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Posts Tagged ‘Mclaren’

My one pastor who does understand the dangers of the emergent church in our old church has noted my use of lighthouse trails and other websites, and says to be careful.  He says Rick Warren is not in the same “boat” so to speak as people like Pagitt, Bell, McLaren and the like.  Making such connections because one person speaks at a conference, writes on a book jacket, etc. seems flimsy to some.  I agree.  Two speakers at one conference may not be related, one may be completely emergent while the other is completley orthodox and on message as a Christian.   However, if you look at the goals of the conference, then the connections are messy.  If the goals of the conference are emergent style goals, then the speaker who appears not to be emergent just may be so.  If the person positively quotes emergent types…is there a problem?  If they recommend a book, is that enough to make it a problem?  What if a person comes out and says they are not into the emergent stuff, and yet they have all the connections in the world?  Are we to just take them at their word? 

Lighthouse trails does show connections.  Book jackets, the backs of books, acknowledgements, conference speakers, quotes on web sites, book recommendations, speakers who show up at a church or college, and many more things are shown to prove contemplative or new age beliefs are seeping in.  If Fred is considered on the bad side of things, and there is a middle person who is clearly linked to Fred (we’ll call him Clyde)…and then Clyde is the influence of Ralph…is Ralph connected to Fred?  Let’s say most people recognize that Fred is taking great liberties with the Bible, and is actually throwing it out or twisting it in a way most Christians would cringe at.  Now Clyde, Clyde recommends Fred’s books in his own books.  They have meetings together often.  They speak at the same conferences.  Clyde is less objectionable than Fred at first listen.  Then there is Ralph.  Ralph has meetings with Clyde but never Fred.  Clyde acknowledges Ralph in his books, and others who like Ralph too.  Clyde, Ralph, and a few others who like Ralph speak at a conference together.  Clyde comes to Ralph’s church and trains people there.  Is this enough of a connection to Fred to say Ralph has some issues because he’s connected to Fred even though it’s through someone else? 

I have to admit, I tend to believe that following connections and people we recommend for reading is important.  I also think if the conference theme is obviously questionable, then speaking at the conference suggests approval unless a person actually takes a strong stand at such conference and speaks against the theological problems presented there…  Oh, I’m rambling and not sure if this post makes sense….but maybe you see my thinking here?

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Every time we have a campaign in our church to go through another book, each person in the small groups buys a book.  If we cannot afford a book, someone else will buy it for us.  Most of these campaigns are for the teaching impaired, and therefore, there has to be a DVD purchased for each small group.  I guess tithes pay for this?  There are often slick ad campaigns before a series in which the entire church will follow the same theme.  There might be postcards mailed out, which can be mailed for free but still cost money to purchase from the organization selling them.  There might be posters in church ahead of time, again, there is a fee for such things.  Besides our church wide campaigns and books, there are many small group study books on just about any topic.  Some again are “DVD” driven.  At different times during the year our church has speakers who promote their books or music CD’s.  These speakers, I’m learning through my searches, are tied in with contemplative prayer or other topics of concern to me.  They do not speak for free, they are paid with funds taken from our offering.  And then there are the conferences, training sessions, and seminars.  Nothing is free, and if you get a “scholarship” that money comes from the general fund.  Oh, and the missions trips!  That’s right, how could those be linked in any way to an agenda for emergent church?  Well, in my reading and searching I found various links to a local emergent church and youth program/camp.  This camp I’ll call YF has several missions destination sites they are in charge of.  So, we often pay to send kids on missions trips through YF, and also send kids to the local YF camps around our area.  This YF camp is run by a man who is on the board and I think, from what I have read, helps pastor the local emergent church.  (This church has Brian McLaren speak, and is currently having Pagit and his roadshow come to their “church basement”).  So, our church funds all these missions trips, our youth goes by droves to several locations all affiliated with YF, we also have kids going to YF camps.  Our money goes to this emergent church through YF.  Essentially, many books we buy, speakers we fund, trips that are taken, and even our children’s curriculums are supporting emerging trendy churches or seeker friendly large megachurches, or publishing houses that are “in the back pocket” of these emergent/seeker friendly church leaders (or is it the leaders are in the back pocket of the publishing companies, not sure).  All this money, and we church members are paying it.  If you don’t like the direction of YOUR pupose driven, willow creek small grouping, emergent contemplative praying, Harp and Bowling, transformational, missional, spritual formating church, you need to quit buying the books, paying for the conferences, and you need to pay your tithe to God elsewhere.  Of course, you can always do what they are waiting for the challengers to do anyway and speak with your feet!

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