At the bottom of this blog is a conversation several discernment people had with Manny Silva. Manny’s main concern is the Nazarene Church denomination, which is being destroyed by Spiritual Formation and Emerging/ Emergent teachings. Click here for his blogsite.
It is not my intent to create unnecessary division with this blog. I am trying to show the “human side” of discernment ministries, the hurt and backlash we receive for confronting various teachings. I want to encourage other discernment ministries who are going through the same “persecution” for opposing Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings.
A word on these teachings. Bottom line – we want these things to stop being taught in our denominations, to cease completely. And with the eternal destiny of so many souls at stake, we will not take “no” for an answer. Either the churches stop teaching these things, or we will plead with their members to LEAVE, to “run for your life” as Carter Conlon so movingly put it. It’s as simple as that. [Click here for a step by step guide to leaving an apostate church and locating a biblical church.]
Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings are unbiblical. These teachings are loved by all non-evangelical groups – mainline/liberal, people of other religions, New Agers, etc. etc. They have no problem reading books by Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, etc. (The line between Emerging and Emergent is becoming more blurred; there are many so-called Emerging individuals who love the writings of so-called Emergent writers, and vice versa.) Why are so-called born again Christians reading these?
Not only are these teachings unbiblical, they are extremely dangerous. They are destroying the body of Jesus Christ. They come straight from the pit of Hell. Yet many, many supposedly born again Christians apparently cannot see this. They continue to be hell-bent on clinging to these teachings. My question is, why? In the name of God, why?
The Bible warns us repeatedly there will be false teachers in the last days who will lead us astray, away from the true gospel, destroying our Christian faith. God help the “sheep” with hardened hearts who refuse to heed these warnings and continue to follow false teachers. And God help the false teachers, the “pied pipers” with hardened hearts who continue to lead undiscerning Christians astray.
Now on to the conversation with Manny Silva. Note – I received permission from Manny to repost these comments here. I have emphasized certain items by bolding and [bracketing].
SB: So what is it we can actually do about the encroachment of postmodern thought into previously Biblically sound churches? We can post things from other people who have confronted emergent and postmodern leaders, but is [there] more we can do, in the first person? How are we to reach the actual body of people who are being led astray? What does God call us to do in this situation? Also, where is the line between what we can do and where we need to “let go and let God”?
Manny Silva: One example right now to answer the last question, SB. When I did all I could to warn others at my former church, including the pastor, and when all else failed, and when they were determined to ignore everything I said, and when they refused to even hear what I had to say- even as a board member- that was the time to say, it’s all up to God now.
I don’t engage them anymore, although I will welcome them to talk with me whenever they want- and I have. But so far, nothing but silence. Not much one can do is there, at that point.
Now I just focus on warning others. Ironically, many of the ones who rejected me are still on my mailing list- whether they are reading the warnings, I don’t know. I just continue doing what needs to be done, to educate people on these issues, to inform, and let God and His Holy Spirit [do] what only they can do.
To answer the other questions, well, we can try to reach people one person at a time, sometimes very patiently. After we left, not one person called us for a long time. Even after one year, perhaps one or two have taken the time to talk with us, but even then, they are not sure what to say or ask. [Last] month, at a funeral, one person spoke with my wife, and asked questions, and now wants us to come over and talk some more about what happened. That’s what I mean by one person at a time.
Many refuse to deal with conflict, and this is clearly conflict, it results in division, and a lot of people don’t want division.
The problem is, division is inevitable, division sometimes is necessary- for the right reasons. Yet seemingly mature Christians do not understand that a false unity is not a good unity.
Each of us is responsible for defending the faith- defending the truth- in the way that God has given us to do. I was crazy enough to start a blog. Others are led by God to do it a different way. I never have made the assumption that since I have a blog, I am doing more than others. I have spoken with so many people in the past year, who just by themselves, made a difference- and woke up just one or two people- by standing for the truth, at the risk of alienation, being called hateful dividers, etc. You will run into the same thing when you persist on asking questions, on getting answers, and on upholding the word of God.
SB: Thanks for your response, Mr. Silva; that was very helpful. I liked what you said about defending the truth in the way God has given us to do. I will continue to wait on God to reveal to me what he would like me to do, if anything, while I pray for peace and the ability to let go when I need to.
DU: Manny [it] truly is one person at a time… “We must give up the vain idea of trying to please everybody. The thing is impossible, and the attempt is a mere waste of time. We must be content to walk in Christ’s steps, and let the world say what it likes.” ~ J.C. Ryle
Dave Mosher: Manny, would it be okay to copy and paste this entire conversation to a blog? [Manny replied by giving me permission]… My reasons? 1) The conversation shows how Emerging/ Emergent people still refuse to listen. 2) It shows how Emerging/ Emergent people were hurtful to you. 3) It shows how you were only trying to do what was right – defend the Faith. 4) Some of your statements make excellent quotes for defending what we are doing. For example your statement that “… division is inevitable, division sometimes is necessary- for the right reasons. Yet seemingly mature Christians do not understand that a false unity is not a good unity.” These four points [match] my denominational situation exactly – it would be insightful I think for those in my denomination to see the parallels with this conversation.
Also, several statements in these posts match very closely what I have blogged: 1) people accusing me of being divisive, and 2) I previously put up a statement very similar to yours that “I was crazy enough to start a blog….”
Here are the corresponding statements from two of my blogs – maybe these will help someone else: My blog excerpt #1) It is not my intent to be divisive. I know there are many in the EFC-ER who are also very upset about Spiritual Formation, Emerging/ Emergent teachings, and similar issues. I am speaking out for myself, as well as for others who are either afraid to offend or afraid of ostracism. My blog excerpt #2) [since a high denominational official declined to discuss this issue further, feeling I was being divisive] I feel my only recourse at this point is to blog (as nasty and as awkward as it is), and to network with the many others in the denomination who are also concerned about these very same issues.