The following testimony comes from a young man who holds to Biblical Reformed theology and wants to go into the overseas mission field to answer the call to serve Jesus Christ there. As I have said before the postliberal cult of the Emergent Church loves to build the straw man that this theology doesn’t produce missions.
Anyone with even a modicum of knowledge regarding the history of the Christian Church knows that is absurd. How do they think Christianity has spread in the first place? And the Reformers were simply calling the Body of Christ back to the “missional” approach of the ancient Church contained within the pages of the inerrant and infallible Bible itself.
As a matter of fact all of the Ivy League universities, long since killed by what Dr. Walter Martin called the original “Cult of Liberalism,” were begun by people who believed in the historic orthodox Christian faith. So we didn’t need this recent Emergent rebellion against the Bible in the first place. Here we agree; no, the average professing Christian isn’t living out their faith.
However, that most who would dare call themselves Christian have no such concerns for the poor and uneducated doesn’t mean that fundamental and Biblical Reformed theology is wrong. On the contrary, it shows that these people had best get on their faces before the LORD God Almighty and heed the following advice:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5, NASB)
I’ll continue this another time but for now this letter that follows brings out the re-education process (diaprax) now going on within the new evangelicalism, and most particularly the Emergent Church. For now let it suffice to say that emerging Hollow Men like Guru Brian McLaren and Rob Bell are conditioning people to see those of us who hold to Biblical Reformed theology as “that” kind of Christian.
Dear Pastor Ken,
A close relative of mine has seen several of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos (as have I), read “Blue Like Jazz” and other Donald Miller books (I have too) and he goes to a church that seems like it leans Emergent. I have such a hard problem talking with him, first of all because it’s very difficult to have meaningful dialogue within a postmodern context. It makes talking about truth very difficult. But there also seems to be a growing hostility within this philosophy/movement against what they call “fundamentalism.”
I was thinking the other day, that the fact that I believe the Bible is true and is God’s actual Word for us by that criteria alone makes me a fundamentalist. And I know that is a hugely negative stereotype in America today, but Jesus told us that the world would hate us because it hated Him. He also told us to rejoice and be glad whenever people falsely say all kinds of evil (stereotype) us because of Him. Anyway, during our conversation last night he finally looked at me and said, “You know, you are ‘that’ Christian.” And I said, “what do you mean ‘that’ Christian.”
Apparently there is a phrase in the Emergent culture where they refer to “those” Christians who create a “stigma” around Jesus and fuel all the negative stereotypes. And he asked me, “Have you ever thought that you might be a fundamentalist?” And the answer of course was yes I had given some thought to that.
But then he said, “There is a difference between believing that the Bible is true, and believing that it is supposed to be applied directly to the way you live your life in every area.” And I wanted to scream: YES! There is a HUGE difference between these things! But he went on somewhat to the effect that believing that the Bible is to be applied to every area of life makes me a fundamentalist, while those who are culturally relevant don’t necessarily hold that.
Also, that straightforwardly stating the truth doesn’t always work, and sometimes you need to go “undercover” in order to get the message of the gospel across. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. He claims that we share a common faith, and that I have no right to judge his heart, and I want to believe him. I don’t want to judge his heart. I really think that is up to God and not to me, but I do see so much rotten fruit and that IS something I can make a judgment about. It’s just hard, because he thinks I am condemning him when I comment on his fruit, and takes major offence to it.
Anyway, thanks for your work in spreading the truth about the lies that are so prevalent in the church today. Those who want to see the truth will see it no matter how dimly it appears, and those who don’t want to see it won’t see it no matter how brightly it shines. I think that’s a Henry Morris quote. You’ve been an encouragement to me, and I want to exhort you to trust in God for strength and wisdom, and know that He will sustain us in these times.