Galatian 1:6-7, “6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ
Paul was marveled at those that decided to jump ship from the real gospel to a false gospel. As I have been going through this series, God has put this series on my heart to convey His heart about false gospels as compared to the only true gospel.
How does one know that although God is not surprised by yet angry with these other gospels? Recall this occurrence of Jesus in the gospel of John. “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables”(John 2:15). It is clear that God opposes all while God opposes error and sin, He is especially passionate about expressing this opposition when error and sin come into His house and when His children are affected. Another error, false gospel that has become very popular at this time is the gospel of the emergent church. “The Emerging Church movement consists of a diverse group of people who identify with Christianity, but who feel that reaching the postmodern world requires us to radically reshape the church’s beliefs and practices to conform to postmodernism.
Postmodern rejects the fact that words have meaning which causes them to “deconstruct” the language of texts (including Scripture), redefining the words and reinterpreting the texts to mean whatever they feel as they have an encounter with the text’s language” (Apologetics index). Ravi Zechariahs in his message postmodernism and philosophy brings out a question that was asked on a TV program, “Do words have meaning, or does the speaker reserve the right to fuse his or her own words, with his or her own meaning? Is there a point of reference for language, or does the speaker determine the right to say whatever he or she wants, and mean whatever he or she wants? The program put out a survey to hear from the world on this issue. If words have no meaning how can one see meaning in the question itself? The surveyors responded that words do not have any meaning the speaker reserves the right to fuse in his or her own meaning. A second question asked, does morality have any meaning or does each individual reserve the right to choose his or her own morality? The surveyor respondents to hear from the world at large, morality doesn’t have any absolutes, one reserves the right to create his or her own. The third item was that if Saddam Hussein didn’t stop playing word games over the airwaves, the US was going to start bombing.”
If words and morality have no meaning then what does the Christian do with the words of the Scripture, especially those spoken in the gospels by Jesus Christ, who used words to convey meaning about our bankruptcy of morality and our need for God’s forgiveness? We are born dead in our sin and transgression and then proceed as we grow older to break God’s moral Law (the Ten Commandments). The emergent church gospel does not subscribe to words having absolute meaning nor absolute truth. Also there is no moral absolute because a Christian can then assume moral superiority over a non-Christian. Furthermore, they do not seek to save the lost like Jesus did, because they use modern methods of evangelism, also known as “friendship evangelism”. Satan is not creative but rather deceptive. A faithful brother in Christ of mine named Ivan shared with me, Satan will use our need for sleep and try to lead us to be lazy, he will use our design for work and try to cause us to become “workaholics”. The emergent gospel has its roots in Satan back in the Garden of Eden when the serpent said to Eve, “1 Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”4Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Gen 3:1-4).” Did God really say? If the emergent gospel can redefine things, then humanity can play God and redefine both good and evil.
The emergent gospel wants everyone to be accepted and for everyone to feel good about oneself. So then Jesus makes a statement such as in Luke 14, “26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple,” this is extremely exclusive, it excludes some people who fail to do what Jesus is commanding as a prerequisite.
The emergent gospel really wants Christ-less Christianity. Brian McLaren, one of the emergent gospels leaders said, “Good evangelism is the process of being friendly without discrimination and influencing all of one’s friends toward better living, through good deeds and good conversations…Christian commitment is where I’m coming from…This is not to say that there isn’t a place for Buddhist or Jewish evangelism, but someone else will be better suited to write on these topics.” Compare this to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Perhaps the following dialog will put the unbalanced, “friendship evangelism,” which perhaps many of you subscribe to in its true light:”
Preacher’s Progress (by ray Comfort)
Christian Loveless: “Hi, Mrs. Smith. How are you doing? Is Erik in yet?”
Mrs. Smith: “Lunch again, huh? I haven’t seen him come through the lobby today. He came into work last week with a bad hangover. Probably the same thing has happened today. How was church?”
Christian Loveless: “It was really good. We had Brother Don Waterdowns come in and do a series of healing meetings. Hundreds gave their hearts to the Lord. I’m in charge of the follow-up program. Man, I didn’t realize how easy it is to get people saved. Lots were getting healed and people were coming to the altar without even being preached to.”
Mrs. Smith: “What a blessing. We had him at our church too. He advocates ‘friendship evangelism,’ doesn’t he?”
Christian Loveless: “Yes. I like that. It’s what I’ve been using on Erik. We’ve become good buddies over the years.”
Mrs. Smith: “I like that approach. It’s so much better than shoving the gospel down people’s throats.”
Christian Loveless: “True. That can alienate them. I’m waiting for the right time to mention the things of God to Erik; I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. Erik came to one of the meetings, and he really seemed to enjoy it. That’s the good thing about non-confrontational evangelism. He didn’t give his heart to the Lord, though. Maybe today he will bring up the subject. I never do, because I don’t want to offend him. I’m just a good friend, and I think that’s the right approach.”
Mrs. Smith: “I agree. I’ll call the Third Floor and speak to his secretary. Perhaps she will know why he’s late.”
Christian Loveless: “Okay.”
Mrs. Smith: “Jeannie, Rose Smith. Is Erik Tuday in yet? Christian Loveless is here to see…”
Christian Loveless: “What’s wrong? Your face has gone pale!”
Mrs. Smith: “I’m afraid Erik died during the night. He had an aneurysm in his sleep and was pronounced dead at 8:17 this morning…”