Note to readers: This interview is particularly interesting to Truthinator’s Blog since we work at exposing the absurdity of aspects of the Seeker Friendly and Emergent Church concepts. This interviewee is a former Emergent. We hope you are edified by what you read. We must say however that the material contained in this or any other interview published here is not necessarily endorsed by Truthinator’s Blog or its employees or volunteers. Thanks and enjoy…
Note to readers #2: When I write Seeker/Emergent, I am not assuming them to be equal but instead I assume them to be related. I see the Seeker Movement to be the parent of the Emergent Movement. I see the Seeker Movement as opening the door for the devil and the Emergent movement to be the devil. I do not think the Seeker Movement is less evil just less overt.
Truthinator: Since you came from an Emergent Church background, please describe what attracted you to them and how long you stayed. Also, when did you become a Christian and did the Emergent Church have anything at all to do with exposing you to God’s truth (Gospel)?
Guest: The church I attended since I was a teenager was a Pentecostal church. They had increasingly become more and more charismatic. Biblical teaching was shallow. I had a huge hand, however, in my biblical illiteracy. I just took everything that was taught and said as the truth. I had no discernment. I started feeling disillusioned with church. There were things that just seemed so wrong but I couldn’t explain it. My husband and I were married for two years when we decided to go to Bible college at Prairie Bible college. It was there that what I found to be troublesome with my home church became clear. I started ‘asking questions’ and being critical of where I came from. I started examining everything. I discovered the weak theological background of where I came from. I discovered how unbiblical my church was. But then, I was wrong too. I started thinking in a postmodern mindset. I can’t exactly pinpoint how or where it came from, but I think it may have started before I went to college. At least the foundation for it was there already. I started dabbling in relativism. There were so many people around me who would nurture that sort of thing. It was fun. I felt so enlightened and so much more smart than the narrow minded fundies in the church. I felt at the time that I had a righteous indignation against the behind the times church filled with legalists (or so I thought that’s what they were). I became liberal in my religion and liberal in my politics. I would spew things about how theology is in flux, about how the gospel is saving lives and feeding hungry people, about how we have to take care of the poor or we are hypocrites. I showed deep disdain for the preaching of the Word, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I would cheer on Tony Campolo, Brian Mclaren and all those guys who seemed to ‘get it’ where no one else did. I think I was truly saved before this when I was 19 but my faith and knowledge was shallow. I had barely read the Bible for years, so I was easy pickings for emergent thought. In my senior year I took a class under an emergent professor called Integrative Seminar. I had no idea at the time that he had an agenda. I had no idea at the time that emergence was such an issue. I barely knew what it was at the time. But he got us to read all sorts of emergent books that really got stuck in my brain. I was oblivious to my ugly cynicism and disdain. I was truly a hypocrite. After I graduated, by God’s grace, I came to the bitter end of emergence. Disillusionment once again. There is an end to it, thank the Lord. No, I didn’t learn truth in the emergent movement. They have no idea what the gospel really is and their goal is to deconstruct the Bible. Many people who are in that movement don’t even realize they are emergent.
T: How long did you stay in the Emergent Church? What was instrumental in making you realize the need for leaving?
G: I think I was in that for about 4 or 5 years. I was attending an Alliance church that was dwindling in numbers. Emergence had infiltrated there and did a good job of rotting in from the inside. I just wasn’t finding what I truly needed at church anymore. I didn’t know what I needed (the preaching of the Word) but I had no desire to go to church anymore. I had hit rock bottom. I felt like I wasn’t saved and worse, I didn’t care.
T: What impact is the Seeker/Emergent concept having on Christianity in America & the world?
G: The seeker friendly/emergent movement is having a devastating effect on the church and society around it. It is filling churches with goats who hate God. It is discarding the true gospel and God’s Word. It is fostering tolerance and the coddling of sin within the church doors. It is creating a worldly institution under the guise of Christianity. Instead of the prophetic voice of the true church being called out into society, the voice being heard is one of tolerance and alliance with the world. It is hypocrisy being embraced by darkened minds. The emergent created, apostate church, is in league with the world. It is a direct affront to the Word of God. To God Himself. They have effectively taken Jesus and what He has done out of Christianity. True Christians will be forced underground in the west. It is already happening.
T: What are the main positive and negative aspects of this movement?
G: It is difficult to find any positive aspects in the movement. To begin with, they were just asking questions. I suppose forcing myself to examine what I truly believed was a positive in it all. Also, learning the mindset and thinking of postmodernism is effective for how I approach emergents now. The negative aspects would take a whole book to write. But the big ones are a throwing out of God’s Word, dismissing Sola Scriptura. Denying the Penal Substitutionary Atonement. Denying total depravity. Preaching a different gospel (one of self-righteousness and ‘social justice’). Tolerance of sinful lifestyles. The utter hypocrisy of wearing the clothes of humility over the core of arrogance and pride. And I could go on and on and on.
T: If you had to guess, how well do you think the pastoral staff at your Emergent church know the Bible? Do you think they believed the Bible at all to be real, true, and authoritative?
G: My experience with emergence was mainly in my Bible college, not really in a church. There really isn’t an emergent church, per se, emergence has merely infiltrated denominations. My town is a Bible college town. It has about 12 churches. Most of them have turned basically emergent regardless of what they are called or what denomination they are. I call this town Emergentville. It’s everywhere. We did recently find 1 church here, however, that preaches the Word. Emergents deny the Bible is authoritative. Church goers here rely on Bible studies and books written by mystics and liberal Christians who deny Scripture. It is maddening.
T: What impact is the Seeker/Emergent concept having on youth? On Missions? On Church Planting?
G: The main channel that emergent teaching enters the church has been through the youth program. Emergent leaders and teachers are very appealing to youth. In fact, the grassroots of emergence was aimed specifically at youth. I also believe that much of emergent teaching has come out of the mission field, though I can’t exactly say that for sure. I would like to look into it more deeply sometime. I don’t think I really have any insight about it’s impact on church planting, but it seems like mega churches like Steven Furticks, Perry Noble’s and Rick Warren’s are all one central church that gets televised to multiple locations. So there is that extreme but I’ve also seen many churches spring up in old hotels and theatres that preach social justice and tolerance. It’s like I can smell them a mile away. They are hip and cool and have a huge influence on especially young people. I guess I did have thoughts on the impact on church planting afterall.
T: What type of church do you currently belong to? How does it differ from the Emergent one?
G: I am presently attending an Independent Baptist church. It is amazing. They take the Word of God seriously and so far, they even seem Reformed. It is a 180 from the emergent churches I’ve been to.
T: Describe the process God used to draw you unto Himself.
G: I am still in awe of what He did. It’s incredible. I often say that God made the gospel come into sharp focus for me. I had reluctantly started listening to Wretched Radio at the encouragement of my husband. At first I was hostile. I would rant and rail against it. Then, I listened to Todd Friel’s sermon Are you really a Christian? Based on 1 John. I was a Christian before, but things became crystal clear. I finally understood the importance of repentance and faith. I finally understood what the real gospel was. It was a revolution in my life. The scattered puzzle pieces were put into their proper place. I began to seriously read the Bible and study it. That was the key. The Bible. I devoured it. I read it from beginning to end. I started cracking open the theology texts and hermeneutic texts from my Bible college days that I should have studied then. I started searching for theological sources. Reading, reading, reading. I had to consume it. I was so hungry. I learned about the essentials of the faith, the doctrines of grace, creeds and confessions. I was so hungry. I needed His Word. I am now more equipped than ever to tell what is lie and what is true.
T: How long do you think the Seeker/Emergent concept will survive? If you believe it will eventually fail, what will be the source of its collapse?
G: This movement has been here ever since Genesis 3 where Satan asked “Did God really say…?” and it will unfortunately be around until Jesus comes and ends it.
T: Thanks for doing this interview. I believe people will benefit from the info you shared.