by Understand the Times with Roger Oakland
LTPC Note: Roger Oakland is an evangelist and Bible teacher who has ministered to pastors around the world for over twenty years. A few years ago he noticed that some evangelicals were introducing Christians to the Catholic concept called the Eucharist. For many non-Catholics (and even some Catholics), this is a foreign term. The belief is that during communion, the bread and the wine actually become the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, thus when taken the partaker supposedly experiences the presence of God. These transformed elements are placed in what is called a monstrance and can then be worshipped as if worshipping God Himself. Oakland is now seeing the Eucharist being brought into Christendom through the emerging church. What is taking place is alarming, especially as we begin to understand the implications, which are tied in with salvation itself. With the Eucharist, salvation then becomes sacramental (participation in a ritual) as opposed to justification by faith in Christ alone.
EUCHARIST IN THE EMERGING CHURCH
by Roger Oakland
One of the common beliefs circulating amongst the supporters of the Emergent Church is a concept called “Vintage Christianity”. According to this view, experiences effective in attracting Christians to come to church in the past should be reintroduced today in order to attract the postmodern generation who are hungry for experience.
Dan Kimball, author of the book The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generation is one of the key proponents of this idea. He firmly believes that worship must play an important role to attract post-moderns into Christianity. In a section of his book subtitled “Truly worshipping in a worship gathering,” he writes:
We should be returning to a no-holds-barred approach to worship and teaching so that when we gather, there is no doubt we are in the presence of God. I believe that both believers and unbelievers in our emerging culture are hungry for this. It isn’t about clever apologetics or careful exegetical and expository preaching or great worship bands. … Emerging generations are hungry to experience God in worship.
Rob Redman, author of The Great Worship Awakening: Singing a New Song in the Postmodern Church agrees with Kimball. He has noted that churches that provide a liturgical vintage form of worship are attracting the postmodern generation. He writes:
Liturgical churches, particularly Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, report increasing interest in traditional liturgical worship among young adults.
Redman notes that as the result of this renewed interest in liturgical worship, a “worship awakening” is now underway and Protestant worship services are beginning to incorporate liturgical worship practices. He states:
A common approach to the worship awakening among Protestant churches is to create a blended service combining older and newer liturgical elements and musical styles.