On some level all three groups thrive because of a rejection of God’s word.
• The Emergent church They are following the path of higher criticism that devastated the old denominations.
• The Purpose Driven The movement claims to be biblical, but everything they are doing is contrary to what the Bible reveals about the nature of man and the nature of the church.
• The New Apostolic Reformation They say they believe the Bible is the word of God. Their messages are full of scriptures. However they have developed their own eschatology that directly contradicts the prophetic picture in God’s word. They spiritualize most of the promises that belong to Israel and try to put them on the Church and through that method develop their theologies. Of the three groups, these seem to have the greatest demonstrations of supernatural phenomena. Many of their leaders claim to have received their doctrine directly from visitations with Jesus and claim to regularly interact with angels. Again, however, the teachings and revelations are aberrant and not at all accurate according to the full counsel of God’s word.
The three groups favor experience over the truth of God’s word. Rather than walking by faith in the facts revealed in the objective word, they encourage that we need to “know God, not just know about God.” That sounds good. However, it’s a control tactic used to squelch those who are looking at their Bible and finding that their church’s teachings contradict it.
The three groups are calling for unity on a world wide scale at the expense of doctrine. These groups are now beginning to “converge” and cross-pollinate in large conferences, teaching that we must all put aside our “differences” and come together as one for the cause of peace and unity.
The three groups have a dominionist agenda, believing it is the Church’s job to establish the kingdom of God on earth. Again, the scripture teaches that the kingdom comes when the king comes.
The three groups are conditioning their people for, if not directly calling for reconciliation with Rome.
These trends for the most part have infiltrated existing churches in various ways rather than becoming a “denomination.” There is no “emergent” denomination, or purpose driven, or even an NAR denomination. There are churches that are influenced by these ideas and trends in varying degrees.
These are not the only negative trends impacting the church. I focus on them because they seem to be the major trends that are impacting the widest number of protestant churches in the fastest and most transformative ways.
All of this is producing a giant upheaval in Christianity and forcing churches to rethink and refashion themselves to keep up with the fast moving trends of transformation. The leaders of these movements are telling the Body of Christ that they must either “change or die” (meaning become totally irrelevant).