The Way of The Organic Church: Part 2

By John Beardsley - March 3, 2011

 

1Ki 18:21 "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

     One of the mantras of the neo-evangelical is “All truth is God’s truth” versus the Biblicist Five Solas. The Biblicist would state God’s truth is the ‘true’ truth only found in scriptures - Sola Scriptura. The term of “true truth” was a phrase presented in the past by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Dr. Schaeffer warned years ago about the compromise we are witnessing today:

"Here is the great evangelical disaster - the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this - namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age. First, there has been accommodation on Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all the Bible teaches - truth not only in religious matters but in the areas of science and history and morality. As part of this, many evangelicals are now accepting the higher critical methods in the study of the Bible. Remember, it was these same methods which destroyed the authority of the Bible for the Protestant church in Germany in the last century, and which have destroyed the Bible for the liberal in our own country from the beginning of this century. And second, there has been accommodation on the issues, with no clear stand being taken even on matters of life and death" (37). Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

I believe it is no coincidence these men lean so heavily on the liberal theologians (as covered in Part 1) and what is often referred to as post-modernism for the church or known as the Emerging/Emergent Church teachings. As you read you may experience what feels like a mountainous road with new doctrines going on pretty steep inclines and declines (mixing of liberal theology and mysticism), a number of twists and turns (confusing ideas to make it exciting), plus a bit of rebellious thrill seeking off-road – to places far outside the bounds of sound Biblical teachings.  I do my best to keep what the authors present in context with a number of quotes with implications that go well beyond the issue of accommodation to matters of life and death as it relates to knowing Christ as Saviour.

The Tree of Life (as defined by the New Paradigm/Organic View)

 
    
Two of the Organic Church leaders present a rather unique view of scriptures opposing the Biblicist paradigm.  Of their numerous books, The Jesus Manifesto published in 2010 drives this point home. I enter into evidence the following quotations from The Jesus Manifesto by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet and From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola that was published in 2009, a year before The Jesus Manifesto. The wild ride ahead provides a number of insights so please strap in and read through each section to understand what they state or imply:


a.     
The Jesus Manifesto states we (mankind) have a choice of two trees for salvation: one is the tree of self-determination that we can decide what is right or wrong. The second is, “The tree of life was God’s own life made accessible to human beings. Today, the tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ” (p. 129).  

Yes, we indeed must surrender to God, repenting of all of our self-will and SIN – I do not see sin addressed in a Biblical way here. Sin is reduced to self-will and self-determination that we can be like God falling for the serpent’s promise.

The Choice of Two Trees in chapter 8 pages 129 -131 continue:

b.      The trees as defined by The Jesus Manifesto page 129 states that “…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil can be understood by the serpent’s promise…” that we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil. Then proceeds, “Eating from the tree of life meant receiving the uncreated life of God into oneself. The tree of life was God’s own life made accessible to human beings. Today, the tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 On the surface the quote above almost sounds like the Biblical position but The Jesus Manifesto continues,

c.       The Jesus Manifesto on page 130 clarifies “Receiving Christ is simply taking the first bite from the right tree.” Then followed by numerous platitudes about how many churches simply teach to imitate Christ, act like Christ, try to do good as the Gospel, (which even a babe in Christ knows is not the Gospel). The Jesus Manifesto states what the Gospel is for a person, “Instead, he allows the life of God to flow within and through him. He yields to the instincts, promptings, and energy of that God-life.”

The Jesus Manifesto sounds as if it is turning the salvation experience into some sort of mystical experience “…receiving the uncreated life of God into oneself” and “…energy of that God-life” but considering the authors are so steeped in the emergent teachings it is not a surprise to me. Why not stick to scriptures?

The Jesus Manifesto attempts to build a case by stating those who CHOOSE to intellectually discern good from evil and try to do good is the same as following the serpent’s lie that we are not living by the life of God and must go to the tree of life as they define it: 

d.      “1. The choice to intellectually know good from evil and to try to do good = the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [or] 2. Living by the life of God, which is goodness itself = the tree of life” Page 130.

This is preceded by a rather odd remark, “You see, “good” is a form of life. And only God is good.” Where will you read in scripture, “good is a form of life?” – Still looking into the source of that idea perhaps Aristotle but certainly not from God’s word!

 You may want to stop and argue that only the spiritual man/woman can understand spiritual things of God, I am not debating that point (1 Co 2:10-16). The Jesus Manifesto juxtaposes the scriptures saying, “Mark it down: the knowledge of good is the accepted counterfeit to living by life (p130). The next line states:  

e.      "The Christian religion18 is built on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."  The footnote #18 in the back of The Jesus Manifesto defines the word religion in this statement as, "We are not defining "religion" the way the apostle James did in James 1. There the word religion means "worship." We are instead using the word to mean a system of human thought, belief, and practice that typically involves a higher power." They state at this level we can compare the Christian religion to other religions of the world and how we may believe we have God under control through our knowledge of religion.  

The problem with that thinking is anyone presenting a doctrinal teaching does not fit The Jesus Manifesto definition, James 1:27 states, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  

Keeping the verse from the Apostle James in context together with the quotes above a – e, The Jesus Manifesto’s answer is:

f.        The Jesus Manifesto page 131, “The Christian religion teaches that the Bible answers virtually every question that’s brought to the sacred text. The problem with this line of thought is that the true God cannot fit into anyone’s box.”

Here The Jesus Manifesto breaks away from scripture and begins to reveal what they are saying. Christians would agree the Bible is God’s Word but these men teach the Bible PLUS new revelations, support liberal theology, the use of psychology (Viola is a psychologist) and a heavy leaning on mystical teachings of the Emergent Church. The Jesus Manifesto is really just old Modernistic poison in a new sugar coat! J. Gresham Machen, in What is Faith? states, “The retrograde, anti-intellectual (sic) movement, called Modernism, a movement which really degrades the intellect by excluding it from the sphere of religion, will be overcome, and thinking will again come to its rights” (p. 18). The Bible is God’s box?! - If the Bible is a box not even the visible contents of the known universe begin to reveal all is contained therein! 

g.      The Jesus Manifesto continues, “Yet many Christians have turned the Bible into a form of the knowledge of good and evil. They approach the Bible as raw material by which they can gain control over their lives…” The Jesus Manifesto goes on to say, “This is a profoundly grievous misuse of the Bible.”

Yes, the Bible does reveal to us the knowledge of good and evil. However, connected with The Jesus Manifesto definition it would make the use of scripture to judge anything a sin against God! It is the Bible that establishes our understanding of God, consider the following Bible verses as examples:

1 Jo 2:27 “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

2 Ti 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Ps 12:6 “The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

Ps 119:128 “Therefore I esteem all [thy] precepts [concerning] all [things to be] right; [and] I hate every false way.”

Ps 119:140 “Thy word [is] very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”

The Jesus Manifesto teaches what I call ‘a facsimile of Christianity’ by neglect of the Bible, doctrine and judging/discerning according to the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. If you approach the Bible with the correct premise we are not eating from the Tree of Life, but we are part of the Vine:

John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

Our doctrine must be established by the Bible, there is no other trustworthy measure! There are more than 50 references in scripture concerning doctrine and living according to it as part of the Vine:

Titus 2:7-8 “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

The Jesus Manifesto next goes off road taking one curve too many:

h.      The Jesus Manifesto, Page 131 "Jesus didn't misuse the Scriptures to gain control and predictability in His own life. To Him, the Scriptures were simply the joystick on the Father's controller. They were the instrument through which He got to know His Father better and to discover how to live out His mission." (Bold emphasis mine)

 Did Jesus the Son of God have to “…discover how to live out His mission”!? There is no basis for such a thing in scripture!

 Further connecting the dots to the quotes above, The Jesus Manifesto states:

i.        Page 137, “The Bible does not offer a plan or a blueprint for living”

j.        Page 138, “The Bible does not hit just one note for sixty-six books. It speaks anew to every age. It should be read in the light of new information and fresh discoveries.” [New revelations for today read previous quotations]

k.       Page 139, It [the Bible] must also be understood in community, not as an individual. Both Testaments were written to communities and can only be rightly understood within that same context.” – Stating that only a few of the books were written to individuals.

l.        Page 142, “The authentic Christian life, therefore, is not an individual pursuit. It’s a corporate journey. For all of today’s talk of “community,” what matters in life is still primarily played out in a “Youniverse” of inward, self-certifying scrutiny and the privacy of subjective illumination, not dimensions of biblical tradition and community.”

One word I personally use to describe The Jesus Manifesto is, sophistry, defined as “reasoning that is superficially plausible but actually fallacious [his masterful but irresponsible sophistry]” (Merriam-Webster Unabridged, 2002).

Who Jesus Christ is According to Frank Viola - Writing Together with Leonard Sweet

 

Next on this off-road drive, page 141 presents a different line of thought, “Jesus Christ cannot be separated from His church. While Jesus is distinct from His Bride, He is not separate from her. She is, in fact, His very own body in the earth.” [bold emphasis mine] Then on page 143 following some discussion on 1 Co 12:1-3 how “the church is Jesus Christ in corporate expression” The Jesus Manifesto continues quoting the non-Christian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who said regarding the church, [is] “Christ existing as community.” Later The Jesus Manifesto says, “Practically, this means that we know Jesus Christ through one another, not just by ourselves. We see Him, hear Him, touch Him, taste and smell Him through our sisters and brothers within whom He dwells.”  

A search where The Jesus Manifesto writers get this thinking one only needs to look at Frank Viola’s book published a year earlier in 2009 From Eternity to Here regarding the “choice of two trees” and it goes further by teaching: 

“It's worth noting that Paul never speaks of the "body of Christians." He always uses the phrase the "body of Christ." For Paul, the body of Christ is a particular person. It's not a metaphor. Paul never says the church is like His body. No, we are His body. Each member is the physical complement, the extension, of the same person, Jesus Christ. And we happen to be the only body He has” (Frank Viola, From Eternity to Here Page 266).

If you did not catch what Viola was saying he continues: 

“Paul's idea is not that the Head is somehow screwed onto the body. His idea is that Christ embodies the church. The risen Christ is a living, inclusive, "more-than-individual" personality. The church is a corporate entity that is made up of diverse individuals. It is a person, living in and expressing Himself through His many members.

Put another way, the church is the visible image of the invisible Lord. It is the corporate Christ. It is Christ in collective human expression. To Paul's mind, the church in Corinth was none other than Jesus Christ in the city of Corinth. Paul's apostolic ministry was built upon this very revelation. And it comes screaming through all of his letters, including 1 Corinthians” (Frank Viola, From Eternity to Here Page 267). --- Note: these quotes from pages 266 and 267 while not identical are nearly the same as The Jesus Manifesto pages 142- 143.

Turn the page and again on the following page the added step:

"For Paul, the church is the embodiment of the risen Jesus on earth. It's the actual body of Christ present in the world, His physical presence on the planet. When a local body of believers understands and believes this, the New Testament will become an open book to them. It will also affect the way they experience and practice their church life" (Frank Viola, From Eternity to Here Page 268). [Emphasis in bold mine]

The sources of these teachings are men Viola quotes often: Watchman Nee, Witness Lee, Bill Freeman, and T. Austin Sparks to name a few. A Google search reveals only a few places where this doctrine has been taught and originates from what is called “The Local Church Movement” (more later on that movement – in short teaches one church in every city following the teachings of Witness Lee) In response to a debate on the topic online Viola gives us the sources as well: (Copied exactly as in the links below)

“17) Ben‘s view reduces the term ―body of Christ‖ to a very poor and weak metaphor. Paul‘s use of the phrase doesn‘t map at all to this. The statements about the body being totally separate from the head are addressed above in my discussion on our union with Christ. The body and the head are distinct, but they are not separate. John A.T. Robinson, Dietrich Bonheoffer (scholars) as well as Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks (more popular writers) have written extensively about the intimate union between the head and the body. This union is an actual, real, and living thing. It‘s not metaphorical. Paul says so much in 1 Cor. 12:12. I recommend Bill Freeman‘s excellent book, ―The Church is Christ and T. Austin-Sparks‘ ―God‘s Spiritual House. In effect, Ben sees our relationship to Christ as purely external. This is a monumental subject; but the fact that Ben and I differ so much on it reveals why our views of ecclesiology are so profoundly different.” Posted on Viola’s blog: www.ptmin.org/FV_BW.pdf http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2008/09/frank-coda.html

 Starting from the first “scholar” referenced, the Bishop John A.T. Robinson on this topic above by Viola, Dr. Walter Martin made this comment,

[Episcopal] Bishop [John] A.T. Robinson cannot be unfrocked by the Anglican Church despite the fact that he is a living devil when it comes to Christian theology—denying everything and turning the faith of people into darkness. Do you know why they can’t unfrock A.T. Robertson; because [Episcopal leadership] is as heretical as he is. Therefore they can’t touch him…” (Walter Martin Religious InfoNet, CD ROM)

Next as for Dietrich Bonhoeffer?! The 1996 article on Biblical Discernment Ministries ties Bonhoeffer to Robinson and more:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a neo-orthodox German theologian, pastor, preacher, radio broadcaster, and prolific writer in the 1930s and early-1940s, during the rise, rule, and downfall of Adolph Hitler. He was greatly fascinated with neo-orthodox thought, theology, and terminology, and was greatly influenced by the major theologian of neo-orthodoxy, Karl Barth (1886-1968). Bonhoeffer's writings are credited with helping to father the "Death of God" theology which was popularized by the Anglican Bishop John A.T. Robinson in the decade of the 1960s. Bonhoeffer was in reality a practical atheist and a religious humanist who denied virtually every cardinal doctrine of the historic Christian faith (Letters and Papers from Prison, ed. Eberhard Bethge, New York: Macmillan Co., 1972, pp. 9-12).

Bonhoeffer readily acknowledged "the debt he owes to liberal theology." Declaring that it was impossible to know the objective truth about Christ's real nature and essence, Bonhoeffer proclaimed that God was dead. Moreover, Bonhoeffer believed that the true Christian was the confessing believer who totally immersed his life in the secular world, becoming a secular Christian. Rejecting the objective unalterable moral standards of the Bible, Bonhoeffer proclaimed a situational ethics -- that right and wrong are determined solely by the "loving obligations of the moment" (Letters and Papers from Prison, ed. Eberhard Bethge, New York: Macmillan Co., 1972, pp. 9-12, 378; Ethics, pp. 38, 186; No Rusty Swords, pp. 44-45). 

If you are astounded about the sources here are the others mentioned, Viola references goes on to Watchman Nee and Witness Lee of the Local Church Movement known for its unbiblical views on the Trinity that sound remarkably like the view presented by Viola. This view is at least comparable to a heresy known as Modalism/Sabellianism originating in the third century regarding the Trinity and I believe it is no coincidence Viola references material from Witness Lee in From Eternity to Here.  

In the book The New Cults, Dr. Walter Martin stated, “Witness Lee teaches that the church, the Body of Christ, is Christ, and is becoming more and more “full” of God, to the point where eventually the church is God manifest in the flesh, fulfilling God’s original intention to “work Himself into man”” (Page 404). Dr. Martin references several items from Witness Lee, two that specifically relate:

Speaking of the Church and Christ: “in number we are different, but in nature we are exactly the same.” Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Christ page 103.

“This Christ has expanded from one Person to thousands and thousands of persons. He was once the individual Christ, but in Acts He has become a corporate Christ.” Witness Lee, Life Study in Matthew, Message One (Stream Publishers), page 3.

Connect The Jesus Manifesto together with the teachings of the Local Church Movement! The Jesus Manifesto states, “The earth awaits a body of Christians in every city who will receive Jesus utterly and completely. A body who will esteem Him above everything else, giving Him His rightful place of supremacy” (pages 158-159). More information in summation below but this sounds like dangerous Dominionist teaching not found in scriptures! The other two references by Frank Viola to Bill Freeman and T. Austin Sparks I may include in part 3 but enough said!

Summation of the evidence presented:

1.      The Jesus Manifesto paints Christians with a broad brush as the world does; no definitive line between true and false believers, doctrines, and denominations.

2.      The reader is introduced to words typically used by mystics and new agers by referring to a person who got saved as experiencing the “…energy of that God-life.”

3.      Marginalizing of Biblicist position (Christians relying on the Bible), referring to it as going to the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

4.      A presentation of doctrine that anyone holding God to what the Bible teaches about His nature is to put Him into a box, denying the sufficiency of scripture, and denying the Biblicist paradigm.

5.      Following the logic of #4 with the denial of Biblical sufficiency leads us to the doctrine where others have something to bring to the table (extra-Biblical sources) – that is not Christianity but theosophy; (numerous extra-biblical sources used by them)

6.      That we know Christ through our experiences and through our brothers and sisters without mention of scriptures. Refer to #4 – new revelations are encouraged contrary to scriptures.

7.      For #3 and #4 Viola and Sweet, clarify Christians cannot judge according to scriptures calling it “a profoundly grievous misuse of the Bible.”

8.      They deny the Biblical Jesus by presenting a Jesus ignorant to His mission on Earth!

9.      Following the logic of The Jesus Manifesto and From Eternity to Here, those of the Biblicist paradigm have it wrong about the very identity of the body of Christ. Additionally at least Viola promotes a rather bizarre view that the body of Christ is the Church physically.

10.  Closely resembles the Local Church Movement and teachings of Witness Lee referred to as “cultic” by the late Dr. Walter Martin with regard to the teachings of the Trinity and more.

11.  A Local Church Movement type teaching that, “The earth awaits a body of Christians in every city who will receive Jesus utterly and completely” (Page 158). The opposite of the Biblicist paradigm and most traditional Christian teachings who are awaiting Christ to return as He said would. This point shows these teachings align closely with other dangerous false teachings, such as preparing the earth for Christ’s kingdom fitting of NAR, Dominionism, Latter Rain, and Manifest Sons of God – the implications are shocking!

Addressing a crucial doctrine of the Manifest Sons of God, in the book Vengeance Is Ours, Albert Dager provides more insight to this being nothing new, "Some who have been infected by the Manifest Sons of God teachings even believe He will not return physically, but rather that Christ and the Church are becoming one in nature and essence, and that the Church, as the “on-going incarnation of God,” is Christ on earth (page 70)."

To my readers, I am sure this list is not exhaustive of the items above! There are more problems with The Jesus Manifesto throughout the book, which I have not touched on, including, the individual teachings of Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet. This part covered only the most alarming problems jumping off the pages. 

I present to you that the section covering “The Choice of Two Trees” in both The Jesus Manifesto and From Eternity to Here is a red herring argument (fallacy). It is a mixing of error (deliberate sophistry or not) leading the naïve’ reader to believe a Biblical Christian is just religious and really not a Christian!

 

Who Is the Pharisee?
- The Pharisaical Comparison a Continued Attack of the Biblicist Christian

 

In other articles I have asked the question who is the Pharisee? What were Pharisees known for? The Jesus Manifesto basically states they are those who saw themselves better than everyone else going to great lengths to separate themselves as holy. The Jesus Manifesto claims the Pharisees were the self-appointed guardians of the Judaic religion. However, the Pharisees added to the scriptures with a number of burdensome rules no one could live up to. The Pharisees brought commercialism into the temple and the list goes on. Funny thing is The Jesus Manifesto compares the Pharisees as those living by the tree of good and evil, akin to their statements against Biblicist Christians in defense of their book to sell yet another copy – making merchandise of believers!

The Jesus of the Bible gives plenty of warning about the leaven of the Pharisees. The leaven is in the myriad of extra-biblical quotes from mystics, including a teaching from those recognized as being cultic by Dr. Walter Martin! An illustration comes to mind of an infection in the body, one small area may be affected today but left unattended without antibiotics can spread to the rest of the body and kill you. As a Bible believing Christian we need to be as the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and we need to refute these insidious lies of Satan for what they are.

Based on the evidence presented, it is my opinion these teachers are individuals claiming the name of Jesus to restore the church to what it ‘should be’ but like the cults they redefine who God is compared with the Biblicist position, including the Person of Jesus Christ, His relationship with His Father, and Holy Spirit. Like their friends of the Emergent Church, they blend liberal theology, psychology, mysticism, and new age teachings. PLEASE remember to tie part 1 (linked here) of this series to part 2 – these same men give a glowing endorsement of the heretical/blasphemous book The Shack, which ironically redefines the Trinity! These men may use a number of Christian connotative words in their teachings but mean different things by them as presented here. The Bible gives the strongest condemnation to those who despite (insult) the grace of God through the false teachings of His very Person! If ever there are some men who need to turn away (repent) of their teachings Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet are two of them!

A post on Herescope June 21, 2008 addressing the leaven of (error): “Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948, emphasizes the fact that truth mixed with error results in “all error” — a direct refutation of the Emergent Church teaching to find “truth” wherever it may be found — including books like The Shack. Ironside wrote:

“Error is like leaven, of which we read, ‘A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.’ Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.” (Exposing Error: Is It Worthwhile)

Heb 10:29 KJV “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

Ga 1:6 KJV “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”:

Parting Thoughts for My Readers

 

     I take exception with their choice of the Garden of Eden to build their philosophy on “The Choice of Two Trees.” Looking at scripture on this topic, Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

When Adam and Eve were in the garden, they did not know sin; they lived in pure innocence with a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Later the Devil as a serpent deceived them to commit sin. Here is the crux of the matter! Adam and Eve’s decision to sin changed everyone giving us the sin nature that would require a Saviour, God’s Son who came and died for all who would believe. Satan’s lie to Eve was that she is going to be like God; the experiential knowledge from eating of the tree is not what defines God.

The tree was a fork in the road but does not equate to the Bible as painted by The Jesus Manifesto. The Bible is a huge part of the Christian’s tree of life, it is God’s Word, pure, and holy. If we cannot trust and rely on it as a pattern (blueprint) for sound Christian living we do not have Christianity, only some sort of facsimile of it. If you choose to ignore the Bible or treat it with contempt as if it is not relevant for today, or you choose to follow The Jesus Manifesto which says, “…It should be read in the light of new information and fresh discoveries…” – this is Emergent/Emerging Church doctrine not Biblical doctrine. God is the One who said He never changes and just how do I know that? I know that from the Bible, God’s Word – not the heaps of books being pushed at us from the Emerging, Emergent and Organic crowd. Hebrews 13:8-9 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” The Bible speaks plenty to such false teachings and we should heed the warning:

 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].”

Any objective observer of the strange doctrines put forth and the rewriting of fundamental doctrines of Christianity coming from this Emergent movement compared to Biblicist teachings demonstrate we are thousands of miles apart since the watershed event took place as described in part 1.

 I am planning to write a part 3 in the next couple of months to address even more of the dangers of the Organic Church. If you have encounters with some of the teachings from this movement please feel free to pass them along as the research continues. 

End of Part 2

 The Organic Church together with the Emergent Church Movement: Part One January 2011

Appendix to Part 2: Birds of the Feather Gathering Together- The Starlings of The Jesus Manifesto August 2011

The Organic Church – Doctrines of Demons and of Men: Part Three August 2011


Biblical Discernment Ministries - 4/2011
by John Beardsley



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