But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NASB)
Welcome To The Emergence Where We’ll Tell You What You’ve Longed To Hear
We begin this Apprising Ministries piece by pointing out that in his post Announcing Queermergent over at his Beliefnet blog Sunday Emergent Church theologian Tony Jones informed us of a brand new website by professing Christian and practicing homosexual:
Adele Sakler, whom I’ve known for a few years, has started yet another “hyphenated” group within the emergent network-of-networks. She’s calling it “Queermergent,” and, as you might guess, it’s focused on GLBTQ issues. (Online source)
You may also recall the AM article It’s Time To Rethink The Issue Of Homosexuality where we looked at the reason why it was Jones had previously announced that:
I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Online source, bold theirs)
As the heart of the matter here is the fact that Jones did not come to this new revelation of God now affirming the practice of homosexuality, which the Creator once considered sinful (see—Leviticus 18:22), through an intense study of Holy Scripture at all. No, rather Jones tells us:
Where I’ve come to on my opinion on this issue [unrepentant practicing homosexuals becoming Christians] is affected, not purely by the philosophical and theological arguments, but also by attending to the movements of my own spirit…I wanna give the philosophical its due; but for me, I’m also going to-I have to attend to the existential,…
Translation: This is how I personally feel about the matter. For you see, this being centered on the self is the only way one can arrive at this position of affirming the sin of practicing a homosexual lifestyle as being compatible with the life of the Christian: You get there by rejecting what the Bible actually says in favor of highly subjective personal feelings. And this we also see by Adele Sakler.
My name is Adele and i blog at Existential Punk. i have been a part of the Emergent conversation both in the UK and the USA for the past 6 years… Twenty years ago this month I had a ‘born-again’ experience at a charismatic church… I went forward for the altar call to ‘receive’ Jesus into my heart. I did this because I was afraid of going to hell. Thus, I was purchasing my ‘fire insurance’.
I attended Pat Robertson’s graduate school in Virginia Beach, Regent University, to obtain an M.Div so I could be a youth pastor. I began to seriously look at my life-long struggle of same-sex attractions. The school and my therapist along with my charismatic church back home always communicated that being gay was a sin, a choice, and those who actively pursue it will go to hell… (Online source)
So here we find out that Adele Sakler is aligned with the Emerging Church, now morphing into Emergence Christianity, rebellion against Sola Scriputra; she professes to have been “born again,” is well educated in the Christian faith, and she’s been amply warned of the consequences one brings upon themself by being unrepentant in their practice of sin. Sakler goes on to share with us how it is she has arrived where she is theologically today.
As you’ll see she has simply found teachers who have told her what she already wanted to hear:
In 1997 I moved to Los Angeles and began living a double life as a Christian and as a gay woman. I began to read Brian McLaren and found him writing things I had felt inside but was very afraid to express outwardly to anyone.
In 2002 I went to Northern Ireland to do a DTS with YWAM. I met the great Peter Rollins and we developed a great friendship. His teachings and writings on postmodernism and Christianity radically shaped how I viewed my faith. I could no longer hang onto certainty with regards to interpreting scripture. (Online source)
No big surprise; Emergent Guru Brian McLaren was the voice for yet another person in sin to be content to remain therein while following his wishful musings about a counterfeit Christianity. Notice Sakler also mentions “the great Peter Rollins,” who along with Swami McLaren, gave her reason not to have to worry about what the Bible literally says. Instead with their new reimagined version of the spiritually bankrupt social gospel of the original cult of liberalism:
There were more important things in kingdom living than where we go after we pass from this world to the next, like poverty, AIDS, the environment, etc. About 2.5 years ago I FINALLY came to terms with my sexuality. I found peace with myself and with God. Coming out was fairly painless with the exception of a few people who still think I am in sin and going to hell. I no longer hold this view and I am ok if people think that about me. (Online source)
AM introduced you briefly to Peter Rollins in the earlier Rob Bell We Want An Actual Answer To Your Position Concerning The Practice Of Homosexuality where we placed up a You Tube clip of an interview Brian McLaren did with his friend Rollins. In fact, while speaking with him McLaren says, “our mutual friend Phyllis Tickle has done us all a great service with this book she wrote, The Great Emergence.” And based upon that book Tickle has announced to the Christian community, “It’s Not If Sola Scriptura Ends But When.”
We’ll return more specifically to Tickle and Rollins next time, however, for more on Tickle the interested reader is referred to Who Is Phyllis Tickle? It’s also interesting to note that in Comment of the Day 2 at his blog just today Tony Jones features the words of Peter Rollins. Jones tells us that:
Peter Rollins and Stephen Shields have begun a bit of a back-and-forth under the post, Ten Years of Emergent/ing. Here’s Pete’s response to Stephen, and here’s hoping they’ll continue the conversation (here or elsewhere): … (Online source)
As we begin to close this piece out for now AM will further establish that Adele Sakler is friends with Peter Rollins, and also, that he has personally and profoundly influenced her views of the Christian faith. In addition you’ll also see that, like Tony Jones, Sakler has indeed come to “peace with [her]self and with God” concerning the sin of practicing homosexuality by rejecting what the Bible says in favor of her existential feelings.
Thanks for your question. Remember, i do not have all the answers or have i worked through my thoughts on different things completely, but i think celibacy is for those who choose to be celibate. Our society has taken on the idea from the Bible that sex should be between two married people. i no longer personally believe people have to be married to have sex. i don’t have a theological answer to base this view on, as it is where i have come to in my life.
i do think sleeping around, whether queer or straight, is not very fulfilling. If two people are committed to one another, i believe there is nothing wrong with expressing that love in a a sexual context. Times and cultures change. (Online source)
Sakler opines, “Our society has taken on the idea from the Bible that sex should be between two married people.” Well, this really shouldn’t be much of a shock to a Christian because that’s exactly what God—the Creator—has said in Holy Scripure. However, please note above that this new religion of emergence doesn’t really need “a theological answer” i.e. the Bible because we’re just going by “where [we] have come to” in our own personal feelings about what we think God should actually be like.
Tragically Professing To Be Wise They Have Now Become Fools Of The Emergence
Below you’ll hear Rollins and Tickle scratch each other’s itching ears along that same line in the video clips at the bottom of this piece. But for now I leave you with Sakler’s confession that “the great Peter Rollins,” with his views concerning this new religion of emergence, has had much to do with leaving this woman—imprisoned by her sin—content to simply wander along the broad road which Jesus tells us leads to destruction.
And what do you know, in the comments section of Sakler’s post Why Queermergent? we find one from Pete Rollins:
Pete Rollins wrote @ January 15, 2009 at 8:35 AM
Adele… I love your passion and courage. You never sit back and think, ‘what if’, you get up and makes things happen. Know that you have lots of support and respect and people covering your back. (Online source)
And then emboldened by what Rollins has been teaching Sakler responds:
queermergent wrote @ January 15, 2009 at 8:38 AM
Thank you! That means so much coming from you! i really appreciate your love and support. You were a HUGE part of my coming to terms with my sexuality and reconciling it with G-D. i am forever indebted to you, my dear friend. THANK YOU!
Adele (Online source)
Next time we’ll look further into who Peter Rollins is, but as we leave this for now, at his website Rollins tells us:
I currently spend much of my time as a writer, public speaker, lecturer and co-ordinator of the experimental collective Ikon (www.ikon.org.uk). Together these diverse activities ensure that I have the privilege of engaging in that difficult job of marrying activism with theory, the public square with the academy. (Online source)
Also gearing up for his Lessons in Evandalism tour Rollins reveals we’re not exactly talking about a new way to understand the Christian faith; no, we’re being prepared for a whole other religion to come emerging:
The current religious landscape is cluttered with various expressions of faith that claim to rethink Christianity at the dawn of a new cultural epoch. However such groups often accomplish little more than the repackaging and redistribution of faith as we currently understand it. A repackaging that involves flashing lights, video projectors and ‘culturally sensitive’ leaders who can talk about the latest mediocre pop sensation.
Throughout his Spring 09 tour Peter will be arguing that, in the midst of this arid landscape, there exist small but fertile sites of resistance. Groups who offer a way of thinking that not only challenges the way we express faith but fundamentally ruptures the way we understand it. He will argue that these pockets of resistance represent a growing, organic movement that are proclaiming the death of God, church and religion as we know them in preparation for their resurrection in a radically different form.
Through a mix of parables, philosophy and discussion Peter will be exploring the theoretical kernel of this emerging movement and addressing its dangerous, revolutionary and transformative potential. (Online source)
The following from the Charles Spurgeon devotional At the Master’s Feet for January 20 is quite fitting here. Using the Sword of the Spirit Spurgeon slices through the mystic mist of the mush god of Emergence:
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7-8, KJV)
And we now declare that the God of Holy Scripture is a God of inflexible justice, He is not the God Whom some of you adore. You adore a god who winks at great sins; you believe in a god who calls your crimes peccadillos and little faults. Some of you worship a god who does not punish sin but who is so weakly merciful, and mercilessly weak, that he passes by transgressions and iniquity and never enacts a punishment.
You believe in a god who, if man sins, does not demand punishment for his offense. You think that a few good works of your own will pacify him, that he is so weak a ruler that a few good words uttered before him in prayer will win sufficient merit to reverse the sentence, if indeed you think he ever passes a sentence at all. Your god is no God; he is as much a false god of the Greeks or of ancient Nineveh.
The God of Scripture is one who is inflexibly severe in justice and will by no means clear the guilty. “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked” (Nahum 1:3, KJV). The God of Scripture is a Ruler who, when His subjects rebel, marks their crime and never forgives them until He was punished it, either upon them or upon their Substitute.
Part 1—Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence “Christianity”
Part 2—Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence “Christianity”