The Chuck Smiths on Emergent Church

ChuckSmithChuck Smith the Senior just released a paper on the "emergent church". (Parson to Parson, PDF) [UPDATE: paper probably written by someone on staff at Calvary but not Chuck Smith Sr – ) Its been years since I heard him preach at Calvary Church in Costa Mesa. My wife used to attend their Saturday evening events when she was a teenager but is not old enough to remember the days of Lonnie Frisbee and the beginnings of the Jesus Movement in Southern California. Chuck is a great guy and a well respected leader. But he may have been handed some bad info on the emerging church.

He suggests the emergent church:

1. Does not believe that Jesus is the only way by which one might be saved.

2. Soft peddles hell  – traces of universalism

3. Experience of feelings become criteria of truth rather than Word of God

4. Use of icons to give them a sense of God.

5. We should not make sinners feel safe and comfortable in church.

6. They condone what God has condemned.

7. They look to Eastern religions and practices of mediation through yoga and spiritual breathing techniques or repeating a mantra.

8. The final authority of the Scripture is challenged by their confusion

Not saying that one or two of these elements are not present in some of the churches. I have used icons (crosses, flowers, architecture, photos) in church [but so do Calvary Chapel] and when "sinners" come to my house for a meal and a talk about Jesus, I make them feel safe and comfortable. House churches globally would be guilty of Number 5. The message of the cross is still a stumbling block and an offence – no getting around that –  but our hospitality should not be such a barrier. And I believe in the authority of the Scripture and that Jesus is the only way to the Father. These are basics of the faith that are held worldwide and covered in the Lausanne Covenant, which I affirm, uphold and promote.

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And if critics keep going on and on about the relationship between emerging church and breath prayers and repeating mantras . ..  then maybe i will need to actually find out how to do one just so i know what they are talking about. I feel stupid reading this stuff  – like maybe i am supposed to actually know more than I do.

Mantras? Doesn’t Jesus tell the Pharisees not to repeat their prayers meaninglessly? Are emerging churches REALLY doing this? Because i haven’t seen it. I do see the LORD’s Prayer getting mantra-fied in some churches on a weekly basis but that would go for all churches – and emergent churches are less guilty of mindless repetition than traditional churches.

But I don’t think this is all about emerging church defending themselves [again] over false accusations and i don’t feel a need to put up a fight. If one looks behind the scenes, there was a recent mess-up with Chuckies book on spirituality and prayer called "When Storms Come" and Chuck is now clearing up the mess by distancing himself from anything labeled "contemplative".  More here.

1578564026.01. Bo2,204,203,200 Pisitb-Dp-500-Arrow,Topright,45,-64 Aa240 Sh20 Sclzzzzzzz Chuck Smith the Junior, who i have enjoyed meeting a number of times [and he has commented on this blog before] sees the emerging church deeply connected with worship and has written a good book on the emerging church – "The End of the World As We Know It". I am hoping relations are good between the two Chuckies. I sent an email to Chuck Smith Jr this morning to see what’s up. From looking at his website, Chuck is continuing and reproducing his father ministry by running an emerging church.


"Chuck Smith jr. started Capo Beach Calvary in Capistrano Beach, California, and has served as its pastor for 30 years. His father founded Calvary Chapel, a Southern California church that developed innovative ministries in the 1970s to reach young people in the counterculture. Today, Chuck is doing the same thing for emerging generations of the postmodern age." Link

Further: Phoenix Preacher


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Hey, Andrew… Didnt expext you on S.F. … So. Interesting article you write about this statements. For me these are thoughts I thought 1 year ago and i am beginning to see that the emerging church is “…ok”.. or”biblical” 🙂

  • I find all this stuff so tiresome. I know I should be more aware of what others are saying and be more open to listening but I’m losing grace quickly in this area. I applaud you for being so gracious. I think I know what he’s referring to in the mantra thing – probably things like embracing the practice of repeating the Jesus prayer (Eastern Orthodoxy)throughout the day to the rhythm of your breathing or if you’re entering a time of contemplative prayer to repeat a word or phrase to help you focus on God. Of course, I’m not sure that I see that as a problem *shrug* Much of the church is rooted heavily in the East so the automatic connection with “eastern practices” as “anti Christian” is a little odd to me…but consistent with comments coming from western evangelicals.
    As for yoga, I have to chuckle about that one. I actually enjoy yoga, but I’m not sure I would label it as a community-wide practice in the emerging churches..hehe..Sorry…funny images pop into my head if I spend too much time on that one.
    Well, God bless’em. They have a role in the Body and I just have to trust the Spirit…as hard as it is sometimes 😉

  • sorry if i tire you too much with this stuff
    i probably should mention it so often here but it is the easiest and quickest place to vent and say something that might help.
    i probably DO give too much attention to the critics and not enough to the heros of the faith who are out there with Jesus doing the work.

  • Great blog entry. You know though I agree with about his statements being wrong, I have to admit that most outside of the EC ‘movement’ have no idea what it is. Because of this ideas like those that Chuck Smith Sr. has listed are easily believed. I know that just until recently I had no idea what EC was. Much of what Chuck lists I thought was true of those ‘progressive’ churches. So it really falls to us to help others get over these wrongs views they have of the EC not by shouting matches or insults but by coming alongside each other and working together to advance the kingdom of God.

  • oh no Andrew, I’m sorry that my post sounded like I was chastising you. I wasn’t at all. You go ahead and vent away, I totally understand.
    What I tire of is people who have loud voices in the Church speaking of things they know not. I find it tiresome having to constantly try to reitterate what I believe and what I stand for because so many with loud voices are misrepresenting my community of faith and I don’t have a loud voice to bring correction. I appreciate you posting about it and see nothing wrong with you doing so 🙂

  • ARRRRRRGH!!!!!!
    Why do they look at the fringe and think it is the whole!!??
    many of us have some of the same concerns, yet we see that to compromise our faith with “modernists” narrow view… which broken down has many for faults more worrisome than PM/E/e is going through as it crawls…
    The key issue he misses is that there is a bigger problem with the view he holds, as we are here!!! It is like my son’s t-shirt that says, “I am 2, and there is nothing you can do about it!” We are here because what was offered was not “real” to us. He needs to go back to his roots and remember those hippies that no one wanted to come to church…. because they dressed funny, talked funny and smelled funny…
    I sould just rip his points apart one by one, but really I am bored with those who can’t see beyond their own belly buttons.
    My son is 2 years old. He talks funny, walks funny, sometimes smells funny, falls down too much, believes my made up stories, and loves… the Wiggles! I think one day none of this will be true… (except for the Wiggles) as he matures.
    Though I do see that the scripture is fullfilled as son will be against father.

  • Please forgive me if I offend any one but I also have concerns about emergent in the area of Jesus is the only way of entering into the kingdom of God.
    I find the writings of ????? universalist in nature. I also sense they are not too happy with the judgemnet of God in the OT when he tells them to kill all the enemies of God, even their children.
    ?? ?????? and his lack of acceptance of us receiving the imputation of Christ Righteousness through faith is heresy.
    As to the person who wrote that his son was two and in the process of development, well if he was deormed and had a handicap when he was born, in 20 years time he would still be deformed or handicaped unless God or man intervened and help this child.
    Emergent I believe has some major deformities, may blessings, many insights and encouragements. I learn lots and have changed because of Emergent.
    But emergent needs to address and be honest about the false teaching that is floating about within their community.
    I can hear the groans already

  • Hi,
    I’ve kind of stopped commenting on these things because I usually find out later that I don’t know enough about the issues to begin with.
    My only thing is that while the accusations against EC might be unwarranted, I’m not sure the confusion is.
    I have finally come to understand the difference between ’emerging” and “emergent”(I think) . I understand that guys like you and Dan Kimball might be on one end of the spectrum than Tony Jones and Brian Mclaren on certain issues. I have kind of figured out that it is a conversation more than a movement, in reality, we are trained in North America to look at the figureheads as representative of the whole group. People look at Brian McLaren and his issues and questions about the doctrine of Hell, and a lot of the controversial things that Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt write and say about things like the trinity and other issues, and ascribe it to the group as a whole.
    We don’t or can’t do the thorough job of investigating where everyone is at and generally listen to info from those we know.
    I don’t know exactly what Brian actually believes about Hell, or what Dougs actual problems are with the Council of Nicea and the Trinity unless I were to sit down and talk to them for a good chunk of time. So it makes it kind of hard to figure everything out. Especially when some of these guys are trying to provide tension to begin with.
    But we need to be responsible as mature Christians not to spread false info. I was at a pastors luncheon, and most of the pastors had only heard so very little about EC and what they did know was the basic generic info and specualtion. I tried to explain the few basics that I knew, bit it is hard when you come from such a traditional modern mindset to wrap your head around a lot of these ideas.
    So I guess this comment is getting confusing. I guess I’m saying that with all the exposure that EC is getting, then maybe they need to constantly be re-introducing and reminding people what it’s purpose is. (and maybe they are..I don’t know)

  • I guess what frustrates me the most is not when people have questions or concerns about beliefs but when they say “THIS WHOLE GROUP thinks this, and it’s false teaching”. What WHOLE GROUP? People involved in a conversation? That’s kind of an odd association don’t you think?
    I think it’s kind of funny how people are “raising concerns” about certain teachings that have been around since the Apostles. But now they’re all of a sudden “concerned”? And seriously, what are they really concerned about? that people who love Jesus think that maybe hell isn’t actually fire and brimstone? wow…scary stuff.
    Ok, so I’m speaking a bit tongue in cheek here but I guess a lot of the “concerns” are really not all that scary to me. I mean, seriously, yoga? sheesh. I believe what the Apostles did, that we shouldn’t judge other’s hearts and we should let God sort it out in the end. I suppose maybe I believe God is bigger than some potentially wrong ideas about things that the Bible isn’t implicit about in the first place.
    And I have yet to hear an emerging person deny that it is through Jesus that we find redemption.

  • oh, I did want to add that this is why I find labels and organized groups to be a hinderance and it’s also why we will not be labeling ourselves “emergent” or even “emerging”…too many presconceived notions to deal with.

  • Hey, Andrew, I lost your email address too and Craig forgot to forward it to me.
    Anyway . . . No, my dad didn’t write the CCOF letter. I think it was written by my uncle. Of course, my dad is still responsible for everything that comes out of Costa Mecca and claims to define Calvary Chapel, so we can assume that he holds to the views expressed in that document. Which is, of course, sad.
    Yes, write my dad. He needs to hear from people who are in the emerging conversation. He needs to be informed that it is not what he’s been told or what someone else read on someone else’s blog site.
    I do not believe my uncle has done any firsthand research (i.e., read McLaren, Sweet, yourself, Paggitt, Kimbal, etc.). I tried to correct his views a couple of weeks ago, but his ears were already attuned to other voices and they prevailed.
    Something rather silly is behind all of this . . .
    Last year I edited ten of my dad’s sermons dealing with life’s troubles. Since I was turning oral expository sermons into a book, I reformatted them, took out a lot of filler, filled in a lot of empty spaces, and modified statements that were unclear. I also reformatted the prayers, etc. In the process, I included quotes by Len Sweet and Anthony de Mello. When I emailed the manuscript and my edits to my dad, I included a cover email to warn him about the de Mello quote and to urge him (or his editor) to read the mss carefully and remove anything he did not like or that might be offensive to others (who, perhaps having no understanding of biblical or spiritual discernment, think that if you read an author you automatically embrace everything the author says, true or false, and therefore try to control the reading habits of all Christians, especially Christian leaders), etc.
    A couple weeks later I asked my dad when I would see the mss again (having three published works I was looking forward to working with the editor at the publishing company). Well, he had sent the mss into the pipeline, which resulted in a small bit of weak editing (by someone who assumed I meant “program” when I wrote of a “pogrom” against the Jews–that type of thing). But the poor sentence structure and “offensive quotes” did not get edited out. The errors are astounding.
    My dad explained that when the publisher saw “storms” in the title of the book they rushed it to pring in order to capitalize on the Katrina hurricane. And so there it is, errors and all. Quite embarrassing to say the least.
    In fact, there was a note I had put in italics and bracketed for the editor, saying that I wished my dad would clarify a statement in the book that contradicted an earlier statement. That editor’s note appears in the published book! Sort of like a scribal note getting inserted into the text.
    But more than embarrassing for my dad. He became the target of the neo-Pharisees who believe it’s their job to sniff out error and defame those men and women of God who are actually doing something for the kingdom of heaven. And so those websites that in all their history have had less than 2,000 hits began to publish their heresy reports. My dad has had to explain that the offensive parts of the book were my insertions and not original to his work.
    So . . . [deleted]
    Now to be perfectly honest, I haven’t belonged in the Calvary Chapel community for a long time. I identify with early Calvary Chapel (the culturally relevant, rock-n-roll worship, hippie church), but not as much with the institutionalized version today. I’ve stayed only because of my relationship to my father, whom I love and respect.
    Calvary Chapel, as I perceive it is:
    Fundamentalist–I am not
    Dispensationalist–I am not
    Anti-intellectualist (like the warning about not anything written by emergent leaders)–I am not
    Primitivist–I am not
    Officially, we have withdrawn from the Calvary Chapel affiliation, and for the very amicable reason that I (we) seek a breadth of relationships that CC is not willing to accommodate. For example, my close friendship with a Roman Catholic monk who died a few weeks ago. He was a wonderful person and spiritual mentor to me.
    I should add, some of the stuff written in the CCOF missive were assumptions someone made based on how they perceived our church in Capistrano Beach. For example, I don’t know of any emergent church (if there is such a thing yet) that has incorporated icons into the devotional life of their spiritual community. But for a while we had beautiful icons (byzantine-style) hanging in our sanctuary. Someone assumed “That must be one of those dadgum emergent thingies!” If only they had asked. But those in my old hood have never given me credit for originality, and they’re always guessing who it is that’s influincing me now. I’ve tried to tell them, it’s the Lord Jesus Christ whose teaching they taught me to trust and to follow, but for some people, that just doesn’t make any sense.
    Grace and peace,

  • Grace and peace to you, Chuck Jr.
    Church history, written and unwritten, is full of examples of people who decided to put on the gloves and beat the heck out of their opponent instead of sitting down with him and “reasoning together.” You’re one of the people who will sit down and reason, and for that reason you are a great example to the rest of the Body. Calvary Chapel is just hurting itself by mischaracterizing and rejecting the emerging movement out of hand, instead of opening a dialogue with it.

  • hey Chuck Jr
    thanks so much for coming here and giving us the skinny.
    Really appreciate it. VERY VERY helpful to see the bigger picture.
    Please know that you can always edit any part of that comment with a short email to me.
    Peace and love.

  • Wow, kudos to Chuck Jr. for being so gracious. I attend a church in SoCal which has also been the subject of Pastor Smith’s criticism.
    Honestly, I pray he’s just Seek First The Kingdom and let this other stuff go…it feels like my “parents are arguing”…I love Chuck Smith and I love my own church. Stop the public announcements…pu-lease.
    Paul writes to the Romans…
    “So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,
    As surely as I live, says the Lord
    every knee will bow to me
    and every tongue will confess allegiance to God
    Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don’t condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian’s path.” Romans 14:10-13 NLT

  • It’s great to see your stating your belief in the authority of the Bible and that Jesus son of God in Lord. Because, as you probably know better than I, many emerging blokes don’t.

  • Mathias,
    I think it would be helpful if in a conversation like this we refrain from stereotypes like “many emerging blokes don’t”. I follow about 35 blogs of emergent folks – basically the hall of fame uh faith 🙂 and all of these affirm the authority of the bible and Jesus son of God. i can give you the url’s if you want. It is key to be specific and concrete rather than general and abstract.

  • I continue to be amazed and grieved at how we are far more interested and competent at attacking our own – who call Christ Lord, than in dealing with the creation that is dying in front of us. It get very old.

  • Bill wrote:
    “Jason wrote:
    guess what frustrates me the most is not when people have questions or concerns about beliefs but when they say “THIS WHOLE GROUP thinks this, and it’s false teaching”. What WHOLE GROUP? People involved in a conversation? That’s kind of an odd association don’t you think?>>>>>”
    I didn’t write that, Heck that’s how these problems get started to begin with! Didin’t you read what Chuck Jr. wrote about bad editing? 😉 (Just having fun!)

  • The Dangers of the Emergent Church Movement
    An Open Letter to Chuck Smith jr.
    (After Visting Calvary Capo Beach Last Month)
    By Ed Enochs
    Chairman of the Evangelical Debate Society
    “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.”
    (2 Timothy 3:1)
    Introduction: The Reality of False Teaching in the Last Days
    Near the end of his earthly life and ministry, the Apostle Paul told his protégé Timothy that in the last days, before Jesus Christ’s return, “perilous times” would come. The Apostle Paul subsequently imparted to young Timothy what the characteristics of the end times would be. Paul said that in the last days,
    “Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:3-5).
    According to the New Testament, which is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative and self-authenticating Word of Almighty God (2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:18-21), another conclusive sign of the end times would be the increase and rampant proliferation of false doctrine in and outside of the Christian Church.
    The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.”
    In 1 Timothy 3:1 Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
    In Acts 20, the Apostle Paul warned the Church at Ephesus,
    “That I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”
    The Apostle Peter also warned of the rise of false teachers and false doctrine in the last days when he wrote,
    “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
    Our Lord Jesus Christ also warned us and gave us definitive signs of the end times and said that in the last days,
    “Take heed that no one deceives you For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:34-5).
    The false teaching that is so characteristic of the end times is the Apostle John warned us in 1 John 4:1,
    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
    Thus, we are commanded by God in the Holy Scriptures to be like the nobe Bereans of Acts 17:11, “to search the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so”
    We are again, exhorted by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to “test all things and to hold fast to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
    The Rise of the Emergent Church Movement
    In our own day and age, at the advent of a New Millennium and the beginning of the 21st Century, false teaching and false teachers are abounding throughout the Christian Church. One such false teaching that is threatening to destroy the American Evangelical Church today, is what many are calling “The Emergent Church Movement” a pernicious and destructive heretical movement that is attempting to redefine historic New Testament Christianity.
    The Emergent Church Movement and its leaders are attempting to create a new version of Christianity that is free of doctrinal and moral absolutes and
    In our fast paced, technological and entertainment driven superficial Western culture where stylistic sound- bites and digitally enhanced imagery takes precedent over substance and clearly delineated thought, American Evangelicals often do not have time or conscience desire to soberly and critically analyze the secular and ecclesiastical framework in which we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
    Yet, make no mistake about it, there are currently ominously powerful sociological and ideological forces at work throughout Western Civilization that are working overtime to shape both the secular culture and Christian Church along postmodern lines and disseminate a secularist worldview that is bent on eviscerating the validity of the Church and is diametrically opposed to the historic Evangelical Christian faith and societal mission of world evangelization.
    While most American Evangelicals are busy being lulled to sleep and unwittingly conformed into submission to secularist and Anti-Christian forces by ever improving technology and round the clock entertainment choices that communicate evil and abominable messages that are entirely antithetical to the teachings and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the devil is actively energizing the postmodern and secularist ideological forces to completely subjugate American civilization and suppress the mission of the Evangelical Church.
    Bible believing Christians across America are now indulging themselves with the creature comforts of the world and are being lulled asleep by the call of the abjectly materialistic “American Dream” in pursuit of perpetual comfort and domestic ease through the quest for bigger and better material possessions.
    The American Church has largely bought into the insidious lie that the essence of human existence is materialism and image and the most important goal in life is to acquire bigger and better things, be it, houses, cars, boats, vacation homes and a litany of other materialistic and entertainment driven venues.
    We are told by secular forces that what matters most in life is to look good, to feel good and to live in optimum comfort for the indulgence of the self. American Evangelicals do not know they have actually bought into the philosophy of narcissism, an excessive preoccupation with self indulgence and one’s own personal importance, or with achieving one’s own chosen goals rather than bonding with others, or with associating only with others whom one chooses.
    Like the fictious technological parasites known as the Borg, who incessantly and unquestionably assimilate all life-forms into their ominous robotic collective, made famous in the Star Trek: the Next Generation television series, American Evangelicals are being lulled asleep by postmodern relativism, narcissist and entertainment driven self- indulgence and are being unwittingly culturally assimilated and rendered absolutely irrelevant and ineffective agents of Gospel Change by the seductive sirens of secularism.
    Contemporarily, many American Evangelicals have currently rejected the traditional Reformation emphasis on the centrality of the Bible, forensic justification and the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ and his Cross and in turn, have adopted grotesquely unbiblical patterns of belief and worship, as the mass Evangelical rush towards the Emergent and Liturgical Church movements conclusively demonstrate.
    The emerging church or emergent church is a diverse movement according to a great article on the free encyclopedia, Wikipedia: within the American Christian Church that arose in the late 20th century as a reaction to the influence of modernism in Western Christianity. The movement is usually called a “conversation” by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people and no explicitly defined leadership or direction. The emerging church seeks to deconstruct and reconstruct Christianity as its mainly Western members live in a postmodern culture. While practices and even core doctrine vary, most emergents can be recognized by the following values:
    · Missional living – Christians go out into the world to serve God rather than isolate themselves within communities of like-minded individuals.
    · Narrative theology – Teaching focuses on narrative presentations of faith and the Bible rather than systematic theology or biblical reductionism
    · Christ-likeness – While not neglecting the study of scripture or the love of the church, Christians focus their lives on the worship and emulation of the person of Jesus Christ
    · Authenticity – People in the postmodern culture seek real and authentic experiences in preference over scripted or superficial experiences. Emerging churches strive to be relevant to today’s culture and daily life, whether it be through worship or service opportunities. The core Christian message is unchanged but emerging churches attempt, as the church has throughout the centuries, to find ways to reach God’s people where they are to hear God’s message of unconditional love.
    Emergent Christians are predominantly found in Western Europe, North America and the South Pacific. Some attend local independent churches that specifically identify themselves as being “emergent”, while many others contribute to the conversation from within existing mainline denominations.
    Another definition of the Emergent Church Movement is as follows,
    Emerging Church groups have typically contained some or all of the following elements:
    · Highly creative approaches to worship and spiritual reflection, as compared to many American churches in recent years. This can involve everything from the use of contemporary music and films to liturgy, as well as more ancient customs. The goal in this area is generally to make the church more attractive to the unchurched.
    · A minimalist and decentralized organizational structure.
    · A flexible approach to theology whereby individual differences in belief and morality are accepted within reason.
    · A holistic view of the role of the church in society. This can mean anything from greater emphasis on fellowship in the structure of the group to a higher degree of emphasis on social action, community building or Christian outreach.
    · A desire to reanalyze the Bible against the context with the goal of revealing a multiplicity of valid perspectives rather than a single valid interpretation
    · A continual re-examination of theology.
    · A high value placed on creating communities built out of the creativity of those who are a part of each local body.
    · A belief in the journey of faith, both as individual and community. Membership is often viewed as participation in the community of faith.
    The Emergent Church movement has unwisely and unbiblically adopted the existential and ideological cultural hermeneutic of Postmodernism, the relativistic world-view that postulates that there are no ethical and propositional absolutes and seeks to deconstruct and overthrow traditional Western Christian doctrines and morals.
    In the Emergent Church movement the doctrines of Historic Evangelical Christianity are unhealthy and unnecessary relics of a semi-modernist and medieval ethos that has been obliterated by postmodernist and postmodern influenced Biblical Scholarship such as the New Perspective and anti-traditional Evangelical theology proponents such as New Testament scholars as E.P. Sanders, James Dunn and NT Wright.
    We are told by proponents of the Emergent Church movement that traditional Evangelical doctrine divides and that the contemporary Evangelical Christian Church movement within Western Civilization must immediately discard and instantaneously jettison the undue perceived dogmas of the Protestant Reformation and embrace traditionally divergent and diametrically opposed ecclesiastical movements such as Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy under the banner of one big relativistic conglomerate/ synthesis and smorgasbord of “Christian spirituality.”
    We are told by the postmodern driven Emergent Church proponents that traditional Evangelical doctrine is divisive and dogmatic and hence must be avoided at all costs, to be replaced by a more tolerant and inclusive “Christian spirituality” that embraces all ecclesiastical traditions that have functioned historically under the umbrella of historic Christendom.
    Essentially, the Emergent Church movement leaders and ethos are arguing that the Reformation was unnecessary and the quintessential doctrines of the Protestant Reformation such as the doctrine of the authority of the Bible alone and justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is wrong, irrelevant and unnecessarily obstructionist towards the Emerging Church goal of uniting all professing Christians into one united church irrespective of heresy and unbiblical teaching and practices.
    The Emergent Church movement is forcefully and openly proclaiming that the traditional doctrinal differences that have historically divided Evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics and adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy are ill-founded and unnecessary. This is why many Evangelicals are now openly incorporating aspects of Roman Catholic spirituality and teaching into the spiritual disciplines and doctrinal instruction within their respective local churches. Since doctrine no longer matters to most contemporary Evangelicals and historic Reformation teaching is always anathema to many Evangelical Pastors, we are told we should openly embrace the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox teaching and practice into our fellowships.
    We are also informed by many Emergent Church leaders that the traditional Evangelical opposition towards female pastors, elders and leadership in the local church are equally archaic and fallacious and that we must openly embrace the overt femmization of Christianity and allow women to lead men in the local Church despite the fact the Bible teaches that women are never to lead men in the context of the local church (1 Timothy 2).
    Likewise, many within the Emergent Church movement are calling the Church to embrace homosexuality as viable lifestyle and similarly adopt pluralism, the acceptance of all religions and life-styles as being equally valid as being true.
    However, despite this Postmodern and Emergent Church call to discard traditional and conservative Evangelical Doctrine and Practice, I believe this call towards complete assimilation into the postmodern ethos and the embracing of all varieties of spirituality and lifestyle __expression is unwarranted and self-defeating since the Postmodern world-view is so easily demonstrated to be illogical and self-refuting.
    Just as relativism can be demonstrated to be false and self-defeating based on the fact that this view in denying there are concrete and real absolutes at once, borrows from the traditional Christian absolutist world-view and deems the traditional Evangelical view to be wrong, all the while proclaiming there are no propositional truths, thus operating in a vicious and self-defeating circle of nonsensical language.
    Despite the Postmodernist Emergent Church call to disregard and discard the traditional and conservative Evangelical-Protestant doctrinal positions that clearly divided Evangelicalism from divergent forms of Ecclesiastical spirituality, doctrine, practice and engagement with secular culture, Postmodernity and the Emerging Church is self-defeating and offers the Christian Church in Western Civilization absolutely no concrete reason why we should not abandon Christianity altogether.
    In counter distinction to this ill-advised and destructive pathway charted out by many Postmodern and Emerging Evangelicals, there is a better and wiser course of action: embracing the doctrines of the Historic Evangelical Church for these teachings are founded on the authority of infallible Scripture and will never fade away.
    American Evangelicals must stand for the authority of the Bible alone, and the essential teachings of the Christian faith that has made Conservative Evangelicalism what it is, the most powerful force of Biblical change on the face of the Earth.
    American Evangelicals should not abandon the traditions of our Biblical Christianity, to do so would be to go against the clear authority of Holy Scripture and to effect mutiny against Almighty God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to be both Savior and Lord of the earth.
    Every Evangelical believer and Pastor in America should be careful to avoid the teachings of the Emergent Church movement and stand fast to the Word of God and the essential teachings of the Evangelical Christian Faith
    “The grass withers, the flower fades away, but the Word of God endures forever” (Isaiah 43:10).

  • Every Evangelical believer and Pastor in America should be careful to avoid the teachings of the Emergent Church movement and stand fast to the Word of God and the essential teachings of the Evangelical Christian Faith

    How can you say “avoid the teachings of the Emergent Church” and “Stand fast to the Word of God..and..Christian Faith” when the former flows directly out of the latter?
    I see no sources presented in your article; essentially you make broad sweeping generalizations with no backing scholarly support and expect people to just accept it. There are elements of concern in segments of the EC conversation. That happens anytime you have a multitude of people getting together. The same elements of concern though can be found in the traditional evangelical world as well. Why shouldn’t we all avoid it?
    I’m going to call you out on several points in particular:

    “Bible believing Christians across America are now indulging themselves with the creature comforts of the world and are being lulled asleep by the call of the abjectly materialistic “American Dream” in pursuit of perpetual comfort and domestic ease through the quest for bigger and better material possessions.”

    Do you realize that it’s a repulsion to your “American Dream” that is driving people like myself towards the EC movement and not the opposite (as you put it)?

    “many American Evangelicals have currently rejected the traditional Reformation emphasis on the centrality of the Bible, forensic justification and the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ and his Cross and in turn, have adopted grotesquely unbiblical patterns of belief and worship, as the mass Evangelical rush towards the Emergent and Liturgical Church movements conclusively demonstrate.”

    Huh? What EC’r has done this? It’s disengious to actually make the generalization that all EC theology is anti-reformation and not post real examples.

    “The Emergent Church movement has unwisely and unbiblically adopted the existential and ideological cultural hermeneutic of Postmodernism, the relativistic world-view that postulates that there are no ethical and propositional absolutes and seeks to deconstruct and overthrow traditional Western Christian doctrines and morals.”

    “Essentially, the Emergent Church movement leaders and ethos are arguing that the Reformation was unnecessary and the quintessential doctrines of the Protestant Reformation such as the doctrine of the authority of the Bible alone and justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is wrong, irrelevant and unnecessarily obstructionist towards the Emerging Church goal of uniting all professing Christians into one united church irrespective of heresy and unbiblical teaching and practices.”

    Again, where are you getting this?
    You have a whole lot of “We are told by…” but never identify who, what, when or where. As someone a part of the conversation it sounds like you are going off of second hand information at best. Please peruse around Andrew’s site and some of those he links to and read some legitimate books about the EC before making wild accusations.
    I, for one, really appreciate honest and open criticism and hope that you will continue to dig deeper and come to a better understanding of what the EC is and be able to offer SPECIFIC and POINTED help. I think others apart of the “conversation” would appreciate that as well.
    (Andrew if I’m off base or too long, feel free to delete. I normally don’t respond that often but could not help myself today.)

  • Brandon, my sources are the Word of God alone and the following:
    References on the Emergent Church Movement
    Burke, Spencer, et. al. “Our Response to Critics of Emergent” Emergent-US: The Blog, June 2, 2005; Gibbs, Eddie & Ryan Bolger. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (Manuscript). Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005.
    Grenz, Stanley. A Primer On Postmodernism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.
    Heaton, Terry. “10 Questions for Brian McLaren.” [1] last accessed July 5, 2003.
    Ward, Peter. Liquid Church. Hendrickson Publishers, 2002.
    Jones, Andrew. “New Media Fluency.” The Blog, April 15, 2005.
    O’Keefe, John. “The Postmodern Narrator”
    Eddie & Ryan Bolger. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (Manuscript).
    Jones, Andrew. “Are We a Movement?” The Blog, June 8, 2005, quoting an email to Ryan Bolger, Ph.D. from Dr. Paul Pierson on behalf of Jones.
    Bainbridge, William S. The Sociology of Religious Movements. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997, 3.
    Jones, Andrew. “What is Emergent?” The Blog, January 4, 2005.
    Hunsberger, George R., and Craig Van Gelder. The Church between Gospel and Culture: The Emerging Mission in North America. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1996, 1.
    Guder, Missional Church, 89, quoting Norman Perrin, Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus. New York: Harper & Row, 1967, 54.
    Clapp, Rodney. A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996, 75-83.
    Seay, Chris. “Is Pomo Nomo?” Christianity Today, February 20, 2003.
    Guder, Missional Church, 77-83.
    O’Keefe, John. “Quantum Servanthood: knowing how to lead in chaos”
    Kimball, Dan Emerging Worship (emergentYS: 2004).
    Tomlinson, Dave The Post-evangelical

  • Ed,
    You have many valid points. You have stated MUCH MUCH truth. But there are so many assumptions.
    Read the “Emerging Church Values” – wouldn’t that be incredible if every church embraced those? You could still have a traditional worship service… Baptist, Presbyterian, Bible Church, Calvary Chapel. “emerging” – “seeker”
    … But the purpose and outlook of each member would be defined as: And I’ll restate the values as I see them.
    Evangelistic, to go out into (not part of) the world instead of hiding. Not disregarding those that are like-minded. Trusting in the Holy Spirit’s guidance and still small voice, God’s power to work through us and give us wisdom and discernment, and experiencing the power of the prayers of our “like-minded” fellow believers. Taking Christ to them instead of hoping they will walk in the door on Sunday morning. (awkward! – even as a Christian going to a new church!)
    Narrative teaching… a different way of presenting theology and doctrine… not leaving it out, more like a pastor / teacher sharing their heart. I am not beat up on Sunday evening, or bored. I am given Truth (aka Scripture, God’s Word), that convicts and comforts, and challenges me right out of where I am to move forward in my walk. And yes I have experience this in non-“emerging” churches. Narrative Teaching encompasses much more but iots what it makes me think of.
    We can’t argue with worshipping Father God, the Almighty One, and we definitely can’t argue an emphasis on Christ likeness. With these two priorities, the Scriptures are free to do their work, helping to keep those of us who would pride ourselves in our head knowledge from getting stuck there… ouch. I’ve been there!
    Authenticity. In ourselves. In our experiences. With who we are, and what living in these times has made us. A worship service will look different in various time periods, different cultures, even different age groups sometimes. Could we worship and learn in others? Absolutely. Is it Scriptural that they should “look” and offer all the same “things” – order, music, announcements, etc. Nah… it’s the dressing that makes it vivid for each individual, and easier to relate to. The substance… GOD… is the SAME in each one.
    creativity – from the Master Creator himself. WOW – exciting to see the talent He has given NOW to be used for the church body and to directly worship Him. Even if I don’t get it (technology – doesn’t do much for me! – BUT classical music doesn’t do much for you, maybe 🙂 ) But I can still appreciate how another can use their gifts to do their absolute best for God, that he might be glorified. i can see how this might be distracting to those who are not accusomed to it ( my parents 🙂 ) however – they were still willing and able to worship. Just as maybe someone with a post modern mindset is not so comfortable / doesn’t understand in our traditional services.
    structure… its just that… a structure. Our structure today isn’t what I’d call “Biblical” – though I don’t think its wrong, its just how it has worked well. And now, its working great in a “destructured” way. There is always some kind of structure, if you look at it. just not the pyramid kind.
    OK, Kids are awake, so I must go, and I have rambled on far too long anyway. But one more point. On accepting others interpretation of Scripture. I can almost guarantee I don’t agree with you on every point in Scripture. But I would hope we could discuss it and still have unity in the Spirit… since there is only ONE body, ONE Spirit. One the “big” things. Well, its between them and God… and its not every person’s stand. Its not a reason to condemn all the other things just stated that are incredible, and changing lives, bringing hearts to Jesus, setting people free of their sin, and changing hearts to be more like Jesus and living lives of worship. That honors and blesses God.
    God Bless. ReneeM
    To all of us from Paul… “I implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
    May we apply that to each of our hearts, and not just hope someone else reads it.
    Andrew – thanks, I am becoming an avid reader 🙂 Much to my children’s dismay! (my 2 1/2 yr old says, ok, I’ll be the mommy and you be Thaddeus. Now I want to play computer!”

  • Thanks Ed. I’ve read many of the same books but have come to different conclusions. I appreciate you taking the time to post the references though.

  • Ed,
    You are brave.
    You are a warrior for God and the truth.
    You are a defender of the faith.
    With your five smooth stones, you are ready to face Goliath–the Emergent Church.
    With your stone in the sling and your prayer to your God, you hurl your missle–your open letter to Chuck Smith, Jr.
    Oops! You missed.
    But you go back to your peers and you congratulate yourself among them for having the courageous faith to make your “views” known.
    Way to go, brother.
    You are brave.

  • Ed Enoch’s post was not an open letter to me, but a document he had written prior to the current hubub. I see no need to refute it here. And just because he has designated himself Chairman of the Evangelical Debate Society, does not mean I have to enter his confusion in order to correct his thinking on his many ill-informed assumptions and unsubstantiated conclusions. Besides, I have found that people who are looking for debates are seldom looking for the truth nor are they willing to be led to it. They read the Bible, not for truth, but for proof, and as a result, everything they read confirms what they have already decided to be true.
    I’m personally not satisfied with Ed’s reading list. I do not think he has put enough research into the full range of the emerging conversation to make judgments regarding people who stand under that umbrella term.
    Besides, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, CBC is not an emergent church and I am not an emergent pastor. I’m an old bald guy, for heaven’s sake.
    Okay, Ed, you’ve had your say. Now go and DO something Christ-like and redemptive in and for this poor, broken workd in the name of Jesus our Lord and for his kingdom’s sake.
    c. jr.

  • yeah
    fair enough
    the document seems to be mostly Wikipedia based. The two quotes from me are both on the Wikipedia site
    I was praying for Ed this afternoon and posted some thoughts – [here

  • I was surfing the internet for discussion about the emergent church and came across this dialogue. So glad to see that Chuck Smith, Jr. is still thinking and praying in a way that defies and upsets the neo-Pharisees.
    Although I haven’t considered myself an evangelical Christian for over a decade, I once attended Calvary Capo Beach with several friends, including Todd Souza and Kevin Kirby. What attracted us to Calvary then (and I’m sure still attracts many today) was Chuck Jr.’s unique and charismatic approach to Christianity. Although I didn’t have any labels for his style then, it’s rather clear today that he is drawn towards an emergent approach to faith. Defined by a heart-felt relationship and identification with Jesus, this style of evangelical christianity has little ability to understand cold, divisive, or fundamentalist church doctrines. While Biblical literalists are now and will increasingly condemn this approach as heretical because of the cherished, fixed certainties that it moves around and beyond, it holds tremendous promise for spreading the lived experience of Christ among both culturally liberal and conservative spiritual seekers.
    I’d like to offer that the true test of this emergent approach, however, will rest with a church’s view towards gays and lesbians. So long as pre-modern Scriptural condemnations are held to be more authoritive than the lived experience of gay Christians, a church will remain fundamentalist and exclusive, rather than Christ-like. Over 10 years ago, I left Calvary Capo Beach because despite Chuck Jr. generous emphathy and openness to the presence of gay parishioners at the church (including myself), he and the board ultimately–and after numerous meetings–refused to show the boldness necessary to release us from the Bible’s pre-modern condemnation of homosexuality (and the church’s official position). While Chuck Jr. was clearly confused by the clear inconsistency between the goodness of our lives and what he had been taught, his faith had apparently not yet reached a point where he could offer leadership on this justice issue.
    All these years later, I still wonder if and when such a move will come. That’s when the emergent church will depart from fundamentalism and open itself to truly living as Jesus would. I hope I’ll see that day. . .

  • having been around the church now some 40+ years, I remember hearing so much criticism regarding what was going on over at “that hippie church over in Costa Mesa”. Made me more determined to check it out.
    Now, many years later, as a Calvary Chapel pastor, I’m very sorry to hear the same type of criticisms coming from my movement.

  • yup, I wrote something very similar on my blog a while back
    “…people rise up in the establishment determined to make change (usually just taking the establishment and slapping some snappy new labels on everything and adding the cultural flavor of the week), the rebels join together and form a movement, they piss off the establishment, name calling ensues, the term “heretical” is tossed around a bit, the movement gains momentum, more and more people within the establishment become rebels, the establishment loses its base to the rebels, the movement becomes the establishment and 10-20 years later it all starts again.”
    My prayer is that the emerging church isn’t just a “rebellious movement” that becomes the establishment in a few years…Lord Jesus have mercy on me a sinner if I’m commenting like Ed in a few years because I’m stuck here.

  • WHat I find really interesting about emergent folks is that many are quick to say that people cant label them as a whole and just because some do one thing they all dont do it. But yet at the same time they are ever so quick to lump all “modernists” into the same mold as if all evangelicals are the scourge of the church. What hipocrosy!!
    I am an evangelical! I do not agree with the Fred Phelps of this world, but I will stand up against homosexuality. I do not agree with some of Pat Robertson’s takes on politics but I will stand up against gross immorality and corruption from the local to national level. I agree with many of the things that Calvary chapel says about the emergent church because the more I read and the more i interact with the product of the emergent thinking the more I see it to be true.
    To the emergent people I have this to say. If you dont like being labled then I suggest you ignore and quite possibly remove Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Alan Jones, and the other nut jons as the “speaker” or “guider” of the emergent movement. Until then, the dribble that he puts out will be representative of the whole and if you continue to quote him and look to him for advice I will continue to base the emergent movement off of his writings, which is dangerous and downright unorthodox. Just as I do not listen to Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps, nor do I quote them or align myself with them, as they are dangerous folks.
    Stop the belly aching emergents! Your whining is old! Grow up and get a spine!!

  • Greetings O True One
    i think you are on the wrong blog
    no one is belly aching or even using the word “modernist”
    and Alan Jones would probably laugh his episcopal head off if someone suggested he was guiding or leading the movement
    does he even know about the emerging church movement? i am not sure? most of it that i have seen is outside of USA anyway.
    please stay on topic!

  • Wow, what a thread!
    Can’t resist putting my own two cents in.
    Having been raised in the Restoration Movement (third generation CofC) and spent most of 48 years in it, I cannot say that there is any more love for others in the congregations that I’ve known than in the general population. At times there was more rancor in the church than in the world. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, folks. People on the outside know this. And this is one reason that they are staying away from churches in ever increasing numbers. That’s not a blanket, abstract statement. There is research to prove the shrinking of the Christian church and many readers here, I expect, will know of it.
    The group I hang with these days doesn’t call itself Emerging, although it is. (Emergence is a scientific term, BTW) If I hadn’t found this group, I would have merely left the church all together. (Well, we did for several months after the last church split) And I know more than a few people who have. The blog that I set up is for them. It’s for those who seek God but have been refused and abused by Christians. And yes, there are many in that group. If the so-called emergent church is reaching out to those lost, abused and bruised by the institutional church, then it is doing exactly what Jesus did.
    The horrible truth is that the modern church is not very Christlike at all. No amount of rational argument is going to change the bad impressions that people get when accosted by truth flailing Christians. Talk all you want, but people are voting with their feet. Contrarily, religious outcasts flocked to Jesus. Those same kinds of people who flocked to Jesus, run away from modern Christians. A blanket statement? Check the data. The church is dying. Perhaps the media like to print only the bad news about Christianity. But some of us know that the press doesn’t know the half of it. If they just knew about the lying, biting and back-stabbing that goes on behind closed doors, they’d have a heyday. Well, nowadays it’s making its way onto blogs.
    So, church leaders can rail all they want, but some of us have been on the inside and we don’t like it one bit. If a new movement intends to follow the example of Jesus rather than that of the Pharisees, then we might just take a look inside. Otherwise, you’ve already lost much of the unchurched population. So get a grip. The pond is drying up. If there is no church that looks like Jesus, then one will emerge. But the truth is out. Too many churches and Christian leaders are pompous and abusive. Claim copyright on absolute truth all you want. But few will buy it.
    Ultimately it comes down to fruit. A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. If your theology bears bad fruit then it is bad. End of story. Most folk can tell good fruit from bad. They don’t need Enlightenment era, rational argument to tell the difference. In fact, they don’t really give a rip about your theology. They look at results.
    Check your results.

  • The Emergent Church Movement and Conservative Evangelicalism Why the Two Movements are Mutually Exclusive and Cannot be Reconciled
    by Lee Edward Enochs
    The Evangelical Debate Society
    [EDITED AND DELETED: sorry Ed . . . didnt we already talk about this. its bad manners to post an article in a comments section
    we let you get away with it earlier because we thought you were new to the blogosphere but you cant do it again
    come back with your own thoughts for us.
    and i saved a copy of your comments in case you didnt.

  • I am very curious, if all the books and info on the EC movement aren’t factual(i.e.Mr Enochs’ Bibliography), then where did the authors get the similar info from to write their books?
    And if this information is not correct in describing the EC, what is the “correct” definition of this new type of “church”?
    I am fairly new to this, do you stick to the scriptures as the literal truth of God?
    Thanks for your replies ahead of time. I appreciate the information.

  • all the books?
    come on Chris – thats a wily and dishonest twist of the conversation
    there are some excellent books.
    the first two books that should be read are:
    1. The Shaping of Things to Come, by Frost and Hirsch. This gives teh best description of the motivation behind the emerging-missional church
    2. Emerging Churches, by Bolger and Gibbs.
    If someone has read only these two books, then I feel I could hold a reasonably intelligent conversation with them about the emerging church in western nations.

  • Andrew, sorry if I misled you, but I was being truthful from what I read in this thread about the books. I am NOT trying to be wily or dishonest. I truly do not know much about the EC, and wanted to know more info. I figured if the books listed weren’t accurate then I needed to know why, and then what the definition was so I could find books that did offer me the truth.
    I am just trying to find the truth b/c I can’t seem to find it either by reading books or talking to people. I am confused and needed a valid definition so I too can understand. THAT was what I was looking for, just like what I asked. I was just trying to make it short and sweet.
    Thanks, again, for your helpful replies ahead of time.

  • OOps, and btw Andrew, thanks for the books you did suggest. I will look for them and see if they answer my questions. I appreciate your help. Thank you!

  • sorry chris
    sounded like you were suggesting i said all the books on ed’s list were bogus
    – and there is a mixture of good and unhelpful in that list.
    dont forget to download Scot McKnights article, Emerging Church: Future or Fad – here

  • Thanks so much, Andrew. Sorry if I threw you off, I truly didn’t mean to.
    I am just so confused b/c I read one thing about EC, I read the complete opposite, I hear one thing, I hear the complete opposite, and nothing seems to connect for me to be able to grasp and say, HEY, this is it!
    I just want to know what I am talking about, and be able to test all things. So far, I can’t make sense of it. And I figured you guys might be able to help by giving me references and definitions, or something. The references are appreciated. I WILL check them out. Thanks!!!

  • Chris – I think your question is frustrating to many who consider themselves emerging because emerging people do not purpose to pin labels on themselves and often do not align with very concrete hard core doctrinal positions. You’re wanting to “pin down” all things emerging and I guess I would argue that it’s not as easy as all that, nor do I think it’s necessary.
    For example, just because McLaren says something about hell does not make his position difinitive for all those who agree with McLaren on other issues. Why can’t you just judge his position on hell as HIS position and leave it at that?

  • I guess the reason I would want to pin down the main beliefs of EC would be to KNOW what I would be believing as a body of believers if I was a member. Like, whether or not they believed that the Bible was the definitive source for God’s information on salvation, or if they went by whatever was the popular belief with the majority of the people. I am just curious, b/c I DON’T know THAT answer, THAT is my MAIN question.
    Will I stand up for the EC if I don’t know if they stand up for God and His Word? THAT is the ultimate question for me that I can’t answer, till I have an answer about what they believe about God and His Word. Is God and the Bible the definitive source for the EC?
    I am NOT trying to be difficult. I have a hard time sometimes getting my thoughts into words, I have MS. But, I believe I finally hit the nail on the head when it comes to my question. Any answers? And I promise, I will leave y’all alone. THANK YOU!!!!

  • Makeesha,
    The reason one cannot judge McLaren’s position on hell and “just leave it at that” is that left unckecked, it will become the doctrine of many. When someone attempts to lead the innocent astray, you don’t just stand by and let them get led. Remember, the Bible says, “All we, like sheep, have gone astray. . .” Christians who have no discernment should not be in positions of leadership any more than people without good judement should be teaching your child or flying airplanes. If a babysitter tells your little girl it is okay to go play in the street while you are gone, even if your child is fine when you return, you will be furious. How much more when someone seeks to lead others into darkness?

  • I would only stand up for a church that was led by God’s Word, their definitive source for right and wrong.
    Ps 118:8-It is better to put your trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.
    John 8:31-If you continue in my Word you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
    Anything else added to God’s Word changes it, then it isn’t God’s Word, it is man’s. And I have no trust in man’s Word.
    Jeremiah 9:24–He who glories let him glory in the Lord.
    1Cor 1:25–The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and weakness of God is stronger than men.
    So, as I said before, I was curious if the Bible is the definitive source for the EC? If not, I can’t stand up for them. If it is The Bible, ALONG WITH man’s wisdom or experience, then it is not just the Bible. That is still my question. It has nothing to do with any PERSON’S stand on ANY doctrine, it is ONLY about the Bible. Thanks!

  • Chris
    its not about my interpretation or anyone elses regarding the Word of God.
    If God sends you to incarnate the gospel among the “emerging” culture, and you are faithful and obedient to His call, you will also be identified with them in the same way Jesus was. if you want to keep the tag, fine. If not, shrug it off and keep obeying God.
    I hope that if your journey does shift towards this demographic, whatever we call it, then God and the Scriptures will remain your source, and not the words of men.

  • lol christian kill me,put 3 together and there say one’s not saved and have doubts about the other one..everytime i feel tempted to stop backslidding r come back here to remind me why i left haha

  • I just wanted to thank the people who tried to help clue me in. Sometimes when we have grown up with something it is hard seeing things any differently, so it takes some extra work.
    It disheartens me to see comments on any of these Christian sites that are hurtful, b/c it does not help anyone.
    Thank you again. God bless to you all.

  • re: “The Shaping of Things to Come” by Frost and Hirsch.
    I have been told that of the exemplary ministry models described in this book, only one EC/Mission group was still open for service one year after the book was published. That group is a missionary order that requires its full members to take vows of poverty. (

  • melody – you miss my point. first off, I don’t entirely disagree with mclaren on his thoughts about hell. But my point was that you can oppose his position by stating what you DO believe without making it such a huge personal issue. Not to mention that the Bible calls us to that kind of judgement, not the judgement that many are participating in.

  • I’m not emerging/emergent, but believe Chris’s question, and people’s non-response, indicates a lot. As near as I can see it, the emerging/emergent church is a reaction against the over-emphasis on head-knowledge and detailed belief systems in many churches. I believe it’s an over-reaction.
    Emergent/emerging people seem to be totally unwilling to answer straight questions about what they believe.
    An emergent church in my city had a web site with lots of details about the church and its staff, while the section on what they believed was “coming soon.” I presume that was an inside joke.
    Christianity is based on trusting and following Jesus; on loving God and man; on believing and being changed by the Bible. It’s not based on a doctrinal system nor on an anti-doctrinal-system worldview. We need sound beliefs; we need sound practices. We run astray if we confuse culture (pre-modern, post-modern or whatever) with Christianity. We need to submit our culture to Christ.

  • Remember: Most church division occurs NOT over orthodoxy (as some on this thread would assert) but over “orthopraxy”.
    Orthopraxy is a term derived from Greek (ορθοπραξισ?) meaning “correct practice”. It refers to accepted religious practices and may include both ritual practices as well as interpersonal acts.
    Everyone who is concerned with the EC movement is stating it in “orthodox” language, when what they mean is – “we don’t like the “practices” because they don’t look like what we are accustomed to.” EC advocates answer the questions posed by justifying their “practices”, without answering the questions using “orthodox” language. Hence the communication impasse.
    To the EU church community: Keep exploring your veriety in worship practice. There are so many facets of Jesus to be explored and adored.
    To the EU onlookers: Don’ expect perfect orthodox language to emerge a few moments after the birth of a pilgrimage. Do you expect your toddler to speak about the glorious mysteries of the Trinity when he does not even know your name? Be patient and watchful, blessing as fathers and mothers the new steps of an emerging form. Perhaps you might be surprised by what you could learn from your children.
    To the EU critics: Boomers will now repeat what the WWII’ers did to them if they are not careful. One can never lead through criticism and non-participation. Permission withholding has become a national sport among church leaders. Withholding your blessing until everything in a group becomes “orthodox” is never an effective way to mold a group. You would never practice it in your church, why pratice it in your churchmanship.
    I say, perhaps it is time to give permission for another generation to find their way in Christ. And who knows, the Holy Spirit might be just as capable of caring for this generation as he was the last several!

  • hey – thanks for the comments. sorry for my absence while away overseas.
    wmt – i am connected with many of hte ministry leaders in alan’s book and as far as i know, they are all still walking with God and participating in his mission.
    some of the ministries have morphed into new forms but this is very common.
    and rev. pate – good point! parents need to give blessing to their children, in spite of them not turning out exactly as they wish
    [dont we all wish our children would become doctors?]

  • Hey to all, I’m new here.
    Promise not to post articles in the blog, but I do want to raise a different voice.
    What would you guys say is false Christianity? With all the Biblical warnings of it (2 Peter, Jude, Galatians, Jesus speaking of the wide road), you would surely agree that it exists, right? So where is it?
    Also, here are some of the consistent pictures I see painted of people such as myself (literal Bible believing, “fundamentalist” follower) And you don’t need references, this is obvious.
    That we do nothing, only speak of Jesus and the Bible-
    Well, then you’d probably have to say that of Jesus also, because he preached his fair share, refering to the OT constantly, all the way to his death, and it was his testimony of words that was used to cruxify Him. And he feed people, but that was more a miracle showing who he was than a masterfully done self sustaining feeding project.
    That we are insensitive-
    Come on, at least we use your cool name “Emergent Church”, you call us fundamentalists, and how can anyone overlook the obvious slam in that term, painting us like violent irrational religious nuts. You know deep down that people who will go to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel are precious in God’s eyes and you ought rethink your positions before you meet Him. Because He will defend the innocent.
    That we are separatists-
    God says to be completely separated from the world. But completely involved in it. How can we attract people to Christ if people are just seeing a mirror image of themselves. We are called to be drastically different. In Acts they were known as a sect and declared they knew the way. As we do.
    And the claim that we aren’t involved is a statement that is borderline slap in the face, yet with a mountain of contradictory evidence. Does every person have to be a Wes Bentley or KP Yohannan for Bible believing Christians to be considered “in the game”.
    That we are unintelligent-
    Think about what a mean implication that is. At least I think “Emergent” is deceived, not dull in their ability to think. I don’t think any of you are unintelligent. In fact, I’m sure you are mostly sharp. You must be sharp to justify going past the simple truths of the Gospel like sin, repentance, and salvation. I respect your intelligence, but intelligence matters nothing when it comes to the gospel, only humility. And I know the humility comment could offend, but I do not say that just to offend, but because I think it’s necessary to stimulate thought.
    Thanks for the opportunity

  • uh..whoever said I self appointed myself to the ministry here at the Evangelical Debate Society, really doesn’t know that this is an offical ministry of my home church. Thanks for the slander though…

  • Just to let you know Capo Beach Calavry, Chuck Smith, Jr.’s church is NOT a member of the emerging church. I know because I go there so please up date your web info. Thanks and God Bless you in seeking the truth.

  • Jesus statement (question):”when the Son
    of man comes, shall He find faith on the
    earth?” (Luke 18) seems clear to me….
    Gonna be these “last days” churches of
    Rev. 3 – “a name that you live but are dead” (Sardis) “you have a little strength &
    have kept My Word and not denied My name…” (Philly). “…you are lukewarm & neither hot nor cold… (Laodicea)
    Which church do you & I fit into?
    I like Philadelphia! – – except it’s too small and has no influence, and only teaches
    The Bible and is always talkin’ ’bout

  • Jesus Himself said that the way to destruction is broad, and the way to eternal life is narrow.
    By the urging of the Holy Spirit I implore you, there are many roads to hell – are you sure you want to be part of a movement that embraces a new and larger road to God?
    I admit that I am narrow minded…that is because my Lord and Savior said that His way was the narrow way.
    “Heavenly Father, I pray that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You would open eyes to the schemes and lies of the enemy who You word says roams about seeking whom he may devour.”
    In Jesus Name, Amen

  • Hi,
    I am a musician who has been impacted by Keith Green and I would be honored if you would check out my music, all music is free to download. I just wanted to share my music with People who love Jesus.
    I don’t want to be a pest, so if this really annoys you, please delete it and accept my humble apology.
    Thanks so much,
    “All my music is free.”

  • WOW! All this conversation about the Emergent Church and the danger of false docterine. The churches in the Book of Revelations do not apply to an exact church. These were problems that were happing in the church and that John cautioned us about. All Capo Beach Calvary did was to dialog about the “Emergent Church” and mud started slinging. Chuck Smith, Jr. is a seeker of truth and love. God’s greatest command was to love another. So lets love one another and yes ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our words and thoughts.

  • Gina, Yes. We are to love each other with the deepest of love. Sometimes that love calls us to “dialogue” as you said. It is my burden of love to try and help you see what God’s heart is on this matter. That is why I spoke out as I did. I hope that you might consider the possibility that I am acting in love.

  • Is it not true that in the New Testament, when the term “the Scriptures” is being used, that it is refering to the Old Testament, seing how the New Testament wasn’t even written yet. And that the even though the Holy Spirit inspired Paul, Peter and the rest of the NT authors, that they themselves were not God, but were still very much men. I am not saying that what they say is not valid and not from God, but they were men, writing letters to specific groups of people, led by the Holy Spirit no doubt, but we have to take those elements into consideration in our interpretations. Not over the need to flee from sin or follow after Christ or worship God only, but there remain alot of gray areas that could be taken in different ways. I also do believe that the same Holy Spirit that inspired those great men of God and that raised my Lord from the dead, also dwells in me (and all of those who are God’s) We must take these hard line passages of the bible into context. Sorry if this is confusing, I am trying to respond to some things I read numerous posts earlier and about 30 minutes ago. Please give me grace 🙂

  • Double true on the love
    Something that might be good if your not familiar would be “Truth And the New Kind of Christian” by R. Scott Smith. Personal view is almost all Calvary “Chapelites” and churches want to nail this OUR relationship with Christ on others, and teach them OUR way to relate to God. Biblical Fact, God put other people here so we can share with each other our Faith walk. If our faith is a relationship with Jesus then there is no need to put rules on services or works of worship. Do we need music? Teaching? Prayer? Order in a service can be accommodated simply by Unity and communication with everyone. I thank God for all my brothers and sisters who write books for me to read. Am I so prideful to think my faith perfect? Understanding of God words complete? I need to keep looking at Gods Word, I need to keep working out my faith, I need to talk and read others not so I can follow in their foot steps, I listen, read others because God loves all his church not just one part, one person, they may have a view or parable story that brings an area in my life into a light I have not seen. I might stumble across a God inspired message for me and after reading it 10,000 times get it. I thank God for the 7 steps to success in Christian life books as much as the Benny Hinn anointing book. From Kenneth Copeland to John Hagee. From Gary smalley to Bono. From Steve Brown to Jack Hayford. I think whenever God does something really awesome with his church and a individual in at the front of it we (the church) think that person is here for us. We God raises someone or something up instead of looking at it clinging to every word and forming a new bible of Chuck “words” we should embrace the reason they were chosen and the purpose they have, not the individual themselves. There is only one Great man, one Great purpose, one Great motive. Jesus
    Ps. Chuck Jr – God Bless – Love hearing what God has happening over there and you popping up in conversation will be praying for you brother!!
    Chuck Sr – Thank you! – Love the knowledge the books you have published helped me alot and I will be praying for you
    Greg Laurie – Thank you Pastors Conference meeting telling everyone to love one another!!!!

  • I love your blog,
    I just did an interview with Duane Pederson from the 70’s Jesus Movement on our podcast. He started the Hollywood Free Paper.
    It was my favorite podcast we have done so far. He had so many cool things to say! He is still a Jesus Freak! That is all I want to be! I would love to see another Jesus Movement again.
    “All my music is free.”

  • Ed-
    Why do you come to other blogs and comment, basically calling Andrew and anyone who claims to be emerging a heritic?
    Why don’t you open up your blog and fellowship of believers to the same level of criticism?
    Two analogies of Emergence:
    People ignorant of the way Pregnancy and child birth works-
    you know, youve been throwing up a lot lately, you should see a doctor
    wow honey, your getting kinda fat
    your having muscle spasms on your stomach, do you need to go to the bathroom
    why did you just pee on the floor
    why are you cuddling that pile of goo
    oh, thats a baby, i love my baby
    the life cycle of a butterfly:
    How does a caterpillar turn into a Butterfly? It just happens. and it looks incredibly wierd all along the way (it looks like a big loogy right before its the most beautiful of insects).
    This dirty process of emergence has to happen, we need to change. Actually it will happen by itself. Christianity has always changed as it has infused new cultures. It changed into all kinds of forms, just in the first genration after the resurection (from primarily a jewish sect of people that claimed Jesus as the Messiah for Israel, to a multi-ethnic religion). It wasn’t until the colonial westerners started their version of missionary endeavors that we see nonorganic forms of christianity being forced on new cultures.
    I want the change, I want out of the cacoon and so do the other people in the process of emergence. I just hope that when I’m a daddy butterfly I don’t try and push my kid back in a cacoon because he looks like a loogy and not a butterfly.

  • I think we all need to listen to one another a lot more closely. It is high time we dropped these silly names evangelical, liberal, emergent, and sought to define ourselves by carefully nuanced discussion- please don’t hear what I’m not saying: I’m not say that these words don’t represent broad positions that we may disagree with, I’m simply saying that it is lazy to uses these names as an excuse for not engaging in serious discussion. I also think it important that we describe who we are by what we are for rather than what we stand against- that goes for both traditional evangelical churches and emerging churches (both evangelicals and some first generation emerging leaders have been guilty of negative definition). One of the main problems with negative definition is that when your opponent changes his or her stance your own position changes and soon you find your argument is being warped and misapplied.
    It is clear that by and large those within the emerging conversation have not turned their backs on traditional evangelical doctrines- such as the doctrine of hell (as a place of separation from God) or the self-sacrifice of Jesus (who perfectly followed the will of the Father and took upon himself the punishment of our sin). I believe many have sought a more holistic definition of sin reflecting not only individualistic elements of personal holiness but also social holiness inc. responsibility to the poor and the environment etc. but that seems to me to have overwhelming justification and I would love all Christian people to embrace this more historic understanding of the Christian faith.
    Also, if traditional evangelical churches find icons and recitals of scripture a distraction from the worship of the unimaginable God of heaven and Biblical teaching then fine. But don’t presume everyone else finds these things a distraction and don’t presume they believe that God has been captured by any one particular image either. By that reasoning all our children’s Bibles would be stripped of images (perhaps even words); still perhaps it is good that we have some traditions (notably the Anabaptists) that continue to remind us that God can never be represented by a graven image.
    In short- I think it is time we stopped all our empire building and boundary patroling. It is time we gave priority to those things Jesus Christ gave priority to- the poor, the prisoners, the widows, the aliens, those burdened by debt and many more. It is time to both believe in Jesus and to believe Jesus- now is the time of our salvation.

  • Hi Andrew… first time commenter here. Wanted to thank you for being one of the places on the Net where the divergent views many of us are bringing to the table can all be respected to a great degree.
    Pastor Smith, Jr… God bless you. I will be praying for you and your church. I love your dad and I rejoice in the ways God has used him over the years to bring many to Christ. I still enjoy watching footage of Sr. and Duane Pederson and Lonnie Frisbee and the gang on Kathryn Kuhlman’s TV show. I also own a mint copy of each of Maranatha’s first two releases on vinyl. Great stuff. :>)
    My general contribution to this whole conversation is this: isn’t it so danged funny that we Americans (or Westerners, as the case may be) are so ready to call the emerging conversation a “movement” or an “organization”? It’s also ironic that those within EC who have tried to organize have done so just like all the major evanjellyfish ministries in the West. dot-com registrations, copyrighting names and logos… all the stuff the big AmeriChurch ministries do.
    So, in summation:
    The evanjellyfish movement, monolithic and cumbersome as it is, assumes the emerging church movement is identifiable and pin-down-able, so they can attack a centralized “thing”… an “icon”, if you will; a straw man.
    SOME (not all) emerging people criticize the established evanjellyfish ministries for being unwieldy and lumbering; all the while, they (some emergents) work to organize along the same lines. (McLaren and EmergentVillage, for example)
    Fact is, we don’t have to throw the historic Christian baby out with the neo-pagan bathwater. I believe there are beautiful, expressive and, yes, REDEMPTIVE aspects of Christian life that we evangelicals have lost in our rush to escape the spectre of “Romanism”. It is CORRUPTION and SPIRITUAL LETHARGY and THEO-POLITICAL DOMINIONISM we need to flee, not liturgy OR contemplative practices.
    Sorry, this rambles a bit; please feel free to ask Andrew for my email address if you would like to discuss anything I have said further. Be blessed.

  • i can not say anything but excellent stuff about chuck smith jr. who is possibly one of the most generous, kind hearted, devoted person to God, and to people. I have known him personally since 1998, he is never too tired to answer an email, give advise, and even give bible studies in emails just for me personally and others.He has always been there for me and all the people he knows. he is not tired (even when he is tired) to visit people in the hospital and pray for them. even sends prayers on the email. He suffers alongside people in suffering. he has seen people die before his eyes, friends even. Chuck jr. has taught me to worship God with my entire heart, soul and mind on how to sing to God songs of prayers and praise. He is a true worshiper of God. he was always his own worst critic at times. he is a loving father of 5 children and 7 grandchildren. he is devoted to his wife.
    he loves to read, he loves to run, and do athlectic activies, he is a buff, pastor. he loves the outdoors. he has taught me much, examples are how to be alone with God, how to see God in nature, how to listen for His voice.
    How to not rely on the pastor but for God to be your every need. chuck in my opinion has had to live up to quite a reputation because of his father and the articles in the newspaper. he is a great man of God and a hero in my book. Any pastor who can be real , can be honest, that is what is to be worthy of honor. I think if one person is suffering in any shape or form we need to pray for them and not bash on them and their particular views. i think it is good that chuck loves the unloved no different than Jesus, loving the unloved woman at the well, with how many husbands? and no husband now, …Chuck jr. has seen a lot in his life time, more than us. Think about it being a pastor’s kids is not easy all eyes focused on you at all times expecting you to be a perfect angel. Also the discipline behind closed doors, (not saying anything neg. against his parents ) however; i do believe it would be hard to meet up to standards especially being a child of a pastor. then if you suffer with depression to go with it , God forbid that word. Well, I know truly people with derpression can not help it …it is not brought on for sympathy or because they did not pray it off. i know that everyone in life lives with some kind of thron in the flesh, we need to pray for our brother in Christ ..stop casting stones.
    we can get many cast back upon us, as well
    in the end what matters like my grandmother said
    “in this life all we have is Jesus.

  • Please get your eyes off of yourself and put them on Jesus. There is nothing new under the sun. God created you just like he created your great great great great…grandfather and mother. He understands how you tick. The bible is the manual and needs no help. Please keep the faith in Christ Jesus alone and not in any man, movement or experieince!!! Movements come and go, but Christ stands unchanged forever. Many want to worship to receive, but few want to worship to obey and honor the only one who is worthy! If you seek to find your life your will lose it!
    Whatever you do don’t be ignorant and pridefull to think you know more than a man who has dedicated his life to the Lord. Show respec and assume you are wrong..unless scripture shows you otherwise. Walk by faith (in God’s Word) not by sight. Many will be led astray because they walk by what they can see touch feel and understand in their own logic. Trust God’s Word alone!!!! Here Him alone!!!
    Concerned brother in the Lord! All this confusion does not come from God!

  • my eyes our on Jesus that is all we have in this life….
    only Jesus is the answer
    as raul ries puts it you will not have your professor, teacher, father mother, etc
    it will be just you and God

  • my eyes our on Jesus that is all we have in this life….
    only Jesus is the answer
    as raul ries puts it you will not have your professor, teacher, father mother, etc
    it will be just you and God

  • we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
    thanks be to God that Jesus came
    I am not being sarcastic at all, I love God more than you know,you do not know me to be pointing fingers at me or chuck, yes we do read our bible and search the scriptures
    the more i read and learn the more i realize i need him more and more.
    God help us all

  • It is just important to stand against false teaching and misleading of the true faith of Jesus Christ today as it was for Paul and Peter and other writers of the New Testament.
    You say on this site and in these responses that Your “new movement” is good. Indeed from the Lausanne Covenant it would at least appear on the surface that you have a solid foundation. However a close examination of the actual statements and practices from people like chuck JR and others prove this not to be true.
    If You are going to be a Church or assembly that lines up with something Paul the Apostle would be in agreement with then.
    You can not embrace Homosexuality as a genetic alternate lifestyle.
    You can not embrace teachings that directly contradict or change the “Fundamental” and straight forward teaching of the new testament.
    You can not embrace and use practices from eastern mysticism. Like eastern views of meditation, or the use of Icons or breathing exercises.
    These things are obvious to anyone who is a simple born again spirit filled disciple of Christ. The Apostles warn us over and over about how doctrines of demons and deceptive heresies would gain entrance and seek to lead people astray. It is to get more and more deceptive as we get closer to the last days.
    People like chuck JR and others who have spent years studying the scriptures should be ashamed of themselves and their becoming leaders in doing the very things the scriptures warn us emphatically over and over again is going to happen.
    Yet instead what they do is explain away the warning, reject the simple statements regarding these things and plunge headlong into Judgment dragging many others with them.
    Be sober minded. Christianity is as simple today as it was 2000 years ago.
    1. Repent from your sin and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
    2. Be in the Word of God and the teaching of the Apostles Doctrine (the NT) continually.
    3. Pray always. the same simple kinds of prayer Jesus modeled for us. Like in John 17 as one example.
    4. As you go share your faith.
    This is as simple as it gets. It is the same today as then. There is no “emerging” anything. Anything that is “emerging” over the foundation that we have already been given is chasing after doctrines of demons and destructive heresies.
    Again, Be Sober Minded.

  • Well, Hellbinder, I guess most of the people who associate themselfes with the ideas of the EC don’t have any problems with your 4 points.
    But I guess they have a problem with the kind of attitude that you display – at least I have.
    Imagine that you are a follower of Jesus – and not have the definitive answer to everything. What if you discover over time that some things you thought would be ok, are not? What if Jesus would change you?`
    Let’s take your problem with Homosexuality: I have known at least one devout Christian that was gay, and he had no problems with that. Who am I to judge him as long as he follows Jesus? I can think that this orientation is wrong as much as I like, but I don’t have to become homosexual.
    Of course you can say: Where do you draw the line? What is if someone doesn’t believe in Jesus’ resurrection? Good point, and I honestly don’t know. But then again – where do you draw the line if you take the other side, applying the same logic? How can someone become a member of the church if he doesn’t tithe? It’s biblical! Someone cheated on his wife – hasn’t he have to be thrown out?
    The bottom line is: Being a Christian for me is a process and a journey. If I stay in prayer I should be open for the Spirit to change me, to show me new things and to correct me if I’m wrong. For me, Jesus’ teachings are the core, and I’d like to be in a community with people that are searching for truth in him with all of their hearts. Because I know that I’m not perfect and that God has a different plan for each of us I have to accept that other people see some things differently. And not judging them. That, for me, is love.

  • I’m not prepared to take a position on this issue either way, I’m in the researching stage: knowing some people who rave about their emergent experience, yet not being an emergent myself.
    I do want to point out that I find it ironic that much of the criticism against those who speak out against the Emergent Church (like Chuck Smith, Sr. & Ed Enochs), is that the statements that are made are broad, sweeping, generalizations,…and yet, the same kinds of statements are made against the “cold, divisive, and fundamentalist church doctrines.” I can’t quote them all, but there have been several derogatory and divisive statments in this string of comments, and even more throughout Emergent writers. My point being, it looks foolish for you to critique others for broadly applying critical statements to a diverse movement, while doing the same yourselves. Not all conservative, evangelical, fundamentalist, protestant…churches are irrelevent, dead, producing no fruit, and unloving. Get your own story straight! You’re not going to make people more open minded or convince them of the veritable positives and strengths of the Emergent Movement by offending and bad-mouthing them and their churches!

  • I read a lot of people complaining about broad generalizations. My observations about the EC are fairly specific. But first, I do hope and pray for Chuck Smith Jr. That he draws closer to the Lord and rejects any doctrine of man and church programs not inspired by the Holy Spirit. God bless you Chuck Jr. and it really is good to see you honor your father with words of respect.
    Here in Houston, I visited four churches that embrace the EC philosophies espoused by Warren, Hybels, McLaren, et. al for at least 4 weeks at the minimum. The longest I stayed was for 6 weeks at one EC church until I finally had to leave.
    My first impression as I visited all 4 of the emergent churches here was that hardly anyone, no RARELY did anyone, carry a bible to church. Now I must digress and ask Chuck Smith Jr. if he sees a problem with that? I did see someone carry a bible to one of the EC churches and I remember how sad I felt that from my perspective, we were the only two people in a group of 2000+ that had the Word in hand. Needless to say, this blew my mind.
    Another thing I witnessed at all EC churches is that no bible studies were available. Instead, in all but one of them (which did not have any extra-Sunday get-togethers) we were told by the leaders that “Community Groups” or as one called them “Mixers” were available. One leader went so far to say that you didn’t even need to have any biblical training, just open your home and know how to operate a DVD machine. This bothered me as I love fellowshipping with believers, praying, studying the bible, sharing ministry, etc. I did attend one of the EC meetings and had to sit through a Rick Warren video. In that video, Warren gave some sort of self-help speech with a couple of bible verses thrown in as needed to accentuate whatever point he was trying to make.
    With this said, I think we should not prejudge this ministry but be careful. We should pray reasonable minded leaders will reject any eastern mysticism or non-biblical philosophy and methodologies that may (or have) crept into the movement. I do know that as long as men like Chuck Smith Jr., who was raised by a virtuous and honorable Christian parents, are involved in this movement there is hope.
    Like I said, we should be careful when it comes to this EC movement. If you find a church that embraces EC philosophies, make sure that the Lord and His Holy Word is the focal point. If the bible is not an important part of the worship, you should find another church.

  • sorry . . did you say you found an Emerging Church that made people sit through a RICK WARREN VIDEO??????
    now thats something i have never heard before. thats hilarious!
    hey – i went to church yesterday and brought my huge black Net Bible. for what its worth . . .

  • My comments go in support of Chuck Smith Jr. We were regularly ‘tithing’ members for 22 years of Calvary Capo Beach. We watched the church body, and Chuck, go through many changes thru the years,and we observed that Chuck always stayed true and honest. No matter how hard it got to remain sincere, he was always so. Chuck is genuine and real in his sincerity to be Christ-like. Chuck’s teachings and personal example led my older son back to Christ and inspired my husband to become a Christian.

  • …continuing previous…
    My sons were up in the Calvary Schools in Santa Ana. We noted as it became more and more political; less Christlike in its example its own students. As that happened, it seems that Chuck’s (Jr.) forward thinking became more and more of an issue, because he refused to bend to church-based political pressure and teaches *directly* and with knowledge and commitment to what Jesus taught.
    Which is what the ’emerging church’ teaches.
    We have visited ’emerging church’es; there is sincerity. They are striving to teach what Jesus taught. Simple honest Truth. We can’t find Chuck Jr anymore and have in mourning since, left the ‘way’ of all organized churches. They crucified Chuck Jr. as Christ was crucified – for speaking the truth of love and faith.

  • …continuing previous…
    My sons were up in the Calvary Schools in Santa Ana. We noted as it became more and more political; less Christlike in its example its own students. As that happened, it seems that Chuck’s (Jr.) forward thinking became more and more of an issue, because he refused to bend to church-based political pressure and teaches *directly* and with knowledge and commitment to what Jesus taught.
    Which is what the ’emerging church’ teaches.
    We have visited ’emerging church’es; there is sincerity. They are striving to teach what Jesus taught. Simple honest Truth. We can’t find Chuck Jr anymore and have in mourning since, left the ‘way’ of all organized churches. They crucified Chuck Jr. as Christ was crucified – for speaking the truth of love and faith.

  • i find it ludricrous that most christian religions worship jesus christ. i have read over and over the new testament and find that jesus main purpose was fulfill prophecy from the old testament and try to convert the jews back to a state of repentance to their almighty god jehovah. but his greatest gift to mankind was death on the torture stake (xylon, stauros, or crux) depending on what you believe. this act was a ransom sacrifice for all mankind as a permanent sacrifice instead of the jewish tradition of the yearly slaughter of the bull and the goat which was only a temporary stopgap of a year of repentance. I believe that Jesus Christ and almighty god or two separate entities! any other belief begs the question that god may suffer from a multiple personality syndrome which is absolutely blasphemous! after the death of Jesus Christ God almighty made available to believing christians the holy spirit to combat the onslaught of satan and his liege of demons.
    Christ Jesus sits at the right hand of god almighty patiently waiting along with his father for the end times which only almighty god knows the hour and the day.
    another interesting point! The bible categorically states the Jesus Christ was the first born of creation. “In the beginning god created Jesus Christ! Well since god almighty has no beginning that pretty much proves they are not the same beings.

  • “In the beginning god created Jesus Christ!”
    thanks joseph – maybe you should check your Bible again on that verse? I think you will find its quite different.

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