Friday, May 21, 2010

Six Clues to the Danger of the Emergent Church Movement

1) Mysticism: experience over scripture. Mantras into trances

“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
1Thessalonians 5:19-22

2) No Absolute Truth: Jesus is not the only way

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.””
John 14:6

3) Church Doctrine: Doctrine doesn’t matter

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
1Timothy 4:16

“Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.”
Hebrews 13:9

4) Ecumenicisim: merge with Catholic Church etc

“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Ephesians 4:14-16

5) “Ancient Future Faith”: Ancient faith practices and beliefs are better even though 5th-10th century had much Biblical error

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.”
Colossians 2:8-10

6) Sin is not an issue: Sin is not preached against

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
1John 1:8-10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Castles in the Sand: a simple book review

How can Emergent leanings and teachings be wrong?

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” Acts 20:28-30

I just finished the novel, Castles in the Sand, by Carolyn A. Greene.

It is a basic story of sending a young person to a “good” Christian College only to discover how this college has recently adopted much of the Emergent thinking into its curriculum. The author weaves in the real practices of mysticism: labyrinths, mantras, contemplative prayer, etc., which are all used in Emergent teachings. This story shows how alluringly easy it is to affect young people, but older people as well can also be caught up in this seductive wrong thinking.

Castles keeps you interested in what will happen next, it is an easy read, and ends well, but the reader will learn what to look out for in her own church, youth groups, books, speakers, classes etc. We must be on guard to stand up for the true faith of the Bible because Emergent teachings are subtly sneaking in everywhere.

To further your education in the Emergent movement read the non-fiction, Faith Undone, by Roger Oakland. Our culture surely is listening to what our itching ears want to hear.

Apprising Ministries also has a wealth of information on the Emergent movement.  Check it out! 

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5

Let’s remember who’s precious blood paid for our salvation and seek His truth.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Get on the Hope Train

By James MacDonald, February 1, 2010,

“Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

As followers of Jesus, we need to keep thinking and talking about hope. But hope in itself doesn’t mean much with out an object. Hope must have a target. It’s not typical to hope in Jesus Christ. It is typical to hope in my finances, my family, my career, or my marriage. I can hope in a leader or cause. We put our hope in many things other than Christ. But we learn that none of those things are worthy of our ultimate hope. None of them! The only reliable place to rest our hearts is in Jesus Christ. But that hope is not intuitive - or normal. Hoping may be a habit, but we have to learn to hope in Christ.

The word hope means “a confident expectation of something better.” Hope in Christ realizes, “Hey! My best days are ahead of me. Life isn’t all in the rearview mirror for me now. In Christ I’ve got some things I’m looking forward to - not just in this life, but in the life to come.” That kind of self-talk stirs up hope within us.

Its important to recognize the battle that we’re facing and practice the hope that we find in our King. Learning implies a training process. It’s trial and error. You’re like, “Yeah, I kind of got off the Hope Train this week.” Get back on! That’s why we come to church. Hope training is why we hang out with other Christians. I don’t know what you are feeling today, but if you kind of got off the Hope Train, climb back on!

Now that means we intentionally exchange doubt for hope. Instead of discouragement and despair, we choose hope. I think we need to look to other people who are good models of hope. I am aware of a woman in our church who I have watched over the last couple of years. I have prayed earnestly from a distance as she has gone through an awful circumstance in her family - with no end in sight. Yet she has strengthened many people with her stalwart faith and unyielding joy in the Lord. The examples of other believers’ lives are all around us. These people may not be perfect, but they challenge us to do better. And you can’t know how much staying on the Hope Train will encourage others.

Come get on the Hope Train with me now.  And if you happen to find yourself off of it again - then get back on!  Jill

Monday, May 10, 2010

Psalm 73

“You have taken hold of my right hand.  With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but You?  And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.  But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:23b-28

All of Psalm 73 has been extremely profound to me for all these years.  It is full of the vivid emotion I have concerning what I see in this world.  It is full of humbling myself before what I perceive is happening and what is actually truth.  And then it is encouraging because through all of it I then see the Lord more clearly.

Yes, the nearness of God is my good.


The Warrior is a Child

by Twila Paris

Lately I’ve been winnin’ battles left and right.
But even winners can get wounded in the fight.
People say that I’m amazin’, strong beyond my years;
They don’t see inside of me--I’m hidin’ all the tears.

They don’t know that I go runnin’ home when I fall down.
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around.
I drop my sword and cry for just awhile--
‘Cause deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.

Unafraid because His armor is the best.
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest.
People say that I’m amazing’, never face retreat;
They don’t see the enemy can lay me at His feet.

They don’t know that I go runnin’ home when I fall down.
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around.
I drop my sword and cry for just awhile--
‘Cause deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Invisible Woman

A dear friend and her precious granddaughter just gave me the book, The Invisible Woman, by Nicole Johnson.  

It is light reading with the main focus concerning the idea of what a godly woman should be--an invisible woman who accomplishes the myriad of things she does for the Lord to glorify His name. Nicole Johnson compares the building of the great Cathedrals of Europe by many, many unknown artisans with godly women who choose to continue to build into other’s lives (mainly their husbands and children, but also people beyond this boundary) for a goal which they may not see now and perhaps will not see in their life time on earth.

This book inspires us to remember that in all we do-- no matter if it is of high value or our lowly chores --each effort is of great worth when we do it to glorify the Lord. This can change our perspective on every task, putting the joy of the Lord back into our lives.

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, [give permanence to] the work of our hands."  Psalm 90:17

Whether you read this work or not, you can biblically know that when you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus you can live in His strength.