OUTREACH REPORT 6-23-2011: THE WILD GOOSE CHASE!
By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jun 24, 2011 in Current Issues, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features, Youth Ministry
By Special Apprising Ministries Correspondent Dustin Segers
Pastor, Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro
Introduction: Thanks for your prayers for me as I went to take the gospel to the Emergent church unbelievers at the Wild Goose Festival in Shakori Hills, NC.
The speakers line-up included the “Who’s Who’s” list of apostasy with people such as Brian McLaren, Jay Bakker, Shaine Claiborne, Doug Pagitt, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Franky Schaeffer, etc.
A Conversation With Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D
I arrived @ 1:30 p.m. and the other two brothers I was going to meet up with were already there. I had planned to do only one-on-one evangelism since it was private property.
I knew that if we tried to do open-air preaching we would be quickly asked to leave. Once I arrived, I located the other brothers and find some people to talk to about the gospel and one of the brothers was already engaging in open-air preaching.
The attention the preaching was getting afforded me the opportunity to receive a free “If Love Wins What Now?” DVD by one Dr. Eric Elnes who walked our direction due to the preaching.
I later learned that Dr. Elnes teaches at Darkwood Brew, which is a Emergent Church/Coffee-House/web TV program.
This man was a “Christian universalist”.
(billiefan2000 side note: Elnes is pastor of Countryside Community Church of Omaha Nebraska which is a UCC church and is known for Universalism and New-age teachings and leftist social gospel agenda)
A Christian universalist believes that people can only be saved through Jesus alone, but that ultimately all people will be saved through Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice whether they have repented and believed on the gospel or not.
It appears that Dr. Elnes also held to the typical Emergent church view of God’s love: that God’s love is essentially the same for the lost person as well as the professing Christian;
no appreciable distinction is made between God’s common grace that He shows to all people (Matt. 5:44-45) and the saving grace that He shows only to believers (Rom. 5:8).
Our conversation about “Christian universalism” started after I read him the following quote from Brian McLaren,
Whatever remains of God’s good image inside OBL will be distinguished from the rest and dealt with appropriately, again in the perfect light of God’s justice and love. Whatever from his story can be healed will be healed.
Whatever cannot will be dealt with in some other appropriate way. Somehow, grace will have the final word. Somehow (as they say), love will win – not at the expense of justice, but through and with and in justice. Beyond that, I have no desire to speculate … only to live my life in harmony with God’s justice and love.
When I pointed out that McLaren attempted to argue that Osama Bin Laden may have been forgiven of his sins and welcomed into heaven without repentance and faith in Christ,
Dr. Elnes’ response was “That’s wonderful isn’t it!”
I said, “Not if Osama didn’t repent and put his faith in Jesus alone for salvation.”
He responded, “So, you’re saying that people who have never heard of Jesus go to Hell”
and I responded, “Yep, and many people who have heard of Jesus go to Hell.”
He then proceeded to ask me if people in India who have never heard of Jesus go to Hell and both I and another brother noted that they are damned because they are sinners who have sinned against God by perverting the knowledge God has placed within them and following various forms of idolatry instead (cf. Romans 1:18-25; 2:14-15).
We then proceeded to have a pretty decent discussion regarding judgment, predestination, election, the gospel, etc., for about 20 minutes until event officials showed up.
Obviously, we thoroughly disagreed with each other in just about every area mentioned above, but it seemed to be a somewhat profitable conversation since there wasn’t much interruption.
Dr. Elnes was somewhat annoyed by the doctrinal content of my responses, but he was a gentleman and I certainly appreciated his willingness to discuss these things in a civil manner.
Being Escorted off the Property
And so we were off to a good conversation when two event officials came and told us that we had to pay $159 booth fee to stay or we had to go. I didn’t want God’s money going to support a heresy fest, so we left.
The officials were kind, treated us with respect, and we had a brief opportunity to talk to them about the peace that only comes through repentance and faith in Christ, and they kindly but firmly encouraged us to leave ASAP.
IN CONCLUSION, thanks so much for your prayers.
Please continue to pray for our missionary work to Greensboro, the Triad, and to the uttermost parts of North Carolina, for the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!
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OUTREACH REPORT 6-23-2011: THE WILD GOOSE CHASE! : Apprising Ministries