Archive for the ‘The Emerging Church’ Category

IF: Gathering Leader/Pastor Melissa Greene—A Female Version of McLaren, Bell, Rohr, and Merton

Today, we received this letter to the editor:

Recently my church hosted an IF Gathering conference.  I had already done research and found some disturbing facts about some of the various speakers.  I wrote a letter to the leadership detailing all the information I had gathered.  I thought I would pass it along for your info.  NOTE: Melissa Greene, one of the IF Team – she has a very revealing message that is posted on her profile page which is linked to the IF Gathering page.  In her message she references several New Age and Emergent authors including , Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Frederick Buechner and Rob Bell… Her ending comments on her message are pretty shocking.  If you have someone on your staff who has the time to listen to it, I think it would be worth the time.

In connection with our recent articles on the women’s IF: Gathering (#1 and #2), the video below is a presentation by IF leader and pastor Melissa Greene. Greene is a young female version of emergent figures Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, and Thomas Merton all rolled into one. Greene is pretty, charming, persuasive, says she loves Jesus, and is probably very sincere, but she is heading over a spiritual cliff. And folks, look out, she and the IF women are targeting your daughters and granddaughters, and sadly countless young women will follow them, and their spiritual lives will be turned upside down.

5 Things Not to Miss in This Video:

1. Certainty is bad; Questions (and no answers) is good.

2. The old-fashioned faith of our parents and grandparents is outdated and irrelevant.

3. References to numerous mystics and emergents

4. The “text” (the Bible) is OK, but there is so much more to be grasped.

5. In the end, everyone is saved.

Worth – Pastor Melissa Greene – GracePointe Church from GracePointe Church on Vimeo.

Father Whose Daughter Attended IF:Gathering Not Happy With LT Article

LTRP Note: After posting this article by C.H. Fisher, we received an e-mail from a father whose daughter attended the IF: Gathering. Please read the e-mail below plus our response:

To whom it may concern:

I want to state that I have been and I remain a supporter of your faithful exposing of false teachings and teachers. I respect your normal process of checking the facts prior to releasing articles. That is why I am surprised that you reposted the article about the “IF” conferences. This statement alone tells me that this article should never have been posted: “I confess that I didn’t watch any of the conferences, and do not intend to. There isn’t enough time to watch or read everything that is inundating Christianity. It is an overwhelming deluge. However, CT told me everything I need to know to advise every true Christian to avoid them.”

If the writer is trusting [Christianity Today] for information I have a problem right there. I haven’t trusted them for quite some time.

I was not at the conference and neither was the writer of this piece but my daughter was telling me how much she enjoyed some of the speakers she heard this past week at a video conference for women. Guess which one? Yup “IF.” Now I am not pitting her word against anyone except to say that I shared this article with her and her honest opinion was that there were strong misquotes and statements taken out of context. One example is the statement about what if God is real what then…. She said that the actual context was strong encouragement to live lives that reflect strong biblical values and even a warning to the group not to listen to gurus and other false teachers like Oprah.

I write this to you in love and again, I wasn’t there but one thing we all want to avoid is being proven to be crying wolf. Please check the facts and then by all means proceed in faith directing people to the Word of God, The Bible, for correction. Again I love and support what you do. I have purchased material and I will again just please make sure what you post is verifiable.
I continue to pray for you and for the power of God’s truth to change lives.

In Christ _________

OUR RESPONSE:

Hi _______
Thank you for sharing your concerns in your e-mail. ______, although the writer (C.H. Fisher) did not attend the conference, he was basing his article largely on what he knows of the women who were the speakers as well as other documentation. For instance, Ann Voskamp is a figure whom we identify with the emerging church. You can read about her in our article, “Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality.” In addition, IF:Gathering is definitely pushing Spiritual Formation, which is a sometimes subtle but always dangerous spirituality. And the conference is also promoting emerging figures such as Tony Campolo. I realize that your daughter may not have picked up on anything she felt was wrong, but to us, this just proves how these emerging speakers are good at what they do, which is to draw young women away from traditional Christianity and toward a whole new way of thinking. We believe this whole new way is going to hurt these young women, and sadly, most won’t know what is happening until they are heavily influenced.

______, if we go by your reasoning that because we didn’t attend the conference, we should not warn about it, then technically, we shouldn’t say anything about any conference we don’t attend. However, as we see it, a conference often leaves out the “really bad” stuff because that is the hook to get people to become attached to these speakers. Then with books, DVDs, social justice issues, and social media, they present their newfound protégés with the “deeper” information. You can see this on IF speaker Jen Hatmaker’s blog where she lays out the different steps planned for conference attendees after the conference is over (i.e., IF: Gathering, IF

Another example of why we feel the need to warn about this “movement” is Jen Hatmaker. In her book Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity (published by LifeWay) she quotes several emerging figures including Shane Claiborne (quoted over a dozen times) and Catholic priest Richard Rohr. Rohr is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. If you want to see the kinds of things Rohr believes in, just peruse his website where you will currently find Rob Bell and Oprah. In addition, consider what we wrote about Rohr in a 2010 article:

Richard Rohr

Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Episcopalian panentheist Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ). Rohr wrote the foreword to a 2007 book called How Big is Your God? by Jesuit priest (from India) Paul Coutinho. In Coutinho’s book, he describes an interspiritual community where people of all religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity) worship the same God. For Rohr to write the foreword to such a book, he would have to agree with Coutinho’s views. On Rohr’s website, he currently has an article titled “Cosmic Christ.” One need not look too far into Rohr’s teachings and website to see he is indeed promoting the same Cosmic Christ as Matthew Fox – this is the “christ” whose being they say lives in every human-this of course would nullify the need for atonement by a savior.

So what young women attending IF are going to get is Hatmaker’s spiritual views, which according to her book, have been influenced by Richard Rohr and Shane Claiborne.

Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne is a disciple of Tony Campolo, a major figure in the emerging church. Claiborne’s book Irresistible Revolution has a foreword by liberal political activist and anti-Israel/Christian Palestinianism spokesperson Jim Wallis of SoJourners organization.

Jen Hatmaker is just one example of why this warning by C.H. Fisher needed to go out. We researched a number of the other women speakers at IF: Gathering after we received your e-mail and discovered that of the ones we have researched thus far, they all have emergent leanings to one degree or another.

We want to also say that C.H. Fisher was using Christianity Today as a source of information, not as an endorsement of CT. We, ourselves, often use secular or even emerging news sources to back up our stories. Neither LT or Fisher sees CT as a godly source of information. But as reporters, we gather our information from various sources to document our articles.

One last thing, we are not saying that these women speakers are not sincere in what they are doing. But we believe they are sincerely wrong.

IF: Gathering: An Emergent Conference for Young Women Exalts Doubt and Diminishes Faith

LTRP Note: This past week, a caller to LT asked if we knew anything about the IF: Gathering with emergent Ann Voskamp. At the time, we had not heard of the conference. “Co-incidentally,” this weekend, C.H. Fisher of Truthkeepers, one of the writers Lighthouse Trails turns to, sent us the following article warning about the IF:Gathering. Fisher’s article is an important and timely warning. Many young women will be attending the IF conferences, and those who do will be subtly introduced to the emerging church. As one example, on the home page of IF, there is a favorable reference to emergent figures Tony Campolo and Bono of U2. (*Also see our comment below the article on doubt vs. faith, which is the theme of IF.) And now, C.H. Fisher’s article, exposing IF.

“The salvation message of the emerging church in not found in doctrine but in dialog, not in truth but in discussion. In this sense, always searching but never finding is a trademark of the emerging church, because in the endless dialogue (conversation), the truth is never found.”—Roger Oakland, Faith Undone

“IF:Gathering . . . is it a movement of God?”

By C. H. Fisher
TruthKeepers

There is a relatively new fad in woman’s conferences call IF:Gathering. IF:Gathering was founded by Jennie Allen, one of the [Emergent] leaders and a contributor to the emergent Nines Conference. The new Emergent leaders view themselves as spiritual directors ordained by God to create a new Christianity. Thus, when I read that Allen and her associates (including contemplative heretic, Ann Voskamp,) are involved in a new conference, I wanted to know what they are up to. I read an article in Christianity Today about IF:Gathering that hints about their purpose. Christianity Today declared that the IF:Gathering for the first time has what CT calls a “vague premise.” That premise is, “If God is real, then what?” ( Christianity Today, “If a Brand-New Christian Women’s Conference Goes Viral, Then What?” February, 2014)  More about that question later.

CT also describes some of the activities of the event. “In between sessions, the mostly-young crowd discussed with each other their own sense of calling as well as hindrances such as fear and comparison.” (CT, Ibid) That’s the kind of stuff you see in a convention of young professionals attempting to take the business world by storm. It is amazingly dissimilar to individuals with a biblical calling.

I confess that I didn’t watch any of the conferences, and do not intend to. There isn’t enough time to watch or read everything that is inundating Christianity. It is an overwhelming deluge. However, CT told me everything I need to know to advise every true Christian to avoid them.

“IF focused distinctly on spiritual formation, with both inspirational and practical takeaways. Based on the directive in Hebrews 12 to ‘throw off everything that hinders’ and ‘run with perseverance the race marked out for us,’ dozens of speakers encouraged women to chase their calling.” (CT, Ibid)

Spiritual Formation is the vehicle used by the Emergent Movement to subtly inseminate Christianity with New Age heresy, especially Contemplative spirituality. Spiritual Formation is active with beguiling, religious demon spirits. It is extremely dangerous. I have witnessed a number of Christian leaders apostatize after submitting their souls to Spiritual Formation. I am certain that God did not send a hoard of authors and bloggers armed with demonic heresy to change Christianity. They are sent to persuade Christian women to throw off everything that hinders the works of darkness, especially truth, and to enter a new path that heads straight into apostasy. Click here to continue reading.

*LTRP Note: Catholic mystic Thomas Merton believed that the doctrine of redemption and atonement through Christ was “of little value.” This also reflects the view of the emerging church that tolerance is more virtuous than faith, and that faith can actually be unvirtuous. As illustrated in the movie, Doubt, doubt and uncertainty unites. The priest in Doubt does a homily on doubt, and the fundamentalist in the movie (Meryl Streep) sees that as dangerous but in the end, she herself doubts. The point of the film is that uncertainty is good. Father Flynn from the movie is a Thomas Merton type priest in the sense that firm conviction is not necessarily a good thing. This is consistent with the emerging church. Emergent leader Tony Jones says in his book, The New Christians, that uncertainty (including uncertainty of Scripture) is better than certainty.

Related Articles:
Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality

Former President Jimmy Carter Blames Israel (“Palestinian Problem”) For Recent Terrorist Attacks

LTRP Note: After you have read Jimmy Carter’s misguided comments about Israel and  the “Palestinian Problem,” please watch the DVD Exposing Christian Palestinianism where you will see how Israel is being blamed for and targeted because of the Middle East problem. You will also see evidence of a growing hostility toward Israel from within the evangelical camp. If you are not able to get a copy of the DVD, you can watch a related video here. But we encourage you to educate yourself in this matter.

“Carter Links Islamic Terror Attacks in Paris With ‘the Palestinian Problem’”
By Patrick Goodenough
CNS News

CNSNews.com) – “The Palestinian problem” is part of the reason for Islamic terrorist attacks like those in France last week, former President Jimmy Carter said on Monday.

On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart asked Carter what he thought was driving terrorism like the attacks in Paris which cost the lives of 17 people over three days.

“Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem, you know,” Carter replied. “And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza – what they’re doing now, what’s being done to them. So I think that’s part of it.” Click here to continue reading.

Other Related Information:

The green areas are predominately Muslim countries. Israel is in red.

Brian McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech

The End of Evangelical Support for Israel? The Jewish State’s International Standing

Hostile Sentiment Toward “End-Time” Believing Christians Increasing

Letter to the Editor: What Does Lighthouse Trails Believe About Israel?

 

Video: Roger Oakland – Proclaiming The Gospel in the Last Days

That Didn’t Take Long!—Mark Driscoll Resurfaces With New Resource Ministry & Website

According to a Christian Post article dated December 31, 2014 and titled “Former Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll Launches New Website,” the former pastor of the mega church  has started a new resource ministry & website. All we can say at this point is, that sure didn’t take long.

Interestingly, Rick Warren gave the final “sermon” at the now-defunct Mars Hill Church on December 28th. It was Bob Buford (who worked with then-colleagues Rick Warren and Bill Hybels), mentored by Peter Drucker, who hand chose Mark Driscoll, along with Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et.al. in the late 1990s to start the Terra Nova project, which later became the Emergent movement (read Faith Undone for more on that history or click here). All we can say to that is, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Lighthouse Trails research on new spirituality icon Mark Driscoll:

Mark Driscoll Resigns From Mars Hill Church For Social Failures – But Media Silent on Controversial Doctrinal Issues

Seattle Megachurch Mars Hill Dissolves 2 Weeks After Founder Mark Driscoll Resigns

Mark Driscoll’s Distorted View on Noah and Salvation . . . (And How Some People Have a Very Strange Idea as to the Meaning of God’s Salvation)

 

 

‘Hip’ Church Gives Biblical Christians New Label: ‘Hater’

By Jim Fletcher
WorldNetDaily Commentary Writer

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Oddly, within American evangelicalism and media circles, a concept and term have emerged that place conservative Christians on the outside, in effect, becoming “other.”

Steve Furtick

And we all know what happens when a group is labeled “other” (see Jews, World War II).

Sometime back, the progressive mega church pastor, Steven Furtick (Elevation Church, Charlotte, North Carolina), mentored as he is by evangelical bigwigs like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, felt bold enough to post a YouTube video in which he sneeringly challenged what I’d call traditional Christians to basically get out of the way, because their time is past.

Presumably, to Furtick, it’s the “new generation’s” time now, so step aside with your stodgy hymns and expositional preaching style.

Never mind that Furtick’s goofy/disturbing video/rant looks like a “Saturday Night Live” parody.

His view is somewhat main stream among Christian Millennials. Masked a bit by a pious nod toward humanitarian causes, the leadership of this group is quite nasty, albeit in subtle ways.

Witness Mr. Jonathan Merritt. I consider Merritt – son of former president of the Southern Baptist Convention Dr. James Merritt – to be a leading change agent within evangelicalism, in the broader attempt to move evangelicals to center-left perspectives. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles by Lighthouse Trails:

A Letter from Ray Yungen: Is Lighthouse Trails “Haters?”

The New Cruel Tolerance

An Open Letter to Christian Leaders: Please Tell Us Where We Are Wrong

They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus: How Conservative Christians Are Being Manipulated and Ridiculed, Especially During Election Years

Book Review: Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken – When “Cool” Isn’t Cool and Is Ashamed of the Gospel


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