Destroying America: Muslims, Communists…and Me!

So, it seems I — and all of you who are part of the emergence of Christianity — are bent on destroying America. So are Communists and Muslims. So says Art Ally, in his forthcoming seminar at the Values Voter Summit:

If that’s too small to read, here’s the text:

IS IT TOO LATE TO RECLAIM AMERICA?

  • Speaker: Art Ally, Founder and President, The Timothy Plan
  • Synopsis: This session will equip you to engage in the debate over the war for the soul of America.  We will explore the fundamental foundational problems we have in America and three of the channels the adversary is using to bring America down (Communism, Islam and the Emergent Church movement.)  The first 200 attendees will receive complimentary copies of Curtis Bowers’ award winning DVD Agenda (exposing Communism), Pastor Paul Blair’s comprehensive DVD (on the truth behind Islam) and Roger Oakland’s outstanding book “Faith Undone” (an expose on the Emergent Church movement.)

Religion News Service‘s Sarah Pulliam Bailey dug a little deeper. Here’s what she found:

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Synergies Between the Emerging Church and 12 Steps

The following is a guest post by Chris Estus. Chris is an “Aspiring Emergent.”  He left the friendly local mega-church in 2011 to start Pioneer at Asbury – A worshiping community of people in, in need of or interested in recovery.  He and his good Al-Anon wife Pat have lead the Pioneer Group since 2001.  His worship CD – The Chris Estus Band can be sampled at www.thechrisestusband.com

I had my last drink of alcohol on July 24th 1999.  I ‘ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I had enough.   It had quit working.  My ways of fixing me had quit working too.  I went to AA the next day.  There I found a community of people that immediately welcomed me and seemed to have a solution.  I discovered that I was a sick person trying to get well, not a bad person trying to get good.  They explained that I had a fatal, progressive illness with no known medical cure.  But there was a solution.  One day at a time, just keep coming back and drink this bad coffee and pray and follow direction and take the steps and try to help somebody and don’t drink and you won’t get drunk and life will improve.  Seek God, Clean House, Work With Others.  They were and are right.  Since then I have been an active member of the fellowship and an active participant in my recovery and that of many others.   I haven’t had a drink since I showed up and my life has improved exponentially.

A few months after sobering up, a recovery friend invited me to the local friendly Non-Denominational Mega Church.  I loved the music, the atmosphere, the shiny everything.  The motivational seminar attitude and vibe was hopeful and vibrant.  I soon responded to an altar call, prayed the prayer, repented from not tithing all these years and went through the new members class.  I quit the bar band, became a Contemporary Christian Praise and Worship Artist and joined a home group.

It was at the home group that I started noticing something troubling.  About 10 of the home group members were alcoholics or addicts that had sobered up in AA or another 12-Step program.  They all became active in church.  They loved and studied and knew The Word.  Somewhere in the process each of them had somehow convinced themselves that: [Read more...]

Book Sale

Dear readers, for the next week, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope is on sale in the ebook version for just $1.99. It’s a great book, edited by Doug Pagitt and Your Favorite Blogger, with contributions that include:

• Brian McLaren on postcolonialism
• Dan Kimball on theology
• Sally Morgenthaler on leadership
• Will Samson on mission
• Karen Sloan on sexuality
• Tim Keel on imagination
• Carla Barnhill on parenting
• Tim Conder on church

Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or ChristianBook.com.

Whaddya Say We Get Honest about Labels?

This morning on Marketplace Morning Report, Krissy Clark filed a story entitled, “What Does ‘Welfare’ Mean to You?“:

Once upon a time, the word welfare simply meant, faring well. That’s how the framers of the U.S. Constitution used it in the preamble. Right after the part about “forming a more perfect union” and before the part about “securing the blessings of liberty”, there’s a charge to “promote the general welfare.”

And yet, if you go out on to the street and ask people how they feel about the word welfare today, the feelings are, to put it mildly, fairly negative.

“It’s for people who sit on their butt all day and don’t do anything and then say ‘give me your money,’” is how John Frazer, a car service driver from San Diego, put it.

“It’s kind of associated with failure,” added Suncana Laketa, a graduate student from Arizona who said she had received welfare in the past herself.

She goes on to explain how the word has changed — how it has been demonized. The label “gay” has undergone a similar change, as many parents have had to explain during the annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” And here’s a telling book title about how labels are used: Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show.

You see, calling someone a “liberal” isn’t just a forensic exercise in academic differentiation. It’s a political act. And leaders who claim a theological tradition that’s particularly attuned to the political should stop acting naive about the politics of labels.

This post and the hullaballoo that surrounds it has the potential to be seen as internecine sniping, so I’m going to try to draw some larger lessons.

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