Q. I’m interested in your perspective on the “emerging church”, and “new Christianity”, etc, that has come out of the ‘seeker friendly’ church movement. I believe that what is ‘new’ is not true and what is true is not new. My question is, do you see this movement tied to the end times? Is it one of the seven churches of Rev. 2-3? Or is it just a distraction that will soon fade away?
A. It’s definitely not a distraction that will soon fade away. In 2 Timothy 4:3 Paul prophesied, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
In 2 Thes. 2:3 he called this the apostasy, or falling away, that would signal the nearness of the end of the age. I think the emerging church is helping to fulfill this prophecy by turning the ears of their followers away from the truth of the gospel.
It also fits the description of the seventh church of Revelation 3:14-21, the church in Laodicea, which I believe is a foreshadowing of the apostate church at the end of the age. Financially rich but spiritually poor, the Lord called them “wretched, pitiful, poor , blind and naked.” And though the Lord stands at the door and knocks, apparently they can’t hear Him. He would gladly come in if invited, but alas He’s been left outside.
It’s important to remember that true believers can not fall into apostasy. Speaking of 1st Century apostates, 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
Jesus promised He would not lose any of those the Father has given Him (John 6:39)