Monday, January 21, 2008

Emergent Church Movement Leader Applauds Pro-Wiccan "Pastor"

A post-modern thinking (really, non-thinking) continues to rear its ugly head. This time it was in the form of a "reverend" named Phil Wyman. He's a pro-wiccan, pro-pagan (the actual religion), and supposedly a reader of dreams.

The article I read can be found here.

In part the article says:

A little over a year ago Wyman was excommunicated from his church, accused of getting too amicable with the city’s Wiccan community because of controversial missionary tactics that included operating a pagan-Christian discussion forum, offering Web site links to pagan sites and fostering personal friendships with witches.

Today the church continues to operate, although it no longer has a parent church, and has about 45 members. Wyman’s mission is to break stereotypes about Christians and Wiccans. He says many Christians don’t realize Wicca is a nature-based religion.

Since October 2006, when Wyman was cut off from his church, not much has changed. He hasn’t lost any members of his congregation and, if anything, his newfound freedom has allowed him to offer more experimental programs at his Essex Street church, The Gathering — things like Lectio Divina, a type of ancient meditation using the Bible, meant to build two-way communication between the reader and God.

And Wyman is still running the same program he began when he moved to Salem from California with his wife and son eight years ago, an e-mail discussion group between pagans and Christians called Circle and Cross Talk.

He’s continued to grow his church’s array of controversial street theater events, offered during the month of October, things like dream interpretation; psalm readings, where a costumed monk confesses the ancient sins of the church; and the Brimstone Chronicles, where participants “travel” through Dante’s heaven and hell and are forced to face their own mortality.

Instead of preaching about heaven and hell, Wyman chooses to explore wider topics and compare the spiritual basis of Wicca and Christianity. “Why should we as Christians be limited to talking about heaven and hell?” he asks. “Jesus didn’t say ‘follow me or go to hell,’ he had many other things to say. It’s not that it’s not a part of what we say, it’s just not everything.”

If ever there was a person that could make me want to become a churchgoing Christian it would be Phil,” Day says. “Not because he’s tried to convince me that witchcraft was evil, or hell is fire and brimstone, but because he leads a life of honesty. He’s one of the most honest people I know … and I’m a psychic. I look at people and I see their dishonesty

Pagans, both biblically and literally, are comfortable with this guy, and he has no clue as to what and how Jesus and the apostles, not to mention the prophets, dealt with unbelievers.

1Jn 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

Joh 15:18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Jas 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Emergent Church Movement (ECM) leader John Armstrong embraces Wyman and his methods.

Here he says:

One such woman, who joined Phil’s congregation, says of him, “He lets people figure out their own spirituality.” Phil is careful to not approve the practices of these witches and does not join their rituals, saying, “It’s their worship, not mine.” But, and this is the important point here, he does not attack these people as the children of the devil.

It is amazing, but not surprising that Armstrong and Wyman both haven't a clue as to how Jesus and John the Baptist dealt with some folks. Indeed, both told unbelieving leaders they were of their Father the devil, for that IS what they were. Telling people the Truth is now called "attacking". How utterly pathetic and damning of them...even if they are oh-so-politically-correct.

Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

1Jn 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Armstrong goes on to say:

" I found both his spirit and his missional perspective refreshing and Christ-centered. There is every reason to conclude that Phil is both orthodox and evangelical."

Considering I've just listed Scripture that speaks against what Armstrong has said, I wonder what he means by "Christ-centered" and "evangelical"? Certainly the ECM is neither. And "orthodox" by who's definition? Rome's? Ok then, maybe Wyman is orthodox (al la "Lectio Divina" breath prayers of RCC, but that's also pagan and NOT evangelical).

The Gospel says that unless they repent of their sin and worship of idols they will go to Hell. Jesus is the only Way, Truth, and Life, and NO ONE goes to the Father but by HIM. Unless they put all their faith and trust in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, the Resurrected Master, they will die in their sins and go to Hell. This is the MOST loving thing a person can proclaim to anyone.

To not tell someone they are headed for hell is hate, not love. Love has the best interest of the other person in mind;more than that, they love God and His Word so much they proclaim it and stand clearly by and in It.

Wyman and the ECM are made for each other. But neither have the Truth and are emotionalizing (yes---I made up a word, because what they advocate isn't love) people straight to hell as they themselves go with them. To their own condemnation.

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