Apprising Ministries has laid out the theory that there appears to be a new emerging ecumenical magisterium (EEM) growing up around the Elephant Room (ER) of co-hosts James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll.
In September of last year, while she was discussing the then up-coming R12 conference, CRN associate editor Erin Benziger actually gave us a peek at quite a few of the megapastors around this emerging EEM.
Rather astutely, Benziger tells us in The Resurgence Reminds Us of the Piper-Warren Embrace:
It may only be September, but the snowball-effect is in full swing as the visible church continues its steady tumble down the slippery slope of compromise.
Mark Driscoll’s The Resurgence, which “services Christian leaders through books, blog posts, conferences, and classes,” continues to build publicity for its upcoming conference. The conference, scheduled for 9–10 October 2012, boasts a curious lineup of speakers, especially for the New Calvinist Driscoll and his ministry. Many who follow Driscoll and The Resurgence may be surprised to find a schedule full of seeker-driven motivational speakers:
Perhaps it is this walk down the seeker-sensitive path that scheduled speaker James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel was referring to when he noted:
The Resurgence conference is not going to be another tribal gathering but a gathering of tribes, united by grace as one body in Christ. We want to bring together different voices, traditions, and backgrounds to show that the most significant, life-changing, can’t-miss, unifying theme of first importance for the church across all time, all countries, and all peoples is Jesus Christ. The conference will be an invitation to pastors, church leaders, and Christians everywhere to make it all about Jesus in life and in ministry. (Source)
As the visible church continues to weaken and compromise its stand for biblical truth, the call for unity at all costs grows stronger and louder. Accompanying this seems to be a revival of the same man-centered, “purpose-driven” doctrinal obfuscation which has been infiltrating the visible church for some time. (source)
I’m seeing the same thing from my own particular vantage point here along the Internet Front as well. Two major players in the EEM missing from that lineup are prophet-leaders Steven Furtick and his early mentor Perry Noble.
Keep in mind the former is a two-time ER vet while the latter was in ER 1. Not to worry, along with some familiar EEM faces, Furtick was with Noble a month before R12 at Noble’s annual Leadership Conference:
As I said in Prophet-Leader Craig Groeschel And An Evangelical Ganagsta’s Paradise, it seems these gentlemen know each other quite well by now. Consider the endorsements for the latest book by James MacDonald.
We see two major Church Growth Movement gurus and more of the same names:
Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Perry Noble, and Steven Furtick. (source)
Perry Noble’s book Unleashed features:
His disciple Steven Furtick, his friend Mark Driscoll, Seeker Driven Godfather Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel and Word Faith prosperity preacher Robert Morris. (source)
Then Furtick’s new book Greater comes complete with recommendations by:
A question which should come to mind is: Do we really think that it’s by accident these same people are endorsing each other’s works and, for a couple of years now, have been teaching each other’s followers? After-all:
“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” (Amos 3:3)
Which hits the heart of this piece. It’s not like they have no way to see what they’re caught up in. Perry Noble does share some truth in his post How Do I Listen To God? Part Two, albeit in his usual overstated way:
Unfortunately it seems to me that, with but a slight alteration, this is actually what vision-casting prophet-leaders like Perry Noble and the EEM have done themselves:
One of the things I’ve seen all too often is that when a person wants to do for God things that they believe they’ve received directly from Him, even if it’s not in line with Scripture…they will often seek out people that will affirm them in their vision-casting, and then tell them what they want to hear, rather than what is right.
After-all, for those in this megachurch EEM there’s no such thing as a godly critic. Such as these, like Brian Houston, are wary lest they be lowered from their loft heights where they receive direct revelations from God: