A Mockumentary on the Emergent Church

A Mockumentary on the Emergent Church January 23, 2012

What do you get when you mix a bunch of YouTube videos, interviews with a few ultra-conservative Christians, and some scary Danny Elfmann knock-off music? This:

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  • Robert Shell

    Ugh. This almost makes me want to support the ’emergent church’ more. This is also why the Church is my number one reason for and against going to seminary. So frustrating. But at the same time this is one of those things that is SO ridiculous, that it’s not even worth entertaining. Sorry, that was a bit of a rant.

  • They must be telling the truth. He does use the word, “imploring.” “Imploring” is in Bible.

  • Hey, the great thing about the clips of Tony, Pete, Doug, Rob, and others that are used because these people think those particular clips are most damning is that they aren’t necessarily bad sound bites, I’d admit to being guilty of all of these accusations that “make the apostles turn over in their graves.” Of course they don’t give a robust, total picture of what’s going on in “emerging circles,” as diverse as those are, but at least they didn’t use the sound bite from that same interview with Pete when he goes “Hitler was probably a great guy!”

  • Most. Awesome. Thing. Ever.

    Haven’t laughed that hard in months!

  • Scot Miller

    Hell, yes!

  • That was fun- truly hilarious. I must say kudos on the decent redacting and titling skills on the part of the editor – Completely distorted and misleading – but still… quality work.

  • This is a bigger production than you think. Someone would have to have secured the rights and purchase the footage used. The MSNBC footage alone would have been in the thousands to obtain.

    Tony are on another track and hate evangelicals. Don’t want to be defined while you try and rip apart Christians that believe different than you. You even call yourself an ecclesiologist, but you are really a check list liberal, but you are suppose to use the term progressive now.

    Your script is pretty much 20th century liberalism. likewise, it wouldn’t be hard to structure and script a documentary like this.

    • Lock, I’m willing to bet you some amount of money that, no, they did not secure rights for most of this. I know some of the filmmakers, so I can check if you’d like.

  • Frank

    The scariest part is the scoffing of the truth that’s presented. Therein lies the failure and why the “Emergent” movement is dead except for the hanger ons!

    • Larry Barber

      If emergent is “dead”, then why spend the time, money and effort to produce a 2 hour video exposing the evils of all things emergent?

      And Frank, most of the “truths” presented in the video are from a modernist interpretation of Christianity, and the presenters then think that from this foundation they have a spot to criticize those who are trying to give Christianity a post-modern expression.

  • Phil Miller

    Lighting Advent candles is the first step towards becoming a liberal. It’s been proven by science!

    • Carla

      That was my favorite part, too! Look at what they’re doing to your children!!! They are making them liturgical!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Second favorite is the clip of Doug saying he doesn’t believe in Christianity anymore and then editing out the sound so we can see that he’s saying more. Context be damned!

  • Brian

    “Some of them are now not wanting that term.” And “some” of them (let’s not kid ourselves, we all know who we’re talking about) never wanted that term and always eschewed it. Despite this fact, “some” are continuously pegged as the poster boy!


    These people drive me nuts…

  • Also, for as much as the EC movement as been criticized for lack of diversity, apparently the critics of the EC are only white, middle aged, men with midwestern accents!

    • that said Bo, you must admit the critics’ facial hair was surprisingly impressive

  • Thanks for posting this. It has given me a lot to think about.
    Mostly, I didn’t realize how dangerous candles can be.

    • not just candle, but how demonic power of the advent wreath can be

  • DaveB

    Advent Candles is finally exposed at the pagan brain-washing of children. The problem is vastly more widespread than I realized. Sad, sad, sad…

  • Kimberly Glenn

    Nice touch with the flames! Does that represent a place? Where is it?

  • Charles

    The last statement:
    “That doesn’t sound anything like Christianity.”
    No it doesn’t. Thank God!

  • The good news is that there is a two-hour version of this. Just remember that’s two hours of your life that you can never get back.

    It really doesn’t bother me at all that someone put that kind of effort into a video opposing the Emergent movement. If everyone likes what you do, you probably aren’t doing anything, just appeasing. It is just troubling that we love to “paint” one another as the “dark and disturbed” side of Christianity.

  • John Musick

    First, I’ve never been more proud of pastoring my former church in that it is included in this trailer.

    Second, these guys are dishonest cowards and charlatans. No direct interviews were conducted with the subjects of the documentary by its makers. The producer refuses to be interviewed because “he doesn’t want to cause strife in the church.”

    Yep, bullshit.

  • This hits close to home… BECAUSE… why is the first reaction to accuse heresy, point fingers and condemn (and then lament that the pews in our churches are empty because nobody cares about God anymore). If Emergent proves anything, for all the ideas out there, it is this: People DO care about God still. Rather than vilify them, why aren’t these people engaging in conversation? why are they stirring up controversy instead? Why aren’t they developing and changing themselves to reach those people they earnestly feel are lost? Faith without works is Dead.

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  • Kenton

    Thanks for sharing, Tony. I don’t know what you call it, exactly, but I’m experiencing the same feeling I had watching “Meet the Parents.” 🙂

    Props to the other folks’ comments too.

  • My favorite part was the part about the apostles turning in their graves. Love it.

  • Documentary for things led by white men?

  • Tim

    So when people attack us unfairly, what do we do?

    Bless those who curse us!

    How does that sound?

  • It’s those evil publishers, you see, selling books as they do. It’s all their fault.

  • Tim

    Syncretizing postmodern thought and Christianity?? How about the full-scale coopting of individualism, consumerism and nationalism by all of these unidentified self-proclaimed gatekeepers of the church?

    I especially love the hellfire behind Tony and company’s names 🙂

  • Wow! In a world full of tagline and sound bite journalism, I thought that Christian discussion would be above that. In fact, I have no idea what that video is actually attacking. O.K. I guess the Emergent Church is bad…what is the Emergent Church…what does it stand for…what is wrong about it? Not of this is addressed. We are all Christians here, why are we attacking ourselves?

  • Dave H.

    “Eternity’s at stake.”

    I had no idea that Eternity (should that be capitalized?) was so frail.

    And the problem with lighting candles by The Children (this should definitely be capitalized) is not the candles themselves, it’s the weird resemblance to an all-weather radial tire they are set up in. That’s just freaky!

  • the best part is the bit on the of pagan candles and it’s a kid lighting the Advent candles.

  • LOLZ!

    I didn’t know you were all in dome secret cult together, leading our children astray by allowing them to burn pagan candles while wearing skullies IN THE CHURCH!! ZOMG

  • JoeyS

    “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

    • JoeyS, your comment is sensational !

  • I don’t think I qualify as “emergent,” though many of my emergent friends tell me I do. However, based on this, I really am tempted to adopt the term and run with it!

  • Anyone gotten that free two hour DVD yet?

  • Sweet – I’m requesting my free copy right now.

    Who’s with me! 😉

  • Damn, I need a haircut

    • Nooo….all good heretics have long hair. 😉

  • Pat Pope

    They used the names of the Emergent pastors, why not post their names as each one of them is speaking?

    And the apostles are turning in their graves? Wow….

    • Larry Barber

      Yes, they are so excited abouted the emergent movement that they are leaving their graves and turning them back in to the graveyards!

  • Ha! Very entertaining.

  • Deb

    Holy cow. Where to start?… Is being that angry and self-righteous really reflecting Christ? I don’t think I could stomach 2 hours of that without wanting to pull my ears off.

    On the deepest level, it makes me sad more than angry.

  • Lisa

    wow! sign me up! 🙂

  • Tim Hallman

    Ha ha

  • robert

    I wonder if they think you “Emergents” are “Jesuit infiltrators.” I read your book “The Church is Flat” well done. The one phrase “their brainwashing your kids” and my irony meter broke.

  • I was forwarded this blog and thought I’d jump in to clear up some misunderstandings. Subjects of this film were contacted for direct interviews. Tony, Doug and others were contacted in April last year. No response. At a Love Wins book signing, Rob told me he would be willing to do an interview and to contact his church which was done several times with no response. I’m not going to fault them for that; I know they are all probably very busy people. But for this reason we have resorted to their own public statements. The only person that got back to me was Shane Claiborne.

    The reason I am hesitant to be interviewed myself about the film is not because “he doesn’t want to cause strife in the church” as John said, but I told Doug “the servant of the Lord must not strive.”

    This film is my way of joining the conversation. Any of you are welcome to contact me personally by email or phone, info available on our website. I’d be delighted to speak with any of you individually, but probably won’t be doing many more blog responses.

  • mountainguy

    the apostles turning in their graves… I wish they said “Jesus turning in his grave”. It’d be the most hilarious thing I ever heard.

  • angie

    oh was I supposed to take this seriously?
    I laughed pretty much the entire 3 minutes.

  • The evidence is really piling up now. I’m buying 11 of these things and distributing them to all the most conservative and pious people I know so that our heresy-hunting butthurt will glow all the brighter. I love stewing in holy rage alongside my fellow brothers.

  • MisterTee

    I think we should show this DVD every Sunday at Solomon’s Porch instead of reading the bible out loud together.

  • Sam K.

    They uploaded the whole thing on youtube yesterday. *grabs some popcorn*

  • Chris

    A quick look at this guy’s youtube page reveals that he believes that 9/11 was prophetic fulfillment.

    …gonna need some more popcorn.

  • toddh

    My favorite part was when they accused those in the emergent movement of “brainwashing” their followers! I’ve heard a lot of critiques, but never brainwashing. If they took the time to visit almost any of the churches profiled there, or heard any of those leaders teach, I think they would find exactly the opposite of brainwashing.

  • Honey, I only wish you were as dangerous as the music implies. xo

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