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Sometimes this is called a "movement" and sometimes just a "conversation".
I believe that the people involved, leaders and followers, are asking some good sincere questions and are raising some of the same issues I've raised. But, I also believe that they are doing what skeptics and pagans have done for ages past, they create a "straw man" and call it "traditional Christianity" and then tear it down. And even though one of their leaders might say that modern Evangelicalism is missing the point (I agree), I believe the Emerging Church leaders are also "missing the point".
They say they want to be true to the Bible, but I'm not so sure that their solutions and convictions are truly derived from Genesis to Revelation.
It reminds me of the crucial differences I found years ago between a grouping represented in modern times by M. Scott Peck's and Marilyn Ferguson's and John Naisbitt's views of "community" versus those of a grouping represented by people in the Biblical House Churches and the historical Plymouth Brethren, Anabaptists, and Waldensians, to give some examples.
Both groupings questioned religious traditions and traditional thinking and mindlessly following the establishment but only the latter, in my view, ended up following the real Jesus in terms of the real Gospel according to Genesis through Revelation.
Question the traditions of men and the establishment WE MUST! But faithfully follow Jesus according to the Word of God WE MUST. Everything else is a COUNTERFEIT!
Please consider going to the Media Spotlight site and requesting a copy of this Fall report by Albert James Dager.
Al writes, "Over the past few decades there has appeared a new way of looking at church ministry which incorporates a more world-relevant approach to church services. Called "the emergent church movement," it was born out of a feeling that in many modern churches something has gone wrong, especially in failing to attract the younger, postmodern generation."
In Brother Dager's "A Personal Note" in the latest issue of "Media Spotlight", he writes, "The movement is focused on replacing reliance upon God's Word for all spiritual belief and practice with sensual experience through the return to ancient forms of worship that characterize Roman Catholicism and other so-called, "high churches" such as the Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox traditions."
Also, he writes, "When scripture is said to be inadequate to arrive at truth apart from experience, tradition, and human reasoning, and the methodology of a movement rests upon such a claim, then we must say unequivocably that that movement is not of God. The conclusion, then, is that the movement, being of a spiritual nature, must be of Satan. We say this with no apologies to the fooolish or even naive followers of that movement. Our warning is to come out of it; have no part in it; repent of it."
See Al Dager's report for extensive documentation. Request it from the Media Spotlight site. (1/8/06)
Conjure: To summon (a devil or spirit) by magical or supernatural power.
Definition from Answers.com
These techniques masquerade as "prayer" and "meditation".
But it's not Biblical prayer and it's not Biblical mediation.
Biblical meditation has nothing to do with entering an altered state of consciousness.
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7
Moody Bible Institute
What is MBI's position on the "Emerging Church" and Contemplative Spirituality?
Do any of their courses or professors promote these trends?
Is there anyone at MBI willing to take a stand against these movements?
An interesting article in the spring issue of Journey magazine