Meditation II

Image by Roshnii via Flickr

John MacArthur is a wonderful, godly man whose teachings have been instrumental in the lives of many Christians.  He has been a staunch defender of the gospel through attacks from false teachers and continues to urge Christians to hold on to the absolute truth of God’s Word.  I thoroughly enjoy his books and teachings and we use his research and writings frequently on Stand Up For the Truth.

But even great men like John MacArthur get it wrong some times.  MacArthur recently commented that the Emergent Church was dead.  He sees it as no longer a threat to traditional Christianity.  Well in this one instance, John MacArthur is failing to understand just what the Emergent Church is—and is not.

The Emergent Church is like water—conforming and molding to the container it is in.  And its container is this:  That for any man to claim he can know absolute truth is an abomination.  Its container is not doctrine or the Word of God—it is how we feel about things.  If we don’t like the judgmental side of God, just ignore it.  When Christianity is taught as a religion of exclusivity, well that is just too harsh for them.

The Emergent Church is all about humanism—putting the desires and dreams of men ahead of the Word and will of God.  And it has found a new container it fits within perfectly—the growing New Age Movement.  A movement where you can bend and shape the character and nature of God to what you would like it to be, instead of what God states His character and nature truly is.  A movement that cannot accept what Jesus taught about the path to salvation being narrow.  A movement that teaches that God is in everything and each of us have a divinity within us—and if we can just tap in to it and connect with one another, that we can accomplish anything–just like the Tower of Babel.

When you take a step back and connect the dots between Emergent Church leaders and the New Age Movement, you see the big picture.  Many Emergent leaders are followers and admirers of New Age mystic teachers like Emanuel Swedenborg, Eckhart Tolle, Matthew Fox and Leonard Sweet—men who taught that we are all divine and if we could just connect our divinity with others, we could become God.

With all due respect and admiration for John MacArthur, on this point he could not be more wrong.  The Emergent Church continues to emerge—and has now found its perfect home in New Age mysticism.  And sadly the movement is being promoted and supported—knowingly or unknowingly—in churches like Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.  And Rick Warren has a website for pastoral resources that thousands of pastors access on a regular basis.  As pastors see the growth and financial prosperity of churches like Saddleback, do you think for a moment that many are not tempted to adopt his ideas for church growth?

How long will it be until more churches do what Rick Warren is doing with his “Daniel Plan”—inviting Muslims and Hindus in to teach Christians how to have physical, emotional and spiritual health?  How long will it be until more churches stop preaching out of the bible, and turn to using cheap, inaccurate paraphrase commentaries like Eugene Peterson’s “The Message”?

A day is coming when every Pastor and Elder Board will have a huge decision to make:  Do they stand strong on the absolute truth of God’s Word?  Or give in to the world so they can see growth in numbers and finances?  It’s a big decision—with big, eternal consequences.