Contend for the faith…

August 29, 2008

Jude 1: 3-4 (ESV) says:

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

I find myself coming back to this verse whenever I read about the so-called “Emergent” church. It’s not that I would ever seek to defame or slander another brother or sister in Christ. But I have to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

I’ve been perusing the works of such “Emergent” leaders as Brian McLaren and Rob Bell over the past few days, and to be honest, I can’t believe an entire segment of my generation, as well as the generations coming up behind mine, are latching onto such erroneous ideas. I thought we all prided ourselves as “free thinkers”- well at least we got the ‘free’ part down- but we also have to THINK!

In one of his Nooma videos, Bell postulates that when Peter hopped out of the boat to walk on water with Christ, he lacked confidence in HIMSELF, hence he began to sink. But when Peter regained his self-confidence, he began to walk on the water. What a bunch of horsecrap!

Bell also asserts that Christ has confidence in US, faith in US and THAT’S WHY he was able to leave things in the hands of the disciples… because he TRUSTED THEM. Again, that’s completely FALSE. As Jesus was ready to ascend to the right hand of the Father, he instructed the disciples to WAIT FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT to come before they did anything. Jesus trusted the HOLY SPIRIT, not the disciples.

And notice what happened after that… in the book of Acts, the disciples completely ignore Jesus’ instructions, and they go ahead and pick a disciple to replace Judas. As it turns out Matthias (their new choice) isn’t really mentioned in any significance after he’s selected. Whereas if they’d waited for the Holy Spirit to come, they would have known to choose Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul- oh, by the way, he wrote a bunch of the New Testament books). Jesus didn’t have faith in the disciples, He had faith in the HOLY SPIRIT.

It’s actually amazing to me that Rob Bell, being as intelligent as he clearly is, could misinterpret scripture this blatantly. Then again, he IS the same guy who said we wouldn’t lose much if the Virgin Birth of Christ turned out to be a lie (Velvet Elvis).

I won’t even get started on how abysmal McLaren’s viewpoints are… just read “Why We’re Not Emergent” by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck or “Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church” by DA Carson.

My point is this- in an age when information is more available than ever, it seems like we’re getting dumber. It seems that anyone with a new idea automatically gains credence by virtue of the fact that their idea is new, rather than on the merit of their idea. Let’s not forget, that’s how the Mormon Church operates, and we don’t have to look very hard to see the swiss cheese theology going on there.

I’m blown away by the fact that McLaren thinks he’s found the “Secret Message of Jesus.” As Ravi Zacharias put it, “Are they BORED with God? Has it really taken 2000 years to figure out Jesus’ actual message?” NO it hasn’t.

In the name of tolerance we’re sacrificing truth. When you throw the absolutes out the window you have absolutely nothing. I mean, how can a guy who refers to the Bible for his example of how Christ lived, also deny that the Bible is valid, accurate, and without error? Why are some parts of the Bible “safe” and others “too threatening or divisive?” Since when did this buffet-style of theology become acceptable?

And the worst thing of all, in my opinion, isn’t that people are doing a shoddy job of researching their facts, but rather that through this “Emergent” church, people are being taught about a false Jesus. As Mark Driscoll puts it, the Emergent stream only wants to focus on the “marginalized peasant Jesus who was all about love and acceptance rather than the Jesus of Revelation who is coming to make war on those who haven’t repented of their sin and turned to Him.” Driscoll makes the point that when we focus too much on the “incarnational’ Christ and not enough on the “Exaltation” of Christ, we lose… Jesus.

Sure, it’s all well and good to go feed people who are hungry, and heal people who are sick, and love people who are marginalized, but THAT”S ONLY HALF OF IT. The other half is seen in the examples of John the Baptist and Jesus. REPENT, TURN FROM SIN, PUT YOUR FAITH IN JESUS… not “all roads lead to one God,” not “oh, well I don’t want to tell you you’re wrong, because it might hurt your feelings.” The fact is, some things are wrong. And denying the Bible is to deny Christ. And you don’t want to go there.

If someone was walking down a road, and at the end of the road was a pit filled with poisonous snakes, wouldn’t you tell them to turn back? Even if they were completely convinced that the road they were on would lead them to their dream-come-true, or the destiny that they’ve been seeking, or if it ‘just feels right for them?’ YES, of course you would. So why is it so hard for guys like McLaren, Bell, Pagitt, Kimball, and their Emergent posse to actually MAN UP and preach the word for what it really is?

I don’t think it’s a lack of intelligence…


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