Some books and several articles have now been written
about the emerging church, and interestingly, nearly all of them
lack the most important element -- the emerging church (which
incorporates the teachings of the Emergent leaders: McLaren,
Pagitt, Kimball, etc.) is a conduit
for mysticism and is heading right into the arms of Catholicism
and eventually a universal interfaith church.
Many feel that the real problems with the emerging church are
centered around methodology (e.g., how much lighting to have,
where to hold church services, and what to wear while attending
them, etc.) Such distraction from the true concerns is like
telling a neighbor that his dog is tearing up the garden when
his house is burning down and his children are inside.
The emerging church is fundamentally mystical as can easily be
seen by the leaders who feed the emerging movement a steady diet
of contemplative spirituality.
Sweet, one of the
emerging church movement's most prolific leaders explains the
role of mysticism in the emerging church:
once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is
now situated in postmodernist
culture near the center.... In the words of one of the
greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit
philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic,
one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing."
[Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody
Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology. (p.
Another influential emerging church leader is Spencer Burke,
The Ooze. He explains his views on mysticism as well:
"I was struck by the incredible wisdom that could be found
apart from the "approved" evangelical reading list. A
Trappist monk, [Thomas]
Merton gave me a new appreciation for the meaning of
community. His New Man and New Seeds of Contemplation
touched my heart in ways other religious books had not. Not
long afterward my thinking was stretched again, this time by
Thich Nhat Hanh--a Buddhist monk ... Hanh's Living
Buddha, Living Christ gave me insight into Jesus from an
Eastern perspective." (p. 157.
A Time of Departing)
...Emerging spirituality (which ultimately proclaims the
divinity of man) has been around since the Garden of Eden when
the serpent said to Eve, ye shall be as gods, and later when
Lucifer said, I will be like the most High God. Emergent
came on the scene when some business men (i.e.,
Leadership Network) launched
Dan Kimball, and some others and
capsulated emerging spirituality within the confines of these
teamed up with business guru Peter Drucker and a successful
publishing house, and wham, a formula for success - the Emergent
movement was birthed. These new young leaders (then called the
Young Leaders Network) in turn produced books, seminars,
websites, blogs, and "conversations" that bore the fruit of the
current emerging church movement. And because the true premise
of this movement is grounded in mysticism and
Ancient Wisdom, many are grasping hold
of something that has been here all along. Emergent or emerging,
whatever term you want to use ... it's heading in the same
direction, and that is away from the Cross.
Some may say, "But there are positive attributes to the emerging
church movement." Yet would you drink a glass of mountain spring
water if it had only a drop or two of cyanide? Not if you didn't
want to get very, very sick.
Jesus Christ made it clear in Scripture that we are to cling to
truth. HE is truth, and He is the only way to salvation....