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Excerpts from

Emerging Church Confusion

What Does it Really Mean?

Lighthouse Trails  10-16-07

Read the whole message at www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletter101607.htm

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.
Leonard Sweet, one of the emerging church movement's most prolific leaders explains the role of mysticism in the emerging church:

"Mysticism, 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 experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology. (p. 160, ATOD)

Another influential emerging church leader is Spencer Burke, director of 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 Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, and some others and capsulated emerging spirituality within the confines of these young leaders.

Leadership Network 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....

The complete report: www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletter101607.htm

More information: Emergent Manifesto & Yoga, Mysticism & Moody Bible Institute

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