New Age author Marilyn Ferguson, in her book, The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980) describes a loose federation of people from almost every discipline – “conspirators” that are now in high places – serving as doctors, lawyers, even university professors. What has taken place with this “conspiracy” parallels what happened to many of the 60’s radicals, who learned that it is easier to infiltrate the system and change it from within, than to try to oppose it outwardly.
Just as many collage radicals went back to school, got their degrees and are now university professors – (credentialed teachers feeding their students a rich diet of neo-marxism) – We have witnessed a similar phenomena with our theological seminaries and Bible colleges – where radicals have infiltrated and corrupted the institutions that train our church pastors and school teachers. Repackaged, “Christianized” new age doctrines and practices, combined with the leftist propaganda of “social justice” (etc.) is the toxic mix that pours forth from the institutions that are supplying the majority of Christian churches with their leadership. These men are also writing and developing the curriculum for church schools, all over America.
It is the poisonous fruit of these corrupt false teachings that is distilled into books – books (and DVDs) that are now SOMEHOW making their way into the church bookstores of even seemingly solid, Biblically based churches. Books on everything from humanistic psychology to occultic “contemplative” meditation and “Christian” yoga. Many of these same books can also be found in your local new age bookstore. This situation is causing great harm to the God’s people and to the witness of the church. It is confusing and disorienting believers and others who may be seeking God’s truth and guidance, but stumble upon these books in church bookstores.
Stumbling The Little Ones?
HOW MANY people have gone into church bookstores at reputable churches and bought books they assumed are Biblical and safe, simply because that church carries it? How many Christians have left churches – not because Johnny couldn’t be in choir, or because they thought the worship band was too loud – but because their valid concerns about the influence of the emerging church were not addressed, and they were thus branded “trouble makers”?
How many pastors are failing – not only to warn about false teachers – but failing to protect their own flock by not even taking the time to monitor what is on the bookstore shelves? Is it not a primary duty of the pastor (& the elders) to protect the flock?
Many Christians, even when shown evidence, simply do not want to believe that their church leadership is failing in i’s responsibilities, or that they may even be teaching errors. And, even if they do see and understand the issues, many Christians are afraid to speak up for fear of being ostracized or “marked” as supposedly “causing division” (etc.). More often than not, these believers quietly leave that Church in search of a Biblical one.
To bring valid concerns about doctrine or practices to the attention of the leadership – in accordance with scripture [Matt. 18:15-17] is not “causing divisions”. Read Romans 16:17 “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” If the leadership has failed in their responsibility to feed and protect the flock, and/ or has departed from the teaching of The Bible – it is they who have caused the division in the body of Christ – teaching contrary to Biblical doctrine and by not protecting their flocks from false teachings.
“Pastors” Are Shepherds – Shepherds Are Protectors?
Sheep need a protective shepherd in order to survive. Christians likewise need protection from error and those who spread it. Pastors are to guard their sheep from going astray and defend them against the wolves that would ravage them. Paul admonished the pastors at Ephesus to stay alert and to protect the churches under their care:
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” – Acts 20:28-30
A good shepherd makes sure his flock has a safe, well-maintained environment. He knows the dangers that threaten his flock. Likewise a true pastor is aware of the dangers that threaten God’s people and strives to provide a protected atmosphere for the congregation. A faithful shepherd won’t let his sheep feed next to a poisoned well, but will diligently labor to maintain a safe and secure fold. There should be a proactive, diligent guard on the part of the pastor and elders against false teachers and against those who would fleece the flock.
When pastors fail to protect the flock, then what?
Now if a pastor has been approached using the biblical criteria of Matt. 18:15-17 and has not responded or addressed the issues, does it not say to then “Tell it to the church”, and what does this entail? As a lay-person does not have access to the pulpit, what recourse do they have? Here we can thank The Lord for the many good discernment ministries that have been sounding the alarm about the “emergent church” and the “Contemplative” catastrophe.
It may be one thing if some obscure anonymous blog is crying wolf, but it is quite another when – as we now have – dozens if not hundreds of websites and blogs all saying the same thing, and trying to alert people to the dangers, and the extent of the infiltration of the emergent doctrines and practices into mainstream evangelical churches.
WHO Is Really Minding The Store?
EmergentWatch has taken the initiative and surveyed some of the prominent theological seminary and Christian church bookstores. Using a master list of the popular emergent and contemplative teachers, the number of books by an author at a particular bookstore was noted. What was found is shocking – but it is documented via screen captures. As mentioned earlier – many Christians, even when shown evidence, will simply not want to believe that their church leadership is not protecting the flock. Yet the evidence speaks for itself.
It is inexcusable, Biblically, for a pastor not to be aware and on guard that false teachings can creep into his church through unbiblical books in the church bookstore. Here the truth must be told – that most of the leadership of the churches included in the survey have been repeatedly approached and admonished to renounce any association with the emergent and contemplative teachers and their books. The truth must also be told – that those who have tried to warn the church leadership have been ostracized, threatened, fired from churches and discredited. To date, the EC infection is spreading unabated and threatens to destroy the church as an institution. The issues are very real and very serious.
In the course of the survey, pastors and other leaders will be named. This is NOT unbiblical. The Apostle Paul repeatedly warned in his epistles of men who he specifically named that were false teachers. [2 Tim. 4:14-15; Acts 13:7-8, etc] ><> The hope is that if enough people are alerted, pray and move out in faith – hopefully as a united front – confronting the leadership, that they will repent and address the issues. Pray, church pray! ><>