This year's emergent church conference (called TransFORM, and being held this weekend in Washington, DC) opens each day with a Zen Buddhist meditation led by a "Christian" pastor. Yes, you read that right. This should be absolutely appalling to any Christian with even a modicum of discernment. We are Christians, and we worship the one true God. All paths do not lead to God. Only one path leads to God - and it is through Christ.
"Borrowing" from false religions may make us more liked in the eyes of the world, but it is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Over and over and over in the Old Testament, God's people are cautioned against chasing after the false gods of the pagan cultures around them. As a matter of fact, God disciplined his people so many times over this issue that it's almost as if He actually meant to be taken seriously on this:
"The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." You must not worship the LORD your God in their way...." (Deuteronomy 12:29-31)Before I was saved (but attending church, taking notes, asking questions, etc.) I was so steeped in eastern thought that while I was being drawn to Christianity, I privately thought of myself as a "Buddhist Christian" for a long time. Finally, God opened my eyes to see that it wasn't a both/and proposition, it was an either/or deal. Both Buddhism and Christianity couldn't simultaneously be true. Orthodox Christianity left no wiggle room for me: either I could craft an image of God in my own mind with which I could be comfortable (another form of idolatry), or I could bend the knee in humble submission to the one true God.
This is perhaps why I feel so strongly about the Emergent church movement. I'm thinking of people with my kind of background, those who have been raised in an era of postmodern thought and religious syncretism, and who are ripe for this deception. Today's churchgoer could attend one of these churches and live out the rest of their lives with this easygoing, syncretized view of God, never be presented with the truth, and yet think all along that they are Christians headed to heaven. This would be the greatest tragedy, to be among those who, upon their death, come before the Lord and cry out "Lord, Lord!" only to hear the chilling words: "Depart from me, I never knew you." I simply cannot think of a more heartbreaking deception.
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The Emerging Church TransFORMing Christianity
TransFORM: East Coast Gathering