All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.

And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

But Is This Really What The Christian Is To Do?

Often as I read things by Emerging Church pastor Dan Kimball I wonder if he knows that a Christian apologist is one who contends for and defends the faith. He is not one who goes around whining and apologizing for the doctrines of Christianity. O I know that Kimball’s ashamed of guys like me, whom he actually knows next to zero about, but let it also be said that there are plenty of Christian pastors—also like me—who are sick and tired of having effete emerging ministers speak as if they are the ones who truly represent the Body of Christ.

Whenever I hear Kimball it seems that apparently we’re all supposed to believe that this so-called “emerging generation” is a mighty special class of human beings. So special perhaps that those of us who are ministers of Jesus Christ, Who happens to be the LORD God Almighty Himself in human flesh, are no longer to boldly proclaim the Gospel of our Lord. No; for fear this might hurt their fickle feelings, instead I guess we’re to all hold hands around a campfire and ask sinners for whom Christ died how they happen to feel about this subject and that.

You may recall that Kimball has written a book, which is really fiction, called They Like Jesus But They Don’t Like The Church. Is Dan Kimball really that naïve? The Bible shows us that people like another Jesus (see—2 Corinthians 11:4) but according to Him the world hated Me because, “If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.” I say that Kimball should spend less time entertaining the fiction of the unregenerate and more time listening to the reality of men like “the Dean of evangelical scholars” Dr. F. F. Bruce:

Our Lord’s sayings were all of a piece with His actions and His way of life in general. The fewer preconceptions we bring from the outside to the reading of the Gospels, the more clearly shall we see Him as He really was. It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus Who is largely a construction of our own imagination—an inoffensive Person Whom no one would really trouble to crucify.

But the Jesus we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive Person, gave offense right and left. Even His loyal followers found Him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting. He upset all established notions of religious propriety. (Hard Sayings of the Bible, 18, 19)

Striving For An Emerging Friendship With The World

A case in point which illustrates what I’m talking about with emerging men like Dan Kimball is a recent story which ran in Christian Post where we’re told:

As Christians across California grapple with the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” the shock factor at one emerging church remains small. And it’s not because the young and growing church embraces a liberal theology or supports gay “marriage,” but because they don’t avoid talking about sexuality, including homosexuality.

“In our church, at least from the people I have been hanging out with, I have not yet heard too much ‘Oh my gosh, look what happened,’” said Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a well-known emerging church leader who subscribes to a more conservative theology. There wasn’t much of a reaction at Vintage Faith to the May 15 court ruling that allowed same-sex couples to wed, he said. Many believed it was inevitable.” (Online source)

Well, I can tell you that “the shock factor” was also small at Connecticut River Baptist Church, the local church where I am pastor, and yet I still maintain that the Emerging Church movement that Kimball is an integral part of is itself not a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. Rather back in 2005 Apprising Ministries pointed out that it’s really a man-centered semi-pelagian postliberal cult operating within nearly completely apostate American evangelicalism.

And further CRBC, which holds to the Biblical doctrines of grace, does not “avoid talking about sexuality, including homosexuality” and we also “believed [same sex marriage] was inevitable.” In fact our state of New Hampshire happens to be where the infamous gay “Bishop” Gene Robinson holds court corrupting Christianity in our area churches. So tell me, why is it again that we supposedly need this Emergent rebellion against Sola Scriptura?

The CP piece goes on to laud Kimball who “believes people at his church were not shocked partly because of their openness in discussing marriage and homosexuality.” Well so what; this is also true of many other churches of Christ who faithfully preach the full Word of God, and yet this doesn’t require us to shy away from teaching God’s absolute sovereignty over His creation. As a matter of fact John MacArthur just preached a series covering same sex sexuality called Homosexuality and the Bible.

The CP story also tells us that:

At Vintage Faith, they’ve created a culture of addressing and responding to such issues. Kimball encourages other churches to do the same – to create a culture of teaching the theology of these controversial issues in a way that people can understand and not approaching the issues just at the surface level…

Kimball is currently teaching out of the New Testament book 1 Corinthians in a series titled “Sin City: Being the light of Jesus in a darkened culture.” Early in the series, which launched on June 15, he addressed marriage and human sexuality, teaching the theologically conservative position that marriage is designed for a man and a woman. An open forum followed the sermon last weekend. (ibid.)

Emerging With Much Ado About Nothing…But Compromise

As usual Kimball is busy creating the false dichotomy which is so typical of Emergent Church spokespersons as if to say that if one isn’t in line with the Emerging Church then we aren’t covering these issues. However, there are many other faithful pastors of the Bible who happen to think Dan Kimball is dead wrong to be a publicly yoked to heretics and teachers of counterfeit Christianity like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell respectfully but who have also “addressed marriage and human sexuality.” No doubt it’s commendable that “Vintage Faith does not endorse homosexual ‘marriage’ theologically,” but then again, frankly, no genuine Christian church ever could.

And then finally, CP informs us that Vintage Faith:

like any emerging church – is ingrained in the culture, a culture that has becoming increasingly tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle.

“To me, I really believe that if church leaders aren’t involved in people … [who] are gay outside of their church, that needs to happen so that they can just understand [their] lives more,” Kimball said in the interview.

“So when they think about [homosexuals], it’s not just this population of people that is faceless; they really can think of hearts and minds and eye expressions,” he added. Church leaders need to see every human being, regardless of their sexuality or lifestyle, in the image of God, he stressed. “That to me is critical because then you respond differently,” the emerging pastor said. (ibid.)

However, it isn’t the role of the Christian to be “ingrained in the culture”; no, instead—as the word “church” means—we are called out of the culture to worship Christ. And Jesus told us to be in the world but not to be of it. This again is simply the Emerging Church trying to justify its own love of the self (see—2 Timothy 3:2) through their caricature of some social reformer “Jesus” rather than following the real Jesus Christ and bearing the same kind of reproach that He endured — Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore (Hebrews 13:13).

Men and women don’t be fooled; this CP piece is a perfect example of people in the Emergent Church, as indicated by Kimball within that article, are continually blethering on about some abstract “church leaders” who supposedly “aren’t involved in people.” But in the end, the truth is that there are many fine pastors of Jesus Christ who dearly love people with the shepherd’s heart God has given them. And yet they still manage to preach the whole counsel of God while having nothing to do with the counterfeit Christianity of the postliberal cult of the Emerging Church:

holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
(2 Timothy 3:5, NASB)

See also: