Feeling alienated from Church? If so, you are NOT alone!
Divorced FROM Church?
By Eric Barger
Repulsed by Emergent thinking, liberal theology, endorsements of the book "The Shack," or the Purpose Driven and "Seeker" philosophies, many authentic believers are being confronted with one of the most unsettling situations a Christian will ever be confronted with. Since alarming numbers of once-trustworthy pulpits and leaders are trumpeting varieties of Emergent and other heresies, what is the dedicated Bible-believer to do? Should we stay or must we go? While God may call some to try to warn others and to initiate a return to orthodoxy within their local churches, many are faced with either accepting or putting up with error or with leaving.
A recurring painful theme I read in many emails each month is the plight of so many brothers and sisters who've been treated as theological outcasts due to their continued stand for God's truths. Often, the letters start out by saying "We've been members of the "so and so" church for 40 years but now we just stay home."
The fact is many saints have been disfellowshipped without a hearing and have been disenfranchised for simply believing the Bible. The crux of the issue is that the same sort of destruction that came upon the older "mainline" denominations 100-150 years ago is now being revisited on the Evangelicals of our day. It is literally Satan's redo of deceit as once-sound, Bible-believing churches, denominations and seminaries are being reduced to theological ruins by the likes of today's counterfeit versions of Christianity. As in at least one example below, many who write are also desperately concerned for family and friends who have been consumed by liberal or Emergent darkness.
I have been up since well before dawn this morning considering how just one email update would be able to hold all of the letters we've received concerning this troubling topic. Simply, it cannot. However, here below I have selected just a few with the common theme "Divorced FROM Church." Here below are several letters which reflect tragic and sometimes desperate situations that many in the Church are facing in our day. I know many of you can imagine that as we read and answer letters such as these, our hearts break for those writing. I constantly try and remind folks, though, that our solace is in knowing Him in a genuine and personal way. Also, with the predicted apostasy underway, maintaining orthodox, biblical thinking in these end-times takes fortitude and stamina that only the Holy Spirit can provide. To my reply letters I usually add, "hang in there!"
If the letters here are not descriptive of your church situations, thank God. But if these letters describe what is happening to you, take heart for you are not alone. Regardless, I do challenge each reader to examine through the prism of scripture what is being taught and what we are accepting. Ask questions. Be inquisitive and, yes, respectfully and biblically demand answers from those who seek to lead you. I also exhort each of us to speak up when Emergent heresy comes knocking at our church's door. If it hasn't yet, it eventually will.
Rob Bell and Deception
I don't need or expect a response, but I just want to let you know I've already listened 3 times to Eric's presentations on CD from Jan Markell's Oct. conference. He is absolutely outstanding in his discernment messages and I'm ordering 2 extra sets of Cd's to circulate. Ten thousand people in my area go to Rob Bell's Mars Hill Emergent church, including my own precious son and family. People just don't understand what is going on & don't get it, which grieves me deeply. I seem to be arguing to brick walls! I personally taught music to Rob's kids. Middle C is always Middle C. I didn't deceive his children but he is deceiving mine and now my adorable grandson with his message of relativism and "What ifs?" He wasn't that way at 1st....he was an incredible, right on Bible teacher, so I encouraged my son to go there. The changes were slow and subtle and now many in this "Bible-belt" area are among those who have "fallen away and are following deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
Thank you for your ministry...please don't ever give up! There are a "remnant" of us out there who need your teaching to help contend for the faith and to be effective watchmen on the wall.
In the Dust of our Rabbi,
Rick Warren on a Pedestal
I heard you on Jan Markell - and I just wanted to tell you thank you so much! I have been unhappy with our church for some time - and I think it is because our pastor puts Rick Warren on a pedestal and he preaches political correctness and inclusiveness - is that part of the Emergent church? Your testimony was very touching thank you so much for sharing it! I will be praying for your ministry and coming back to your website!
Thanks for your encouraging words!
As for the question you have about your Pastor, it's hard to say if he is Emergent but many evangelicals are falling into liberal theological traps because of Warren and also because of the pervading and deceptive pressure of political correctness we see all around us.
I have developed a quick resource to help identify the Emergent heresy inside of churches. It's not all inclusive in scope but the piece I am talking about is a good starting point when examining whether a church or teacher has fallen into the Emergent cesspool.
Find "How to Spot the Emergent Church" by clicking here. Also note that at the end of the article there is a link that leads to the same article formatted so you can print it, tri-fold it and give it out to anyone you wish.
God bless you!
Another "Concerned Nazarene"
(Received January 14, 2010, at 5:47am from Facebook)
I am "Concerned Nazarene", who recently left my home church of 5 years because it has become an apostate church, heavily teaching the characteristics of not only the Emergent Church hub, but all its little spokes, like "Kingdom Now", "Dominionism", and "Open Theism". My former pastor has deconstructed the Lord's Prayer to teach people that we are living in the Millennial Reign right here, right now, and he called it "On Earth, as it is in Heaven". His last sermon, on Jan 9th was a doozy!
Anyhow, we have about 200 people in our church, about a 50% decline from where we were three years ago. Nevertheless, God has given me this knowledge of the Emergent Church, I believe, so that I can "fight" against it.
I LOVED your video, it was very easy to listen to, and it touched on many of the key teachers, and characteristics.
I was wondering how I might obtain several copies of the DVD? Most of the people from my old church will not have any fellowship with me, but I still feel the urgency to keep them informed.
May the Lord keep you and bless you, and encourage you to keep fighting for the Truth of His Word! Know that you are prayed for often, and you are not alone in this fight!
Reprimanded for Exposing "The Shack"
I appreciate your site and study in areas that have caused confusion and that have mislead thousands, for instance the book "The Shack". I knew in my heart just from glancing at a few excerpts from that book there was something drastically wrong with the book. My Pastor has encouraged staff and other members of the church to read it saying if you want to serve God and make a difference the book can help you. I told my Pastor the book only made me to study harder to learn to teach against many things such as The Shack taught that I see the book The Shack as complete heresy and no born again believer ought to read it. I was reprimanded sharply and told to keep my mouth shut. So now I speak out all the more against such things as the shack and the so called emergent church. I see those as diabolical. Unfortunately now I no longer have a church to attend since many in my area are now becoming "seeker friendly" of which I say it is all garbage. It is a deep shame what is taught today as truth in many churches. Thanks again for your ministry.
Want more info on "The Shack"? Read here or view video clip from "The Death of Discernment" DVD here.
The "Self-Amputation" of the Church
What a blessing the Lord Jesus is! And I praise Him for your willingness to display His presence in your writing. I read your personal testimony and also your email response to the church member regarding the seminar on Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church. There is a sort of "Christian veneer" that does appeal to a world full of people who seek the convenient and comfortable, advertised and sold to them like a spiritual "product necessity". Looking for salvation? We have an "app" for that.....I am a born-again, blood-bought believer in Jesus, and I am seeing in my lifetime what appears to be the self-amputation of the reach of the Church in our world today. Thankfully, my last statement does not apply to each and every group of believers as individuals or as corporate worshippers, but how heart-breaking to know that some souls are embracing this carefully crafted sparkling "new" message, and why shouldn't they after all, because they're hearing it from the pulpits and the publishers! And now we have to be careful about which "Bible" to read, given all the current translations and paraphrases designed to package the Word of God in a more "sellable" format. My intent in this message to you is simple and clear: KEEP GOING! I learned a long time ago that when you're in the center of God's will, you're in the crosshairs of the devil, and Satan won't lighten up on you when you declare the Truth of The Word, Jesus, the Lord. I will joyfully commit prayer to your ministry, and to blessing and protection for you and your family on the Authority of the Word. Press on, brother!
K.W. (North Carolina)
(c) copyright 2010, Eric Barger