The Emerging/Emergent Church
and their use of "diaprax"
by Sandy Simpson, 11/28/05

The concept of the Emerging Church, as advertised worldwide in books, the web and on TV by the likes of Brian Mclaren, Leonard Sweet, Richard Foster, Dan Kimball, Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard and a whole host of others, seeks to cater to the postmodern mindset while using diaprax to achieve its goals.  The Hegelian Dialectic is used in concert with praxis (known as “diaprax”) to brainwash an entire generation into creating a new hybrid Christianity. This new religion is full of Eastern mysticism and Gnosticism, while systematically redefining the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and Prophets within a subjectivist, existentialist worldview.

To achieve this end, any teaching and practices of biblical churches must first be vilified and exorcised. This is done through the process of Thesis/Antithesis (the Hegelian Dialectic). Orthodox biblical Christianity and its doctrines, the Thesis, are presented as being stodgy, boring, misspent energy, misapplied methodology, and frankly, evil.  The new Antithesis is then presented, excesses pulled randomly out of the hat of modern culture while being careful to sound “balanced” in presenting those antithetical excesses as if nothing is written in stone and things are in a constant state of flux.  The intended audience of 20/30somethings is then led to a middle point or to a point which Leonard Sweet mistakenly calls "oxymoronic". The ideas of the leaderhip of this movement can now present themselves as those who hold a “balanced” view, when in actuality it is often nowhere near ANY kind of balance.  This is when the process of “praxis” or consensus kicks in.  The audience is then allowed to express their opinion, to come to consensus or praxis, as long as it does not stray too far away from the center “balance” which belongs to the leadership.  Sadly, many have observed in this process, as in other cults, that if too many questions are asked, the person is then suppressed and an attempt is made to “reprogram” them.  If they are unwilling to come to praxis with everyone else, they are then told to leave or ostracized and demonized.  This process is EXACTLY what cults do, what the Third Wave and Word-Faith churches do, what YWAM does, and is also what forms the basis for this "new" Emerging Church.  The whole structure of the Emerging Church, as defined by the Eastern mystical teachings of it's leaderhip elite, is geared around a diaprax model.  Those who buy into it assume they are hearing the truth, when in fact they are signing off on the half truths and outright lies of heretics and false teachers in the movement.  By signing off, I mean that literally in many cases, as many of these churches, following the advice of Rick Warren and others, are having their adherents sign their discernment rights away in “convenants”.

The dumbing down of America and the world is nowhere quite as evident as in the Emerging Church.  Emergers are not taught to think for themselves, but to come to praxis.  This is all done in a non-judgmental atmosphere (as long as you don’t fundamentally disagree!). Since we already live in a generation that has learned to discern on the basis of feelings rather than the intellect used to study the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit, the false teachers of this movement are free to “put one over” on the Christian public. But many Emergent teachers are simply parroting the thinking of their leadership who apparently ARE allowed to use their brains to come up with schemes to empower and enrich themselves at the expense of stupefied Christian masses that follow them.  Though this movement is built on an evolutionary model of Christianity, with the notion that we as Christians have somehow evolved to a higher spiritual plane, the fact is this movement is the tail end of a devolution of the Faith, the falling away spoken of by Paul, the Apostasy.

The Emerging Church is an idea which appeals to many youth of today.  In a modern society where fast food and blazing fast Internet is the norm, young people also want a Christian menu as large and as fast as the Internet.  They want to be able to shop and compare religious practices, and combine them into a religion they will feel comfortable with.  Gone are the days of hard truths and the ugly matter of the Gospel message.  Now Christian consumers can have their cake and eat it too.  They can believe in a God of love without believing in a God of judgment.  They can mix together practices and teachings from every religion, while redefining Biblical teachings in the image of their new sycretized religion of self-indulgence.  They can comfort themselves that they have always been worshipping God in their cultures, as Don Richardson erroneously claims, and now they are just growing closer to Him.  They can combine Eastern mystical practices dedicated to false gods with worship of YHWH.  They no longer have to witness the Gospel to people, they just invite them to church and “God” will take care of the rest (or the pastor, whichever comes first).  They get to do their Yoga, martial arts, and contemplative prayer, and still call themselves followers of Christ.  They can continue to do anything they want in life, as long as they have convinced themselves that what they are doing can be sanitized for their new Emergent lifestyles, and they no longer need be convicted of sin.  They don't have to stick out like a sore thumb at work because they are being light and salt to the world, but can fit right in and disappear in the world.  They can do all this and still claim they are the most anointed, evolved Christian generation that ever hit this planet without having to admit (as they must know down deep inside) that they are wretched, pitiful, poor blind and naked spiritually.