Over at Pomomusings: Journeying Toward An Open & Progressive Theology [translation: a postliberal quasi-universal antichrist theology] Adam Walker Cleaveland talks about the Faith House project of Samir Selmanovic.

Quickly, for those who don’t know, Adam Walker Cleaveland:

attended Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and graduated in 2002 with a BA in Religion… I found I had a real love and passion for youth ministry,… After graduating from Whitworth, I took a job as Director of Youth Ministries in a small, rural PC(USA) church in Wendell, Idaho… Because of my experiences in Idaho, I decided to head to seminary, where I could continue to discern my calling and get a chance to focus some of my academic interests. I applied to Princeton Theological Seminary and started in the fall of 2004…

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself more and more involved with the Emergent conversation, and I’m now part of a large team that makes up the Emergent Village Coordinating Group… I am also currently in the middle of the ordination process for the Presbyterian Church (USA), so it is quite interesting to think about how I might be able to interact with both Emergent and PC(USA) folk. I started a website called Presbymergent. There are over 204 Contributors and 7 Editors of the site who are starting to create a conversation amongst those who are affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and involved in the Emergent Conversation. (Online source)

And Cleaveland is also a contributor to An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope (EMoH) which was edited by Emerging Church anti-theologian Tony Jones and his pastor Doug Pagitt, labeled a universalist by no less an authority of proper Biblical doctrine than Dr. John MacArthur.

I bring all of this out concerning Cleaveland so that you’ll know, while I certainly do not agree with Cleaveland’s Emergent theology, he does know whereof he speaks and he is connected to Emergent Village.

In the Apprising Ministries article Samir Selmanovic I informed you that Selmanovic:

serves on the Coordinating Group for Emergent Village and has been appointed as their representative on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches in 2006.

For the last four years, Samir has been a teaching pastor at CrossWalk, an innovative and growing church in Southern California.

Samir has helped many of his church members and students move from apathy and doubt about the integrity and relevance of their religion into a path of contemplation and pursuit of social justice. He has also guided a number of secular people into taking another look at faith to the point where they have gained a new interest in spirituality and a new hope for religion in the West. (Online source)

Further Selmanovic is also the catalyst behind Faith House Project, that Cleaveland will speak of below, whose mission it is to “start a new kind of community in which we can discover The Other (individuals or groups other than those we belong to), deepen our personal and corporate journeys, and together participate in repairing the world.”

Cleaveland tells us:

When I was at the Everything Must Change Tour, I got the chance to speak with Samir Selmanovic. I’ve run across Samir’s writings before, as he has a chapter in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope entitled “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other”… I got a chance to speak with Samir about the community a little bit, and found his hopes for the community incredibly inspiring and hopeful myself. (Online source)

Cleaveland goes on to share the “mission of Faith House Manhattan”:

OUR MISSION: We want to start a new kind of community in which we can discover The Other (individuals or groups other than those we belong to), deepen our personal and corporate journeys, and together participate in repairing the world. In this endeavor we will honor and learn from teachings, practices, and suffering of people from religions, philosophies, and worldviews, different from our own. Instead of isolating ourselves into like-minded groups or melting together into a single-minded organization, we will learn to live together with our differences and in a way that contributes to the wellbeing, peace, joy, and justice in the world. In this endeavor we will always be a courageous, hospitable and learning community. (ibid.)

As AM has brought out before among those who endorse this Faith House rooted in an emerging church postliberal counterfeit Christianity—but, of course—we find Emergent Guru Brian McLaren who says:

Many of us feel that unless we can see vibrant new faith communities engaging with the urban culture of New York City, we are not ready to grapple with tomorrow’s realities. The old line from the song — “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere” — rings true in ministry. The problem is that relatively few people have the skills and ethos to survive, much less thrive and effectively minister, in the Big Apple. And even fewer have the desire!…

~ Brian McLaren, author (Online source)

And then there’s fellow “Red Letter Christian” Emergent Evangelical Prophet Tony Campolo—another of McLaren’s friends—who also chimes in:

Samir Selmanovic is just what we have needed to bring the spirit of Christ to bear in a fractured society. His attempts to create dialogue between peoples of different religious traditions is essential in a pluralistic society and is desperately needed in a world in which religion has become an instrument of war instead of actualizing its intended goal of being an instrument of peace. Here is a young man with vision and with the kind of drive and commitment that will enable his dreams to be actualized. He is bright and articulate and I am sure that he will be used of God in this project, living out the biblically-prescribed ministry of reconciliation.

~ Tony Campolo, author (Online source)

And then in his Pomomusings post Cleaveland himself adds:

I think this is a beautiful portrait of the kingdom of God and I only wish I lived in Manhattan and could take part in such an experiment. Certainly it will not be without its own challenges and difficulties, but what a wonderful possibility for community, hope and working together for the kingdom. Of course, Samir and this faith project will obviously (and unfortunately) be criticized by folks like those at Apprising Ministries, but I hope they are able to find encouragement within their community and from those who aren’t able to be a part of the community but support their goals of learning from the other, deepening their lives and healing the world. (ibid, emphasis his)

His first mistake was in deciding to take on AM and I have already covered Selmanovic’s seriously skewed view of the Christian faith further in Samir Selmanovic: God Is Father Of All Religion. We also show you more about what is actually meant by discovering God in “the Other” in The Emerging Church Hoping For A Generous Orthodoxy While Seeking To Discover God In “The Other” Religions.

And in EMoH Selmanovic shares with us his mystic myth:

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)

This is absolutely not the Christian faith once for all delivered to the saints. And the truth is the following comments from Cleveland’s pomo post give us much insight as to why Cleaveland, Selmanovic and the Emergent Church are so far adrift. Since Cleaveland made the choice to single me out in his piece I felt led to respond.

But little did I know that the Lord would be using the responses from a “Chris” below to more fully reveal just how little so many following the false prophets of this Emerging rebellion against sola Scriptura actually know about the Bible they profess to believe:

Ken Silva said:
May 8th, 2008 at 11:18 am

Samir says we: “deepen our personal and corporate journeys…we will honor and learn from teachings, practices, and suffering of people from religions.”

But God says: “they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons… Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” (1 Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

To paraphrase a famous statement: “Faith House Manhattan – we have a problem.” (Online source)

Chris said:
May 8th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Mr. Silva, I never knew that Paul was God. I always thought Jesus was God. Guess I should have paid more attention in Sunday School. Thanks for clearing it up for me. (Online source)

Ken Silva said:
May 8th, 2008 at 12:52 pm


You might wish to stow the sarcasm: “I never knew that Paul was God… Guess I should have paid more attention in Sunday School.”

Yes, I should say you should have. I never said Paul was God. Let me show you how this works in proper Biblical hermeneutics so you won’t make a fool of yourself.

1) 2 Timothy 3:16 informs us — All Scripture is God-breathed”… 2 Peter 1:20-21 says — Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

2) Speaking “from God” Peter tells us – “[Paul’s] letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures.” 3) This means the quotes from Paul in my previous comment come from “Scripture.”

4) Since all Scripture is “God-breathed” – i.e. a creative act as in when God breathed life into Adam – then 5) God spoke through Paul, and as such what Paul wrote is what God wrote. Therefore I am correct to say “God said.” (Online source)

Chris said:
May 8th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Mr. Silva,
Your logic is impeccable. You are truly a master of biblical hermeneutics. Your exegetical moves are simply breathtaking. Do you have any openings for apprenticeships? Don’t worry, I am a male….Chris isn’t short for Christine or anything.

I’m just so tired of not having all the answers, you know? Clearly the answer is not spending time with Jews or Muslims, since God tells us not to in 1 Corinthians. What’s hard is that so many of them seem to be honest and decent people. That tricky Belial! Those crafty demons! Thank the Lord for your precious insights, Mr Silva. The next time my Jewish seminarian friend David calls and asks if I want to get together and grab coffee and talk about what we’re learning in seminary, I will put him in his place. “What does light have to do with darkness, David?” BLAM! “Don’t come near me with your demon sacrifices David….or should I say, Belial.” BLAM! God and Mr. Silva will be so proud of me for doing God’s will as expressed in 1 Corinthians.
(Online source)

See also: