Again I want to state that the new Emerging Church movement is not really new at all but is Gnosticism plain and simple.
The Emerging church has bought back many ancient Gnostic rituals such as Lectio Divina, centering prayer, prayer stations, labyrinths etc..
This practices were rejected by biblical Christianity in the past, biblical Christians are rejecting them now.
And yes we are called heresy hunters a title I share with some of the early church fathers such as Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Ireneus who also spoke out against the Gnostics/Emergent church.
So here is a little history.
Again don't just take my word for it research what you are into and it's roots for yourselves.
Gnosticism is a blanket term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries AD . It is also applied to modern revivals of these groups and, sometimes, by analogy to all religious movements based on secret knowledge gnosis, thus can lead to confusion.
The occult nature of gnostic teaching and the fact that much of the material relating to the schools comprising Gnosticism has traditionally come from critiques by orthodox Christians. Irenaeus described several different schools of 2nd century gnosticism in disparaging and often sarcastic detail while contrasting them with Christianity, to their detriment.
This state of affairs continued from antiquity through to modern times; in 1945 , there was a chance discovery of a cache of 4th-century gnostic texts in Nag Hammadi, Egypt. The texts, which had been sealed inside earthen jars, were discovered by a local man called Mohammed Ali. He at first was afraid to open the jars, as he believed they might contain an evil spirit , and that opening a jar might release it. When he overcame his fear and returned home with the texts his mother, possessed of a similar fear, burned several of the texts. The remaining manuscripts, now known as the Nag Hammadi library, allowed for the study of apparently Gnostic texts at first hand for the first time since the 4th century. The translation of the texts into English was completed in 1977; other modern languages followed.
At the same time, modern gnosticism has continued to develop, from origins in the Occultism of the 19th century. Thus "gnosticism" is also applied to many modern sects where only initiates have access to arcana.
Some theologians believe that the Carpocratian Gnostics were the target of Jude's attack about "...certain men" who " have secretly slipped in among you,". The book of Jude, Verses 4 to 19, deals mainly with these infiltrators.
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Old and New Apostates 5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said,The Lord rebuke you
10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Apostates Depraved and Doomed
12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;
13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
How do the Emergent crowd take rebuke as it is handed out?
I wonder how Paul and Jude would have spoken to them.
Simon Magus, an early Gnostic, may have been the Simon mentioned in Acts 8:9-24. Simon believed in Jesus and was baptized with a group of other believers. But none had received the Holy Spirit until Peter and John placed their hands on the new converts. Simon asked for the laying on of the apostles' hands and even offered money. Peter refused, because Simon's heart was not right with God.
Gnosticism consisted of many syncretistic belief systems which combined elements taken from Asian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Syrian pagan religions, from astrology, and from Judaism and Christianity. They constituted one of the three main branches of early Christianity: the other two being:
The remnants of the Jewish Christian sect which was founded by Jesus' disciples after his execution and centered in Jerusalem, and
The churches started by Paul, that were eventually to grow and develop into "mainline" Christianity by the end of the third century.
Many new emerging religions in the West have adopted some ancient Gnostic beliefs and practices. By far, the most successful of these is the LDS or Mormon church.
The Gnostic faith is undergoing a resurgence in the 21st century, primarily in Western countries with the new (yet old) Emergent church movement with Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Tony Jones, Sally Morganthaler, Leonard Sweet and a host of others.
The ultimate foundational elements of gnosticism are ore Christian because their roots are in Hinduism and Buddism. That said, the exact origins of Gnosticism are a subject of dispute amongst scholars: some think Gnosticism is fundamentally pagan in origin, but has adopted a Christian veneer. Most historians, however, agree that a significant influence in the mystical interpretations were influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. In the end, it is difficult, perhaps impossible to confidently identify a clear origin for Gnosticism, due in part to its commonly syncretistic nature, and due also to the fluid (some might say "confused") relations between religious traditions in antiquity and, indeed, throughout history. Despite these uncertainties, some historical notions concerning gnosticism are widely accepted.
Many Gnostic sects were made up of Christians who embraced mystical theories concerning the nature of Jesus or theChrist which was increasingly at variance with the teachings of orthodox Christian faith as it developed. For example, Gnostics generally taught docetism, the belief that Jesus did not have a physical body, but rather his apparent physical body was an illusion, and hence his crucifixion was not bodily.
It seems clear that Gnosticism, at least in some of its theologically more developed formulations, was influenced by Platonism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Some historians accept that there is a significant amount of Buddhist/Hindu influence in Gnostic interpretations of the Bible. The standard tactic of Gnostic texts is to radically reinterpret a well-known text (usually Genesis and its related Biblical books) through the addition of an original prologue.
It is also my conclusion that The Message bible is actually a Gnostic writing based on these principles.
In the Valentinian Gnostic creation myth, as in the Classical Gnostic myth, the central transgression revolves around the figure of Sophia, who again seeks to surmount the rigid hierarchies of the spiritual universe to attain union with the unknowable One. In one account, she saw a distant light which she took to be the One, but which was in fact a mirror image of herself. Thus, in pursuing it she drifted even farther away from the pleroma.
Sophia's anguish and fear of losing her life, just as she lost the light of the One, caused confusion and longing. This dismay threatened the entire Pleroma, and, in an effort to prevent their spread, a portion of Sophia (called 'Achamoth', Hebrew for 'Wisdom') was split from the original by a divine figure called the Limit and thrust outside the Pleroma. This action should not be understood spatially, but epistemically, as being forced outside the divine presence. The sufferings of this secondary Wisdom caused the emergence of matter (Greek: hyle, ὕλη) and the soul (Greek: psyche, ψυχή) brought into existence through the four classical elements fire, water,earth, and air.
Now click on this linkhttp://www.lauriebethjones.com/main/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
New Ager/Gnostic Laurie Beth Jones is now applying the 4 elements in a pagan application to teach your teens.
Some other modern Gnostics
Carl Jung and his associate G.R.S. Mead G. R. S. worked on trying to understand and explain the Gnostic faith from a psychological standpoint. Jung's "analytical psychology" in many ways schematically mirrors ancient Gnostic mythology, particularly those of Valentinus and the "classic" Gnostic doctrine described in most detail in the Apocryphon ("Secret Book") of John. Jung understands the emergance of the Demiurge out of the original, unified monadic source of the spiritual universe by gradual stages to be analogous to (and a symbolic depiction of) the emergence of the ego from the unconscious. However, it is uncertain as to whether the similarities between Jung's psychological teachings and those of the Gnostics are due to their sharing a "perennial philosophy", or whether Jung was unwittingly influenced by the Gnostics in the formation of his theories; Jung's own "Gnostic sermon", the Septem Sermones ad Mortuos, would tend to imply the latter. Uncertain too are Jung's claims that the Gnostics are aware of any psychological meaning behind their myths. On the other hand, what is known is that Jung and his ancient forebears disagreed on the ultimate goal of the individual: whereas the Gnostics clearly sought a return to a supreme, other-worldly Godhead, Jung would see this as analogous to a total identification with the unconscious, a dangerous psychological state.
Now check out this link to see the Jung/ Slick Rick Warren comparison.http://www.sacredsandwich.com/warren_jung_chart.htm#warrenjung
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy enjoyed and wrote extensively on Gnostic ideas.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche appears to echo Gnostic ideas in his concept of the "Eternal return", in which a demon condemns human subjects to live out their lives in endless repeating cycles.
New Ager Leonard Sweet quotes Nietzsche in his Quantum Spirituality e book.
The philosopher Hans Jonas Hans wrote extensively on Gnosticism, interpreting it from an existentialist viewpoint.
The bottom line here folks is that Emergent church is experience driven as is paganism, witchcraft and Gnosticism.
I Timothy 4:1 warns us "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."
2 Timothy 3 5 also warns that in the last days people will be
"lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.
So if you are in a Emergent church turn away, repent ask God to forgive you and reject the Emergent church and its pagan and worldy ways.