Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3, KJV)

“Christians” Finding God In The Religion Of The Other

We see in the recent book An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (EMH) co-edited by the Emergent Church anti-theologian Tony Jones and his emergent church pastor Doug Pagitt this religious pluralism doesn’t involve preaching the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, as EMH contributor Adam Walker Cleaveland points out it is about “about finding God in the Others we encounter.”

I have already covered this a bit in the Apprising Ministries piece The Emerging Church Hoping For A Generous Orthodoxy While Seeking To Discover God In “The Other” Religions. Below, in the following excerpt from his debate with Bob DeWaay, Emergent spokesman Doug Pagitt tells us God Himself is leading the emerging church to do all this finding of God in the other, i.e. learn about Him from these unbelievers:

we’re trying to work very deeply, and connected to the story of God, and with God, in this world to try to express “what are the hopes and dreams of God for our world.”

Eightly–there’s an openness to the “other” (point 8 on his Powerpoint display). To the other thinker, to the foreigner, to the outsider; it’s this call to love, not only God and neighbor–but to love enemy and to not be “freaked out,” and not to be so concerned about when “the other” is in our midst.

And I think that’s about the very understanding about the character of God; the acceptance of ‘the other,” and these [Emergent] communities tend to look [at it] this way.

This idea of encountering and accepting “the other” is quite significant as we watch the already inclusive neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church drift more and more toward full blown inclusivism and even universalism ala Spencer Burke of the Emergent Ooze.

Liberalism’s Fatherhood Of God/Brotherhood Of Man Reimagined

Here’s a couple of quick examples from EMH showing the future of the religious pluralism of a coming Global Family in postevangelicals like Rick Warren and the quasi-universalism of Rob Bell in the emerging church.

First we take Nanette Sawyer the “community pastor” of Wicker Park Grace “Pastor” Sawyer also happens to be a “minister ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA)” with a “master of theological studies degree in comparative world religions” (EMH, 42).

In EMH she informs us:

I am a Christian today because of a Hindu meditation master. She taught me some things that Christians had not. She taught me to meditate, to sit in silence and openness in the presence of God… I believe that all people are children of God. (45, emphasis mine)

Nice; “Christian” pastor Sawyer tells she believes that “all people are children of God,” while the Lord absolutely says that they are not — But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12, NASB). Simple logic tells you that if you have to become something, then it is quite obvious that were not that thing before. In this case specifically—a child of God.

Then there’s Dr. Samir Selmanovic who serves on the Coordinating Group for Emergent Village. He contributes a chapter to EMH called “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other.” Dr. Selmanovic gives further indication where we are headed with all of this religious pluralism when he asks us:

Can it be that the teachings of the gospel are embedded and can be found in reality itself rather than being exclusively isolated in sacred texts and our interpretations of those texts? If the answer is yes, can it be that they are embedded in other stories, other peoples’ histories, and even other religions?…

God’s table is welcoming all who seek, and if any religion is to win, may it be the one that produces people who are the most loving, the most humble, the most Christlike. Whatever the meaning of “salvation” and “judgement,” we Christians are going to be saved by grace, like everyone else, and judged by our works, like everyone else…

For most critics of such open Christianity, the problem with inclusiveness is that it allows for truth to be found in other religions. To emerging Christians, that problem is sweet… Moreover, if non-Christians can know our God, then we want to benefit from their contribution to our faith. (192, 195,196, emphasis mine)

But know this: You follow fools like these centered on the self lovers of men rather than lovers of God at your own eternal peril.