Revival or Return to Darkness |

TBC Staff

The Emerging Church: Revival Or Return To Darkness? [Excerpts]

Roger Oakland

The Ancient and the Mystical

It seems that the “Emerging Church” is reemerging. However, rather than going back to the inspired Word of God found in the Old and New Testaments, the goal is to reintroduce an “Ancient-Future” faith based on the ideas, dogmas, traditions and views of the Roman Catholic Church Fathers.

Over the past number of years I have had the opportunity to travel the world speaking in various countries visiting many old churches that are dark and mystical. These churches were founded by the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church many centuries ago.

In these churches I have observed, icons, statues of Mary holding baby Jesus, Jesus hanging on the cross, candles, incense, relics, and statues of  the “saints.” While there is a lot of emphasis on the visual sensual and mystical, there is very little evidence that the Bible was ever taught to the people. If it had, there would not be an emphasis on extrabiblical paraphernalia, extra-sensory images, sounds and smells.
It appears to me the “Emerging Church” of the present era and the church that emerged after the New Testament was written are one and the same. Remember the words of Paul as recorded in the book of Acts: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20: 29-30).

While Rick Warren, Dan Kimball and Dr. Robert Webber and others may be excited about the “Emerging Church” and the direction it is presently headed, I am concerned the “Emerging Church” may actually be a re-emergence of what has already occurred in church history. If the pattern continues expect to see evangelical Protestants become more and more Roman Catholic.