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Posts Tagged ‘instinct’

A couple of weeks ago a friend sent to me a series of articles written by (Name Withheld) on the subject of the ‘emergent church.’ These articles were, shall I say, very concerned that we are pursuing the emergent (or emerging) church, the latest device of the evangelicals to promote church growth and plant churches. They warned, among other things, of the dangers of the emergent churches’ reason for being—placing intuition or instinct on a par with (or slightly above) the Holy Scriptures. The tone seemed perhaps assertive if not aggressive. (Name Withheld) really believed what he was saying and wanted to warn Adventists to stay away from this danger.

Then a little later another friend sent me a copy of what might be considered a response to the first articles by (Name Withheld). It was a gentle thing, logical, reasonable, well-organized, thoughtful, tolerant and it went down just a little easier than did the (Name Withheld)) articles. (Name Withheld) supported our close ties with the emergent church and buttressed his thesis generously with Ellen White quotes. No drop of gall appeared in the (Name Withheld) article. It is clear that (Name Withheld) takes his religion seriously.

But let me ask this: Does the emergent church place intuition and instinct on a level with or above Scripture? If it does, how can we associate so closely with it, when we believe in the Bible and the Bible only—the Sola Scriptura of the early Protestants? Sandra K. Workman in her (unpublished) Creation of the 144,000 said it well. “Prophecy tells us that Babylon will never recover from her apostasy, so, those who say they believe in the second angel’s message should be very alarmed when there is any narrowing in the gulf between them and the fallen churches. If this begins to happen it will never mean that the fallen churches are drawing nearer to God, but only that the Advent believers are falling [a]way from Him” (p. 15).

If it does place intuition and instinct above Scripture, must we not say a kindly, Thanks but no thanks to such closeness? Do we still believe in the Bible, that someday there’s going to be a national and international Sunday law? If we do, can we imagine coming up to the point where we have to go public against public opinion and decline the Sunday law? When we say, Where do you find that in Scripture, do we want to give our respected adversaries an opening to say, “We don’t need Scripture. We’ve got intuition and instinct telling us to venerate Sunday.” If we have been feeding from their plate through the years, won’t it be an easy matter then to go right along with them on the Sunday issue? Will we have the gumption to stand up and honor our wonderful Jesus by choosing His ways in the great controversy?

I am alarmed when I read how greatly Adventism is supporting the emergent church—the  new spirituality—with funding, attendance at functions, and other moral support.

It reminds me of the story of the golden calf and how Moses and Aaron dealt with it at that time. Aaron was a genial guy; he liked to be liked and couldn’t bring himself to disagree with the people. Moses, on the other hand, was livid! He behaved like a madman, powdering up the gold and making people drink it, while Aaron proceeded forth, halo intact. The people, observing the two men, thought highly of Aaron but thought Moses had lost his mind! What was Moses’ problem? He knew that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon the wrong. He knew that anyplace the people happened to be it was a good plan to refrain from evil, but out here, in the wilderness they could not afford to be without the protection of God. He knew what the people were bringing on themselves by their sin, and he behaved accordingly. If God left, there goes the cloudy/fiery canopy; there goes their protection from serpents, their protection from the many warlike nations that surrounded them and who knows what else. Sinning was a bad idea anytime, but out here it was suicide.

Are we repeating the experience of Moses and Aaron today in depending upon the strategies of the emergent church to fill the pews?

We know what Jesus’ words will be when he welcomes His own to the eternal city. He will say, “You have washed your robes in my blood, stood stiffly for my truth; enter in.” In order to make ourselves agreeable to God, we may need at some point to make ourselves disagreeable to the world. What we are here dealing with may be the first salvo across the bow of the good ship Adventism, because it points up the frustration of the evangelicals among us at the reluctance of the “old guard” to go along. And the old guard is equally frustrated by the concessions of the “evangelicals” among us. Can we feel the fabric straining, pulling apart?

When I try to make friendly with the “emergent church’ and any similar evangelical movements, I no longer have the clarity in my faith that ties me to Scripture. Confusion, subtle mind manipulation, disorder envelopes me. I wonder if there are any absolutes anymore. (Is Babylon no longer fallen—or is it??)

God calls upon us to be separate. “God separates His children from the fallen churches so that He can bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself” (Ibid.) “’[C]ome out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17, 18, NAS). Our brethren in the past have separated. “[T]hey were ridiculed and oppressed, denied the privilege of speaking of their hope, or of attending preaching upon the Lord’s coming [and] many at last arose and cast off the yoke which had been imposed upon them” (4 SOP 237).

“Light and darkness cannot have fellowship together. It is not that they simply refuse to have fellowship with one another, it is impossible. This division is not an arbitrary act on the part of God or His people; it is simply [the] outworking of the truth—cause and effect. Throw a rock over a cliff and gravity will take it down. It is the same in the spiritual realm. When Christ comes into the heart the darkness has to go because there is only light in Him, no darkness!” (Workman, p. 16).

So, frankly, I cannot support the emergent church. I’ve seen the power of the simple gospel to gain the genuine in heart, and, while I value that wonderful intuition and instinct that lets me know my Savior is near, I can’t move from the position of finding my truth in the word of God alone.

 

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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