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Christian Interests => Organized Religion and Religious Movements Discussions => Protestantism => Topic started by: Mrs Mac on Fri May 29, 2009 - 03:27:55

Title: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: Mrs Mac on Fri May 29, 2009 - 03:27:55

Commentary on the News
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Jan Markell

If you're over age 35, your spiritual health may be at risk in that new "church movements" are focusing in on primarily "GenXrs."

You may not have even heard of the latest, the "Emergent Church" or "Emerging Church." Many today are looking for a new "methodology," "new wave," or "new thing God is doing." I ask, "What is wrong with the old way?" Apparently just the Bible is no longer sufficient.
Some say the "Emergent Church" (EC) is the next step beyond the "seeker movement." Leaders of the EC say they have answers for our generation even though it focuses on experience much more than the Bible. But leaders of the movement insist that in our fast-changing culture, something is happening. What was once a Christian nation with a Judeo-Christian worldview is becoming a post Christian, unchurched, unreached nation.

There is arising in our midst new generations without any Christian influence, and thus we must re-think everything we have done with Christianity over many centuries. Part of what they say is true and their evangelistic fervor is genuine no doubt.

Defining the EC is a little bit like nailing jello to the wall, but here goes anyway. It relies heavily on mysticism, a great danger to believers of all denominations. Some leaders will tell you that you cannot know truth. An EC service will often meet in homes, and will rely on extra-biblical paraphernalia, extra-sensory images, sounds, smells of candles and incense, silence, mystical meditation, making the sign of the cross, touching icons, statues of saints, rosary beads for Protestants, liturgy, yoga-like deep breathing, contemplative prayer, and sacraments--all for a full sensory immersion with the divine. In other words, they are looking for an encounter with the Lord using all their senses. Worship is stressed, but some would say more than the Word.

They borrow liturgical practices from the Orthodox, Lutheran, and Catholic Church and heavily from the traditions and views of Catholic Church Fathers.

It would seem to me that if the Bible were being taught, the extra-biblical paraphernalia, extra-sensory images, sounds, smells, etc., would hardly be necessary, but maybe I'm make much ado about nothing.

The most visible leader is Brian McClaren whose book, "A Generous Orthodoxy" has caught on all over. In it he states that, "The Christian faith should become a welcome friend to other religions of the world, and not a threat.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: marc on Fri May 29, 2009 - 07:00:02
It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine.

Movements come and go, and one that honestly seeks to examine how what we believe affects how we live seems less dangerous than many of the controlling, leadership-focused models that have come before.  I've read many of the emerging Church material, and while there are occsional points I don't accept (blindly accepting any teacher is a problem, imho), I find much that's helpful and realistic.  Christianity has accumulated 2,000 years of baggage, and it's past time to go through this and throw out the extra-Biblical junk we don't need.

Fear of the unknown, which motivates much of the opposition to this movement imho, is an ever-present obstacle in our lives.  Let's push it out of the way.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: Mrs Mac on Fri May 29, 2009 - 23:46:50

I think much of the problem is that the movement is not easily defined because it is cellular.

I took this excerpt from Friends of Israel magazine and I think it says it well,

"The Emergent church is probably here to stay. We should be familiar enough with it to see if it departs from the fundamentals of the faith. A thought to ponder is this: If the culture changes, does the message have to change? How far does the messenger go to adjust his delivery? Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" Mt 16:18. Each local assembly must be evaluated against the Word. If a church rightly divides the Word and preaches the truth by simply adjusting the "bells and whistles", it is like the sustaining manna for the children of Israel. If, however in the name of culture, it adopts humanistic elements and departs from the truth of the Word, then it will be like spoiled manna that reeks with terrible stench."

IMO it is up to each individual to apply God given wisdom and discernment, I think we are in a time of sifting.

thanks for your input.  ::smile::
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: jiggyfly on Sun May 31, 2009 - 05:40:05
Personally I think it's just another religious movement.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: Amo on Sun May 31, 2009 - 09:24:37
I have just begun looking into this.  My uncle who was seriously into spiritualism says that many of the methods used in this movement are identical to what he used when involved in the same.  Specifically seeking the quiet place, or the silence, which involves emptying your mind.  He claims this is where one opens the mind to demonic influences as he once did before coming to Christ.  I would strongly recommend staying away from this movement until at the very least you thoroughly examine all the issues involved.

There are those also who claim it is part of the ecumenical movement, the true purpose of which, is to bring all Churches back to union, and submission to Rome.  Just another extension of the Counter Reformation.  Although most Protestant denominations have abandoned the Reformation, Rome has and does continue it’s Counter Reformation with a vengeance.  She is gaining victory after victory, and therefore regaining the major power and influence in this world, that she once mastered in Europe.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: Arkstfan on Sun May 31, 2009 - 15:27:46
There are at least two forms of emergent church.

There is a philosophical movement that is rather unorthodox in theology and quite dangerous.

There is also the fusion of "old traditional church" and "contemporary or praise movement" church that blends those styles and tends to reject the all consuming focus on personal spiritual growth of the contemporary movement and has its sights on remaking the land in the image of God by helping the poor, the hungry, and getting involved in clean environment matters.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: blituri on Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 16:45:50
I am late?

This is a serious problem with the colleges which once belonged to the Church of Christ. This is what has been taking place for the last three decades as they boast about exercising prophetic roles to prepare people to channel and facilitate (manipulate) the demise of the old conservatives.

Here is a quick look at things stirring in 2008 where "spiritual formation" has oozed in from Fuller.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?
Post by: debra on Mon Mar 22, 2010 - 23:52:47
Plain and simple, the churches in my area have pushed out folks over 50 years old. They are not wanted. Bands, drums, cymbals, wide screens, and totally geared to lure in the younger folks at the expense of older people. It is not worship. It is a show. "Christain rock" is blared to deafening levels. Christian rock = oxymoron.

I gave up. There just are no true bible teaching, evangelize to the unsaved, churches anymore. 

What has happened to quiet worship from the heart? Where has the congregation singing praise to God gone? To mega churches and money and numbers. No longer God's church anymore. No thanks.