Monday, June 12, 2006

Emergents and Holiness

I am posting an article by my ministry colleague, Rev. Kevin S. Johnson of The Institute for Christian Apologetics. He was spurred to write this after reading a related article by Rev. Ken Silva. Kevin's article is thought provoking and I am reproducing it here unedited.

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The Holiness Problem and "Emergents"

Holiness comes from the Hebrew root "Chodesh" which means to separate for a special or anointed purpose of God. Jesus called the Pharisees "children of the devil" and "children of this age," and His own people "children of light." Jesus used the term "Born Again" in reference to something essential for salvation. It seems that these biblical designations are not in favor with Emergents if they call for ANY separation from the world on the part of believers.

There is nothing more separating or holy in the life of a person than the separation that takes place when he or she is BORN AGAIN in an instant of time when they trust Jesus to come into their hearts. One is separated from his former destiny of condemnation that would lead to hell, he is separated from his old nature and is given a new nature and heart, he is also separated from the family of Satan known as the world system unto the family of God and finally he is separated from the rule of his old sin nature.

"Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?"—2Co 6:14


( ". . . wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;—Eph 2:2)

Holiness is important!

Diversity With A Slap On The Back

The Emergent leaders seem to be saying to the world; "Come as you are and we won't challenge you to be BORN AGAIN in a particular instant of time, we just hope you will gradually morph into a born again person." You don't notice Christians usually being called "Born Again" or "saved" by Emergent types because this shows a "Chodesh" or "Holiness" that is contrary to their desire to make people feel welcome to belong to their "tribe" or church. This is idolatry in that it is making unsaved people's "feelings" more important than the biblical urgency of confronting them with the gospel.

They will not address people from the pulpit as Christians or believers since it accentuates this glorious separation or holiness truth. For communion you won't hear them say "If you are a born again believer in Christ you may participate" or If you "know Jesus as your Lord and Savior" you may participate. Anything that allows for a holy separation is frowned upon and yet this holiness is essential biblically. For this reason I believe this dismissing of biblical language is a lie from the pit of hell and all shrewdly done in the name of compassionate outreach.

Truth and Certainty: Another Great Divide

These people seem to be very cagey in taking their sweet time in incrementally eroding true Biblical attitudes about absolute truth and the CERTAINTY that comes from God and God's word. Some talk out of both sides of their mouth in order to cover or obfuscate their true plans and/or nature. They snipe at those of us who do have the confidence in the ability of our God to be able to impart certainty into the soul of man at the new birth by name-calling and saying we are ARROGANT or worse!

"For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?" —1Corinthians 14:8

Ge 3:1* Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?

"Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"—1Peter 5:8

This hatred of certainty hearkens back to Satan's subtle insertion of doubt within Eve in the Garden (in Genesis chapter 3) when he said "Hath God said?". Since they feel that people in our apostate (they would prefer "postmodern") culture HATE certainty and knowledge we must equivocate and let our God given certainty be trashed and put aside because they don't have the faith to believe and receive it. There are those "who believe", those who don't but "pretend to", and those who "believe they believe" but really don't. We need to have our spiritual antenna up and be sensitive to ANY statements from others, especially in the pulpits (it can be mixed in with good or true statements), that would serve to undermine Biblical absolutes and the believers' ability, through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, to know the truth and to know the Bible's "Big Picture" or as they would say, its "metanarrative" with CERTAINTY. Be alert for your enemy the devil is still roaming about "seeking whom he may devour." Certainty about Who and what one believes creates confident Christians and THAT is something the devil really hates!

Rev. Kevin S. Johnson

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