Back in November of 2005 the online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries warned you about what is now a full blown cult of neo-liberalism operating within mainstream evangelicalism, the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church. These past few years this EC has been busy forging together its new form of postmodern liberal theology, a Liberalism 2.0 many call Emergence Christianity, which Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren begins laying out in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity.
As a matter of fact, after Brian McLaren Addresses TransFORM East Coast Conference, where I said at the time from the buzz across the Twitterverse you’d have thought it was one of the original Apostles, Mike Morrell would tweet to Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren:
Morrell’s quite correct here; we’re seeing the Emerging Church 2.0 and you may recall that in The Emerging Church Transform East Coast Apostasia-Palooza I told you about the upcoming September EC conference Big Tent Christianity: Being and Becoming the Church (BTC). BTC is being put on by the Transforming Theology network of Dr. Philip Clayton and will feature such EC notables as EC guru McLaren, Red Letter Christian and Progressive Christian historian Diana Butler Bass, heretical progressive/liberal theologians Tony Jones and Harvey Cox, as well as the Empress of Emergence Phyllis Tickle.
In fact, the entire EC trinity will be on hand at BTC as in addition to Jones and McLaren, “Participants also include” heretical EC pastor and universalist Doug Pagitt as well as the universalist head of the EC Ooze Spencer Burke. And, as we’ve now introduced the premier EC flagship The Ooze into evidence, this is a good place to introduce you further to Mike Morrell. Morrell’s Twitter bio explains that he’s:
Futurist @KedgeForward. Grad Fellow, Strategic Foresight MA @RegentU. Provocateur-In-Residence, David Group Int’l. Journalist. Nu-media publicist. Opti-mystic. (Online source)
Morrell is “Partner/Foresight Professional” for something called KedgeForward, whose KedgeForward blog, which I first cited in Richard Rohr And The Emerging Church As The Third Way, proves to be most enlightening. For example, KTLS: Spirituality and Faith in the 21st Century (Volume 3, Number 5) is a post so far out there we’re having trouble even getting a radar fix upon it. We get the mystical speculations of United Church of Canada minister Bruce Sanguin, who tells us he’s passionate about:
Evolutionary Christian Spirituality. The framework for it is Integral Spirituality (Ken Wilber). Dr. Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics provides a very helpful model for evolutionary development. I regard Andrew Cohen as the world’s leading teacher in evolutionary spirituality. (Online source)
In Spiritality and Faith Sanguin shares:
The vision of the congregation that I am currently serving is to “teach and practice evolutionary Christian spirituality”. Following in the footsteps of Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, we are carrying out a grand spiritual experiment that is an inquiry into what Christian community, mission, and spiritual practice looks like when it emerges out of an explicit belief in evolution as a sacred or divine impulse…
Evolution is perhaps the fundamental characteristic or dynamic of reality. Either “God” or “Spirit” is involved with reality as we now know it to be, or It/She/He is largely irrelevant… (Online source)
So now this foolishness of an “Evolutionary Christian Spirituality,” which supposedly serves the God/Spirit/ it/she/he, is also a part of this new big tent Christianity; little surprise, as you’ll come to see below. Morrell also tells us:
As many of you know, I am enrolled in a most unique gradate program: A Masters in Strategic Foresight under Jay Gary. Yesterday began a new semester, and two new classes: LMSF 602, Survey of Futures Studies, and LMSF604, Systems Thinking… (Online source)
The Research Team at Herescope brought out in Brian McLaren to speak at World Future Society that Morrell, billed as one of three “voices” of the Emerging Church, participated there as well along with EC guru Brian McLaren and Diana Butler Bass in The Future of the Religious Right:
Three voices from the “emergent church”will explore this capacity of postmodern Christianity to embrace and redefine tradition,… Who should attend: Any futurist who feels that everything must change about religion and is curious about how progressive Christianity is a leading indicator of change. What you’ll learn: Attendees will learn how to ground their leadership and foresight in the concerns of tomorrow’s spiritualities and relate religious concepts to futures thinking through a theology of hope.
How can this new knowledge be applied: Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how postmodern spiritualities are reshaping conservative theologies and communities.
Diana Butler Bass, author, senior fellow, Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Brian McLaren, pastor and thought leader for the emergent church; author, Laurel, Maryland
Mike Morrell, graduate fellow, Strategic Foresight, School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia (Online source, bold theirs)
Another time we’ll have more on all of this another time; however for our purposes here, I’ll show you that Morrell’s website bio further informs us:
I am a friend of God, loved fully and loving partially, refracted Light in the prism of life. I’m a wannabe mystic and prophet,… Vocationally, I’m a journalist and publishing consultant… On odd days and leap years I’m an editor with TheOoze.com, emerging churches coordinator with the contemporary abolitionist Not For Sale Campaign, and librarian for what is arguably the web’s most extensive (at 7,000 links and counting!) alt.Christian web directory, zoecarnate.com
I’m also a Graduate Fellow in the Masters in Strategic Foresight program under futurist and program director Jay Gary… Finally, I work with Presence, an eschatologically adventurous think tank and activist cell living visions of a new reality. Together we’re helping mine creative futures for a world chock-full of the earthy and divine… For more see this. (Online source)
The link to “see this” brings us to Tie That Binds ‘Emergent’ Church, which is a piece that ran in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September of 2004 that begins:
Michael Morrell keeps the emergent church network informed with a Web site that promises ‘the best Jesus-infused sites you never knew about.’ If you could imagine a religious movement with no denomination, no property and no living charismatic figure, then you might grasp what drives young Mike Morrell, a postmodern Christian activist trolling in the lively headwaters of what has become known as the emergent church.
Morrell, 24, a self-employed writer and editor born in Marietta and reared in Douglasville, has become one of the movement’s linchpins, connecting thousands of previously disconnected people and emergent groups through the Internet… Morrell has worked during the past five years to find people, like himself, who are attempting to transcend “exclusivist” boundaries that divide Christians between conservative evangelicals and liberal mainline churches…
Morrell and a friend, Philip Scriber, have built the world’s most extensive list of links for the so-called “po-mo Christians.” He has read extensively from the burgeoning literature of the postmodern movement, attends their conventions across the United States and has even traveled to Britain and Europe to meet some of the movement’s innovators overseas. As an editor for “the Ooze,” Morrell keeps in touch with the central people and ideas sparking the movement… (Online source)
His ongoing association with The Ooze also includes The Ooze Viral Bloggers; bottom line, anyone actually familiar with the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church knows of Mike Morrell; in fact, in the above article, the endorsements of Morrell’s website come from such EC and evangelical luminaries such as Scot McKnight, Tony Campolo, Philip Yancey, Mark Oestreicher, and Andrew Jones. And as the following tweet shows, Morrell’s absolutely no friend whatsoever of biblical Christianity:
As we follow the link above it takes us to Pulpit Highlights General Session 7 with Phil Johnson which is actually a clip from his message: General Session 7 – Marching Orders for a Backslidden Church. After listening to Johnson’s dead-on-target assessment of the current squishy world-loving evanjellyfish community it would seem obvious to me that it hits a way too close to home for Morrell. But Johnson is speaking the absolute truth about the EC Apostles of Unbelief who comprise Morrell’s church heroes:
In fact, since we have such an autorium full of pastors and church leaders, let me say this with as much grace as I can muster. If you’re one of those who undergoes regular worldview-size shifts in your thinking; if your message changes everytime a new fad, or a new bestselling book comes along; if you are, by nature, fascinated with new perspectives and radical doctrines, get out of the ministry, please.
People like that only sow doubt and confusion. The man of God is supposed to be like a tree planted by rivers of water; steadfast, immoveable; growing in a steady, constant fashion; rather than lurching wildly from one point of view to another all the time. He should be full of life, and energy; but staunch, and unwavering in his faith. (32:15-33:17)
You also need to understand that Mike Morrell has enough pull with his friend Frank Viola that he scored the exclusive interview with Viola and Emerging Church evangelical theologian Leonard Sweet promoting their new book Jesus Manifesto. In this interview over at The Ooze Morrell says to Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet:
Frank, you’ve been identified with the ‘house church’ and ‘organic church’ movements… Len, you have been a pioneer in Christians’ being responsive to the postmodern cultural and philosophical turn – what is now known in different circles as ‘emerging’ or ‘missional’ church… Up until last year, I would have never expected Sweet and Viola to be sharing a book byline together!… (Online source)
Now you have the proper context to take a look at the following tweet from Morrell:
In closing this out, for now, I’ll point out that above link first takes us to Morrell’s Facebook page here and contains the link to Morrell’s post Sunday Devotional: Matthew Fox, Cosmic Mass. Morrell tells us that this post from February of this year “is sure to raise some ambivalence.” No doubt; the mystic Matthew Fox is controversial, to say the least. Undaunted Morrell, who’s most definitely an authority concerning so-called “Christian” mysticism, tells us “no one processing religion, faith, and spirituality in a post* world can afford to ignore Matthew Fox.”
Morrell also informs us that the “tempestuous, flamboyant, inventive” mystic Fox is a “priest, artist, liturgist and theologian.” And what Morrell tells us next will prove quite interesting to those of us covering this neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church and the New Apostolic Reformation:
The defrocked Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest was (with the unlikely influence-pairing of Vineyard revitalizer John Wimber) responsible for inspiring what was arguably the first ever emerging/postmodern congregation in the mid-1980s – the brilliant, controversial, combustible Nine O’ Clock Service. Inspired by a Wimber prophecy at St. Thom‘s in Sheffield and nurtured by Fox’s Creation Spirituality amongst working-class rave culture, the NOS was a potpourri of influences and expression.
Even after it’s untimely demise, the UK’s ‘Planetary Mass’ idea – shades of Teilhard de Chardin‘s Mass on the World – re-caught the attention of Fox himself, who brought it back to the US as a ‘Techno-Cosmic Mass.’ To this day, there are many interested in applying the ideas of Original Blessing and Creation Spirituality to communal expressions, as well as many of more staidly orthodox persuasion interested in alternative worship expressions… (Online source)