Authority not Deeds

One of the main ideas of the Emerging Missional Progressive church movement is living ‘sent or on mission’ (hence the “missional” element). There are no commands in scripture to “live sent” and no commands to “live on mission” these simply come from the giving context to things in scripture that really are not there or by taking scripture out of context.

Many times in scripture Jesus refers to the Father who sent Me, or makes statements like “this is the will of Him who sent Me”… ‘sent’ is the mark or the finger pointing to the authority by which Jesus was sent or the authority behind what He said/did. It is not a word that teaches some watered down pay it forward, false doctrine like living “sent or on mission”. It speaks to authorityGod’s authority in sending Jesus. Biblically the word mission when used in reference to Christianity, refers to the “sending forth” of men with authority to preach or spread the gospel. Jesus wasn’t sent to leave big tips at restaurants, or to surprise people by paying for their coffee in the drive thru, Jesus wasn’t sent just to eat meals with people and He certainly wasn’t sent to drink beer with people, Jesus wasn’t sent to clean up cities, or to create an equal society for all… He was sent by God the Father for one purpose, to redeem sinful people, not a group, not a community but individual people. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (humanity) that He (God the Father) SENT His only begotten Son that whoever (individual people) believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have everlasting life.” When John the Baptist came as a forerunner to Jesus, the Pharisee’s questioned him asking if he was the Christ, was he Elijah, was he the Prophet… they wanted to know the authority by which he was sent preaching repent and be baptized.

Sent: one that is sent forth. This has nothing to do with how a Believer lives, it has everything to do with the authority by which we live out what God has commanded us to do in His Word. It is a word of “commissioning”… Believer’s are commissioned by God’s authority to preach the gospel (1Corinthians 15:1-4), to make disciples and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We are not sent (commissioned) to be ‘missional’, to live ‘sent’ or on ‘mission’ doing acts of kindness, social justice activism, paying it forward in the fast food line etc. Sent/Mission biblically speak to authority and commissioning, they do not have anything to do with deeds/works. Living ‘sent, on mission’ as pushed by the Emergent Missional Progressive movement is a false ideology that doesn’t have a basis in scripture.

Like Jesus, who was commissioned by His Father to save humanity from the penalty of sin, we have one purpose preach the gospel… we do this (commissioned) by Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Church, stop looking for easy works based, culture friendly Christianity, stop being deceived, stop listening to ‘thought leaders’ (the use of this title by people should be a red flag) who are teaching a false Christianity and who are rewriting the Bible to fit their narrative. That’s it. StraightUp!

Matthew 18:5-6 is a warning to those who cause others to stumble.

A Look at the Emerging Church

Photo by Zac Frith on Pexels.com

There are two defining elements to the Emergent Missional Church movement. 1. Social Justice or social activism (which is how you live on mission, sent and incarnationally) – that may not actually be a word, but you get my point. 2. Contemplative Spiritual practices/ Spiritual Formation/ Soul Care and following Mystics. Every one of the Emerging Church leaders I have looked at over the past two years have these two things in common as well as organizations like Creo Collective which is a group of people in the EFCA who are following the Emergent ideology. If you as a Christian practice contemplative spiritual practices or your church promotes it even as “Spiritual Formation” or “Soul Care” technically you or your church are “Emergent” … might be time to wake up!

The Emergent Church is made up of two elements (for lack of a better word) Progressive Christianity and Missional Christianity. There is a huge amount of cross over between those who walk the Progressive Christian lane and those who are in the Missional lane. In reality Progressive Christianity is apostate Christianity and Missional at best is heretical Christianity. If Missional Christianity were biblical those in its box would have nothing to do with the Progressive side, but that is not the case. The whose who of each group are more than accepting of each others “Christianity” after all we are all God’s children, right? NOPE. Not true. In fact, the Emerging Church was started by a group of men along with a guy named Bob Buford. Some of these men were Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, and Tony Jones. Bob Buford wasn’t even a Christian! Today, these men are all Progressive Christians! Think there is a connection? Absolutely. This movement is railroading churches at warp speed! It is very discouraging and yet at the same time the Bible tells us this is going to happen.

(c) StraightUp 2021.

This is my attempt to help explain the Emergent Missional Church since I am being asked more and more to explain it. It is a complex movement with variations between it’s people and churches, so explaining it is not always simple. So, the picture is like it says, a snap shot. We need to be aware of these things! This movement has a lot of nice sounding elements, but it is not biblical Christianity by a long shot. The Bible tells us to be on guard, be alert, and to be watching! Church, it is time to wake up! There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing leading churches today we are to be able to recognize this and to call it out and reject it. It’s time to get away from pay it forward, social justice Christianity. It’s time to get into the scriptures and see what they say for yourselves, don’t just trust something because the pastor is saying it or promoting it or because a particular teacher/leader use to be biblically sound…that doesn’t mean they still are. If you read the Bible and don’t understand it, you may need to consider did you accept the Jesus of the Bible or a false Jesus of the social justice gospel? Did you truly surrender your life to Jesus or did you just get a “Get out of hell card”? The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is in us when we are born again, He will give us understanding of the Bible, without the Holy Spirit a person cannot understand the scriptures. It’s time to wake up Church. That’s it. StraightUp!

An Explanation of Contemplative Prayer

This summer has been full including studying and researching for future blog posts. Something that is ravaging the NT Church is contemplative spirituality/spiritual formation and it is HUGE in the Emerging Progressive Missional Church movement, so I decided rather than try to break it completely down myself, for now anyway, I am linking to a video teaching by Ray Yungen because it is excellent in the information he is providing. I will add some names to be aware of but he gives a few. This is only a partial teaching at a conference. I will try to remember to post the follow up video as well.

Ray Yungen mentions Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, others to be aware of are Richard Rohr, Leonard Sweet, Walter Brueggemann, Lesslie Newbiggin. These people have a huge influence on those who lead and promote the Emerging Progressive and Missional Christian movement, this element of Contemplative, New Age Mysticism is what brings so many together who if you were to look at doctrine should actually have nothing to unite around (ecumenism) but this false spirituality will draw the followers in the Emergent movement together because like Ray says, it does away with the biblical gospel. The true gospel of the Bible is a marker of what Truth is and that is not subjective it is absolute.

If you are in a church teaching or promoting contemplative spirituality/ spiritual formation you need to run! This is not biblical, it is occultism. That’s it. StraightUp!

Hey Caesar, I Don’t Think So

Photo by Edmond Dantu00e8s on Pexels.com

I started looking into Caesar Kalinowski back in the summer of 2019 after watching some teaching of his that a pastor had shared on social media and found the teaching to be a bit unbiblical. I have read a couple of his books, listened to many of his podcasts, looked at who he is closely associated with and it is not encouraging. I continue to check out his social media and podcasts from time to time, most is just repeated material (he doesn’t really have much to say just pushing the same garbage in different ways). This is a guy who is influencing hundreds of pastors and leaders in evangelical churches across the country and even a few in my state and that is very concerning. A few weeks ago Caesar did a podcast on “Being Salt and Light in a Divided Culture “. He has some rather unbiblical suggestions for the “Christian” so this post is going to address these things.

One of the first things in this podcast that should be a red flag is Caesar’s mentioning of early Mystics, these are not NT Christians nor did they practice biblical or historic Christianity as we see in scripture. Emergent Missional Progressive Christians today are very much drawn to Catholic practices, Contemplative Spirituality and the like. These are dangerous things to bring into the NT Church. The NT Church’s main and only source of authority and teaching is the Bible, The Word of God, not the writings of early Mystics, not the Catechism or anything else. Another problematic view expressed by Caesar is the ‘drawing closer as humanity’ idea. We are not called to unite humanity; not all people belong to God. All people were created in His image as taught in Genesis, but that is it. When Christians try to unite with the world we are unequally yoking ourselves to it and we are told in scripture not to be unequally yoked (not to be in a tight relationship with unbelievers in relationship, business etc.) The idea of uniting humanity is universalism. The Bible says that those who have put faith in Jesus Christ are His children and those who have not are children of darkness. There is no drawing together as humanity because Light cannot mix with darkness. Our culture appears to have many things ‘dividing’ people today, but in reality the heart of the division is good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, the Christian view vs. the secular view. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” That sword is Truth. There is no drawing closer as humanity the Christian is to be united with other believers not all of humanity.

Along with this idea of drawing closer as humanity is the thought of respecting each other’s differences, which no two people are a like so this is a simple concept, however he is not talking about the natural differences between people, he is talking about racial issues, political issues, gender issues etc. If we would just respect each other’s differences we could draw closer as humanity. Well, no actually. Caesar goes onto encourage his followers to advocate for the underdog and the marginalized regardless of which side of an issue they are on (politically, racially, gender) it sounds really nice, but it is not biblical. Caesar says, “Be an advocate for the underdog. You’re not condoning anything.” Well, actually that is exactly what it means. If I decide to advocate for someone who is on the political side of being pro-abortion, then I am condoning abortion. So what about those on the LGBTQ issue? What about those who are ‘marginalized’ because they are buying into the systemic racism (Marxism which is antithetical to biblical Christianity) propaganda? Christian, YOU CANNOT ADVOCATE FOR THAT WHICH IS IN OPPOSITION TO GOD AND HIS WORD.

To Advocate: a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

He goes on to say the Church is divided, yes it is mostly because many churches are following unbiblical ideas like the social justice gospel (which if you haven’t picked up on it is a subtle undertone in the things Caesar is talking about), you have churches teaching the junk like he is pushing and then you have a few who are trying like crazy to honor God by sticking with a Biblical worldview and choosing to support those who promote the ideals that are most inline with that view. He basically mocks the Church for ‘retreating’ into its Christian bubble and isolating themselves. Speaking out against abortion, taking a stand for the biblical view of sexuality and marriage and rejecting Critical Race Theory is not “retreating into a Christian bubble” it is standing for the truth of who God is and what He says. If you aren’t willing to stand up for that, you are not a born again Christian. Caesar talks about justice and doing good, unfortunately he takes the scriptures that he reads out of context to fit his narrative (as do all emergent missional progressive Christians). People are constantly yelling for justice, just look at the most recent events in the news it is all about getting justice. The problem is that this ‘justice’ is not biblical justice. God is the root of what is right and just; you cannot have justice without Him. The Bible makes clear that God is a just God; there will be a day that every wrong done to me will be righted, it will be avenged by Him. I don’t have to fight for justice now, it is coming. Justice biblically is about what is right and in most scriptures that speak about it the idea is not taking advantage of people, not cheating people in legal matters (judges not to take bribes or favor one over the other) and we know that we are to show ‘charity’ to those in need, to watch out for widows and orphans, but these things do not mean equality. He talks about erring on the side of grace. (You have to have truth) Without truth then we accept and tolerate sin; Christian, we cannot do that. He also says that repentance means ‘to return’… uh, nope. Repent – Greek (metanoeo) Biblical usage; to change one’s mind; heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins. Repentance (metanoia ‘change of mind’) involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; Repentance is making a complete change of direction and walking in righteousness. Strong’s.

Another red flag is Caesar’s continued use of scripture out of context and his constant use of the Message paraphrase. Eugene Petersen the author of the Message was an Emergent Progressive Christian. (The Message removes the following: God’s Holy name, Occult Spirituality, Sinful Nature, Consequences of Occult involvement, Homosexuality and Adultery, Obedience and Grace, Sexual immorality). These removals are why most Emergent Missional Progressive Christians use the Message a lot. The use of this for teaching or anything is a red flag. He talks about Matthew 5:13-16 being the salt and the light… which he uses out of context. The disciples (therefore believers) as salt we are supposed to purify a corrupt world (not be like it) through righteous living and the proclamation of the gospel. (not what he is promoting in the podcast) he tries to make this about ‘grace’ all grace (acceptance and tolerance of sin) no truth.

A light to the world is that Jesus’ disciples (therefore believers) are to be an extension of His ministry, they and now us keep it going, His ministry of carrying salvation to the ends of the earth. If a disciple or believer is not proclaiming the gospel of salvation he is not a true disciple. (let that sink in) what are you hearing in your churches today? As a light to the world the disciple should no more hide his righteousness or the gospel message than a lit up city at night should turn off the lights. The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant for all people (regardless of ethnicity, wealth or lack of) and our good deeds are a reflection of our righteousness (right living) they are not the means to our righteousness. The kind of Christianity Caesar is pushing is a works based, give grace don’t worry about truth kind of Christianity. This is wrong! it is heresy! It is about living for the Lord rightly and letting what is in us come out in doing good (which takes different forms).

Then he used Matthew 25:40 out of context. He tries to say that when we do good to the least (the underdog and the marginalized) that we are showing love to Jesus…not what this passage is about at all. Not to mention if we condone what God has said is sin, then we are SINNING! Caesar makes a comment in regard to people like me who point out that brothers and sister are fellow Christians not everyone, well this passage doesn’t support his statement at all. This is a passage where Jesus is speaking about the coming judgement where He will separate the sheep from the goats. Understand, this is still yet to come. Christians don’t gain heaven by good deeds, they are a reflection or evidence of those who are righteous and belong to Christ, a lack of good deeds shows that one is among the goats.

Okay. The idea that Caesar is saying that when we stick up for the underdog we are doing it to the ‘least of these’ is bogus. “You did it to the least of these brothers (depending on translation sisters) of Mine” deeper study and even in my study Bible that has Emergent garbage in it speaks to this indicating that Jesus had in mind Jewish believers, especially those who suffer persecution during the Tribulation (the Tribulation is about God’s judgement on Israel) and who receive help and comfort from Gentile believers at that time. This is why He says, “If you do it unto the least of these you do it unto Me” they are believers and even more they are Jews, His people. Verse 40 indicates that these acts of kindness are rendered especially (not exclusively) to Jews and to believers in general. If you study further in the passage (you know for complete context and understanding which Emergent Missional Progressives don’t do) this is still speaking of the judgement to come; those who are not true believers in the Tribulation will not show kindness to believers whether they are Jewish or Gentile, this will also show that those “believer’s” have no connection to Jesus Christ. Their destination is with the goats into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels, which is enlarged for all who are apart from Christ. The only thing we can truly take from this in context is, be there for others in the Body of Christ first…in scripture it is always about the Body of Christ first, then others. We should do prison ministry, help the poor and needy but those things don’t equal social justice and they are never apart from the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.

If your church, pastors, leaders are using or promoting Caesar’s teaching or are being coached by him, you need to get it out or you need to get out. Church, we cannot ever advocate for that which is in rebellion to God and His Word if we do, we are not His. That’s it. StraightUp!

Be Holy As I AM Holy

A few weeks ago, I was hit with the verse in 1 Peter 1:16 that commands, “Because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY’.” I asked the Lord, “How has the Church forgotten this?” Sadly, it’s because the Church has decided to be likeable to the unsaved world, to culture, rather than be true to the Word of God. Churches, and those who lead them, have chosen to believe that God can use false teaching, so it is no longer imperative to separate the Church from those who are unbiblically sound.
We know this is a wrong attitude regarding false teaching in the Church. The Word of God gives multiple warnings regarding being aware and alert of false teachers. The reality that God can use anything He chooses does not negate the fact that the Church is supposed to reject it and those who promote and teach it. Basically, we (the Church) are supposed to separate ourselves from those who are unbiblically sound in what they teach (Matthew 7:15; Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:9; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:10-11). Instead, our churches continue to use and follow ideas, methods, and concepts that totally lead the Church into a culture friendly, biblically weak direction that is far from “Being Holy for I am Holy”.

“BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY” is a command to be set apart. It is the idea of being consecrated unto the Lord (Leviticus 20:7, 26). SET APART: To make someone or something different and special; or to keep something separate in order to use it for a particular purpose. The Church has one purpose: to represent Christ in sharing the Gospel. The purpose of the command to “Be Holy as I am Holy” – this separation, this action of moving or being moved apart, is so that those who profess faith in Jesus Christ hold fast to the ways of righteousness through Christ and that we grow in our salvation, our faith and our personal purity (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Corinthians 7:1). We are supposed to act, speak, live differently from those in the world around us, in our communities, wherever we are. We are to live set apart for the Lord. This doesn’t mean that we don’t interact with the unsaved or reach out to them. We must do this, but we must be doing it according to God’s standards.

We need to limit or even avoid relationships, activities, and behaviors (maybe even with those in the Church) that will cause us to compromise God’s commands and standards (1 Corinthians 5:9-11; Romans 12:2). See, when the Church begins to function with a goal of being “culturally friendly”, it stops being set apart. It stops being a representative of the Jesus of the Bible. Emerging Missional Progressive Christianity is a great picture of failing to really represent the Jesus of the Bible. The “thought leaders” of the EMC/PC are all about being like the world. It’s all about culturally friendly church; everyone is welcome. No one is kept out. That is not biblical. The invitation given by God is all inclusive; however, to actually walk through the door is extremely exclusive (John 3:16).

When Churches, and those who lead them, stop following the Word of God because it makes Christianity “harsh”, or because actually just giving people the gospel might cause rejection, or it makes the Christian look and feel weird, etc. Or, if they prefer to follow men like Caesar Kalinowski, Alan Hirsch, Hugh Halter, Brian McLaren, Brandon Hatmaker, Tim Keller, Rick Warren, Creo Collective and so many others who promote an all-inclusive Christianity that lets everyone be who they are and do what they want to do, it is no longer biblical Christianity and makes it impossible to follow the command “TO BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY”. Pastors and leaders need to get back to a biblical reverence of God so that those who sit under them might actually understand that we are all, as those who follow Christ, accountable to God.

The old worship song Refiner’s Fire is such a great prayer for those who truly want to live set apart for Jesus…who want to be consecrated to Him. There is a line that says, “I CHOOSE to be holy, set apart for you Lord”. Do whatever it takes to get free of false teaching. Get back to the scriptures. Throw out heretical resources. Today, choose to be set apart for Jesus. That’s it. StraightUp!

Churches Leading Their Sheep Astray

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

There are many things in todays evangelical churches that are actually leading Christians away from Biblical Christianity. Things like the social justice gospel, CRT, the Emerging Churches thinking of being “missional” basically redefining how to be a Christian (which you cannot change without changing the gospel), pursuing ecumenicism, affirmation of LGTBQ and in some denominations welcoming LGTBQ, moving away from teaching the scriptures soundly to telling stories, motivational speeches, and using scripture out of context to fit unbiblical agenda’s for the church, and utilizing spiritual formation or by its truer name, contemplative spirituality (Centering/Listening prayer, Breath prayer, Lectio Divina, spiritual guides etc.) and still so much more. The interesting thing is, all of the above are unbiblical elements being brought into our churches through pastor’s and leader’s who have aligned themselves with the Progressive/Emerging Church movement. This post is going to focus on Contemplative Spirituality.

If you listen to what Progressive/Emerging Church leaders say in regard to going back to the early church or the ancient church, they are not referring to the NT Church found in scripture, the one in Acts. They actually are referring to “Christians” from after the first century, most often they draw from the Early Desert Fathers and even quote Early Desert Mothers. The scriptures, the inspired Word of God, is the manual for the NT Church period, but many pastor’s and leaders are following men who have combined the Bible with the teachings of many who are not Christian influences, but are Catholic theologians, Jewish theologians, Catholic mystics, Jewish mystics, new age influences etc. This is really problematic for the NT Church and these influences are leading Christians away from Biblical Christianity.

Contemplative spirituality comes from the Early Desert Father’s and Mother’s (beginning around the 3rd century. They focused on austerity, prayer/contemplation, works/social justice…not the Great Commission), they were essentially Roman monastics or monks and nuns. Contemplative spirituality is really monastic mysticism which the Desert Father’s and Mother’s took from Eastern Religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, and is essentially the same spirituality used in the New Age/New Thought spirituality. Contemplative or Mystical practices have been a long standing integral part of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Catholic) and Roman Catholic churches, and focuses on “stillness” and “silence”… these practices are not rooted in scripture, nor are they rooted in the early NT church. So, why are our churches introducing us to unbiblical practices? Honestly, the only thing I can come up with is a lack of discernment. These practices are demonic and are dangerous, but more and more churches are introducing them to its people. Not to long ago I saw an event advertising this very thing not to far from where I am located. The thing with contemplative spirituality is it focuses on experience by utilizing pagan religious ways and these open the mind up to spiritual influences that are in opposition to the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches the NT Christian to seek God through prayer and through scripture by setting our minds toward God, conscious minds and hearts not with an empty mind. The NT Christian is filled with the Spirit of God and we don’t have to use false spirituality to gain access to Him, if we are truly seeking Him we will find Him, He will make himself known to us and we do this to grow in the intimacy of a personal relationship with Him! (Jer. 29:13, Ps. 63:1, Matt. 7:7, Ps. 34:4) We are not (or should not be) seeking some higher spiritual plane that we can only get to by being silent and empty minded. This is so dangerous. Matt. 6:7 tells us not to use vain repetitions when we pray because that is what heathens do. This can also mean chants or mantras these are apart of contemplative prayer and are not Biblical.

So, who are some contemplative spirituality influences impacting evangelical churches? Richard Rohr (Catholic Mystic), Richard Foster (Quaker Mystic), Thomas Merton (Catholic Mystic who draws from Buddhism), Brother Lawrence (Carmelite Monk), Henri Nouwen (Catholic Mystic), Leonard Sweet (Emerging Church Leader/New Age), Tilden Edwards (Founder of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), Brian McLaren (Progressive/EMC Leader), Dallas Willard (Philosopher/Spiritual Formation), Brennan Manning (author/Laicized priest), Thomas Keating (Catholic Monk). There are many more that can be mentioned and their influence into our churches through the Emerging Missional Church/Progressive Christianity is nuts! The influence of contemplative spirituality is Catholicism and Eastern Religion, it is demonic and not Biblical. I encourage you to watch out for it and to reject it. It has no place in the NT Church or in the practice of NT Christian’s. That’s it. StraightUp!

Not All God’s Children

Something I keep hearing and even seeing from those who push the social justice agenda and even those who consider themselves Christians pushing the social justice gospel is, “We are all God’s children.” To be blunt, No, we are not. That is bad doctrine that is causing a lot of trouble for the Church today.

“We are all different. Yet we are all God’s children. We are all united behind this country and the common cause of freedom, justice, fairness, and equality. That is what unites us.” – Barbara Boxer

This statement is in total opposition to the Word of God. Yes we are all different, in many ways as God designed each person to be, but that doesn’t make us all God’s children. “But to all who did receive Him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or the will of man, but of God.” John 1: 12-13. There are thousands of people who acknowledge the concept of God, but don’t necessarily know Him and as these verses from John shows, to be a child of God, requires believing and receiving Him (Jesus), so no we are not all children of God. (Gal. 3:26, Rom. 8:16-17, 1 John 3:1. Rom. 5:10) Those who don’t know Jesus are enemies of God, not children of God. More specifically, the Bible tells us that those who don’t know God are children of darkness, of the devil. (1 John 3:10, Eph. 5:8). True followers of Christ are called to be separate from the world, which is the devil’s playground for now, we are to come out of the darkness and into the light of Jesus Christ by putting our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior, those who have done this are Children of God, they are our brother’s and sister’s, our family in Christ.

This quote I shared covers the wide space that many Progressive, Emergent Missional Christians spout, not only do they confuse the fact that we are all created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) with the false doctrine that we are all God’s children, they also don’t understand that biblical freedom is freedom from the slavery of sin because of the blood of Christ. It is not about worldly freedom. They have unbiblical concepts of justice and equality, but even more in their thinking that “We are all God’s children” it is these unbiblical concepts that unite us, but according to the Word of God, His children are united in His Son Jesus Christ. His life, death on the cross and His resurrection are what unite those who believe and receive Jesus. It is these who are Children of God. That’s it. StraightUp!

The mind set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8:7-8 (Read the rest 9-11).

Missional or Actually Emergent/ Progressive?

Photos from Wikipedia

First, let’s talk about the photo to the right! As you can see the internet label above the photos says, “The Emergent Church leaders” that’s right. These are some of the more prominent leaders of the Emerging Missional Church Movement. The top first two (Brian McLaren and Rob Bell) seem to get a lot of space from those trying to warn the Church to avoid them since they are extremely heretical and in reality probably not even born again Christians. The third one on the top, gets some attention as well, and again he (Doug Pagitt) is extremely heretical and likely not a born again Christian. Some of you might be saying, “you don’t know if they are saved or not..” actually, research them and you will understand the statement. The other two guys on the bottom are Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch…yes! Alan Hirsch is an EMC leader! See one of the things that has made researching the EMC over the past year a challenge, is the reality that there are more than one stream of it, but all of the streams focus on being “missional”. A short background on Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, they are considered to be “Deconstructionist” (or in another term, Progressive Christians) basically, they flat out reject much of scripture, use scripture out of context when they do use it, practice contemplative spirituality, are LGTBQ affirming, all that, Like I said before, you can do your own in depth research.

I’m going to focus on Alan Hirsch for now, since he has a great amount of influence on EFCA pastors and leaders through the group Creo Collective. Alan Hirsch is South African with ties to Australia, and is one of the most prominent teachers of being “missional” and for his teaching of APEST (which would be a whole other post) – he is what is known as a Reconstructionist in the EMC stream. What is the desire of this Reconstructionist? The church is irrelevant in their (Reconstructionist) opinion so the church needs to change to meet the needs of the changing culture (even though the Church was never called to do this), so we have the push and the expertise of Alan Hirsch to be ‘missional’ and incarnational. Include everyone, exclude no one. A bigger picture of what this looks like is having conversations rather than evangelize, do works, social justice, utilize spiritual formation (contemplative spirituality…which is new age/Eastern Orthodox Mysticism) and some Emergent/Progressive Christians like Shane Claiborne promote monastic community (this comes from following the Desert Fathers – Catholic). Here is the thing NONE of this is NT Christianity.

There is a reason these things are not apart of the NT Church, they are actually influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church which draws from 2nd – 3rd Century ‘Church Father’s’ rather than the Word of God itself, contemplative spiritual practices are common place, as well as many elements of Catholicism (which this stumped me for awhile) but Hirsch has an Orthodox view of scripture and the gospel so these things highly influence this movement. I will say of many other EMC leaders, they also have these same leanings. So, is it ‘missional’, Emergent, or Progressive? Yes! Actually, it is all the same movement. The Emergent and Progressive movements are intertwined, some a little more extreme than others. Those like Alan Hirsch follow and endorse those such as Brian McLaren. There is no separation due to heresy or apostasy as the Bible says there should be. No, these people support each other in the ‘mission’. According to David Fiorazo an author, speaker and radio host who has written on the Emerging Church confirms the Emergent movement has morphed into what we are seeing as the Progressive Christian movement. The Progressive movement reject the authority of literal interpretation of scripture therefore sound teaching of scripture is not important.

Even Creo Collective, the group for missional minded pastors in the EFCA (which is welcoming not affirming of LGTBQ), is following this Progressive movement. In September, they held teaching on the ‘Early Church’ (apostolic teaching, creeds, confessions, catechisms, early church fathers and mothers)… this is CATHOLICISM. All of these things are rooted in the Catholic traditions NOT in NT Christianity. This is ecumenism pure and simple. More clearly, this is turning evangelical churches into heretical churches. Neither the Eastern Orthodox Church nor the Catholic Church are the NT Church. The Bible gives all the information we need to see and know what the NT Church is and how it is to function. You can not bring people to Jesus with a biblical gospel, when the basis of what you believe, teach and promote are not aligned with the Word of God. Might there be some in these movements and the Catholic faith who have heard a biblical gospel and have been born again? Yes, this is possible, however their leadership are compromising with secular culture instead of being faithful to true biblical teaching.

This movement is full of mud puddles of doctrine and heresies. Alan Hirsch and many like him are Dominionist and Amillenial in their end time eschatology. The Bible is clear on the end time events, so even in this, our churches and leaders are being influenced with unbiblical doctrines. These things have to matter or we are going to find ourselves far away from our desired destination. That’s it. StraightUp!

If you know nothing about Progressive Christianity, checkout Alisa Childer’s new book Another Gospel…it will be a starting point.

Another Gospel

I just want to take a moment to highly recommend picking up a copy of Another Gospel by Alisa Childers. If you are struggling with questions about Christianity or you are seeing things in the church, but you just can’t pin point what you’re seeing, get this book! It just might shed some light on things. Find it on Amazon.

Missional Church – Why You Should Say No Thanks

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are a Christian you may of heard something about being “missional” or on “mission”, these are basically the concept or methodology of the Emerging Church Movement. There are those who will argue that is not so, but I have done enough research over the past year to know that it is in fact the Emerging Church. However, for the sake of those who may choose to argue, I am going to leave it this way, the theology of being “missional” is heavily tethered to the EMC. Everyone who teaches, trains or writes about being “missional” are EMC leaders and influencers. That in of itself is a problem.

First, what does it mean to be “Missional”? It comes from the idea of missio Dei God’s mission to the world, working to restore and heal creation. (this should already be raising a red flag). The furthered idea that the Church is on “Mission” for this purpose. This idea that God’s mission was/is to restore all of creation is not a Biblical concept, it is Kingdom Now theology and Replacement theology. God does not need our help to solve the issues of societies all across the globe before He will come and receive His Kingdom from us, fallen, wretched, humans and the promises of God to Israel, are for Israel not the Bride of Christ…the Church. God did not send Jesus to restore creation; God sent Jesus to save humanity, sinners, people!!! The way the EMC/Missional church takes the focus off the redemption purpose of God sending His only Son and making it about Jesus being “sent” totally removes the cross and its purpose for humanity from the Church…nothing matters but WHY Jesus was sent! Why do they do this? The reason was very well articulated by Dr. A. Taylor back 1960 (yes, this is not a new thing, just a more visible one) in The Presbyterian Journal where he wrote, “Missions’ in the traditional concept, suggests outreach. One goes out to another who is outside until he is brought in. ‘Mission’ on the other hand suggests in-reach. One reaches across to a neighbor who is already a brother within, but not yet ‘identified’ or ‘committed’.” What?!!!! Yet, that is exactly what is being taught today. People like Caesar Kalinowski and others, who teach that we should love everyone as family, everyone is a brother or sister…well, not according to the Bible. Yes, every human is created in the image of God, but the Bible is very clear when it comes to speaking about who is or is not a child of God. In fact, the Bible tells us that those who do not put their faith in Jesus Christ are children of the world, they are enemies of God. The basic idea in the “missional” movement is that the traditional way of going out and sharing the gospel as commanded in the Great Commission is no longer its purpose. The church’s purpose is to include everyone, which is extremely ecumenical and even universalistic. The unity of the NT Church is based on the gospel not anyone or any organization that labels itself “Christian” – there is an obligation to sound Biblical doctrine when we unite with others who call themselves Christians and when that is not there, we should not be uniting.

The other big common thing you hear from the EMC/Missional Church is being “incarnational”, “transformational”, “living sacrificially” all to transform the world. There is a shift from Holy Spirit led proclamation of the gospel to a man centered inspired gospel. These people use all the Biblical terminology but the substance is very different. Lesslie Newbigin, who is very influential in the EMC/Missional movement saw the church as God’s embassy in a specific place; “It will be a community that does not live for itself but is deeply involved in the concerns of its neighborhood. It will be the church for the specific place where it lives, not the church for those who wish to be members of it.” Here is the thing, the Church was not called to change the culture of local communities, it was not called to change culture in a larger global scale. The Church was given one purpose, preach the gospel and make disciples. Basically, when you live on mission and incarnationally, you are living a relationships based (hyper friendship evangelism), conversational, good works (this includes social justice) false Christianity. If you do good works and don’t share the gospel, all you have done is humanitarian work, you are not even being a witness for Jesus Christ. Why would God need our good works to transform the world? The Bible tells us that our (humanity) goods works are as filthy rags (I will let you look deeper into that and understand exactly what is meant) our good works don’t even do anything for us.

There is so much I can write about this, but I am just hoping to provide a snap shot so that if you find yourself connected to a church or a ministry that is pushing the “missional” stuff… you need to realize that it is moving away from Biblical Christianity and you need to reject it. The Bible tells us that in the last days the world is going to wax worse and worse, violence will increase, suffering will increase, disasters, disorder, death it is all going to increase and get worse and part of the reason for that is God’s judgement on a rebellious world, the world is not going to get better, it is going to get worse! Have you looked at what is happening all over these days…we need to wake up! We need to stand for a Biblical gospel that is true to the purpose of why God sent Jesus to earth otherwise we are going to find ourselves in a totally different end than we had anticipated.

Quick thoughts as to why you should say no thanks to the Missional, incarnational concept of Christianity:

  1. Based on Kingdom Now/Dominionist theology.
  2. Man Centered works focused/social justice gospel
  3. Does not follow Biblical end time eschatology
  4. Replacement theology (Church replaces Israel)
  5. Doesn’t follow Biblical concept of community.
  6. It is ecumenicalism and universalism.
  7. Incarnational spirituality is no different than New Age incarnational spirituality.

It just isn’t Biblical. Just say NO. That’s it. StraightUp!