I’ve had a few friends leave our former church. They have seen emergent creep in, though it’s not been admitted and was adamantly denied. The church is overt about spiritual formation though, there’s even a person on staff with a title containing the words spiritual formation.
One of my friends is still trapped there, with a husband who doesn’t believe there’s a problem. She’s being submissive to him, but is also not attending sermons any longer. I believe she likely helps in different areas so as to avoid regular service. God must have her there for a reason. It’s very hard for her, to see things creeping in…or even openly being presented that aren’t biblical.
I’ve noticed some things about people leaving. Some fight for a while. One man we know was an elder and tried to change things there, eventually they had to leave. The church was going in a direction they were not comfortable with. Scripture was being mishandled, and they had issues with an elder who was being supported by the church that didn’t believe the literal interpretation of Genesis. Others left because of this issue.
When Rick Warren’s materials were presented church wide and manditory for small groups, some people fought or brought out issues with the materials. The alterations of scripture, the use for whatever purpose suits Mr. Warren really bothered those paying attention. They went through the system, talking to pastors or elders. They eventually left, not many knew of most of their problems. We’ve even been told they were led to believe they were basically alone in their assertions. This has proven itself to not be true, more than one couple left because of the Rick Warren studies.
We left because we saw things tiptoeing emergent. We really didn’t understand what emerging/emergent was, and to be honest, I am not sure I’d say now the church is emergent. However, the youth program is tripping into emergent stuff all the time, and Rob Bell has been played in some small groups. The church has not taken a stand against it, and because of this, they are basically saying they approve. Some pastors’ and elders’ children leave and end up at an emergent church in the area. If our former church is not emergent, they are friends with emergent with no apology. A few recognized this as a problem and have left.
Those leaving all realize the same thing in the end. The fight won’t get you anywhere. It’s not that we shouldn’t fight at all, because there are times when God has let the fight occur and also let those fighting loose for a time. Standing up is very hard. At some point though, because we’re sick of starving, we all leave. We seek out a church that focuses on the bible, and on Christ. We look for a God centered rather than man centered gospel.
There seems to be no way to change this church. Only God can do it, and we pray He will open more eyes. I am thankful for the ones who have seen and have made their way out.