Resolution on the Convention Theme—Taking Heed
From its founding in 1941, the American Council of Christian Churches has dedicated itself to defending the fundamental truths of Gospel doctrine against Satanic attack and to promoting those truths in a world marked increasingly by apathy and even antipathy toward them. Sadly, the corrosive influence of weakness in the face of apostasy, as manifested in the so-called New Evangelicalism, has produced an appalling drift toward positions that have bargained away the hallmarks of the Gospel in exchange for wider acceptance and more popular acclaim.
The first decade of the 21st century has been a time of turning away from the separatist positions maintained not only by the early generations of Christian Fundamentalist leaders and those who benefited from their ministry but also by those who came before them, going all the way back to the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The legacy of Billy Graham’s ecumenical evangelism and the NAE’s fascination with admitted advocates of universalism, such as Robert Schuller, have generated an atmosphere in which Joel Osteen and other purveyors of “evangelicalism lite” have been able to flourish.
Such dismaying trends have affected some who have expressed adherence previously to Fundamentalist truths and to Biblical separation from those who dilute them or deny them. They have begun to doubt the need for the firm resolve Fundamentalism requires in the face of open error and of compromise with that error. Some younger Fundamentalists have wondered about the right way to reach their generation and are concluding that changes in methodology and refinements in message are in order.
Such changes mean shifting away from the reliance on what has been proclaimed in the past in favor of a more contemporary style and a message less offensive to the desires of a narcissistic and entertainment-driven generation.
In the words of Mordecai from the Book of Esther, the American Council of Christian Churches has been called to the kingdom for such a time as this. Now is not the time to waver or fear. Now is the time to reassert the Biblical truths of Christian Fundamentalism to preserve the heritage of those who have already served their generation and who are now in the presence of the Lord. Now is the time to renew our reliance on the things that we have heard.
Therefore the delegates to the 68th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches, meeting October 20-22, 2009 in Toronto Free Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada resolve, in the words of the convention’s theme, to “give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard.” (Hebrews 2:1) We are mindful of the similar exhortation to take heed to ourselves and to the doctrine and to continue in them. (I Timothy 4:16) We recognize that the key to delivering our generation from the fire of divine judgment lies in the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ, and we set ourselves afresh for the defense of that Gospel. We call on all who love Christ in truth to take heed to the things that they have heard, to remain separated unto Christ, and to guard the doctrine that presents the only way of salvation.
Resolution on the “Emerging Church”
For its entire history, the American Council of Christian Churches has maintained its adherence to the Word of God in that the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God and are therefore inerrant, infallible, authoritative and sufficient as the special revelation of God. This Council has always defended the Bible as the only guide for all matters of faith and practice.
One of the recent innovations on the religious scene is the so-called Emerging Church movement that claims to be emerging out of history’s reservoir of Christian experience and to encompass every earlier expression of Christianity just as a tree’s annual growth ring encapsulates all of its prior growth. (Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004) pp. 276-278))
But this claim is false. Brian McLaren, a leader in the Emerging Church movement, while claiming a “generous orthodoxy,” urges that fundamentalists need to give up the five great watchwords of the Protestant Reformation—Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, and for the glory of God alone; (McLaren, p. 198.) and his view of Scripture rejects the biblical teaching of its uniqueness as divinely inspired, substituting instead the view that Scripture “is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it,” (McLaren, p. 162.) and thus reflects the Roman Catholic error that “[Holy] tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) Para 81. Square brackets and italic in the original)
Furthermore, Erwin McManus, another leader in the Emerging Church movement, has said that “underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient,” (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god_article.php?id=6989 1/26/2009) and Rob Bell, also prominent in the movement affirms, “We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life.” (Quoted in a 2004 Christianity Today article titled ‘Emergent Mystique’)
These statements represent only a small portion of the errors that appear in the writings of Emerging Church leaders.
Therefore the delegates to the 68th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches, meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 20-22, 2009 resolve to reject and repudiate the Emerging Church movement as heretical; and we further resolve that members of this Council will do all within our power to expose the unbiblical and deceptive concepts of the Emerging Church movement, to warn of its dangers and to call all mankind to return to Scripture alone as our sole source of knowledge regarding all that is spiritual.
The American Council of Christian Churches is a Fundamentalist multi-denominational organization whose purposes are to provide information, encouragement, and assistance to Bible-believing churches, fellowships and individuals; to preserve our Christian heritage through exposure of, opposition to, and separation from doctrinal impurity and compromise in current religious trends and movements; to protect churches from religious and political restrictions, subtle or obvious, that would hinder their ministries for God; to promote obedience to the inerrant Word of God.