"Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality. We've heard all sides, but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us."... If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multi layered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex." Brian McLaren
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Leviticus 18:22
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." Romans 1:26-27
If there is one quote that best summarizes the heart of the emergent church movement, the quote from Pastor Brian McLaren on homosexuality says it best. While emergent proponents deny that the movement can be defined or that you can make any generalizations about what they believe, even a cursory look at the websites, the books and the articles by the leaders of this movement tell another story.
In analyzing the emergent church “conversation” as they call it, it isn't the wild East Indian dancing and the artists painting in the aisles of churches like Mosaic in Los Angeles that should cause us the most concern. It isn't the fact that hundreds of emergent pastors were led in a group yoga exercise at the 2004 National Pastors Convention that should trouble us the most. It isn't the random drawing of ritual from nearly every tradition under sun and their incorporation into what is being called “worship” that should sound the biggest alarm. It isn't the labyrinths and the promotion of contemplative spirituality that draws from eastern religions and the make-it-up-as-you-go philosophy of these pastors that should give us pause. These are all symptoms of a bigger problem. When you read McLaren's quote at the top of the page and when you realize what McLaren is really saying, that is what should alarm us the most.
McLaren believes God is vague on something as basic as homosexuality. He sees multiple layers of meaning in Scripture where there are none. He speaks of staggering complexity where God's Word is crystal clear. In short, the Bible in itself is useless to McLaren and does not speak with clarity on an issue as basic as sodomy. Where can leaders like this take the church? There is no bottom to this one, friends.
The fundamental problem with the emerging church is that it rejects the authority of the Word of God. Emergents prefer mystery to clarity, they prefer questions to direct answers. They prefer the journey to the destination. They question and undermine and insert doubt in the minds of young people who are already swimming in a sea of postmodern confusion. There is great danger here to the church of Jesus Christ. Christians have an unfortunate tendency to believe that spiritual error only comes amidst billowing clouds of sulfur. They expect false teachers to wear horns and black capes. They expect the obvious.
Yet here we have Brian McLaren openly rejecting the authority of God's Word on homosexuality and he remains an evangelical darling and leadership columnist for Christianity Today. Few know that Mr. McLaren endorsed a book last year called The Seekers Way, by Dave Fleming. Dave Fleming is an open interspiritualist who told me during a radio interview that he believes that underneath the superficial differences of world religions, they are all the same. It's the same spirituality. This is rank, anti-Christ apostasy and nobody within the ranks of well-known evangelicalism has challenged McLaren as to how he could endorse this book.
Spiritual error is growing more subtle all the time. It is found in Christian bookstores across America, many of which are more interested in their bottom line than doctrinal integrity. It is found in the pew in the person sitting next to you. It is found in the books and tapes of your church library. Error today carries a briefcase and wears a nice suit. It is slick, it is charming and it comes speaking terms that will make you feel right at home. After all, who could be against someone that speaks of “Jesus”?
The Lord Jesus Christ himself warned that in the closing hours of history, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. That is a high degree of subtlety and it explains why so few evangelicals are challenging men like Erwin McManus and Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones and all the others on the emergent bandwagon.
Something is definitely emerging. It is not a love for the truth of the Gospel. However much you hear emergent leaders talk about being relevant and "missional" and being authentic, it is nothing but falsehood when the feet of its leaders do not stand on the authoritative Word of God. An incredible battle for truth was fought in the 16th century. Scripture alone! was the cry of those who wrested the Gospel back from the hands of the enemy and once again let the wonderful truths of salvation by grace through faith alone ring out. This is our battle. The question of the hour is this: Will we, the spiritual heirs of these saints of old, be found faithful in our time to boldly renounce all doctrine that undermines the authority of the Bible? God help us to stand, Amen.
© 2006 Ingrid Schlueter
Ingrid Schlueter has been producer and co-host of the Crosstalk Radio Talk Show on the VCY America Radio Network for 18 years. She is author of numerous articles on current issues and is a regular columnist for Wisconsin Christian News. She has also authored, Parent Police: The UN Wants Your Children. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://sliceoflaodicea.com
Other articles by Ingrid Schlueter: Thirty Small Singing Soldiers
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