Emergence Church - part 2

Discussing where this movement seems to be taking us

When His redemption draws nigh and He wraps up the end of this age here on earth, He will quickly usher in the next age in His sovereign glory and perfect control.  Then His Kingly authority over all us will enforce real and true community, He will drive away all that is currently against Him and His will.  When we really understand His blood was shed to connect us, and, one day, His blood will inextricably do “just” that when we see, through sovereign power a glorious blend of diverse humans surrounding His Glorious Presence.

When you get a chance, go to our youtube channel “livinlattes” and watch the video, “restoring our covenant with Christ”. Watch all three parts. I hope this very basic illustration of what Christ is going to accomplish one day will help bring light to our current problem, and I hope provides a way to move closer to the ultimate solution the Spirit of Christ seeks to deliver to His people.


This current controversy is over the ancient content of the gospel message spoken by the prophets and Our L-rd Jesus Himself. Out of this struggle to define the make-up of a “biblical” and true disciple of Jesus, we seem to lose sight of the place that each sinner comes into the body of Christ. We all come in by means of a passionate beating of our breasts, by virtue of seeing the glory of G-d in the face of Jesus Christ, and in the anguish of seeing the reality of our very real crimes before this beautiful Savior. For all of us, at this precise point, we were translated from darkness to His Marvelous Light! And... we are truly saved forever! We have been begotten by an incorruptible seed, so let's press on to the fullness of what is ours in Christ.

We will find no resolution without the setting forth Christ Jesus as the only true foundation of the discussion both technically and spiritually. He is and must always be the chief cornerstone of all that we say and do! Once we establish Him as chief, we move on from this essential place to build the house of His dwelling. This foundation must be rebuilt with clear words and understanding that will help any sinner know the difference between His way and those who pretend to know Our chief cornerstone.


At the core of this great divide is this important question, “Which way has G-d ordained the lines and the arguments to be drawn?” How are we to train his blood-bought children, and how are these men and women to train their followers? Paul could say, “imitate me as I imitate Christ”. Can we honestly say that a baby christian, truly born again in Christ, could simple walk with us for many days and learn of Christ's love and humble submission to the Father's will? Where are we at today - leaders in the current Body of Christ?

The best way to describe sanctification is to realize that Our G-d takes us on a “walk” with Him and asks us to participate in a “real life” quest to discover what He made us to be from the very beginning of time. While men, ask us to walk with them, to learn at their feet, what of their real fallibility's, many of these protagonists will fall into the ditch they dig for others to fall.

Lost in all our version of discovery, is the lack of honesty about our failures along the way... i.e. Calvin's determination to denounce men and women who would not agree with his view on baptism by a “prison” sentence, please tell me this way was not demonic? If you are a heretic today, G-d will deal with you!

We must seek to include all the facts of religious heroes and their struggle to “know” His message, for it has been lost in the dirty man-imbued stream of proposed “truth” handed to us over the last 1700 years. I for one would like to go back to the 1st century A.D. to those houses where the love of G-d through Christ so overwhelmed the house, the people did not want to leave.

As I have begun to learn how to enjoy this journey and quest to discover my L-rd by walking with Him. My L-rd, through the Spirit, shows me things, as I discover new things in Him, He allows me to ask more questions, and so on it goes until you and I finish this walk on planet earth, hopefully walking all the while right by His side. Dear People of G-d, we are not in a race to heaven, we are walking carefully and soberly with Him, learning how to enjoy Him in the struggle and simple joy of knowing His everlasting presence with us. Pretty touchy feely, huh? And this from a former agitator of the faith, a prideful and arrogant debater of whose right and whose wrong!

What is quite apparent to me is that in all this so-called “change” we were supposed to receive from in the emergent church, a very large monster still remains, which bears the name, “religion and control”. This very large animal is the old bad guy, our enemy the leaven of the Pharisees, sadly we lost the “religion” the apostle James spoke of, no, we have our good nemesis “control” of the masses using religion of mental argument and rules and regulations. Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them.”

In all the controversy and the aftermath of this particular religious argument, this question still remains, “will we figure the problem out on our own, or will G-d Almighty figure it out for us?”

Meditating and praying through some of the brewing agitation that has sparked this “current” controversy over doctrine and interpretation of scripture, my heart sees the enemy effectively separating these two fine and very gifted men, and it makes my heart sad.

Issues like: The virgin birth and the incarnation, Doctrine of hell and judgment, Sexual relations and homosexuality, Doctrine of man, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, may be on the front side of the debate, but what is really at the core of the disagreement? Stop biting and devouring one another or you will be consumed by each other.

One side says we must ask questions of the Bible, the other says we have the answers already, read the commentaries, stick to the plan, and don’t question what already has been sorted out for you. You see, real questions led to real and very personal answers, G-d knows how to lead men, after-all, if you believe in predestination, you also know that salvation begins with G-d and ends with G-d, my Teacher says this, “for He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.” Can we release the Holy Spirit to do what only the Holy Spirit can do in His people?

These two men are not old enough to “personally” know the brokenness of these old divides in religion. The pain of this debate will ultimately eat them up and they will wish they worked it out much earlier. Their arguments aside; they are not plumbing the depths of a “new” thing. These are old religious arguments, I ask is this question, “when will we all go back to Abraham and the holy city and land he longed to possess with his children, only then, will we find our unity”.

In our church age we have wrought much havoc on Abrahamic way and the community of faith he started. All these religious arguments have brought G-d's people to blows many times in the last few centuries... as Solomon said, “there is no new thing under the sun.” Since these men have not tasted the bitterness and the gall of division in the church long enough to hate it, one day they will lament the spirit which sparked their debate, mainly, our resident jurist prudence -- Mark Driscoll.

Mark has taken the path granted him by his rising popularity, that is, the role of young “protestant” cardinal to the rising generation. Bearing a charismatic personality and good sense of humor, Mark has made the most of his natural talents and has brought many young and older folks to his feet just to learn his opinion about this or that point of biblical doctrine or his ideas on how to fix the real problems of our broken society.

Mark lets us know who is cool and right, Mark knows because he has a pretty big following up to this point, and he has good friends from the past, great reformers in yesterday's work of reformation, so therefore, he must be right about these points... and G-d must be with him! What really concerns me is the reality that a man gets trusted with this kind of prominence; does he end up believing his own press clippings, how scary is that? Did Abraham have a so-called free press during his day, how about King David? Interestingly what happened to David when he rested on past successes? And what of the apostle Paul? In the end, Paul laments, “all have left me in Asia Minor”

More often than not as we read the closing part of Heb 11, we sense that the prophets and men and women of faith were objects scorn during their time on planet of earth.

On the other hand we have the more laid back teacher, Rob Bell, who taps the feminine side of defining truth by stating his view on the Bible from the standpoint of the inner voice of the heart. With a heavy dose of the knowledge of the Hebrew language and some rabbinical training, Rob bears the brilliance of a very inquisitive and learned mind; he delivers his acquired knowledge in an unparalleled way.... the rising generation has a great spokesperson for the cause of mankind. But he says things without qualification and careful demarcation, which all of us know, if something starts a little off, in time, it will be way off.

But Rob Bell's method might lead some into error, if he doesn't teach them of the right angles of G-d's living Truth. They may end up facing the L-rd's glory and His holiness unaware of the severity of His love and intense passion for a people who worship Him in the Spirit and the Truth! Jesus died and rose again to make men holy. To do the will of the Father in deliberate and pin point way, just like Him. Why else would the word of G-d speak of refinement and training, we naturally do our own thing, right?

These two men are brothers, cut from the same cultural cloth; they have been divinely selected to carry the burdens of the rising generation. They are asking the right questions and they are getting different answers and they are trying different approaches to solve the same problem and question. Where are you G-d? We need you real bad! This my friends is what Our G-d has wanted us to say all along.

Mark has to know the black and the white of an issue, and tells us, this in his words, “I will run them off road” any man who don't get it right! While I enjoy this brand of machismo, we must move with more tenderness among a generation that has seen religion breed so much strive. So much so, they don't even want to attend any kind of religious gatherings that appear to be christian. They will not understand the intricacies of our doctrinal arguments.

This spirit that is moving in Mark Driscoll is born straight from the heart of the reformers, who sought to reform the Catholic church, but left fragments of the Roman Catholic church in their churches. They missed Israel, therefore, they missed Yeshua or Yahshua or Jesus, who happens to be Jewish, not European.

Trying to gather up the teachings of scripture in a philosophical way or for the deep thinkers and philosophers of a different era. They exist here, but they will be far and few between. We must go after the lost and the ones who are seeking spiritual life! Anyway, if one does just a brief study of church history will see that any man G-d has granted the opportunity to codify His Truth ends up landing in the same place... on his face before an Awesome three times holy G-d!

Those who have attempted to make the word of G-d work in a format of “systematic theology” so that our greek-trained world can ascertain G-d's glorious truth; these men always seem to be frustrated in the end. In every case, their work of writing about G-d seems so small and withering compared to the grandeur and specter of G-d's glory in the revelation He has given of Himself in the quietness of His presence in the depths of our hearts. He looms higher and higher and wider and wider the more we meditate on His Being and Essence, and at the very same time, we get smaller and smaller, enjoying the downward slide to our rightful place, somewhere just barely above particles of dirt.

G-d is not mocked; the grandeur of His power Being will overwhelm any man who seeks to do an honest compilation of His words and His ways! If we meditate on the life of Thomas Aquinas, who in the 13th century, spent an uninterrupted eight years seeking to write his theology of biblical truth only to summarize his work as, “a book of straw” This from a man and in a time of history when men really knew how to “sit in isolation” and meditate on things spiritual, much different than our modern times, marked by constant visual and auditory titillations pandering so effectively to our flesh and culturally trained ADD-generated mind waves. My goodness it is hard to stop and just listen to G-d, isn't it?

For the last few years I have sought to find the group or movement who has a “handle” on things doctrinal and practical. To find a group of believers who really has a grasp on 1st century Christianity; those who are willing to obey the full extent of the Great Commission. Who unashamedly defy the gods of our time, by confronting them without reservation and without fear of physical and or emotional torment. Who don't really care what the modern composite of the church says about them or what they’re own hearts say in contradiction to what they are becoming... a lone voice in the wilderness.

To date, I have yet to find any “movement” that clearly has Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone and allows His work and way to maintain Him as the chief cornerstone. Most seem to be placing a Band-Aid on a very large and gaping wound in the side of the Bride of Christ. Reactions to the mistakes we have made have become the norm. I have been writing and preaching that a complete overhaul of our understanding must take place in order to discover the good pleasure of His will and at the same time keep us out of error! Watch the “livinlattes” youtube channel search for “5 lessons from the fire of 2009” There are two parts.

I believe that in the not too distant future that Our L-rd Yeshua, Redeemer and King, will fix our wounds His way. He will make us beautiful in His way of refinement, one man or woman of G-d at a time... personally!

Soon we will see His Glory and all will be well for us, we will know our place, we will know our L-rd, we will melt at His feet, and thankfully, we will disappear into Him and a “new” Christ-man will emerge in us. A kind of man that has yet to be witnessed or seen since the early days of the church... men who walk like Jesus, abased and lowly, not selling their preaching or teaching, not working to build ministry to justify their existence or place in society, no just men and women walking before the face of G-d.

As one who is in the fire of the L-rd's refining and as a struggling church planter, I take this stance: Are we really on the “right” road when we quote from the arguments of the Puritans and the reformers? Where did they take us? Can we incorporate their method and style today? We always seem to want to go back to the good old days, but maybe that lands us in Israel? Reading Hebrew Torah and learning day by the day -- the slow way.

I ask these questions in a time when their doctrines and their practice have landed most of their leaders to the green pastures of academia. The current expression of reformed theology seems to lead us toward the way of a certain regal stoicism, that quite frankly, is a little uncomfortable for our kids, which can't help the fact that they are members of a desperately empty and broken generation steeped in humanism, lost in a religious world, without a compass.

We must raise a generation of radicals that continually needs the hug of loving Christ-like leadership with the discipline of a patient father. I have not witnessed or been a part of this kind of reformation or work of restoration. Today's reformers are like those of the past who love the sensuality of a prescribed circle for the mentally erotic truth preseverers, this “reformation” has proven to breed a love of the discipline of a new version of the same kind of erotic mental behavior I witnessed in my generation. Sadly, the movement toward relevancy found in the emergent church comes the same self-congratulation that we must steer away from at this time. BTW, Most of today's kids can't grasp our lines and differences.

Isn't our calling to “walk” with this rising generation, all the while knowing what they will face in the very near future? They must deal directly with the results of a very “real” global experiment that is crumbling away the current middle class who happens to be their parents. A society owned and operated by greed and the pride of men who worship their hateful father --- Satan!

Let us not give any advantage to this evil fiend. Both Governmental and Religion worked in concert to kill the L-rd Jesus 2000 years ago. We know He died for a grand purpose, “to save a people for Himself” yet their “crime” will be laid at their feet one day soon! And His “people” He died to save will be hated just as much as He was hated, “if they hated Me, they will hate you!”

Don't we realize that this rising generation will soon be summoned to lead our country in a time of great peril? What they do if we don't properly prepare them? When the world we assume is “free” falls into a season of dark oppression, as it has numerous times in the last 2000 years of church history, what will they do, how will they survive? Sober questions aren't they?


Nay sayers and doubters of our “prophetic” cry vented in the spirit of Jeremiah will not understand the spirit of this word. Jeremiah was a prophet who accurately stated the word of the L-rd and at the same time wailed and lamented over the sad reality he saw coming upon G-d people because of their sins. Will we see a new Jeremiah-like spirit arise in our time? Is it possible the real spirit of David will emerge? A man who was after G-d's heart, though he was flawed, he deeply loved His creator and redeemer?

Sadly, I don't see the spirit of David in this crowd of self-pronounced reformers. Can they, and will they continue to bury their collective heads in the sand of their own imagined uniqueness, time and the next generation church historians will bear them witness.

The stubbornness of The Truth will reveal the underbelly of all that is wrong with our vain attempts to slice G-d's revelation into a shrink-wrapped, easy to grasp teaching, still laced with “ancient” philosophies and thought; these arguments should come with a clearly emblazoned warning label, “careful handle these contents with great care.” They are secretly laced with the cyanide of the old lies and religions of the assyrians, sidonians, greeks, egyptians, and romans thought. Sun god worship is still here!

Final Exhortation

I strongly urge all of our truth-seeking youth to seek the L-rd in the hard but beautiful way of learning at the feet of our Rabbi – Yeshua Jesus. By eating His dust in the real world of living out and working out your salvation, you will experience His touch. His touch will heal at the deepest need of your broken soul. And by grace, He will apply the real and very practical balm of His grace to the places only He knows are truly broken within your soul.

Each of us is in need of that special one-on-one relationship with Him and from those He has raised up from the older generation. Men and women who have lived through this time of falling away. Men and women who have no horse in the race. Men and women who have been through the fire with Jesus and have gained a little perspective from their mistakes, with their help, this generation can and will do exploits.

Many blessings,

Jonathan David Keener

47 yr. former reformer type, now just trying to figure how to walk with Jesus!