Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:28-30)
There’s Nothing New Under The Sun
For six years now the online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been exposing the sinfully ecumenical Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church, which is a neo-liberal cult now operating within mainstream evangelicalism. There are those ignorant of the subject who think this false move attributed to God has died out.
However, I showed you e.g. in The Emerging Church Is Unaware It’s Dead that it’s alive and well. As a matter of fact they’re hard at work building a version of the mush god of mysticism, with a man-shaped hole in his/her/its heart, in a now upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 with their own new postmodern form of “big tent” Progressive Christianity—a Liberalism 2.0—sometimes referred to by these rebels against the final authority of God’s Word as Emergence Christianity.
This is what Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, one of the unholy Emergent Church trinity of apostates along with universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Tony Jones—the progressive “theologian in residence” at Pagitt’s Emergent Solomon’s Porch—began laying out more systematically in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity.
As you’ll see in The Emerging Church And Evolutionary Christianity, with this neo-liberal cult we’re now off-roading mentally and heading deep into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language where they bend and shape words into whatever Play-Doh shapes they feel like. If you wish to deal with such as these you’d best make sure you have a solid grasp of the historic orthodox faith.
With this in mind, I’ll bring to your attention that guru McLaren has decided to wade into the minor flap raised by one of his disciples, the Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell, with his new book of mythology called Love Wins. The saga of Mohler and McLaren begins with Mohler’s article We Have Seen All This Before: Rob Bell and the (Re)Emergence of Liberal Theology where he correctly showed that Bell’s musings are indeed quite similar to what the late cult expert Dr. Walter Martin labeled, “The Cult of Liberalism.”
Mohler hits the mark when he says:
The liberals did not set out to destroy Christianity. To the contrary, they were certain that they were rescuing Christianity from itself. Their rescue effort required the surrender of the doctrines that the modern age found most difficult to accept, and the doctrine of hell was front and center on their list of doctrines that must go. (Online source)
As I told you a year ago in Brian McLaren With A New Kind Of Liberal Theology with the Emerging Church 2.0 we have a neo-liberalism, which is an ill-fated attempt to make what they think is the Christian faith palatable to this postmodern culture as well as with the latest supposed advances in scientific knowledge. In fact the term Emergence Christianity, which adherents such as Phyllis Tickle see as the new reformation, itself incorporates more than just a nod to emergence theory of evolutionary science.
The truth is, many in the EC believe that—right now—mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness. For such as these, their practice of neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) is where they think that they’ll actually be receiving this “transformation” from God. That’s why, in their deluded minds, the meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer is so important.
Now you may understand better where people like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren are coming from, and what it is their trying to do. Against this backdrop I point you to McLaren’s Will “Love Wins” Win? We’re early in the first inning … where. to no one’s surprise, he comes to Bell’s defense:
I’ve been anticipating the baptism in hot water (or worse) that Rob Bell was about to experience with the publication “Love Wins.” And because of the old saying that it’s not the attacks of your critics but the silence of your friends that hurts the most, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to speak up in Rob’s defense.
I couldn’t help but predict who would be first at bat with critique, what they would say, and how they would say it. A prominent Southern Baptist leader, Dr. Albert Mohler, put it well: “We Have Seen This All Before.” His response to Rob’s book, in an article under that title, will be judged by fans a veritable home-run of a response. It stirred up a few responses which I’d like to share. (Online source)
Brian McLaren coming to bat against Al Mohler for Rob Bell is yet more indication of just how far off course Bell has drifted. As a matter of fact numerous sources around and inside Mars Hill Bible Church, where Bell is co-teaching pastor with his friend Shane Hipps, are telling me that “hundreds” there are upset about Bell’s book. Unfortunately, it seems the MHBC leadership has closed ranks and are not providing answers to their questions. I don’t know about you, but I find it sad to hear about so many sincere believers trying to follow Jesus experiencing such anguish as their leaders appear to be heading off track.
More on this developing story another time. In closing this, for now, I’ll tell that today in A Theological Conversation Worth Having: A Response to Brian McLaren Al Mohler has replied to McLaren:
Some theological disputes amount to very little and serve mostly as exercises in missing the point, if indeed there is a point. Other doctrinal exchanges are quite different and deal with matters of central and essential concern to the Christian faith. The first sort of dispute is a waste of precious time and energy and should be avoided at all costs. The second sort of debate is a matter of both urgency and importance. The church cannot avoid and should not seek to evade this kind of theological conversation.
That is why a recent essay by Brian McLaren helps us all to understand what is at stake in the controversy over Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins. Beyond this, his argument reveals a great deal about the actual beliefs and trajectories of what has become known as the emerging church. As such, his essay is a welcome addition to this important conversation.
McLaren, perhaps the best known of the leaders in the emerging church, seeks to defend Rob Bell and to act as his friend. (Online source)
People Like Brian McLaren And Rob Bell Are Neo-Gnostics Leading People Astray
Since the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church 2.0 has the spurious spirituality of CSM paralyzing sola Scriptura, and spread e.g. by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster—along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard as so-called Spiritual Formation—at its evil core, what we’re witnessing an infestation of ne0-Gnosticism, which is now even becoming pandemic right within the mainstream of largely pretending to be Protestant evangelicalism.
As such, the following from Against Heresies, where Irenaeus dealt with the original Gnostics, is once again fitting:
1. INASMUCH(1) as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says,(2) “minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith,” and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive, [I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.]
These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretence of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein. By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they nevertheless clumsily destroy them, while they initiate them into their blasphemous and impious opinions respecting the Demiurge;(3) and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth.
2. Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. One(4) far superior to me has well said, in reference to this point, “A clever imitation in glass casts contempt, as it were, on that precious jewel the emerald (which is most highly esteemed by some), unless it come under the eye of one able to test and expose the counterfeit.”
“Or, again, what inexperienced person can with ease detect the presence of brass when it has been mixed up with silver?” Lest, therefore, through my neglect, some should be carried off, even as sheep are by wolves, while they perceive not the true character of these men,-because they outwardly are covered with sheep’s clothing (against whom the Lord has enjoined(5) us to be on our guard), and because their language resembles ours, while their sentiments are very different,–I have deemed it my duty (after reading some of the Commentaries, as they call them, of the disciples of Valentinus, and after making myself acquainted with their tenets through personal intercourse with some of them) to unfold to thee, my friend, these portentous and profound mysteries, which do not fall within the range of every intellect, because all have not sufficiently purged(6) their brains.
I do this, in order that thou, obtaining an acquaintance with these things, mayest in turn explain them to all those with whom thou art connected, and exhort them to avoid such an abyss of madness and of blasphemy against Christ. I intend, then, to the best of my ability, with brevity and clearness to set forth the opinions of those who are now promulgating heresy. I refer especially to the disciples of Ptolemaeus, whose school may be described as a bud from that of Valentinus. (Online source)
The above from Irenaeus is blunt, and it names names; completely consistent with Holy Scripture where under the direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit Luke records the reaction of Paul and Barnabas when they encountered people also teaching a false gospel:
But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2)
Did you catch that; the Apostles’ conversation was one of dissention and debate, as was that of Walter Martin, who said (circa 1985) of the evil forebears of Bell and McLaren—the original Cult of Liberalism—that they were “the most insidious and all-pervasive cult operating in this country.” He then went on and revealed their methodology in no uncertain terms:
There is a progression that takes place in liberal theology: It begins with a corrupt bibliology, a corrupt view of the nature and the inspiration of Scripture. They have a corrupt theology because once you are picking and choosing from the Bible what you want, your theology has to suffer from it, because your human reason is corrupt… every major theological seminary that has turned from orthodox Christianity began with disbelief of Biblical doctrine. There wasn’t a single exception.
This corrupt Bibliology then lead them to the next step. Their theology began to be touched by it, their view of the Cross, the Virgin Birth were both immediately questioned; then came the miracles of Christ… And finally they had emptied the Gospel of all its content; they were simply using the outward shell so that they go on collecting money from the people and the churches; because they knew that if the people in the pew knew that they were apostate, they’d throw them out. So the strategy was hang on to the trust funds; hang on to the money we’ve got; hang on the properties we control, and we will gradually educate the laymen into this new approach to theology.
And then finally we will take control of everything. The gradual process of feeding you theological poison until you become immunized enough so that you don’t know what’s happening to you. And when you wake up to what’s happening to you, it’s too late they’ve got everything. That is not a baseless charge, I stand prepared to prove that the Cult of Liberal Theology in the United States has deliberately and consistently followed this methodology to entrap, control and dominate the denominations and the churches of the United States and our educational institutions. (The Cult of Liberalism, available from Walter Martin Religious InfoNet)
You really need to understand the horrible mistake that was made by evangelicalism when it embraced these emerging fools; because this is precisely the same progression that the purveyors of the new postmodern liberalism of “big tent” Progressive Christianity like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell have also been following. And so, the question now becomes: Will we see anyone arise like Walter Martin with the spiritual intestinal fortitude to really tell it like it is? I’m certainly not holding my breath…