Pastor Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church Seattle, addressed the students/pastors at the Convergent Conference of the Southeastern Baptist Convention in September 2007, regarding the Emergent church. For quite some time now I have been wary of the Emergent church for more reasons than one. I have friends who would read and listen to a lot of what guys like Rob Bell and Brian McClaren have to say, so I’ve been well exposed to their teaching and beliefs. Needless to say I am astonished that so many professing Christians seem to be taking their false philosophies and doctrines on board. It appears that the Emergent movement draws most of its followers from the disillusioned 20-30something Christian group, who more often than not have a major chip on their shoulder about some failure of the church or who feel the need to put social change over and above the gospel.
The pastors that seem to be flocking to it are those who are, to coin an old schoolyard term, trying to act their shoesize rather than their age. You know, the guys who are 35-55ish who are trying so desperately hard to be hip’ and cool, even though they are waaaaayyyyy not cool in their attempts TO BE cool. They wear the most awful leather jackets, the kind that went out of fashion after Grease finished in the movies, and they use Brylcreem to try and style their thinning/balding hair. You know the kind I mean? We have all come across them. Instead these guys should leave the being “cool” to guys like Mark Driscoll, who actually are cool. Of course its not about being cool. But if anyone is going to be “relevant” to the new generation it is those who were born into that generation.
One of my old Pastors once told me when I informed him of my sensing the call to ministry that God has given me a personality that is unique to me and that the great thing about ministry is that he will use me “as me”. I am the way I am because that’s the way God made me, and my personality in the ministry will be unique to me and me alone. We are not called to try and be like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, John Macarthur or dare I say even Brian McClaren- in fact i’m confident God DEFINITELY doesn’t call a man to a teaching ministry to be lik McClaren because he teaches contrary to the Word of God. We are called to be ourselves and we are called to faithfully preach Christ from all of Scripture. We are called to labour for the sake of Christ’s glory, to saves souls from the clutches of Satan and to defend and contend for the truths of God as revealed in Scripture. To be quite frank, I give a wholehearted “AMEN” to Mark Driscolls statement that,
“When God speaks it’s not our job to converse about what he said. It’s our job to obey”.
With this remark Driscoll sheds light on what the Emergent movement truly is; a distortion of the truth that has strayed away from the biblical gospel and submission to the Word of God, thus meaning they have strayed from God himself and they are engaging with Satan as Eve did in Genesis 3 when he said “Did God really say……..?” Think about this one. What “conversations” are they having- “Did Jesus’ death on the cross really atone for our sins or was it to liberate the whole world from social injustice?” (“cosmic child abuse” Chalke + McClaren- to which McClaren says that Chalkes message could save Jesus from Christianity). “Is homosexuality/heterosexual sex outside of marriage really wrong? Maybe it’s time we start to explore new ways of being sexual” (Pagitt) and on and on I could go. I’ll leave out some of Bell’s beliefs for now; that’s for another time. Again let me remind you; Satan conversed with Eve in the garden by questioning God’s word and casting doubt in Eve’s mind. The Emergent movement claim to be having such a “conversation” (although they don’t recognise the serpent’s subtlety within it). One friend called me “narrow-minded” recently for confessing my allegiance to the reformational truths of Sola Scriptura and Prima Scriptura and he said it in such a way that it seemed my belief was alien and unchristian!
Let me close with a Don Carson quote that Driscoll gives in his talk. Tinged with Pastoral sincerity Carson firmly contends,
“both forcefully and as kindly as I can, if words mean anything, then both McClaren and Chalke have largely abandoned the gospel”. So there we have it. Please, please, please listen to this critque of the Emergent Church, whether you like Driscoll or hate him. Lay down your legalistic gloves or your liberal shotgun for a second and take on board what Driscoll says.
Listen to the audio here at the Resurgence