The Emergent Church
A growing movement on today's ecclesiastical scene is variously known as the "Emerging Church, or the "Emergent Church. While adherents will quibble about the interchangeable use of the terms, the reality is that they represent different variations of the same concept. The Emergent/Emerging Church is a movement that lacks a central structure and is hard to pin down as to precisely what is believed or practiced since there is no formal leadership or single organization that represents the movement. It is a dynamic and highly coordinated movement however, and is growing very rapidly.
The Emerging/Emergent Church is to one extent or another drawn from the Post-modern movement, a reaction to the Modern Era based on scientific discovery and the explosion of knowledge in the past century. The underlying tenant is that nothing can really be known for sure, so propositional truth is rejected as a basis for promoting the message of the Bible. The Emergent movement believes that the traditional methods of communicating the Gospel are not suited to the new generation (approximately 1980 on) and that new methods are needed to replace the outworn traditional approach. A key concept that keeps surfacing is the idea that rather than established propositional truth, the church is to be involved in an ongoing "conversation, a continuing dialogue seeking new and more effective methods and approaches.
Lakewood Baptist Church believes that the Emergent/Emerging Church movement is flawed at its very core. The Good News of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ is a message that is timeless; it does not grow old or go out of date. To be sure, we can work on keeping it up to date with the use of technology, etc. but to re-invent the message as the Emergent movement does, results in the creation of "another gospel which the Apostle Paul strongly warns us against. The error of the Emergent movement is that it seeks for a new approach based on "experience rather than the propositional truth of the Bible. This search has resulted in an admixture of new age, eastern mysticism, and mystical practices drawn from the monastic movement of the middle ages. The result is a false gospel that is powerless to transform the life of a sinner.
Under the guise of seeking an experience based source of truth, the Emergent movement has injected human reasoning and conclusions into the gospel, resulting in a denial of original sin, the need for repentance and the new birth, and the necessity of a walk with God that is dependent on the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God. Lakewood Baptist takes the position that the Emergent movement is a dangerous perversion of the Gospel message that should be avoided at all costs, as it is "another gospel of a different kind, not the true Gospel message of the Bible.