Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NASB)

A Know-It-All Who’s Full Of Questions

One of the most irritating things about the whole Emergent rebellion against the authority of the Bible is the hypocritical attitude they put forth to the public. On the surface Emergent leaders seem so tolerant while they point all the mistakes the Church has been making. However, just as soon as a nasty “fundie” (read: anyone who believes the Bible is inerrant) attempts to point out the Scriptures disagree with them all their feigned tolerance evaporates as quickly as Brian McLaren changes subjects when asked a question.

After asking God to show me what I should see in Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis I was reading “Movement Two” Yoke when I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “He doesn’t know Me.” It really wasn’t surprising to me that this would be the case because of all the questions I could see that this “pastor” has about God and the Bible. My honest thought was that it was like reading the diary of a fourteen-year-old who acts as if he knows everything but speaking with him quite quickly reveals he doesn’t.

From the stage of some nightclub during his “Everything Is Spiritual” tour Bell would say, “I ask lots of questions; to me, central to being a Christian is the endless exploration and search for truth.” And then he’d do an about face and state in an interview:

I think a lot of people are deeply fascinated with Jesus and just can’t do the Christian packages they’ve seen. Christianity is a little suspect, but Jesus, right on. So I’m trying to free Jesus from the religion that’s built up around him.

So which is it Rob? Are you exploring and searching for truth, or have you now found the truth with which you can now “free Jesus from the religion that’s built up around Him”? But this is the kind of convoluted teaching that Bell is putting forth. On the one hand he’s the tolerant Christian asking questions and other times when it suits his liberal agenda why suddenly Rob has all the answers. Such is the paradox of the Hollow Men of the Emergent Church. Always tolerant of each other and openly hostile to what Dr. Walter Martin often referred to as the historic orthodox Christian faith.

That You May Know

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.(1 John 5:13)

Let me remind you of an important truth, here we can see that a major reason the Bible was written is – that you may know that you have eternal life. Sadly we live in this age where even the concept of “knowing” itself is under attack. You will be asked: “With so many differing groups all using the Bible, how do you even know what it really means?” For those of us involved in apologetics this question is quite common from skeptics, but now this doubt concerning the true meaning of God’s Word in Holy Scripture is increasingly being raised by pastors from within the Emergent Church.

In his book Velvet Elvis: Repainting The Christian Faith Emergent “communicator” Rob Bell, the founder of Mars Hill, “one of the fastest growing churches in American history” (back cover), begins to give us a little inkling as to just where the whole of this Emergent rebellion jumped the Christian track when he writes:

I was in an intense meeting with our church leaders in which we were discussing several passages in the Bible. One of the leaders was sharing her journey in trying to understand what the Bible teaches about the issue at hand and she said something like this: “I’ve spent a great deal of time recently studying this issue. I’ve read what the people on the one side of the issue say, and I’ve read what the people on the other side say. I’ve read the scholars and the theologians and all sorts of others on this subject. But then, in the end, I decided to get back to the Bible and just take it for what it really says.”

Now please understand that this way of thinking is prevalent in a lot of Christian churches,…but this view of the Bible is warped and toxic, to say the least… The assumption is that there is a way to read the Bible that is agenda- and perspective- free…This perspective is claiming that a person can simply read the Bible and do what it says – unaffected by any outside influences… When you hear people say they are just going to tell you what the Bible means, it is not true. They are telling you what they think it means (pp.053,054, emphasis his).

What Bell is doing here with his warped and toxic neo-orthodox view of Scripture is opening the door to a type of “Christian” relativism where the Bible can mean whatever someone wants it to mean. Greg Gilbert, director of theological research for the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, points out where Bell’s anti-doctrine leads us:

it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Bell actually ends up throwing the entire Christian gospel up for grabs. God is made so mysterious, doctrine is deemed so questionable, and biblical interpretations are so relativized that in the end, Bell leaves us wondering if anything can be known for sure, or if any understanding of the Christian faith and gospel is any better than any other.

The Holy Spirit Is Out Of A Job

Do the words, “Yea, hath God said” come to mind? Now if the above appears to be somewhat out of tune to you spiritually then the Lord has gotten your attention. Our Lord told us the Holy Spirit was sent to be our Comforter and Teacher to guide us into all Truth. Apparently that is, until we reach twenty-first century America where the sophisticated postmodern has simply eliminated the Holy Spirit’s position now that we’ve come to the conclusion there’s no such thing as an absolute Truth in the Bible for us to even be guided into.

However, you may have already correctly recognized, when Bell tells us no one can really know “what the Bible means,” and that people like me who would say that we do, are only telling you what we “think it means,” he is actually making a statement that he expects you to believe is true. But Bell’s problem is, if we can’t know for certain what is true in the Bible to begin with, then it also follows that we can’t really know if his own postmodern philosophy itself is true. So now we’re off through the Looking Glass into Wonderland with Alice chasing rabbits down holes again.

And this is really a very childish way to look at the Bible that God inspired. We don’t like what the Creator has told us about our true human nature in the Bible, so we just deny the concept of absolute Truth period. Don’t be fooled. If you’d like to see this infantile foolishness of the Hollow Men of the Emergent Church for what it is, just imagine a fussy four year old being told to pick up his toys: “But I don’t wannu.” But Emergent tantrums aside, the true Christian knows that in His High Priestly prayer Jesus Christ of Nazareth–the living Word of God–asked the Father – “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.” (John 17:17, KJV)