My heart is troubled. I found out my church is beginning to adopt some of the “Emerging church” doctrine. It is scary to see such deception creep into our supposed “safe places” and through people who should know better. It is where God wanted us to be able to recharge in between venturing out into this world to be His light. This time it is so sinister as to use “missionaryism” to our communities as the topic. A topic that every church wants to improve on and do the Lord’s work by bringing others to Christ. But the methods they are suggesting are dangerous and disarming.
I feel we may be losing ground to these feel good/new age Emergent’s. In this new approach, they stress that we (the saints) need to leave our Bibles and God’s word behind and go out and make friends with non-believers (sojourners) in a non-confrontational manner by joining their groups and once we have become friends, we are to invite them back into our community groups, which they are calling “incarnational communities”. There we can fellowship with them in a non-discriminatory manner to show them God’s word without confrontation. To tell you the truth, the actual process feels deceptive to the non-believers and somewhat cult-ish. It was the word “incarnational” that set off alarms so I began doing some homework on its roots which you can see a few links below.
I can’t believe they said to leave our Bibles behind and go out into this world. Are we really to become part of this world to bring non-believers to Christ? After we are born again, we are to be in this world but not of this world. God’s word tells us that we are to be his light to the world by living differently due to my faith and the hope that my faith in Christ gives me. God’s word (the Bible) is one of the items God said “above all” do not leave behind. It is part of our holy armor Paul describes in Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:10-20 – (NKJV) – The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (emphasis added)
God’s word is our sword. It is how we awaken those asleep, sow His seeds, and protect ourselves from our enemy. This is a time of spiritual warfare, both sides are scrambling to bring in the largest harvest before the end. With our churches infiltrated by the likes of Rick Warren and Brian McLean where do we, that are battle weary from living in this world (but not of this world) go. Maybe the answer may be small home churches? This is how God’s word is spreading around the world at astonishing rates as it used to be in America decades ago before churches began growing larger and into mega churches. Maybe it is needed again here too. We need to pray about this and ask for the Lord’s direction.
There is more deception out there than I can possibly describe. It is now a wolf in sheep’s clothes. We need to be on guard from the “Emerging” doctrine. We need to stay watchful within our churches and keep our armor on because: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I will be adding a page in the weeks ahead that will list the names of Pastors that I find subscribe to this and some of the key resources that you can use to find out more about what their plans are and where it is headed.
Hint: Zechariah 12:3 and One World Religion.
Below are a few links I have found so far on the topic, Incarnational and the TK Primer (Tangible Kingdom):
What does it mean?
These days, the word “incarnational” can be heard in most denominations and postmodern churches. It’s at the heart of the new, experiential form of Christianity — the transformative movement attempting to unify the world under the banner of the evolving “Church”. It fits right into Rick Warrens global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Brian McLaren’s Kingdom of God.
It calls for a non-offensive form of the “gospel.” No longer is the emphasis on God’s Word and personal regeneration through the Holy Spirit. The new emphasis is primarily on collective experience and unifying community service. To avoid conflict, the true gospel — including the “offense of the cross” — must be banned along with other divisive Scriptures.
Here is a list of quotes that show the postmodern usages and definitions of this word. They generally agree with each other.
As you read them, keep in mind that this words puts the focus on community service, which supposedly demonstrates the love of Jesus. These servers are trained in politically correct communication and experiential oneness through the dialectic process. The true message of salvation rarely fits the program.
This “process over content” generally assumes that anyone who claims to be a Christian can serve “incarnationally,” because Jesus lives in and through them. Yet, since the actual gospel is minimized, this lofty assumption is now applied to people everywhere who have neither been “born again” nor taught His Word. Therefore, an “incarnational ministry” may completely ignore God’s Word and gospel. Claiming to demonstrate His love and unity, it hides the “divisive” message of salvation.
This misleading label usually ignores God’s warnings about the world’s deceptions and rebellious attitudes that quench His Spirit in us and shuts out the victorious life He promises those who–
- trust in our Lord and are filled with His love
- know, love and rely on His Word
- choose follow His narrow way, and
- refuse to compromise their faith.
Living Incarnationally(Sojourners): “Eddie Gibbs (Emerging Churches) provides the insight that the ’emerging church’ seeks to end the dualism between sacred and secular so that all of life becomes sacred…. Everywhere we go, we are His church, His Body, His life with skin on. We are on holy ground everywhere that we are because He is with us, in us, and working through us. In this way, there is no sacred verses secular because our whole lives, even as we are out in the cultures we live within, are organically connected to His kingdom life. Therefore my focus is on how to bring the reality of the sacred into my everyday life and culture and world….
“The Lord spoke to Jim Montgomery, from DAWN Ministries, these words: ‘See to it that I, the Lord, truly become incarnate… in every small group of people on earth.” Jim suggests that what God wants to do is communicate His wonderful message of the Kingdom in a totally contextualized way in every small group of people….
“Wherever we go as believers, God is present because we are incarnating His presence. The form of church gathering that we use is simply… an important community-family context, OUT OF WHICH we live incarnationally in the world….
“Most of us were trained that, in order to ‘serve Christ’ in the world meant that we had to give our testimony or share a gospel tract once a day. This is NOT contextualized incarnational living. Then, as we wrestle with what this means, we become servants to those around us. We do not say much about our faith because we don’t want to ‘do it the old way’ so we quietly ‘share our faith’ with our deeds. Somehow, this also seems to come short of living incarnationally when compared to the powerful impact that Christ had on those around Him.”
C.S. Lewis Chronicles — A Compendium of Information about this Great Writer: “That this brilliant agnostic came to recognize the validity first of Theism, and then of Christianity, provides an amazing testimony. That he could also communicate the gospel so effectively to the ‘common person’ is an additional evidence of his skill. Lewis, a faithful member of the Anglican communion, was no defender of denominational particulars. His calling was to promote a profound vision of “mere Christianity,” which is nothing less than the heart of the faith. His theology was thoroughly incarnational — focusing always on Jesus Christ.”
Emergent Delusion A Critique of Brian McLaren by Bob DeWaay: “Reading Brian McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy, I thought for a moment Hank Kimball had become a theologian. The subtitle gives more than a slight hint as to why it reads like this: ‘Why I am a missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/Calvinist + Anabaptist/Anglican + Methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian.’ If this confuses you, welcome to ‘post-modern’ Christianity in the age of despair.”
Renovare: “This beginning workbook for Renovaré Spiritual Formation Groups features guidelines for starting a group, study plans for the first nine sessions, and a questionnaire that helps map the way ahead. Based upon six major dimensions of the spiritual life found in the life of Christ and Christian tradition: Contemplative: The Prayer-Filled Life; Holiness: The Virtuous Life ; Charismatic: The Spirit-Empowered Life; Social Justice: The Compassionate Life; Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life; and Incarnational: The Sacramental Life, this workbook program provides all the necessary ingredients to start and maintain a Spiritual Formation Group.
RENOVARÉ – The Journey (Common Disciplines): Incarnational: The Sacramental Life. By God’s grace, I will joyfully seek to show forth the presence of God in all that I say, in all that I do, in all that I am. Questions of Examen: In what ways have you been able to manifest the presence of God through your daily work since our last meeting?”
Jesuit Conference: Society of Jesus –WITH CHRIST ON MISSION: “Section III. INCARNATIONAL SPIRITUALITY…. Love of God our Lord as Chief Bond in the Society…. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.
“…the chief bond to cement the union of the members among themselves and with their head is the love of God our Lord. For when the superior and the subjects are closely united to his Divine and Supreme Goodness, they will very easily be united among themselves, through that same love which will descend from the Divine Goodness and spread to all other persons, and particularly to the body of the Society…. Consequently there will be also total contempt of temporal things….”
GATEWAY RESTORATION NETWORK — Christian Community Development Theology of Ministry – by Dr. Wayne L. Gordon: “Relocation: Living Among the People. Living out the gospel means desiring for one’s neighbor and neighbor’s family that which one desires for one’s self and family. Living out the gospel means bettering the quality of other people’s lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as one betters one’s own. Living out the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others. How did Jesus love? ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ (Jn 1:14) Jesus relocated. He became one of us. … A key phrase to understand relocation is incarnational ministry.” (“from: http://www.ccda.org“)
House Church Basics — Pt. 3: Missional Church : One of the hallmarks of the house church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same. This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.
Celtic Prayer Retreat — Celtic Christianity at a Glance: “What distinguished Celtic Christian faith was that it emphasized the importance of calling people to a vital personal faith in Jesus Christ that impacted every area of life. Their faith was emphatically Trinitarian in nature… It was also incarnational and Jesus was intimately known as ‘God with us’. There was also a strong connection to creation and the knowledge that because all that is created comes from a loving and generous God, all aspects of creation can be God’s means of revelation and testimony.”
3 Million Voices: “3 Million Voices seeks to mobilize an “army” of faith-filled Christians, of all ages, to live a lifestyle of Prayer – Care – Share directing our efforts collectively toward an end of AIDS; and as such serve as a discipleship model for incarnational living. Those who commit to join 3 Million Voices are encouraged to sign the Declaration of Commitment indicating your intention to a lifestyle of Prayer – Care -Share to end AIDS.”
(Check links below) “Besides the primary networks of World Evangelical Fellowship Missions Commission (www.worldevangelical.org/missions.htm), Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (www.lausanne.org) and the AD2000 & Beyond Movement (www.ad2000.org) which began this process, GCGR will bring together many other networks and ministries which share these values: + mobilizing the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world in the holistic, incarnational and transformative manner described in the Lausanne Covenant (www.gospelcom.net/lcwe/covenant.html).”
These appear to be related to the Primer that our church is using for its community groups this fall. Interesting…
Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.
If you’re not certain you’re saved, here is what you should do, right now:
Acknowledge that you have sinned against a holy God and ask for forgiveness (even if you don’t feel you deserve it) (Rom. 3:23). Genuinely feel the pain of your sin and be willing to turn from it (repent) (Acts 3:19).
Believe in your heart and mind that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for you (John 3:1-18) in your place, and was raised back to life. There is no one else you can turn to (John 14:6): “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Confess that you are trusting Jesus as your personal Savior. Since Jesus is alive, you can talk to him. This is called prayer. So talk to him right now, in your own words, accept his invitation to know him.
It’s simple faith through grace, the kind of faith a little child would have.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)