For those who think that some of us are overreacting concerning the drift away from the historic orthodox Christian faith by leaders of the Emergent Church, you might wish to investigate this bit of information from Doug Pagitt’s blog. For those who may not be familiar with Pagitt, he is also going to be a “Seminar Presenter” at the National Pastor’s Convention 2006 in February. “Pagitt is pastor of Solomon’s Porch, a holistic, missional, Christian community in Minneapolois, Minnesota. He is also a part of the leaders of Emergent and is the author of Preaching Re-Imagined and Church Reimagined” (http://www.nationalpastorsconvention.com/content.aspx?sp=esspeak)

This Christian pastor and Emergent leader wrote:

Through an email I read an article on the Relevant website of one persons experience at a concert…It is called “How to Dismantle an Idolized Bono”. She was disturbed by Bono’s call to Coexist (which is as much a marketing effort of a line of products as anything else, it seems to me). But the articles author raises concerns about Bono not being what she thought because of his call for “oneness” and his use of the Coexist logo which included the Crescent Moon, Star of David, and Cross… It drove me to Bono’s side, to come to his defense, to join the Coexist crowd.
(http://pagitt.typepad.com/pagittblog/2005/12/bono_my_man.html, emphasis added)

Here’s an excerpt of what the author of the article Pagitt is referring to testifies she personally witnessed Bono doing:

if you’ve never been to a U2 show, let me tell you that it was everything you’d ever expect it to be. But it was also much, much more. About five songs into their set, Bono stopped the show and strapped on a headband with writing on it. I stared up at the JumboTron to see that the handwritten lettering said: COEXIST.

Coexisting sounds like a great idea. I fully support the peaceful philanthropy that Bono has encouraged, and this seemed like another way that he was trying to spread the message. Except, it started to feel like more than a political message. The “C” in “coexist” was the Islamic crescent moon, the “X” was the Star of David, and the “T” was the cross of Christ. Bono pointed at the symbols on his headband—first to the cross, then to the star, then to the crescent moon—and he began to repeat:

“Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true. Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true.”

He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism? In just a few seconds, I went from agreeing with him about Christ-like “coexistence” to being creeped out by the ungodly, untrue thing he was saying. What’s going on here? What if he believes that all ways are the same, and he just thinks of Christianity as his particular way? Aren’t universalism and true Christianity mutually exclusive. (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/pc_article.php?id=7089,emphasis added)

This peculiar behavior by Bono would most definitely appear to be conduct very inconsistent with someone who allegedly professes to be Christian. The point of this work here is not so much concerned with Bono, but with the response of a supposed Christian minister of the Gospel. Pagitt by his own admission in another part of his short article was not very enamored with Bono to begin with. However, after reading this eyewitness account of behavior obviously antithetical to a Christian witness, our teacher of other pastors now feels calls to defend this antichrist behavior. We certainly have the makings of a significant problem here.

So you see, when you take pastor Pagitt saying that when he read this article he went over to Bono’s side, and put it together with his participation in the upcoming meeting with “Emergent” Jewish leaders of Synagogue 3000; I’d say we have very legitimate reasons for concern here, and especially when men such as this are going to “teaching” at the upcoming Pastor’s Conference. Because not only did Pagitt feel he needed to defend Bono, he also says that he felt he should “join the Coexist crowd,” so to speak. The discerning Christian leader is going to seriously question exactly what is the message our pastors are going to get from men like this at that upcoming Zondervan Convention?

For those who would like more information about that meeting to discuss inclusivism between Emergent leaders and Jewish emergent leaders cited above the interested reader is referred to my article Emergent Church: Our Synagogues. But men and women it still looks as if this is yet another symptom of The New Downgrade No-Controversy to me. And it would also appear that Tara’s actually showing a bit more Biblical discernment than pastor-teacher Pagitt is here when she says about Bono:

Perhaps he’s just guilty of being overzealous about his politics. But I hope that if he is a believer, the Holy Spirit will convict him that equating Christianity with other religions is false prophecy. II Timothy 3 tells us to avoid people who have a form of godliness but deny the true power of God. And I believe that the most deceptive thing of all is to identify yourself with the truth and preach a lie (ibid).

Yet instead of being able to see the clear warning signs of this impending Emergent inclusivism already being hinted at by McLaren and Pagitt, Zondervan is specifically bringing a positive focus onto the Emergent Church with their upcoming Pastor’s Conference 2006. And this is exactly why people like me are trying to warn influential leaders within the Evangelical church to stop listening right now to this convoluted conversation of the Emergent Church before the Lord abandons us all to this new liberalism of the New Christianity.