“For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the LORD will be brought to answer him in My own person.”

“I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 14:7-8, NASB)

Have Taken A Look At What’s Slithering Through The Door Of Your Youth Ministries?

I have been studying the theology and teachings Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (VE), for quite some time now. Unless you have been on another planet you’ve most likely heard of this fast rising cultural icon and leader within the Emergent Church who is even gaining ground within mainstream evangelicalism. In fact, Bell is virtually becoming the Elvis of Emergent.

I have literally spent months and months studying much of Bell’s work in VE as well as investigating other sources, including listening to Bell’s sermons and watching his Nooma DVDs. So I can tell you that Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs was quite correct when he said a while back that “Bell’s message is completely and radically different from anything you would hear in a seeker-sensitive context.”

However, there is a very real and present danger that Rob Bell is posing right now to the Body of Christ. And that is aberrant and sometimes heretical teachings from Emerging Church teachers are coming into mainstream evangelical denominations largely through youth ministers. They oftentimes don’t know, although many do, the actual meaning of the “lingo” Emergents are using when they talk about the Christian faith. In Emergentese we might say along with their so-called “paradigm shift” has come a very real terminology shift.

It’s also very important that you understand Rob Bell is not really perceived as an Emergent by many evangelicals and his Nooma videos are even used e.g. in conjunction with Promise Keepers. In fact Ingrid Schlueter pointed this out on Slice of Laodicea in her article “Rob Bell and Promise Keepers”, which unfortunately is no longer available. In it she shared the letter she’d received from a Slice reader who was in attendance at a PK convention and which demonstrated “the pervasiveness of the emergent influence and the content of the Promise Keepers latest men’s gatherings.”

Senior pastors of local churches usually don’t know much more than Bell is some younger guy who “can reach the kids.” No doubt he is reaching kids, but the grave concern here is the skewed social gospel reimagined by the postliberal cult of the Emergent Church that Bell is feeding these kids. However, when the youth minister introduces Rob Bell’s warped and toxic teachings his language is also interpreted as orthodox because Bell is using the same words we would use.

Yoga Masters And The Repainted “Christian” Faith

But you need to know that the meanings have been…well, “repainted.” And what is going to end up happening is that your youth will be taught things like the following, which I transcribed from an MP3 recording of a sermon by Bell on breathing. Within it our Emergent Church leader Rob Bell informs us:

[In Yoga] it’s not how flexible you are, it’s not whether you can do the poses, it’s not how much you can bend yourself, it’s can you keep your breath [breathes in and out] consistent [breathes out] through whatever you are doing.

And the Yoga Masters say this is how it is when you follow Jesus and surrender to God. Is it’s your breath being consistent. It’s your connection with God regardless of the pose you find yourself in. That’s integrating the divine into the daily.

That’s right; you have just read the words of a supposed Christian pastor who has told you the way Hindu pantheists teach one how to follow the “Yoga Master” named Jesus. And then Bell tells us that our breath is our “connection to God,” which would actually then make all of mankind divine since we all breathe. This becomes evident when he says that our breathing is “integrating” — joining together — “the divine into the daily.” Well you see, all religions need to have a place for our Lord somewhere and those who follow “Yoga Masters” will end up believing that Jesus of Nazareth Himself was some kind of ultimate Yoga Master.

However, in Hinduism we are not “surrendering” to and “connecting” with the one true and living God of the Bible. Rather the Hindu religion teaches pantheism, pan — all, and theism — god. Essentially you can say that as individual drops of water make up an ocean so each of one of us make up god. In other words, we’re all a part of the impersonal force that is then called “god.” Now followers of Bell will immediately say, “O, c’mon Rob is talking about Yoga Masters who are Christians.” Well, here in the real world there is no such thing as “Christian” yoga—let alone alleged masters of it—but Bell doesn’t make any such differentiation here. No, he simply says, “Yoga Masters.”

In any event, let me point out that Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), the man whom I claim as one teacher who had a profound impact on me—a mentor if you will—would often refer to what he would call “the historic orthodox Christian faith.” And if he were here with us today I know that he would say that there’s certainly no place in the historic orthodox Christian faith for Yoga. But men and women, this is the kind of thing that happens when men like Rob Bell of the Emerging Church throw out Sola Scriptura—the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible—and instead replace it with the highly subjective and existential (i.e. feelings-oriented) neo-orthodox view of Holy Scripture.

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