The Lord is my witness that it is with great reluctance I inform you that the Evangelical community here in so-called postmodern America has been busy patting itself on the back and doing a splendid impression of the Church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation for too many years now.

And while it has been sleeping the serpentine cult of the Emerging Church has slithered right into the midst of the Evangelical camp from the satanic shadows. Dr. Walter Martin’s bold work for Christ to examine carefully the sources of a particular organization that claims to be in harmony with the historic orthodox Christian Church, this is how we’ll be approaching this subject.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not (Jude 3-5, KJV).

The Emerging Cult

The Lord is my witness that it is with great reluctance I inform you that the Evangelical community here in so-called postmodern America has been busy patting itself on the back and doing a splendid impression of the Church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation for too many years now: “What Lord; oh no, we don’t need anything right now, we’ve got this evangelism thing down–but hey Pal–thanks for asking. We will be sure and call You though, if we happen to need You” (see–Revelation 3:17). And while it has been sleeping the serpentine cult of the Emerging Church has slithered right into the midst of the Evangelical camp from the satanic shadows. Why even the Zondervan “communications company” has decided that selling books is more important than being true to the Christian witness and is actually going to be focusing favorable attention upon this growing deception in their upcoming National Pastor’s Conference 2006.

Since I was trained through Dr. Walter Martin’s bold work for Christ to examine carefully the sources of a particular organization that claims to be in harmony with the historic orthodox Christian Church, this is how we’ll approach this subject. For those who may have forgotten, in a now legendary debate with Mormon apologist Van Hale, Dr. Martin said that his doctorate was in the first five hundred years of the Church and specifically in the Church Fathers, and stated emphatically that there is such a thing as the “historic orthodox Christian Church.” Now this Emergent “conversation” does make the claim that it is in line with this faith which was once for all delivered to the saints; and by the way, you can see unambiguously from the Biblical witness here that the Church already had this faith right in the first century. But let’s take a moment to look at something from the pro-emergent website Emergent Village and you will see that this convoluted conversation of the Emergent Church movement immediately went off-track by following another spirit (see–2 Corinthians 11:4):


The spirit of emergent is inclusive. We seek to welcome all those who wish to journey with us and enter into a friendship around our shared mission and vision and voice, expressed in our rule.

Emergent is intentionally cross-confessional. We hope to bring together Christians from varied confessions and traditions (Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox). We believe that beyond the postmodern transition, many existing polarities (between evangelical and liberal, for example) will yield to new collaboration.
(http://www.emergentvillage.com/Site/Belong/Community/index.htm, emphasis added).

The warning signals for the discerning Christian here are a “spirit” of inclusiveness, the acceptance of apostate Roman Catholicism as “Christian,” Dr. John MacArthur rightly calls it another religion, as well as including the outright denial of Christ’s Deity from its older sister, the Cult of Liberal Theology as being Christian as well. I’m somewhat astonished influential Evangelicals have not seen the warning flags stained red with the blood of Christian martyrs through the centuries. Just how much more obvious will these Emergent teachers of counterfeit Christianity possibly have to be in this New Downgrade No-Controversy until these Evenagelical leaders finally notice the Trojan Horse in our midst? So out goes the Protestant Reformation, and out go the fundamental truths of the Christian faith for a supposed ecumenical “new collaboration.” Men and women, we must see this deceptive delusion of the Emergent Church for what it is: A bold attack by the enemy of men’s souls upon our young and upon the weaker sheep of Christ’s flock. Don’t you recognize his scheme? It’s just his same old strategy to “divide and conquer” from within the Church, and to then prey on the sheep scattered from the Great Shepherd.

And Jesus Himself already warned us about this “new kind of Christian” – “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:15-16a). Beloved, open your eyes; recognize them. Then God the Holy Spirit repeats our Lord’s warning to us again in the Book of Acts through His Apostle Paul – I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:29-31) Can you see here that God is referring back to what Christ Himself told us in the verses I just quoted above from the Gospel of Matthew? Now you need to also put this together with the Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter 2:1 – But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them. To paraphrase the commercial: Can you see them now?

Despite the quickly emerging profane protesting to the contrary the Emergent Church is a schismatic cult within the Christian Church, and as I mentioned in Emergent Church: The Emerging Cult this insidious movement of Satan does meet the definition of non-Christian cult status as defined by Dr. Martin. In his lifetime he was recognized as a foremost authority of non-Christian cults and religions having their origin in America. And Martin defined a non-Christian cult as a group of people claiming to be in harmony with historic Christianity who have gathered around a specific person–or group of people’s–interpretation of the Bible. This group then goes on to deny cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, most notably the full Deity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and as the Lord gives them over to their deception that’s exactly where these men who are some of the top leaders within the Emergent Church will end up going. The truth is, many of them are already moving in that direction as they begin by denying the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Christ’s exclusive Gospel, such as Steve Chalke–a General Session speaker at the upcoming Zondervan’s Pastors Conference 2006.

Jesus Needed A More Generous Orthodoxy

In part one of this look at the inclusive spirit of the Emergent Church we establish that Brian McLaren is without a doubt one of the most respected leaders of this cultic Emergent Church movement and therefore a primary source concerning its doctrines. From the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, under Pioneers in the Emergent Church Movement, the first name we find is “Brian McLaren, founder of Cedar Ridge Community Church near Washington, D.C.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_church#Ecclesiology) Also Christianity Today refers to Brian Mclaren as part of “the emerging church network that he and several other church planters and pastor’s lead (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/011/12.36.html, emphasis added). And finally, that fact that McLaren is a highly admired authority within Emergent is further confirmed in the following statement from Emergent Village, which is also listed first among “Kool Websites,” on pastor Dan Kimball’s own site. Kimball himself is another significant leader within the Emergent Church and author of The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, a book endorsed by Brian McLaren:


Emergent draws leaders together around the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are beginners ourselves – imperfect but growing men and women who are learning to live life with God in the way of Jesus.
As our rule makes clear, we represent a generous orthodoxy, rooted in the Scriptures and consistent with the ancient creeds of the church.
(http://www.emergentvillage.com/Site/Belong/Community/index.htm, emphasis added)

The bold words above are taken from the very title of Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy which is without a doubt a very influential work in helping to define what this cultic movement is about: As in emerging [read: apostatizing] from the orthodox Christian Church and amalgamating into other non-Christian religions. Friend, even their name emergent tells you they are emerging, “developing” and “rising,” from you. They do not wish to be part of the Church, but rather they are emerging away from it. But the Bible has already told us about deceivers such as these – Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us (1 John 2:18-19). And – They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them (1 John 4:5).

From my own extensive personal examination of McLaren’s book I can tell you that in his well-researched article Now Ready for Prime Time Players: Reinventing Christianity for our day apologist Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries has done his homework well and shines much light onto this dark conversation attempting to emerge from the shadows of Hell:

McLaren is probably the most outspoken upfront representative of this church movement, in his book, “A Generous Orthodoxy” he says, “The Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat” (A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p.254., emphasis added)

McLaren: “This is how I feel when I’m offered a choice between the roads of exclusivism (only confessing Christians go to heaven), universalism (everyone goes to heaven), and inclusivism (Christians go to heaven, plus at least some others). Each road takes you somewhere, to a place with some advantages and disadvantages, but none of them is the road of my missional calling: blessed in this life to be a blessing to everyone on earth.” (ibid. p. 113, emphsis added).

In the PBS interview Pastor McLaren: “When we make it sound like we have all the bolts screwed down tight and all the nails hammered in, and everything’s all boxed up and we’ve got it all figured out, at that moment, I think we have stopped being faithful” (PBS interview). (http://www.letusreason.org/current73.htm, emphasis added).

As Oppenheimer also notes, out go the exclusive claims of Christ and in comes the possibility of inclusiveness that now makes this “Kingdom of God” an interfaith global family. And this is what these men are teaching, and this is what is behind the upcoming summit meeting in January between Emergent leaders and Jewish “Emergent” leaders of Synagogue 3000. McLaren offers a much more generous orthodoxy than does Jesus Christ, the Lord he says he serves. In fact, in his book McLaren says that people don’t necessarily need to be Christians to follow Jesus. He says he hopes “all who feel so called will become Buddhist followers of Jesus;… I don’t hope all Jews or Hindus will become members of the Christian religion. But I do hope all who feel so called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus” (p.264). And then McLaren states his hope that “Jesus will save Buddhism, Islam, and every other religion, including the Christian religion,…”

The Broad “Missional” Road That Leads To…

A couple of quick points need to made here to help you cut through the heavy fog of this meandering reasoning from Brian McLaren. First the Emergent Church leader says that Christianity should be “a welcome friend to other religions of the world.” Jesus Christ of Nazareth–the Master he claims to follow–obviously had a much different view concerning the world religion of Judaism. You may recall, this was a difference of opinion which would eventually cause Him to be stripped naked, mercilessly scourged nearly to death, and then nailed to a bloody Roman cross to die. Or should we re-imagine and repaint this absolute fact from history? Be prepared, you will be told that somehow this position is anti-Jewish, but that is only a pet straw man argument from Emergents. And here’s how you destroy it. Tell them: Individual Jewish people are no more responsible for the crucifixion of Christ than individual people of German decent are responsible for the atrocities committed by their leaders during the holocaust.

Next McLaren, who we have established as a most prominent leader of this emerging as non-Christianity Emergent Church, says that “exclusivism,” is not the road of his “missional calling.” Exclusivism means that the only people God will save from an eternity of punishment in a literal place called Hell are those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as their Lord, trusting completely by the grace of God alone–by faith alone–in Christ alone–the only Savior of hopelessly lost mankind. Yet again, Christ Jesus–the Sovereign Lord Who bought him–has a much less than “generous orthodoxy,” because the Master said – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Or do we now need to “reexamine” our approach to this eyewitness account?

And further Guru Brian McLaren (an apt title given his eastern mystic bent) of the burgeoning cult of the Emerging Church, a real wolf in sheep’s clothing, informs his spiritually obtuse followers that at least some of mankind may be able to make it to Heaven as “Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus.” But the great Apostle Paul–who was only chosen by God the Holy Spirit to write half of the New Testament–has a view which is diametrically opposed to McLaren when he says of his Jewish brothers – I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel (Romans 9:2-4a). At last check these were people who practiced the religion of Judaism, and this is a rather odd statement coming from someone who would to have to have believed all this sinner centered skubalon espoused by McLaren and others in this Emergent Church movement, that is, if it were true.

And haven’t you read Stephen’s address before the Sanhedrin in Acts chapter 7; it looks as if he was being rather exclusive there, and that would lead to his being stoned to death, thus becoming the first martyr of the early Church. Or how about Paul again when Luke tells us that:

Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:4-6).

What do you suppose he was trying to “persuade” them of? Was it this message from McLaren – “I don’t hope all Jews or Hindus will become members of the Christian religion. But I do hope all who feel so called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus.” If so, then why would anyone oppose that and then become abusive? However, you need to understand that if this “conversation” now emerging from its origin in the satanic shadows of the non-Christian Cult of Liberal Theology into a full-blown non-Christian cult status of its own, truly is in line with the historic orthodox Christian faith then this is the message the Apostles would also have to have been teaching. But is this inclusive view of religion what the Lord of Glory was crucified for? Is this what the Apostles gave their lives for? If this kind of nonsense truly is the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints that we are to earnestly contend for, then why didn’t these men just assimilate themselves into the religions of Greek and Roman society? At least this way Peter wouldn’t have had to watch his own wife be crucified and then have to follow her to the cross in the same manner as their Lord Jesus Christ had gone to the cross before them.

Are You Sure That’s The Gospel?

According to this departure from the actual orthodox Christian faith by Brian McLaren (assuming he was once actually in it) that we have just seen Beliefnet.com is right when they say of McLaren, “his book A Geneous Orthodoxy and his A New Kind of Christian trilogy have challenged conservative evangelical views of Jesus, the Bible, and non-Christians.” What I will show you now is that McLaren has done even more than challenge the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself, he has in fact denied it. The Gospel I might add, that he is supposed to proclaim for the Lord he says he follows as he makes his living from the Evangelical Christian community in representing himself as a minister sent from Christ.

I have pointed this out before from his own website, but in the article “Interview with Brian McLaren about previous ‘A letter to Friends of Emergent,’” we read the following exchange regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ between an “anonymous” interviewer and one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals” Brian McLaren:

Q: You wrote, “Which reminds us that none of us has a complete grasp of the gospel…. It’s very dangerous to assume you’ve perfectly contained the gospel in your little formula.” I think with all the other change going on, one thing we’ve got to hold firm on is the gospel. A: What do you mean when you say “the gospel?”

Q: You know, justification by grace through faith in the finished atoning work of Christ on the cross.
A: Are you sure that’s the gospel?

Q: Of course. Aren’t you?
A: I’m sure that’s a facet of the gospel, and it’s the facet that modern evangelical protestants have assumed is the whole gospel, the heart of the gospel. But what’s the point of that gospel?

Q: What do you mean? I guess it’s so that people can spend eternity with God in heaven in an intimate personal relationship as opposed to … the alternative. You don’t seem to agree.
A: Well, for Jesus, the gospel seemed to have something to do with the kingdom of God.

Q: Which is the kingdom of heaven, which is going to heaven after you die.
A: Are you sure about that?

Q: Aren’t you?
A: This is exactly the point I was trying to make in the article. Many of us are sure we’re “postmodern” now with our candles and hipness and so on, but we haven’t asked some important and hard questions – not about postmodernity, but about modernity and the degree to which our theology and understanding of the gospel have been distorted or narrowed or made “gospel lite” by modernity.

Q: If you were intending to make me feel better, you’re not succeeding.
A: Well, I hope you’ll at least think about this. And search the Scriptures, you know, to see if there’s any validity to the question I’m raising. (http://www.anewkindofchristian.com/archives/000133.html, emphasis added)

Men and women, no true minister of Christ Jesus could have uttered those appalling words, which clearly deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has been preached by men like Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon. Oh sure, over a beer or two, some Hindu meditation followed by a little Buddhist chanting in lectio divita, and it’s likely to give us a little different perspective of “Christianity.” And then we’ll hear McLaren say: “Well, I didn’t exactly deny the Gospel, I only asked if he was ‘sure that’s the Gospel.’”

Indeed you did Brian McLaren, however you made a key mistake when–right in line with other leaders of non-Christian cults–you encourage us to “search the Scriptures.” As a matter of fact I know a couple of Emergents–one of whom is a pastor–who don’t happen to feel that I use enough Biblical argumentation, so we’ll do just that when we finish up with this look at the inclusive spirit behind the complicated and confusing conversation within the labyrinth that is the Emergent Church. And on a personal note, gentleman, I wouldn’t meet at the pub just yet.

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