wrong; let’s look at this verse again from God’s “preserved” Bible the King James VerisonNow when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. Um, nope–I guess that’s what really happened–but, oh wait, unless we “re-approach” this text for a “fresh” postmodern understanding.

Ok, so maybe what happened is Jesus and His disciples “felt” like heading “into the silence.” Oh, I know this is all speculation through the Looking Glass, but that’s ok now Alice. So along with the March Hare they jumped in the boat and went to the other side of the lake to have a couple of beers, but after a little chanting to warm up, some contemplative prayer while they prayed through the labyrinth and then following their morning meditation, they realized that their purpose was to teach these people that God loves them just as they are. Isn’t that cool; and oh so relevant to their culture. That’s why in spite of what the “traditional” Church sees here, what we can might read into the text doesn’t actually have to mean what these words would appear to mean after all. As we go down through the Rabbit-Hole maybe our seeker sensitive Christ wasn’t as “un-Christian” as the Scriptures here seem to imply; maybe He really didn’t ignore this great opportunity to promote His website and sell a few books after all.

Dan Kimball’s Insights

You see, to help me with this “emerging” understanding I have the benefit of being able to go to Vintage Faith, which is the website of Dan Kimball who is an Emergent Church pastor who started “‘Graceland’ at Santa Cruz Bible Church and now is starting a sister-church, ‘Vintage Faith Church.’” Interestingly enough he is also “developing a section of this website about music, rockabilly in particular, and the interesting roots and influences of the Christian faith in the lives of many musicians from that time period and today.” (Online source) Dan even has a link to the website of that noted philosopher of the very godly rockabilly music scene and its punk music offspring Brian Setzer. Great guitar player but I can’t say I’d recommend his so-called spiirtuality.

Fortunately Kimball is able to give us the benefit of his insight as to what might have actually happened with our Lord in our text here from his article “In The Stillness”:

As I looked around, I could see that the crowd was mainly college students and teenagers. But when silence fell between songs, I could hear no restless teenager chatting in the back row. Instead, people closed their eyes and sat still. There was no rush, no hurried announcements, no clever transitions carefully thought through by the programming team. On the contrary, the experience was rather slow, silent, and contemplative. No teaching, no preaching, no how to’s. Just quiet worship.

As we spilled out into the dark night with the rest of the crowd, I felt that maybe something was happening here with the emerging culture, and we should take note. We put so much effort into designing contemporary church services that are peppy, upbeat, and cued down to the minute, but I’d just seen a large group of young people drawn to something quite the opposite. Perhaps we should consider that there’s a rising longing to seek God in the simplicity and stillness of a meditative church experience. (Online source)

“No teaching, no preaching,” no instruction, just “a rising longing to seek God in the simplicity and stillness of a meditative church experience.” You know, on second thought this is probably why Jesus may have actually given the order to go to the other side of the lake, to “get away,” to meditate on God in a rather “slow, silent, and contemplative way.” Maybe we can actually take the first verse of our text to mean what it says after all. Yeah, now I see it, this is what must have “felt” better to our Lord; none of that annoying having to actually preach to this crowd and to have to teach them. That would have interrupted His communing with God, and this understanding of our text would also seem to agree with another article Dan Kimball wrote called “I’m Leaving Church to Find Jesus”

I just had a conversation with someone who grew up in a large evangelical Bible teaching church. She got to experience the whole quality spectrum of what a church provides for children with AWANA, for youth with great Sunday programs, camps, ski retreats etc. Yet, as she has reached adulthood and now is a mother of young children, she said that she is now “leaving church to find Jesus”.

Interesting comment. She says that she has become disillusioned with the evangelical church. She mentioned how “church” has become so shallow in terms of the teaching. Instead of teaching focused on the historical Jesus, the preaching is more about the how-to’s of basic life skills that may or may not even mention Jesus. She knows that how-to teaching was helpful, but she feels she needs to move on from there. In a way she feels she has “outgrown” this type of church. She feels there must be more. She wants to know Jesus more, and for her it means leaving the church to find Him. (Online source)

The next two verses of our text are a bit more problematic though when viewed through the above comments. Hmmm, Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Now if we were to approach these verses at face value we’d certainly have a new evangelical problem. A religious leader of the culture our Lord is trying to make His message “relevant” to comes to Him and says he wants to be a convert. Thankfully through the Looking Glass we can “see into” the verse that our Lord would have immediately known how to handle this awesome chance to put away His doctrinal differences and to preach God’s “unconditional love.”

Oh I know the next verse sounds odd at first, almost as if Jesus was trying to let this man know that following Him was going to be a lot more costly than he would realize. Now here we also possibly learn why Jesus made what appears to be kind of a cryptic statement to that religious leader in verse 20 – “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Maybe what Jesus meant was He was now becoming “disillusioned” that the Jewish religion had “become so shallow in terms of teaching…preaching more about the how-to’s” of the Law of Moses which “may or may not even mention” Yahweh. That’s it, He had probably “outgrown” that type of relationship to God, and since Jesus wanted us to come to know more about the Father He was also encouraging us to separate from other sheep in His flock for that more “personal” worship of God.

The Self-Refuting Philosophy Of Postmodernism

But then again, there is that nagging feeling I just can’t seem to shake that possibly the Creator of the universe Who was walking on the planet He had made might have had an inkling that the Hebrew Scriptures have a few quite unsettling things to say about trusting in ourselves and following our own hearts. I know it’s not fashionable to use “proof texts” today in our postmodern culture that is so advanced in our thinking now that we will readily agree that there is no such thing as absolute truth because no one can ever really know anything for sure. Of course possibly the sophisticated postmoderns will admit that maybe this isn’t really thinking very clearly at all.

You see, this statement is a self-refuting statement; because to even know that no one could ever really know anything for sure, you would already have to know everything that was true in order to evaluate the truth of this particular statement. But then again, since you could never know anything for sure, no one could even believe what has just been said, because if no one could ever know anything for sure, then we couldn’t know if that statement itself was true. You know I realize I’m hopelessly old-fashioned but I think it would just be a whole lot easier to just read the text of the Bible and just let it speak for itself.

But let us just suppose for a minute that those of us who are orthodox Christians are a little brighter than a growing number of “leaders” within the Emergent Church movement apparently think we are. What if we’ve read something in the Bible that they cannot refute no matter how many hours they sit over a glass of wine discussing ridiculous non-reasoning propositions such as I’ve just outlined above. What if Jesus knew a little bit more about human nature than we do; what if He knows today in the ecumenical purpose driven emerging word faith new evangelical church that we have completely turned His mission and message backward? Maybe our Lord never preached “God loves you just as you are,” maybe He taught God’s love was conditional–as in “repent, and surrender yourself to Me, because I Am your Creator and it was you who rebelled against Me.”

You see, the whole illogical structure of this postmodern way of “doing Christ,” collapses when we look at the Bible like this: God is supernatural and by definition we just cannot assume that we will always have natural explanations for Who He is; what He does; what He has said in His only revelation to mankind, and just how this one revelation of the Bible was originally given. Once we understand that God is just a wee bit more powerful than we are we begin to see a little light, and then we can return to look specifically at a few of those Hebrew Scriptures I mentioned previously. Because what is being missed in all the navel-contemplating and “deep” maze-like philo-theological musings that so many people in the Emergent Church seem to get prefer to get involved in–is this from 1 Corinthians chapter 2:

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

Absolute Truth And The Mind Of Christ

Although one who refuses to listen to sound biblical reason can still do their little spiritual “soft-shoe” as they chase their tails in front of their mirrors heavily obscured by satanic smoke. But the words that we just read give us the refutation of the Devil’s pet line of illogic as espoused by almost every Emergent Church person I have been involved with regarding absolute truth; and whether or not we can know what Christ actually taught about how He wants us to approach the Christian faith. The argument is summed up as this: “Yes, perhaps there is such a thing as absolute truth, but as humans the problem is that we are not able to fully perceive this absolute truth.”

The first couple of times you are hit with this it can stop you in your tracks. That’s how Satan works; a little truth forcefully twisted until its mangled beyond recognition. However, this unregenrate reasoning fails to take into account the supernatural aspect of Christianity. For Christ is God Himself in human flesh, and taught us that we must be “born again” and that once this happens then God the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth – comes to live within the Christian. And then – uh-oh – God has revealed it – this absolute Truth – to us by his Spiritthe Spirit of Truth. So what we are seeing here is that despite how “nice” someone may be, in spite of how moral their religion might be, or even how serene, silent, and sincere their quest for communing with God might be – no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Looks like we’re getting into a realm that is supernatural and exclusive here because God also tells us that those who are not born again, who are not indwelt by God the Holy Spirit do – not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. However conversely, those of us who are in Christ can understand the things of God that are spiritually discerned because we have the mind of Christ. And once we understand this we can now understand that Christianity is the only way to know God, unless…of course, the Bible is wrong. Ah, but now we’re back to Genesis 3:1, are we not: Hath God said? Can’t you see the work of Satan when it’s presented to you?

Now we close with the Hebrew Scriptures I mentioned I’d show you in regard to Dan Kimball’s articles which speak of the emerging understanding of finding Christ and worshiping God with “no teaching, no preaching,” no instruction, just “a rising longing to seek God in the simplicity and stillness of a meditative church experience,” and “outgrowing this type of church” as “there must be more,” even if it “means leaving the church to find Him.” Clearly this violates Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. So it should then be obvious who is behind this kind of doctrine, separate the sheep from the shepherd, and then isolate them apart from His protection. Why do you think God the Holy Spirit has revealed this – Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Men and women, this kind of independent and self-oriented “worship” being practiced by the schismatic sheep of the Emergent Church (if they are of His flock) plays well to arrogant postmodern America, but it is nothing more than Isaiah 14:14 all over again – I will make myself like the most high,” with a healthy dose of Genesis 3:1 skepticism thrown on top – “Did God really say.” Well, behold the chief doctrines of the demons exposed by the light of Holy Scripture. And now as we go the book of Proverbs we can see why the Emergent Church is so very dangerous to our young who have “reached adulthood and now” through the encouragement of “pastors” like Dan Kimball “are feeling” that “leaving church to find Jesus” isn’t such a bad thing at all.

Emerging Upon The Broad Road

The Bible has some very strong warnings for those who feel the need “to move on from” the historic orthodox Christian faith which was once for all delivered to the saints and to follow the way of feeling that “there must be more.” This schismatic Emergent Church movement is creating a dangerous alternative for people to follow their own hearts–even if “it means leaving the church to find Him.” In the book of Proverbs we read – The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice (12:15). Then later on in chapter 14 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (verse 12), and God the Holy Spirit felt this warning was so important that He literally repeats it verbatim in Proverbs 16:15 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. And this is exactly what Jesus meant when He said – broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

Those of us whom the Lord has sent into the mission field of counter-cult evangelism can recognize the Devil’s “divide and conquer” strategy of causing people to fear those outside their little group within these words from Emergent Church pastor Dan Kimball:

The rethinking of church…

There is a rising feeling among emerging church leaders and followers of Jesus, that in many modern contemporary churches, something has subtly gone astray in what we call “church” and what we call “Christianity”. Through time, church has become a place that you go to have your needs met, instead of being a called local community of God on a mission together. Through time, much of contemporary Christianity subtly has become more about inviting others into the subcultures of Christian music, language and church programs than about passionately inviting others into a radically alternative community and way of life as disciples of Jesus and Kingdom living.

Sadly, we are now seeing the results of this. While many of us have been inside our church offices busy preparing our sermons and keeping on a fast-paced schedule in the ministries and internal affairs of our churches, something alarming is happening on the outside. A great transformation is happening in our own neighborhoods, schools, and colleges. What once was a Christian nation with a Judeo-Christian worldview, is fast becoming an unchurched post-Christian nation. Tom Clegg and Warren Bird in their book Lost In America claim that the unchurched population of the United States is now the largest mission field in the English-speaking world and fifth largest globally. There are many great churches ministering to modern-minded people, but we must be also be passionate about emerging generations who aren’t connecting with current forms of ministry and thinking. (Online source)

Even with a few granules of truth to sweeten the venom the discerning among us can see the treacherous trail of the serpent. Sure some “contemporary church leaders” have gotten so involved with their own evangelical “business,” oops, I mean ministries, that “something has subtly gone astray.” However, the rest of what Kimball says was carefully designed to create a toxic non-issue and then inject it into our young. The God of the infallible and inerrant Bible couldn’t care less what label mankind decides to place upon his unregenerate cultures, whether or not his self-designed religions are “connecting with” how God has commanded His creation live, or just how it is that postmodern mankind is currently trying to justify his blatant rebellion against His Creator. Those like Dan Kimball who are now caught up in this latest demonic deception need to be reminded that the absolute Truth of the commands of the sovereign God of the universe do not change. As someone who graduated Multnomah Biblical Seminary Kimball should be familiar with these words from Jesus Christ – Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth (John 17:17, KJV).

So let us remind our uber-hip (read: compromised) Emergent Church pastors, as well as all of so-called postmodern America concerning some of the absolute Truth of God’s Word in Holy Scripture – I the Lord do not change (Malachi 3:6), and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And all the mental gymnastics, tap-dancing and blowing smoke will never change the Truth of what God’s Word–the Bible–says in Acts 4:10-12:

“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Men and women, if we truly love our fellow man, no matter what race, color or creed–all created as they are by the one true and living God of biblical revelation–then we must tell them that when Jesus Christ of Nazarerth–our very Creator Himself–was on His earth He is quoted in the written deposition of our eye witness the Apostle John as saying – “if you do not believe that I Am [the eternal God in human flesh] you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). And then the Apostle Matthew–another eyewitness–reports that Jesus tells us that those who die in their sins go to a literal place of unending torment that He called Hell. Christ Jesus of Nazareth, the majestic Lord of all lords and the King of all kings said – “be afraid of the One Who can destroy both soul and body in Hell (Matthew 10:28)… Then they will go away to eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).

Perhaps this would be a good time for someone who is currently contemplating the labyrinth that is the Emergent Church to find a quiet place and spend some time in the silence while you meditate on the absolute Truth I have just shared with you. Because I love you enough to take the criticism and the mockery to plead with you to make the time to try and understand that while mankind’s fickle nature changes with whatever direction the current winds from Hell are blowing, the unchanging, infallible and inerrant Word of God in the Bible tells us that as far as the LORD God Almighty is concerned:

Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
(Psalm 119:89-91)

Let the true Church of Christ say, amen…