Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Emergent Church - Excerpt from Let Us Reason


EMERGING INTO WHAT?

Intro comment by Chris Lawson (Spiritual Research Network website).

After spending many hours researching the Emerging Church these last couple months, we fully agree with what Mike Oppenheimer says in his articles.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that the Emerging Church is on a crash course with New Age Mysticism. In fact, the 'Fathers' of contemplative prayer (Thomas Merton and Father Thomas Keating) hijacked Eastern Mysticism and have wrapped it all up nice and neatly in Christian buzz words.

'Buyer beware!' is our assessment. Emerging Church practices such as contemplative prayer, prayer mantras, labyrinths, yoga, chanting, drum circles, icons/images, incense, etc. are not only unbiblical practices for Christians, they come from idolatrous pagan religions and are prohibited by God. Unbiblical and pagan practices pose danger to all human beings and the end result is total delusion and ultimately damnation.

For a Christian, practicing pagan worship techniques deludes ones perspective on who and what God really is. Furthermore, it damages and cauterizes ones own faith, sets a horrible example to the world, and align one with the serpent power of idolatrous religions [See also The Hazards of Kundalini Serpent Power of Yoga].

We fully agree with Mike's article below because we have researched many of the same things he has. For the uninformed, we encourage you to spend just one hour researching mysticism, labryinths, yoga, pantheism, contemplative prayer and prayer mantras, drum circles, chanting, altered states of consciousness, etc. are. Be careful not to get sucked in by the deception. Simply read your Bible and what God has to say in condeming pagan religions [Deuteronomy 13 & 18 for starters] and you will be shocked that Christian leaders are bringing this into the church. The letter below is from Mike Openheimer at Let Us Reason Ministries and can be read in its entirety at the Moriel Archive

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The Emergent Church
Excerpt from letter from Let Us Reason Ministires
December 13, 2005

Greetings to all,We are living in the time period Jesus warned would be marked by deception (Mt.24). Yet we have fewer people paying attention or becoming aware of the schemes that are being used to change the church. Like the Hurricanes that have recently hit our country and ripped apart cities, Americas religious landscape is also being ripped up and it is happening very quickly. While everyone is looking toward a revival to counter the moral decay we are watching, the greatest infiltration of counterfeits presenting themselves as a move of God is taking place. Today there are apostles and prophets that are changing the way church is being done. Personal prophecies have replaced the teaching of the prophetic Scripture. There are certain apostolic promoters making the rounds all over the world claiming transformation is already happening (Ed Silvoso is one of them). But it is really the church that is being transformed- to be like the world. Most pastors do not know who these apostles or their ministries are, nor are they informed on the various tactics they are using to bring the church on board. The world does not judge what is right or wrong, it has no standard, it is the world that is tolerant of everything and everyone (except for those who say they have the truth and absolutes.) The Church is commanded to judge good and evil- right and wrong (Heb.5:13), to proclaim a standard-instead we have adopted the world’s view of tolerance. Because of this, we are in a chokehold, saying nothing to address an ever increasing problem that is spreading everywhere. What good is salt if it loses its flavor? Jesus said -It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt 5:13).Many of us are kept busy in our own areas of ministry and we are often unaware of how much is unraveling. We need to get a topside view to see the bigger picture. Attacks on the Trinity are going forward in new books. Preterism is growing as the rapture is fading from peoples theology. In fact theology is made fun of, and becoming like a humdrum sunset that most do not care to see. Few are being trained in Bible history and expository preaching, even in the seminaries. Where are we headed in the coming years if Jesus tarries? I can tell you that the religious landscape will be drastically different, and it will not be for the better despite all the positive confessors and thinkers. As the Scripture stated “My people perish for the lack of knowledge.” It is having the fear of the Lord that we begin to pursue having His knowledge. The more informed we are the better we can prepare ourselves and the people so they will not fall for these strong winds of strange doctrines now blowing against the house. I want to take the time to address an issue that has been on my heart, something I’m devoting much time researching, writing and refuting. There is what is called an emergent church movement that is bringing in the new age into the church. This, in my opinion, has become the most dangerous and blatant attack on the church we have seen in recent history and it cannot be ignored. The more I and others research this growing mystical movement, the more concerned we became. Personally, I’m both perplexed and bewildered to see this taking place. Both My wife and I came out of the new age movement and were practicing practically the same type of spiritual exercises that are now inside the church. To see this taking place inside the church, to our youth is very disturbing.We now have the emergent church adopting other religious practices and introducing the youth to be “new age Christians”. Yoga, meditation, labyrinth walking, contemplative prayer, and a host of other unbiblical, other religious practices are now a stable diet for the young. Who knows how far the search for an experiential faith will take them. Men like Brian McLaren, Edwin McManus, Leonard Sweet and Even Rick Warren are connected to and promoting these changes for our good to reach a postmodern culture. Instead, it is synthesizing other religions with Christianity, blurring the distinctive.

These are 4 articles that explain what is taking place and comparing it to the new age movements agenda. (we have other written articles posted under the what's new section by pastors who have made themselves informed.)

Read Mike's full letter at the Moriel Archive...

http://www.letusreason.org/current73.htm
pt 2
http://www.letusreason.org/current74.htm
pt 3
http://www.letusreason.org/curren76.htm
pt 4
http://www.letusreason.org/current78.htm

More Emerging Church discernment articles at Let Us Reason (Mike Oppenheimer's website).

You can also check out THE HAZARDS OF YOGA by following the links on our Spiritual Research Network site.