Posts Tagged ‘rob bell’

false-teachers“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1:3-4

It has crept and slithered through America infecting countless victims. Its goals are compromise, ambiguity, tolerance, globalism, mysticism, and in some cases, universalism. Its path is destruction and its foundation is sinking sand.

The ‘Emergent Church’ is a movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries. Followers, participants, and those who identify can be described as evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal or post-liberal, reformed, neo-charismatic, and post-charismatic. It is part of the Cult of Liberalism.

They seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “Postmodern” society. It is an untraditional network of individual believers and churches that prefer to be understood as a “conversation” or a friendship rather than an organization. What those involved mostly agree on is their disdain for fundamental Christianity and disillusionment with the organized, traditional, and institutional church.

The emergent, or emegring church favors the use of simple story and narrative in preaching style. Adherents often place a high value on good works or social activism. The hallmark of the emergent church is the liberal, new age aspect including the practice of contemplative monastic meditation and prayers. While some do emphasize eternal salvation, many in the emerging church emphasize the here and now (taking care of the earth, etc.) and reject the inerrancy of Scripture.

Regarding doctrine, these folks generally reject systematic Christian theology, the integrity of Scripture, and gospel exclusivity. They don’t believe Christianity is the one true religion and many associated with the emergent church promote homosexuality. Some deny the deity of Jesus Christ; they call for diversity, “unity,” and camaraderie among all religions, and they modify and expand their teachings. It is quite clearly and simply a war against the Truth.

At an emergent church workshop in San Diego about ten years ago, former national coordinator of the Emergent Village, Tony Jones stated:

“This is about our belief that theology changes. The message of the gospel changes. It’s not just the method that changes.”

What? I submit to you that Jesus never changed his message to fit the times! Sadly, too many believers are uninterested, uninformed, or just plain apathetic about the Bible and understanding the times we live in where relevance is emphasized more than repentance.

In a revealing comment about why Jones departed from the traditional Bible church, he described his younger days in a Protestant church like this:

“I’d say there was one word that summed up my religious life: obligation.”

Rather than seek Christ’s kingdom first and dig into Scripture, Jones decided to travel the world and see how other religions and worshippers found peace through prayer and meditation and he adopted other forms of spirituality in his pursuit of religion.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1

Jones is not alone. These influential men are best-selling authors in Christian stores, speakers at entertaining music festivals, popular on the political Christian Left, and well-known leaders in religious circles. They and their dangerous doctrines have invaded the true body of Christ. The goal in this expose is to provide a basic understanding as well as direct quotes from those who have done great damage to the Church, not to explain or refute each one in detail.

[BREAK] …

Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not a matter of knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is the difference between right and almost right.”

How did we get to the point where many of these liberal, emergent ideas and teachings have blended in with truth and sound doctrine? How have they slithered their way into modern Christianity? The answer goes back to the book of Genesis and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Remember how the serpent deceived Eve by questioning God? (“Did God really say…”) He then encouraged them to disobey God as he declared, “You will not surely die…” (Genesis 3:1-4)

All it takes is a seed of doubt and invitation to sin. Many progressive leaders and deceivers question absolute truth and promote ambiguity and confusion. No wonder these men are so popular – they’re going with the flow of pop culture. Paul warned about conforming to this world (Romans 12:2).

False teachers have been around since the early church days. The major issue with the emergent church is that they reject the authority of Scripture. These teachings were not accepted by evangelical Christians overnight. We can trace the rapid advancement of the emergent church to the late 80’s and 90’s, when people began talking about how to modernize and re-create church to be more attractive to the unchurched.

…Many churches in America now have beautiful buildings, sports facilities, coffee shops, bookstores, great music and sound systems, state of the art lighting, and good drama or video presentations, but how much of their service time is spent preaching the solid truth of Scripture? Many seem to put more of an emphasis on programs keeping people within their own walls or on entertaining the flock rather than feeding them God’s Word. Well, at least the youth are kept happy and occupied.

Young people like to take action for a cause, and many works-based efforts call for organizing, social or environmental action and partnership with government agencies and other religions/leaders. This is a clever way to lure those who are not as mature in the faith.

Another controversial message being promoted is that of social justice, which in its modern use is apostasy. Apostasy means a departure from the faith or one who denies the fundamental doctrines concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Wallis’ Sojourners mag for example, puts more emphasis on the environment, immigration, “income inequality,” and poverty than on the Gospel, salvation, repentance, and sin.) The Bible does not teach that the church must work with government or world leaders to implement man’s solutions to our deepest needs and problems. We can no longer deny the fact that humanism, liberalism and secular-progressive influence is alive and well -not only in government, education, media, corporations, and the entertainment industry – but in the Church…

Since not enough Christians know the dangers and the extent of the emergent church movement and their radical teachings, we need to promote awareness starting with what is true. We need to dig deeper in to the Word of God than ever before and know it so well that if we hear a counterfeit message, we’ll recognize it immediately! We need to talk to our pastors and Christian friends. Liberalism, humanism, and secularism are growing cancers in both church and culture so let’s not ignore the causes.

Let’s get out of our comfort zones and take a stand for Christ. The spiritual battle rages all around us and the enemy is on our doorstep. Satan has been at work at a church near you spreading his deceptions. The good news is that we are on to his schemes. Mature believers know that the emergent church teachings are contrary to the gospel of Christ.

Read the full, comprehensive expose on the emergent church here including direct quotes and many resource links:

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Charles Spurgeon once said, “When the sinner sees the awful consequences of breaking the Law of God—that he cannot escape the certainty of judgment—he will see his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we preach future punishment by the Law, the sinner comes to Christ solely to flee from ‘the wrath to come.’”

The former founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI and a popular icon in the emergent church movement, Rob Bell grew his following in part by being a friend of the world. Bell often uses suggestive ques­tions rather than declarations to challenge traditional Christian doc­trine and the Bible’s authority.

In typical emergent fashion, Bell often creates more ambiguity instead of clar­ity, having no genuine commitment to absolute truth. So it’s no surprise to many of us that Bell came out in favor of homosexuality last week:

I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.

I’d say that’s a bit different than Jesus’ definition of marriage. Of course God loves every one of us, but nowhere in Scripture does He tolerate sin – any sin. He’s holy; He’s God and we’re not. You might recall in 2011 when MSNBC’s Martin Bashir grilled Bell over his mushy position on Hell and eternal judgment. Even Bashir, a liberal cable TV host, referred to Bell’s teachings as unbiblical and historically unreliable. Bashir confronted Bell and said he was “amending the gospel so that it’s palatable,” and “much easier to swallow.”

It’s easy to see that Bell is giving our culture exactly what it wants: nothing too confrontational, convicting or absolute. In the Gospels, Jesus described hell as a fiery furnace, outer darkness, a place of destruction, agony, torment, and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Bell, on the other hand claims:

“For Jesus, heaven and hell were present realities. Ways of liv­ing we can enter into here and now. He talked very little of the life beyond this one… No amount of clever marketing will attract people if we teach that ‘God will punish people for all of eternity.’

Because of sin, judgment must come. The Word of God leaves no doubt about the existence of hell and severity of it. God has provided everything we need to know about hell and how to avoid it through faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Bell is an example of the product of Protestant Liberalism that evolved back in the nineteenth century. When the message is watered-down, it can be confusing to the biblically illiterate.

This brings us to Universalism which teaches that all people will ultimately be saved no matter what they believe here on earth. You can live the way you want: sin, curse God or deny Christ and still make it into heaven. Some Uni­versalists say their salvation is through the atonement of Jesus Christ while others think everybody will go to heaven eventually regard­less of whether or not they have put their faith in Christ.

Apparently this universal redemption will be realized either during a person’s lifetime or after their death in some future state. Since there are many variations of Universalists, it’s not possible to place them all in one doctrinal category.

Rob Bell stated, “What Jesus does is declare that he, and he alone, is saving every­body. And then he leaves the door way, way open.” But, in Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus Christ said:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Christian Universalism however, holds that all of mankind will ultimately be saved through Jesus, whether we place our faith in Him as the Son of God or not. This salvation is not from hell, but from sin, thus pretty much eliminating the truth about a future Judgment Day. As you can imagine, this is a very appealing teaching to young people, and an entire generation of evangelicals has already been poisoned with this unbiblical doctrine.

After all, who wouldn’t want to accept a God of love without having to hear about repentance, holiness, judgment and justice?

Some Universalists believe they will make it to heaven because a lov­ing God would never create a place like hell. They think they will have to make up for their sins in some way – in heaven – and that they are disciplined and purified in this life for their sins. Most believe punish­ment for sin is moral, not physical since there is no eternal damnation. Christian Universalism boils down to the claim that any doctrine about a literal hell is wrong.

There are those who also split hairs over the essential doctrine of Christ’s physical resur­rection, believing He was taken into heaven by God instead of actually rising from the dead and coming out of the tomb. Groups that deny the physical resurrection of Jesus are not Christian, nor are groups who deny the teaching of the Trinity. One of the more dangerous Universal­ist beliefs is a type of reincarnation in which those who have rejected Christ get a second chance and can still come to faith in the next life. These teachings should be avoided, and it’s always best to test all things by the living Word of God.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to con­tend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.  Jude 3-4

For more on the emergent church, counterfeit Christianity, religious confusion, and other false teachings, see chapters 12-13 in Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

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