I read this on Christian Worldview Network and thought it worth posting here.  I’ve not broached the Emergent Church specifically yet I don’t believe but I have addressed the post modern church which is part of it.   I’ve also provided some good links for additional information about the Emergent Church on my sidebar.

This is an insidious and evil influence that is disguised in such a way that it enters churches subtly.  It takes discernment to recognize it and sadly the church lacks discernment which is evident in the way this has infiltrated mainstream churches that were once Bible believing churches.  Heed the warning and be ever watchful!

Posted: 12/08/2008

Memoirs of an Emergent Church Victim

by Heidi Swander
The two pastoral search committee members I spoke with assured me there would be no problem.  Making certain that a new pastoral candidate was firmly grounded in Scripture, acutely aware of the Emergent Church, and stood squarely against it would be at the top of the list of attributes to look for in a new senior pastor.  Hey — they said they even had an Emergent Church watchdog on the committee.  What could go wrong?  Plenty.

The day came when the committee recommended a candidate.  To acquaint the congregation with him, the elders scheduled a number of “townhall meetings” so we could ask him questions.  My two questions were on eschatology and the Emergent Church.  I don’t remember his exact answers.  I do remember them being vague and unsatisfying.

Nonetheless, in due course, the congregation voted and the vote was just short of unanimous.  We officially “called” our new senior pastor.

Within weeks of his start date, sweeping changes took place in our church.  I liken it to a bull in a china shop.  The music — the one thing that is most readily noticed and a sensitive subject for any church — began to change.  Two on the pastoral staff left fairly suddenly.  The organist resigned.  The church services began to look different.  Social programs absent a clear plan for presenting the gospel began to emerge.

I tried to set these peripheral things aside and concentrate on his sermons.  This was often difficult because the substance seemed elusive.  I found myself second-guessing everything he said.  Sometimes what he said and the way he said it sounded disrespectful of the Word of God.  He spoke positively about New Age advocate Oprah Winfrey.  He began to weave quotes and video clips from Emergent leaders into his messages. He — and many of the elders — strongly urged the church to get on board with all that was happening, and eagerly promoted a questionable book we should read to help us in the transition.  And one elder blatantly recommended a book — two weeks in a row — by prominent Catholic mystic Henry Nouwen who is a father to the contemplative prayer movement.  My trust level was tanking.

Then one day here at Olive Tree Ministries I got the word that a friend of our new pastor, Terry Esau, would be speaking in my Sunday school class.  His subject?  “Breathing Lessons for Your Church.” My heart sank.  I was in the middle of reading A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen — a warning primer on contemplative prayer, which is a foundational teaching of the Emergent Church.  From the subject title I predicted that this speaker would have Emergent leanings.   It was that day when I finally admitted to myself that I was losing my church. As we sat down for lunch and Jan asked me to pray, I choked on the prayer and began weeping.

I had felt so comfortable at this church!  I had finally opened up and made some friends.  I had a Sunday school teacher that I could really respect.  I’d even gone to a couple of class social events.  I thought I’d found a church home.  And then, disaster struck in the form of a new senior pastor who turned the church — and my world — on its head.  For your average churchgoer, this is difficult; for a single person, the blow stings that much more.  For me, the pain was acute.

Now what should I do?

Others in the church were aware of the pro-Emergent direction in which the church was headed and tried to address it.  Many of the older members — who were systematically being ousted by the change in service music and venue — tried to talk to the new pastor or an elder to no avail.

Finally four of us had the opportunity to meet with the pastor and a couple of the elders.  At that meeting I heard firsthand what so many had reportedly been told: “If there are those who are uncomfortable with the direction the church is headed, it may be wise for them to find another place to worship.” It wasn’t directed at me, but I got the message.  They wouldn’t consider any pleas for caution, no matter how scripturally-based.

By the time that meeting was over, I’d had enough.  It was time to move on.

I’d already started visiting another area church intermittently and had really enjoyed it, though I was wary from my recent experience.  But the people were friendly, and the Word of God was dynamically preached.  I also discovered that the pastor was teaching a series on the Emergent Church in order to educate and warn his church family.  That really encouraged me!  I sat in on one of those lessons, and my enthusiasm grew.  Could it be that I had so quickly found a new church home that stood squarely on Scripture and against the postmodern onslaught I’d been wrestling?  In a word, yes!  It’s amazing how quickly my trust level is growing, and I’m so happy to once again look forward to attending church every week!

I realize as I write this that there are many of you who only dream of finding a solidly biblical church home.  Some continue to attend an unhealthy church because you don’t know what else to do.  Some choose to stay and fight – which I did for a while — but

you have to know when the gig is up and it’s time to move on.  And then, where to move on to?

Pray about it.  Set standards that you will not waver from. For me a church must be Bible-based, doctrinally sound, pro-Israel, premillennial.
Sit down with the pastor and grill him on your important standards that are essential to a healthy church.

There is a command in Scripture to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). The Lord knows that it is vital to our spiritual health and growth to exhort one another, “and so much the more as [we] see the day approaching,” – that is, the nearer the return of Christ is.  If He commands it, there must be a way to fulfill it.  Ask Him to show you what to do.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
RADIO: Learn about the deceptive and blatantly occult film “Twilight” to which Christians are flocking. Heed the warnings. It will be posted at “Radio Archives” by late in the day Monday. It was aired to our live audience December 6. For podcasting information, go here.
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Always looking up!

Heidi Swander
Ministry Associate
Olive Tree Ministries
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Ways the Church is Hindered

Albeit these are sarcastic but also quite relevant to what is hindering the church today!

by Worship Leaders

by Youth Leaders

by Church Members

and last but not least by Pastors

The Cost of Compromise

This is a sermonette from A.W. Tozer that couldn’t be more appropriate for today for the church and the direction she is headed.

Compromise has cost the Church her testimony.  We’ve become far too much like the world in the way we dress, talk, act and think.  How can the world they see that they need what we have if there is nothing different about us?

Please take the time to read this and although it is long it is well worth reading.

“Great saints have always been dogmatic.  We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever.”

“This frightening hour calls aloud for men with the gift of prophetic insight. Instead we have men who conduct surveys, polls and panel discussions. We need men with the gift of knowledge. In their place we have men with scholarship—nothing more.

If the church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. …not the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom.

We desperately need seers who can see through the mist—Christian leaders with prophetic vision. Unless they come soon it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy.

“The church has lost her testimony.

She has no longer anything to say to the world.”

Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere.

Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment.

We need to learn that truth consists not in correct doctrine, but in correct doctrine plus the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

Men who have been used of God in any generation from Calvary down to this hour have not invented and preached new truths. They have simply had the anointed vision to discover truths that had been obscured by the overemphasis of certain other truths.

The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted.

Pure Christianity, instead of being shaped by its environment, actually stands in sharp opposition to it.

Could it be that too many of God’s true children, and especially the preachers, are sinning against God by guilty silence?…I for one am waiting to hear the loud voices of the prophets and reformers sounding once more over a sluggish and drowsy church. They’ll pay a price for their boldness, but the results will be worth it.

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. This is such a common truth that one hesitates to mention it, yet it appears to have been overlooked by the majority of Christians today.”

Apart from God nothing matters. We think that health matters, that freedom matters, or knowledge or art or civilization. And but for one insistent word they would matter indeed. That word is eternity.

We are in real need of a reformation that will lead to revival among the churches. The man who has been taught by the Holy Spirit will be a seer rather than a scholar. The difference is that the scholar sees and the seer sees through; and that is a mighty difference indeed.

The apostles went to jail, and that is not too revealing because they went against their will; but when they got out of jail and could go where they would they immediately went to the praying company. The choices of life, not the compulsions, reveal character.

Moral power has always accompanied definitive beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way. The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him.
I believe that the imperative need of the day is not simply revival, but a radical reformation that will go to the root of our moral and spiritual maladies and deal with causes rather than with consequences, with the disease rather than with symptoms.

When the children of God accept the world’s values it is time some Christians spoke up. Babylon may have her gods, her own way of life and moral standards. It is when Israel begins to adopt them that the prophet of God becomes responsible to rise and cry out against them.

“Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit.”

Truth consists not merely in correct doctrine but in correct doctrine to which is added the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit…John the Baptist said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). He was not referring to men’s gifts. He was speaking of spiritual truth.

The radical element in testimony and life that once made Christians hated by the world is missing from present-day evangelicalism.

It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival.

The fact is that we are not today producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is but a wretched parody on true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind movements to perpetuate this degenerate form of religion and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it.

And when the deliverers come—reformers, revivalists, prophets—they will be men of God and men of courage. They will have God on their side because they will be careful to stay on God’s side. They will be co-workers with Christ and instruments in the hand of the Holy Ghost. Such men will be baptized with the Spirit indeed…

Our only hope is that renewed spiritual pressure will be exerted increasingly by self-effacing and courageous men who desire nothing but the glory of God and the purity of the church. May God send us many of them.

Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits.

Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil.

The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy of it.

Some who desire to be teachers of the Word, but who understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm, insist upon “naked” faith as the only way to know spiritual things. By this they mean a conviction of the trustworthiness of the Word of God (a conviction, it may be noted, which the devils share with them). But the man who has been taught even slightly by the Spirit of Truth will rebel at this perversion. His language will be, “I have heard Him and observed Him. What have I to do any more with idols?” For he cannot love a God who is no more than a deduction from a text.

“The man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life, but a glorious one. May God raise up many such prophets. The church needs them badly.”

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another…He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.”

Seeker Sensitive Movement

I personally call it the seeker obsessed movement. Long ago I grew disillusioned with the church growth movement as the Gospel became watered down (made palatable) and fear of offending people was more important than the truth!

Paul Washer sums it up quite well!

Another video about the fundamental flaws that the seeker sensitive movement is based on.