(Written by Roger Oakland)
Reaching the present generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ is a challenge for pastors today. Young people growing up in the 21st century have a completely different worldview than their parents. Education and society in general have programmed their minds so that they believe there are no absolutes. We now live in a pluralistic, relativistic society. Wrong can be right, and right can be wrong. It really doesn’t make any difference!
So how does the gospel of Jesus Christ rate in a postmodern society that claims the word truth should have remained in the dark ages? Since this generation has now been enlightened, how do you tell a sinner he or she needs a Savior?
For pastors who are looking for numbers and attendance as a sign of success, the Emerging Church is the answer. The Emerging Church has a whole new way of looking at Christianity. Rather than dwelling on sin, death, and hell, the Emerging Church promises peace, hope, and sensual experience. Rather than being concerned about spending eternity with Jesus, the Emerging Church promotes the kingdom of God here on earth and right now.
This is why Christianity, according to Emerging Church proponents, must be reinvented. Those who try and warn that such a view can easily lead to apostasy are labeled narrow-minded, old-fashioned, “resistors or “haters” who need to be silenced.
Since writing the book Faith Undone, I have discovered that taking a stand for the Jesus of the Bible in the midst of Emerging Church propaganda can create a lot of opposition. I have received many comments from the “brethren” who say standing against this “new thing God is doing” is divisive and counter-productive.
For example, I spent over twenty years associated with a fellowship of pastors who are presently debating the issue of the Emerging Church. There are some of these pastors who believe the Emerging Church is just another way of “being relevant.” They say this new wave that has hit Christianity like a tsunami is similar to the Jesus Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
I disagree with this view. While they may be correct in saying that the Emerging Church is “another Jesus” movement, I believe it is a movement that is following “another Jesus.” The Jesus Movement of the past was based on pointing people to the Word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the soon return of Christ. The Emerging Church is headed in a direction that will soon eliminate the gospel for the sake of building the kingdom with anyone of any religion who will participate.
While I too believe it is important to reach this generation, the issue is, what is it that we are going to reach them with? If we lead this generation away from the truth, we will not be reaching them – we will be deceiving them. The Bible calls this apostasy. While I too believe it is important to reach this generation, the issue is, what is it that we are going to reach them with? If we lead this generation away from the truth, we will not be reaching them – we will be deceiving them. The Bible calls this apostasy.