Brian McLaren and his associates are in the process of establishing a new religion called Emergence Christianity. McLaren’s CANA project appears to be an attempt to coalesce the various individual efforts into a single powerful force. Other individuals that are involved in the formation of this new Christianity included Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt. It is my opinion that they will find willing participants in Joel Osteen, Oprah Winfrey, and other like-minded individuals including the heads of denominations. They apparently believe that the existing Christianity is inadequate for today’s culture. Since Christianity is in doldrums and chock full of heresy and heretics (not to mention that most professing Christians are anemic and willfully ignorant), a case might be made for the charge of inadequacy. However, it is not God’s plan that has failed, but rather a failure on the part of Christians to carrying out His plan. Therefore, a new Christianity is not the answer, but instead a revitalization of true Christianity. Professing Christians must return to God in full surrender, obeying Him in all things, and maintaining intimacy by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Taking advantage of the stagnation and malaise of the last day’s environment in Christianity, McLaren and his fellows are insisting that Christians are mistaken about long-standing traditions and doctrines. They believe that Christianity suffers spiritually because Christians never learned how to pray properly. Therefore, they have employed Spiritual Formation, which includes Contemplative Prayer and other pagan practices. By involvement in these pagan rituals Christians are supposed to become more spiritual and in tune with the Cosmic Christ, who is the “Christ” of their new Christianity. They declare that Christians also are historically wrong about the cults, paganism, the New Age Movement, and secularism. Thus, they have begun establishing agreements with those entities.
My question is; if Christians have been so wrong throughout the centuries, then what is Emergence Christianity predicated on? Since McLaren and his associates have boldly declared that it is fatally flawed, its basis certainly cannot be historic and traditional Christianity. It cannot be God’s word or their version would not be significantly different than existing Christianity. Although the major denominations disagree on certain issues, there is no mistaking the fact that most of them are Christian in essence if not in practice. No such identity exists in the Emergence version. The case might be made during the present apostasy in American that Christianity in practice has for the most part entered a crisis of spiritual destitution. However, instead advocating for a revival, McLaren is calling for a replacement. There needs to be an explanation concerning where this replacement is coming from. The source of McLaren’s replacement Christianity may be exposed if we compare Emergence Christianity with true Christianity.
Since American Christianity in practice is mostly an unfit example of comparison, I will use the example of Christianity in nations where Christians are persecuted. There can be no purer form of Christianity in practice than in nations where the price of being a true Christian is the greatest. Therefore, how does McLaren’s version stack up to the persecuted church? Emergence Christianity intends to join with the state, to mingle with socialist programs and other state-sponsored initiatives. The persecuted Christians oppose state-sponsored and regulated Christianity. They do so unto the point of material loss, torture, imprisonment, and even death. Emergence Christianity has embraced paganism, cults, and the New Age Movement (Although Emergent Christians claim their pagan practices, such as Contemplative Prayer, are rooted in ancient Christianity, they are mistaken). Persecuted Christians resist paganism, and reject affiliation with cults and the New Age Movement. They do not count their breaths while uttering a mantra, entering an altered state of consciousness, and receiving a spirit guide. They pray with words for hours, calling out to God for the salvation of their persecutors. Emergence Christians disdain God’s word and especially the Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament. They pervert the Bible or manipulate it to support what they believe. The persecuted Christians love God’s word and risk their lives to own a Bible or a fragment of scripture. They will sit for hours to hear preaching or teaching of the word of God. Emergence Christianity has no divine continuity. It began with the initiative and cooperation of secular and religious individuals. The persecuted Christians have divine continuum that treads its way back to the early church. They accept the scriptural example of Christianity. Their leaders are scarred with the brutality of a satanic regime that is committed to converting or eradicating them.
It is easy to see by this short comparison that McLaren and friends are forming a new Christianity that has no foundation in God Almighty. They are not building upon the foundation stone, the Rock, Jesus Christ. Their goal is not to build upon the legacy of the godly ancestors of Christianity. They are instead building upon Roman Catholic mystics (that were in fact heretics) and a menagerie of individuals whose belief systems range from bizarre to more bizarre. It is a religion that would most likely be accepted by the very nations that persecute true Christians. There were no biblical influences in the formation of Emergence Christianity. Their fruit is as the works of darkness. They treat that which is sacred as profane and the profane as sacred. The conclusion must be that Emergence Christianity is counterfeit Christianity. It is the same counterfeit Christianity that has been at war with the kingdom of God from the moment the disciples left the Upper Room. Emergence Christianity has found fertile soil in the American society that teems with the cooperate afflictions of hedonism, heresy, and apostasy. Additionally, the great majority of professing Christians that are not yet apostate are apathetic and willfully ignorant. McLaren and his group of apostates insist that only their redesigned Christianity will be relevant in such a society. With that haughty statement I can agree, but it is a curse rather than an honor. However, while they prepare the religious sector for the False Prophet and Antichrist, God’s people are preparing to endure unto the coming of the true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is a time of powerful deception and a great apostasy. Some professing Christians have descended into the great delusion from which they cannot be recovered. It is no mystery that blatant and rampant sin has caused this dreadful state of affairs. However, American Christians are easily deceived because of two major errors, flawed soteriology and faulty eschatology. They believe that they either cannot lose their salvation no matter how wicked and apostate they become, or that they are going to escape all the harshness of the end times even though they are lukewarm, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I am not going to argue about it. Instead I will warn everyone who reads this article that he or she had better not run to a pastor to escape conviction about these issues. The time has come for every individual to work out his or her own salvation with fear and trembling. I advise every sincere professing Christian to pray and read the Bible until his or her heart is filled with love and devotion to God. One can ride a false doctrine all the way to hell, but there is no way to miss heaven when one is full of love and devotion to God. Is there any difference between believing a false doctrine and believing a true doctrine falsely? I hope and pray that everyone understands my reasoning here. God’s word is clear that eventually, the final veil of darkness will ascend from the depths and humanity will enter a period of unprecedented evil. That event has begun. There have been many warnings. There is no excuse for being unaware of the hour. Ignorance and apathy is, other than apostate, the worst possible condition to be in at the moment. Being unprepared to endure such a time is the most asinine mistake a professing Christian could make. There are no second chances beyond the portals of eternity, no debating doctrine, and no one to blame but ourselves.