Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Redeemer Elder Proves He Is Not Equipped to Fulfill Role of Elder

Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City continues its surprising slide into mysticism with a new quote from one its elders.  We've previously documented several instances of new age mantra meditation practices being promoted or even taught at Redeemer, including a recent class offering called "The Way of the Monk," which taught attendees how to practice Roman Catholic monastic mysticism.  When questioned about these practices, one elder responded:
"We at Redeemer are focused entirely as a church on our audience in the Center City. Our conviction is that this audience can discern among the incredible variety of sources for their spirituality and reason what is good and what is not. We believe we can draw on and refer to sources that may be outside of the core beliefs of orthodox Christianity historically and our audience can benefit from it without getting sucked into any heretical parts of that source. We believe this for the non-Christians that attend, who are completely contending within the world with all of the diverse input they might be getting, as well as for the believers." (Elder at Redeemer Presbyterian, NYC)
In making this statement, this elder at Redeemer has abdicated his right to serve as an elder.
"An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." (Titus 1:6-9, my emphasis)
We need our elders to guard the flocks entrusted to them, "holding firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught."  This means that elders must not allow sound teachings mixed with error to be brought into their churches, but should "refute those who oppose" sound doctrine.

Also, contrast this elder's statement to the life of the Apostle Paul, who basically spent his entire ministry calling out and refuting false teaching:
- Gnosticism (Ephesians)
- Secular philosophy, eastern mysticism & strict ascetism (Colossians)
- Jewish legalism (Galatians)
- Fanaticism (Thessalonians)
- Those denying the resurrection of Jesus (Corinthians)
What we need today are sober-minded, Godly men who take seriously their charge before God to guard their flocks, to bar the door, if need be, and say, "You will not bring false teaching into this church!" Where are such men?

 Additional Resources 

The Need for Elders Who Guard Their Flocks

Does Tim Keller Endorse New Age Teachers?

"The Way of the Monk" at Redeemer