This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, KJV)

The Cult Of Liberal Theology Gave Birth To The Emergent Church

In his powerful and insightful lecture The Cult of Liberal Theology circa 1980’s Southern Baptist minister Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), at the time America’s foremost expert on religious cults having their origin in the United States, opened by saying, “This evening I want to speak of the Cult of Liberalism, or Modern Theology if you wish.” But what Dr. Martin would also prove to be doing is speaking prophetically down through the corridor of time to this insipid generation of timid and paralyzed by politics evangelical leaders when he said:

[Above] we have an introduction to the spirit of the age in which we now live. A spirit which is characterized by rebellion, by lawlessness, by men who are obsessed with love for themselves. Turning inward to their own worship rather than outward to the worship of God. Men who are covetous, boastful, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to the parents and authority, unthankful and unholy.

People described here who, verse 5 is your key to understanding who they are. They have a form of our religion, that’s what the Greek says, they have the form of the religion of Christ. But they do not have the power of it. He is talking about people who say they are Christians. People who profess they are disciples of Christ. People who maintain that they are the Church. But all of these characteristics that they manifest indicate that they may have the form of the Church, but the power of the Church is not there.

Because the power of the Church comes form the risen Christ and from the Comforter, the Spirit, the Teacher Who is to lead us into all truth. We have for more than one hundred years been under sustained attack in the United States in our theological seminaries, church related schools and our churches. A sustained attack by people who have the form of godliness and work within the structure of the church and have–wherever they have been permitted the opportunity–diluted the Gospel and destroyed the faith.

They occupy today the chairs in our major theological seminaries, the rulership of our major denominational structures, [and] they maintain boldly and boastfully this is the Church. But it’s not the Church if denies the power of the Gospel. It’s not the Church because it’s got a label. I am a former Episcopalian. When I was a boy the Episcopal church stood for something, now it falls for almost anything.

Men and women, take a look at the nearly dead Episcopal Church right now ordaining women and practicing homosexuals into places of authority within her decaying ranks and then try to tell me these weren’t prophetic words. Think about this for a moment. Many who were studying in those seminaries and church related schools back then are the malevolent mutations now in leadership positions in many evangelical circles and certainly within the Emergent Church, the rebellious child that is now the new cult of liberalism.

Spiritual Formation Is Spiritual Circumcision

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. (Galatians 5:1-2)

This piece was inspired by some interaction I had where my article Why Would the Southern Baptist Convention Embrace the Emergent Church? (WSBCEC) also appeared on Slice of Laodicea with an open comments section. This issue of the Emergent Church with its core doctrine of Contemplative Spirituality is not unlike what the Apostle Paul was dealing with in the Book of Galatians with the Judaizers.

These men were also teaching that being born again through God’s grace alone; through faith alone in Christ alone and being free to worship God in spirit wasn’t enough for the life of the Christian. They were adding the “works” of circumcision and certain Jewish dietary laws. And Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster, his trusty sidekick Dallas Willard, both of whom Guru Brian McLaren once referred to as “key mentors in the Emergent Church have added the so-called “spiritual disciplines” of what they call Spiritual Formation (aka contemplative spirituality) to the life of the Christian.

The absolute fact is that one cannot divorce the Emergent Church from these men, nor from these spiritual disciplines which they have simply chosen at random mostly from ascetic practices which flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of the apostate Church of Rome. Can’t you see yet why these men are undoing the Reformation and attacking supposed “fundamentalism?” They hate the Word of God. That’s why they hiss and spit their venom at any of us who are adherents to sola Scriptura because the Bible flatly refutes this legalistic and Gnostic mysticism.

So here now is a comment which articulates very well the prevailing philosophy of the man-centered new evangelicalism and its misguided understanding of the nature of God’s love:

i don’t think any of you really understand the emergent movement. i don’t think it is wise to go around accusing people of not believing essential truths, when they may indeed believe, the same thing as you and me, they just approach it from a different angle. let’s let God be the judge. Jesse

Preparing To Answer The Attack

For your edification as to how to answer these kinds of false assumptions when they are spewed at you in your local fellowships–and trust me they will be–I present a proper response. Since I took Jesse’s comment to be sincere I responded in a spirit of kindness though he didn’t like what I pointed out. He had said: ”i don’t think any of you really understand the emergent movement.” Maybe you didn’t catch this in the article WSBCEC but I told you this woman expressed exactly what people are being taught by these Emergent Hollow Men – whom she named herself – Brian McLaren and Rob Bell.

Next he said: “i don’t think it is wise to go around accusing people of not believing essential truths, when they may indeed believe, the same thing as you and me, they just approach it from a different angle.” In this statement, by your own words, you reveal an ignorance on your part as to what they teach when you say that they “may indeed believe” the historic orthodox Christian faith. They don’t. I have studied this Emergent cult for over a year now and they decidedly do not believe proper Biblical Reformed Christianity. They hate it. And instead in their erudite arrogance they have “emerged” away from this faith into a new religion.

They’re welcome to it but it doesn’t belong in evangelical churches and it sure isn’t Christianity. And finally you drag out the old tired chestnut: “let’s let God be the judge.” He is Jesse and He’s using men like me who don’t care about the politics or dancing to the beat of popular culture. Pastors are to preach the Word and also to correct, rebuke and encourage. I’m not just to preach the Bible I am to defend it from attack. Mark my words; as long as I have breath I will fight these Emergent vipers with everything I have no matter how many sissy Christians surround me.

The other comment that figured into this discussion was actually a question: “What doe’s Albert Mohler have to say about this?” My honest answer is I think he’s hiding on it. I know he didn’t even have the courtesy to answer my letter to him or at least have an underling even send me a cursory response. In fairness, to the best of my knowledge Dr. Mohler has done a couple of mild “critiques” of the emerging church in the style I call “plus/minus/foregone conclusion.” This is the style of most writers use so they don’t “offend” anyone…of course God doesn’t use this style to change anyone either, but it looks good to have said it.

We Need To Do More Than Be Critical The Emergent Church Should Be Condemned

The typical apologetic today–and you watch for them now that you know this–begins with the writer already against the Emergent Church as a whole. They start off by patronizing a few of their leaders and the supposed “good” points they have. The middle section, often a bit longer, goes into some detail about the “bad” things associated with the Emergent Church. And then we reach the inevitable foregone conclusion: What do you know, they “can’t recommend it,” or my favorite, they have the obligatory “significant differences.” Wow. Very impressive, one has significant differences with a movement producing the hate for the actual Christian faith that the woman expresses in my WSBCEC.

Assuming you’ve read the letter within that piece, did you notice how many things she accuses so-called “fundamental” preachers of not doing that, in fact, excellent expository teaching pastors such as Dr. John MacArthur do way more skillfully than lame Emergent group Rob Bell and the Ancient Rabbis ever will. I published this letter because based on hundreds of dialogues I’ve had with Emergents from Dan Kimball to your probably your local SBC youth pastor she stated the hate the Emergent rebellion against the Bible has for true Biblical Christianity in a knuckleheaded nutshell.

The fact is that SBC leaders become involved with this insidious Emergent Church movement at their own peril. It is flat out the new cult of liberalism and unless it is surgically removed from within the Body of Christ it is going to kill mainstream evangelical Christian denominations just as dead as the original cult of liberalism Dr. Martin was talking about as we began once killed the mainline denominations. Can our evangelical leaders really be so spiritually obtuse that this little known hillbilly from NH with but a high school education has to inform them that the original idea of liberal or modern Christian theology was to make the Christian faith relevant to its surrounding society.

And now we have new liberal or postmodern Christian theology attempting to make the Christian faith relevant to its surrounding society. Please, do you not recognize the exact same doomed methodology? Did it work then? No. Will it work now? No.

…he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says…