As some of my recent posts have expressed, I sometimes feel tremendously frustrated with my home church. Some folks I have spoken to have suggested that I just pick up and leave. Well, I would love to, and I am still in prayer about it, but it’s difficult to leave. I am an A/V tech at my church, and in all honesty, I love my job and I love the community of people and friends who have been a part of my walk. I get to serve the pastors, the worship team, and the church leaders in a way that is very humbling.
But as I near my sixth spiritual birthday since I was born again, I have been more and more convinced that something is not right. What I was learning through the bible, does not fully line up with what was being taught in my church. And in many ways, no church is going to get it perfect. I get that. I’m not saying I know a better way to do church, or I know somehow exclusively the “right” way to do it. Nevertheless, I knew something was off. It began last year when I was an AV tech for a large church leaders event that was hosted at my church.
This event is one of the biggest events for young church leaders. There is one that happens on the east coast, and one that happens in the west coast, which happens to be hosted by my church. As an AV, I was responsible for the break out rooms where different leaders were able to talk about a particular topic which they were experts in. Mine happened to be on contemplative prayer.
As I sat in my booth watching this couple speak about contemplative prayer, two things struck me as odd. First was that they were teaching us to clear our minds with deep breathing. Now as someone who grew up in a non-practicing Buddhist home with a personal interest in Zen as a young man, I immediately thought this was odd. The second thing was that they claimed that this was what the early church fathers taught as being the best way to pray to God.
Needless to say, I was confused and quite frankly in a bit of shock. I was in that stage of really understanding what the whole new age movement was about and how channeling and spiritual experiences may not be from God, but from false spirits and demons. So to have these people talking about something that sounded much like eastern mysticism was very frightening. But there was one thing they kept repeating, like a mantra (pun intended). They kept saying that “Contemplative prayer is not mysticism…contemplative prayer is not mysticism…it’s a different way to pray to God and communicate with God.”
So as you can imagine, I wasn’t sure what to make of all of this. But like most things, I let it go and wasn’t too concerned about it. But just recently, my memories of this event were stirred. It came when I watched a film by Elliot Nesch called The Real Roots of the Emergent Church.
Because I am a fairly young Christian, I haven’t been around church culture long enough to see changes or even phases or styles of church. All I know is that when my buddy Robbie is converting old worship service tapes to digital, the worship services from 2006 look like they’re from 1986! But Elliot with this film really helped me understand what was going on.
Here is the description of the film:
“This Christian documentary film The Real Roots of the Emergent Church will take an honest look at the leaders of the Emerging Church movement such as Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Rob Bell, Tony Campolo, Steve Chalke, Peter Rollins, Dan Kimball, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Spencer Burke and others. Who are they and what are they teaching? Become familiar with the postmodern Emergent Church and its popular tactic of literary deconstruction applied to the Bible. This film takes an in-depth look at what the Emerging Church believes concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, absolute truth, hell, homosexuality, mysticism, contemplative prayer, other religions, and eschatology in comparison to the Bible. Much more than candles and couches!
Subjects of this film were contacted for direct interviews. Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones and others were contacted in April 2011. No response. At a Love Wins book signing, Rob told us he would be willing to do an interview and to contact his church which was done several times with no response. We do not fault them for that knowing they are all probably very busy people. But for this reason we have resorted to their own public statements. This film is our way of joining the conversation.”
Comments on the Film
I think Elliot and his team did a great job on the film. It’s precise, honest, and grounded. It really does expose much of what the emergent movement is all about and why it is essentially heretical to biblical doctrine. It cleared up my concerns about contemplative prayer, and also went into the topic of heaven and hell which was such a big topic last summer after Rob Bells, Love Wins was published.
There were moments in the film when I was moved to tears. These were not tears of joy, but rather great sadness. While listening to Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt talk about their views, I began to think about how many people in the church were being swayed to think in this post-modern, deconstructionist paradigm. It made me sad because I realized there are plenty of pastors and people at my church who would and do buy what these fellows are promoting. It reminded me of a verse from Jude 1:16 where it states, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.” There are other verses that describe what the emergent church is all about.
The bottom line that I got out of the film was this: The emergent church is the resurrection of Christian mysticism. Mysticism has its roots in other forms of spiritual mysticism, which line up with the new age movement, which itself lines up with theosophical philosophies, pagan worship, and ultimately Satanism. One way to attack an enemy is to infiltrate. I believe the emergent church is the modern infiltration of Satan into the institutional establishments of Christianity in the west. Not only that, I believe these are the first steps into establishing what bible prophecy tell us is the One World Religion of the end times.
I recommend anyone with a least bit of concern for the body of Christ to watch this film. It is the best film done on the topic and something that probably won’t be too popular, but will expose the deception being practiced by these alleged “Christian leaders.”
Great Job Elliot Nesch and the entire team behind this film! Make sure to support them over at holybibleprophesy.org