Emerging Church Theology

By Pastor Bob Gray Sr. | September 2017

Genesis 1:27, ďSo God created man in his own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.Ē ... Romans 1:23, ďAnd changed the glory of the incorruptible glory of God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.Ē

In Genesis chapter one it says that God created man in his image. In Romans chapter one it says man created God in his image.

God Wants Man To Be Like Him

God made man in his own image but man sinned and fell from the image of God. Then God made it possible for man to be redeemed so that someday man would be like God.

I John 3:2, ďÖwe shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.Ē

The great heart of God longed for man to be like him so he made man in his own image. Mankind fell and when mankind sinned God made it possible for them to be in his image someday. Between the time man is saved and the time he awakes in the likeness of Christ he is to gradually grow into image of God.

Man Wants To Be Like God

There is no doubt about the desires of mankind to be like God Man has an innate desire to be like God. He sets up godlike values to live by whether he is religious or not. He judges others who do not live by those values whether biblical or not. All over the world we find cultures with their own view of godliness or godlikeness. Individual societies function all over the planet based on their idea of God and becoming godlike.

Satan Wants Man To Be Like God

He came to Eve in the Garden of Eden and said if you will eat of that fruit you will be as gods knowing or determining your self what is good and what is evil.

There is an agreement here in that man wants to be like God and God wants man to be like God while Satan also wants man to be like God.

It Seems That All Three Agree

We have three the heavenly Father, man, and Satan all in agreement on something. That agreement is that all three want God and man to be alike! However, there is a controversy that exists here. God wants man in his image while man wants God in his image.

This Boils Down to Two Choices for Man

Thus, we have basically the two religions of the world. One religion is that God wants man in his image while the second is man wanting God in his image. God desires for man to become like him and man desires for God to be like man. In Genesis 1:26-27 God created man in his image and in Romans 1:21-23 man in turn is creating God in his image.

God wants man to conform to him and man wants God to conform to him. Please bear in mind this is the same goal. God desires for man to be like him and we by nature like to be like God but the controversy is that God wants us to conform to his image while we want God to conform to our image? It is such a subtle thing! It looks at a glance as if itís the same thing or the same goal.

This is the difference between true Christianity and charismatic Emerging church Christianity. This is the difference between Jack Hylesí Christianity and Bill Hybles Christianity, Tom Malone Christianity and Paul Crouch Christianity, Lee Roberson Christianity and Robert Schuler Christianity, Curtis Hutson Christianity and Benny Hinn Christianity, or John R. Rice Christianity and Jimmy Swaggart Christianity.

Almost in every state you may go to you will find a large charismatic church and the minute you walk in and talk to the janitor you will quickly discover religion number two. There is no difference between their music and the worldís music. There is no difference between their immodest dresses on the females than you will find on the streets of their cities. There is no difference between the haircuts of the males than you will find in the population of their city. They have taken God and brought him down to their image and they project that image to their city.

A Christianity where man is making God in his image is what is being displayed. May I ask a question are you changing your image? In religion number two they have made God conform to them instead of them conforming to God. They are changing their image!

Turn on the average Charismatic or Emerging church TV program and you will find in this modern movement man has said to God we will dress like we desire to dress, sing like we desire to sing, wear our hair like we desire to wear our hair, and God we will invite you to come visit with us. We will allow you to be with us as we are! You will meet us on our level!

Who is Conforming to Whom?

My question is who is conforming to whom? Are you changing your image? ďWe want you God to conform to our image!Ē However, God says I want you to conform to my image.

All you had to do was visit a great fundamental Baptist church and then attend some Emerging church and you will see the difference in the crowds. I have preached for 45 years that Godís people are to conform to God and not God to Godís people.

Modesty is still modesty! Long hair on males is still unscriptural no matter what society dictates as ďhip.Ē Bad music is still bad music even when Jesusí name is used!

Walk among both congregations and see how the respective members dress and you will find that this modern Emerging church Christianity is nothing more than man attempting to conform God to manís image. The question is are we who call ourselves fundamental doing the same thing?

May I also suggest that the reason the worldly type of religion is so popular is because of the conforming God to man. It is less convicting, confining, and constraining with a fleshly appeal that is far more appealing to the populous! It is an amusement park atmosphere, rock concert atmosphere, Broadway atmosphere, and Burger King atmosphere every Sunday.

Some Baptist Churches are Becoming Emerging Churches

By the way this ďEmerging ChurchĒ philosophy enjoyed by some young independent Baptist pastors is nothing more than bringing God down to man in order to reach man.

All over America you will find springing up a Calvary Chapel, Community Church, Cathedral Church, Gospel Center, Vineyard Church, Church on the Rock, etc., with a basic philosophy of bringing God down to man. Their females are immodest with their shorts, halters, and blue jeans while the males sing their Gospel hip hop while wearing long hair and earrings.

They advertise contemporary services because they intend to bring God down to man. They claim contemporary services with a conservative doctrine. The problem is doctrine is only as good as the conduct. What you believe is always reflected in your behaviour!

When you attend a fundamental Baptist church you will find Godís people attempting to conform to the image of God rather than causing God to conform to man. Letís face it, there are more people who want to have God to conform to their image than there are people who want to conform to Godís image. However, it is necessary to note that Godís people have always been called a ďremnant.Ē We will always be a remnant until the Rapture and then we will be the majority.

When we bring God down to man then we will need the power of darkness to draw using the world to reach the world. The result is we end up with the world and in darkness. What some are tolerating today will be the down fall of the next generation.

That is the struggle in every church in America, every Teen Department in America, every home in America, every Christian school in America, and every Christian College in America. The difference between the thousands who attend Bill Hyblesí church and those who attended Jack Hylesí church was not numerical but spiritual! Bill Hybles was changing the image of God into the image of man while Jack Hyles was changing the image of man into the image of God.

The fundamental Baptist men of God say here is the King James Bible now you conform to this book. There are others who say we will not change our hairstyle, our music, our miniskirts, our vampire lipstick, our movie watching, our rock n roll beat, our male wearing of earrings, our martini drinking, our dancing to match the Scriptures. Some will simply use something other than the King James to endorse our worldly lifestyle.

The sad part is some who stick by the King James and still bring God down to man will eventually produce a generation of Bible deniers.

They call it a holy dance, a holy kiss, Christian liberty, contemporary ministry, Christian TV, and that way we will invite God to come and worship with us and we will conform God to our image. Every religion and every church is one of the two!

By the way church number two will preach on being like Jesus, on being Christ like but what they mean is to make Jesus like them and not them like Jesus! What they mean is let God conform to us and church number one means let us conform to God!

Giving the People What They Want Via Surveys is Destructive

Robert Schuler and Bill Hybles did exactly the same thing. They both had a community survey to find out what the people wanted in a local church. Then they designed and conformed their churches to their surveys. I made up my mind that they would sell popsicles in Hell before I would be a party to such spiritual nonsense! These are not men of God they are men of the people!

God did not take a survey before he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. The one time Moses took a survey about whether to go into the Land of Canaan it cost Moses his very life. We are not to conform God to man but rather we are to conform man to God. Bill Hybles says he will build a church to suit the people while Jack Hyles said he would build a church to suit God!

There are two religions or two Christianities with one conforming God to manís image and the second one conforming man to Godís image! Also those institutions of higher learning in Christianity are one or the other in philosophy. That is why the right college will always have a struggle.

The institutions of higher learning are battling and struggling to keep conforming their students to Godís image instead of having a Liberty University type that is attempting to cause God to conform to man so they can attract more students. That is what is wrong with Baylor and some other institutions that were founded by aggressive Bible believers at one time who have long vacated spiritual applications to real life! What these colleges tolerate today will dominate them tomorrow.

When God says a female should not wear that which pertains to a male that a male should not wear that which pertains to a female he was not joking! In fact God called it an abomination in his sight! Man is supposed to conform to the Scriptures not the Scriptures to manís image.

Hang the big church if that is what is required! Hang the big college if that is what it takes to have the numbers! Big is not always better! Hitler had the crowds! The Dallas Cowboys have the crowds! Godís people must conform to Godís image and not demand God conform to manís image!

God Wants Man To Be Like His Son

God says he wants his people to be like his son Jesus, while man says I want Jesus to be like me. That is where the issue of the Virgin Birth enters. God says my Son was born of a virgin while some men say we want Godís Son to be like us so we reject the virgin birth.

God says my Son lived a perfect sinless life and I want my people to conform to my Sonís life. However, man says we will just say your Son did not live a perfect life. He was a good man and a good teacher but not sinless man says! We are not to make Jesus like us we are too make us like Jesus.

The same can be said concerning the Scriptures. Godís words are being changed into manís words. That is why we have the NIV, ASV, RSV, etc. God wants manís music to like his music while man wants to bring God down to his Egyptian music. Which church do you attend? Church number one or church number two?

God says to his people I want you to sing music that will honor me and not music that will honor you! All of which includes words, melody, tune, and rhythm. According to Exodus 32:7-8 the music that Moses discovered being played by Godís people when he returned from being with God was Egyptian and was similar to noise.

God says let me decide what kind of music you should have and man says but we cannot draw a crowd with that kind of music! No, but you will draw me! Ok, then donít draw a crowd if you have to have a trap set and a bass guitar played by longhaired hippy acting like it is the amateur hour or American Idol. Better to have ten people hearing truth than 10,000 going deaf to hellish music.

Choice is between Holy Ghost Power or the Power of Darkness

Why not depend on the Holy Ghost of God to draw and convict sinners rather than settle for an earthly sensual draw that will do nothing but produce the same thing when they leave? Hey, I decided to have music like God, a Bible like Godís Bible, live like Godís Son, take the Gospel to the unredeemed world and let God fill the house.

There are two Christianities at play here, one of God conforming man to Godís image and the second is man conforming God to manís image. Is your image changing? Which way is it changing? Far too many preachers in America are attempting to gain a crowd by making God look like man. The music in Americaís churches needs to be overhauled and some of it ought to be scrapped.

Too many classical songs, too many high brow songs, and on the other hand there are too many honky-tonk songs with a heavy left hand on the piano being sung using Jesusí name in order to justify their existence.

It would be wise to play preludes and postludes that the dear people recognize. Offertories that reach the hearts of the people would add much to the spiritual atmosphere necessary for the Holy Spirit to be active in a church service. There is a big difference between a spiritual service and a sensual service.

Some of our churches in America are simply making Godís word like manís words, Godís Son like man, and Godís music like manís music.

God Wants Man To Accept His Plan Of Reconciliation And Man Wants God To Accept His Plan Of Reconciliation

It is an age old struggle of religions making manís words like Godís words, Godís Son like man, manís music like Godís music, and making man accept Godís plan of reconciliation. The struggle continues to this very day.

It is Jesus plus works in some places while historic Baptists have always believed and held to Jesus plus nothing for salvation. Man is a sinner, Hell is the price for manís sin, Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus paid the debt through his death, burial, and resurrection. That is Godís plan of reconciliation! Man must accept or reject Godís plan of his Sonís vicarious death, burial, and resurrection.

∑ God wants man to be like him
∑ Man wants to be like God
∑ Satan wants man to be like God
∑ It seems all three agree
∑ Man casts the deciding vote


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