The following letters to Apprising Ministries are reprinted with the permission of the author. I have changed their name but we both felt this email exchange would be to be an edifying example of what can happen when willing hearts are involved:

—– Original Message —–
From: Terry
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 4:27 AM
Subject: Re: reading through your site

I happened upon your website in an attempt to find discussion regarding a church I have recently visited. I appreciate your work and did find some of the articles informative, but was nonetheless discouraged, by the overall aura of the website. While keeping believers apprised is necessary, at what point does your ministry resonate with Paul in Philippians chapter one regarding how Christ is preached? Or the warnings of Galatians 5:14-16 regarding how believers treat one another?

I don’t write in an attempt to bash or provoke anger, but I am concerned with the attitude of the Church towards its own…I know that T.D. Jakes and Erwin McManus and other emergent leaders may preach Christ in a way that skews or adjusts the teaching of our Church Fathers, but when I scroll down a page of article titles and they are all attempts to point out the flaws of others, I simply wonder if that is “ministry”…Thank you for your time in reading this. I understand if it is not accepted.


—– Original Message —–
From: Apprising Ministries
To: Terry
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: reading through your site

Hello Terry,

Thank you for contacting Apprising Ministries/Christian Research Net. The noted Christian philosopher and apologist Dr. Francis Schaeffer used to say: “Honest questions deserve honest answers.” I believe this as well and so I will respond from a position of no offense taken and no intention of causing any. Setting this upfront due to the limitations of the written language.

Below you ask: “While keeping believers apprised is necessary, at what point does your ministry resonate with Paul in Philippians chapter one regarding how Christ is preached? Or the warnings of Galatians 5:14-16 regarding how believers treat one another?” There are many principles to the Christian faith and regarding proper Christian conduct and we have to do our best to use which ever ones most apply to a given situation.

For example you mention chapter five of the Book of Galatians. Remember in chapter two Paul calls Peter out as a hypocrite, he calls the Galatians (who were believers) fools in chapter 3 and just prior to the verses you cite above Paul tells them he wishes the Judaizers would castrate themselves. The principle in Philippians can’t be isolated from the call to warn against false teachers and false prophets throughout the NT.

You go on to say: “I don’t write in an attempt to bash or provoke anger, but am concerned with the attitude of the Church towards its own…I know that T.D. Jakes and Erwin McManus and other emergent leaders may preach Christ in a way that skews or adjusts the teaching of our Church Fathers,…” I believe you and I commend you in the Lord that your letter and tone do reflect this. I also am concerned with the attitude of the Church towards it own. Just in reverse.

What I mean is the Emergent leaders are very critical of the proper Biblical Reformed faith to the point of cult-like behavior. They so regularly attack what they mislabel as “Calvinism” that God has raised up men like me to expose them. We remind them the Puritans who laid the foundations for this nation were Biblical Reformed Christians. All of the Ivy League schools were founded by Reformed Christians but later gutted by the false philosophies and liberal theology of what Dr. Walter Martin rightly labeled the Cult of Liberal Theology. Emergent is only a post-liberal, new liberal cult now killing our mainstream denominations, colleges and seminaries.

Be careful not to let them fool you, their arrogance is a quiet intellectual scoffing just like their forebears in the original cult of liberal theology. And Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal, which is heresy. When one preaches heresy he is to warned (which he has been long before I came along) and if he persists (and he has) he is to be marked divisive and avoided (Matthew 18:16-17; Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10-11).

And finally you point out: “when I scroll down a page of article titles and they are all attempts to point out the flaws of others, I simply wonder if that is ‘ministry’…” Remember now, neither of us is attempting to offend the other. :-) However, 1) as a pastor-teacher I would have to let the Lord decide what works He would have me do; 2) there are other things I have written at AM not of a corrective nature, and 3) if I was you and didn’t know the full scope of my all my labors in Christ I’d probably feel the same as you.

Terry, let me give you a fuller picture of what I am currently doing in the Body of Christ. Rest assured I am led the same way any other pastor-teacher is. Specifically my calling began in 1988 simply doing apologetics, counter-cult evangelism and Comparative Religion. To understand my ministry path you would need to know that back in 1994 I had planted a mission church in Rock Springs, WY.

I had hair down the middle of my back, my secular rock band coming out of the church, missional and relevant “hanging with sinners,” the emerging thing before there even was an emerging church. It doesn’t begin until Leadership Network had Doug Pagitt help them gather 10 youth ministers and youth pastors for their Terranova Project in 1997 and I even have a contact who was one of those original 10.

Long story short when God gave me the first website Apprising Ministries, as a former Roman Catholic, the Lord led me into defending the Body of Christ from the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church. I have been shocked to see how necessary my studies in those areas have been for me as I now am using many of the arguments I would in those settings now within the Church itself with professing Christians!

I think you should also know that Apprising Ministries is a fully integrated auxiliary of my local church Connecticut River Baptist Church (SBC) and the leadership there helps oversee it with a separate four man board of directors which includes three other ministers of the Gospel. In addition to this there are four other pastors who don’t know each other, nor are they directly involved with me personally in ministry, whom I also get advice from on a regular basis.

Then out of AM itself also comes Christian Research Net with multiple volunteer contributors under my supervision that I regularly interact with, four of which are also pastor-teachers with all of this itself also under CRBC and AM’s leadership. And then from CRN extends Symphony of Scripture another website in conjunction outreach from my local church with a few 22-23 year-old men from some churches in Sydney, Australia that I am also in regular contact with.

The Lord alone be praised that through AM I also have the extreme privilege of personally advising numerous pastors from all around the country. In point of fact, one of those directly associated with CRN has recently went over to Russia for three weeks of teaching biblical counseling there.

Psychology is flooding into the Russian church and Biblical counseling has not yet been taught in the preacher’s institutes and seminaries so we feel the writing and teaching of this curriculum is immensely important. I am so grateful to the Lord for the honor of serving our Russian brothers in this way.

Since God alone is the one Who should be praised I have really seen no need to broadcast this, though it seems the time has come to let people know. Still I have hidden absolutely nothing and even the information my many detractors know about me I voluntarily made known myself.

You see the Lord has literally been giving me these websites and these people to work with as I have not asked for any of it. My only goal is simply to do whatever Jesus wants me to do and then to get out of this world having done it. All who know me personally know that I would actually rather not have any attention whatsoever.

The nice thing though is that through encouraging, as well as advising pastors and leaders within many churches, I have actually been given the undeserved privilege by God of being involved with quite a bit of other types of Christian service well beyond my more controversial work at Apprising Ministries. And maybe, though I doubt it, now that you know I’m involved with a lot more than ministry than you were previously aware of Terry maybe you might look at this all just a little differently.

The fact that I am bold and direct most certainly does not mean I have no love for the people I speak out against. Quite the contrary I spend hours and hours studying their materials that I often purchase out of my own pocket to try and understand their views from their perspective. But you need to understand this is no game and this is no time for a “business as usual” approach to the Christian faith.

Our Lord is at war and I am a soldier doing what I am personally asked to do for Him. What others do they will have to one day stand for themselves before God, as will I. May the Lord open your eyes that you might see the dark red sky this morning and recognize the time in which you live. I am afraid this is only the beginning and should the Lord tarry things are going to get mighty rough spiritually in the days ahead.

You may believe me Terry when I tell you that I sincerely wish I had better news.

For Christ’s Honor,

Pastor Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries
Ezekiel 3:7-14

General Editor
Christian Research Net
2 Corinthians 11:12-15

—– Original Message —–
From: Terry
To: Apprising Ministries
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 4:27 PM
Subject: Re: reading through your site


I appreciate very much your quick and thorough reply! I would first like to apologize for the comment questioning your website’s “ministry” that was foolish. I would also like to thank you for helping to shed a more light on my flawed perspective. I feel quite convinced that emergent leaders ARE unloving in their approach to conservative theologians or really just Christianity in general. Perhaps I am more sympathetic with the emergent circles because I have grown up conservative circles. I am still young and
have not dove into the scriptures or had the amount of training that I’m sure you have had, but I did attend Dallas Seminary, and will soon be a counseling student at Fuller Seminary.

Being at Dallas demanded that we become familiar with those texts you mentioned and the thing that sticks out to me is that while Paul does rebuke Peter and does write a good amount of his letters to combat heresy or correct doctrine, he still writes to close his letter that “the entire LAW can be summed up in Love”. While Erwin does take a stand in changing the face of church, surely he’s not making quite the same demands as the Judiazers does he? Circumcision? I don’t want to sound too “hippy” (for lack of better words) understanding that discipline and rebuke is necessary. I believe that T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and other leaders that water down or distort Christ ought to be rebuked. Their teachings do infuriate me.

I’m not convinced completely that Erwin is in the same league? And I’m not yet sure what my role in correcting those teachings needs to be, but I must also affirm that we can’t simply ignore the passage in Philippians can we? If anything I will be forced to preface any argument that I make towards Joel or T.D. Jakes as a humble and feeble attempt much like C.S. Lewis does before his masterpieces. Because while my theology may be orthodox I am still a mess just like Erwin, T.D. Jakes, and Joel regardless of what they think about themselves. I don’t take false teachings lightly but being a part of conservative circles for the majority of my life has made me ask myself that while I don’t completely agree with emergent theology, what kind of a difference is the emergent movement making in the lives of people who would never step foot in to First Baptist Arlington? Can Jesus use that? What parts of that approach align with Jesus in the Gospels? Why aren’t those people coming to FBC Arlington?

And I feel the same about Conservative approaches, understanding that the SBC has blemishes too and these churches minister to broken people as well. If anything church history should confirm in us that we haven’t always had it right! From the Church Fathers to the Puritans to Luther to Al Mohler and Richard Mouw we have all been molded and we have all had heological hang-ups that have been worked out in avenues that work against unity in the body. I’m not naive enough to think these will be resolved before the coming of Christ, but surely understanding on all sides can be improved.

In closing, I want to establish that in no way do I want to discredit your ministry! As if I could do that anyhow. I am solely interested in how the discussion regarding emergent theology has become such a divisive subject AND why the debate on BOTH SIDES show little concern for the individuals presenting the opposing view. I would love to hear your response, because I am currently attending Mosaic and wrestling with this debate myself. Thanks so much for your time Ken. The wisdom and temperament with which you responded to my first email shows your kindness in Christ and is much appreciated.