How far is too far in the Emerging Church

Emerging Black Hole - Emerging ChurchHow far is too far in the Emerging Church

How far is too far?   The Emerging Church seeks to change everything but on what grounds?

Because the Bible is out of date?

Because we are in a time where people supposedly think differently than before hence we need new rules?

Because it’s too difficult to understand?

Because there are things that God commands you not do and you don’t like that because that means changing your worldly ways or?

It is because you/they really don’t like Jesus Christ the Son of God and therefore secretly have to change the Bible hoping no one will notice?

Is it because this is one big science experiment to see how far they can push the boundaries of God’s Word to see if man is capable of coming up with their own rules hence replacing God.

But let’s say that Brian McLaren got his way and everything changed.    Everything has now changed, what is left, what exactly are we left with?

By what standards are we left to know what is right from wrong, good from evil.  There are no more Godly Christians standards, we only have man made standards…


What is the new definition of a GOOD person?

and while we are at it…

What is the new definition of a BAD person?

and where does all of this leave  Sin and repentance of sin?

Some verses regarding God’s Word taken from God’s Word:

Trying to change God’s Word:

Proverbs 30:5-6

Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Revelation 22:18-19

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Sin is Good, Darkness the NEW light:

Isaiah 5:20

20  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Job 17:12

12 “They make night into day, saying, ‘The light is near,’ in the presence of darkness.

Luke 11:35

35 “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

74 Responses

  1. Michael Anthony says:


    If the bible thumping accountability police tells the church WE MUST do this and WE MUST do that then it sounds like the LAW.

    If Christians MUST be accountable (without exception) to a local church it is like 3 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what they are going to have for supper.

    As Chris Roseborough says – living in lala, I mean LAW-LAW land.

    We are not accountable to anyone because we are under any law or forced to do so; we choose to be accountable to one another because of who we are in Christ and because his law is written in our hearts. Because of this liberty we have we are not compelled to be subservient to false teachers or their teachings. We are by our NEW NATURE inclined to fellowship with other TRUE believers and be submitted to one another (that would be true believers again) by our new nature because of WHO we are. It’s called Grace.

    (but no doubt it is us hyper- fundamentalists (I read that horribly unbalanced, badly exegeted hubris Ryan calls an article on his blog) that will be accused of being enslaved to the LAW.)

    Pot, kettle, black.

  2. Michael Anthony says:

    Sorry about this – after reading a post here – another word on the debating tactics being used here;

    Circular Reasoning (Circulus in Demonstrando)

    Support a chain of arguments by the arguments it contains, as in:
    “The Bible is true because it is written by God. The Bible tells us how God wrote the Bible. God doesn’t lie, as the Bible tells us, so He wouldn’t write a book that is false, would he?”


    “Smoking marijuana is bad because it is against the law.
    Smoking marijuana is against the law because it is bad.”

    No, the bible is true because ie the 100% accuracy in the prophetic – verifiable and authenticated. The bible is true because Jesus is who is said he was and he proved this by raising from the dead on the 3rd day (and proving it it to witnsesses). Very different premise.

  3. Michael

    >> We are not accountable to anyone because we are under any law or forced to do so; we choose to be accountable to one another because of who we are in Christ and because his law is written in our hearts. Because of this liberty we have we are not compelled to be subservient to false teachers or their teachings. We are by our NEW NATURE inclined to fellowship with other TRUE believers and be submitted to one another (that would be true believers again) by our new nature because of WHO we are. It’s called Grace.


  4. Ryan

    >> answered this question in an earlier post which I see has not gone live or somehow lost in the system

    I am not even going to respond to this…. ok gosh I just repsonded.

  5. Michael Anthony says:


    Thank you for the reply but after reading your blog and subsequent articles I don’t think you actually understand or appreciate the purpose of this blog and have some pretty scathing comments which I think are unfounded.

    This blog is no more than a warning of the times we live in (as scripture warns) and showing other Christians where the errors lie (as scripture warns again). We actually discern for one another, it’s not a one/woman man show. Appreciate the blog for what it is, full stop. It is a thankless job.

    And by the way – discernment is not an ‘intuition’ or ‘feeling’. If anyone thinks it is they dont have it – discernment is rightly dividing the word of truth by the word of God. Although we are led of the Spirit and even has young Christians can have a check that something just aint right it is not until we grow in knowledge of the word that we can articulate it with more biblical acuracy.

    The gift of discerning of spirits is in the context of prophecy, I am a partial cessationist (beleive in the gifts for the body ala 1 Cor but don’t beleive in modern day apostles, apostolic authority was to write scripture etc). Discernment is not a ‘gift’ – it is a command – otherwise only some believers would have this ‘gift’.

    All believers MUST excercise discernment.

  6. Michael

    Indeed, I have always said that every born again Christian can discern. It’s not something you are taught, it’s not a feeling or intuition as said, it’s 100% completely Holy Spirit and where do we get the Holy Spirit from? When we are truly born again.

    I believe that the Word of God once written became the final authority, the last word on all matters that we need to know about. Nothing to be added or taken away. Notice what happens when things are added or taken away – one dot, one tittle and the entire message changes.

    The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts me daily, He guides me and councels me. I have fellowship with genuine Christians and we check eachother to make sue we are not going off the track. It is the most wonderful thing having born again Christians to fellowship with. For within each of them there is genuine love and you know when you ask them a seriuos question you are going to get a serious answer back.

    Also this whole thing about how we read scripture is someting I want to get just out of the way:

    It’s read in a literal, contextual and spiritual manner and without the Holy Spirit no one will never understand. In other words, if someone in not truly saved they will never understand scripture. (point taken re: word of faith, new apostolic, etc)

    This is why a group of emergents can all sit in a room together and each one will have their own meaning of what a verse means because there is no Holy Spirit anywhere in any one of them. How tragic is that? All seeking God but looking in all the wrong places. God says don’t follow after teachers who speak a message that opposse his Word and that is exactly what they do. God says do not tolerate wickedness and that is exactly what they do. God says do not bow to other gods and that is exactly what they do, Satan in the garden of Eden said to man, you will be gods and that is exactly where they are going.

    It saddens me that people can be so blind as to what they are following. Jesus Christ saved me from 17 years in the occult and I hold onto Him for dear life. Today Christians are diving in head first, but it’s not what they think it is.

    These ‘Leaders’ are so smart, they have a new way of saying things. Like “climbing the transformational ladder” is explained differently in the book: New Age speak for dummies 101 for it means: “Kabbalah Tree of Life where each Chakra is a god or goddess in you”.

    It’s like spraying deodorant over your clothes but it does not really cover the stench from smoking. “take off the old ones lenses and see through new eyes.” explained from the New Age speak for dummies 101 means, once you have ascended to the 6th Chakra, an open and balanced Third Eye Chakra allows us to look beyond our own issues to see a more complete, ‘enlightened’ picture of reality. We become aware of the motivation behind our actions. We may experience extra sensory perception (ESP), inner sound and clairvoyance.

    Ah well….all I can do is warn, I do not saved peple. The Holy Spirit is the one who does this. I do God’s work to warn, and I will not stop until such time that I am with Jesus Himself.

    PS, no book called “New Age speak for dummies 101” even if there was it out not help people see the truth. Only because THEY DONT WANT TO SEE THE TRUTH. They want their own pathway of new age rightenoussness.

  7. cecilia says:

    seen that Ryan so faithfully question me on and on, it’s only right that I answer.

    RYAN!! Your very first question to me was: Ryan Peter – October 12th, 2009 at 3:26 am
    Hi Cecilia, out of interest – do you go to a local church of any sort?

    It seems I’m even better organized than you – it might help if you don’t fall around so much, trying to proof so many things altogether in one breath ….

    Mmmm and yes, you didn’t post a comment on yet … I’m kinda eager to know how you would react to that post.

    “the women thing” means that you tend to go off against women who speak out strongly of what they believe in.

    ““Why are you trying to force “CHURCIANITY” down on us all? Because we dare to differ from your “easy to understand structures”?
    Ag nee Cecilia, so we differ from how we read these scriptures? Okay. But Roger differs to you guys on how he reads scriptures– but that’s not okay? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. “

    >>> again you sidestep the question. I SAID “WE DARE TO DIFFER FROM YOUR ‘EASY TO UNDERSTAND’ STRUCTURES” not aiming at the Word of God, but at the “local and universal church” line of thinking you were exploring ! AND YOU KNOW THAT RYAN!

    “Plus you haven’t said a stitch about how you DO read these scriptures, which I’m interested in hearing.”
    >>> told you here: October 15th, 2009 at 3:16 am why I won’t go into that at that stage.

    “I don’t know any of these people personally, so I can’t ‘advise’ them.”
    >>>> you really can’t say you know me, yet you ‘adviced’ me, and I did not even ask for it.

    “Do you submit all your entries here to the one your are accountable to?”
    Yes, my pastor is able to see all my correspondence.”
    >>> ag kom nou Ryan, I asked DO YOU SUBMIT IT…. Oh boy, maybe I should write in Afrikaans, maar op hierdie blog sal dit nogals ‘n hele ding wees om te quote in Engels en te comment in Afrikaans, en nie almal sal verstaan nie…

    “Yes, God speaks to me too through His Holy Spirit and His Word. May I be so bold as to suggest you ask Him then what He has to say about local church?”
    >>>NO, you may NOT be so bold! you should restrain from talking so much.. resolve one thing at a time…

    Oh let me for once get this out so maybe your mind can be at peace: I go to a church that is NOT local. I believe The Scriptures are true.

    If on any given point you’ve said something that’s not worth refuting, it means – there’s nothing to fuzz over. therefore I won’t comment on it, not even if you try to wring sanddust from a wet towel!

    “what makes you so confident that you can hear what the Holy Spirit is saying ‘better’ than a pastor or another sinful human being?”
    >>> not what Ryan, WHO. believe it or not Ryan, my personal walk with the Lord God. Holy Spirit convicts me, I repent, get forgiveness, learn from it, move on.

    “But I AM saying that Why Do You Think You Can Hear Better Than Them at what God is telling you?”
    >>>> where exactly did I say that, Ryan? (give it to me word for word, not the way you choose to interpret it).

    whom will you trust more Ryan – the pastor to whom you can tell a white lie to make it more justifiable? OR your God whom you say you serve, before Whom you stand open and bare, and where you dare not try to justify yourself?

    we reason SOOOO much, we reason God out of everything!

    “I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly easy to justify a sin when I’m doing it.”
    >>> yeah you’re so right – YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME… being within a ministry where I speak to people who come to me for help, I can’t afford to give un-truths or half-truths to the people, not if some of them is in a spot of turning around and commit suicide. I DON’T JUSTIFY SIN … had in the past, not any more. No physical abuse necessary to get me to the point of listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice. The last time I tried justifying something that was not correct, I landed up in emergency room for 1 night. So Ryan, I don’t try tricks on God anymore… I think it’s the “fear of God”, the awe of the truth of WHO HE is, totally out of submission to HIM and HIS WILL 4 and in my life

    … I tend just to obey, even if e.g. driving along peacefully, all planned and Holy Spirit says “take this road, it’s further, but saver” – I don’t question, I do … I’ve learned I will carry the consequences if I don’t listen carefully …

    If and when I falter, or don’t know everything, God gave me wonderful friends who walk alongside me on this narrow way … but they won’t always be there, neither me …. As for that much Ryan, If all the pastors you rely on is taken away in the blink of an eye, where will you run to?

    “without your own justifications and beliefs clouding”
    >>> I don’t totally get what you’re trying to say….. maybe please translate in Afrikaans?

    “Glad to finally meet a sinless human being…”
    komaan Ryan! My pa het altyd gesê sarkasme is die begin van ‘n verrotte brein. Sarcasm is not your answer Ryan.

    It’s not my own justification (PLEASE NOTE: I DON’t BELIEVE THERE ARE JUSTIFICATIONS)

    Romans 5 vs 1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    ONLY THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST (and NO works that I do in life) can justify me from sin. My ‘task’ is to believe that when I acknowledge+confess (repent) of my sin, I am the righteousness of Christ in God (in right standing with God), therefore justified by faith and not by no works of my own.

    PLEASE RYAN – DON’t be sarcastic about these things! You don’t know what other people went through in their lives. I for one will never out of my own, turn back on the sin-road. The price paid for me, was too dearly.. I can’t throw that back in the Face of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior! How about you?

    Just for the truth thereof – I DID NOT EVEN READ ALL THE OTHER COMMENTS before I started to type my comment. I hope I can still place this to Ryan even though other comments touched the same subject? Thanks!

    DTW – let’s keep standing!

    I took time to read through the above comments. One more comments please If you’d be so gracious to allow me?

    RYAN said: “If DTW is not linked in with any church (not an institution) and has no accountability she is in a dangerous position ”
    >>> bla bla bla … oh please Ryan, stop this evil talk at this moment! You’re NOT very gracious, you’re disrespectful – writing to the readers of this blog as if they are little children who know nothing.

    If we don’t share EVERYTHING with you, why don’t you just except it and let it go? and please STOP READING INTO other people’s words and lives, you lost so much time running in circles all the time….


  8. Ryan Peter says:

    Hi everyone,

    Honestly, I’m grateful for all your responses here. At last I can actually hear your heart on these issues and am sorry for being as blunt aggressive as I have been.

    DTW, my earlier post about repentance of sin has gone live now, I see, which should answer your question on that.

    Cecilia, you are right in saying “DON’t be sarcastic about these things! You don’t know what other people went through in their lives. I for one will never out of my own, turn back on the sin-road. The price paid for me, was too dearly.. I can’t throw that back in the Face of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior! How about you?”

    I am grateful for this comment. It rings entirely true. I have been disrespectful to this end and apologise.

    Michael Anthony, my scathing comments about this blog certainly indicate that I misunderstand what the blog is here for. My initial impressions of it have been that it is a little extreme. But at the same time am beginning to appreciate it in a unique way.

    I’ve been touched by the grace and manner in which Whitefield and Wesley disagreed (read the letter at Spurgeon’s archives at We should aim for a similar graceful way of communicating between us all.

    Cecilia, if there are any questions you would still like me to answer please let me know. I know you were somewhat upset with me for not answering them all directly.

    Thank you all,

  9. Ryan

    Gee whiskers, another disguised ‘understanding, love, forgive me’ comment, it just does not end Ryan. I love the ‘how about you’ sneaky question at the end of your sentence to Cecilia. She is not the one following false teaching Ryan. And throwing Spurgeon into the mix to try and make like you are ‘only now actually hearing our hearts on these issues’? Oh pulease… Do you know when I will take you seriously? When you admit you follow another gospel to that of what is written in the Word of God. Currently you are lying to God and yourself. In fact you can’t even stand for what you actually believe, even if it is false. It’s ridiculous. You can try fool everyone around you, but you do not fool God.

  10. Michael Anthony says:


    Judging by your debating strategy you have lost at lot of credibility.

    Let me outline your debating tactics.

    You use a false premise that unless one is accountable to someone else they are in rebellion (although you never stated it like that, it is the inevitable deduction) – then you use forceful tactics (circular reasoning) to wear your opponent down until that opponent says something spur-of-the-moment-reactive like ‘I don’t need to be accountable to anyone’ (although it did not get this far). Then the opponent is discredited and likened to Jim Jones or David Koresh. (I read your blog) and the inevitable cult insinuations.

    The problem is the above mentioned false premise is that is inevitable follow on is ‘now that we have established that (without actually having established anything) we can conclude that…’ meaning that your opponent is seemingly admitting guilt (without actually admitting to anything) to an invalid charge that is not supported by a correct exegesis of scripture.

    Quoting scripture means nothing – Satan himself surrounds you with scripture throws it at you hard and fast. And he uses similar tactics to accuse the brethren.

    If you are really repentant please have a long hard look at what your intentions really are.

    You may of course, not see it this way. I cannot judge motive or intentions but I can do the math.

  11. Amanda says:

    Pooh Bear

    Just because he disagrees with you doesn’t mean he’s not a fellow believer does it?

    No, it does not.

    When he defends Nic Paton and his other, trickster “Jesus”, it does. He can still repent, but until such time, I do not consider him to be a Christian.

    Ryan Peter on Satan the Trickster:

    A Christian is someone who believes IN JESUS, even though they might believe some wrong things about the Bible or Scriptures.

    My point is that, whether you like it or not, both Nic and and you, Deborah, believe in Jesus and you both have no choice but to love each other, as per Christ’s command. A Christian is not distinguished necessarily by WHAT they believe or HOW they talk, but whether or not they believe in Jesus. This is the bottom line. Entire generations lived under Catholic rule and didn’t know better, doing all sorts of things I’m sure you would deem heretical. Yet they were still Christians and still saved, because it’s about believing in Jesus (unless you want to relegate generations of people to hell because their theology was off, even though they most certainly believed in Jesus for their salvation!).

    So, Deborah, you might want to polarize yourself from Emergents in such an extreme way but you are actually not following a Biblical principle from doing so. I, myself, am not emergent (nor fundamentalist) but if you believe in Jesus and I believe in Jesus I have to love you whether I like it or not. You need to do the same with Nic, and he to you.

    More directly, I think your misunderstandings are around language and use of words. Nic likes metaphor and poetry. You’re taking his use of the word ‘trickster’ and projecting your own meaning of what that means over Nic’s post.

  12. Ryan Peter says:

    @ Amanda,

    With regards to my quote above, do you think that generations under catholic rule who had dodgy theology without even knowing they had dodgy theology, given that they were in a system that didn’t allow them to think differently, will go to hell?

  13. Amanda says:

    Ryan Peter


  14. cecilia says:

    you’re side-stepping again Ryan!

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