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The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 06:13 PM
Hi guys! New to the site. I was wanting to get some opinions of fellow believers on the emerging church movement. I hadn't heard of it until I found out that my church is considering these principles as a means of outreach for college kids (I live in a university town) With the little research I've done, I've got all kinds of warnings bells and whistles going off. Anyone have any thoughts? Suggestions?

VerticalReality
Jan 3rd 2008, 06:59 PM
To be honest, I don't really keep up too well with all the new hip names and labels people keep slapping on "movements". I'm not sure what this "emerging church" movement is.

I just listen to whatever is preached, compare it to the Word and see if it matches up. If it doesn't, I don't much waste my time after that.

Kat2911
Jan 3rd 2008, 07:02 PM
To be honest, I don't really keep up too well with all the new hip names and labels people keep slapping on "movements". I'm not sure what this "emerging church" movement is.

I just listen to whatever is preached, compare it to the Word and see if it matches up. If it doesn't, I don't much waste my time after that.
Yes, for those of us who are unaware of the principles of which you speak, would you please elaborate?

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 08:33 PM
Unfortunately, I think it would take far too much time and space to elaborate on even the miniscule knowledge I have of it, but I'll try and hit the basics of what I've seen so far.

Basically, from what I've gathered is that it is an extremely liberal form of Christianity, but I'm not even really sure that you can consider it Christianity in its truest sense. Essentially, it seems, that everything is open and up for intrepretation. There are no absolutes, no right, no wrong, no good, no evil. You take what you like about the Bible and mold that which you don't to fit your personal preferences (okay every movement and denomination is guilty of that to some extent) They say that faith and belief in the Bible and Scriptures is unimportant, it is the way you act, the way you feel that is truly important. And they absolutely abhor evangelists and aplogetics. They believe that a "new" church needs to "emerge" for this age, because the "old" ways are no longer sufficient or valid.

Now, that is just a thumbnail of the research I've done and admittedely they are from fairly to extremely conservative commentaries, which is why I was hoping to hear other's opinions and views. I mean, obviously, from that alone, most all of us are going to have serious problems. But this is a HUGE movement that I gather is not all that new.

The reason it has drawn my attention and concern is because my church has asked me to take a leadership position that concerns outreach to the college crowd (I live in a university town) and the method they want to pursue is the "emerging church" philosophy. It is immensely popular, allegedely, with the 18-36 demographic. But anyhoot, all of this came as a huge shock to me and I wanted as much information and to be as prepared as possible when I walk into the director's meeting on Tues.

threebigrocks
Jan 3rd 2008, 08:50 PM
Please keep in mind that we are discussing the church, the body of Christ. We can hold doctrines up to scripture, so let's present some of what you know concretely and see how it holds up. If this leaves you in a quandry, please take time to understand it better before trying to discuss. ;)

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:03 PM
Please keep in mind that we are discussing the church, the body of Christ. We can hold doctrines up to scripture, so let's present some of what you know concretely and see how it holds up. If this leaves you in a quandry, please take time to understand it better before trying to discuss. ;)

Obviously you have a problem with what I've said, please elaborate. I came to this site on a fact finding mission, is that wrong? Perhaps, I should merely stop with what little knowledge I do have and begin ripping apart anything and everything I deem to be a part of said movement. So, please elaborate, what exactly is the problem with the post?

Athanasius
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:11 PM
It is the embodyment of post modernism.
There is not enough time in the world for me to write about what's wrong with the church today, so I'll leave it up to Al Mohler to summarize quite nicely what I would very brazenly suggest.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gv6uxCch7oc

In the words of Ravi Zacharias,
The chapters in the books written by Brian McLaren die the death of a thousand qualifications.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:14 PM
It is the embodyment of post modernism.
There is not enough time in the world for me to write about what's wrong with the church today, so I'll leave it up to Al Mohler to summarize quite nicely what I would very brazenly suggest.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gv6uxCch7oc

I'm certainly glad that I'm not alone in finding issue with it, but I'd love to know what the other poster's problem was with what I said. Thanks also for the link, I will watch it as soon as I get back...

EIN
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:17 PM
Here you go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_Church

My opinion: any time you stop preaching The Word and substitute it with your own stories and experiences and you substitute preaching with "conversation," you've got issues. The biggest problem with the Emerging/Emergent movement is that the churches are trying to become more like the culture around them, as opposed to vice-versa. Which is also un-Biblical.

Athanasius
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:19 PM
R.C. Sproul put it best when he asked about the seeker sensitive movement.
These sorts of things are based around the idea that the unsaved of the world are running to church to learn about God.
This just isn't true and it's a dangerous premise to base a church model after.

Christians are the seekers.

The unsaved world wants the benefits of a belief in God while running as fast as they can from God at the same time.

The church is being filled with the lost, which by itself doesn't sound like a bad thing.
But they aren't hearing the word, and that's a big problem.

Why is Christianity falling apart, again?

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:31 PM
Here you go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_Church

My opinion: any time you stop preaching The Word and substitute it with your own stories and experiences and you substitute preaching with "conversation," you've got issues. The biggest problem with the Emerging/Emergent movement is that the churches are trying to become more like the culture around them, as opposed to vice-versa. Which is also un-Biblical.


R.C. Sproul put it best when he asked about the seeker sensitive movement.
These sorts of things are based around the idea that the unsaved of the world are running to church to learn about God.
This just isn't true and it's a dangerous premise to base a church model after.

Christians are the seekers.

The unsaved world wants the benefits of a belief in God while running as fast as they can from God at the same time.

The church is being filled with the lost, which by itself doesn't sound like a bad thing.
But they aren't hearing the word, and that's a big problem.

Why is Christianity falling apart, again?

This is pretty much the general gist of what I have been getting. I hate to dismiss anything out of hand, which is why I came here. I wanted a more fluid discussion of the movement just to insure that I wasn't reading too much and or throwing myself too heavily behind one side of the argument. There's always a fear of certain groups painting another in untruths to further their own agenda. It was just something I hadn't heard of and when I did a little research, I was taken aback, both with the movement and the fact that this is something that my church is considering as a tool.

Kat2911
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:33 PM
Unfortunately, I think it would take far too much time and space to elaborate on even the miniscule knowledge I have of it, but I'll try and hit the basics of what I've seen so far.

Basically, from what I've gathered is that it is an extremely liberal form of Christianity, but I'm not even really sure that you can consider it Christianity in its truest sense. Essentially, it seems, that everything is open and up for intrepretation. There are no absolutes, no right, no wrong, no good, no evil. You take what you like about the Bible and mold that which you don't to fit your personal preferences (okay every movement and denomination is guilty of that to some extent) They say that faith and belief in the Bible and Scriptures is unimportant, it is the way you act, the way you feel that is truly important. And they absolutely abhor evangelists and aplogetics. They believe that a "new" church needs to "emerge" for this age, because the "old" ways are no longer sufficient or valid.

Now, that is just a thumbnail of the research I've done and admittedely they are from fairly to extremely conservative commentaries, which is why I was hoping to hear other's opinions and views. I mean, obviously, from that alone, most all of us are going to have serious problems. But this is a HUGE movement that I gather is not all that new.

The reason it has drawn my attention and concern is because my church has asked me to take a leadership position that concerns outreach to the college crowd (I live in a university town) and the method they want to pursue is the "emerging church" philosophy. It is immensely popular, allegedely, with the 18-36 demographic. But anyhoot, all of this came as a huge shock to me and I wanted as much information and to be as prepared as possible when I walk into the director's meeting on Tues.
What exactly is their reasoning to take this approach other than their claim that it is popular? What is their evidence?
Does teaching principles like this line up with your church's mission/beliefs? What is their main goal by taking this approach with this demographic? Do they want people in their door or do they want to help in Jesus' mission of salvation?

These are just some questions that I would ask my church if I were in your shoes. Would this be something you'd be comfortable discussing with them?

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:38 PM
What exactly is their reasoning to take this approach other than their claim that it is popular? What is their evidence?
Does teaching principles like this line up with your church's mission/beliefs? What is their main goal by taking this approach with this demographic? Do they want people in their door or do they want to help in Jesus' mission of salvation?

These are just some questions that I would ask my church if I were in your shoes. Would this be something you'd be comfortable discussing with them?

I don't know their reasoning yet, but I do intend to find out on Tuesday at the director's meeting. It absolutely does not line up with my church's missions and or beliefs (UMC), and more particularly our pastors, which is why this really knocked me for a loop. As for whether or not I would be comfortable discussing this with them, I feel confident this is precisely why God moved me towards this position in the church :)

Kat2911
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:42 PM
As for whether or not I would be comfortable discussing this with them, I feel confident this is precisely why God moved me towards this position in the church :)
That made me smile. :D God bless you and please let us know how that meeting goes.

SIG
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:42 PM
NOTE: This is intended as satire, and as such, is quite enlightening:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/297-emerging-church-glossary

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:43 PM
That made me smile. :D God bless you and please let us know how that meeting goes.

Will do and thanks for taking the time to add to the discussion.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:45 PM
NOTE: This is intended as satire, and as such, is quite enlightening:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/297-emerging-church-glossary

That's actually one of the resources I delved into:rofl:

VerticalReality
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:47 PM
Well, honestly Novelist, I'm not sure what your issue here is or what advice you're seeking. From what you describe I don't really think there is much to ponder, and judging by your comments you have already concluded correctly that this "emerging church" isn't based on solid doctrine derived from God's Word. If what you describe is correct, I don't think it would be a very difficult decision to ask your church to find another person to lead this "movement" they're wanting to get involved with if they are dead set and determined to continue on with it. Additionally, if it were me, I would inform them exactly why I am refusing to be involved along with the truth of God's Word to further illustrate my opposition. The main thing is staying true to what you know about God and His character along with the Word He has given us.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:51 PM
Well, honestly Novelist, I'm not sure what your issue here is or what advice you're seeking. From what you describe I don't really think there is much to ponder, and judging by your comments you have already concluded correctly that this "emerging church" isn't based on solid doctrine derived from God's Word. If what you describe is correct, I don't think it would be a very difficult decision to ask your church to find another person to lead this "movement" they're wanting to get involved with if they are dead set and determined to continue on with it. Additionally, if it were me, I would inform them exactly why I am refusing to be involved along with the truth of God's Word to further illustrate my opposition. The main thing is staying true to what you know about God and His character along with the Word He has given us.

Of course I've formed opinions, I am human after all. But recognizing that fact, I realized that I am prone to mistakes and misjudgements (probably moreso than most). I wanted to hear from other believers before I went any further. If there was a dissenting voice, if there was someone who posted here that is a part of the movement, I would absolutely love to respectfully ask questions of them to further learn and safeguard myself. But yes, it does seem that my intial instincts were correct...As for turning down the position, what good is that going to do? If I feel God leading me away from it, then absolutely. But I am strong believer that believers need to quit sitting on their hands and start addressing a lot of the nonsense going on in our churches. If HE has led me to a position where I'm ideally suited and gifted to be used, then so be it...I am game.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:00 PM
So, threebigrocks, I see that you are lurking and please know that I am not trying to be combative, but I'd really love to know what the issue was with the earlier post...

Athanasius
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:11 PM
I believe what he means is this:
Take the teaching of the Emergent/Emerging church and compare them to scripture.
If they don't line up, you've got your answer.

I suggest you start with one of the most important aspects;
Absolute truth.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:16 PM
I believe what he means is this:
Take the teaching of the Emergent/Emerging church and compare them to scripture.
If they don't line up, you've got your answer.

I suggest you start with one of the most important aspects;
Absolute truth.

I got you, it just came off differently at first blush and he did/does seem a bit combative, but that's all right too. I do appreciate the reply though...

EIN
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:25 PM
Why is Christianity falling apart, again?

Ooh, ooh, I know, I know! :idea:

Christianity is not falling apart, but it is destroying itself in the US of A. We've become way too dependent on movements, ideas, thoughts, machinery, etc. We even brand our churches this way: We're a "traditional" church; we're a "contemporary" church. We are so dependent on stuff, it's scary. Don't get me wrong. I like our contemporary style worship in our church. But take that away and half the congregation is gone. We try the new things. We try to emulate culture so that people could flock through our doors. We've lost sight of the power of the Holy Spirit. In Asian countries, the Holy Spirit is doing just fine without mega churches and drums and movements and the such. He is growing the church there because they are not depending on anything else but Him.

(if you ever have a chance to hear Dr. David Platt speak of some of his experiences there, please do so. Some of the things said above are things he's also mentioned)

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:28 PM
Ooh, ooh, I know, I know! :idea:

Christianity is not falling apart, but it is destroying itself in the US of A. We've become way too dependent on movements, ideas, thoughts, machinery, etc. We even brand our churches this way: We're a "traditional" church; we're a "contemporary" church. We are so dependent on stuff, it's scary. Don't get me wrong. I like our contemporary style worship in our church. But take that away and half the congregation is gone. We try the new things. We try to emulate culture so that people could flock through our doors. We've lost sight of the power of the Holy Spirit. In Asian countries, the Holy Spirit is doing just fine without mega churches and drums and movements and the such. He is growing the church there because they are not depending on anything else but Him.

(if you ever have a chance to hear Dr. David Platt speak of some of his experiences there, please do so. Some of the things said above are things he's also mentioned)

I think essentially it is the fact that far too many Christians today try to conform God to themselves, rather than conforming themselves to God.

EIN
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:52 PM
I think essentially it is the fact that far too many Christians today try to conform God to themselves, rather than conforming themselves to God.

Exactly. I was instantly reminded of what Paul said in Romans 1:

"18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

The scary part is what comes after this passage, which is exactly what I see happening today. :(

sheina maidle
Jan 3rd 2008, 11:05 PM
Paul warned the elders in the church at Ephesus:

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

This "emergent/emerging" church movement didn't start from the "outside"--it's happening "within" the church body itself...as Paul said.

Jesus also warned of "wolves in sheep's clothing":

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Check out this site (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/) for more information on the "emergent/emerging" church movement

Athanasius
Jan 3rd 2008, 11:10 PM
Novelist, I may be facing the same issues as yourself in your church.
Especially where I'm placed in ministry (which ridiculously enough isn't where I believe God wants me) with youth and young adults.

Rob Bell is always a concern. . Same with McLaren.

minnesotaice
Jan 3rd 2008, 11:28 PM
My advice to you is to read some of the actual quotations from books or otherwise of Rob Bell and Brian McClaren. they are the foremost leaders of the Emergent Church.

The Novelist
Jan 3rd 2008, 11:43 PM
Novelist, I may be facing the same issues as yourself in your church.
Especially where I'm placed in ministry (which ridiculously enough isn't where I believe God wants me) with youth and young adults.

Rob Bell is always a concern. . Same with McLaren.

I really think we who consider ourselves true believers are at a time and place where we need to stand up and oppose those things in our churches that we find in opposition to scripture. We need to quit waiting for someone else to step up and do it. I think if God is bringing these things to our attention, He is in fact calling on us.

Jude, I think is an outstanding book in response to a lot of these things we see going on, especially the thought and fact that so much of this is coming from within. It's an incredibly short book for those that haven't perused it in a while, but it is slammed full of relevence for today.

Please know that I will be praying for you as you deal with the issues you may be facing...

Athanasius
Jan 3rd 2008, 11:55 PM
I really think we who consider ourselves true believers are at a time and place where we need to stand up and oppose those things in our churches that we find in opposition to scripture. We need to quit waiting for someone else to step up and do it. I think if God is bringing these things to our attention, He is in fact calling on us.

Jude, I think is an outstanding book in response to a lot of these things we see going on, especially the thought and fact that so much of this is coming from within. It's an incredibly short book for those that haven't perused it in a while, but it is slammed full of relevence for today.

Please know that I will be praying for you as you deal with the issues you may be facing...

I don't plan on sitting behind a screen, writing my concerns out on a forum for the rest of my life ;) I've got something to say about it, and God willing, I'm going to say it.

Until that time comes, I'll say it here lol

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 12:08 AM
Hi guys! New to the site. I was wanting to get some opinions of fellow believers on the emerging church movement. I hadn't heard of it until I found out that my church is considering these principles as a means of outreach for college kids (I live in a university town) With the little research I've done, I've got all kinds of warnings bells and whistles going off. Anyone have any thoughts? Suggestions?

That's the decoy - that they say they are wanting to more outreach to college kids. But it's still what they are following in their heart. They have left The Faith once delivered to the saints, to pursue the things of what is worldly and fleshly and what looks good to the eyes.

Idolary seems to be made up of many different shaped fig leaves, yet it's still idols in the heart which is being pursued. These false prophets and teachers need Jesus all over again, if they truly had Him in the first place.

Jesus Is Lord and Savior,
Connie

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 12:10 AM
I believe what he means is this:
Take the teaching of the Emergent/Emerging church and compare them to scripture.
If they don't line up, you've got your answer.

I suggest you start with one of the most important aspects;
Absolute truth.

yes. Amen,............

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 12:13 AM
I really think we who consider ourselves true believers are at a time and place where we need to stand up and oppose those things in our churches that we find in opposition to scripture. We need to quit waiting for someone else to step up and do it. I think if God is bringing these things to our attention, He is in fact calling on us.

Jude, I think is an outstanding book in response to a lot of these things we see going on, especially the thought and fact that so much of this is coming from within. It's an incredibly short book for those that haven't perused it in a while, but it is slammed full of relevence for today.

Please know that I will be praying for you as you deal with the issues you may be facing...

The Novelist,

Could be.

Now I've found out that in my walk with The Lord that when He shows us things that He's mainly up to up-rooting it out of our own hearts. Rebellion hides real good at times, just ask The Children of Israel with the Hittite Nation. But if we seek God's counsel and He causes us to speak something it will then be a timely word to others, it will wisdom that is first pure then peacable and easily to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy etc.



James 3:17-18

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
KJV

The Novelist
Jan 4th 2008, 01:15 AM
The Novelist,

Could be.

Now I've found out that in my walk with The Lord that when He shows us things that He's mainly up to up-rooting it out of our own hearts. Rebellion hides real good at times, just ask The Children of Israel with the Hittite Nation. But if we seek God's counsel and He causes us to speak something it will then be a timely word to others, it will wisdom that is first pure then peacable and easily to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy etc.

You make great points and I do agree wholeheartedely that in most situations if we feel that God is moving us it most certainly a cause for prayer and reflection. But I also think, and God knows I've been guilty, we as Christians all too many times rationlize away the call to action we receive from God.

threebigrocks
Jan 4th 2008, 02:58 AM
So, threebigrocks, I see that you are lurking and please know that I am not trying to be combative, but I'd really love to know what the issue was with the earlier post...


I believe what he means is this:
Take the teaching of the Emergent/Emerging church and compare them to scripture.
If they don't line up, you've got your answer.

I suggest you start with one of the most important aspects;
Absolute truth.


Thing is, we had a rash of threads not too long ago that were not much more than "this part of the church/movement/doctrine/preachers or a whole church is bad and rotten" type thing.

Xel'Naga pretty much described what I was getting at. We don't need to bad mouth. It does nothing to edify and only tears down. The only thing we can do is to look at the beliefs, hold them up to scripture and come to a conclusion. Not all of the emergent church is bad. Parts are good. Parts are not. That I think we can all agree on. When we become critical of something that is in essence also a part of the whole of Christianity is not only speaks badly about Christianity in general for anyone reading here but also is like cutting off your arm to spite your hand.

Changes must come from each of us, willing to stand on scripture and truth. Sometimes, we are rejected by others around us, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. If you can't change it with the right motives, then brush off the dust and move on. Build up and hold to the truth.

In essence, we need to hold a doctrine up to scripture. If it isn't truth, we reject it. That is welcome here but more suited to Bible Chat. No need to bad mouth as it doesn't help - only hurt.

And, I lurk during the day more in general as I'm at work. And, I'm a she, just for the record. ;)

Edit: We made an annoucement on this, and I working on digging it up to share here again.

RoadWarrior
Jan 4th 2008, 03:19 AM
Of course I've formed opinions, I am human after all. But recognizing that fact, I realized that I am prone to mistakes and misjudgements (probably moreso than most). I wanted to hear from other believers before I went any further. If there was a dissenting voice, if there was someone who posted here that is a part of the movement, I would absolutely love to respectfully ask questions of them to further learn and safeguard myself. But yes, it does seem that my intial instincts were correct...As for turning down the position, what good is that going to do? If I feel God leading me away from it, then absolutely. But I am strong believer that believers need to quit sitting on their hands and start addressing a lot of the nonsense going on in our churches. If HE has led me to a position where I'm ideally suited and gifted to be used, then so be it...I am game.

Novelist, I came here a few weeks ago asking a similar question. I am looking into working at a new church I've been attending, and heard the words "post modern" so many times that I began to think I needed to do a lot more research before I blundered in. The essence of what I was hearing is "How do we reach a post-modern society?" "How do we reach the post-modern woman (as I'd be in women's ministry)?"

Definitely we need to speak a language that the next generation can understand, but we also need to give them the solid basics.

I will be hanging onto your words as you share with us how this plays out for you. Congratulations on your courage! Follow Jesus, wherever He leads you.

threebigrocks
Jan 4th 2008, 03:25 AM
We need to simply share the gospel, plain and true. It's timeless, no matter what era we live in.

There are different trends whirling around us, without a doubt. What is necessary is how to show the truth when doctrinally a trend is off, and how to do so to, hopefully cause change.

Tanya~
Jan 4th 2008, 03:32 AM
What troubles me about it is the de-emphasis of the Bible as our guide for faith and practice. In the dark ages, the people didn't have Bibles because the word of God was kept from them. In this age, we have access to the Scriptures like never before, but it would seem that it isn't appreciated or respected as it was in times past.

If you have opportunity to minister the word to young people, that is a blessing. But if they are being trained to regard the Scriptures as unnecessary, then with what will you feed them? It is the word of God that causes us to grow in faith. It is the meat of the word that matures us.

The Novelist
Jan 4th 2008, 02:57 PM
Thing is, we had a rash of threads not too long ago that were not much more than "this part of the church/movement/doctrine/preachers or a whole church is bad and rotten" type thing.

Xel'Naga pretty much described what I was getting at. We don't need to bad mouth. It does nothing to edify and only tears down. The only thing we can do is to look at the beliefs, hold them up to scripture and come to a conclusion. Not all of the emergent church is bad. Parts are good. Parts are not. That I think we can all agree on. When we become critical of something that is in essence also a part of the whole of Christianity is not only speaks badly about Christianity in general for anyone reading here but also is like cutting off your arm to spite your hand.

Changes must come from each of us, willing to stand on scripture and truth. Sometimes, we are rejected by others around us, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. If you can't change it with the right motives, then brush off the dust and move on. Build up and hold to the truth.

In essence, we need to hold a doctrine up to scripture. If it isn't truth, we reject it. That is welcome here but more suited to Bible Chat. No need to bad mouth as it doesn't help - only hurt.

And, I lurk during the day more in general as I'm at work. And, I'm a she, just for the record. ;)

Edit: We made an annoucement on this, and I working on digging it up to share here again.

I do apologize if anything I've said could be construed as badmouthing, as that certainly was not my intent. However, if I do sense something that is moving in Christ's church that is unbiblical and unsound, you better believe that I am going to dig in and find out all that I can. My entire point in this thread and my purpose for coming here, which is seemingly lost in all of this, was to bounce what I am finding off of other believers who may have more experience with the subject than I. As far as holding up "their" beliefs against scripture, it is very difficult to know exactly what their beliefs are considering the movement is fairly amorphous and I am beginning to think that is by design. Which in and of itself is against scripture.

I think we as Christians need to be prepared fully to "contend earnestly for the faith" Jude 1:3. Preperation is key, prayer, knowledge and wisdom. As Christians we far too often fire off at the mouth without first examining ourselves and then becoming well versed in that which we oppose, which is precisely what I am trying to do. I have been wrong many, many times before and I'm sure I'll be wrong many, many more times before this day is out, but when it comes to issues of our faith, our churches, and the directions that things are going, we need to quit sitting idly by and make darn sure we are prepared, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It drives me nuts and I'm sure I'm doing little to endear myself to you threebigrocks, when Christians state nonsense like, "Well, there's both good and bad" in something. What are we trying to say? Does the devil (oops I forgot a large portion of Christianity no longer believes in him) not mix both truth and lies? Do not get me wrong, I am not equating this movement with the devil. I am sure these are essentially good people, but they have become misguided, and in being so a danger.

Here is my problem specifically, as it stands at the moment. Now granted, it's still pretty fluid. I only just officially accepted this position at my church on Wednesday, learned of the "emerging church movement" shortly thereafter, so I've got a lot of information and emotions to process, but after sleeping on it last night, here is where my greatest fear lies in all of this. My church is in the process of greatly expanding the property and the building. I think there is a certain fear of not filling the "new" building and taking full advantage of it. I think someone saw that the biggest untapped resource we have here in Lexington, Kentucky is the college crowd. We have the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University (which surprisingly enough is not a school for vampires;)), and numerous tech schools and community colleges. I think someone began researching ways to reach them and came across this philosphy without truly matching it up and holding it up against scripture. Or maybe they did and their biggest concern is filling the building, I don't know.

But whatever the case, my fear is for the future of the church. This age group, this demographic, of which I am at the tail end of, is tomorrow's church leaders. Do we really want this "wishy-washy", believe what you want, it's okay Christianity to be the basis of our church? I know I don't. Since when was being a Christian or Christianity supposed to be easy? Since when was God supposed to change because we may not be comfortable with this doctrine or that? I think God is pretty clear in His word. I think God deals in nothing but absolutes. The emergent movement will tell you there are no absolutes, everything is open to personal experience.

So I ask you threebigrocks, withe all due respect and Christian love, do we as Christian's stand idly by and allow our churches and our faith to be hijacked by unsound doctrine? Do we just shrug and move on because it does not necessarily affect us because we don't believe it? Or do we make allowances for them because there may be some good ideas or "good" within it? What would you do if it were your church?

Yikes, that was a rant. Sorry for the length...

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 03:00 PM
You make great points and I do agree wholeheartedely that in most situations if we feel that God is moving us it most certainly a cause for prayer and reflection. But I also think, and God knows I've been guilty, we as Christians all too many times rationlize away the call to action we receive from God.

Your right, we are guilty and we still rationize away because we find ourselves in places where we have been scattered in a cloud and dark day. No wonder many of us in the church act so. But we have, in our heart, God's Word that "He Will" seek out His flock in the day and deliver his sheep.
__________________
Have Faith in The Good Shepherd.

The Novelist
Jan 4th 2008, 03:05 PM
What troubles me about it is the de-emphasis of the Bible as our guide for faith and practice. In the dark ages, the people didn't have Bibles because the word of God was kept from them. In this age, we have access to the Scriptures like never before, but it would seem that it isn't appreciated or respected as it was in times past.

If you have opportunity to minister the word to young people, that is a blessing. But if they are being trained to regard the Scriptures as unnecessary, then with what will you feed them? It is the word of God that causes us to grow in faith. It is the meat of the word that matures us.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

The Novelist
Jan 4th 2008, 03:12 PM
Your right, we are guilty and we still rationize away because we find ourselves in places where we have been scattered in a cloud and dark day. No wonder many of us in the church act so. But we got God's Word that "He Will" seek out His flock in the day and deliver his sheep.
__________________
Have Faith in The Good Shepherd.

Jesus-Is-Real, I'm really enjoying and apprecaiting your posts:) But this may be the old, grumpy Marine that still resides just under the surface, I really wish Christians would quit running away from the guilt and discomfort they feel. God created those feelings for a reason. When we feel these things, that is most definitely a sign that something is amiss and needs addressing. To me, that is so much where the church is running into trouble, what I have labeled and inted to write on "The Comfort Doctrine". We live in a society where no one wants to take responsibilty for themselves, where no one is ever to blame, and where anything less than comfort is unacceptable. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not misunderstand me, I am in no way shape or form, claiming that Christianity must be uncomfortable, hard,or unpleasant, just the opposite in fact. But how can God truly mold, how can He truly use us when we run and hide our heads in the sand at the first sign of trouble? Or worse yet, pick and choose what parts of the scripture we choose to accept and those that we don't? There is pain and discomfort in growing, in changing, in looking in the mirror, but there is also a great of beauty, satisfaction, and REAL comfort in both the journey and the results.

Kat2911
Jan 4th 2008, 03:24 PM
Novelist, I may be facing the same issues as yourself in your church.
Especially where I'm placed in ministry (which ridiculously enough isn't where I believe God wants me) with youth and young adults.

Rob Bell is always a concern. . Same with McLaren.
Is there really an issue with Rob Bell? I've seen some of his videos (our youth pastor uses them occasionally) and he quotes Scipture in every one. I don't see it being too far off base.


Definitely we need to speak a language that the next generation can understand, but we also need to give them the solid basics.
I agree with this. ^^

The Novelist
Jan 4th 2008, 03:37 PM
Novelist, I came here a few weeks ago asking a similar question. I am looking into working at a new church I've been attending, and heard the words "post modern" so many times that I began to think I needed to do a lot more research before I blundered in. The essence of what I was hearing is "How do we reach a post-modern society?" "How do we reach the post-modern woman (as I'd be in women's ministry)?"

Definitely we need to speak a language that the next generation can understand, but we also need to give them the solid basics.

I will be hanging onto your words as you share with us how this plays out for you. Congratulations on your courage! Follow Jesus, wherever He leads you.

Thank you for your kind words, they really mean a lot. I'm really beginning to think that "post-modern" is quickly becoming a word Christians need to have on the radar. All of this how to reach post-modern this, post-modern that is beginning to drive me batty. Are we not essentially saying that God and His word are no longer good enough or strong enough to reach people? So many Christians it seems with what I've been coming across will tell you in one breath that God can reach anyone in any circumstance, but in the next tell you that His word and His doctrine are incapable of reaching today's man, woman, child, college student, etc...

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 03:50 PM
Jesus-Is-Real, I'm really enjoying and apprecaiting your posts:) But this may be the old, grumpy Marine that still resides just under the surface, I really wish Christians would quit running away from the guilt and discomfort they feel. God created those feelings for a reason. When we feel these things, that is most definitely a sign that something is amiss and needs addressing. To me, that is so much where the church is running into trouble, what I have labeled and inted to write on "The Comfort Doctrine". We live in a society where no one wants to take responsibilty for themselves, where no one is ever to blame, and where anything less than comfort is unacceptable. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not misunderstand me, I am in no way shape or form, claiming that Christianity must be uncomfortable, hard,or unpleasant, just the opposite in fact. But how can God truly mold, how can He truly use us when we run and hide our heads in the sand at the first sign of trouble? Or worse yet, pick and choose what parts of the scripture we choose to accept and those that we don't? There is pain and discomfort in growing, in changing, in looking in the mirror, but there is also a great of beauty, satisfaction, and REAL comfort in both the journey and the results.
The Novelist, thank you again. I appreciate you too. You might the be first to have spoken with me here, thanks. But I've only been here for a few days. With I fear too many posts already for such a short time.

The Good Shepherd will bring us out from the peple (the nations who oppressed) and He will gather us from where we were scattered in all the countries. And He will feed us upon the Mountians of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. He will bring us all together!!!

John 10:16
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. KJV
__________________
Have Faith in The Good Shepherd.
Watch, The Lamb.

RoadWarrior
Jan 4th 2008, 04:08 PM
Thank you for your kind words, they really mean a lot. I'm really beginning to think that "post-modern" is quickly becoming a word Christians need to have on the radar. All of this how to reach post-modern this, post-modern that is beginning to drive me batty. Are we not essentially saying that God and His word are no longer good enough or strong enough to reach people? So many Christians it seems with what I've been coming across will tell you in one breath that God can reach anyone in any circumstance, but in the next tell you that His word and His doctrine are incapable of reaching today's man, woman, child, college student, etc...

Novelist, I'm beginning to think the problem is not in teaching the basics, but in how it is "packaged" that matters. The next generation has grown up in front of TV, and computer, with iPods, cell phones, micro-wave foods and instant gratification. I think that they are truly hungry for real food, but have not developed a taste for it.

My pastor is clearly aware of post-modernism, but he preaches the most basic and dead-on sermons I have heard in a long time. His style is entertaining, his appearance is something the kids can relate to, but the meat he feeds us is very nutritious. Our church is near a seminary, so we have a high number of young people from the college. We are also near a large retirement community. So he must, in one sermon, be able to reach the youth and the elderly and everyone in between. Yet our church is growing rapidly. Churches around us are dwindling and even some have closed their doors, but we keep growing.

I hope it's not about filling the new building, for your church. :( :o But I do see churches doing that. Our congregation is resisting the pressure to "build", but we have to do something, soon. We are spilling out of the doors ...

You can reach the post-modern generation, without sacrificing truth, is what I am trying to say. We just need to figure out how to do it.

"God can reach anyone in any circumstance ..." but we know that God has chosen for His work to be done through us - His church. You are in my prayers as you move forward in this very important and difficult job. You will need to spend a lot of time with God in prayer, like George Mueller, then He will do the work and you will be His instrument.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 4th 2008, 04:58 PM
It is the word of God that causes us to grow in faith. It is the meat of the word that matures us.

So true.

(from your rep: I hope he "hears God" in all of us. Thanks for the Love in Christ you shown me. :hug:)
Mod, you may delete that last coment if it wasn't permitted. I just wanted to answer the rep.

Frances
Jan 4th 2008, 05:18 PM
I feel confident this is precisely why God moved me towards this position in the church :)

:pray: that the Lord gives you His Wisdom and His Peace before, during and after the meeting. . . .

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 01:12 AM
The Good Shepherd will bring us out from the peple (the nations who oppressed) and He will gather us from where we were scattered in all the countries. And He will feed us upon the Mountians of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. He will bring us all together!!!

John 10:16
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. KJV
__________________
Have Faith in The Good Shepherd.
Watch, The Lamb.

Amen, indeed!:)

minnesotaice
Jan 5th 2008, 02:32 PM
What troubles me about it is the de-emphasis of the Bible as our guide for faith and practice. In the dark ages, the people didn't have Bibles because the word of God was kept from them. In this age, we have access to the Scriptures like never before, but it would seem that it isn't appreciated or respected as it was in times past.

If you have opportunity to minister the word to young people, that is a blessing. But if they are being trained to regard the Scriptures as unnecessary, then with what will you feed them? It is the word of God that causes us to grow in faith. It is the meat of the word that matures us.


That is the best quote I have ever heard on this board. Thanks

minnesotaice
Jan 5th 2008, 02:36 PM
Jesus-Is-Real, I'm really enjoying and apprecaiting your posts:) But this may be the old, grumpy Marine that still resides just under the surface, I really wish Christians would quit running away from the guilt and discomfort they feel. God created those feelings for a reason. When we feel these things, that is most definitely a sign that something is amiss and needs addressing. To me, that is so much where the church is running into trouble, what I have labeled and inted to write on "The Comfort Doctrine". We live in a society where no one wants to take responsibilty for themselves, where no one is ever to blame, and where anything less than comfort is unacceptable. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not misunderstand me, I am in no way shape or form, claiming that Christianity must be uncomfortable, hard,or unpleasant, just the opposite in fact. But how can God truly mold, how can He truly use us when we run and hide our heads in the sand at the first sign of trouble? Or worse yet, pick and choose what parts of the scripture we choose to accept and those that we don't? There is pain and discomfort in growing, in changing, in looking in the mirror, but there is also a great of beauty, satisfaction, and REAL comfort in both the journey and the results.


Great quote. The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the one that we should pattern our life after. That doesn't mean that all of us will die a martyr death and of course, none of us could ever die for the sins of the world. But Jesus's life was a service to others and he put aside his own desires. He also suffered a great deal emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I run as fast as I can from any church or doctrine stating that life should be always easy, fun, comfortable etc....

minnesotaice
Jan 5th 2008, 02:41 PM
Is there really an issue with Rob Bell? I've seen some of his videos (our youth pastor uses them occasionally) and he quotes Scipture in every one. I don't see it being too far off base.


I agree with this. ^^


You are correct that Mr. Bell does quote scripture. I have read his book Velvet Elvis from cover to cover and started reading it with an unbiased attitude because I didn't know anything about his views at the time.

Some parts of his teaching seemed to really align with the word but a couple of chapters into it he starts challenging us to question everything in the bible. He says "What if Jesus's father was named Larry and what if Mary was not a virgin". Well the second part if not true, could change everything. Jesus had to be conceived by the holy spirit and by a virgin in order for himself to die for our sins. That was God's will from the beginning. Why would we question that?

I am not saying anything about Rob Bell the person and I certainly don't blame him for what others decide to do with his teaching. However, I have personally witnessed several people in a church (whom I know well) carry his book around and start to question things like sex before marriage, homosexuality, getting drunk, getting high, having affairs. etc.... They are now wondering if these things are really sin after all. That concerns me.

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 03:47 PM
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=59397

Just for the record, in here is the boards stance on discussions of the emergent church, or any church or form/portion thereof that may be seen as disagreeable. Please scroll down to item 6. :) Questions, please bring discussion to the Chat to the Moderators forum.

minnesotaice
Jan 5th 2008, 05:44 PM
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=59397

Just for the record, in here is the boards stance on discussions of the emergent church, or any church or form/portion thereof that may be seen as disagreeable. Please scroll down to item 6. :) Questions, please bring discussion to the Chat to the Moderators forum.


Well, I did read the Rules and I believe that this is an important discussion about what a certain church or "movement" believes based on direct quotes from the leader's books/interviews. Every church believes something different doctrinally and every person has to prayerfully decide for themselves what they believe. I don't understand the post.

RoadWarrior
Jan 5th 2008, 06:44 PM
Well, I did read the Rules and I believe that this is an important discussion about what a certain church or "movement" believes based on direct quotes from the leader's books/interviews. Every church believes something different doctrinally and every person has to prayerfully decide for themselves what they believe. I don't understand the post.

Hi Minnesotaice, and Three Big Rocks,

I also read the rules and am trying to understand how they apply to the current discussion. Considering the OP, as I see this thread, it is about understanding the principles and testing them to see whether it is what The Novelist wants to do in his own church. His post is about evangelism of the youth in his community, and how to do that, as I understand it.

I also agree with Ice that this is an important discussion. If it needs to be moved to another forum, that's fine, I just want us to be able to explore this subject more fully with one another.

I don't see this as being about "coming out of the organized church" as the rule discusses. What I see is a "sea change" in Christianity in America, and maybe I have too wide a view. I understand that there is a "denomination" called "Emergent Church" which is a much narrower view ... but then I don't know much, so I want to learn.

Bashing is the farthest thing from what I want to do, here or anywhere!

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 09:54 PM
Did not intend or want this to be confusing, and I apologize for that. My intent was to just post a reminder, to avoid any ugliness, pure and simple. I see more about how the emergent church doctrine and not so much about evangelizing to youth.

It is agreed between mods that this will continue in contro.

EDIT: Unless another mod beats me to it. :rolleyes:

Diggindeeper
Jan 5th 2008, 10:46 PM
I agree, threebigrocks, that this should be in "Controversial" forum. And I am glad it is finally moved here.

Now, having said that...to me, this in itself is solid proof that this is, indeed, an issue that IS controversial in the family of believers! One thing the "emergent church movement" has succeeded in doing is changing the meanings of ordinary words and even changing the spelling of certain words to make them fit in this NEW line of thought. For example, what in the world does "post modern" mean?

In every place I have seen this spoken, it means AFTER modern, OR BEYOND modern OR NEWER than modern. Now, something can be either ancient or antique or old fashioned... or else it is new and modern and up-to-date. I say the very term itself is deception. How on earth can something be so new and different that it is after modern, or even newer than modern?

Also, if you research, the word in no longer evangelism, but in this movement, it is EVANGELIZM and evangelization. And, often does not mean what we have always known evangelism to mean! These subtile changes can not always be easily recognized, but can be researched.

In my opinion, if anything is researched and can be proven to be subtily deceptive, then speak out against it. After all, who was and is the most subtil of all the beasts of the field?

Genesis 3:1
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made....

Revelation 12:
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Christ Jesus gave many warnings about allowing ourselves to be deceived. I don't like deception in any form, from any man, or any movement, even if it is POSTmodern.

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 11:25 PM
Post-modern. Does that mean my computer won't ever be outdated??

What makes something modern is, quite honestly, relative. A person with no indoor plumbing is only not modern because someone has it. A person with a 160gig ipod may be considered modern vs. someone with one of the original ipod shuffles. Electricity in the house but not in the barn? Not modern, because the farmer down the road has both.

Modernism isn't something we can draw a line at. I'm willing to look at reasonable discussion, and you are entitled to your own opinion so long as you can prove it and it holds a degree of commonsense. ;)

SIG
Jan 6th 2008, 01:27 AM
Interesting page--and website... http://www.crossroad.to/charts/postmodernity-2.htm

minnesotaice
Jan 6th 2008, 01:28 AM
I think the point poster is trying to make about post modern is that God's word is the only thing that doesn't change. We can't change it to make it more current or to fit our new lifestyle. God's word is God's word through and through. We can run from it or run toward it.

Diggindeeper
Jan 6th 2008, 04:15 AM
I think the point poster is trying to make about post modern is that God's word is the only thing that doesn't change. We can't change it to make it more current or to fit our new lifestyle. God's word is God's word through and through. We can run from it or run toward it.

Yes, this is what I am saying. Also we can add that God never changes. That's why his word is always living and current and as up-to-date as it will ever be.

Diggindeeper
Jan 6th 2008, 08:35 PM
You can read more about the Emergent Church movement in this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_church)...

RoadWarrior
Jan 6th 2008, 08:38 PM
You can read more about the Emergent Church movement in this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_church)...

Hi Diggindeeper,

I have been reading in that link, and in many other resources that were mentioned in this thread and in a previous thread on the same subject.

I have now come to believe that the Emergent Church is a danger to Biblical Christianity. If The Novelist does come back, I hope to share my concerns with him.

Thanks for posting the link.

The Novelist
Jan 7th 2008, 08:10 PM
Hi Diggindeeper,

I have been reading in that link, and in many other resources that were mentioned in this thread and in a previous thread on the same subject.

I have now come to believe that the Emergent Church is a danger to Biblical Christianity. If The Novelist does come back, I hope to share my concerns with him.

Thanks for posting the link.

I'm still here, although I only just found where they moved the thread. Still not precisely sure why they moved it or what threebigrocks' problem was with it to begin with, but I digress.

I do have a minor update in that I have requested a meeting with the person in charge of this particular team prior to the meeting, and they have agreed. I had gone back and forth as to whether or not to do this, but ultimately felt led to do it. I would just like to go into the meeting with a firm grasp of what "their" definition of the emerging church movement is and exactly what the intention/methodologies/reasoning is behind it. It is my sincerest hope that somewhere along the line someone has gotten their wires crossed and is incorrectly labeling what they are attempting as the "emerging church movement". Rest assured however, if I get a whiff of anything that is not Biblically/Scripturually sound, they will have found opposition in me.

The more that I have continued to pray and research on this matter and to discuss it with those that I trust to not only give me an honest opinion, but to also yank on my leash if need be, the more convinced and at peace I have become that this needs opposed in any Christ centered church. I would gladly appreciate any and all prayers any of you feel led to lift up. I pray only for wisdom, discernment, and guidance.

RoadWarrior
Jan 7th 2008, 08:21 PM
I'm still here, although I only just found where they moved the thread. Still not precisely sure why they moved it or what threebigrocks' problem was with it to begin with, but I digress.

I do have a minor update in that I have requested a meeting with the person in charge of this particular team prior to the meeting, and they have agreed. I had gone back and forth as to whether or not to do this, but ultimately felt led to do it. I would just like to go into the meeting with a firm grasp of what "their" definition of the emerging church movement is and exactly what the intention/methodologies/reasoning is behind it. It is my sincerest hope that somewhere along the line someone has gotten their wires crossed and is incorrectly labeling what they are attempting as the "emerging church movement". Rest assured however, if I get a whiff of anything that is not Biblically/Scripturually sound, they will have found opposition in me.

The more that I have continued to pray and research on this matter and to discuss it with those that I trust to not only give me an honest opinion, but to also yank on my leash if need be, the more convinced and at peace I have become that this needs opposed in any Christ centered church. I would gladly appreciate any and all prayers any of you feel led to lift up. I pray only for wisdom, discernment, and guidance.

Glad to see you, Novelist!

Let us know when the meeting is, so that we can be praying for you.

I have learned that John MacArthur has at least one and maybe two books taking a stand against EC, Calvary Chapel has a statement against it, and I have also heard (but not seen) that Willow Creek and Rick Warren are also taking stands against it.

I spoke to a lady a couple days ago, she said that a young assistant pastor came into their church, and when he found that he was not allowed to do what he wanted, he left, taking some of the congregation with him, and started an EC church.

This is not something that is healthy for the church.

Here is a link to a previous thread on this subject:
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=61881

The Novelist
Jan 7th 2008, 09:36 PM
Glad to see you, Novelist!

Let us know when the meeting is, so that we can be praying for you.

I have learned that John MacArthur has at least one and maybe two books taking a stand against EC, Calvary Chapel has a statement against it, and I have also heard (but not seen) that Willow Creek and Rick Warren are also taking stands against it.

I spoke to a lady a couple days ago, she said that a young assistant pastor came into their church, and when he found that he was not allowed to do what he wanted, he left, taking some of the congregation with him, and started an EC church.

This is not something that is healthy for the church.

Here is a link to a previous thread on this subject:
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=61881

The meeting is from 7-8:30 pm EST tomorrow (Tues) and the "pre" meeting is at 6:00 pm.

Thanks!

RoadWarrior
Jan 7th 2008, 09:47 PM
The meeting is from 7-8:30 pm EST tomorrow (Tues) and the "pre" meeting is at 6:00 pm.

Thanks!

Thanks, I've made a note of it. Please let us know how it turns out. I am especially interested to know what their "prinicples" are which they want you to follow.

Brother Mark
Jan 7th 2008, 09:52 PM
My friend read to me from a book about the emergent church and the author was wondering why people don't meet the needs of poor people as a way of witnessing. Or why we don't find ways to minister to people through kindness. The point the author was making is that we spend so much energy on right and wrong politics that the ministery of kindness to others has fallen by the wayside.

I am sure that there are things in the emergent church that are wrong, especially since the many of the more liberal (by liberal I mean those that will reject scriptural authority on some issues) seem to be attracted to it. On the other hand, it sounds like they are taking servant evangelism to the next step which is commendable. Some are moving out of church buildings and into homes or coffee shops, etc.

I still need to read that book. But I just can't seem to find the interest enough to investigate it properly.

RoadWarrior
Jan 7th 2008, 10:13 PM
My friend read to me from a book about the emergent church and the author was wondering why people don't meet the needs of poor people as a way of witnessing. Or why we don't find ways to minister to people through kindness. The point the author was making is that we spend so much energy on right and wrong politics that the ministery of kindness to others has fallen by the wayside.

I am sure that there are things in the emergent church that are wrong, especially since the many of the more liberal (by liberal I mean those that will reject scriptural authority on some issues) seem to be attracted to it. On the other hand, it sounds like they are taking servant evangelism to the next step which is commendable. Some are moving out of church buildings and into homes or coffee shops, etc.

I still need to read that book. But I just can't seem to find the interest enough to investigate it properly.

Hi Mark,

There are of course, many things wrong with the church as it stands and we can certainly do with some housecleaning. After all it is full of imperfect human beings. I think the major danger in the "emergent church" is the discarding of Biblical truth as being important.

Certainly we can all do a better job of allowing Christ to do His work(s) through us. But I think we are all in agreement that we are not saved by doing good works, right?

My pastor preached a powerful sermon yesterday, launching a year of "reaching out to community". You would have loved it.

I'm still trying to understand the EC. Do you have a good grasp of it?

The Novelist
Jan 7th 2008, 10:20 PM
My friend read to me from a book about the emergent church and the author was wondering why people don't meet the needs of poor people as a way of witnessing. Or why we don't find ways to minister to people through kindness. The point the author was making is that we spend so much energy on right and wrong politics that the ministery of kindness to others has fallen by the wayside.

I am sure that there are things in the emergent church that are wrong, especially since the many of the more liberal (by liberal I mean those that will reject scriptural authority on some issues) seem to be attracted to it. On the other hand, it sounds like they are taking servant evangelism to the next step which is commendable. Some are moving out of church buildings and into homes or coffee shops, etc.

I still need to read that book. But I just can't seem to find the interest enough to investigate it properly.

I do agree that there are principles that can be taken and learned from the emergent church. I do think that we need to rethink the way that we reach out to the lost and to be a kindler, gentler church. We need to extinguish the elitist attitudes that permeate Christianity and also to quit expecting new believers to swallow the entire Bible right from the get go or else. We also need to mindful of the issues/problems/thoughts of the younger generation and to quit so easily dismissing them. So yes, there is good that can be taken from it and lessons to be learned. Where they are running into trouble is when you begin discounting/ignoring/or blatantly opposing scripture, which has absolutely no place in any Christ centered church.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 7th 2008, 10:37 PM
I think that as with anything else, we need to be fruit inspectors on an individual level.

RoadWarrior
Jan 7th 2008, 10:51 PM
I think that as with anything else, we need to be fruit inspectors on an individual level.

I'm trying to understand what this means. Are you saying that we should not be observing the changes in the seasons and times, as they are happening in the world and in the church?

Brother Mark
Jan 7th 2008, 11:18 PM
I'm still trying to understand the EC. Do you have a good grasp of it?

No, unfortunately I do not fully grasp what they are about. But I also sense something wrong when I see the some in the church trying to be politically strong instead of walking in the kingdom. In other words, we try to control sinners through government instead of reaching out to change hearts. From what I can gather, the emergent church is seeing the same thing and trying to be different. But because many of them are not biblically sound, some rush to throw all of their ideas out.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 8th 2008, 01:46 AM
I'm trying to understand what this means. Are you saying that we should not be observing the changes in the seasons and times, as they are happening in the world and in the church?I'm not sure how you got that. :lol: What I'm saying is that it is an individual thing. I know Baptists, and Pentecostals, and those that attend non-denominational churches etc., that I don't really feel are producing fruit in keeping with their salvation. I'm sure the same can be said about EC and any other group. ;)

RoadWarrior
Jan 8th 2008, 01:55 AM
I'm not sure how you got that. :lol: What I'm saying is that it is an individual thing. I know Baptists, and Pentecostals, and those that attend non-denominational churches etc., that I don't really feel are producing fruit in keeping with their salvation. I'm sure the same can be said about EC and any other group. ;)

Do you think it is also true of JWs and Mormons, or do you recognize their doctrines as being so very different from ours as to be considered a different religion?

What if the Emergent Church is as different from our faith, as the JWs differ from our faith? Would you still say it is an individual thing, or would you say it is a group thing?

As I read about post-modernism and the emerging church, I am beginning to see a great swelling movement of ... something. I hope that in this discussion we can begin to know what it is. Is it a friend? Or an enemy?

Studyin'2Show
Jan 8th 2008, 02:45 AM
Do you think it is also true of JWs and Mormons, or do you recognize their doctrines as being so very different from ours as to be considered a different religion?

What if the Emergent Church is as different from our faith, as the JWs differ from our faith? Would you still say it is an individual thing, or would you say it is a group thing?

As I read about post-modernism and the emerging church, I am beginning to see a great swelling movement of ... something. I hope that in this discussion we can begin to know what it is. Is it a friend? Or an enemy?JWs and LDS has fatal flaws in doctrine. They are not biblical! :( What I've seen of EC, when it is uses scripture :rolleyes:, it's biblical. The problem I see is that it seems many frequently move away from scripture and move toward how they feel and being PC. But again, this is not a problem exclusive to EC.

God Bless!

RoadWarrior
Jan 8th 2008, 02:52 AM
JWs and LDS has fatal flaws in doctrine. They are not biblical! :( What I've seen of EC, when it is uses scripture :rolleyes:, it's biblical. The problem I see is that it seems many frequently move away from scripture and move toward how they feel and being PC. But again, this is not a problem exclusive to EC.

God Bless!

Thanks, Study! Can you share a little more of what you know about EC? You say "when it uses scripture" ... does that mean that mostly it is not about scripture? but about feelings and being politically correct? Sorry if I seem a little dense, but that doesn't sound like Biblical Christianity. Do you know anything about the doctrine of EC?

I'm really in the dark out here, but I want to know, what's going on? The world seems to be changing way too fast for me. :o

Studyin'2Show
Jan 8th 2008, 03:20 AM
Thanks, Study! Can you share a little more of what you know about EC? You say "when it uses scripture" ... does that mean that mostly it is not about scripture? but about feelings and being politically correct? Sorry if I seem a little dense, but that doesn't sound like Biblical Christianity. Do you know anything about the doctrine of EC?

I'm really in the dark out here, but I want to know, what's going on? The world seems to be changing way too fast for me. :oIt takes all kinds. Some people only got saved because a fire and brimstone preacher helped led them too salvation. Some people would run far and fast from a fire and brimstone preacher. :rolleyes: BTW, we have a house fellowship with no plans to follow anything but the word of God. ;) This is how I see it:

Mark 9:38-41
38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

I may not agree with how Rick Warren runs his church or how he preaches the Gospel, but as long as the blood of Yeshua is what saves, I won't forbid him, so to speak. There may be those who would only come in that type of church. They do tell them to read their Bibles, they just don't seem to stress it as much as we do in our house fellowship, but I'm sure there are some who do end up getting into the word.

RoadWarrior
Jan 8th 2008, 03:23 AM
...
I may not agree with how Rick Warren runs his church or how he preaches the Gospel, but as long as the blood of Yeshua is what saves, I won't forbid him, so to speak. There may be those who would only come in that type of church. They do tell them to read their Bibles, they just don't seem to stress it as much as we do in our house fellowship, but I'm sure there are some who do end up getting into the word.

And this is my concern about EC. That people do NOT get into the Word, but disdain it and reject it, choosing to do whatever feels right to them at the time.

The Novelist
Jan 9th 2008, 04:46 PM
Okay, here is the "big" update. In essence, there was a degree of misinformation, mis-"labeling", and some ignorance of the issue, combined with the very best of intentions. Basically the woman who chairs the committe, who I (not that I really matter in equation) have found to be a good, upstanding Godly woman didn't do her due diligence when it came to the emergent church movement. She saw that the movement has done well with the demographic in question and has some good ideas, so she prematurely latched onto it as a potential model.

Now, with that said, to her credit, it was never her intent (all of this is still in the planning stages) to go whole hog after this as a means of accomplishing our goals. Her thought was that we could use it as a basis from which to build. Anyhoot, I lovingly pointed out the many issues that I had and my feeling that while it is okay to build upon some of "their" ideas, everything that we do needs to be scripturually sound and Christ centered. She readily agreed.

As for the actual meeting itself, I think there may have been some danger of things potentially heading the wrong direction (once again unwittingly), but I found the committee itself to be good Christian folk, dedicated to our church and more importantly Christ. I have no doubt that they have nothing but the best of intentions.

So, with that said, I am so thankful that things weren't as dire or as worrisome as they first appeared. I think more than anything they needed a little bit of guidance and a voice that is willing to speak up when things start delving into areas where they shouldn't be treading. Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and discussion on the matter.

RoadWarrior
Jan 9th 2008, 05:02 PM
Okay, here is the "big" update. In essence, there was a degree of misinformation, mis-"labeling", and some ignorance of the issue, combined with the very best of intentions. Basically the woman who chairs the committe, who I (not that I really matter in equation) have found to be a good, upstanding Godly woman didn't do her due diligence when it came to the emergent church movement. She saw that the movement has done well with the demographic in question and has some good ideas, so she prematurely latched onto it as a potential model.

Now, with that said, to her credit, it was never her intent (all of this is still in the planning stages) to go whole hog after this as a means of accomplishing our goals. Her thought was that we could use it as a basis from which to build. Anyhoot, I lovingly pointed out the many issues that I had and my feeling that while it is okay to build upon some of "their" ideas, everything that we do needs to be scripturually sound and Christ centered. She readily agreed.

As for the actual meeting itself, I think there may have been some danger of things potentially heading the wrong direction (once again unwittingly), but I found the committee itself to be good Christian folk, dedicated to our church and more importantly Christ. I have no doubt that they have nothing but the best of intentions.

So, with that said, I am so thankful that things weren't as dire or as worrisome as they first appeared. I think more than anything they needed a little bit of guidance and a voice that is willing to speak up when things start delving into areas where they shouldn't be treading. Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and discussion on the matter.

Thank you Novelist, for letting us know what happened! I woke up in the night praying for you. I guess this entire issue weighs heavily on me. This group is the next generation of the church. Yes, they need to be reached. And yes, they need to be reached with truth, and they need to know that there is truth which is absolute.

I am grateful that you are bold and courageous to do this work. Please do keep us updated as things go along.

Kat2911
Jan 9th 2008, 05:09 PM
Thanks, Novelist, for the update. I can definitely understand where this woman is coming from. At first glance, the benefits and reasoning behind the EC movement is definitely intriguing. It was not until your thread and further research that I understood more about the movement and realized I should be leary. Thank you for helping me to open my eyes to it and be more aware of the issues.

Tanya~
Jan 9th 2008, 06:53 PM
Wonderful update, Novelist. I'm so glad to hear it.


I think more than anything they needed a little bit of guidance and a voice that is willing to speak up when things start delving into areas where they shouldn't be treading.

This is a needed thing in every church, and may the voice of truth and discernment not be silenced or opposed.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 14th 2008, 08:03 PM
God is Faithful. He knows very well how to make us all One where there will be on division in the Body. God sees it as One, by His Eyes of Faith, we can too. I'm sure their not caught up in our doctrinal errors they just want to learn how to love God and love each other. I feel, that if I cracked the door of an EC I might be too quick to be the Pharisee come in their midst to pass judgment on them when the mote is still lodged in my own eye.

It's an interest to keep watching this thread. There is seen many points here well taken. God bless you RoadWarrior and all.
__________________
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Matt 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

The Novelist
Jan 21st 2008, 09:26 PM
Okay, I've got a new update and frankly, well, I'm just a bit, I don't want to say discouraged, but I think I'm beginning to see the uphill battle I truly face. We had our second meeting last week and it was just so bizarre and so counter to what I had drawn from the first meeting.

Without any sort of explanation, or setup, or anything, the co-leader of the team begins the meeting by showing a Rob Bell video. There was absolutely no rhyme, nor reason to it. The subject of the video (which was also bizarre in and of itself) had absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the meeting, there was no context to it, nothing! After catching myself from falling from my chair, I patiently and calmly waited for the video to end.

When it ended, this co-leader began, "First and foremost I wanted everyone to know that we have these resources available to everyone in the church. As a matter of fact, the Senior Pastor just borrowed a couple and I'd just really like everyone's feedback on what we've seen." I'm sitting there, looking around the room in absolute disbelief as the rest of the team was eating this stuff up and singing its praises.

I had actually gone to my Senior Pastor the day of the first meeting to air the concerns that I had about this issue and the potential direction of this team. She was understanding of my concerns and asked me, "You do know that I would never allow anything like this in our church?" And then I hear that she allegedely has been borrowing the "resources".

I am just at a complete and utter loss. I voiced my opposition, pleasantly and kindly of course. I received no explanation, nothing, but we immediately moved into the meeting proper and it was as if it never happened.

I feel that God is with me on this and I still feel that He led me to this committee for a reason, but goodness gracious is it ever taking some weird turns. Please keep me in your prayers. Our next meeting is tomorrow night at 6:30 EST.

Athanasius
Jan 21st 2008, 09:38 PM
Rob Bell is a huge 'hit' in my church; youth group and young adults.
I've given the guy a million tries, but I just can't be at ease with his teaching.

RoadWarrior
Jan 21st 2008, 09:40 PM
Wow, Novelist! Wow.

Good to see you anyway, but I'm sorry it turned on you like that. I will pull up my prayers for you to the front of the queue.



Okay, I've got a new update and frankly, well, I'm just a bit, I don't want to say discouraged, but I think I'm beginning to see the uphill battle I truly face. We had our second meeting last week and it was just so bizarre and so counter to what I had drawn from the first meeting.
....
I feel that God is with me on this and I still feel that He led me to this committee for a reason, but goodness gracious is it ever taking some weird turns. Please keep me in your prayers. Our next meeting is tomorrow night at 6:30 EST.

We usually don't know or understand why God has us in a certain place until afterwards. You are there for a reason or for reasons. One may be to speak up, the other may be for you to learn. I expect that both of these are happening.

Lord, please give this servant of yours an extra measure of your discernment and wisdom in tomorrow's meeting. Go before him and be with him, both ahead of time as he prays to you, and when he is actually in the meeting. Please expose the works of the enemy so that all present in the meeting will see truth. Please tenderize hearts ahead of time to desire Your will and not the will of man. Please give your servants boldness to stand for truth and to resist a false gospel.

The Novelist
Jan 21st 2008, 09:44 PM
Rob Bell is a huge 'hit' in my church; youth group and young adults.
I've given the guy a million tries, but I just can't be at ease with his teaching.

Do a little research on the guy and you quickly find that he is a danger. I intend to pick up his book Velvet Elvis, seeing as I just read a 50(!) page review/critique of it that scripturally disputes his many claims and stands. I want to see the thing for myself, but the quotes from the book used in the critique are certainly in line with everything else I've read on him.

I just see all this stuff and read everything I can find, both in support and opposition, and I keep coming away with the same question, "When did God and His word stop being good enough?"

The Novelist
Jan 21st 2008, 09:45 PM
Wow, Novelist! Wow.

Good to see you anyway, but I'm sorry it turned on you like that. I will pull up my prayers for you to the front of the queue.




We usually don't know or understand why God has us in a certain place until afterwards. You are there for a reason or for reasons. One may be to speak up, the other may be for you to learn. I expect that both of these are happening.

Lord, please give this servant of yours an extra measure of your discernment and wisdom in tomorrow's meeting. Go before him and be with him, both ahead of time as he prays to you, and when he is actually in the meeting. Please expose the works of the enemy so that all present in the meeting will see truth. Please tenderize hearts ahead of time to desire Your will and not the will of man. Please give your servants boldness to stand for truth and to resist a false gospel.

Thanks RoadWarrior!!!

Kat2911
Jan 21st 2008, 10:07 PM
Okay, I've got a new update and frankly, well, I'm just a bit, I don't want to say discouraged, but I think I'm beginning to see the uphill battle I truly face. We had our second meeting last week and it was just so bizarre and so counter to what I had drawn from the first meeting.

Without any sort of explanation, or setup, or anything, the co-leader of the team begins the meeting by showing a Rob Bell video. There was absolutely no rhyme, nor reason to it. The subject of the video (which was also bizarre in and of itself) had absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the meeting, there was no context to it, nothing! After catching myself from falling from my chair, I patiently and calmly waited for the video to end.

When it ended, this co-leader began, "First and foremost I wanted everyone to know that we have these resources available to everyone in the church. As a matter of fact, the Senior Pastor just borrowed a couple and I'd just really like everyone's feedback on what we've seen." I'm sitting there, looking around the room in absolute disbelief as the rest of the team was eating this stuff up and singing its praises.

I had actually gone to my Senior Pastor the day of the first meeting to air the concerns that I had about this issue and the potential direction of this team. She was understanding of my concerns and asked me, "You do know that I would never allow anything like this in our church?" And then I hear that she allegedely has been borrowing the "resources".

I am just at a complete and utter loss. I voiced my opposition, pleasantly and kindly of course. I received no explanation, nothing, but we immediately moved into the meeting proper and it was as if it never happened.

I feel that God is with me on this and I still feel that He led me to this committee for a reason, but goodness gracious is it ever taking some weird turns. Please keep me in your prayers. Our next meeting is tomorrow night at 6:30 EST.
Novelist, I'm so sorry to read this.

Though I have to say... I never thought negatively towards Bell before. Granted, I had only seen one of his videos, "Trees," but I did think it was decent. He did use Scripture in it. And out pastor used it at the beginning of his message to grab the youth's attention and followed it up with some more personal and biblical information. Honestly, I didn't think anything was amiss...

The Novelist
Jan 21st 2008, 10:21 PM
Here is the link for the review/critque of Bell's book, and it does feature many direct quotes from Bell's book. Now, being a writer myself, I would strongly suggest that no one take this critique as the gospel. Read Bell's book for yourself. I only list it because it is in line with everything I've read about him, both pro and con. Essentially my problems with him stem from: him denying scriptures, his teaching that Jesus did not die for our sins, but rather so that we would not have to feel guilty; there is no need for repentance, there is no hell, but what we experience here; everyone will be saved no matter your beliefs, and many more.

But ultimately, here in lies the danger in my opinion and Kat supports it...He'll throw scripture out there, but yet, he'll turn right around and contridict it or tell you why it is outmoded, outdated, and unreliable.

http://www.sohmer.net/Velvet_Elvis.pdf

Tanya~
Jan 21st 2008, 10:21 PM
I have an experience similar to what you're going through. Our high school group went through his videos, and I could barely stand to sit through them. All the youth leaders in the meetings were so gung-ho for him, but the kids weren't. They went with it anyway. One thing that was irritating was how he tries so hard to be hip. But the content leaves a great deal to be desired. The problem is that discernment is needed in order to recognize where he goes off track. There just wasn't much discernment there, and my voice was too small and insignificant to have any impact. In my church, it was like trying to stop a tsunami with an umbrella. The umbrella lost.

The Novelist
Jan 21st 2008, 10:27 PM
I have an experience similar to what you're going through. Our high school group went through his videos, and I could barely stand to sit through them. All the youth leaders in the meetings were so gung-ho for him, but the kids weren't. They went with it anyway. One thing that was irritating was how he tries so hard to be hip. But the content leaves a great deal to be desired. The problem is that discernment is needed in order to recognize where he goes off track. There just wasn't much discernment there, and my voice was too small and insignificant to have any impact. In my church, it was like trying to stop a tsunami with an umbrella. The umbrella lost.

Thank you for your post. And you are 100% right discernment, as well as an objective, critical mind is needed to identify where he goes off track, which is not hard. What people lose sight of, in my opinion, if what you say is 99% true, but 1% is false, the whole message is false.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 21st 2008, 10:59 PM
So, let's not just pray for your discernment but for discernment for ALL involved.

God Bless!

Tanya~
Jan 22nd 2008, 12:48 AM
if what you say is 99% true, but 1% is false, the whole message is false.

I agree, but not everyone does. You will hear things like, "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater" and "nobody is 100% perfect 100% of the time." Both are true, but the problem is that the areas where it goes astray are clearly off base and should be rejected but for some reason, it isn't. In this experience Biblical truth just didn't carry the weight that 'coolness' and interest and freshness did.

Kat2911
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:26 PM
Here is the link for the review/critque of Bell's book, and it does feature many direct quotes from Bell's book. Now, being a writer myself, I would strongly suggest that no one take this critique as the gospel. Read Bell's book for yourself. I only list it because it is in line with everything I've read about him, both pro and con. Essentially my problems with him stem from: him denying scriptures, his teaching that Jesus did not die for our sins, but rather so that we would not have to feel guilty; there is no need for repentance, there is no hell, but what we experience here; everyone will be saved no matter your beliefs, and many more.

But ultimately, here in lies the danger in my opinion and Kat supports it...He'll throw scripture out there, but yet, he'll turn right around and contridict it or tell you why it is outmoded, outdated, and unreliable.

http://www.sohmer.net/Velvet_Elvis.pdf
Thank you Novelist. I'll have to listen more closely the next time I see one of his videos. Though I still don't remember anything bad about the one I saw, if the youth liked it enough to remember the name "Rob Bell" and searched for more of his work that does contain the flaws you state, that would be a problem. Other than that, however, is do you think there is a problem in showing one of his videos that seems in line with Scripture?

The Novelist
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:29 PM
Thank you Novelist. I'll have to listen more closely the next time I see one of his videos. Though I still don't remember anything bad about the one I saw, if the youth liked it enough to remember the name "Rob Bell" and searched for more of his work that does contain the flaws you state, that would be a problem. Other than that, however, is do you think there is a problem in showing one of his videos that seems in line with Scripture?

That's a really tough question, but, and I'm trying to be as open to this as possible, I'd say no. What if the video(s) that may be scripturally sound cause someone to seek out his videos, books, sermons that aren't? And what if said person is new to the faith? Or not discerning or critical enough to catch the flaws, failings, and untruths of some of what he pushes? What if they buy whole hog into the false doctrine that he bases so much on? Spiritually speaking, there is some real danger to what he is selling.

threebigrocks
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:34 PM
Just a word for you.

Holding all this up to scripture is important, but remember to find that quiet time with God on all of this. I've been where you are, and it's a tuff spot. May prayer, discernment and the Spirit guide you through this.

The Novelist
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:47 PM
Just a word for you.

Holding all this up to scripture is important, but remember to find that quiet time with God on all of this. I've been where you are, and it's a tuff spot. May prayer, discernment and the Spirit guide you through this.

Ah threebigrocks, I thought I'd lost you :lol: Trust me, this subject has been dominating my quiet time with God. I'm not an adversarial person by nature, nor do I look for places to start fires where none are needed, so this is certainly something, where left to my own devices, I would not want. However, I do have a serious issue with the watering down/dismissing of scripture and the general "falling away" we are all witnessing in our churches. And I worry deeply, for new believers/seekers who would build their faith on such flimsy doctrine. How will such faith hold up when life is put to the fire? There is no foundation, no strength to be drawn upon in what Bell is pushing.

Tanya~
Jan 22nd 2008, 08:59 PM
I found it very concerning that he suggests that the essentials of the faith are like the springs of the trampoline, which can be removed and the trampoline still works. The deity of Christ, the Trinity, these aren't like springs on a trampoline. They are the foundational truths of our faith. You can't take out the deity of Christ and still have the Christian faith, in spite of what he says.

Showing his videos is an endorsement of his teaching. Unless you're going to present a disclaimer, and specify the things that you believe are wrong about his teaching every time you show his videos or quote his work, it would be better to avoid it.

The Novelist
Jan 22nd 2008, 09:17 PM
I found it very concerning that he suggests that the essentials of the faith are like the springs of the trampoline, which can be removed and the trampoline still works. The deity of Christ, the Trinity, these aren't like springs on a trampoline. They are the foundational truths of our faith. You can't take out the deity of Christ and still have the Christian faith, in spite of what he says.

Showing his videos is an endorsement of his teaching. Unless you're going to present a disclaimer, and specify the things that you believe are wrong about his teaching every time you show his videos or quote his work, it would be better to avoid it.

But therein lies the problem with Rob Bell. He's extremely charismatic and well spoken, and from some of the stuff I have read of his, he's very good at writing things in such a way as to seem innocuous at first. So, while someone like you or myself will likely pick up on the inconsistencies, someone who is new to the faith, who has no foundation could be very easily sucked in. Contrary to what is probably becoming popular belief on this thread, I have nothing personal against Rob Bell the person. I've got to believe and hope that he is essentially good and that his intent truly is to help people, but man oh man, is he ever misguided and leading people astray.

Kat2911
Jan 22nd 2008, 09:35 PM
I found it very concerning that he suggests that the essentials of the faith are like the springs of the trampoline, which can be removed and the trampoline still works. The deity of Christ, the Trinity, these aren't like springs on a trampoline. They are the foundational truths of our faith. You can't take out the deity of Christ and still have the Christian faith, in spite of what he says.

Showing his videos is an endorsement of his teaching. Unless you're going to present a disclaimer, and specify the things that you believe are wrong about his teaching every time you show his videos or quote his work, it would be better to avoid it.
In which video does he say this?

threebigrocks
Jan 22nd 2008, 09:57 PM
I can see this turn from the original topic to leaning toward simply holding this up to scripture. That is what we should do for all things, people, teachings, etc., that come our way. No matter what we call it, teachings are either of God or not. They build on the foundation of Christ or they try to create a new one. They build a house on that foundation that is of God or not. What does the house say about the one who builds it? Who laid the foundation? Those are the only "labels" pr descriptions we should slap on anything.

The Novelist
Jan 22nd 2008, 10:00 PM
In which video does he say this?

I can't speak for TanyaP, but I actually read these quotes in his book Velvet Elvis. That's not to that this logic isn't portrayed in his videos, but I've only seen the one video.

Kat2911
Jan 22nd 2008, 10:05 PM
I can't speak for TanyaP, but I actually read these quotes in his book Velvet Elvis. That's not to that this logic isn't portrayed in his videos, but I've only seen the one video.
Oh. Well, I've deffinitely decided Velvet Elvis is not something I want to read. Though I am interested if he stated that in a video, since our youth pastor (though, it seems he is now leaving the church) chooses to show some every once in a while.
I still have to say, as far as I can remember, I did enjoy our youth pastor's use of the one video I did see him use. I would not, however, want the youth to watch one if it contained what TanyaP described.

The Novelist
Jan 22nd 2008, 10:06 PM
I can see this turn from the original topic to leaning toward simply holding this up to scripture. That is what we should do for all things, people, teachings, etc., that come our way. No matter what we call it, teachings are either of God or not. They build on the foundation of Christ or they try to create a new one. They build a house on that foundation that is of God or not. What does the house say about the one who builds it? Who laid the foundation? Those are the only "labels" pr descriptions we should slap on anything.

I dunno, I think it's still within the realm of the topic. I began the thread as an investigative tool/sounding board to learn about the topic, and it seems to me, that is still where it is. With that said, I find you at times evasive and somewhat combative, which is fine by me, but seeing as you are a moderator, I do have a question for you...Do you have an issue with this thread?

threebigrocks
Jan 23rd 2008, 02:29 AM
I dunno, I think it's still within the realm of the topic. I began the thread as an investigative tool/sounding board to learn about the topic, and it seems to me, that is still where it is. With that said, I find you at times evasive and somewhat combative, which is fine by me, but seeing as you are a moderator, I do have a question for you...Do you have an issue with this thread?


It is within the realm of the topic, I agree, I was just pointing out that it seems to be turning into a "does this doctrine hold up to scripture" more so than us vs. the emergent church movement and what it holds to. I'd be happy to discuss more in the Chat to the Moderators forum. ;)

As to being evasive - I have extremely busy days, have been for a time now. Not meaning to be evasive, just the way the ebb and flow is going for me right now. :)

The Novelist
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:01 PM
Well, I must admit I'm a bit confused/concerned today. A part of me really wants to just take a step back and allow things to fall where they may, all the while my soul feels so restless that I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing.

Anyhoot last night's meeting. The same gentlement that began the last meeting (who, don't get me wrong, I personally like) with the Rob Bell video, began last night's meeting with a reading from an author I hadn't heard of Parker Palmer. He prefaced this reading with the following, "Now this guy is a Quaker, but he isn't a Christian, although he does believe in God..." At that point I just feel myself completely zoning out. I force myself to listen and while I would've liked to have read it for myself just for context, I didn't hear anything overtly "bad". Yet, I have these nagging questions that just keep pounding in my head, "What is the purpose of this? And what does it have to do with our meeting?"

So, I say nothing while a few share their opinions and the meeting begins proper. Things go well and the meeting is suprisingly productive. When the meeting ended, I stuck around to talk the lady I had mentioned before concerning shared responsibilites we have at the church in other roles. And she begins to ask me about Rob Bell again. So we have a discussion about it and I tell her my feelings on it, but I also encouraged her to research it on her own. At which point, she informs me that the "Servant Leadership Team", which carries all of the "swing" at our church, recently got together to attend the local "EC" which is absolutely exploding.

At this time I just feel my heart sinking. She continues by telling me how uncomforable some of it made her feel and how she had trouble with a lot of their tactics and methodology. So we kind of ended it there. I came home and checked out the local "EC"'s website just to see for myself what they may or may not have been subjected to and I come across their stated "goals and purposes". And I'll be danged if it was't the bullet points, verbatim, of what this group I'm a part of is supposed to be trying to accomplish.

I'm just at a complete loss. If that is the direction the church is "secretly" planning to go and that is their conviction, so be it, they'll do it without it me. (Big whoop I know) But why all of the secrecy and sneaking around? Where's the transparency in all of this? I am so kicking myself for turning down an opportunity to interview for SLT, as according to those in the know I was a shoe-in. As Christian's what are we supposed to do? Should we fight for our church? Jude as a whole keeps ringing out in my ears but 1:3 especially. All of this has led me to questions and doubts about my Pastor who I absolutely love and adore, but I get the feeling she has not been entirely honest with me on some of these issues. I just don't get it. The church is thriving and growing, why this sudden desire to change? I'm not an alarmist by any means and I'm very good at calming any fears that arise within me (tool of the trade of being a former Marine), especially those that are unfounded, but every warning bell and alarm I've got is just blaring.

Ugh, sorry for venting guys. I'm sure most of you (I'm looking especially at you threebigrocks;)) are as sick of my posts as I am, but if anyone has any advice to offer, I'm all ears....

threebigrocks
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:10 PM
Oh, I'm not sick of your posts in the least! ;)

When things like this start to pop up, you need to go to the source and take it up with the pastor. If that doesn't resolve it, then the SLT team or church board or whatever you term it. Every effort must be made to understand and rebuke as the Spirit guides, but the biblical way to handle things must be followed. To me, it would seem that you need to do some praying and considering how or if you want to remain where you are.

I'm sorry you are going through this. :(

The Novelist
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:21 PM
Oh, I'm not sick of your posts in the least! ;)

When things like this start to pop up, you need to go to the source and take it up with the pastor. If that doesn't resolve it, then the SLT team or church board or whatever you term it. Every effort must be made to understand and rebuke as the Spirit guides, but the biblical way to handle things must be followed. To me, it would seem that you need to do some praying and considering how or if you want to remain where you are.

I'm sorry you are going through this. :(

Oh believe me, I've been and continue to be in prayer over this. I'm just presently stuck in one of those gray areas. I feel the spirit leading me to stay and dig in. I think if you'd look at my time in this church there are plenty of reasons to support these feelings. But at the same time, and I know I'm probably answering my own conundrum here, a part of me is doubting and worrying. Not doubting God mind you, but myself. I'm just having real hard time dealing with my own indecisiveness. I absolutely love this church and the people, so the absolute last thing I want to do is to cause trouble. But I hear it over and over, from other believers that have no idea what is going on behind the scenes and believers who have been at the church far longer than me, "Something just doesn't seem right." People are getting restless and uncomfortable without even knowing why and I just keep my mouth shut and nod. So, I guess I have in essence answered my own question...

threebigrocks
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:25 PM
Search out the answers from those that are in leadership. Questions don't hurt a thing. ;)

RoadWarrior
Jan 23rd 2008, 08:02 PM
Oh believe me, I've been and continue to be in prayer over this. I'm just presently stuck in one of those gray areas. I feel the spirit leading me to stay and dig in. I think if you'd look at my time in this church there are plenty of reasons to support these feelings. But at the same time, and I know I'm probably answering my own conundrum here, a part of me is doubting and worrying. Not doubting God mind you, but myself. I'm just having real hard time dealing with my own indecisiveness. I absolutely love this church and the people, so the absolute last thing I want to do is to cause trouble. But I hear it over and over, from other believers that have no idea what is going on behind the scenes and believers who have been at the church far longer than me, "Something just doesn't seem right." People are getting restless and uncomfortable without even knowing why and I just keep my mouth shut and nod. So, I guess I have in essence answered my own question...

Lord I pray that you would lead our brother out of the gray area, out of lukewarmness and into the light and the heat of the battle. I pray that you would arm him with the knowledge, the wisdom, and the words that he will need in this fight as he contends earnestly for the faith which has been handed down to the saints. Lord I hear his cry, "I don't want to cause trouble" but I also see that trouble has come to his church. I see that the church is going to divide over this issue, whether it is openly or quietly as the people start to leave the church by ones and twos and then in groups.

Lord it is not "our" church but it is yours. I pray for Novelist that you would write your words and your commands on his heart and his mind so clearly that he cannot mistake what you are telling him to do. If you need to put it in a dream or a vision or in the mouth of someone whose spiritual guidance he trusts, Lord you know. I pray that you would do what is necessary to arm this your warrior. I pray that we would be the rear guard of prayer and support for him.

I pray for the youth, whose very souls are at risk in this new front in the war. I know that they are hungry Lord, and that they will not be satisfied with cardboard reality, but will in the end reject it. Show us your truth Lord, and lead us in the way everlasting, that we in turn might be leaders to the vulnerable and the hungry. Teach us to feed them on the pure milk and meat of your word.

I pray for the leadership of this church, I pray that you would open their minds and hearts to truth. I pray that as the coming battle looms, that your will would be established in a mighty and glorious way in this group of your people.

The Novelist
Jan 23rd 2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the prayers and advice RoadWarrior and threebigrocks, it really does mean a lot.:D I will talk with the Senior Pastor when she gets back from her conference, even though I am a bit hesitant. I had gone to her the day of my first meeting and she claimed ignorance at the whole subject. Yet later the co-leader said that she had been borrowing the Rob Bell videos and then I find that the SLT had been visiting the local "EC", well before I spoke with her. IMO, there could be logical explanations for her viewing the Bell videos, perhaps she is researching no differently than I am. But the SLT, there is no way that she didn't know about that. So I am a bit wary. We have a great relationship and as I've said before, I love her to death and am more than willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I'd be lying if I said this was a meeting that I was looking forward to.

Mark F
Jan 24th 2008, 01:30 AM
Much prayer is needed. This all is too familiar. I pasted these links to articles written by Gary Gilley of Sothernveiw Chapel in Springfeild Ill, these six give some good insight into the Emerging movement, I think there is some good in it, but one must be very wise and discerning to recognize what's good and what's not. I've read that there is Emergent, and Emerging so this makes understanding just what your dealing with like nailing jello to the wall. There are other articles and topics at svchapel.org like mysticism, modernism among others. He does, IMO a very good job of explaining these issues from a biblical perspective in an understandable way. He looks at everything through the lens of Scripture. The last link is a book review on Velvet Elvis.

This is a big and deep issue, and there is a battle going on over all this. I had to walk away, find an independent Bible believing and preaching Church and fall head-first into the word of God.

Don't let it consume you, be mindful that this CAN take over your life, as I said, lots of prayer, lots of study, and when you are discussing these things keep your eyes on Jesus and in the word.


http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=122

http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=123

http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=124

http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=139

http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=140

http://svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=141



http://svchapel.org/Resources/BookReviews/book_reviews.asp?ID=273

The Novelist
Jan 24th 2008, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the links Mark. The review of Velvet Elvis is pretty spot on. Having picked up the book yesterday (I've read through it once and now I'm going back through with a highlighter and pen), I've got to say a lot of what he says is pretty shocking (Big surprise coming from me, right?:lol:) Here's a just couple of my favorite, short quotes thus far, "But sometimes when I hear people quote the Bible, I just want to throw up." pg 42. "Which for me raises one huge question: Is the Bible the best God can do?" pg 44.

He contridicts himself over and over and over and over again. One paragraph he will tell you that reading scripture is useless because we cannot 1)understand it 2)Read it without an agenda, yet he'll turn right around and spout scripture to support his views.

His trampoline vs. brickwall theory is priceless.

He makes no bones that the Bible is not and was not divinely inspired (it was written by men with agendas)

It goes on and on. He's very adept at "writing in circles". He'll start with a thought which usually has some basis in a truth none of us would reasonably argue with, after which he'll appear to expound upon it, changing minor things so that unless your careful, you still believe he's sticking to the original thought. And he continues round and round until he gets to the point that he has completely devalued and changed the original thought. I find this the most dangerous aspect of the book. If you weren't careful and reasonably skilled in reading comprehension, you could be very easily fooled. Beyond that, anyone who does not have a firm foundation in scripture and Christianity is in danger with this book.

Just my honest opinion....

Tanya~
Jan 24th 2008, 07:39 PM
I didn't read the book, but did see the videos. There was that same nagging thing with the things he says in his videos. One in particular, I forget which one it is, talks about Jesus walking on the water and calling Peter out to Him. The conclusion he ends up with is that Jesus wanted to teach Peter not about trusting God, but about trusting himself. When Jesus says, "where is your faith?" He wasn't talking about faith in Jesus, but about faith in Peter. This was the video the church showed to us in the leader meeting, and I couldn't believe how everyone thought it was so wonderful, what he was saying. These adults who should have known better went away in awe that Jesus was really teaching Peter with that incident that he must believe in himself, rather than that he should have faith in God.

All the videos I saw have some kind of weird twist to them that if you aren't careful or discerning, you just miss that he's twisting it. He has some interesting things to say and some of it can be useful, but here's the rub: when the evil queen wanted to poison Snow White, did she hand her a vial of poison, or did she put it in a delicious-looking apple so she'd actually ingest it?

Satan has to package his falsehoods in truth or half-truth or nobody would accept it. Certainly, if Satan wants to plant some of his seeds in the church, he has to do it stealthily, by night as it were, so that nobody notices what is really happening.

The trampoline analogy leaves out one very glaring and important truth about trampolines. It is true that a trampoline works because of the springs, and that you can take out a spring here or there and it will still work. The more springs you take out though, the more dangerous it becomes to use the trampoline. I for one, would not let my children play on a trampoline that was missing springs. But he's completely forgetting that the trampoline isn't suspended in mid-air. It is attached to a stand. The Trinity, the virgin birth, and the deity of Christ are not equal to a trampoline's springs, they are equal to the legs of the stand. You can't remove one of the legs and still be able to play on the trampoline. There will be nothing to hold up the thing.

The Novelist
Jan 24th 2008, 07:47 PM
I didn't read the book, but did see the videos. There was that same nagging thing with the things he says in his videos. One in particular, I forget which one it is, talks about Jesus walking on the water and calling Peter out to Him. The conclusion he ends up with is that Jesus wanted to teach Peter not about trusting God, but about trusting himself. When Jesus says, "where is your faith?" He wasn't talking about faith in Jesus, but about faith in Peter.

All the videos I saw have some kind of weird twist to them that if you aren't careful or discerning, you just miss that he's twisting it. He has some interesting things to say and some of it can be useful, but here's the rub: when the evil queen wanted to poison Snow White, did she hand her a vial of poison, or did she put it in a delicious-looking apple so she'd actually ingest it?

Satan has to package his falsehoods in truth or half-truth or nobody would accept it. Certainly, if Satan wants to plant some of his seeds in the church, he has to do it stealthily, by night as it were, so that nobody notices what is really happening.

The trampoline analogy leaves out one very glaring and important truth about trampolines. It is true that a trampoline works because of the springs, and that you can take out a spring here or there and it will still work. The more springs you take out though, the more dangerous it becomes to use the trampoline. I for one, would not let my children play on a trampoline that was missing springs. But he's completely forgetting that the trampoline isn't suspended in mid-air. It is attached to a stand. The Trinity, the virgin birth, and the deity of Christ are not equal to a trampoline's springs, they are equal to the legs of the stand. You can't remove one of the legs and still be able to play on the trampoline. There will be nothing to hold up the thing.


Well said! He is very, very slick, combine that with his charisma, likability, and untruths, and he becomes very dangerous. Here is something I've been sitting on and with God as my witness, I hadn't even considered it until yesterday, but it was one of those nice, reaffirming God moments.

As a writer, I've got about a half-billion manuscripts in various states of completion. One of my favorites, which oddly enough, I haven't messed with in a long time, nor thought much about, centers around a religion and pastor that bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Bell and the EC. With that said, the pastor in my book is much older, from Italy, and well schooled. The parallels which hadn't dawned on me until I started reading Velvet Elvis are truly frightening, but not so frightening as this little nugget. I wrote this manuscript three years ago, loooooooooong before I had ever heard of any of these issues :o If anything, I think God is pointing me back to the manuscript I REALLY should be working on at the moment;)

Diggindeeper
Jan 25th 2008, 03:37 AM
Thanks for the links Mark. The review of Velvet Elvis is pretty spot on. Having picked up the book yesterday (I've read through it once and now I'm going back through with a highlighter and pen), I've got to say a lot of what he says is pretty shocking (Big surprise coming from me, right?:lol:) Here's a just couple of my favorite, short quotes thus far, "But sometimes when I hear people quote the Bible, I just want to throw up." pg 42. "Which for me raises one huge question: Is the Bible the best God can do?" pg 44.

He contridicts himself over and over and over and over again. One paragraph he will tell you that reading scripture is useless because we cannot 1)understand it 2)Read it without an agenda, yet he'll turn right around and spout scripture to support his views.

His trampoline vs. brickwall theory is priceless.

He makes no bones that the Bible is not and was not divinely inspired (it was written by men with agendas)

It goes on and on. He's very adept at "writing in circles". He'll start with a thought which usually has some basis in a truth none of us would reasonably argue with, after which he'll appear to expound upon it, changing minor things so that unless your careful, you still believe he's sticking to the original thought. And he continues round and round until he gets to the point that he has completely devalued and changed the original thought. I find this the most dangerous aspect of the book. If you weren't careful and reasonably skilled in reading comprehension, you could be very easily fooled. Beyond that, anyone who does not have a firm foundation in scripture and Christianity is in danger with this book.

Just my honest opinion....

The Novelist, are you telling us that THIS man teaches--these quotes?

1 - "But sometimes when I hear people quote the Bible, I just want to throw up." pg 42.

2 - "Which for me raises one huge question: Is the Bible the best God can do?" pg 44.

And you said, "He makes no bones that the Bible is not and was not divinely inspired (it was written by men with agendas.)" Well, are you saying this man and his teachings are to be THE pattern or the guide for the EXCITING CHANGES in store for the YOUTH OF YOUR CHURCH? You ARE kidding. Aren't you? :cry:

If you are not kidding, and this is the direction they are headed in, then Novelist, its time to hunt another church! :amen:

Lots of churches are going gung-ho for this type things, but it is truly troubling you I can tell by your updates, and your questioning and your indecisiveness. It troubles me, too, friend. He is blatantly teaching that we cannot trust the power of the Word of God, the holy scriptures, our Bible!

I saw a thread on this board that contains the SAME things this man is promoting...from young people, I'm sure. That the Bible was not written by God, but by MEN. And therefore, it cannot be relied upon!

Friend, I say its time to start church hunting. Now, if I thought that what you point out would make a difference to those in charge of this new program for the young people, then I'd say "GO FOR IT!" But, my guess is, they will not hear a word of your protest or your reasons for the protesting. Sadly, from the Pastor on down.....I wish you could convince them.

But I think you'd best be asking about other churches, looking in the phone book for other churches, and start visiting around...

Mark F
Jan 25th 2008, 04:03 AM
Diggindeeper has a valid point, my issues with a new shift in our Sunday School program got almost no acknowledment. I was in their eyes being hyper-critical. These things a subtle. I did end up leaving because from that point I would not have been able to not speak up about everything. I believed it best for me to move on and not be, in their eyes, a complainer and trouble maker.

TanyaP,

From what I understood that Bell teaches that Jesus has faith in us. I cannot understand how someone would come to that conclusion without stripping Jesus of His deity.

The Novelist
Jan 25th 2008, 01:27 PM
The Novelist, are you telling us that THIS man teaches--these quotes?

1 - "But sometimes when I hear people quote the Bible, I just want to throw up." pg 42.

2 - "Which for me raises one huge question: Is the Bible the best God can do?" pg 44.

And you said, "He makes no bones that the Bible is not and was not divinely inspired (it was written by men with agendas.)" Well, are you saying this man and his teachings are to be THE pattern or the guide for the EXCITING CHANGES in store for the YOUTH OF YOUR CHURCH? You ARE kidding. Aren't you? :cry:

If you are not kidding, and this is the direction they are headed in, then Novelist, its time to hunt another church! :amen:

Lots of churches are going gung-ho for this type things, but it is truly troubling you I can tell by your updates, and your questioning and your indecisiveness. It troubles me, too, friend. He is blatantly teaching that we cannot trust the power of the Word of God, the holy scriptures, our Bible!

I saw a thread on this board that contains the SAME things this man is promoting...from young people, I'm sure. That the Bible was not written by God, but by MEN. And therefore, it cannot be relied upon!

Friend, I say its time to start church hunting. Now, if I thought that what you point out would make a difference to those in charge of this new program for the young people, then I'd say "GO FOR IT!" But, my guess is, they will not hear a word of your protest or your reasons for the protesting. Sadly, from the Pastor on down.....I wish you could convince them.

But I think you'd best be asking about other churches, looking in the phone book for other churches, and start visiting around...

Believe me, I greatly appreciate your advice. The whole idea of searching out another church has crossed my mind and heart numerous times, but I really keep getting hung up on a couple issues. We recently lost what many would consider one of the "cornerstones" of the church. This guy was well respected, had been around from the beginning of the church, and is one of the most brilliant Bible scholars I've met. Why did he leave? Because of the direction of course, oh, and over the installation of a giant screen in the sanctuary that covers the cross.

His wife still continues to attend our church and is one of the sweetest women you could ever meet. It breaks her heart that he has left and she often talks about how much he misses it and so on. A handful of us have been quietly working to bring him back in the fold, to no avail, both because of him, but we've also been headed off in at least one instance by "the powers that be". Not painting a pretty picture, I know.

However, my point all along and the thing keeping my feet firmly planted is simply, "What good does it do to run?" God's house is under attack, our faith is under attack, the Bible is under attack...everything a lot of us hold dear is under attack. Why run? What good does it do us as believers and as Christians to run from a problem only to surround ourselves with like minded folks, to lick our wounds? Do we just sacrifice the new believers already in our church and the future ones to this false doctrine simply because we are uncomfortable?

Believe me, I want nothing more than to be surrounded with like minded, like hearted folks united in our love of God and Christ. My heart seems to ache for it more and more each day, but I've also come to the conclusion, it will happen one day; but not here, not now.

I understand that the time could come where I am outnumbered and a lone dissenting voice. Heck, the time may come where I am purposely made to feel uncomfortable at church. Maybe they'll even eventually tell me that I'm no longer welcome. I hope this does not come to pass, I pray this does not come to pass, but for now, I'm going to stand and fight, quietly and secretly for as long as I can or as long as I'm led. After that, who knows. But for now, and I know how cliched it sounds, if I can help shepherd at lost one potential lost sheep away from what may lie ahead, then I feel that would be one of the few times in life where I could be absolutely, positively sure, without a doubt, that I am precisely where God wants me, doing what God wants me to do.

Now, before I climb off of my soapbox, all of us as Christians, really need to take a long hard look at ourselves, our churches, and our lives. When and where do we draw the line and begin "contending for the faith"? When do we begin to fight for the Savior that died for us?

The Novelist
Jan 25th 2008, 01:33 PM
Oh and to answer diggindeeper's questions, I am absolutely not kidding about the infor I have provided on Velvet Elvis. Wish I was, but I'm not and those are just a couple examples. My copy of the book looks like someone spilled a rainbow within it with all of the questionable and at times outright blasphemy I've found within. Yet, you'll still hear people say, "Yeah, but there's still some good in it too."

Athanasius
Jan 25th 2008, 01:45 PM
Oh and to answer diggindeeper's questions, I am absolutely not kidding about the infor I have provided on Velvet Elvis. Wish I was, but I'm not and those are just a couple examples. My copy of the book looks like someone spilled a rainbow within it with all of the questionable and at times outright blasphemy I've found within. Yet, you'll still hear people say, "Yeah, but there's still some good in it too."

And the unfortunate part?
There's a lot more in his other book 'Sex God'

I'm inclined to believe Bell a Gnostic 'Christian'

The Novelist
Jan 25th 2008, 02:06 PM
And the unfortunate part?
There's a lot more in his other book 'Sex God'

I'm inclined to believe Bell a Gnostic 'Christian'

Velvet Elvis has been plenty for me. I had thought about picking up 'Sex God' as well, but ultimately decided he had enough of my money. Besides, Velvet Elvis does an admirable, thorough job of espousing and proclaiming his beliefs...

It's also obvious by the title 'Sex God' a big part of his whole thing is shock value. He's pretty full of himself, but then again, why wouldn't he be? I've read a couple of blogs that spoke of the many people who show up to his speaking engagements dressed like the guy, right down to the glasses and hairstyle. Yikes!:o

minnesotaice
Jan 26th 2008, 02:07 AM
Well, Novelist, I have already shared my views after reading the book Velvet Elvis and although some of it is very scriptural, some of it definitely is not.

I have spoken to people who have gone to Rob's conferences and they said that they love his style, but felt that the whole thing was a show and that he was a Rock Star. These people agree with the Emergent church movement. Also, I know that at least at some of his shows, he has had "Open Bars". Since so many people struggle with alcoholism, why would someone have something like this at a talk about God???

Here is my experience with a church I attended for a decade. In the beginning, the preachers talked about repentance, going into deep prayer with God, being real about your sin and asking for forgiveness, how to love others (you get the picture). Since the ECM has come to the forefront, this same church and these same leaders now talk about "Experiencing God". They rarely talk about Sin anymore and repentance. I know these people personally and some of them think it is ok to get drunk, sleep around, swear profusely etc..... They say that everything can be questioned in the bible. I could no longer attend this church and left. I am not blaming this on 1 single person or 1 book but unfortunately, this is the way the church in America is heading. Nothing is black and white. Everything is Gray.

Christsfreeservant
Jan 26th 2008, 05:39 PM
Well, Novelist, I have already shared my views after reading the book Velvet Elvis and although some of it is very scriptural, some of it definitely is not.

I have spoken to people who have gone to Rob's conferences and they said that they love his style, but felt that the whole thing was a show and that he was a Rock Star. These people agree with the Emergent church movement. Also, I know that at least at some of his shows, he has had "Open Bars". Since so many people struggle with alcoholism, why would someone have something like this at a talk about God???

Here is my experience with a church I attended for a decade. In the beginning, the preachers talked about repentance, going into deep prayer with God, being real about your sin and asking for forgiveness, how to love others (you get the picture). Since the ECM has come to the forefront, this same church and these same leaders now talk about "Experiencing God". They rarely talk about Sin anymore and repentance. I know these people personally and some of them think it is ok to get drunk, sleep around, swear profusely etc..... They say that everything can be questioned in the bible. I could no longer attend this church and left. I am not blaming this on 1 single person or 1 book but unfortunately, this is the way the church in America is heading. Nothing is black and white. Everything is Gray.

Yes, you are seeing correctly. God is speaking loudly about this! He is warning many people against these false teachings/teachers if we will just listen, but so many are not listening at all.

I'm in the midst of doing some research on the Emergent Church in relation to preachers such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and Max Lucado who are all involved in it and are teaching a watered-down gospel message. I'll try to get back to you soon with anything I've learned as this is new territory for me.

The Novelist
Jan 28th 2008, 02:25 AM
Meeting with the Senior Pastor on Tuesday @ 2 EST. Things kind of took off the last couple of days and I guess this meeting should:pray: go along ways towards either ending the nonsense or showing me that the church is committed to this course. Either way, it should be very interesting....

I'll keep everyone posted.

RoadWarrior
Jan 28th 2008, 02:29 AM
Meeting with the Senior Pastor on Tuesday @ 2 EST. Things kind of took off the last couple of days and I guess this meeting should:pray: go along ways towards either ending the nonsense or showing me that the church is committed to this course. Either way, it should be very interesting....

I'll keep everyone posted.

:pray::pray::pray:

The Novelist
Jan 29th 2008, 09:15 PM
Well, I had the meeting with my Senior Pastor today and I'm still trying to analyze it, an hour after the meeting. She was very open to my concerns and understood the potential dangers our church faces. I have no doubt that she recognizes and acknowledges these things, but at the same time, I don't think she is willing to see that it is not "creeping in", it has already crept in. And this is the point I kept trying to make to her, that she needs to investigate this herself and not wait until it becomes obvious to everyone.

On the flip side however, she kept mentioning the need to explore new ideas to see how we might integrate them into our church and so on. I conceded that this was true to an extent, but that the church had to tread very carefully here. And then we got into the whole discussion of accountibility and discernment, at which time I made the points, backed up with examples, where accountibility and discernment had failed certain members of the leadership team who are obsessed with intergrating this nonsense. The one thing that I am truly discouraged about, is the fact that she asked me if I had a problem with the Rob Bell materials being presented with disclaimers.

Overall, as a whole, mind you, the discouragement I feel truly is minor. In the big scheme of things, I feel good about things. Obviously I hoped things would have gone better than they did, but I truly feel that I spoke the things that God wanted me to speak. I feel that maybe His purpose in all of this was not immediate action, but rather to plant seeds for the time when He does call her to action.

It's like I told my wife, the urge to continue the fight remains strong as ever, but there is this really strange peace that I have about today. Strange only because my expectations and personality usually would not grant me such peace in a situation where so much seemingly remains unresolved. So, I put my hope and faith in God in this situation and we'll see what Thursday brings with the next "team" meeting.

RoadWarrior
Jan 29th 2008, 09:36 PM
Hi Novelist,

As I read your message, I get the feeling that you are indeed planting seeds. I think that when we start to testify to the problems, it is hard for the other person to see it at first. Not wanting to see it is the first hurdle. At least she in listening to you, and asking your opinion of whether it is ok to show it "with disclaimers". I'm betting that you said no to that.

The thing to do now (IMO) is to keep praying that God will open the eyes of those involved. And of course, keep bearing witness to what you know.

minnesotaice
Jan 29th 2008, 09:37 PM
Good for you Novelist.

You seem like you are caring as well as discerning. I think right now that Rob Bell is the new craze in the church (similar to Joel Osteen's and Rick Warren's books a few years ago). As long as the people in your church don't quote the EC writers and read their books more than they go to the scripture, it should be ok. As long as they hold everything up to the light (the Word) and measure the words against the Word.

In the church I attended, Rob's book and others like it (Brian McLaren's book) became the centerpoint of study with a little scripture mixed in. It was a no brainer for me to leave.

The Novelist
Jan 29th 2008, 09:53 PM
Hi Novelist,

At least she in listening to you, and asking your opinion of whether it is ok to show it "with disclaimers". I'm betting that you said no to that.

How'd you guess?:lol:




Good for you Novelist.

You seem like you are caring as well as discerning. I think right now that Rob Bell is the new craze in the church (similar to Joel Osteen's and Rick Warren's books a few years ago). As long as the people in your church don't quote the EC writers and read their books more than they go to the scripture, it should be ok. As long as they hold everything up to the light (the Word) and measure the words against the Word.

In the church I attended, Rob's book and others like it (Brian McLaren's book) became the centerpoint of study with a little scripture mixed in. It was a no brainer for me to leave.

Thanks for your kind words :) Here is the crux of the biggest danger in reading Rob Bell, even if you are holding it up to scripture. The following is one of the examples I used today in our meeting...

"Jesus at one point claimed to be 'the way, the truth, and the life.' Jesus was not making claims about one religion being better than all other religions." pg. 21 "Velvet Elvis"

Now, this is a pretty elementary example which is why I'm using it here. Jesus did in fact say that which He is quoted as saying and to the un-discerning reader or new believer, they likely wouldn't give it a second thought. "Looks right, sounds right." My question is, why does Bell not finish the scripture? Suddenly it takes on a far different meaning than what he is expressing..."no man cometh to the Father, but by me." Sounds to me as if Jesus is saying something faaaaar different than Bell. There are so many examples like this in the book that you have to be constantly wary and looking. I also find it interesting to note, among many things, that when he blatantly misuses and misrpresents scripture, he NEVER footnotes it. In every case where he has either stated the truth (rare, but it does happen) or he is hovering close to it, he will footnote it.

It's an incredibly deceptive book, employing many literary "tricks". Thankfully Bell is very clumsy and inept at pulling them off...

The Novelist
Apr 3rd 2008, 07:32 PM
Okay, been a long time and I finally decided it was high time to offer an update. The EC doctrine/movement within my church has been completely and utterly eradicated, without a big fight, without hurt feelings, without anything negative whatsoever.

Was it my doing? Absolutely not. God may have used me, but He certainly caused me to step outside of myself to deal with this problem. I can sometimes be a pretty fiery individual, especially when it comes to stuff like this, and God certainly calmed me and moved me in ways that were often counter to my instincts. Everything was done in love, with reason, and by the Word. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that it, or something else like it, won't rear its head, but for the time being, all is well and I couldn't be happier.

On another note, not that it really pertains to the matter at hand, but I'm just bursting at the seams to share...I have finally submitted to God's call to the ministry at 36. It's been a ten year chase and I finally got tired of running. I go back to school in the fall to finish my undergraduate work and then it is off to seminary. I am scared to death in some respects and completely ecstatic in all. It's a huge, massive step for me, but God has been pretty loud and clear, and the affirmations for this have been amazing and quite humbling. So please stay in prayer for me...

Finally, thank you all so much for your conversations, support, and prayers on the subject of this thread. You all have no idea how nice it was to have somewhere to come to really flesh things out and explore the issue without fear.

God Bless!

Tanya~
Apr 3rd 2008, 09:48 PM
WOW I am so thrilled to hear that the church managed to avoid this stuff! And it's wonderful to hear that you're going to follow the Lord's leading.

I prayed for you just now but in all honesty if you want prayers, you're going to have to show your face (or your avatar, anyway) once in a while so we will remember :)

The Novelist
Apr 3rd 2008, 09:59 PM
WOW I am so thrilled to hear that the church managed to avoid this stuff! And it's wonderful to hear that you're going to follow the Lord's leading.

I prayed for you just now but in all honesty if you want prayers, you're going to have to show your face (or your avatar, anyway) once in a while so we will remember :)


Will do...working on it, hopefully later tonight.

Diggindeeper
Apr 4th 2008, 05:25 AM
Thank you, thank you Novelist! Just another example of how the Lord works, if we are listening! How dangerous to take any fad going around and run with it!

May God bless you double, Novelist!

RoadWarrior
Apr 4th 2008, 06:59 PM
Okay, been a long time and I finally decided it was high time to offer an update. The EC doctrine/movement within my church has been completely and utterly eradicated, without a big fight, without hurt feelings, without anything negative whatsoever.

Was it my doing? Absolutely not. God may have used me, but He certainly caused me to step outside of myself to deal with this problem. I can sometimes be a pretty fiery individual, especially when it comes to stuff like this, and God certainly calmed me and moved me in ways that were often counter to my instincts. Everything was done in love, with reason, and by the Word. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that it, or something else like it, won't rear its head, but for the time being, all is well and I couldn't be happier.

This is thrilling, and thank you so much for coming back on to update us. I had just the day before been praying for you. You popped into my mind perhaps in part because a friend is currently enthralled with Velvet Elvis, and it seems to have answered many questions for her. I'm not sure she got the right answers, and am praying for the right ones to give to her, to combat the sly twists that are in that book. I did come back to this thread to find the link to Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show.



On another note, not that it really pertains to the matter at hand, but I'm just bursting at the seams to share...I have finally submitted to God's call to the ministry at 36. It's been a ten year chase and I finally got tired of running. I go back to school in the fall to finish my undergraduate work and then it is off to seminary. I am scared to death in some respects and completely ecstatic in all. It's a huge, massive step for me, but God has been pretty loud and clear, and the affirmations for this have been amazing and quite humbling. So please stay in prayer for me...


This is exciting news! I am so glad to hear it. I trust you will continue to keep in touch with us and let us know how it goes, and also when you need prayer for something specific. Thirty-six is young, trust me! There are many years ahead for you to obey His call on your life.



Finally, thank you all so much for your conversations, support, and prayers on the subject of this thread. You all have no idea how nice it was to have somewhere to come to really flesh things out and explore the issue without fear.


You are welcome, but it is I who am in your debt. This conversation was extremely valuable to me, and continues to be. You may have won the current battle, but the war is not over. Some of us are just now coming to the front lines of new skirmishes.

IBWatching
Apr 9th 2008, 07:36 PM
Hi guys! New to the site. I was wanting to get some opinions of fellow believers on the emerging church movement. I hadn't heard of it until I found out that my church is considering these principles as a means of outreach for college kids (I live in a university town) With the little research I've done, I've got all kinds of warnings bells and whistles going off. Anyone have any thoughts? Suggestions?

Avoid it like the plague. It is a currently a sect in Christendom which might have been labeled a cult by the late Walter Martin.

In short, writings by it's proponents have shown a tendency to demote the Word of God from it's position of Absolute Truth to a nice book on God and the Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross to something which people don't really need to consider all that much in their relationship to God.

Aside from those critical errors, the movement seeks to reconcile itself with most of the rest of the world's thinking, promoting "social justice" and "ecological restoration". Like most other "social gospel" movements before it, it has gained a substantial number of followers with that age old message that "God Loves Everyone" to the obvious exclusion of what God may think of the sin in one's life.

It also add the mysticism of "contemplative prayer" and the "discovery" of the wonderful "liturgical method of worship". I have not ascertained as yet whether this is to appeal to Catholics, or if the movement's end purpose is to "chum up to" the RCC, as the Muslims, Mormons and other groups appear to be doing also.

Oh, and if you criticize it like I have just done, you will be labeled as "hateful". Sound familiar?