This is Part 8 of a blog post asking the question: IS THE GRACE BRETHREN STATEMENT OF FAITH COMPATIBLE WITH EMERGENT THEOLOGY?
What We Believe About Our Ordinances:
Our ordinances are also distinctive as compared to much of what’s being practiced in emerging and emergent churches today (and, for that matter, most other churches and denominations worldwide).
ORDINANCES…(1) baptism of believers by triune immersion (Matt. 28:19) and (2) the threefold communion service, consisting of the washing of the saints' feet (John 13:1-17)
Most emergents wouldn’t agree with triune immersion. Many do not observe threefold communion and again there is the prevalence of viewing the Mass or Eucharist as having validity, which we would reject because of its heresy in Christology.
What About the Rest?
Many emergents would probably give at least a cursory agreement with the stated beliefs in the rest of our Statement of Faith (The Holy Spirit, The Church, etc.). Many teach about the Trinity and there being one true God but there is not uniform agreement on these things and, in some cases, beyond the scope of citing in this work, error abounds in these areas as well (Ex. Erwin McManus’ redefinition of major aspects of the Christian faith (1)).
Many other areas are not in agreement with what the Bible says and subsequently what we lean on in our Statement of Faith. Just looking at the collection of essays from key leaders in the emergent church as laid out in An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope, we can see the following aberrant teachings: a false view of the kingdom ( (e.g. pp.80-81),a lack of concern for spiritual conversion—the true gospel (pp. 35-37, 49, 100), Egalitarianism (pp. 42,175-188), Rejection of original sin/sin nature (p. 43), Inclusivism (pp. 44, 49-50; 190-198), Rejection of sola fide (pp. 82, 159; 194-195), Rejection of sola scriptura (pp. 154-156), the inability to understand God due to our subjectivity (p. 156), and “Orthoparadoxy”—chapter 17.(2).
As we’ve seen, many elements of emergent and emerging theology don’t pass the test and therefore should be resisted on the grounds of the teachings of God’s Word, discernment, and conviction given us by the Holy Spirit.
(2) An Emergent Manifesto of Hope compiled by Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt as reviewed by Gary Gilley: http://www.svchapel.org/Resources/BookReviews/book_reviews.asp?ID=351