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“Emerging Theology” Is An Oxymoron

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on May 11, 2009

Sandy Simpson is one of the speakers in our upcoming DVD.
Here is Sandys latest article on Jon Middendorf.
“Emerging Theology” Is An Oxymoron
Comments on Jon Middendorf’s “Emerging Theology” M7 Conference Session Audio
by Sandy Simpson, 5/8/09

It is very important to start this article by pointing out that (1) the term “Emerging Theology” is oxymoronic and (2) a better term for what Middendorf is repeating from the teachings of Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Eddie Gibbs, Ryan Bolger and many other Emergents should have been called “Emerging Beliefs” or “Emerging Orthopraxy”.

The reason the term “Emerging Theology” is an oxymoron is that true Biblical Theology is not “emerging” but continuing. The true body of Christ is not making up new “theologies” to suit the times or postmodern thought. Postmodernism has its origins in a Satanic worldview practiced by the devil himself. In fact we need to reeducate people to think Biblically, objectively and to believe in objective truth. The Church is to hold to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and Prophets in the written Word of God (2 Thes. 2:15), which makes up true Theology. We are not to add (Pr. 30:6), subtract (Rev. 22:18-19), go beyond (1 Cor. 4:6) or run ahead of the written Word (2 John 1:9). But that is exactly what Emerging Church (EC) leaders are doing, including Middendorf. Read my article on how the Emerging Church is teaching against some of the core doctrines of the Church and adding things that the Bible does not teach or promote. Middendorf bought into the EC paradigm and recommends a number of their materials in this session. So right from the outset, beginning with the title of Middendorf’s M7 session, his teaching is unbiblical.

Synopsis: There was no theology presented in this lecture, per se. The overriding theme was that the EC wants to help Christians “find God in the world” and for them to “look like Jesus”. Sounds good but what does that mean? Does that mean going back to Roman Catholic liturgy and the Eucharist which Middendorf promotes? Does it mean incorporating mystical and New Age practices into the churches? Does that look like Jesus? I think not.

The tactic of any cultic groups is to isolate and indoctrinate. Middendorf is using both those techniques to secure followers in the Nazarene denomination for the Emerging Church. He uses isolation in two major ways. He first isolates by not allowing true “conversation” even though that is the stated goal of the EC. He does not want to listen to true criticism of the movement and subtly, and not so subtly, puts dissenters down by using terms like those with “ugly questions” and those who “carve and manipulate” people. It is clear, from his teachings in this session and others, that he is not able to argue his case with clarity and in fact claims in this session “it feels funny to be the person up here trying to nail down then what we mean when we say emerging or emergent theology”. Maybe because he never really defines any theology in this session and the EC has no real definitions on where they stand because that would necessarily alienate people. He further isolates people by getting them involved in a close relationship with another EC church and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), which is not even Biblical Christianity at all. So all the people following the Middendorf model are put in close personal contact with others who are exchanging the same views over and over again while claiming they are having an open conversation. But if dissent is not allowed then it can never be a true conversation but rather indoctrination. This is what is interesting because while the EC advocates claim their movement is about orthopraxy it is really about repeating the same tired teachings of the EC over and over again until people accept the false ideas, which is classic brainwashing. So while claiming to not have an emphasis on doctrine, it is just the opposite. The emphasis is always on the false teachings of the movement restated, and when you try to change the belief system of people you are teaching doctrine, pure and simple, no matter what you call it. No, they are not about Biblical doctrine; they are about repeating false doctrines endlessly.

2Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
1 Tim. 6: 3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Middendorf is not being a watchman for the sheep of the Nazarene denomination but is instead guiding false teachers and false doctrines into the Nazarene churches and making excuses for them while pretending it will do no harm.

Ga 2:4-5 This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
ze 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’

Following is the full transcript of the M7 session with commentary by Sandy Simpson. The text that is indented and in italics is the transcript. My comments are not indented and are in normal text. Again, this transcript is from Jon Middendorf’s “Emerging Theology” M7 Conference Session Audio on “An Official Site of the Church Of The Nazarene”,

Jon Middendorf-And so there was this created appetite after about six years or so and that combined with the realization that we were slowly but surely, surely even in a college town losing generations of young people. I think that’s where we got the permission to try and do something different.

By using the word “permission” Middendorf is subtly trying to persuade people that bringing EC ideas was a decision made by the Nazarene leadership. Perhaps it was.

Read the rest of Sandys article here Sandy is referring to the M7 conference ( the word G7 is a typo)- 


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