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What is the emerging/emergent church movement?
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Posted on 11/05/2010 7:10:28 AM PDT by wmfights

The emerging, or emergent, church movement takes its name from the idea that as culture changes, a new church should emerge in response. In this case, it is a response by various church leaders to the current era of post-modernism. Although post-modernism began in the 1950s, the church didn't really seek to conform to its tenets until the 1990s. Post-modernism can be thought of as a dissolution of "cold, hard fact" in favor of "warm, fuzzy subjectivity." The emerging / emergent church movement can be thought of the same way.

The emerging / emergent church movement falls into line with basic post-modernist thinking—it is about experience over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, spirituality over religion, images over words, outward over inward, feelings over truth. These are reactions to modernism and are thought to be necessary in order to actively engage contemporary culture. This movement is still fairly new, though, so there is not yet a standard method of "doing" church amongst the groups choosing to take a post-modern mindset. In fact, the emerging church rejects any standard methodology for doing anything. Therefore, there is a huge range of how far groups take a post-modernist approach to Christianity. Some groups go only a little way in order to impact their community for Christ, and remain biblically sound. Most groups, however, embrace post-modernist thinking, which eventually leads to a very liberal, loose translation of the Bible. This, in turn, lends to liberal doctrine and theology.

For example, because experience is valued more highly than reason, truth becomes relative. Relativism opens up all kinds of problems, as it destroys the standard that the Bible contains absolute truth, negating the belief that biblical truth can be absolute. If the Bible is not our source for absolute truth, and personal experience is allowed to define and interpret what truth actually is, a saving faith in Jesus Christ is rendered meaningless.

Another area where the emerging / emergent church movement has become anti-biblical is its focus on ecumenism. Unity among people coming from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and diversity in the expression of corporate worship are a strong focus of the emergent church movement. Being ecumenical means that compromise is taking place, and this results in a watering down of Scripture in favor of not offending an apostate. This is in direct opposition to passages such as Revelation 2:14-17, Jesus' letter to the church of Pergamum, in which the Church is warned against tolerating those who teach false doctrine.

False doctrine seems to abound within the emerging / emergent church movement, though, as stated previously, not within every group espousing emerging / emergent church beliefs. Because of this, care must be taken when deciding whether or not to become involved with an emergent church group. We all need to take heed of Matthew 7:15-20, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

While seeking new ways to witness to a changing culture is admirable, utilizing ways which compromise the Truth of the Gospel in any way is nothing more than promoting false doctrine and leading others away from Christ instead of to Him.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: ecumenical
Another area where the emerging / emergent church movement has become anti-biblical is its focus on ecumenism. Unity among people coming from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and diversity in the expression of corporate worship are a strong focus of the emergent church movement. Being ecumenical means that compromise is taking place, and this results in a watering down of Scripture in favor of not offending an apostate. This is in direct opposition to passages such as Revelation 2:14-17, Jesus' letter to the church of Pergamum, in which the Church is warned against tolerating those who teach false doctrine.


1 posted on 11/05/2010 7:10:36 AM PDT by wmfights
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To: wmfights

“What is the emerging/emergent church movement?”

Liberalism repackaged for the current generation of Evangelicals.


2 posted on 11/05/2010 7:13:31 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: wmfights

What is the emerging/emergent church movement?
_______________________________________________________

Richard Land...

What Glenn Beck did on his stage in DC..

Holding hands with the Islamics and other non-Christian Bible believers..


3 posted on 11/05/2010 7:27:06 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: wmfights

Whichever one God has planned to emerge.


4 posted on 11/05/2010 7:27:13 AM PDT by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: wmfights

Maybe I should call fire down on them?


5 posted on 11/05/2010 7:28:55 AM PDT by LearnsFromMistakes (Yes, I am happy to see you. But that IS a gun in my pocket.)
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To: wmfights
From what I have read/heard heresy.
6 posted on 11/05/2010 7:29:08 AM PDT by JSDude1 (http://novemberspeaks.com/)
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To: wmfights
The church needs to change?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

7 posted on 11/05/2010 7:31:43 AM PDT by Jemian (Hebrews 13:8)
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To: wmfights

“What is the emerging/emergent church movement?”

A good way to empty out a church. Look at the churches where the pews are full and the donations are strong. Chances are it will be a church that preaches traditional theology. Once churches start watering down the doctrine, people stop showing up and stop giving money.


8 posted on 11/05/2010 7:32:47 AM PDT by Our man in washington
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To: LearnsFromMistakes

Easy there, James.


9 posted on 11/05/2010 7:32:59 AM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: wmfights
The emerging, or emergent, church movement takes its name from the idea that as culture changes, a new church should emerge in response.

I wonder if someone was also thinking of the philosophical concept of emergence. To philosophical for their own good.

10 posted on 11/05/2010 7:50:42 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("What is your only comfort, in life and death?" "That I an not my own, but belong, body and soul...")
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To: Jemian

First off, this is not in defence of the Emergent church movement.
yes, Jesus is the same. However the church has always consisted of His believers. In that sense it evolves because culture evolves. An example is, the early church had to change it’s rules. (useing phone, run out of space)


11 posted on 11/05/2010 8:08:09 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (We are the Patrick Henry we have been waiting for!)
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To: wmfights

Interesting that the word, Catholic, did not even appear in the article.

As much as the news stories like to downplay the growth in the Catholic Church — I believe it is growing. At least in my area.


12 posted on 11/05/2010 8:19:21 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: wmfights
I expected to see these sorts of rather defensive, reflexive "it's the liberals" comments. They miss an important point, though. The author wants to pick a fight, but he's really fighting his own assumptions.

Those who are less interested in this author's biases, and instead want to actually understand the thinking behind the emerging church movement, should probably start by reading Donald Miller and Rob Bell.

Forget the mechanics of an emerging church service for the moment, and let's look at the context in which they're operating, as opposed to the context of more traditional denominations.

Traditional denominations are very much rooted in the idea of "Christendom," that large swath of the world in which everybody was Christian and basically believed the same things.

Christendom lasted from about 300-1500 AD. The Reformation, and the wars that followed, split Christendom in two -- there were Protestants and Catholics, both groups claiming the mantle of Christendom, and each viewing the other as heretics or worse.

Nevertheless, if you look at what differentiates one traditional denomination from another, you'll note that it's basically a matter of refinement of some doctrine or other; or some difference in style or emphaisis; or some different theory of church organization. But all denominations are in basic agreement on the Creeds ... and all assume that most people within the culture basically agree on the Creeds as well.

Christendom began to crumble in earnest, in the aftermath of the World Wars. Most of Europe is post-Christian now, and America is headed that direction. Christianity no longer defines the culture here, as it once used to do. Cultural mores are generally defined elsewhere, now.... and promulgated by the entertainment media. Not everybody believes what the Creeds say, and many people are turned off by the church, or it's not relevant to their lives.

All that to say, the underlying assumptions of traditional denominations are no longer true. That doesn't make the traditional denominations non-viable, but it does put them out of step with the unchurched people they want to reach.

In reality, we live in a culture that is much closer to that of the Roman Empire, than that of Christendom.

And the emergent church movement sees today's Christians as being in much the same position as those in the early church. They realize that we, as Christians, cannot assume that the average guy on the street is a Christian, or that he knows anything about what Christianity really is, but he undoubtedly knows a lot of things about Christianity that aren't true.

We understand the vital importance of bringing that guy to Christ. Well ... how do we approach him? How do we teach him what Christianity is really all about?

Do we, by our behavior, demonstrate to him that Christianity is about nothing more than correcting some other denomination's false doctrine, as the author of this piece seems to believe? Or, perhaps traditional denominations somehow lost the point -- which is a big reason why we're now living in a post-Christian culture.

What if, rather than forcing our battles on the guy in the street, we instead meet him where he is? That brings us to the underlying idea of the Emergent Church movement, which might be summarized as follows:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)

The Scriptures are wonderful, but what use are they to a guy who doesn't yet care about them? They're not going to bring that guy to Christ. He doesn't care about the Bible, or being a Christian at all; he's even less interested in untangling the finer points of Doctrine. And he's just going to run away from our theological squabbling.

To start with it is sufficient for him to know just one thing: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The emerging church movement no doubt has its doctrinal problems -- as do we all. But they realize something that the author does not: folks can wait to hear about "true doctrine." Right now, that guy on the street is like the Samaritan woman at the well: he just needs to know about Jesus.

What the author calls "watering down" says that he cares more about his own theological battles, than about reaching the guy who knows nothing at all about Jesus Christ.

13 posted on 11/05/2010 8:36:12 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Salvation
Interesting that the word, Catholic, did not even appear in the article.

Well, it's not like Catholics are Christian, you know .... /s

The author seems to be one of those guys who can't see the forest for the trees. I have no doubt that he's a devoted Christian, but I also have no doubt that he is so caught up in his own sense of rightness, that he has utterly missed the point of what the emerging church movement is all about.

See my post above....

14 posted on 11/05/2010 8:38:25 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

**What the author calls “watering down” says that he cares more about his own theological battles, than about reaching the guy who knows nothing at all about Jesus Christ.**

And this is exactly what my pastor will NOT do. He gives it straight and narrow — right in your face — no watering down at all.


15 posted on 11/05/2010 8:43:53 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Another area where the emerging / emergent church movement has become anti-biblical is its focus on ecumenism. Unity among people coming from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and diversity in the expression of corporate worship are a strong focus of the emergent church movement. Being ecumenical means that compromise is taking place, and this results in a watering down of Scripture in favor of not offending an apostate. This is in direct opposition to passages such as Revelation 2:14-17, Jesus' letter to the church of Pergamum, in which the Church is warned against tolerating those who teach false doctrine.

Here you are. I know the word Catholic is not EXPLICITY stated, but IMPLICITY. Rome is the one pushing eucmenism, right?

"The goal of the Church's ecumenical strategy is the unity of all Christian Churches through common communion with the Roman Catholic Church...the results will be that, little by little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the unity of the one and only Church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time." - Second Vatican Council "Decree on Ecumenism," no. 4.

16 posted on 11/05/2010 8:47:53 AM PDT by smvoice (Defending the Indefensible: The Pride of a Pawn.)
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To: smvoice

**Here you are. I know the word Catholic is not EXPLICITY stated, but IMPLICITY. Rome is the one pushing eucmenism, right?**

You should hear the horror stories I have heard on this subject.


17 posted on 11/05/2010 8:59:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: smvoice

**Here you are. I know the word Catholic is not EXPLICITY stated, but IMPLICITY. Rome is the one pushing eucmenism, right?**

NO


18 posted on 11/05/2010 9:00:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I can only imagine..it is a disaster in the making, that’s for sure. Sorta’ like the Obama agenda. We see the train wreck that is about to happen, yet no one seems able to stop it..frightening.


19 posted on 11/05/2010 9:02:46 AM PDT by smvoice (Defending the Indefensible: The Pride of a Pawn.)
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To: smvoice

ECUMENISM

The modern movement toward Christian unity, whose Protestant origins stem from the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 1910 and whose Catholic principles were formulated by the Second Vatican Council in 1964.

These principles are mainly three:

1. Christ established the Church on the Apostles and their episcopal successors, whose visible head and principle of unity became Peter and his successor the Bishop of Rome;

2. Since the first century there have been divisions in Christianity, but many persons now separated from visible unity with the successors of the Apostles under Peter are nevertheless Christians who possess more or less of the fullness of grace available in the Roman Catholic Church;

3. Catholics are to do everything possible to foster the ecumenical movement, which comprehends all "the initiatives and activities, planned and undertaken to promote Christian unity, according to the Church's various needs and as opportunities offer" (Decree on Ecumenism, I, 4).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

20 posted on 11/05/2010 9:04:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
whose Protestant origins stem from the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 1910

Yes, they were blind.

whose Catholic principles were formulated by the Second Vatican Council in 1964.

And they formulated Catholic principles in 1964, 54 years later and with a ONE WAY sign attached, all pointing to Rome and Protestants moving toward HER by accepting HER principles and beliefs. There is no room for compromise with Rome, as the Second Vatican Council made clear. So we are left with unity, ecumenism, as defined by the "Dogma of Ecumenism," no. 4 that I just gave you. Seems that Rome thinks She is in the driver's seat on Ecumenism.

21 posted on 11/05/2010 9:12:59 AM PDT by smvoice (Defending the Indefensible: The Pride of a Pawn.)
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To: wmfights

The Church has been emergent and emerging for 2000 years.


22 posted on 11/05/2010 9:27:40 AM PDT by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: smvoice

>>into the unity of the one and only Church<<

One world religion you say?


23 posted on 11/05/2010 10:01:42 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear

That’s what it seems they’re going for...like lemmings..happy, happy lemmings. {sigh}...


24 posted on 11/05/2010 10:04:03 AM PDT by smvoice (Defending the Indefensible: The Pride of a Pawn.)
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To: smvoice; CynicalBear
One world religion you say? ... That’s what it seems they’re going for...like lemmings..happy, happy lemmings. {sigh}...

Indeed. I would hate to believe in something that could be called, say, the "One holy, catholic, and apostilic Church."

That would be bad.

25 posted on 11/05/2010 10:13:52 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: smvoice; CynicalBear
One world religion you say? ... That’s what it seems they’re going for...like lemmings..happy, happy lemmings. {sigh}...

Indeed. I would hate to believe in something that could be called, say, the "One holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

That would be bad.

26 posted on 11/05/2010 10:14:34 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

Yes. If it were an apostate church, with a different gospel, and another Christ, it would be bad. No matter how many lemmings claimed membership.


27 posted on 11/05/2010 2:24:00 PM PDT by smvoice (Defending the Indefensible: The Pride of a Pawn.)
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To: smvoice
Yes. If it were an apostate church, with a different gospel, and another Christ, it would be bad. No matter how many lemmings claimed membership.

And yet in many cases -- e.g., as exemplified by Rob Bell and Donald Miller, to name a couple of emerging church types -- it is none of that.

What I see, is an author nitpicking on doctrine, and some other folks apparently disliking the approach those folks are using to take the Gospel out into the world.

Well, as I noted above -- Jesus had something to say about folks like that.

Perhaps you need to take a deep breath, step back, and look at what those guys are doing.

I linked to a couple of excellent books, above. Give 'em a read, and then come back and tell me about "emerging churches."

28 posted on 11/05/2010 3:29:44 PM PDT by r9etb
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