By Nathan Jones
One of the signs of the end times is a great proliferation of false doctrines and teachers (Matt. 24:11,24; 2 Pet. 2:1). The growing Emergent Church Movement is one of the most prolific examples of the church falling into false doctrine today, which begs the question, how can we know if our church is emerging?
The question of how to know whether your church is emerging was taken to one of today's foremost defenders of the faith, Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries headquartered in the Dallas area. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.
What should the average Christian be looking for as a red flag or sign that perhaps their church is moving into the apostasy of the Emergent Church Movement?
Just wait for the word "missional." To become a missional Christian, you have to have a world view that is different and concerned with solving the problems of the world.
This is the same old stuff that happened 100 to 150 years ago that caused the major denominations to go down. See, it worked so good the first time, and if I were the Devil, I wouldn't change my technique. I would have continued to do it to destroy the evangelicals of today, just like he did the once evangelical church such as Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. started adopting the Social Gospel. They moved away from the preaching of doctrine, the preaching of the truth of the Bible. They began telling their congregations that you should know your attitude is as good as anybody else's. In the end, it is all about you. It's not about God.
This earth conscience gospel has been adopted as the only way to reach post-modern people. That was the premise in the beginning of the movement, that we've got to find a way to reach this unreached people group. But, what are we reaching them with? That's the thing. That is the question that we have got to ask.
Now, it is expressed with yoga and walking through a labyrinth which comes out of Greek and other mystic beliefs. It is supposed to clear and center your mind. And these are being used in their seminars and in their messages. There is also a desire to integrate Roman Catholic practices like the prayer beads and the Eucharist inside the Emergent Church.
Last April the Dalai Lama had a big meeting in Seattle where they had 105,000 people at Qwest Field. Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt, considered Emergent Christian leaders, both were referred to as "Evangelical Christians." They were in panel discussions with people from all the other religions, bowing down to the Dalai Lama calling him "his holiness." I was ready to throw up watching this thing! But, I watched this group and am thinking, "They never mentioned Jesus. They never brought up anything about Christianity." It was like, before a lost and dying world we're saying that every religion is equal.
Well, that sounds prophetic doesn't it? I told my wife that I am just waiting for the curtain to part and the Antichrist to walk out, except there is one problem — I am still here! So, it is not going to happen today, but I see it will be the same grouping of people with the Sheik and Hindi and Muslim and a Jewish leader, and these apostate Christians all standing together there. It will be the same kind of group that will usher in the Antichrist and say, "He's our leader. Follow him!" It is prophetic.
Now, don't get down in the mouth about this. These are prophetic times we are living in. Just think that we live in a day like today. I am so thrilled to live in this day and to think that we are able to watch these things happen just before the return of the Lord.
But, we do need to be aware of the fact that we are living in a time of great deception, great apostasy, where we need to be discerning and we need to stand out and speak out for the truth. Don't just hang back and be afraid you are going to hurt someone's feelings when you point out false doctrine. I am not going to worry about if there are people that are turned off by our forthrightness about the truth as the Bible teaches. I can't help that. Their eternal souls hang in the balance.
For more information on what the Emergent Church believes, check out our article What Does the Emergent Church Movement Believe?.