Is the 'Emergent Movement' doomed already?
The ‘Emergent Movement’ is doomed to become just another footnote in history unless and until it dissasociates itself fully with ‘traditional’ Christianity.
The ONLY doctrine preached by Jesus and the apostles was love - love of God and love of fellow humans. Not a weak, sentimental love but the meek love which is the sign of a truly great character, the only kind of love whereby it is possible to ‘love your enemies’.It was the outward revelation of this inner depth of character which demonstrated that the Kingdom of God “cometh not with observation…for, lo, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
The simplicity and purity of this teaching did not prove sufficient to the Graeco-Roman church ‘fathers’ and still does not prove sufficient today.
The minds of the said ‘fathers’ were set in the key of a different structure to that of the Hebrew apostles and the doctrines built up around the person of Jesus are a reflection of gentile theology.
The major church doctrines are ‘unscriptural’ - demonstrably so. The Trinity, Virgin Birth, and the various ‘divinity’ teachings focus completely upon the personality of Jesus and the effect which it is assumed he produced upon his contemporaries.
To accept this, is to accept that the issues for which he lived and died were issues applicable only to that time and those circumstances.
Many preachers and theologians reason that because these doctrines have been taught for so many years, they are somehow thus endowed with weight, with truth. The only truth in this view is that they have been taught long enough to become ‘traditional’. Jesus himself told the Pharisees that they made ‘void the word of God’ by their tradition. (Mark 7:13). Those who rely on ‘tradition’ to bolster their arguments stand in precisely the same position as their intellectual ancestors.
The expectancy and hope of the Israelites was that, some day, one would arise who would save them from their sins and show them the way to eternal life. The Hebrews had very definite ideas about this man and these were recorded in the books of the Old Covenant.Many Christians are unaware of what exactly the Hebrews did expect and this ignorance has facilitated the building up of the erroneous doctrines of the Christian Churches.
When the fervent Hebrew hope of a ‘messiah’ transitioned to a practical reality in Jesus, it moved John to write: “All things came into existence through him, and apart from him, not even one thing came into existence. What has come into existence by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness but the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:3-5. See also Acts 26:18)
Thus did John express his philosophy concerning the ultimate resurrection of those who lived endeavouring to emulate the righteousness of Jesus, and died “knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also with Jesus.” (2 Cor 4:14)
The emphasis today is placed upon some creed or confession of faith rather than upon this message of good tidings:
“But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned from which things some having swerved have turned aside into VAIN TALKING; desiring to be TEACHERS OF THE LAW, though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm.” (1 Tim 1:7)
Eternal life is to be found in spirit, not doctrines. Jesus’ true message, unfettered by doctrines, brings hope and a sense of human dignity to the despised and rejected of the Earth. The New Testament writers enumerate principles to follow in order that Christians living many centuries later may become one with Jesus. Where John preached the gospel of love, Paul announced redemption by a inner and spiritual identification with Jesus, with a self-imposed crucifixion and resurrection.
Church doctrines can deliver no such message. If Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth today, he would be unidentifiable in terms of these doctrines and thus it is self-evident that a great body of ‘Christians’ would be in the forefront of those shouting “away with him”!