As Apprising Ministries continues watching the implosion of evangelicalism, I can tell you that much of its recent apostasy can be traced to the Emerging Church aka the postmodern liberal cult of the Emergent Church.
Circa 2000 evangelical churches began exposing their Young Adult and Youth Groups to “alternative services” e.g. using the warped and toxic teachings of the dubious duo of the EC, Doug Pagitt and his cohort Tony Jones.
A few years ago in Emergent Wolves Enter Your Sheep Pens Through Youth Groups I dealt with a question I’ve often been asked: How is it that the Emerging Church finds its way into our local evangelical churches?
EC pastor Dan Kimball tells you when he writes:
The staff at one church in rural Oklahoma…fully believed they needed to start making changes in the way they worshipped in order to be in line with the emerging culture and emerging generations…
These staff members were afraid, however, to try anything too radical. After all, they served in a very conservative Baptist church…they started by slowly adding a few things to their youth meetings. They corporately read ancient creeds and prayers.
They lit candles and had times of silent prayer. They allowed the youth to paint during a worship time. They practiced lectio divina or “sacred reading,” the ancient practice of prayerful meditation on Scripture. Not all at once, but little by little they added these elements of worship to their existing meetings…
It was a huge step for them…the staff are planning to have monthly emerging worship gathering for youth (and adults of any age who want to come)… Eventually the church wants to turn the monthly worship gathering into a weekly one.1
Fuller Theological Seminary professor Tony Jones, Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt’s friend and progressive/liberal “theologian in residence,” then adds:
It’s no mistake that many of the emergent leaders were formerly youth workers. Church-based youth ministry is a fertile training ground for so much that is emergent: risk-taking, entrepreneurialism, pushing boundaries, getting in trouble :-), staying up-to-date on culture, etc. All of this has influenced the genesis of emergent. (source, smiley face his)
Now that you understand how the Emerging Church slithered into acceptance, here’s what this all has to do with John Mark Comer and his teaching polytheism this month in a Seeker Driven, ostensibly evangelical, church.
A core doctrine of the EC was corrupt Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which viciously attacks the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura. It’s a deadly combination with postmodernity.
Under its cover satanic forces sowed confusion within the various younger sectors of Christendom as to whether one can trust that we can come to understand what the Bible means and what cardinal doctrines of the faith are.
As a result, people decide issues by their feelings—if they take a position at all—because they’re wary of anyone claiming to know the absolute truths taught in God’s Word. So, over the past decade now, almost anything goes.
From this vantage point of the battlefield then, you’ll better be able to understand how pastor John Mark Comer can stand in an evangelical pulpit and preach polytheism with barely a reaction since we’ve brought it to light.
You can see above that Comer is “Pastor of A Jesus church” in Portland, Oregon. It’s actual name is Solid Rock Church; a multi-site organization with a membership of some 7,000 on a given Sunday:
While still largely under the radar until now, John Mark Comer is a published author recommended by the likes of Gerry Breshears of Western Seminary, who also co-authored many books with New Calvinist Mark Driscoll.2
Comer’s book is called My Name Is Hope and is endorsed by Dr. Breshears, whom Comer refers to as his friend in the sermon in question:
I’ve pointed out before I’ve been in the ministry fields of counter-cult evangelism, apologetics and Comparative Religion for nearly thirty years. One of the first things I would run into was Mormon Missionaries at my door.
Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow taught in 1840, ”As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”3 If so, you should be able to see by this Mormon mythology that, quite obviously, we’re dealing with a pantheon of gods.
In closing this, for now, here’s a good succinct definition of polytheism, “The belief in a multitude of distinct and separate deities [i.e. gods].”4 Now, this is a critical point: Polytheism is simply the belief in more than one god.
Whether someone worships all, or any, of them is irrelevant. If you believe that more than one god exists, you are a polytheist, period; and polytheism has never been a part of the theology of Judaism or of the Christian faith.
With this understood, I draw to your attention Seeker-Driven Pastor Brings Polytheism into the Mainstream by Christian Research Network associate editor Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised… She’s right as she says:
It is shocking to think, then, that the pagan idea of polytheism would ever begin to creep into mainstream evangelicalism. Yet such a transgression recently was committed by John Mark Comer, pastor of Solid Rock Church in Portland, Oregon.
On 13 January 2013, Comer taught a sermon entitled, “Yahweh Elohim” from the text of Exodus 34:6. A few excerpts from this sermon may be heard below:
As is clear from the clip above, Comer states in no uncertain terms his belief that the pagan gods of the Old Testament were actual deities, albeit lesser ones than the Lord. (source)
So it’s clear John Mark Comer is a polytheist; and, as a matter of fact, Comer even teaches in this same sermon that the LORD God Almighty—the one true and living God of the Bible—actually created these lesser deities.
Here’s a quick glimpse of who is actually behind this teaching by Comer. One of these other gods would be Satan, which would then make his errant, prideful, boast true — ‘I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:14).
However, if there was one verse alone in the Bible to refute the pagan mythology of polytheism it would have to be Isaiah 43:10, where God reveals to us in no uncertain terms:
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. (Isaiah 43:10)
Sadly, such is the time we live in where—despite the clear teaching of Scripture—someone like John Mark Comer is teaching polytheism in mainstream Christendom. Against this backdrop I now leave you with the following:
Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith refutes John Mark Comer’s Polytheism
- SBC’S RICHARD LAND SAYS MORMONISM FOURTH ABRAHAMIC FAITH
- RICK WARREN AND HIS BROTHER, “HIS EMINENCE” TIMOTHY CARDINAL DOLAN ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK
- JESUS CULTURE’S KIM WALKER-SMITH’S ALLEGED ENCOUNTER WITH GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST
- Dan Kimball, Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations [Grand Rapids: Emergent YS/Zondervan, 2004], 102, emphasis his. ↩
- http://bit.ly/VwxqHu, accessed 1-30-13. ↩
- http://www.mrm.org/lorenzo-snow-couplet, accessed 1-30-13. ↩
- Walter Elwell, ed., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984], 931. ↩