Jack Haberer of the Presbyterian Outlook has a small news item up entitled, “Church gets call of Lazarus.” It is about a Presbyterian “Church Unbound conference.” It is evidently meant as a way of releasing the church from its apostolic foundations. I say this because of the speakers and the fact that, as Haberer puts it:
Worship leaders Liz Kaznak and Jud Hendricks, both pastors from Louisville, Ky., explained that it was time to bury the church — the church we have known. Like Lazarus, the church can be unbound only after it gets resurrected. And it can be resurrected only after it dies. So a black cave on the stage awaited the presentation of conferees’ burial of the dead church, the “entity” that had wounded them, had killed their hopes, had transacted and promoted death. The cave also invited attendees to present their fears, such as the fear of “all things new,” and the fear of losing one’s privileges or confronting one’s prejudices, that would need to die and be buried there.
I wrote a blog posting on Jud Hendrixs two years ago. The name of it was Something mystical this way comes: A new syncretism in the Presbyterian Church USA. It should probably have been titled “Something New Age this way comes.” Here are some quotes from Hendrixs taken from the posting. The first one is about Jesus discovering who he is!
Something about Jesus wakes and he becomes the Christ. The metaphor of becoming enlightened or becoming into his own and at this point he somehow realizes who he is, the beloved, and he is united with God, all of creation and all of men.And a quote from a sermon on the baptism of Jesus:
A person wakes up, Jesus a human person … wakes up to the reality that all is sacred, that he is God … He somehow becomes the channel for truth and grace… somehow with this new moment there is a new potential for the human experience.” … “There is new opportunity for all of history for us to wake up and realize who we are … we are god present in time and space.
So perhaps we are suppose to bury the biblical truth that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of the Father. That he alone is eternally one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are the adopted sons and daughters of God, bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Many, but not all, of the other speakers are those who are helping in the attempt to change our ordination standards, such as Margaret Aymer. And the emergent movement was certainly represented with Brian McLaren as guest.There is a real image of death here. It is not a death that rises in resurrection but a death that grows into a great stench. And it is a death that causes sorrow, not a sorrow unto repentance because the members are looking for ways to bury what the Bible and the Church has always upheld. The church can only be bound by disbelief, heresy and rejection of her Lord.
When we open the door, even a crack, to one kind of darkness all other wretchedness follows because the father of lies encourages more lies.
Jud Hendrixs once e-mailed me about my posting; he wrote: “You have not miss quoted me or miss represented my views. But what good comes of your public critique. I am not going to change what I believe or how I practice my faith because you or others disagree. I do not see the "good" in this type of critical engagement.”
He is right, in a sense; my writing will not change his or any other person’s views. But it is a warning to the church that you cannot mix light with darkness. If the Church is to be unbound it will be in faithful submission to the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ. And it will mean submission to the authority of his word the Bible.
Update: There has been a misunderstanding: I didn’t mean to say that Jack Haberer said that the conference was a way of releasing the church from its apostolic foundations. If that is what my readers think I said I am sorry. Rather, I meant that Jud Hendrixs, who explained that the church needed to die and be resurrected and put up the display to be used, might will have meant that. I say that because he believes Jesus’ only realized he was God through enlightenment and that it is possible for humanity to become gods in the same way. I also say that because many leaders at the conference want to change our ordination standards.