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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Bell’

This is an excellent podcase from www.fightingforthefaith.com .  In this podcast, Rob Bell’s statements about what is gospel are so far off I’ve heard agnostics and atheists agree.  Mr. Bell’s gospel is so off.

http://podcast.fightingforthefaith.com/fftf/F4F072109.mp3

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http://www.redpen.org/?p=7

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We have visited one church enough times to begin to believe we may have found our church home. We’re still a bit careful, and don’t want to trust foolishly. Yesterday we were introduced to a couple who used to attend our former church. They actually were “disfellowshipped” and were the only family to ever have that happen in the church’s history. Because of them, we knew to walk carefully when we were presenting our information. This couple, I’ll say Mr. and Mrs. Watchmen, were VERY active in our former church. We actually sat very near to them every Sunday (you know how people get their favorite spots), but we don’t recall ever speaking with them directly. We knew them by face, and they knew us by face, but not by name. About four years ago Mr. and Mrs. Watchmen were in a small group or sunday school class and began to make “trouble.” It was mostly Mr. Watchmen because he’s naturally more bold, but as we spoke yesterday, I could tell Mrs. Watchmen shared his experience and feelings on the situations. Mr. Watchmen had noted compromise when it came to outright Biblical truths. People were allowed to be on the elder board of our former church though they were teaching things contrary to basic doctrine. He also noted problems with the Warrenite “40 Days” book and DVD series every small group was required to go through in our former church. Mr. Watchmen said he was actually asked to leave by an elder when his small group was having the supposed “open discussions” about the 40 Days materials because he was sharing his observations. We do not know all the details of the events in Mr. and Mrs. Watchmen’s situation at our former church, but from what we heard yesterday, they basically stood up and stated the truth and their problems with the mishandling of scripture and use of materials by Rick Warren, Rob Bell (Noomas in meetings at church) and other things. The core of it all was the emergent leanings, the unity at all cost rather than sticking with the truth in scripture, and the unwillingness of the leadership in church to deal with the problems. Everything was kept hush hush.

Our recollection of the entire issue was one meeting at the very end of a church service. It was mentioned that a man was having problems on doctrinal issues. He may have been right about doctrine, but his way of bringing things up was considered “unloving.” It was mentioned that he had been in meetings for over a year with the pastors, and he would not repent of his unloving attitude. It was mentioned the church had also been in contact with a pastor of a former church this couple attended, and Mr. Watchmen had caused similar problems elsewhere, so this was a pattern. We were told Mrs. Watchmen was not the one undergoing church discipline, she had not been a part of her husband’s actions. Then there was a vote. The church voted Mr. Watchmen out of membership. He was not allowed even to set foot in the church until he reconciled. We were to treat him kindly if we saw him, but were not to treat him as we would a member of the church. Mrs. Watchmen was still considered a member. My husband recalls we had to leave, so we did not participate in the vote. I know that if I did vote, I likely voted the man out of fellowship as I respected the elders and leadership. They stacked the case, did not allow the man to speak to the congregation, so we only heard one sanitized side of things. Some time later, it was presented to our congregation that Mr. Watchmen had gone through the reconciliation process. In speaking with them yesterday, it is clear the only reconciliation was that Mr. Watchmen said, “If I have been unloving, that was not my intention, I am sorry.” He says he told them he still recognized the doctrinal deviations were problems and would not claim otherwise. This is not a reconcilliation. Mr. and Mrs. Watchmen seem to still be feeling some hurt from this event long ago. In fact, Mrs. Watchmen says the feel shunned even to this day because leadership including pastors have refused to speak with them in public places when they run into one another. This actually happened recently, and over three years later, one of the pastors still wouldn’t speak to Mrs. Watchmen. Terrible.

When we shared our story, they said that we are an answer to their prayers. They still love the people who attend our former church and continue to pray for the people there. They completely understood our situation, and it seems we would have been headed for the same treatment had we not just left. I cannot imagine the way it would have felt to have been mentioned by name in my church and disfellowshipped in that way. It’s evident, based on our conversation yesterday, that what the pastors and leadership presented to the congregation about Mr. and Mrs. Watchmen was only part of the story and may even have been a twist of the truth (which is a lie). We know when the pastor mentioned us to the congregation (not by name) the story he shared about our meetings was definitely a twist of the information. He may have misunderstood us and our intentions, but at any rate, we were presented as people speaking “lies from the pit of hell.”

Sometimes misery loves company. I will say it was nice to find someone who knows from experience what it feels like to stand up and be slapped down for it.

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Old Driscoll message at the Convergence conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary…some would say he went too far but I think it didn’t go far enough.   I think there is a definite group trying to seperate themselves from emergent/emerging but they have been imprinted with this movement.  Part of the church has been pulled left, and while some are trying to pull back a bit, they might be right in doing this but may still not be all the way back to the right path.  It takes time, and realization.  At least Driscoll is humble about himself in this.  He does speak conservatively about homosexuality.  He makes some strong points about what the emergent movement (what to call this now as they are wanting to rename themselves?) and the attempts to rewrite Christianity.  It’s an interesting listen. 

http://www.limbotext.com/grafted/convergent_driscoll.mp3

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kid gets it…

Adding a new blog to my blogroll.  So far I like what I read.  We’ll see…

http://blackreformingkid.wordpress.com/

I think Apprising Ministries linked to him.

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My husband and I have been speaking with a friend who sees exactly what we see in terms of emergent/seeker friendly/contemplatives/Warrenite/Hybels and others as a problem.  He also asks some good questions. “When and why might it be necessary to completely disassociate with particular groups?   Or when could one still associate to some degree, but with discernment?”

Any thoughts?

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I am finding it interesting that every time we bring up the new age/emergent or contemplative prayer issues with certain people in our former church we often get denial.  Then we get the comments about how “it’s your perception that matters” and “you have to do what’s best for your family.”  Interpret these statements as “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” because that is what is meant.  People don’t like conflict, it’s evident that our former church leaders don’t want to think about conflict.  Many don’t want to think about the truth either.  They won’t do the basic research, or they’ll trust internally the comments of others and won’t look it up for themselves.  I found it so frustrating when I was first realizing things were going on, I would ask around.  I felt I got flimsy answers.  People trust the elders and pastors and believe they will have looked into this.  Though the emergent church is in our area, some of the pastors’ and elders’ children attend an openly emergent church…and the youthcamp has an emergent church leader/author getting known nationally, and the church has people on staff at both places, most didn’t even know what emergent church is.  Pastors and leaders strongly deny a problem.  We have never been so bold as to say outright the former church is emergent, but have pointed out the elements. 

Some saw the elements emergent.  However, we were cautioned not to worry about Rick Warren/Hybels as they certainly weren’t the same. You know, it’s true, they aren’t the same.  One elder did say things are on a continuum, and I believe that may be the case with Warren/Hybels and the seeker friendly stuff.  They are like marijuana, Rob Bell is meth.  I think Dallas Willard is in there somewhere, maybe speed?  Some authors are ecstasy.  I don’t know the true effects of drugs to make this analogy work well.  However, either way, these different authors and leaders can lead one to another.  I think actually once you go down the path a bit with these guys, it’s harder to go back to the lighter ones.  In fact, I am sure Bell and Warren actually don’t agree with one another and may dislike each other’s church models.  They have something in common though.  It’s contemplative prayer, it’s deconstructing church as it was and reconstructing it differently.  It’s mishandling of scripture as means to an end.  This is the common ground.  This is the genius of deception.  No one realizes where a 40 Days of Purpose campaign can go in the long run, in five years or so.  No one knows that their pastor has been trained how to deal with resisters.  No one realizes their suggestions will come off as sin (because resisting change is one of the things thou shalt not). 

Our former pastor denies the church is emergent and they’ve even spoken out against it.  Okay, but as one friend pointed out, they’re “not NOT emergent.”  They are influenced  by things emergent.  Noomas in small group, the youth camp, the leaders’ children going to an emergent church, the preaching from some pastors with blatant quotes of emergent leaders all point to the influence.  We were so blind to it, but thats because in our small group we tried to run it like a Bible study.  That’s because we worked with out kids in Awana and Sunday School classes and we taught them the gospel and the truth of the accounts given.  It’s also because we didn’t realize the language used in sermons has a double meaning.  We were being deceived even if it wasn’t intentional.  The pastors slowly present things to get the church further down the path to contemplative prayer (watch out, I think it’s coming to many of your churches out there).  It’s so slow, so subtle.  If you are having silence without a call to prayer, your church may already be in it.  We were at first being deceived, and then the questions came to our minds.  Later we were in denial.  Once we could no longer be in denial, we knew we had to decide.  Stay or go.  Also, how were we to function if we stayed?  We told some, we decided it would be wrong to keep our mouths shut.  We prayed, we spoke to elders.  We got resistance to change.  Finally, we decided to go and spoke to one pastor and he saw the emergent (but not the Hybels/Warren issues as a problem).  He suggested the letter, and suggested the open and frank way we wrote it.  He didn’t want us to leave, he wanted to fix the church through our loving confrontation of the issues.  We sure tried.  However, the pitbull pastor wouldn’t hear it.  He did hear some things, but mostly, he heard us attack him. 

So, now we are free.  It’s so tempting to believe we can change things.  Change can only come if hearts are soft.  God knows what He is doing.  We prayed, we did what we thought we were led to do.  After that, it’s not up to us.

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I actually believe our former pastor may mention our names at least in an elder meeting.  Because one of us was overheard talking about the church, I just wonder what will come of it?  During the call, my husband shared that he cannot possibly stop telling people who ask why we left the church honestly what he thinks.  The pastor then said something like, “so likewise, I can share about you spreading rumors and saying things we don’t agree with.”  My husband said he didn’t care what they say.   It may have not been that harsh, really, from the pastor.  It was what I thought my husband said, but it was along those lines.  At any rate, I wonder if there will be some sort of larger group that will hear about this?  At any rate, it is what it is. 

I don’t believe we ever said the former church was 100% emergent.  I do believe we said there were emergent phrases and authors popping up in sermons, and that the youth camp was emergent.  The type of prayer has been mentioned as a problem to pastors, one even contacted the youth camp to get the example of prayer off the web site stating it’s not Biblical.  Last time I checked, it’s still there.   The pastor told my husband about Noomas being shown to the youth…and this was not something we’d ever heard.  It was in the context of, “I thought we agreed to be discreed about [minister X] and the Noomas.”  Huh.  So, though it wasn’t my husband who had this discussion, and I don’t recall us talking about minister X, someone has AND at least one Nooma has been shown to youth somewhere, somehow through this church.  Yet there is denial of emergent creeping in?  The pastor still was frustrated that we made connections based on who was quoted in sermons.  Okay, truthfully, it wasn’t just quotes.  A sermon was framed right from Donald Miller’s stuff.  I heard a podcast and the idea came directly from the podcast of Miller’s.  Even if only one pastor on staff was saying this stuff, it shows he is into emergent teaching and he promoted it right from the pulpit.  To NOT address this is wrong.  So, yeah, since that pastor is still on staff, there is an emergent element in our former church. 

One thing that has been true of our former church is they have been on the Warren P.E.A.C.E. plan.  So, I guess we can call them what?  Seeker friendly?  The pastors all read Dallas Willard and many recommended his works to me to read.  So, we can call the church what?  Contemplative/Spiritual Formation influenced?  The church itself uses terms like “Bible based” and “Missional.”  So, it’s an emergent/contemplative/Spirtual Formation/Missional/Bible influence church.  ECSFMBIC

Of course, we’re supposed to never say this church is emergent because that movement is dying, according to what the former pastor said.  Huh.  Bet there was a day when someone thought the Mormon church was dying too when it was in it’s early years.  Of course, renaming yourself or infiltrating churches through the back door, and many times through the front, doesn’t make you a “church” so much as it makes the churches you.  But, no, pastor…it’s not dying.  It’s doing what it has been made to do, it’s evolving.

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I’ve been told by someone that yes, Rob Bell, Pagitt, Foster…Donald Miller are Emergent and the practices/statements they make are not Biblical, but Warren/Hybels, Dallas Willard, and even Brennan Manning are good guys and not into that stuff.  They are not in the same league, according to some.  They say the associations are weak.  Maybe they are on different paths when it comes to religion, but I think not (especially Brennan Manning).  I believe Warren/Hybels teachings are like entry drugs.  Maybe it’s an easy smoke or a pill to pop.  They are not hard core up front, but still are stepping into false teachings.  People will say, “no one is perfect, no person is a perfect preacher or writer.”  True, but I believe there are people who make mistakes and then there are those who are misleading many, many and not changing or willing to hear that they are misleading though the evidence is there.  Of course, I’m told I have to be willing to hear and maybe I’m the one not listening.  I believe Willard comes with his spiritual formation and disciplines as a bridge (like a bit harder drug, don’t know personally so I don’t know what would be an inbetween drug).  Then, when you’re hooked, you might actually go for some  Mike King, Manning (who appears to be nice on the surface too), Pagitt, Bell, and more.  Eventually, you might actually become a Buddist Christ follower.  Why not, you’ve already gone this far.  Of course, I’m sure your children will become agnostic/atheists.  After all the confusion, how could they not? 

Of course, I could be jumping to conclusions…especially since I am talking about associations and possibly misunderstand contemplative prayer.  Though it looks and sounds like meditation (new age type) because it’s centered around a verse or the name of Jesus, it couldn’t possibly be bad, right?  (sarcasm)

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It’s been an odd 8 months.  We didn’t know anything about contemplative prayer, and the concerted effort by a diverse group of people to shift American (and possibly world) churches toward disciplines, missional focus, and contemplative/lectio divina and other forms of prayer.  Now that we know more, we still have more to learn.  People want to make distinctions between emerging, emergent, emergence etc.  Just read Christianity Today’s blog, and saw a video by Doug Paggitt talking about these words.  The blogger said this:

“In this video, Doug Pagitt explains the relationships between the terms emerging, Emergent, and “emergence.” It strikes me as trying to decide which layer of the Incredible Gobstopper is the actual Gobstopper. But you should decide for yourself.”

Link to the youtube…and blog here… (scroll down as the titles aren’t clickable…) It’ s the Sept.22 2008 entry

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/

I really like the gobstopper picture of it all.  Our church was maybe into layer three of the gobstopper.  The center is the focus on shift/missional (mission of god as defined by some team somewhere).  If your church has been shifting, then they are a part of this gobstopper.  I think it’s better to be in a church with Christ and the gospel as the center…with the focus on the Solas.  The layers are all part of it.  I don’ t know though if Christianity should be described as a layered thing, because it’s not like some secret society where you get higher and higher levels and deeper and deeper secret knowledge.  I think with Christianity either you are or you aren’t, either you believe or you don’t.  Anything beyond that is maturity.  But, for this emerge (merge with something out there) phemomenon, it’s a multilayered thing.  Your church may just be on the very outside, and can probably detatch pretty easily.  The closer to the center, the harder it is not to have been changed (have missional in you…be a part of it).  It’s harder to get out of the whole thing when you have been wrapped in layer upon layer of beliefs and requirements. 

As a person once on the inside of this, then on the outside, it’s an education to see what each layer is abou, and see the connectedness between them.  The outside layer appears to be the inspirational/feel good side.  You can read it and not really get hooked.  The next may be the seeker friendly movement.  Your church may do the 40 days of purpose, but not really change the whole church based upon it.  Small groups pop up, but really they are Bible studies and not just small groups.  Deeper in, your church really means 40 Days and you have small groups, Bible focus is shifted.  No Paggitt (who is he?) no Bell (what) and you still have pews or seats.  Next is the artsy thing, church is more into creativity and more and more pastors mention authors you’ve never heard of.  You have gone from popular/Christianity lite to a deeper “spirituality” with people talking about going on a journey or their story in God’s story, or God’s dream.  This is really where my church was.  We’d have preaching with Bible passages, but beyond that, the pastors used many theories of men to push a mindset about church, our mission (which someone defined for us out there), and what was valuable.  I think the youth in our church were actually on a different level.  At least one pastor was into Rob Bell and that stuff.  Youth were sent to a camp where they taught outright contemplative prayer, praying on a prayer rope, the Jesus prayer, and the like.  The leader of these camps has photos of kids in a pose where they are flat on their backs with feet and arms relaxed…eyes closed.  Supposed to have been a great moment of great closeness to God.  Okay.  We weren’t at that layer in our church, but our teens would have been exposed to it.  I believe the pastors deny our involvement with emergent or whatever it’s called, but our youth were involved.  Because it was an outside source, we weren’t a part of it.  Yeah, right.

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