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 The Emergent Church

In a thread I posted indicating that Rick Warren was invited to preach in North Korea, it morphed...degenerated into a screed on the precieved apostate nature of Messrs Warren. Then a poster by the moniker of "roaringlamb" posted a website DEDICATED solely to trashing.....I'm sorry dedicated to discernment on what is called the Emergent Church.

the Website posted by roaoring lamb is

While the website contains some valid concerns
about co-mingling with belial, this extensive website trashes some men (and women) who are doing the work of Christ in a post modern age.

One of them, that I'm particularly fond in the Spirit is Dan Kimball who founded the Vintage Faith Chiurch in Santa Cruz, where ironically the poster "roaringlambing" is from.

Allow me to quote some of what Vintage Faith is about:(by the way I am not with VF)

What makes this church unique and different?

Vintage Faith Church uses a philosophy of minstry that reflects the ancient roots of Christianity

[Vintage Faith Church uses a philosophy of minstry that reflects the ancient roots of Christianity

Christianity is not a modern man-made organized religion, but one that is organic, community-oriented and has historical roots going back to the very beginning of the Bible. We do not rely completely on modern and contemporary approaches to preaching, worship services and ministry methodology to shape what church is supposed to be. Rather, we have gone back into the New Testament and looked at church history to see what the vintage early-church was like, and are trying to translate that into a vision and design for a church for Santa Cruz in today's time and culture

rather than burn up bandwidth, allow me to post the URL for this page, so that the inevitable refutations can pour forth.

In the Spirit that resides in my soul I find nothing wrong with what is detailed on this page abbout Vintage Faith.

Now Dan Kimball has used a prayer labyrinth at VF, in the site that roaringlamb refrenced, a woman wrote a really ugly article, using her refutations in barckets to wrote Dan wrote:

again I just posted thr URL, so as not to burn bandwidth. But when I read Dan's article I sought out a labyrinth on the side of a mountain I know and had a precious time with Jesus.

I will send this post to the Dombrowski's( who spend so much time and energy trashing the "emergent church" and "contemplative spirituality".

Dave and Deborah, I am leery of the word "spirituality" as I am labels placed in front of the word "church", as opposed to the True Church which is the Body of Christ, but what precious moments I have had contemplating the Heart and Mind and Will of Jesus, in silence and in desolate places.

The Hebrew word midbar, which is part of a Title of a Book in Torah means desert, or desolate place, this is the place a believer must go at times to be alone to contemplate Yahweh, to refresh, what is wrong with this?

There is nothing wrong in contemplating God, letting Him search your heart and asking that you may search His.

I know you both consider yourself well meaning, but so did those pharisees you led the crowd in shouts of "Crucify him!"

You trash the ministries of many good men and women, whose desire is to only bring Jesus to a dying world. Why?

religion, thats why. Men crash planes into buildings because of religion, and people argue and fuss and trash each other over religion.

If a lost sinner hears the voice of Jesus say, "I love you, come back to me" in the middle of prayer labyrinth, is that the work of the enemy.

We are not unwise to his schemes, his schemes are to divide us, and lovingly I say to you, you are playing right into those schemes.

God will sift the apostates out, not you.


 2006/7/12 3:42

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re: The Emergent Church

Ok, so as I said in the other thread, a statement of faith means very little as to what is actually done in a group. There are many "cults" that have wonderful statements of faith, doctrinally perfect as a matter of fact, yet what they practise is absolutely wrong.
Since when is it ok to pray to icons? Why does the gospel need to change for a post-modern world? The problem is not with the gospel, but with the hearers and speakers of it. Also why is there so much focus on a sensual god, by this I mean seeing, feeling, touching etc.? No man has seen GOD, yet the emerging churches seem to try to change this.
I will be the first one to say that there are things that need to change in the church, but you cannot make up your own suppposedly "vintage faith" say it is new, and is good when it is nothing more than idolatry, and a slippery slope that ends in Rome.
About GOD sifting apostates out, I would like to ask you then why do the majority of the N.T. epistles exhort us to stay clear of false teaching, and the ones that espouse them. I'm not labelling anyone as apostate, but warning, just the same as if someone came to our fellowship and heard me teach or say something wrong, I would want them to correct me.
I'm sure that this is just the beginning of this discussion, and I hope we can be brotherly towards one another. ;-)

patrick heaviside

 2006/7/12 18:49Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


Bartle, I am putting this here to ask you about Brian Mclaren who I know is a favorite of many emerging folks. Let me know your take on this.
McLaren: Okay, well, let’s talk about that for a minute. First of all, you are—I remember when I met you, what struck me is your angst and pain over this issue of hell and eternal condemnation was not, was a reflection of your sensitive spirit. And I think anybody who would sit for five minutes and ponder the reality of hell as it’s commonly understood would either—I can say, lose their minds. I think if you actually faced it and what is really being said, I think you would—any person who faced it, really opened themselves up to it and the horror of it for five minutes would come out mentally damaged. And the result of that would either be that they, I think, would hate God—And I’ve met a lot of people who have this—the fundamentalists are right in their understanding of hell and so they, as a result, hate God. Or they become an atheist. They just say it’s better to not believe in God than to have to believe in that kind of God. Or they become a raving fundamentalist who’d be grabbing people on the street and shaking them and you know, saying you better repent. Do you understand what’s at stake? You know, what I’m saying?

One thing were would not be is this sort of easy believism that we see so common. And I think that’s one of the reason why a lot of people defend the doctrine of hell is because, on the positive side, they are worried about this kind of easy going, American Christianity that is somewhat nonchalant about people going to hell. They want to sort of rile people up one way or the other.

patrick heaviside

 2006/7/12 19:31Profile

 Re: roaringlamb

It is NOT okay to pray to icons, which are really idols, I have a Russian iconographic image of the Lord hanging in my bathroom, next to an illustrated page from 1796 of Jesus laying hands on the children and praying for them, with the acccompanying text from the Gospel of Luke.....both framed......above me a wonderful old big rendition of the Last Supper. Found it at a thrift store for $15, its beautiful, old frame, gold, probably hung in some Catholic ladies house for 50 years.

do I pray to it?


Do I hang it in an attempt to demonstarte my religousity to casual visitors?

I pray not.....I like looking at it, it makes me think of Jesus, and when I begin to think of Jesus, I begin to contemplate Him, and when I begin to contemplate Him, I begin to talk with Him and He with me......(He's telling me to go to the Prayer Furnace now and be with the saints)

if I took a class into a creek, and told them to sit down in it, reach for a rock, pick it up and enclose the rock in their hands and think about that God made that rock, just the same as He made you, as He made the water that flows about you.... is that praying to a rock or teaching?

Religiousity and dead dry forms are killing the church (didnt say Church, I said church) Emergent speaks to a generation that hungers for Jesus, Emergent desires to move back to the Glory days of the church at Antioch in the 1st and 2nd century....moving back to move forward.

In that day, those that went forth from Antioch were viewed as very strange people....they listened to a very different Voice, and when you are in tune with the Holy Spirit, you might do strange things, like strip naked, or bury linens, or go back into a hatefilled crowd after you been beat half to death, or sing hymns at midnight while your arms and legs are shackled and your back ooozes blood and pus.

Emergent is moving back to move Paul said , "If I'm out of my mind........."

I'll let you fill in the blanks.

I like dan Kimball, I like what he has to say, same with Doug Padgitt, and Earwin MacManus.

Bro, I'm a post modern artist who was saved by the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, do you think I'm gonna admire Ralph Reed or Benny Hinn? lol

much love to you, bartle

 2006/7/12 19:37

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


See, I don't have a problem with the images of Christ so much as I do praying to them, or even using them to help prayer. That is much like the Hindus, who do not have the witness of GOD within because they unfortunately do not worship the True GOD.
The Holy Sprit will guide our prayers, and HE will bear witness of Christ. I did like your allusion to the rock, as nature is a wonderful way to begin to speak of GOD and HIS glory, and I think we would both agree that if one held to that rock as god there would be some concern.
Again, I wholeheartedly believe that the Church needs to re-visit the Book of Acts, but I have a different take on it. I see that they didn't really have time for alot of the things done "in church" as they were out proclaimming the risen Lord, repentace, and faith in HIM. There was no need to prayer walk, to pray to/with statues as statues at that time belonged the pagan worshippers such as Diana of Ephesus, which eventually was adopted by the church of Ephesus to be worshipped in 431 AD. So yes I am all for a return to the old paths, but not the ones that resemble Rome or even Orthodox Christianity.

patrick heaviside

 2006/7/12 20:07Profile

 Re: Rome is Bad

Yes...most definitely, but God is adventure and God is mystery, God is love and God is Father.

What has happened is that "church" has become, to many, a stale dead exercise, a work, if you will. Youth today, in this empire that we've become, view the Church (when I capital C it, I mean the Body of Christ) as something irrelevant.

What some, not all, in the Emergent church movement are attempting to do, is to make God revelant and neccesary, by that saying that a walk of faith in Jesus Christ IS an adventure.

Going extreme downhill skiing might be adventerous, but having the faith to preach Christ down the length of the ancient Silk Road thru China, Uzbekistan and Turkemenistan is an adventure that will bring you eternal rewards, such an adventure that you might never return from it........

or such adventure might be to get with 10 other Spirit filled followers of Jesus, rehab an old building in some gnarly nasty ghettto, live together and show a downtrodden neighborhood the hope that lies in the Body of Christ.....

do you see what I'm trying to say?

The Emergent church is a new wineskin, but at its heart is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

What you'll notice is, the ones who slam on it, are those that have the most to lose if the old paradigm is smashed.

The preachers and apologists for the political religious right in America hate the Emergent movement, but praise God the religious right is steadily being exposed as the imperial fleshlings they always been....Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, karl Rove, Dr Frist, D James Kennedy, James Dobson. I'm sorry if I offend you with that list, when I listen to these men and consider their fruit, I do not see Jesus, nor do I wish fellowship with them. They are old and withered and their day is coming nigh.

But please allow me to say this: we are at war, and my heart grieves. We are at war with radical islamists who desire to destroy our country. At first I thought Iraq was folly.

not anymore.

Iraq is the staging ground for the war against Iran. The mullahs in Iran, those who fund the terrorists who seek to destroy us must be stopped.

What does that have to do with the Emergent movement? Nothing.

War is sin, except a just war, that in which we must defend ourselves. Many in the Church will resist this reality.

dark days lay ahead, that is why I pray that North Korea be resolved peacefully in a Jesus revolution. I have no such hope for Iran.

Iran must and will be stopped, our very survival depends on it.

Forgive me for getting heavy, foresight can be an onerous burden.


 2006/7/12 23:24

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


I see that this is a response to the decline of Biblical Christianity, but as with many things one must not throw the baby out with the bathwater, nor should anyone drink said bathwater either.
I would agree that we need to be about our Father's business, and this is preaching the forgiveness of sins in the name of Christ. I just don't understand the other practises within this movement.
My wife and I have recently come out of a very abusive church in which we were deeply involved, and at the core of issues was that we began to question some things that were not Biblical, and were pretty much told to play nice or don't play at all. It is around this time also that I began to research the Emerging Church because I could see that things needed to change.
I think that if you dig deep enough bro you'll find that the occupation of Iraq has some very evil intentions behind it. I am grieved that I fell for the Bush propaganda in 2004, and as such many innocent service people, and Iraqis have perished.
I am glad now that you and I can have this discussion, as it helps me to understand the motive behind the emerging movement.
Blessings to you :-D

patrick heaviside

 2006/7/13 0:05Profile

Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1774
Hemel Hempstead



Yes...most definitely, but God is adventure and God is mystery, God is love and God is Father.

What has happened is that "church" has become, to many, a stale dead exercise, a work, if you will. Youth today, in this empire that we've become, view the Church (when I capital C it, I mean the Body of Christ) as something irrelevant.

What some, not all, in the Emergent church movement are attempting to do, is to make God revelant and neccesary, by that saying that a walk of faith in Jesus Christ IS an adventure.

1Jo 2:15 - Show Context
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him

The world has always been of limits to a christian
to me trying to make christianity more relevant to the non christian is impossible

Joh 3:19 - Show Context
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The King James Version (Authorized)
- Study This Chapter

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared F1 to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience F2 to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with F3 my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with F4 you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among F5 you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; F6 for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so F7 that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain F8 God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Men does not want to know god that is why he hides away from him , you are not going to make the gospel more relevant to him because he hates it in the first place because he would have to repent of his deeds. Like I have to when I come face to face with god.

Joh 5:39 - Show Context
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Joh 6:68 - Show Context
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Jesus is eternal and if you think Jesus is boring and his church you are going to the wrong church.
Most youth today are desperatly broken and they do not need some message take Jesse Moriel.The Youth today need Jesus!!!
I love Jesus because he is the only person who can sort me out

Dominic Shiells

 2006/7/13 10:20Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: God works through the outlandish?

Hi, Guys, I guess I’m really sticking my foot in here. I am no expert on all these various organizations and philosophies, so have nothing to add about them. However, as I read though this thread and the Korea thread, a few thoughts swirled in my mind. I share, based on a variety of personal experiences. You’ll eventually see where I’m going….

One day, some years ago, I found myself alone in a RC church facing a life-size true-to-color crucifix. I had no idea what was to happen. The Spirit awoke in me a reality of the cross that had never been part of my experience. I was deeply broken as I gazed on my beloved Savior – via a replica. I wept. For years I had become desensitized by seeing polished crosses all the time. I needed the shock value of the “real thing”.

On another occasion the Lord brought deep conviction through some secular music. Again, it had a shock-value, much needed because I had become slightly desensitized to scriptures that were meant to say the same thing that God spoke to me through the songs.

One time the Lord took me into the Red Light District in Amsterdam and spoke a powerful, life-changing message to me. (It’s on my site) I needed the shock-value of the unusual experience.

Another time God led me to a healing and deliverance organization and there I was healed of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The organization was not altogether what I would call “orthodox”.

I could add many more examples, and so could you.

I have learned that God is not opposed to using, quite deliberately, organizations and individuals who are quite “of the wall” as far as pure orthodoxy. Who are we to get in the way? There is the risk that God doesn’t seem to be afraid to take: When one has a powerful spiritual experience, it is tempting to go back and stay put. Who doesn’t want to relive what happened in their past? However that’s when one can get hooked to that group, and to the voice of its leaders. One must move on with God, and put their trust in HIM, not man.

Sadly many don’t wish to move on with God. There will always be many who prefer to attach themselves to man-made organizations where they have been blessed. I know some Mormons and JW’s who are there for that very reason. .. Oh, by the way, I forgot to include examples of how God used people from those two groups to speak to me.

Now I’m sure you will consider me a heretic if I say that God even used Scott Peck and Henry Nouwin to get through my mental callouses. These people, though, they may be off, have an amazing way of seeing right through our religious hypocrisy, and in some ways they think more Christ-like than many Christians.

So, to merely fine-tooth-comb all the defects will wear us out. I feel sorry for the dear lady who combed through the Dan’s… article and inserted her own (unrelated) comments. As far as I am concerned, she was chasing the wind. Her eyes were on man, not her Lord.

And that is where we must look too. As much as we like playing hockey with theological pucks, there comes the time when we realize that we will never win. So we put the equipment on a shelf and look to our blessed Lord, and trust that he works in the most outlandish ways.



 2006/7/13 13:07Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


One day, some years ago, I found myself alone in a RC church facing a life-size true-to-color crucifix. I had no idea what was to happen. The Spirit awoke in me a reality of the cross that had never been part of my experience. I was deeply broken as I gazed on my beloved Savior – via a replica. I wept. For years I had become desensitized by seeing polished crosses all the time. I needed the shock value of the “real thing”.

I know the experience. What you're talking about goes along the same lines as watching a Passion drama, or some other form of external stimulus. Humans are visual. Images, touch and smells can evoke very strong feelings. I remember, a few years back, coming across an old Catholic illustrated children's Bible. On the cover was Jesus sitting on a bench, surrounded by children of all different races. He was lovingly smiling, and a small child was on one of his knees. While I was looking at it, I was suddenly swept by a wave of unspeakable knowledge of his love for me despite my failures. I fell to my knees and wept full tears. It was something about the simplicity of the picture, it hit me all at once, it just pricked something that needed to be pricked.

As quickly as it came it was gone. I've looked at the picture since that day...and it doesn't "work" anymore. It was something that needed to happen at the moment, a one-time-deal, and then it was gone. I didn't gain a deep, lasting revelation from it. It was just a mysterious yet gracious reminder to me of God's agape love for the souls of men.

Paul Frederick West

 2006/7/13 14:08Profile

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