In recent decades several distinct ‘groupings’ have appeared on the professing Christian scene and amongst the designations ascribed to them are ‘The Emergent Church’ and ‘The User-Friendly Church’.
Trying to explain, consider and then critique their views in the light of God’s Word is no easy matter but two videos have been made in recent years that attempt to do just that and from an orthodox Biblical Christian perspective.
The videos are titled ‘The Real Roots of The Emergent Church’ and ‘Church of Tares’ and I have graciously received permission to post both of these videos to the ministry YouTube site.
In Pharaoh’s Egypt false ‘fertility gods’ were worshipped, and God’s people were oppressed. God revealed His anger through plagues that impacted adversely upon the environment, upon animal life, upon the food-chain, upon people’s health, upon climatic conditions and upon family life. In our day western ‘Christian’ nations are feeding the world’s lust for all manner of gut-wrenching pornographic material with Hollywood, USA being a leading player. These nations are also warmly welcoming false gods. In Iowa USA, at the end of January, Mohammed Khan, the imam of the Islamic Centre of Des Moines, led the opening prayer in the Iowa legislature at the request of Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, who has questionable associations with Islamic extremists. In his four-minute prayer before the Iowa legislative session, Khan made a plea for “victory over those who disbelieve” and “protection from the Great Satan”. Reflecting on the plagues of Egypt can we not see similar ‘plagues’ being visited on the world of our day. In Egypt these were a precursor to the great deliverance and exodus of God’s people. God answered the prayers of His people [see Exodus 3:7-8]. We thank you for your continuing love and support and ask you to join with us in the prayer of Revelation 22:20 “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.
The subtitle of this article ‘The heretics are pastoring the church’ is really a parody on another well-known expression, namely ‘the lunatics are running the asylum’. Asylums were built to protect the general public from those who were mentally disturbed and so posed a threat to them but the public at large often think that those running such regimes, by their actions and attitudes, pose just as much, if not an even greater danger to the public they are supposed to be protecting.
God has ordained that His people gather themselves together in local churches and to such assemblies He gifts men who are skilled in “rightly dividing the word of truth” – this expression “rightly dividing the word of truth” according to Vine’s expository dictionary means “teaching Scripture accurately”.
It seems that Northern Ireland is fast becoming a haven for every modern heresy that is currently circulating under the guise of being ‘evangelical’. In June/July Brian McLaren will speak to thousands of young professing Christians at the local ‘Summer Madness’ event. Also in July, Joel Osteen will ‘preach’ at the Belfast Odyssey arena. In November the main speaker at the ‘Mandate’ gathering for men will be Erwin McManus who, like Brian McLaren, is identified with what is called ‘The Emerging Church’ – I’ve just had a phone call to tell me that another ‘Emerging Church’ figure called Rob Bell [we have an ‘Alarm Bells’ warning article about him & his wife on our website] will be speaking in Belfast in June, with the Church of Ireland Youth Dept., closely associated with ‘Summer Madness’, advertising Bell’s visit. On our website and in this newsletter these issues will be addressed. Why do we do that? Let me quote from John MacArthur’s latest book ‘The Truth War’ [mentioned on page 13] ‘As always a war is being waged against the truth. We are on one side or the other. There is no middle ground…in every generation the battle for the truth has proved ultimately unavoidable because the enemies of truth are relentless. Truth is always under assault. And it is actually a sin not to fight when vital truths are under attack…whenever the enemies of gospel truth succeed in infiltrating the church [as represented by all those mentioned above] faithful believers are obliged to take the battle to them even there. That is certainly the case today’ [pages XXIII-XXIV]. We thank you for all your support and encouragement and covet your prayers as we continue to engage the enemies of God’s “truth”.
The Belfast Odyssey arena currently has this advert on its ‘What’s on’ page – An Evening with Joel Osteen is a chance for you to be encouraged by one of America’s leading pastors. You will be able to celebrate God’s goodness through worship and praise music…, you’ll learn more about Joel’s ministry and family, and Joel will have an inspirational message from God’s Word. At the end of the event, Joel will proclaim a special blessing over everyone in attendance… You don’t have to be a Christian or a member of any particular church. The only requirement is a ticket. [Cost £11.50].