EMERGING CHURCHES

"The emerging church is not easy to define because it is not a “new” church being established by new spiritual leaders that is in opposition to existing churches. Rather, it is existing spiritual leaders, in existing Christian churches, calling for a need to establish a “new” or more “modern approach” for the modern world that we live in. They say that modern man has outgrown the old established ideas of Christianity and there is a need to redefine Christianity to reach the post-modern man. 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 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. The emerging, or emergent, church movement takes its name from the idea that as culture changes, the church should change in response. These leaders say that preaching sermons and Bible teaching is not what attracts the post-modern person anymore. Now a person needs to “experience” the Gospel if he is to be won to Christ. In their focus ecumenism and unity among people of different religions the emerging church has become anti-biblical. Being ecumenical means that compromise is taking place, and this results in a watering down of Scripture in favor of not offending an apostate. In the emergent church the Bible is being replaced by all kinds of experience based religious rituals and paraphernalia. They believe that God needs to be “experienced” during the worship service. Therefore the “experience” becomes the focus during an emergent church service. To enhance the “experience” the use of icons, candles, incense, liturgy and sacraments are being utilized. Many emergent church leaders are connected to mysticism and new age spiritually. There is also a strong connection to the Roman Catholic Church and especially to Catholic mysticism. The era of the “seeker friendly” church, introduced by Rick Warren and implemented by Purpose Driven churches (meaning not being offensive to the unsaved by not preaching the doctrines of salvation and eternal condemnation) are now moving up to the next level of the “new spirituality” towards a mystical experienced based religion. While seeking new ways to witness to a changing culture is admirable but 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."