I have written this blog in memory of Pentecostal preacher David Wilkerson, who passed away in a tragic auto accident on 04/27/11. Click here for a CBN news item about his passing. David Wilkerson spoke out against many false teachings, including the Emerging/Emergent Church movement. Click here for an older blog of mine, with an audio of David Wilkerson warning about the Emerging/Emergent Church movement. I pray that God will raise up many more great men like David Wilkerson. In addition to the older link above with my blog and video, I want to provide some excerpts here from his sermon.
Note – I realize there are readers who oppose David Wilkerson for one reason or another. It is not my purpose here to debate Bro. Wilkerson’s theological positions; I am merely providing excerpts from a sermon of his with which I agree (and I do agree with most of his teachings).
Click here for the full transcript of Bro. Wilkerson’s sermon. Note – I have emphasized some excerpts by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].
“Seeking the Face of God“
by David Wilkerson, November 7, 2005
This new movement claims to be “rethinking Christianity.” It began about ten years ago , starting with small groups of believers who had become disillusioned with the “sinner friendly” mega-church movement. One news reporter calls it a movement of “mega burnout,” made up of young people tired of the shallow gospel of self-fulfillment…
Many who have become disillusioned are now gravitating to the emerging church movement. A Dallas newspaper characterized the movement this way: “Many emerging churches weave together elements from different religious traditions, especially Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Some are renewing medieval mystical practices such as ’walking the labyrinth.’ It is a pick-it-yourself, mix-and-match approach stressing community and social justice. Hell is rejected [or at least rarely mentioned] ‘because it makes God look like a torturer.’” Such churches use images, candles, incense and other things in worship. Many of these churches connect with each other through Internet blogs, and the movement is making inroads into established denominations. Their common claims are, “We’re trying to get reconnected to Jesus — the radical Jesus.” “We want to put a more humane face on Christ.” “Let’s dialog and try to figure out Jesus together.” No! They’re putting their own face on Christ, and it’s not the Christ of Scripture. All theology, all concepts of Jesus, are negotiable to them. They encourage “engaging our imagination about what Jesus was saying.” One of their key spokesmen states, “Clarity is good, but sometimes intrigue may be even more precious.”…
I also have a solemn warning for every young pastor and truth-seeking person who surfs the internet or browses bookstores. You’re going to see books, articles and blogs about new brands of Christianity that are very articulate, very well written, very well presented. But beware: the hook being used is Jesus and it is another Jesus. Unless you know the Christ of God’s Word, you will be deceived.
In over fifty years of ministry [as of 2005], I have seen every conceivable wind and wave of false doctrine come through. They always gather up a following, and within a few years they vanish, leaving the faith of many shipwrecked. And this was all before the advent of the internet. Now a doctrine of demons can spread over the earth in a matter of hours.
The emerging church movement is not going to go away. It will keep evolving in different forms, until all that Jesus prophesied will come to pass. What saddens me is that thousands of ministers are going to be transformed by these “educated voices.” Many will be deceived and start preaching a Jesus of their own imagination, because they quit seeking God and became engrossed in new theologies of radicalism. In place of God’s Word, they will preach a radical Jesus who’s against war, who will bring down the establishment, who will wipe out poverty.
Anyone who reads the gospels knows what Jesus has already said on all these human matters. Yes, our Savior loved the poor and commanded his church to provide for widows and orphans. We’re to mirror Christ’s love to the world through our own lives of sacrifice and devotion. But the emerging church has replaced this mirror with a painter’s canvas. It says we can paint Jesus with any face that comes to our imagination. This is a direct attack on the divinity of Christ, meant to bring him down to nothing more than a human level. I see it as the enemy’s last assault on the church before Jesus returns.
We need to take very seriously the warnings in David Wilkerson’s sermon. That is my goal, along with many other discernment ministries: to warn Christians (especially evangelicals) about Spiritual Formation, Emerging/ Emergent Church teachings, Ecumenism and other false teachings. I pray it’s not too late…
FOR FURTHER READING
There are many additional resources by David Wilkerson:
SermonIndex list of 211 transcripts of sermons
SermonIndex list of 547 audio sermons
World Challenge list of audio sermons
Pulpit Series newsletters
YouTube list of about 2,690 videos