The Emerging Church- 10-29-12:

Anthony Iovino


202 Two-Faced Man- The Devil instructing the Antichrist


In the frescoes of Signorelli we have “The Teaching of Antichrist”—no repulsive figure, but a grand personage in flowing robes, and with a noble countenance, which at a distance might easily be taken for the Saviour. To him the crowd are eagerly gathering and listening, and it is only when you draw close that you can discover in his harder and cynical expression, and from the evil spirit whispering in his ear, that it is not Christ. (1499-1502).

—Augustus Hare


Colossians 2:8-10

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.



The Emerging Church is a movement that claims to be Christian.

The term ‘Emerging Church’ is used to describe a broad, controversial movement that seeks to use culturally sensitive approaches to reach the postmodern, un-churched population with the Christian message.

Some Emerging Churches might use props such as candles, statues, and incense along with poems, open mics, and videos, etc. EC services are sometimes extremely informal, while others are more formal.

Emerging Churches seek to reach the lost by focusing on relationships and developing a “story,” a “journey of life” that is expressed through the “narrative” of learning. These words and others are often used by emerging teachers in describing their religious experience. Other terms sometimes used are “reimagine,” “tribe,” “story of Jesus,”

“deconstruction,” etc. There is sometimes an ambiguous, feelings-oriented desire to experience God and also share in the lives of people as they seek to find God in their way. Some Emerging Churches are inclusivistic (those outside of Christianity will be saved), while others are not

. Some Emerging Churches are environmentally focused, while others concentrate on local issues. Some downplay doctrine, reinterpret creeds, and de-emphasize tradition, while others hold to them. Obviously, it is difficult to define precisely what is emerging and what is not.

Seeker-sensitive churches are similar to Emerging Churches except that Emerging Churches are sometimes lax doctrinally, where seeker-sensitive churches, which sometimes are lax in presenting the gospel, hold nonetheless to orthodox theology.

Seeker-sensitive churches try to meet people’s needs through programs, where Emerging Churches do this by investing time in people’s lives.

Seeker churches tend to focus on people in their thirties and up where Emerging Churches tend to reach people in their teens to thirties.

But, some areas of the Emerging Church are so similar to seeker-sensitive churches that it is hard to tell the difference. So how do you distinguish between the two?


Generally, a church is emerging if it seeks to reach those lost in the post-modern culture, rejects doctrinal absolutes, and, of course, proclaims itself to be emerging.

Matt Slick (www.carm.org) (Direct People to this Website)


2 Timothy 3:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Colossians 1:13-14

New International Version (NIV)

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


2 Timothy 3:16-17

New International Version (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Galatians 1:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!Cross references:




Cite Article- “The Push to Reinvent Christianity

By Charles E. McCracken (Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry- July/Aug 2012)  www.foi.org


  • Many in the emerging church are tuned into a new way of doing church.


  • Exciting, spiritual adventure.


  • Leaders of this movement:


Brian McLaren-

-One of the countries most influential evangelicals.  Nat Public Radio.


-Books by McLaren- A New Christianity, Finding Faith.


-Being compared to 16th Century reformer- Martin Luther.


-“Scripture is true only if it seems true to the one reading it.”


-“The Bible cannot claim certainty.”

-‘A spiritual adventure.”


Phyllis Tickle– Founding editor of Religion Dept of Publishers Weekly.

-“Every 500 years Christianity holds a giant rummage sale, where it takes a look at old stuff and decides to sell what it no longer needs.”


(Ms. Tickle- The Gospel is not for SALE!)


Alan Jones– Former Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Book– Reimagining Christianity


-“The Bible should not be taken literally.”


-“No object authority, only authority as interpreted by INDIVIDUALS.”


-“The Bible should be read as Allegory and Metaphor, not as literal Truth.”


Robert Wilken– Professor-Univ of Virginia.

“There is no original Christian Faith, no native language, no definitive statement of the meaning of Christ for all times.”


Michael Dowd-

“Each religion has its own special fragrance & beauty.” (PLURALISM)

Acts 17:30-31

New International Version (NIV)

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”


Rob Bell– Founding Pastor-Mars Hill Church- Michigan.

Book- Love Wins


-“As long as your heart is fine or your actions measure up, your OK.”


-“Those across the cultural spectrum will enjoy benefits of salvation without Christ.” (NOT THE GOSPEL)


John 14:6

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


-Denies existence of eternal punishment.


(Jesus spoke more about Hell than Heaven)

-(Maybe that is why he is so appealing to many)


What is being done to Biblical Christianity?

  • Reinventing
  • Reinterpreting
  • Undermining


Acts 4:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”


Syncretism- Combining Christianity with something else.

Universalism- “All will be saved..”


*Stress the importance of being able to refute what these Emerging Church Leaders are teaching by knowing the TRUTH.

*A “watered-down” Christianity is no Christianity at all!


Dr. Alan Cole-


“The outward person of the messenger does not validate his message, rather, the nature of the message validates the messenger.”


Read This:

“Men hate the suggestion that there is only one way to heaven” (Belivers Bible Commentary Page 1876).


The Apostle Paul warned us of these destructive heresies.  If you read Colossians 2:8-10, Paul warns against Gnosticism. 

Colossians Chapter 2:8-10:


II.     Paul’s Warnings to These Two Churches (2:8–23):


The apostle warns against four dangerous and destructive philosophies.

  1. Gnosticism (2:8–10)

1.     The fiction (2:8): The Gnostics diminish Christ to an angel.

2.     The facts (2:9–10): Paul says Christ was God incarnate in bodily form.

GnosticismEarly heresy based on knowledge instead of faith

It is warned against- Colossians 2:8, 18

It is Arrogant -1 Corinthians 8:1

It is False- 1 Timothy 6:20

It is Surpassed by Christ- Ephesians 3:19



The   City of Colossae The City of Colosse
•     A Roman city of Asia Minor located at the base of   8,000-foot-high Mount Cadmus in the Lycus River valley east of Ephesus.


•     Watered by a cascade descending through a gorge from   Mount Cadmus.


•     A prosperous industrial center especially famous for   its textiles, but clearly in decline at the time of Christ, squeezed by its   increasingly competitive neighbor, Laodicea.


•     Survived a devastating earthquake in a.d. 61, but later its population   moved three miles south to Chonai (modern Honaz).


•     Judaism, Platonism, and mystery cults from the   surrounding mountain peoples blended into strange, often contradictory   religious practices. Cultic worship of angels persisted, with Michael as the   favorite. He was credited with sparing the town in a time of disaster.


•     Home of Archippus and Epaphras, associates of Paul who   helped spread the gospel throughout Asia, up and down the Lycus Valley. The   region was also home to Onesimus, a runaway slave who became a believe.






The Fullness of the GodHead:

“fullness of the Godhead”
(Gk. pleroma tes theotetos) (2:9) Strong’s #4138; 2320:


The Greek word pleroma  indicates   “plenitude” and “totality.”


The Gnostics used the word to describe   the totality of all deities.


 Both Paul and John used the word to describe   Christ, who is the fullness, the plenitude of God, for all the fullness of   the Godhead dwells in Him bodily (1:19; 2:9).


Since all of God’s fullness resides in   Christ, every spiritual reality is found in Christ. In Him, we lack nothing.


The Greek word theotetosfor Godhead is used only here in the NT and designates   the totality of God’s nature and person.


All the fullness of the Godhead “dwells”   or “permanently resides” in the body of Jesus, the God-man.



Instruct Listeners to do the Following:


C.     Make Christ the test (v. 8).

Test every high-sounding religious system by asking,

“Does it give Christ the place of preeminence?”

Almost every religious system today gives Christ an eminent place, but only true Bible Christianity gives Him the preeminent place. (See Col 1:15-20)

D.     Draw on His fullness (vv. 9–10).


Realize that there is no substitute for Christ and that in Him we have all that we need.

When believers drift into worldly living, or are taken prey by man-made systems, it is usually because they feel they lack something that Jesus Christ cannot supply.

 “You are made full in Him!” What a wonderful position we have in Christ!




GNOSTICISM [NOS tuh siz em] — a system of false teachings that existed during the early centuries of Christianity. Its name came from gnosis, the Greek word for knowledge. The Gnostics believed that knowledge was the way to salvation. For this reason, Gnosticism was condemned as false and heretical by several writers of the New Testament.

Sources. Our knowledge of Gnosticism comes from several sources. First, there are the Gnostic texts, which are among the New Testament Apocrypha. These texts are not recognized as Scripture because they contain teachings that differ from those in the Bible. Then, there are the refutations of the Gnostics by the early church fathers. Some of the more important ones are Irenaeus, Against Heresies; Hippolytus, Refutations of All Heresies; Epiphanius, Panarion; and Tertullian, Against Marcion.

Still a third source about Gnosticism is the New Testament itself. Many Gnostic teachings were condemned by the writers of the New Testament. Paul emphasized a wisdom and knowledge that comes from God and does not concern itself with idle speculations, fables, and moral laxity (Col. 2:8–23; 1 Tim. 1:4; 2 Tim. 2:16–19; Titus 1:10–16). John, both in his gospel and in the epistles, countered heretical teaching that, in a broad sense, can be considered Gnostic.

Teachings of the Gnostics. The Gnostics accepted the Greek idea of a radical dualism between God (spirit) and the world (matter). According to their world view, the created order was evil, inferior, and opposed to the good. God may have created the first order, but each successive order was the work of anti-gods, archons, or a demiurge (a subordinate deity).

The Gnostics believed that the earth is surrounded by a number of cosmic spheres (usually seven) that separate human beings from God. These spheres are ruled by archons (spiritual principalities and powers) who guard their spheres by barring the souls who are seeking to ascend from the realm of darkness and captivity that is below to the realm of light that is above.

The Gnostics also taught that every human being is composed of body, soul, and spirit. Since the body and the soul are part of people’s earthly existence, they are evil. Enclosed in the soul, however, is the spirit, the only divine part of this triad. This “spirit” is asleep and ignorant; it needs to be awakened and liberated by knowledge.

According to the Gnostics, the aim of salvation is for the spirit to be awakened by knowledge so the inner person can be released from the earthly dungeon and return to the realm of light where the soul becomes reunited with God. As the soul ascends, however, it needs to penetrate the cosmic spheres that separate it from its heavenly destiny. This, too, is accomplished by knowledge. One must understand certain formulas that are revealed only to the initiated.

Ethical behavior among the Gnostics varied considerably. Some sought to separate themselves from all evil matter in order to avoid contamination. Paul may be opposing such a view in 1 Timothy 4:1–5. For other Gnostics, ethical life took the form of libertinism. For them knowledge meant freedom to participate in all sorts of activities. Many reasoned that since they had received divine knowledge and were truly informed as to their divine nature, it did not matter how they lived.

Such an attitude is a misunderstanding of the gospel. Paul, on a number of occasions, reminded his readers that they were saved from sin to holiness. They were not to have an attitude of indifference toward the law. They had died to sin in their baptism into Christ (Rom. 6:1–11) and so were to walk “in newness of life.” John reminded the Christians that once they had been saved they were not to continue living in sin (1 John 3:4–10).

These Gnostic teachings also had a disruptive effect on fellowship in the church. Those who were “enlightened” thought of themselves as being superior to those who did not have such knowledge. Divisions arose between the spiritual and the fleshly. This attitude of superiority is severely condemned in the New Testament. Christians are “one body” (1 Cor. 12) who should love one another (1 Cor. 13; 1 John). Spiritual gifts are for the Christian community rather than individual use; they should promote humility rather than pride (1 Cor. 12–14; Eph. 4:11–16).



Devotional- AJ Iovino- The Emerging Church 10-29-12

[1]Willmington, H. L.: The Outline Bible. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 1999, S. Col 2:9-10

[2]Radmacher, Earl D. ; Allen, Ronald Barclay ; House, H. Wayne: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville : T. Nelson Publishers, 1999, S. Col 1:2

[3]Radmacher, Earl D. ; Allen, Ronald Barclay ; House, H. Wayne: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville : T. Nelson Publishers, 1999, S. Col 2:8

[4]Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1997, c1992, S. 580

[5]Youngblood, Ronald F. ; Bruce, F. F. ; Harrison, R. K. ; Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville : T. Nelson, 1995

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s