Commentary by Roger Oakland
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Those who support the Emerging Church Movement justify that "reinventing Christianity" is necessary in order to "reach" the present generation.
Reaching the present generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ is a challenge for pastors today. Young people growing up in the 21st century have a completely different worldview than their parents. Education and society in general have programmed their minds into believing there are no absolutes. We now live in a pluralistic, relativistic society. Wrong can be right and right can be wrong. It really does not make any difference. This is what it means to be religiously correct in the postmodern era.
So how does the gospel of Jesus Christ rate in a postmodern society that claims truth is a word that should be archived in the dark ages? Now that this generation has been enlightened, how do you tell a sinner they need a Savior?
For pastors who are looking for numbers for success, the Emerging Church is the answer. The Emerging Church has a whole new way of looking at Christianity. Rather than dwelling on sin, death, and hell, the Emerging Church promises peace, hope, and experience. Rather than being concerned about spending eternity with Jesus, the Emerging Church promotes the kingdom of God in the here and now.
You see, this is why Christianity, according to Emerging Church proponents, must be reinvented. Those who say such a view has the potential to lead to apostasy are considered narrow-minded, old-fashioned resistors who need to be exterminated like rats from churches.
Since writing the book Faith Undone I have discovered that taking a stand for Biblical truth in the midst of Emerging Church propaganda, can create a lot of emotional opposition. I have received many comments from the "brethren" who say that coming against the "new thing God is doing" is divisive and counter-productive.
For example, I have been part of a fellowship of pastors for many years who are presently debating the issue of the Emerging Church. There are some of these pastors who believe the Emerging Church is "just being relevant". They say this new wave that has hit Christianity like a tsunami is similar to the Jesus Movement of the '60s and '70s.
I disagree with this view. While they may be correct in saying that it is "another Jesus" movement, it is not another "Jesus Movement". The Jesus Movement of the past was based on pointing people to the Word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the soon return of Christ. The Emerging Church is headed in a direction that will soon eliminate the gospel for the sake of building the kingdom with anyone and everyone who will participate.
If you don't believe this, it can be proven. Read chapter eleven of Faith Undone called "Slaughterhouse Religion." Did you know that some Emerging leaders are saying the cross is "false advertising for God?"
I agree with the Emerging Church leaders that it is important to reach this generation. The issue is, what is it that we are going to reach them with? If we lead this generation away from the truth, we will not be reaching them, we will be deceiving them. The Bible calls this apostasy. For such, the God of the Bible will be the judge.