By Nathan Jones
Why is the Emergent Church so caught up in environmentalism?
Dr. Reagan and I on our ministry's television show Christ in Prophecy had the pleasure of asking this question of our special guest Caryl Matrisciana. Caryl is a best selling author and filmmaker and is a recognized expert on Eastern religions, contemporary cults, paganism and the occult. She has been involved in the production of more than 60 documentaries over the past 30 years. Her biographical testimony Out of India explains how she grew up under Hinduism in India and lived it in England and the U.S. as a New Ager before accepted Christ as Savior. She joined us to warn us about the Eastern religious influences inherent in the Emergent Church.
Dr. Reagan: I become more and more convinced that the people involved in the Emergent Church Movement are moving in the direction of the old liberal mainstream Christianity in saying really what the Gospel's all about is environmentalism. To them it's the protection of nature and it's protection of Mother Earth. They're are also going to be bringing peace to the whole world.
Caryl Matrisciana: It's the Social Gospel.
Dr. Reagan: The leader of the Movement said in a statement, "The Church has been preoccupied with the question what happens to your soul after you die, as if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in Jesus is trying to help get more souls into Heaven as opposed to Hell after they die. I just think a fair reading of the Gospel blows that out of the water. I don't think the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line of saving souls."
Caryl Matrisciana: How sad. How awful, because Jesus said that He comes so that none shall perish. He came to offer us eternal life so that none should perish if we accept His salvation. That was the whole purpose of Jesus Christ coming to this earth.
Dr. Reagan: This same fellow held a conference in Seattle which our friend Eric Barger attended and he said, "We've interpreted John 3:16 incorrectly. It has nothing to do with salvation of souls. It has to do with the salvation of the world. Jesus came to die for the world." This false teacher invited people to come up afterwards and put their hands into dirt and commit themselves to saving the environment.
Caryl Matrisciana: Within Eastern Mysticism the world is the Mother Goddess. She's the environment who should be worshiped. It is the matriarchal system, not the patriarchal.
If we have to go even further back to Satan, Earth worship is demonic. It's satanic. We have to understand that just as there is a personal God, there is a personal enemy of God, and that is Satan. His attack has been on the Word of God and the authority of God and the purpose of Jesus coming to die for our sins. Satan said to Eve in the Garden, "Surely you won't die." Satan meant if she followed him she wouldn't die. If you follow me you'll get wisdom. If you follow me you can be like God. All of these are the fundamentals of the Emerging Church Movement.
Old Ideas Spun as New
Nathan Jones: Would you say the movement then isn't from a particular denomination?
Caryl Matrisciana: No, it penetrates into all the denominations.
The people who are the leaders of the Emerging Movement claim that they came from evangelical backgrounds. Now, they may have come from evangelical church backgrounds, but they didn't understand the authority of the Word of God because they were raised in a Post-Modern generation. They've been taught the idea that truth is relative, truth is not knowable, and that with truth we need to debate it. We need to get into sort of a protagonist situation where we can debate and create our own truth. We get synthesis rather than thesis.
Nathan Jones: Human wisdom then?
Caryl Matrisciana: It's all about human wisdom over God's wisdom.
Dr. Reagan: That reminds me again of the leader of the Emergent Church Movement who was invited recently to come to Dallas to speak to one of the most outstanding evangelical seminaries in all the world right here in Dallas, Texas. The President of the Seminary was confronted by people who asked, "What are you doing? Why are you inviting this person in who is a wolf in sheep's clothing?" He answered that they were an educational institution and so had to be open to all ideas and allow all people to come in and speak. Those protesting suggested that if he was going to invite a person teaching a false Gospel, he should at least have a faculty member get up and be given equal time to confront him. His response was that, no, that wouldn't be polite.
Caryl Matrisciana: How did I get involved in the New Age? It was because I was given a plethora of beliefs because this world is controlled by Satan. Satan is the god of this world, and I was under the seduction of seducing spirits and the doctrines of demons. If one doesn't understand the reality of Satan's warfare being in this, then we don't really understand the war that we are involved in.
Recently we've had "America's Pastor" named by Time magazine. He invited three New Age completely Eastern indoctrinated, mystical doctors into his health plan to introduce his entire congregation of 22,000 people to a new health and wellness plan. These three doctors between themselves had an Eastern worldview even though one is a Muslim, one is a Jew, and one is a Christian mystic. They come from an Eastern worldview background which teaches that within ourselves is the potential to heal ourselves.
Self healing is an idea that derives from Eastern Mysticism, that within us we can connect to divinity. We can heal ourselves. It's all mind over matter. It is self-hypnosis. This is what the Emerging Church is all about, bringing in "new" ideas from the East. They are not new ideas, though, they are old ideas. It is the old lie from the Garden of Eden.
Dr. Reagan: To see how poorly these ideas work, just look at the society they've produce in the East.
Caryl Matrisciana: It is not a nurturing society, and in fact it is a very cruel system.
In the next part of this interview with Caryl Matrisciana on the Emergent Church, we'll ask her why they use so much mystical paraphernalia in their worship.