By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jun 12, 2011 in AM Missives, Brian McLaren, Current Issues, Doug Pagitt, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features, Jay Bakker, Jim Wallis, Peter Rollins, Shane Claiborne/New Monasticism, Tony Campolo, Tony Jones, Youth Ministry
The online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been covering the damage that’s been done by evangelicalism’s embrace of the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church—with its “big tent” Progressive Christianity aka Emergence Christianity.
By using warped and toxic teachings of EC leaders like Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell the mainstream of the visible church has been poisoning its own young; and since squishy evanjellyfish has now followed the mortally wounded mainline denominations out of the closet, with its man-love of heart murmur spirituality at the expense the God-centered spirituality of sola Scriptura, I’ve also been giving you peeks at its bleak future of division and compromise of God’s Word.
Let me remind you here that, not only is Tony Campolo a leading spokesman for this postmodern progressive de-formation of the Christian faith—Liberalism 2.o—he’s also still quite influential within younger sectors of evangelicalism as well. It’s important to remember, that as admirable as some of his social concerns are, Campolo is actually in bed spiritually with his fellow Red Letter Christian (RLC) friends Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren and universalist Roman Catholic mystic Richard Rohr.
Other notable RLCs would be Campolo’s disciple Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, progressive/liberal historian Diana Butler Bass, and Tony Jones, the progressive “theologian in residence” at the Emerging Church of universalist Doug Pagitt; a spiritual motley crew if there ever was one. Against this background I’ll point you to the following tweet this morning by Campolo:
If you didn’t know “the Wild Goose” reference has a double meaning; first, Celtic Christianity calls the Holy Spirit an Geadh-Glas, the Wild Goose, and “teaches that the Holy Spirit is the representative of God’s femininity.” Secondly, it’s the name of an upcoming apostasia-palooza called the Wild Goose Festival (WGF), which has the Emerging Church buzzing with excitement. The link Campolo provides takes us to Pentecost: The Coming of the Wild Goose by Jim Wallis where he informs us:
In two weeks, my family and I will be headed down to Shakori Hills, North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival. In the Celtic Church, the symbol for the Holy Spirit is a wild goose — wild, free, and untamed. The festival will be a weekend of justice, spirituality, music, and the arts. It is an “and” kind of space, more than an “either/or.” It will, no doubt, be a busy weekend. But I am looking forward to it, not just for the activities, but for the reminder that it is by chasing after the wild goose, the Holy Spirit’s movement, that we see ourselves, and our world, transformed. (Online source)
As you watch the promotional video for WGF below you’ll see a veritable who’s who of heretics who’ll be embarking upon some Wild Goose Chase after another spirit (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4); this includes all the people I’ve mentioned above, as well as others quite familiar to AM such as gay-affirming “pastor” Jay Bakker, self-professed “queer inclusive” ELCA pastrix Nadia Bolz-Weber, EC interspiritual leader Samir Selmanovic, Christian universalist Chad Holtz, and the Empress of Emergence Phyllis Tickle.
It’s also interesting to note that among the speakers we find outright purveyors of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) in Living Spiritual Teacher and Jesuit priest John Dear as well as Carl McColman of the spiritually whacked website Anamchara and author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality. Dear is a disciple of Thomas Merton, the Golden Buddha of CSM and just take a look at who recommends McColman’s book:
The history section of WGF tells us:
The Wild Goose Festival began as a simple but potent idea: What if Greenbelt could happen in a unique United States context?
I talked about Greenbelt a couple of years ago in Greenbelt Festival A Peek At Future Inclusive Christianity where I explained it’s really another glimpse of the all-inclusive faith these Emergent Christ-followers find worth believing; and in fact, this perversion of the Christian faith may have already slithered into the Young Adult and Youth ministries of your own local church. Essentially, it’s really a spiritual free fall out into the delusion of creating your own Christianity with a mystic mush god made in your own image.
The wise Christian will have nothing to do with these neo-Gnostic fools who’ve unbuckled themselves from the Word of God and have embarked upon their Wild Goose Chase of subjective experience; with no gravity, they will only drift deeper into spiritual outer space. While debunking the mythology of Dallas Willard, a major perpetrator of CSM along with his twin Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, Bob DeWaay hits upon the critical issue with this pragmatic existentialism:
If pragmatic tests are the means of determining which practices are valid, and if these people feel closer to God and more like Christ through their practices, then Willard has no valid way of rejecting their practices. Having no valid argument, he resorts to an invalid ad hominem argument.
He cannot have it both ways. Either God’s Word determines both how we come to God and how we grow in grace, or humans determine these things by pragmatic means. (Online source)
As I close this out, for now, I bring your attention to a piece by Dr. Al Mohler entitled An Unmitigated Theological Disaster — Kirby Godsey Strikes Again. You may wonder what this has to do with the Wild Goose Festival; in a word, everything. Consider the opening quote Mohler uses and, if you’ve been following what I’ve been covering here lately at Apprising Ministries, see if it doesn’t sound mighty familiar:
“Most Christians assume that Christianity is the one and only religion that is God-inspired and that carries the imprimatur of God’s blessing,” laments R. Kirby Godsey. In his new book, Is God a Christian?, Godsey sets out to oppose that assumption and to argue that “the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faith as if our understanding of God represents the only way God’s presence may be known in the world.” (Online source)
Did you recognize the theme song of the emerging Wild Goose set; in Emerging Church Leader Samir Selmanovic Worships With Witches I told you this WGF speaker sings it this way:
Can it be that the teachings of the gospel are embedded and can be found in reality itself rather than being exclusively isolated in sacred texts and our interpretations of those texts? If the answer is yes, can it be that they are embedded in other stories, other peoples’ histories, and even other religions?…
God’s table is welcoming all who seek, and if any religion is to win, may it be the one that produces people who are the most loving, the most humble, the most Christlike. Whatever the meaning of “salvation” and “judgement,” we Christians are going to be saved by grace, like everyone else, and judged by our works, like everyone else…
For most critics of such open Christianity, the problem with inclusiveness is that it allows for truth to be found in other religions. To emerging Christians, that problem is sweet… Moreover, if non-Christians can know our God, then we want to benefit from their contribution to our faith.
This is what underlies the Wild Goose mythology, and it’s not Christianity; it’s at best the heresy of Christian universalism, and at worst, it is pagan universalism. So, while Al Mohler is discussing someone not necessarily aligned with Emergent Wild Goosers, what he says fits these deluded dreamers perfectly:
In When We Talk About God … Let’s Be Honest, Godsey embraced positions that the church has openly declared to be heresy. In Is God a Christian?, Godsey just picks up where he left off in his earlier book, but this time he is even more explicit in his embrace of radical pluralism.
“Christians need to get over it,” he admonishes. “Jesus is not God’s only word.” As he explains, “Every person is a word from God that has never been spoken and will never be spoken again in exactly the same way.” He also admonishes Muslims to “get over it” when they claim exclusive status for the Qur’an. The very idea of exclusivity is a “peril” that “simply defies reason.”…
For the most part, Godsey studiously avoids engaging the biblical text. That is at least consistent with his marginalization of biblical authority. “The notions of inerrancy and infallibility are treacherous human fallacies,” he argues. In his earlier book, he had asserted that “the authority for our faith should not rest on the Bible alone, or even primarily.”…
Instead, he argues that Christians should “weigh scripture against the word that we have heard and seen from God in Jesus.” At this point, Godsey is left in an untenable position. What does he know of Christ apart from the Scriptures? This is a familiar predicament for liberals who deny biblical authority but claim a knowledge of Jesus. Whatever knowledge of Jesus we have apart from the Bible is just a figment of our imagination. If the Bible is not the authoritative source of divine knowledge, we are left with nothing more than our own imagination and arbitrary judgment. We can make Christianity anything we might want it to be.
In the place of the Bible, Godsey claims human reason as his authority. Thus: “No rational pathway can lead us to the conclusion that Christians alone or Muslims alone have sole access to the ultimate reality that underlies the meaning of the universe.” Based on that judgment, Godsey then argues that claims of exclusivity are immoral because such claims turn Christianity “into a self-centered, narcissistic religious system that says to the rest of the world that they must become like us if they wish to be accepted by God.”…
There are different forms of universalism and inclusivism within theological circles today, but the most intellectually embarrassing form of pluralism is the very one that Godsey champions. He writes as if all the religions of the world are basically similar, when even a cursory knowledge of the belief systems of the world reveals how dissimilar they are. Godsey does not even privilege monotheism, arguing that Christians should see adherents of all other religions as “equals before God.” (Online source)
You need to know that the people I mentioned earlier are all on that same broad path; some further along than others, but they are on it nonetheless. My question is: How far down this wide road to destruction does mainstream evangelicalism itself have to get before it finally recognizes the New Downgrade? The sad fact is, these associated with this Wild Goose Chase after another spirit have absolutely no business whatsoever teaching in the heart of the Christian community:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)
 http://tiny.cc/y22d1, accessed 6/12/11.
 Samir Selmanovic, “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness – Finding Our God in the Other,” in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones editors [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007], 192, 195, 196, emphasis mine.