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“The Undoing of Faith”
by Roger Oakland   
September 1st, 2008

My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a catalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ….Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right. - Emergent church leader, Erwin McManus.

While preparing to write this book, a fellow apologist asked me if I would also discuss the good side of the emerging church in my book. Surely, there are some fruitful works coming out of this movement, a movement that has at least some sincere and truth seeking people within its confines. And while I would agree there are some sincere people in the movement, I have had to examine whether the good that might be found outweighs the harmful, and if it doesn’t, then does the harmful negate the good?

I would liken it to this: While the Mormon church teachings have some good advice (devotion to families, obeying the Ten Commandments, etc.), I could never recommend this group because most of its teachings are contrary to biblical Christianity. Can you imagine if your Sunday school teacher said, “Today, we are going to study from the book of Mormon”? The teacher then says, “While we may not agree with everything, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let’s glean the good.”

I believe this scenario fits for the emerging church too. The fruits of the emerging church include creating hostility towards Bible-believing Christians, no longer identifying with Christianity altogether, and restructuring missions and evangelism so that converts can remain in their own religion (just add a Christ-figure). Once the emerging church has accomplished these things, there truly will be nothing left of the Christian faith.


Emerging church leader, Erwin McManus, says his “goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.” He says the greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity (i.e, Christians). Just what does McManus mean by these statements? He would say that we do not need to identify with Christianity as a religion, but we can still identify with Jesus.

The term – follower of Jesus ( or Christ-follower) – is used frequently within the scope of those promoting emerging spirituality.

This attitude to “destroy Christianity” but become Christ-followers is seeping through several venues. Book tittles for example, express this growing anti-Christian sentiment. One book, “Why one can be a Christian or a Christ-Follower (But Not Both) by Floyd Henderson, is a case in point.

The idea behind being a Christ-follower as opposed to a Christian can be seen in the spiritual formation movement (ie, contemplative prayer movement). That is, if you want to be like Christ, then practice certain disciplines and you can be like Him.

The one common thread woven throughout spiritual formation teachings is that silence (induced through mantra meditation) and being a Christ-follower are practically synonymous. You can’t have one without the other. But being born again, receiving Christ as your Savior, Lord, and Master is not a pre-requisite to being a Christ-follower. Richard Foster teaches that anyone, not just believers, can practice these spiritual disciplines and become like Christ.

The reason meditation has to play such an important role in the emerging church is because without the true Gospel message being preached (faith comes by hearing the Word), so many within the movement do not have the indwelling Christ, but they sincerely long to be like Him and to feel His presence. Thus the energy to do that has to come from somewhere. Meditation appears to be that answer. However, mantra meditation does not conjure up the presence of God, but rather demonic entities that deceptively look like Christ at first. So these emerging Christ-followers are learning to be like Christ but many may not ever have received Him as Lord and Savior and thus don’t have Him living inside them.

So anyone at all, from any walk of life, from any religion, can be a Christ-follower. They may come to believe they have a Christ-consciousness and are Christ-like, yet they do not have the actual power of Christ within, that can only come from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The bible is clear where the true power of God comes from.

Excerpts from "FAITH UNDONE" by Roger Oakland; Lighthouse Trails Publishing

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