The Sin of Seeker Sensitivity and the Emerging Church

A Pandering to Post Modernism

 

Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. Why gaddest [go to and fro] thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them. Jeremiah 2:33-37 – Definition mine

 The above passage of scripture speaks both of ancient Israel’s sinful desire to seek popularity and consensus in the eyes of a pagan, God hating world, and the present day Seeker Sensitive / Emerging Church movement’s collective obsession with the same. In the Father’s economy pandering to the culture is SIN; no matter how lyrically contrary do wax the silver tongued spin merchants. Initially, such sinful diversions are the machinations of (perhaps well intentioned) men and women seeking to subvert the work of the Holy Spirits’ leading people to salvation in Christ. Intermediately it sees the inevitable watering down of the Word of God until it is no longer the Word of God. And ultimately it will be revealed as yet another seducing Satanic strategy which will effect the damnation of millions of souls to a Christless eternity, believing they have been redeemed when in fact they have not. Seeker sensitivity in all its haughty hue is more of the politically correct effluent to have spewed out of the stink tanks of modernism; what is to follow in its post modern love child will be a precursor to Satan’s end time whore – let me explain…

 From the time of Nimrod and Babylon until around the 1800’s was a period known as Pre Modernism. This was a period where the prevailing thought insisted that there was true and divine knowledge but such knowledge could only be found in God. Because Pre Modernism, like it’s Modernist and Post Modernist counterparts is humanistic thought, this ‘god’ was anything the adherent imagined it to be… Zeus, Apollo, Yahweh, a tree, a river, the Sun, moon and stars, nature and so on.

 Modernism sought to do away with all of that ‘superstitious nonsense’ by insisting that true knowledge could be found in human reason so it turned to science as its saviour and celebrated the human intellect. Modernism gave birth to the Satanic vurp1 known as ‘humanism’ which has singularly wrought more death and destruction on this planet than arguably any other worldview. Fanatical despots rose to power using humanist philosophy as their justification and shamelessly extinguished any detractors. Humanism imagined the justification of evolutionism, racism, genocide, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, the deposing of God Himself and all manner of evil under the banner of human reason.

 Then came Post Modernism; observing that its predecessor had not delivered the peace and tranquillity it had promised, post modernism reasoned that there is perhaps truth but if so it must either be unknowable or relative and not absolute. Therefore humanity must learn to diversify and be tolerant of differing beliefs - except of course those beliefs which are not conducive to the greater good, that being the peace and harmony of humanity. The absolute idiocy of lesbian driven political correctness emerged in this pathetic era as did what is known as the Seeker Sensitive movement, along with it’s more liberal daughter the Emerging Church Movement which also claim by their behaviour that truth is relative and not absolute. Both reason that all humanity can find the truth in diversity, communion and compromise. Both reason that only by embracing ‘similarities’ and combining them in harmony and unity while ignoring those things which ‘divide’ will peace be achieved by mankind on earth. The glaring absurdity of this kind of thinking should be obvious, peace in diversity can only be achieved when truth is sacrificed on the altar of human unity. With the event of more females in church leadership this situation can and will only get worse.

 So in each case the absolute truth of the Scriptures is relegated to the scrapheap as mankind seeks to be ‘god’ deciding for themselves what is right and wrong. Here we are back to Eden with man following the woman’s deception unto destruction. Of course the Seeker Sensitive camp will baulk at the suggestion that there is not an absolute truth, that harmony may be found in diversity and that compromise can achieve peace, all the while dismantling the crosses behind their plastic lecterns, changing the word ‘church’ to ‘community centre’, ‘sharing’ from the best selling books of ‘Christian’ authors rather from the Word of God, employing psychological manipulation techniques and worldly methodology over sound doctrine and the leading of the Holy Spirit, referring to a sinner as a ‘seeker’, defining sin as merely ‘falling short of one’s potential in God’, not mentioning at all mankind’s utterly corrupt nature, the need for repentance or the reality of eternal damnation because of its unpopularity, referring to a church leader as a ‘facilitator’ or a ‘visionary’ and so on. Their hypocrisy is glaring. If all of this is not post modernism I‘m Forest Gump.

 So the asinine ideology that brought about the Seeker Sensitive model has itself reproduced an even more mutant variant of the lie, one which is known as the Emerging Church Movement, and it is upon this beast I wish to focus in this report. The Apostle Paul commanded that women were to have no authority over men in the church nor were they ever permitted to teach in the same. He wrote such, divinely inspired of the Holy Spirit for a reason, and to explain that reason he pointed not to the cultural prejudices of his day, but back to Eden where the woman NOT the man was deceived and led humanity into perpetual sin. Women, according to Paul are much more susceptible to spiritual deception than are men hence his forbidding them to give spiritual guidance to men. Sadly it appears that such a truth is only obvious to those who are saved. As the world becomes more and more effeminate following the piper to the pit, the terminally compromised ‘seeker’ and ‘emerging’ church aimlessly bumble along behind the slumbering throng to its own destruction, all the while believing it is in God’s Will, how utterly tragic!

 How did the church wander so far from the truth? By not being obedient to it that’s how. The lunatic belief that converts could be ‘won’ if the church was somehow more ‘relative’ to them and their ‘needs’ is biblically indefensible. They sought to remove the offence of the Cross to attract more members and as a result ended up ‘sharing’ another Gospel and another Christ. This so called Church has embraced modernist and post modernist thought whether it chooses to admit so or not. It’s compromise and cowardice has seen it throw open its doors to the goats which now swell its ranks. No longer does it feed the sheep instructing them in the ways of holiness and obedience to the Lord for it is preoccupied with entertaining the goats. Sheep don’t eat goat meal, that is why the sheep are leaving and the churches are growing. They have fallen for everything because they chose to stand for nothing. They have altogether gone astray.

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…” John 10:27

 

Common sense concludes that those who do not belong to Him neither hear Him nor follow after Him does it not? Please bear that in mind as we continue…

Essentially, following the precedent set by its mother the Seeker Sensitive movement, the Emerging Church is attractive to the lost largely because it doesn’t espouse any absolutes, it doesn’t make any binding demands and allows its followers absolute freedom of expression - to be whoever and whatever they want to be, free from any guilt or constraint. It is a movement in compromised transition, an apparently disorganised groundswell morphing from one biblically hideous identity into another. Not restricted by the Scriptures, it busies itself with reinventing and redefining them according to the ‘new revelations’ its practitioners claim to receive. The Emerging Church movement has exchanged the absolute knowledge of an absolute God and his absolute laws and decrees for ethereal mysticism. It claims that the bible is essentially unknowable which gives rise to the thought that there are therefore no absolutes. It follows then that because there are no absolutes in this system all truth is therefore relative, after which follows the reason that no-one can be incorrect in any supposed new revelation. Emerging Church practitioners actually consider themselves ‘humble’ in the proclamation that because Biblical truth is ‘unknowable’ and that there are no absolutes within, it would therefore be prideful to insist otherwise. The truth is however that this ideology, as with every other of Satan’s methods, is an attack on the credibility and clarity of Scripture. Even the most undiscerning reader should be able to identify the daisy chain of delusion in this system.

 In Modernism the human mind supersedes God. In post modernism mysticism supersedes God. It has at its foundation a rebellious unwillingness to accept the clear teachings of Scripture in all matters especially those which bring it into conflict with historical church doctrine or worldly thought and philosophy. But why would Christians engage is such an obvious error? Who says they are Christians?

 “… And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God”. John 3:19-21

 The Seeker Sensitive movement has passed on the baton and the Emerging Church movement is running the course for all it’s worth. Commenting on this issue Pastor John MacArthur says…

 “I am convinced that the reason why they [the liberal Emerging church proponents] deny the absolute truth of the Scripture is not because it can’t be understood, not because it is unclear, but because they don’t like what it clearly says.” 2

 “The issue is not that Scripture is not clear, it is crystal clear. One of the big issues is homosexuality in the Emerging Church. They don’t want to take a position on homosexuality. The bible is not vague, or obscure, or oblique about homosexuality – it couldn’t BE more clear… A homosexual will not inherit the Kingdom of God, that’s pretty clear. Homosexuality in Romans chapter one is a perversion that is manifestly, when it happens in a culture, begins to dominate a culture and evidence of divine wrath and divine judgement. So the bible is clear, [but] they don’t want that clear, they want to run from the light. Scripture is LIGHT, it is not darkness. But they like the darkness because their deeds are evil. So I think the motive behind this whole Emerging Church thing, whether it’s a conscious or unconscious motive, is discomfort over what the bible really says, whether it’s about the Gospel or whether it’s about sin or virtue; they don’t like it and so the out is “Well… it’s not clear” This is just another way to set the bible aside.”

 Of course by virtue of its terminal compromise first exhibited by its seeker sensitive mother and her pandering to the needs of the sin laden ‘seeker’, the emerging daughter is an indistinguishable mirror of the very culture is seeks to reach. Like its mother and because of its incessant drive to ‘relate’ to the culture it has BECOME the very culture… a veritable den of jackals – a lukewarm body of fluid destined to be spewed from the mouth of the Saviour.  Lest we forget that ALL human culture is ungodly. All of its thinking, philosophy, reasoning and behaviour is enmity with the Holy God. What the Emerging Church movement (like its seeker sensitive mother) does is sanctify the culture as if it were somehow legitimate. It says… “If we’re gonna reach these people we’ve gotta become like these people, we have to appeal to them, give them what they want.” And they have certainly achieved their aim. In their quest to relate to the world they have BECOME the world. This errant behaviour has no basis in Scripture. There is no suggestion anywhere in the Word of God where believers are instructed to appeal or adapt to any kind of culture, find any kind of consensus or dialogue with a fallen world in order to ‘reach the lost’, and yet that does not deter the wolves from their mission.

 John MacArthur again….

 “The bible does not change, it is not a chameleon. It does not shift and adapt to culture. It confronts culture. It confronts an aboriginal culture, it confronts an ancient culture, it confronts a modern culture, it confronts every trend with fixed, unchanging truth in every situation. And the emerging church not only is unwilling to believe the clear statement of Scripture but it’s unwilling to take the clear statement of Scripture and confront the culture. It wants to let the culture define what Christianity should be.”  3

 Those who would pander to the culture or find consensus with a fallen world are spineless cowards and not true children of the living God. There are only two world views folks… One belongs to God and His children and the other belongs to Satan and his children, there is NO consensus between the two. They are in absolute opposition to one another, there is NO middle ground. The idea that Christianity must somehow reinvent or repackage itself in order to appeal to the ‘seeking’ lost is not only foundationally wrong it is in all actuality a doctrine of demons. Scripture is emphatically clear on this point…

 “…Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

 How hard is that to understand? Again I remind you of John 10:27…

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…”

 Notice whom 2Co 6:14 identifies as unbelievers… it speaks of those who would compromise, negotiate, do deals, find fellowship and consensus with a fallen world. It speaks of professing believers who have been led astray by deception and not just those who claim no faith in Christ. And because of their cowardly compromise what is the only remedy for the true believer? Verse 17 … “Therefore come out and be separate”. There is no ambiguity about it, the command is clear. If you the reader are fellowshipping with such people you are walking in disobedience according to the Scriptures.

 As mentioned previously, the emerging church movement, as with other charismatic fads, is based on the foolish philosophy of giving people what they want in order to entice them into the “Christian” fold. It is a philosophy based on worldly marketing techniques, not on the Scriptures nor the leading of the Holy Spirit. Its flaw (among others) is that as ‘seeker’s’ wants change according to cultural demands so must the church under this model (in declination) stoop in compromise to meet those needs, inevitably becoming more and more carnal. In this debauched system relevancy means embracing the cultural trend of the time whatever that may be. When Bill Hybel’s seeker sensitive philosophy first raised its ugly head, feminism was the great obstacle; so how did Hybels address this problem? Confront it with the inerrant word of God and put feminism in its place? Oh no… faithful to the emergent creed, feminism was embraced not renounced and thus saw the unbiblical proliferation of female preachers in charismatic ‘churches’. The next wave is the perverted bedfellow of feminism: homosexuality and rather than confront it with the unmoveable, unchanging Word of God, the emergent movement will excuse it and embrace it with a view to evangelism. In other words, whatever the next trendy sin in the culture will be the emergent seeker sensitive movement will buy into rather than confront it believing it is somehow honouring God. They are truly trimming their ways seeking love as our opening Scripture so clearly prophesied. Again, this philosophy of conciliation arising to compromise with the culture is categorically, biblically indefensible.

 So how does one recognise a seeker sensitive / emergent church? Here are some clear identifiers…

 1.    An emphasis on appealing to the flesh by adopting worldly trends, styles, language, music, art, logic, appetites and the like.

2.    Shallow exposition and extrapolation of the Scriptures focussing instead on success and self esteem principals using pop psychology and worldly growth / mentoring ideologies and principals.

3.    No clear delineation or defence of biblical commands regarding morality when addressing detractors of the Christian faith.

4.    Complete avoidance of any kind of controversy relating to Scriptural absolutes especially when confronting cultural aberrance.

5.    An embracing of all things ‘positive’ and a rejection of criticism and all things ‘negative’.

6.    Ambiguous definitions of clear biblical terms and meanings such as Sin, Repentance, Hell, Sanctification, Redemption, The fallen nature of man, consequence of living for the flesh etc.

7.    A preoccupation with numerical growth, bigger and better everything, acquiring wealth, prosperity, healing, success and station in this life “for the Kingdom’s sake” of course.

8.    Unashamed embracing and or utilisation of pagan / anti Christian rituals in the name of ‘evangelism’.

9.    Rampant use of out of context Scripture to justify false teaching and doctrine.

10.  The downplaying of historical doctrine and the elevation of relevance to the culture’s ‘needs’.

 All of the above points are symptomatic of a dead or dying church no matter how vibrant or vivacious it may outwardly appear. That statement will either make one really angry or really frightened depending on which kingdom they happen to belong.

 One of the greatest, if not THE greatest danger of both modernism and post modernism (which the seeker sensitive /emerging church has embraced) is the ‘revisionist’ heart of both. Historical truth is pulled down and reconstructed in order to accommodate the cultural taste of the day which finds distain in the unpalatable. “Truth then becomes subservient to the agenda of ennobling the disenfranchised masses who have been subsumed under the dominant European white, Christian male culture, and so in order to release these poor ‘oppressed’ women and minorities, the truth has to be reinvented because the liberation of these abused people is more important than the facts, especially since we may not have the ‘facts’ to begin with”. 4 It is this imbecilic mentality which is being applied to the Scriptures within the emerging church movement and, it would appear, tolerated by the undiscerning.

 There can be no doubt that the Seeker Sensitive movement with its de-emphasis on Scripture and doctrine has laid the foundation for disaster, for now comes the emerging church movement questioning and doubting everything pertaining to historical and biblical Christianity, relying rather on a feelings based foundation upon which to take its quivering stand. These are those whose rickety shanties have been haplessly erected on the ‘surety’ of shifting sand. These are those children who are tossed too and fro carried about by every changing wind of doctrine. These are those unstable and without root.

 A Reckless Progression of Error

 The emergent church fiasco can be traced back to scripture refuting Harry Emerson Fosdick – a liberal 1920’s American Presbyterian ‘minister’ who opposed the fundamental tenants of the Scriptures and whose left wing views gave rise to the concept of moral relativism. Mr. body language and positive thinking high priest Norman Vincent Peale furthered Fosdick’s ‘progressive’ views. 33rd degree mason and neo orthodox Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral infamy picked up on Peale’s popular pontifications and crafted them into his own twisted philosophy redefining worldly principals into biblical terms. Schuller’s “give the people what they want” philosophy was embraced by disciple Bill Hybels who utilised Schuller’s processes to design his seeker sensitive model through methodology. Rick Warren then took the batten from Hybels using his stratagems to formulate his purpose driven paradigm, and following after Warren is an endless nest of self esteem, marketing guru wannabes leading the church away from the truth and into perdition.  The common thread through all of these unbiblical precepts and processes is the downplaying or complete ignorance of Scripture, theology and doctrine. As stated above such are symptoms of a dead or dying church no matter how vibrant or vivacious it may outwardly appear.

 So in closing it is our contention that the Emerging Church movement has nothing to do with God, nothing to do with the Scriptures, nothing to do with true Christianity and nothing to do with the truth. Because of these heartfelt contentions supported by Scripture we maintain that the leaders and teachers within this movement, along with those which preceded it in the seeker sensitive model are deceivers and wolves. Should there be any true believers within either movement their hearts are surely being stirred as to their collective error; and if they belong to Christ, our fervent prayer is that they will be obedient to the Scriptural command to come out from among the unbelieving and be separate.

 

In His Everlasting Embrace

 

Tony Dean

Moriah Ministries Australia

© 2008

 

END NOTES

1.     vurp” – Acronym: Vomit Burp

2.     John MacArthur – “What’s So Dangerous About the Emerging Church” – Message GTY107, 2006

3.     Ibid.

4.     Ibid.

5.     Ibid.

 

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