Today’s “progressive” thinking has little love for the old facts and certainties that have grounded genuine Christianity in God’s revealed truth for almost 2000 years. The old “colonial” truths (as some called them) don’t fit the new dialectic or collective ways of thinking. Nor do they seem as exciting to today's sensuality-seeking, entertainment-driven generation as the “fresh, new truths” offered as replacements.
So it's not surprising that the old emphasis on an individual’s relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is being replaced with a more unified emphasis on one’s relationship to the "collective" -- "the greater whole" -- such as the "emerging" or "post-modern church" which reaches far beyond the boundaries of the old biblical “box.”
That’s one reason why many of today’s churches remove the old emphasis on absolute Truth and a sovereign, all-powerful King and Judge. Such mighty power and authority simply doesn't fit today's self-seeking times. So-called "Christians" are happy to trade His eternal Word for ever-changing truths that match the permissive god of the subjective imagination. “We’re on a journey,” they say, “So nothing can be set in stone.” Always changing, always transforming.
In other words, the old "absolutes" are fading away. The "group consensus" is now based on feelings and experience! The mind and imagination determines what is true! Popular consensus will either discard God’s Word or adapt it to fit man-made values. But when people discard absolute Truth (the essential guidelines in God's Word), they majority will simply flow with the currents of our ever-changing culture.
Without God's guidelines, they can neither filter the flood of conflicting suggestions nor resist popular deceptions. Any new information that captures the public imagination becomes acceptable, normal and real—no matter how dubious its source. As a result, Bible-based discernment fades, and the result is likely to a spiritual compromise -- a rising interspiritual, universalist “religion” where the need for a personal Savior is forgotten. Left standing in the wake of this deception will be our children. If they are not prepared and equipped to follow God and take a stand, they may yield their hearts to this process with little or no resistance.
Many pastors, teachers, and popular "Christian" leaders have written books that promote such rebellion against God and His Word. For example, popular author and pastor Brian McLaren has openly rejected, even mocked, the major tenets of the Christian faith. In a 2006 radio interview, he told listeners that the doctrine of Hell is “false advertising for God.”40 To him, the Cross is virtually irrelevant.
xe "McLaren"McLaren’s award-winning book, A New Kind of Christian, is written as a semi-fictional dialogue, so that readers can experience the thrill of questioning old truths and discovering new truth through the dialectic process. Notice how the introduction touts the xe "postmodern"postmodern worldview while raising doubts about biblical faith:
I realize, as I read and reread the Bible, that many passages don’t fit any of the theological systems I have inherited or adapted. Sure, they can be squeezed in, but after a while my theology looks like a high school class trip’s luggage—shoestrings hanging out here, zippers splitting apart there. . . .
I read what other people who are having similar experiences are saying, including people writing outside of the religious context—like this from [Buddhist sympathizer] xe "Peter Senge"Peter Senge: “In any case, our Industrial Age management. . . . our Industrial Age way of living will not continue. . . . It’s not sustainable in ecological terms, and it’s not sustainable in human terms. It will change. The only question is how. . . .”
I meet people along the way who model for me, each in a different way, what a new kind of Christian might look like. They differ in many ways, but they generally agree that the old show is over, the modern jig is up, and it’s time for something radically new.41
xe "McLaren"McLaren sounds strikingly similar to New Age teacher Barbara xe "Marx Hubbard"Marx Hubbard when she says, “The old play is almost over” (see page 143). Hubbard talks about the “selection process” that will somehow eliminate right off the face of the earth those who are slowing down the New Age plan. Something new and fresh, they say? But without the xe "atonement"atonement and xe "the Cross"the Cross! Could it be that xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren’s xe "emerging church"emerging church is falling in lockstep with New Agers who believe biblical “dogmatic” Christians are the world’s enemy? And what is so incredibly sobering is that many evangelical leaders helped to bring xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren’s dream for a “radically new” Christianity to the forefront. xe "Rick Warren"Rick Warren, often referred to as “America’s Pastor,” has been most instrumental in this process and was one of those who had no problem with recommending xe "McLaren"McLaren on his popular pastors.com website.42 And in emerging figure xe "Dan Kimball"Dan Kimball’s book, The Emerging Church, xe "Rick Warren"Rick Warren and xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren shared the spot of writing forewords for the book, giving the impression that they were in unision regarding the emerging church. xe "Bill Hybels"Bill Hybels of xe "Willow Creek"Willow Creek often included xe "McLaren"McLaren in his leadership conferences. So, while many xe "Christian leaders"Christian leaders later distanced themselves from xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren, the indispensible role these mega-pastors played in helping to launch him into fame was undoubtedly significant. In the year 2000, practically no one had heard of xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren; by 2005, Time magazine named him one of the top 25 most influential evangelicals in America!43 That influence continues to this day.Leaders like xe "Rick Warren"Rick Warren may not go as far afield as xe "Brian McLaren"Brian xe "McLaren"McLaren, but they know full well that the diverse seekers want something more contemporary than the old Gospel that has opened eyes and changed hearts for two millennia. As xe "Rick Warren"Rick Warren writes in The Purpose Driven