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Allelon and Missional And The Nazarene Connection

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on December 24, 2008

A great new article by Sandy Simpson. Sandy was one of the speakers on our DVD and this is some of the ground we will be covering in exposing the Nazarene denominations endorsement of the Emergent Church. This is a long article with lots of information. Please feel free to pass it around to other concerned Nazarenes and those in the Body of Christ. Peace Tim

 

What is the history and mission of Allelon?

 

Long Answer: On the “history” section of the Allelon site (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm) there is no real history of the movement presented.  That is because I suspect they do not want people to know too much about the dubious the history of the movement.  The leadership of the EC is currently Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Richard Foster (McLaren said of Richard Foster, “with (his) emphasis on spiritual disciplines, (he is a) key mentor for the emerging church” … his organization is called Renovare), Doug Paggit, Alan Jones, Dan Kimbal, Erwin McManus, Michael Horton and many others.  Their influences are Thomas Merton (Roman Catholic mystic and one of Richard Foster’s chief mentors along with George Fox), Morton Kelsey (a certified Jungian analyst), Basil Pennington (who promoted Christianizing Eastern mysticism for use in the churches), Benedictine Monks (Roman Catholics), Ignatius Loyola (Benedictine monk), Madeleine L’Engle (New Age author), Thomas Keating (originator of “centering prayer” taken from Zen sesshin), Harvey Cox (an activist for the syncretism of all religions), Agnes Sanford (of the Inner Healing movement and promoter of occultist Carl Jung), Madame Guyon (pantheist), John of the Cross (a Roman Catholic Desert Father), Evelyn Underhill (authored Practical Mysticism, an expression of Hindu/Catholic “spiritual” exercises), Thomas Kelly (contemplative and Universalist), Tilden Edwards (contemplative prayer and East/West mystical “bridge” promoter), William Vaswig (Renovare member who, like Foster learned his meditation from Agnes Sanford and a great admirer of occultist Carl Jung and his “sitting in silence” therapy), Karen Mains (Jungian adherent who has a spirit guide), Lynda Graybeal (promoter of Spiritual Formation and the Renovare Bible), Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Roman Catholic Jesuit monk), Meister Eckhart (pantheist), George Fox (Quaker founder, contemplative and Universalist), Henri Nouwen (Buddhist sympathizer and New Ager), Teresa of Avila (Desert “Mother” contemplative who practiced centering prayer), Brother Lawrence (who taught the emptying of the mind), Julian of Norwich (pantheist), Siang Yan Tan (psychologist), Lao-Tse (Taoism), Zarathrustra (Zorastrianism), David Spangler (New Age teacher), Matthew Fox (apostate ex-priest of the Catholic Church), John Main (a Roman Catholic priest and monk of the Order of Saint Benedict, a contemplative), Brennan Manning (author of The Ragamuffin Gospel and promoter of contemplative prayer), Marianne Williamson (New Ager), Ken Wilber (New Ager and author of A Theory of Everything, a term Leonard Sweet says is his idea)Archbishop Desmond Tutu (African Anglican Archbishop who promotes Interfaithism and the UN)Mark Mossa (RCC Jesuit scholastic), Leo Tolstoy (Russian novelist baptized as a Mormon), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Russian novelist and founding father of Existentialism), Walker Percy (novelist and Catholic existentialist) and the list of New Agers and false teachers goes on and on. (http://web.archive.org/web/20080212062607/http:/www.abrahamic-faith.com/James/Richard-Foster.html and other sources such as Wikipedia.)

 

This should make people suspect because of the fact that one of their adherents, Eddy Gibbs, claims that Church history needs to be redefined through the lens of EC ideas.  If they cannot present their own history, on what basis should people have confidence that they can or should be redefining Church history?

 

In a slickly produced video on the Allelon website they speak of their mission, not their history per se (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm).  Brian McLaren is featured on the video so one can see clearly that the history of Allelon is directly tied to that of the Emerging Church (EC) leadership, since McLaren in one of the founders of the movement. The video shows one of the Allelon “Summer Institute” sessions were held at Fuller Seminary in CA.  Fuller is the biggest promoter of every false doctrine out there, which started with C. Peter Wagner and John Wimber and their “signs and wonders” classes and continuing in featured speakers from every false Latter Rain revival movement.  Now they are one of the biggest promoters of the latest “new thing” by sponsoring EC “dialogs” with the likes of McLaren and others featured on the video.  George Fox University, a Quaker (Friends) institution, is also mentioned on the video and many segments were filmed there. GFU is another hotbed of EC ideas partly because of the influence of Richard Foster and Leonard Sweet there. They claim that they are introducing “something radical and transforming to the Church.”  Isn’t Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of men and the living and active Word of God radical and transforming enough for the Church?  When you get away from these things is it really “radical and transforming” or is it just another type of Gnosticism or new revelation? One of the participants on the video, Steve Taylor, PHD, who it says is a pastor, author, teacher, blogger, states this:

 

“So much of the emerging/postmodern conversation, which I’m part of and I’m committed to …” (Video, http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

Looks like commitment to EC and postmodernism may be more important than the Gospel.  Chris Erdmen, D. Min, a pastor, writer, professor, blogger says admits that the Emerging Church doesn’t know where they are going but “together we’ll find a way”.  But we are not the ones who decide where we are going.  The Bible is our map.  Since McLaren took the EC “off the map” this is what you end up with … a type of religion marked by uncertainty and run by consensus.  Dr. Eddy Gibbs, a professor at Fuller, states that their whole curriculum is now going to the EC missional model.

 

We have a particular burden for people involved in new forms of missional communities (sometimes called “emerging”), people starting new congregations within denominational systems, and people in existing congregations, who are working towards missional identity and engagement. Our desire is to encourage, support, coach, and offer companionship for missional leaders as they discern new models of church capable of sustaining a living and faithful witness to the gospel in our contemporary world. (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

Gibbs also states that Fuller needs to look at “everything”, including the teaching of Greek and Hebrew and Church history “through missional eyes”. 

 

I’m not for the dumbing-down of theology.  But I believe we need a missional theology.  That means going through our total curriculum, even to the way you teach Greek and Hebrew, and looking at that through missional eyes.  The way you teach church history …” (Dr. Eddy Gibbs, http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

So, in essence, it is the intent of the leadership of the EC to strain everything through the grid of EC “missional” teachings and postmodern thought rather than looking at these issues based on what the Bible and the Holy Spirit have and are teaching us.  This represents a form of cultural fairytale hermeneutics instead of contextual Biblical hermeneutics. Apparently the diaprax is complete among the EC promoters and they intend to get all the churches in line with their “new” paradigm, rewriting the Bible and history in the process. We see this process already being played out in the Indigenous Peoples Movement (WCGIP), Bible societies, and in organizations tied to the New Apostolic where history is being rewritten to offer a “god” who has always been at work in every culture, has left enough evidence in those cultures for people to be regenerate, and makes God into a pantheistic, postmodern, culturally based and understood, god.  This is evidenced by EC adherent Dr. Leanne van Dyke when she states on the video:

 

In sort of a “post-Christendom world”, missional theology paints the “God picture” very big and then puts us, the Church, in relationship to that God. (Dr. Leanne van Dyke, http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

Just how big that painting is can already be seen in the promotion of God as being the “God of Japan”, the “God of the Hawaiians”, the “God of the First Nations”, etc. by people like Richard Twiss, Daniel Kikawa, and many other WCGIP promoters.  Looks like the EC is in lockstep with the erroneous ideas spread by people like Don Richardson, C. Peter Wagner and a whole host of NAR proponents.  The question is: which god is “that god” she is talking about?  Dr. Mark Lau Branson of Fuller Seminary states this on the video:

 

“Now that you’ve figured out there is no plan, what’s next?  And simply having someone articulate that, that we’re not real sure what the plan is, but there are still leadership capacities, there are still ways to interpret your church and your community, there are still ways to understand yourself better as a leader …: (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

Sounds like they have deconstructed Christianity but are not sure just how to reconstruct it.  This shows the fallacy of the diaprax that Christianity is and has been for some time ineffective at transforming people’s lives.  The EC promoters were so stuck in vilifying the Church they forgot that getting “off the map” would get themselves lost in the chaos of existentialism.  That is exactly what is happening according to Dr. Craig van Gelder.

 

The word missional has become a catch phrase. An awful lot of energy, on the one hand, but high ambiguity and confusion, oftentimes, on the other hand.(http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

What would then make the scheme these people have cooked up attractive to any true believer?  When you get away from the Biblical mandate and Biblical teachings, you end up with a lot of misspent energy that leads to ambiguity and confusion.  Why is it that Gelder is not heeding his own words and getting out of this movement?

 

We have to find a way of being church were people are in a way that’s authentic to the Gospel but helpful and transformative to their lives.  (Bishop Graham Cray,http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

It becomes quite apparent when listening to Cray do his diaprax on the failings of the Church, that he knows little or nothing of Church history, which he and his associates are desperately trying to rewrite.  I happen to be a PK and MK and I know what it is like to give up everything, move to a far away place, learn the language, and give your life as an example in both caring for people beyond your own country and preaching the Gospel at the same time.  Shame on the EC leadership for suggesting that this has not been done before they came along with their “new paradigm”.  Again I stress that “missional” has nothing to do with mission work.

 

To understand the word “missional” you have to go to the source.  Brian McLaren coined the term “missional”, not in reference to traditional mission work in the churches, but in reference to the praxis of spreading the concepts and ideas of the EC movement.  His original” off the map” series ends the dialectic with the praxis of a “missional” response to his EC teachings.

 

Brian McLaren, on the other hand, is not concerned about these matters (preaching salvation). In reply to his own question about who is in heaven and hell, he neatly sidesteps the whole issue by asking another series of questions, “Isn’t it clear that I do not believe this is the right question for a missional Christian to ask?  Can’t we talk for a while about God’s will being done on earth as in heaven instead of jumping to how to escape earth and get to heaven as quickly as possible? Can’t we talk for a while about overthrowing and undermining every hellish stronghold in our lives and in our world? (as cited in The Kingdom of Emergent Theology – Part 2 by Gary Gilley, Think On These Things, 10/07, http://www.svchapel.org/Resources/Articles/read_articles.asp?id=140)

 

So Allelon is in full compliance and agreement with Brian McLaren and is the outworking of his and other EC leadership vision.  This is bolstered by their recommendation of reading materials on their site with books by by Brian D. McLaren, Alan Roxburgh, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Scott Boren, Craig Van Gelder, etc. (http://astore.amazon.com/allelon-20)

 

In the Allelon purpose statement they mix what the New Testament says about Christians loving one another in the context of the Church with loving the world.

 

The word allelon is a common but overlooked New Testament word that is reciprocal in nature. Christian faith is not an individual matter. Everything in the life of the church is done allelon for the sake of the world. A Christian community is defined by the allelon sayings in Scripture. We are to love one another; We are to pursue one another’s good; We are to build up one another; We are to bear with one another in love; We are to bear one another’s burdens; We are to be kind to one another; We are to be compassionate to one another; We are to be forgiving one another; We are to submit to one another; We are to consider one another better than ourselves; We are to be devoted to one another in love; We are to live in harmony with one another. (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

 

This is a good example of taking the Bible out of context, which is another hallmark of EC leadership.  The passage they are quoting, in part Col. 3:12-15, is talking about love within the context of the body of Christ, not love of the world or its way of thinking.

 

Col. 3:14-15  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

 

The word “allelon” is used in the Bible, in every case except one, with regards to the unity and love within the body of Christ, not regarding unity or love for the world. (http://net.bible.org/search.php?search=greek_strict_index:240)  Examples:

 

2 Cor. 13:12  Greet one another (allelon) with a holy kiss.

1 Thes. 4:18  Therefore encourage each other (allelon) with these words.

Acts 4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, they began to confer with one another (allelon),

Rom. 12:10 Be devoted to one another (allelon) with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another (allelon).

 

The only exception is Matt. 24:10 where Jesus talks about the apostasy and how people will betray one another.

 

Matt. 24:20 Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another (allelon) and hate one another (allelon).

 

Interestingly this is what the EC is doing, turning Christianity on its ear with false doctrines that divide families and churches.  Those who do not agree with the new paradigm and enter praxis are vilified, demonized and finally ostracized (thank the Lord).  Perhaps this is the allelon they are talking about.

 

We are not in unity with the world.  We can have compassion for the people of the world by preaching the Gospel to them and trying to help them in their times of need, but we are not to have unity with the world.   So the basic premise of Allelon is in error from the start.

 

Our Mission

At Allelon, our overarching mission is to educate and encourage the church to become a people among whom God can live, as sign, symbol, and foretaste of his redeeming love and grace in their neighborhoods and the whole of society- ordinary women and men endeavoring to participate in God’s mission to reclaim and restore the whole of creation and to bear witness to the world of a new way of being human. (http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm)

Nowhere in their mission statement do they mention the Gospel.  It is also not the job of Christian or the Church to “restore the whole of creation”.  That is Dominionism, which is another tenant of the EC showing that they are teaching the same false doctrines as the New Apostolic Reformation, or Latter Rain.  The Gospel will, by the Holy Spirit, “restore” a relationship to God in individuals who repent and believe, and create in them a new creation.  But Allelon is not talking about individuals but the “whole of creation”.  Only Jesus Christ’s return at the beginning of the Millennium will restore creation, which is at the moment in the domain of the evil one.  The mission of the true believer today is to continue to obey the Great Commission, not get involved in schemes to save the planet.

 

What is the Mission In Western Culture Project?

 

Long Answer: The Mission In Western Culture Project (MWCP) is also a project of Allelon.  The diaprax of MWCP is evident on their home page.  Their “three elements” or fundamentals are: “Our changed context, Mission is about the Missio Dei (the mission of God), and Missional theology sees the Church (the people of God) as a contrast society.” (http://www.allelon.org/projects/mission_western_culture.cfm). 

 

The first element is a vilification of the Church. 

 

We are now living in a changed social context, what might be described as both postmodern and post Christian. … Modern evangelism developed in a time when people assumed the Christian story was a normal, regulative part of the culture within which they lived. Most folk knew the basic Gospel story in one form or another. Evangelism fulfilled the role of presenting an apologetic, which pressed for commitment. It worked in a world where the culture-at-large understood the basic Christian story. This is no longer the case. (http://www.allelon.org/projects/mission_western_culture.cfm )

 

We are not living in a post-Christian world yet unless the Rapture has already taken place.  We have always been living in a sinful world ruled by Satan that has no interest in the things of the Spirit.  But that is nothing new.  Nor is postmodernism, which is basically relativism and subjectivism.  That has been with us since the beginning.  Evangelism has always been around in history but has never been a “normal, regulative part of culture.”  Perhaps you could make that claim about certain Western cultures, but others have never been “regulated” by the “Christian story”.  If you move beyond that very few cultures have been “regulated” by any form of Christianity.  Mission work was not the work of apologetics but the work of first time proclamation in most cases.  Only in the Western world were people very thinly knowledgeable about Christianity.  Even then the true Gospel message was and is still a shock to most people if presented correctly.  To say it is no longer the case is to say that Biblical evangelism no longer works in this modern culture.  That is hogwash.  It doesn’t work because EC proponents have moved beyond it into a new map of their own making, one of confusion and existentialism.

 

The second element states this:

 

Mission is about the Missio Dei (the mission of God). If the West, including North America, is once again a mission field where the central narratives of the Gospel are being either lost or profoundly compromised by other values and stories, then the focus of this mission is the God who has encountered us in Jesus Christ ? the One whom we confess in the Trinitarian confession of Father, Son and Spirit. This may seem such an obvious statement that requires no explicit comment, but that?s not the case. In Western societies, churches have shifted their focus from God to how God serves and meets our needs. Jesus Christ has been packaged as a choice in the spiritual food court used to meet the private needs of individuals. The result is a debased, compromised, sterilized Christianity, which misrepresents the Gospel. The gospel is not just a matter of personal salvation; rather, it is a call to participate in the communal and global purposes of God. The biblical narratives revolve around God?s mission in, through, and for the sake of the world. The focus of attention is toward God not the other way around. The missio dei is about a God-centered rather than a meeting-personal-need centered understanding of Jesus? life, death and resurrection. (http://www.allelon.org/projects/mission_western_culture.cfm)

 

The Gospel is being lost not because there are so many other religious “stories” abounding but because many churches are no longer preaching the Gospel and have not been for some time.  That almost empty void has been filled with other things, by the devil I might add.  If the Church would get back to the Gospel we would see more people being saved.  It is counterproductive, in fact counterintuitive, to widen out our “story” to include other stories just so we can fit in.  It is true that many mega churches have shifted their focus off of God to “felt needs”.  But the solution to that problem is not to declare that the Gospel is “not just a matter of personal salvation”.  The whole point of the Gospel IS personal salvation (John 3:3, 7).  Without that a person will not be light and salt no matter how well he interacts and agrees with other “stories”, ie. religions.  God’s purposes, in this time, are not to take over the planet.  His purpose is for people, individuals, to recognize their sin, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their only Savior and Lord, then move on to serve Him by witnessing to others.  Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world but it takes a personal belief and commitment to appropriate that price paid for the wages of sin to each and every individual.  The goal of the true Christian today is not to save the world or the planet, but to be witnesses for Him (Acts 22:15, 2 Cor. 5:20) often speaking as the vast minority (Luke 12:32, Matt. 7:14, Rom. 11:5). This “misso dei” is, then, a misapplied term being used to serve a Dominionist agenda.  Dominionism is clear false doctrine.

 

The third element states this:

Missional theology sees the Church (the people of God) as a contrast society. We recognized that our culture continues to move through massive levels of discontinuous change, which is rapidly de-centering the church from its former place at the center. This raises fundamental questions about the relationship between Christian life and the pluralist culture in which we live. In terms of the latter, the message of Jesus is the breaking-in of God?s Kingdom reign into the world. Therefore, the church is the called-out community of God in midst of the specificity of a culture. The church is an ecclesia, which means an assembly that has been called out in a public way as a sign, witness, and foretaste of where God is inviting all creation in Jesus Christ. The church, in its life together and witness in the world, proclaims the destiny and future of all creation. The God we meet in Jesus calls the church to be a community of people who no longer live for themselves and their own needs but as a contrast society whose life together manifests God?s future for the whole of creation. (http://www.allelon.org/projects/mission_western_culture.cfm)

The church has never been the center of society, not by a long shot.  God is not in the process of “breaking in” His Kingdom.  He is in the process of redeeming sinners who will participate in His Kingdom when it is established.  If people are busy “breaking in” what they perceive as God’s Kingdom they will be shocked to find out they were not living in obedience to the Lord when He comes (as a thief).  We are to do more than be a community of contrast.  We are to be a community of truth proclamation and truth life.  If the truth of redemption is not clearly proclaimed all our Christian machinations will have been in vain.  It is true that our culture should be that laid down by Christ and the Apostles.  But we cannot do that by compromise with the world, only by contrast and the real contrast are the exclusive claims of Christ in a world that does not believe.

 

Joh 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.

Ac 4:12  Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

 

It is already a hate crime in some countries to make exclusive claims of salvations against the truth claims of others.  If EC followers cannot distinguish between the exclusive claims of Christ and the “truth” claims of other religions because the EC leadership is enamored with those other “stories” and “truths” then how can they call this progress?  Where there is no understanding that the Bible is THE Truth (John 17:17) , that Jesus Christ is THE truth (John 14:6), there can be no truthful dialog or salvation, for that matter.

Who is Alan Roxburgh and what is his connection to Allelon and the Mission In Western Culture Project?

Long Answer: Alan serves as the Vice President for Allelon Canada. He is the Director of Educational Resources throughout North America and serves as the coordinating team leader for the Mission in Western Culture Project. He has over twenty-seven years of experience in church leadership as a pastor of congregations in small towns, urban centers and the suburbs and in denominational leadership. As seminary faculty he was responsible for teaching in the areas of leadership development and domestic missiology. Alan is ordained in the Baptist Federation of Canada. (http://www.allelon.org/roxburgh/?page_id=2)

ALAN J. ROXBURGH, formerly pastor of churches in Toronto and

Vancouver, completed a Master of Theology at the University of Toronto

in philosophical theology, and the Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern

Baptist Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. As an original member of Gospel

and our Culture Network (GOCN), Dr. Roxburgh has helped author

two foundational books: The Church Between Gospel and Culture

(Eerdmans, 1996) and, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the

Church in North America (Eerdmans, 1998). He has also written two other

books on the challenges of missional identity on North America: Reaching

a New Generation (InterVarsity Press, 1991 & Regent Press, 1998); and,

Leadership, Liminality and the Missionary Congregation (Trinity Press, 1998). (http://www.percept1.com/pacific/PDF/CrossingBridge.pdf)

 

Northern Baptist Seminary is now teaching and endorsing the Emerging Church. (http://www.seminary.edu/cur.student/documents/DMIN7615-KUHL.july.18.22.2005.pdf) The University of Toronto is a completely liberal school.  In their course descriptions one of their courses is “Cultivating a Culture of Generosity” offered through Emmanuel College which promotes the Emerging Church. (http://www.utoronto.ca/knox/pages/Continuing%20Education/ConEd%202008%20brochure.pdf) So apparently the type of “theological” education Roxburgh received has influenced or been influenced by the paradigm of the EC.  Of course Fuller Seminary offers Roxburgh materials. (http://www.fullerseminarybookstore.com/search_results.php?id_author=726)  Roxburgh is of course the VP of Allelon and heads the Mission in Western Culture Project under Allelon.

Roxburgh Teachings

Long Answer:

There’s been a dis-ease in the back of my mind for a while about the directions of the missional conversation in North America. I’ve written about one: it’s too ecclesiocentric. Most of what I read with missional in its title is about the church and making the church work with new formulas and programs. The missional conversation is about what God is up to in the world; church conversations are a sub-set we’ve turned into the main thing. (Alan Roxburgh, Seeking a Missional Imagination,http://www.allelon.org/roxburgh/?p=60)

I am not saying everything Roxburgh teaches is false.  What I am saying is that he is laying error alongside truth, which ends up nullifying the true things he is saying by leading people into error.  That is the case with all false teachers. Not all false teachers start out that way, but some start out good then fall into the apostasy, which is rife with false teachings. If he would only take his own advice about his “dis-ease” with missional teachings maybe he could find his way back out.  But even his dis-ease is based on a false idea.  The Church IS what God is up to in the world, therefore “church conversations” are of paramount importance and the “main thing” if Christians are to preach the Gospel to the world.  The main focus of the Lord is on His Church first (1 John 4:4-5, 5:5).  The Church is then set with the task of reaching the world, but not by pretending that the world knows anything about God, which is what EC leaders mean by “what God is up to in the world”.  The Bible is clear that the world rejected God (1 Pet. 2:4), were without God (Eph. 2:12) and did not know God (1 Thes. 4:5, Gal. 4:8). God was a mystery to them (Col. 1:27), they had no hope (Eph. 2:12) and they continued in idolatrous worship (1 Cor. 10:20, 12:2).

Roxburgh goes on to indict the church and teach an idea that is not biblical.

I read books that, basically, retreat into the realm of some ideal imagination that is supposed to provide formulas and methods for the ailing mission of the church in the WestWe haven’t got past our Cartesian dualism with its romantic idealisms about the nature of God’s mission in the world. We need a different imagination. (Alan Roxburgh, Seeking a Missional Imagination, http://www.allelon.org/roxburgh/?p=60)

First of all, the only reason mission work is ailing is because of the false teaching going on around the world in churches these people had no part in planting.  Now people from those churches are being diapraxed to have a bad attitude toward Christan mission work so that they will follow these unbiblical latecomers who use their imaginations instead of follow the easily understood commands of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.  They have gone beyond what is written and instead are building a new paradigm based on their own ideas.

1Co 4:6  Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.

Isa 65:2  All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—

Eze 13:2  “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!

 

What we need is not a new paradigm based on the imaginations of men, but a clear understanding and application of the eternally relevant Word of God.

 

This series offers frameworks for understanding how our metaphorical maps have changed. It proposes ways of developing maps for cultivating local communities of witness and mission. (Missional Map-Making: Chapter Five, by Alan Roxburgh, February 15, 2008, http://www.allelon.org/articles/article.cfm?id=741)

 

This teaching shows that the foundation laid by Brian McLaren in his “Off The Map” series is being carried to fruition by other EC leaders like Alan Roxburgh.  The maps have not changed, nor is postmodernism anything really new.  The Bible states that even back in the times of the Judges “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) All you have to do is look at the resources for sale in the Allelon store to see that they are promoting the books of other EC leaders.  The board of advisors for Allelon are: James V. Brownson (Reformed Church of America)Inagrace T. Dietterich (an ordained United Methodist pastor)Richard Foster (Quaker and founder of Renovare)Darrell L Guder (Presbyterian minister)George Hunsberger (Western Seminary, Presbyterian)Pat Keifert (Luther Seminary, Lutheran) , Brian Mclaren (Cedar Ridge Community Church, non-denominational)Leonard Sweet (lots of degrees, no obvious church affiliation)Eugene Peterson (Regent College, BC), Dallas Willard (School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles) (http://www.allelon.org/advisory_board.cfm). 

 

One of the most basic rules of good leadership is to do all that cultivates trust in your leadership. Trust is critical for innovating a culture of missional transformation. Leaders who have become aware of these issues need to spend the time understanding what the alternatives to strategic planning involve, as well as what might be the appropriate places for using strategic planning. Therefore, the initial step is to develop a reading list that will assist you to begin reframing your own understanding. What is involved quite literally, is a changing of our maps. Strategic planning represents a specific map of how we see reality, understand people and the nature of change. Time is required to understand and dwell in an alternative map. It is imperative to take this time. People in congregations will leaders this kind of time, as we continue to build and develop trust among our people. (MISSIONAL MAPMAKING — An Art of the Mission-Shaped Church by Alan Roxburgh, Allelon Publishing, 2008, http://www.allelon.org/pdf/MAPSchpt5.pdf)

 

I’m sorry but, no matter how well-intentioned this

article is, it shows the messy gobbledygook (you need

to read it to see what I am talking about) that the EC

has gotten itself into by reading the wrong authors and

following business models of church development put

out by the likes of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and their

mentors like Peter Drucker.  It is well documented that

the leaders of churches who are deep into EC have

already been “developing a reading list” … but of all the

wrong authors.  If they had put the Bible on the top of

their reading list they would know that what the

Apostles wrote with regard to church planting and

development is more than sufficient to any time in

history, including this postmodern era.  The fact that

so many churches have strayed away and are having a

hard time finding a way back is not going to be helped

by reading EC tomes.  The problem is not changing

maps but getting the original map back in play.  It is

amazing to me that someone who calls himself a

Christian would not recognize just how far off he has

wandered when he states that we need a strategic

planning map to let us understand “how we see reality,

understand people and the nature of change”. 

 It is called, pick up your Bible (not The Message Bible), open it up, and learn all about reality, people and change.  The problem is that EC leadership has been dwelling for far too long on “an alternative map” drawn by people like Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet and other EC leaders rather than on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and prophets.

 

The questions we need to ask about missional, therefore, are not drawn from the world of business or the social sciences, nor are they about how to apply supposed New Testament patterns to the contemporary church. Questions about what God is up to in the world require us to ask what kind of space church leadership must indwell at this moment in late modern societies. (a quote by Alan Roxburgh in Spaces Between by Len Hjalmarsonhttp://www.allelon.org/missional_journey/?p=158)

 

Again, well intentioned as it may seem, Roxburgh admits that he does not want “missional” church shaped by the “world of business or the social sciences” though, if truth be told, that is where much of the material of the EC has been culled.  But then he goes on to state that churches should also not “apply supposed New Testament patterns to the contemporary church”.  But as I see it this is one of the main problems with churches today … that they often stray way too far away from the early church model.  That model is a model that has been almost entirely done away with by mega churches with their postmodern poling and throwback traditions that emulate the early Roman Catholic Church instead of the early New Testament church.  But then his solution is to require churches to “ask what kind of space church leadership must indwell at this moment in late modern societies.”  I know what I am about to say is not necessarily what he meant, but this sounds very pantheistic and metaphysical to me, not Biblical at all.  It is no wonder that the average Christian who finds himself or herself attending EC conferences come away with their minds feeling like they have been turned into rice pudding.  True Christian leadership are not concerned with indwelling “space”.  They are concerned with obeying the Word of God and not running away from it.

 

Heb 2:1  We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

1Ti 1:6  Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

 

The EC leadership are using strange unbiblical language that lead to unbiblical ideas.  True believer will recognize strangers who bring a different Word.

 

Joh 10:5  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”

 

As in the time of John, these new teachers want to lay down the new game plan, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

“In these biblical narratives God is constantly present in places where no one would logically expect God’s future to emerge and yet it does over and over. There is nothing in these stories about getting the wrong people off the bus and the right people on to accomplish great ends and become the best organization in the world. This God who calls us is always calling the wrong people onto a bus that isn’t expected to arrive.” (Missional Leader, A. Roxburgh, Pg 18, http://www.backyardmissionary.com/)

God is only “present”, in other word at work, in places where the Church is present.  This implies that God is at work in pagan cultures through pagan religions in lieu of His Church and the Gospel.  If the bus is the bus of false religion, truth laid alongside error, and pagan culture then it is the wrong bus and no believers should be on it.  If they are called and sent by God to those places they will be riding the bus of orthodoxy, of the Gospel, of compassion, and of truth.

Alan Roxburgh was up next. He addressed the question of the conference, “What is a missional leader?” And then he gave us his standard responses: “I don’t know,” “Does it matter?” “Who cares?” Why do we want a definition so desperately? Because we are moderns. Definitions are modern constructs. The need to define the missional church and missional leadership is a modern need to define, name, control and plan. So, if I do what I’m not supposed to do (create a definition), the best I could say is, “a missional leader is one who can change as the world changes around him/her.” (http://timneufeld.blogs.com/occasio/2007/06/index.html)

So there need be no definition for “missional”?  Could this be a bad excuse for having none?  There is always a definition for everything, unless you are a subjectivist who believes that “truth” is always in a state of flux.  If definitions are impossible to nail down, then truth is also.

 

As our culture changes our perceptual maps become dated and the lenses we use become less and less helpful. When this occurs we tend to work harder at our frameworks. Many leaders assume that simply adjusting the map will provide the answers needed. These men and women have not recognized that we are dealing with “discontinuous” change. The old lenses are not allowing them to see things “as they really are.” Roxburgh quotes from Surfing the Edge of Chaos, that in times of discontinuous change “equilibrium is death.” (Alan Roxburgh, The Sky Is Falling !?!, http://www.nextreformation.com/wp-admin/reviews/falling.htm)

 

I would completely disagree with Roxburgh’s quote of “Surging the Edge of Chaos”.  There is nothing more necessary during time of change than equilibrium, the equilibrium of the never changing, eternal Word of God.  The problem is the lenses EC leadership are looking through are the lenses of culture rather than the lenses of Scripture.  If they want to understand modern culture all they have to do is look at it through the lessons of history and theography of the Bible.  It is there we can find answers on how to reach people, not with new programs set on top of new programs which never work and only confuse the core issues.

 

What is the Nazarene connection to all this?

 

Long Answer: The Allelon Missional Schools Project was launched after papers were written to explain the teachings of Allelon.  The four papers what were written were by Dr Dean Blevins: Nazarene Theological Seminary – Kansas CityDr Mark Lau Branson/Dr Ryan Bolger: Fuller Theological Seminary, PasadenaDr S. Mark Heim: Andover Newton Theological SchoolDr J. Nelson Kraybill: Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana (http://www.allelon.org/articles/article.cfm?id=335)

 

The tradition of the Church of the Nazarene is best described as Methodist, or 
“Wesleyan” to acknowledge Holiness and some Pentecostal movements often framed as renewal movements inside Methodism. … As will be seen; missional proclivities remain woven, to some degree, into the DNA of Wesleyan praxis. (http://www.allelon.org/ARTICLES/article.cfm?id=327)

 

Of course one has to wonder how you can have a “missional proclivity” long before that concept was even being used.  But this shows that the EC leadership is using the emphasis on praxis already in the Wesleyan churches like the Nazarenes to attempt to ride their false ideas in on that bandwagon.

 

The 2006 ALLELON SUMMER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE — Training and Formation for Missional Leaders was held at Eagle Nazarene Church, 1001 W. State St., Eagle, ID, cost $250. (http://www.churchinnovations.org/05_news/pii_v6_i1/pii_v6_i1_lewis.html)

 

Notice that Alan Roxburgh was a teacher at this Nazarene church seminar.  Here is part of what they presented.

 

Forming Missional Leaders
Alan Roxburgh and Mark Priddy will provide participants with a clear, well-tested process for identifying the skills and capacities needed to innovate missional life in an existing leadership context. Because pre-course work is involved, the registration deadline for this course is April 30.

 

So they are not teaching Biblical concepts but “innovating” missional ideas among the leadership of churches.

 

Forming a Missional Order
This course, led by Tim Keel and Gary Waller, will provide a primer on basic thinking (theology, history, and cultural reflection) about the movement toward ordered communities, the communal considerations, and commitments needed to develop missional environments and the habits and practices necessary to birth missional communities. (http://www.churchinnovations.org/05_news/pii_v6_i1/pii_v6_i1_lewis.html)

 

They are moving toward “ordered communities” with “communal considerations”?  Sounds like Utopian hippie talk to me.  The term “birthing” is taken right out of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Do Nazarenes want to be innovated into communities where the leadership has total apostolic control over their thoughts, “habits and practices”?  If I were a Nazarene I would be really skeptical of this movement at this point.

 

On the web site “Emergent Nazarenes” there are a whole list of contributors from the Nazarene denomination who are urging the Nazarenes into the EC. (http://emergentnazarenes.blogspot.com/)

 

The current general superintendents, elected in 2005, are the following: Paul G. CunninghamJames H. DiehlNina G. GunterJesse C. MiddendorfJerry D. Porter and J. K. Warrick. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Nazarene)  As far as I can tell all of the above are allowing the Emerging Church into the Church of the Nazarene.  On the official Church of the Nazarene site, http://www.nazarene.org they have a whole subset of the site dedicated to Emerging (http://www.nazarenemissions.org/10002/story.aspx). Even their banner on the nazarene.org site uses the words Christian … holiness … missional.  Missional is a term of the Emerging Church, not of Biblical Christian churches.  The Global Mission Conference, though exposing youth to other cultures, is using the terminology of the EC to bring the young generation into line with EC ideas. (http://www.nazarenemedialibrary.org/MediaView.aspx?mediaId=347e0fe9-5e3f-46e6-8e1a-743ce8db1be7)  Terms like “encountering stories” and making them part of yours, “a conversation in God’s global story”, “experience global prayer”, “discuss responsible compassion”, “engage in conversation”, “join the coversation”, and “join the story” are all expressions that are being used in EC conferences.  The “missional church” is also expounded upon on the Nazarene main site on this page: http://www.nazarenemedialibrary.org/using the search term “missional”.

 

An article by Ron Benefiel who is president of Nazarene Theological Seminary is posted on the Allelon site. (Response to Craig Van Gelder’s – “ENGAGING THE MISSIONAL CHURCH CONVERSATION AS A FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING MISSIONAL THEOLOGY” by Ron Benefiel, President, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO, http://www.allelon.org/projects/Benefiels_response_CVG.pdf)  In that article he states:  “I have jotted down some of what I understand to be some of the theological and sociological challenges in moving from the church that “is” toward the missional church that I understand we are called to be.”  The problem is that The Bible has not called us to be “missional”, at least not the way it is being defined in the EC.  We are called to carry out the Great Commission and to encourage and build one another up in the Faith, that is in sound doctrine.  We are to be light and salt to the world, but we are not called to work with every nere-do-well who comes wafting through our churches, denominations or organizations with a “new map”.  But it is obvious to me that Nazarene Theological Seminary is being guided by the EC, not solid Biblical teaching.  Maybe they should just rename the school “Nazarene Missional Semniary” or “Nazarene We Love McLaren Seminary” or some more appropriate name because they are now spouting the same new unbiblical ideas as the EC and have little interest, apparently, in what the Bible says about how we should carry out the task of evangelism or the teaching of sound doctrine.  To be “theological” we must follow what God says, not men who use their imaginations to come up with ways to empower, enrich and make a name for themselves.

 

So it appears that EC is a done deal in the Church of the Nazarene as it is in many other mainline denominations.  Why churches allow individuals with false teachings to come in from the outside and bombard their churches with unbiblical ideas is beyond me. 

 

Long Answer:  The Allelon Missional Schools

Project was launched after papers were written

to explain the teachings of Allelon.  The four

papers what were written were by Dr Dean

Blevins: Nazarene Theological Seminary –

Kansas CityDr Mark Lau Branson/Dr Ryan

Bolger: Fuller Theological Seminary,

PasadenaDr S. Mark Heim: Andover Newton

Theological SchoolDr J. Nelson Kraybill:


Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana (http://www.allelon.org/articles/article.cfm?id=335)

 

The tradition of the Church of the Nazarene is best described as Methodist, or 
“Wesleyan” to acknowledge Holiness and some Pentecostal movements often framed as renewal movements inside Methodism. … As will be seen; missional proclivities remain woven, to some degree, into the DNA of Wesleyan praxis. (http://www.allelon.org/ARTICLES/article.cfm?id=327)

 

Of course one has to wonder how you can have a “missional proclivity” long before that concept was even being used.  But this shows that the EC leadership is using the emphasis on praxis already in the Wesleyan churches like the Nazarenes to attempt to ride their false ideas in on that bandwagon.

 

The 2006 ALLELON SUMMER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE — Training and Formation for Missional Leaders was held at Eagle Nazarene Church, 1001 W. State St., Eagle, ID, cost $250. (http://www.churchinnovations.org/05_news/pii_v6_i1/pii_v6_i1_lewis.html)

 

Notice that Alan Roxburgh was a teacher at this Nazarene church seminar.  Here is part of what they presented.

 

Forming Missional Leaders
Alan Roxburgh and Mark Priddy will provide participants with a clear, well-tested process for identifying the skills and capacities needed to innovate missional life in an existing leadership context. Because pre-course work is involved, the registration deadline for this course is April 30.

 

So they are not teaching Biblical concepts but “innovating” missional ideas among the leadership of churches.

 

Forming a Missional Order
This course, led by Tim Keel and Gary Waller, will provide a primer on basic thinking (theology, history, and cultural reflection) about the movement toward ordered communities, the communal considerations, and commitments needed to develop missional environments and the habits and practices necessary to birth missional communities. (http://www.churchinnovations.org/05_news/pii_v6_i1/pii_v6_i1_lewis.html)

 

They are moving toward “ordered communities” with “communal considerations”?  Sounds like Utopian hippie talk to me.  The term “birthing” is taken right out of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Do Nazarenes want to be innovated into communities where the leadership has total apostolic control over their thoughts, “habits and practices”?  If I were a Nazarene I would be really skeptical of this movement at this point.

 

On the web site “Emergent Nazarenes” there are a whole list of contributors from the Nazarene denomination who are urging the Nazarenes into the EC. (http://emergentnazarenes.blogspot.com/)

 

The current general superintendents, elected in 2005, are the following: Paul G. CunninghamJames H. DiehlNina G. GunterJesse C. MiddendorfJerry D. Porter and J. K. Warrick. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Nazarene)  As far as I can tell all of the above are allowing the Emerging Church into the Church of the Nazarene.  On the official Church of the Nazarene site, http://www.nazarene.org they have a whole subset of the site dedicated to Emerging (http://www.nazarenemissions.org/10002/story.aspx). Even their banner on the nazarene.org site uses the words Christian … holiness … missional.  Missional is a term of the Emerging Church, not of Biblical Christian churches.  The Global Mission Conference, though exposing youth to other cultures, is using the terminology of the EC to bring the young generation into line with EC ideas. (http://www.nazarenemedialibrary.org/MediaView.aspx?mediaId=347e0fe9-5e3f-46e6-8e1a-743ce8db1be7)  Terms like “encountering stories” and making them part of yours, “a conversation in God’s global story”, “experience global prayer”, “discuss responsible compassion”, “engage in conversation”, “join the coversation”, and “join the story” are all expressions that are being used in EC conferences.  The “missional church” is also expounded upon on the Nazarene main site on this page: http://www.nazarenemedialibrary.org/using the search term “missional”.

 

An article by Ron Benefiel who is president of Nazarene Theological Seminary is posted on the Allelon site. (Response to Craig Van Gelder’s – “ENGAGING THE MISSIONAL CHURCH CONVERSATION AS A FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING MISSIONAL THEOLOGY” by Ron Benefiel, President, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO, http://www.allelon.org/projects/Benefiels_response_CVG.pdf)  In that article he states:  “I have jotted down some of what I understand to be some of the theological and sociological challenges in moving from the church that “is” toward the missional church that I understand we are called to be.”  The problem is that The Bible has not called us to be “missional”, at least not the way it is being defined in the EC.  We are called to carry out the Great Commission and to encourage and build one another up in the Faith, that is in sound doctrine.  We are to be light and salt to the world, but we are not called to work with every nere-do-well who comes wafting through our churches, denominations or organizations with a “new map”.  But it is obvious to me that Nazarene Theological Seminary is being guided by the EC, not solid Biblical teaching.  Maybe they should just rename the school “Nazarene Missional Semniary” or “Nazarene We Love McLaren Seminary” or some more appropriate name because they are now spouting the same new unbiblical ideas as the EC and have little interest, apparently, in what the Bible says about how we should carry out the task of evangelism or the teaching of sound doctrine.  To be “theological” we must follow what God says, not men who use their imaginations to come up with ways to empower, enrich and make a name for themselves.

 

So it appears that EC is a done deal in the Church of the Nazarene as it is in many other mainline denominations.  Why churches allow individuals with false teachings to come in from the outside and bombard their churches with unbiblical ideas is beyond me.

 

Can you summarize the teachings of Allelon and Alan Roxburgh?

 

Long Answer:

 

The EC promoted and taught by groups like Allelon is full of the teachings of false teachers who have introduced ideas and practices that are not Biblical.  Here is a partial list: 

 

Pantheism 
Anointing “in” objects, cities, nations 
Veneration of objects/icons used to visualize 
Slain in the “spirit”/Drunkenness in the “spirit”

Synergy 
Globalism 
Dominionism/Save the planet

Contemplative Prayer/Labyrinth 
Visualization 
Centering down

Spiritual mapping

Yoga 
Martial arts

Repetitive music/mantra

Automatic writing/journaling

Interfaithism

Universalism

Female deities 
Astrology 
Auras/personal prophecy 
Portents/signs

Postmodernism/Relativism 
Feelings based discernment

Other false doctrines such as disdain for the Rapture and Second Coming, a low view of the Bible and high view of new revelation, a vilification of the Church and mission, a disdain for the Gospel which includes teaching on hell and judgment, and a putting down of Christ’s death on the cross.

 

For a further treatment of this subject, go to: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/newageinthechurch.html

 

Here is a summary of some of the specific false teachings of Allelon:

 

  • The word Greek word allelon as used by Allelon is not referring to the “one another” or allying of Christians for the sake of the world but it is referring specifically to unity of the Faith within the body of Christ.  Allelon states that “Everything in the life of the church is done allelon for the sake of the world.” Yet the word allelon is about unity in the Spirit and in the Faith within the Church context.  We are not to be in unity with the world, nor are we to dialog with them in order to come to consensus.  We are to live and preach the truth of the Gospel.  So their whole premise in the name of the organization is not biblically correct. 
  • Theology, Greek, Hebrew and Church history should not be taught through the lens of the EC missional paradigm, but through the lens of Scripture and the facts presented there.
  • EC’s “painting the God picture very big” is evidencing itself in Universalism, Interfaithism and an erroneous view that God has always had a way for the Gentiles to be reconciled to God apart from the preaching of the Gospel.
  • If leaders in the EC state that missional theology is not sure of its plan and is ambiguous and full of confusion, why would anyone subscribe to it?  Why then are they bringing this missional stuff into all the churches with such certainty?
  • Mission and church work are routinely vilified and deemed ineffective, if not detrimental, to Christian outreach.  Yet most of the EC leadership who are using this as a diaprax are liberals who have slipped into, especially, evangelical churches when the church leadership who are supposed to be watchmen were asleep at the gates.
  • Brian McLaren, who is on the advisory board of Allelon, is no longer concerned about preaching the Gospel but about changing the maps of Christianity.  But when you sideline the Gospel you sideline any way of reaching this generation.
  • Allelon’s stated mission is to restore the whole of creation.  God’s Son will restore the creation at His second coming.  We are to preach the Gospel and live it out in order that people will repent, believe and have a new creation created in them.  Today the world is under the control of the evil one, and the offer of Satan to Christ at His temptation, giving Him all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship the devil, was a real one.  We are at war against principalities and powers in this time and space. God’s Kingdom is being established in the hearts of men, not in the world.  The world today is under the dominion of the evil one (1 John 5:19).  Allelon is teaching the false doctrine of Dominionism.
  • Allelon claims the maps of Christianity need to be changed.  If this “map” is referring to the Bible this is a denial of one of the core doctrines of the Faith, that is the inerrancy and complete sufficiency and authority of the written Word of God.  If this “map” is referring to plans to reach the unreached, then the Bible is sufficient to teach us how to do that.   If the maps need to be changed due to cultural changes, then Allelon needs to stop looking at reality through the map of modern culture and read the Bible with regards to the right way to preach the Gospel and teach sound doctrine and relate to every issue of life.  Christians should not relate to postmodernism by becoming a postmodern or re-imaging the Church, the Bible and Jesus Christ to look postmodern.  They should read their Bibles to realize postmodernism is not a new way of thinking at all (Judges 17:6). It is a rebellious, terribly erroneous way of thinking and needs to be roundly rebuked and rejected by any true believer. We need to teach sound doctrine in order that God may change people’s belief systems (Rom. 12:2).  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. This needs to be lived out and taught to unbelievers.  When we become followers of Christ we get a new culture, that which is taught by the foundational Apostles and Jesus Christ.
  • When Roxburgh and Allelon claim: “God is constantly present in places where no one would logically expect God’s future to emerge and yet it does over and over” they purposely forget or are willfully ignorant of the fact that God is not present in the sense of the Gospel message or redemption or any real understanding of God until one is sent to tell about these things (Rom. 10:14).  The Church has to be present for God to be present in that sense.  Yes, God is omnipresent.  No, God is not pantheistic nor has He been bringing people to salvation apart from the Good News of His Son (John 14:6).
  • When Roxburg responds to the question “What is a missional leader” with “I don’t know,” “Does it matter?” and “Who cares?” that pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.  But for an EC leader, whose life is now revolving around defining that very issue, to not know the answer to this question should make people a little frightened to see this flippant attitude and lack of the ability to frame his arguments.
  • The statement by Roxburgh that that “in times of discontinuous change, equilibrium is death” is backwards.  We need an anchor, a solid rock in changing times, not a drifting anchor without a rope. 
  • The statement by Roxburgh that preaching the Gospel to people and asking for a commitment is no longer the case that fits our modern world is backwards.  Christ asks us to understand and believe the Gospel and make a commitment to Him upon repentance.  That fact will never change as society changes to become subjective.  Postmoderns must learn to accept objective truth or else there is no way for them to be saved.
  • The Mission In Western Culture Project (MWCP) states: “The gospel is not just a matter of personal salvation; rather, it is a call to participate in the communal and global purposes of God.”.  Of course we are called to serve the Lord in the world, but we are not to be like the world. The Gospel is, first and foremost, all about personal salvation. There is no such thing as salvation of cultures and nations, or global salvation.  God is about the business of saving individual people and changing them from the inside out. We are not called to be global Christians, only Christians who will be salt and light wherever the Lord puts us.  We need to be obedient to Him, not to some global apostolic programs that have never worked.  We are not here to change the world, only stand for truth and let God change people.
  • The Mission In Western Culture Project states: “the message of Jesus is the breaking-in of God’s Kingdom reign into the world”.  God will “break in His Kingdom”, so to speak, when He comes.  Till then we live in an age of devolution into evil, the church falling away into apostasy (2 Thes. 2:3), and the coming short-lived reign of the AntiChrist (1 John 2:18).  This world is still in the domain of the evil one (Matt. 4:8-9, Eph. 2:2, John 16:11, Eph. 6:12) and Christians had better stop listening to Dominionists on this subject or else they will end up holding lamps without oil and will be surprised by the coming of the bridegroom. 
  • Allelon is another praxis of the EC and its teachings.  Since they recommend books by the leadership of the EC, people like Roxburgh have their books endorsed by them, they liberally quote from them, endorse their books and reflect the teachings of the leadership, the false teachings of the EC leadership ALL apply because everyone in the EC is being exposed to them.  Here are some quotes by the EC fathers of the movement that show where they are coming from:

 

Spirituality refers first of all to the universal gift of aliveness that exists within all religions and outside of religions. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 253)

 

A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.  Light is the common thread that ties together near-death experiences as they occur in various cultures. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 146)

 

… A New Light movement of ‘world-making’ faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning of these words, some of the last words poet/activist/contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton uttered: “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 10)

“Fourth, New Light embodiment means to be ‘in connection’ and ‘information’ with other faiths. To be in-formation means to know each other’s songs almost as well as one knows them oneself, and to enlarge the community to include those whose conceptions of God differ from ours in form. To be in connection means to be able to sing, not only selected stanzas, but all the verses” … “One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. A globalization of evangelism ‘in connection’ with others, and a globally ‘in-formed’ gospel, is capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim–people from other so called ‘new’ religious traditions (‘new’ only to us)–without assumption of superiority and power.”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 129-130)

ALAN JONES (Author of Reimagining Christianity) “The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it” (Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity, p. 132).

 

“Universalism is not as bankrupt of biblical support as some suggest,” (Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, ( San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), pp. 103 (cf. pp. 182-183)

 

“It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts,”… “Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place his truth in others too? … The gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity” (p. 194). (Brian McLaren, An Emergent Manifesto, Baker Books, referenced http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html)

 

“I don’t think we’ve got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be ‘saved’?…. I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy.”––Brian McLaren, The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today, 2004

 

“I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion.”—Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260

 

The phrase ‘the Second Coming of Christ’ never actually appears in the Bible. Whether or not the doctrine to which the phrase refers deserves rethinking, a popular abuse of it certainly needs to be named and rejected. (McLaren, Everything Must Change, Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), pg. 144.)

 

And yet, all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.  (”Aha!” my critics will laugh derisively, “I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!”) … In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Tony JonesSame Sex Marriage Blogalogue: How I Went from There to Here, Online source, bold theirs)

 

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One Response to “Allelon and Missional And The Nazarene Connection”

  1. […] Simpson article that appeared at Tim Wirth’s weblog and at his Nazarene-focused Psalm 11:3 weblog. It has not yet appeared in Sandy’s article list at Deception In The Church. It’s about […]

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