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To better understand what Emergent Church leaders teach and why, it is important to understand how they see the end of the book playing out.  Their view on Jesus’ return is much different than what most Christians believe.

The Book of Revelation talks about Jesus’ return to conquer and vanquish evil, creating a new heaven and earth where He will reign forever.  Somehow, many Emergent teachers seem to have those verses missing from their bibles.  Most seem to subscribe to the world view of “Dominionism”.  Dominionism has been defined as “the belief that mankind has a mandate to build the kingdom of God on earth, restoring paradise by transforming ourselves and all societal institutions through subduing and ruling the earth”.

One of the stated beliefs of many Dominionists is that Jesus cannot or will not return until the church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s government and social institutions.  Perhaps this explains why emergent and social justice leaders are very politically active within the progressive movement.  Oh, they will claim to be politically neutral, but make no mistake they line up with progressive stances almost uniformly.

Many emergent leaders seem convinced that mankind can and will develop the utopia necessary in their view to usher in Jesus’ return.  Their wishes include abolishing all war and nuclear weapons, an equaling out of wealth among all people, and policies that protect the environment.  By themselves, none of these are bad ideals.  None of us wants war or the threat from weapons of mass destruction.  As Christians we want to help the poor, as long as that help doesn’t come in a form of unending entitlements that rob the needy of their desire or responsibility to work.  And we should always seek to be responsible stewards of the earth, as long as that commitment doesn’t lead into a form of earth worship.

But the belief that mankind will vanquish all the problems we face and usher in Jesus’ return without Him vanquishing evil just does not line up with the prophecies of the Bible.  Revelation and Daniel clearly spell out that in the final days an anti-Christ will come to power and that people and governments will turn against God and His chosen people.  There will be wars, rumors of war, pestilence, famine and earthquakes.  The only conclusion I can come to is that these emergent and social justice teachers think that they can either overcome God’s own prophecies and teachings with their good works, or that the Books of Revelation and Daniel were not written by God’s inspiration.  Either way, it sounds like good old humanism to me.

Yes, when we understand how false teachers see the end game, we better understand their true motives.  From this writer’s perspective, the real motive is one of humanism—that mankind is capable of saving himself and perhaps even evolving to become like a god.  And take notice, our youth are buying into these teachings by hanging on every word people like Bell, Wallis, Campolo and McLaren speak.