If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
In recent days, conversation on this blog has been on the Emerging Church. Something was pointed out that this movement likes to all Christianity an Eastern religion for the purpose of borrowing practice from Eastern Mysticism. I want to deal with this briefly.
Some of the practices that the EC likes to use are labrynths, contemplative prayer, and mantras. None of these are Christian practices, and it is HIGHLY questionable as to whether a Christian should even be practicing these things in the first place. It is just another attempt to make Christianity fit the wants and desires of the world rather than to follow the commands of Scripture.
THis being said, did you know that many of our practices in the mainline church are taken from pagan religions as well? Take Easter, for example. This “holiday” derives its name from a greek (I think) fertility goddess. The rabbit and the egg are both symbols of fertility and were/are used in the worship of this pagan goddess. Yet we yearly practice and celebrate Easter. We buy eggs and we hide eggs and we decorate our house in eggs and bunnies all in celebration, we say, of the resurrection of Jesus. Has it ever occurred to us that eggs and bunnies have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus? But little is said of this practice of the Christian church. We call easter egg hunts harmless fun and the easter bunny is just for the kids. But paganism is paganism no matter what disguise it is in.
Or let’s look at a popular religious practice. For my Catholic readers, did you know that praying to Mary is just an adaptaton of a pagan practice of worshiping a pagan goddess? The church, back along time ago, started the whole Mary thing for the purpose of making some forced converts feel comfortable with being Christians. And for my protestant readers, where is democracy in the BIble? Democracy is a form of governance that is foreign to Scripture, and yet, we run the church via democracy and no one says a word about it in protest.
I say all of that to say this. The protestant and Catholic and Emerging church are all under the same condemnation and that is we have all adopted practices which come from paganism or are unbiblical. The EC is just doing what it has seen it’s parents do. If it’s ok to hide colored eggs in celebration of Jesus resurrection, then surely it is okay to pray while walking around in a maze.
But if it’s not okay to pray in a maze or chant a mantra, than it is also not okay to hide eggs and pray to Mary and run the church using an unbiblical form of government. Sin is sin no matter how accepted it may be.
And confession of sin begins with acknowledging our own sinfulness. Jesus tells us,
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3 ESV)
Before we can tell the EC that they are wrong for praying in mazes, we must acknowledge, repent of, and stop practicing our unbiblical practices. The EC is not right on everything, but, then again, neither are mainliners, but confession of sin must take place no matter what.
So, again, confession of sin begins with an honest acknowledgment of our own sin without condemning others for theirs. Once we have acknowledges our own sinfulness, only then can confession begin to take place.
To be continued…