Emergent Blasphemy

I recently was perusing the web (Sharper Iron) when I came across this article.  Evidently the preaching of the Gospel of Christ which Paul the Apostle devoted his life to, and the Gospel for which thousands have been martyred for “doesn’t work.”  A new “church” (I use church loosely) called Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community has completely done away with the preaching of God breathed Scripture, instead, they only use dramas of “Bible themes flavored with pop culture and modern-day skepticism.”  The purpose of this organization is to help people “live the sermon.”  The leaders of Hot Metal Bridge are accomplishing a noble work in the eyes of the world; after all, they are changing lives and straightening people out.  However, sincerity does not substitute for Truth and there is absolutely no substitute for the preaching of God’s Word.  Why then do I call this blasphemy?  Because it reduces the Truth of God’s Word to little more than the “South Beach diet” a self-help, emotionally charged betterment philosophy  It is a man-centered, results driven, attack on the power of God. . . and that is blasphemy.


  1. Ryan P.T. said:

    Great post. The whole focus on testimonies in evangelicalism really betrays an American pragmatism, don’t you think? I mean, that’s great that the coke-head had his life cleaned up, but fundamentally he’s saying he’s a Christian because it “worked”. But will the root get squelched when he relapses?

    April 28, 2006
  2. christianjoe said:

    By in large, modern Christianity is a self-help, give me my dose of God each day and a special dose when I really need it. This philosophy is what I believe drives the “emergent movement.” God called us to His purpose and His glory primarily. He will give the increase of souls if we just preach the unadulterated, non-watered down Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    April 28, 2006
  3. Erin McGrath said:

    I have been attending church in various denominations my entire life. I have been to Catholic mass, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist services to name a few. I have been to countless bible studies and sat through hundreds of sermons. Not one ever brought me to tears. Not a single one. The dramas presented at Hot Metal make me weep, out of joy, out of sorrow and out of hope. There is nothing “watered down” about grown men falling on their knees and weeping after see the Word of God presented in drama. The Bible is the Word of God but Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community presents it in a different way. The recent publicity we have been receiving is not always the truth, it is one person’s account of how we run our services. Hot Metal hasn’t thrown out the bible. Nor do we take God’s Word lightly. Before practicing a play, the Creative Arts Team has a bible study in which they review the material, from the Bible, and pray over how they can reach people, how they can touch lives with the Word of God. We present them in the form of dramas, but we still read the Bible every week at service. We have a number of Bible studies and fellowship groups that meet throughout the week as well.

    Hot Metal Faith Community is the most beautiful example of Christian Fellowship I have ever come across. We pray together, break bread together, serve together, love together and live together. I honestly believe that this meeting of Christians is God’s will in action and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to attend and be a part of such an incredible movement of faith.

    Perhaps you could make the opportunity to attend one of our services and pull the log out of your own eye before condemming the work and will of God.

    June 8, 2006
  4. christianjoe said:

    I wish you to know that I do believe there are good Christian people in the emergent church; but as a whole, I believe that the emergent movement is one that is people-focused rather than God-focused. The highest purpose of man is not to reach people. The goal of worship is not to be brought to tears. The Purpose of Christianity is not to make the Bible acceptible to people. The goal of man is single-focused. To reflect the holiness, love, purity, wrath, mercy, and grace of God. I humbly submit, that I may be surprised when I stand before my God and realize the waste of ministry in my life, but I can only speak what I believe God’s breathed Word says. I may never be in the area of Hot Metal, but you alone must give an account of how you served and worshipped Christ, how you reflected His glory. If you are involved in the true church then do not worry about what a silly blogger has to say. Just keep going on.

    You mention getting the log out of my eye. What log are you referring to? That passage is referring to hypocrisy. You do not know me or what I am about. I made no reference to people’s motives. And I certainly did not condemn the work and will of the God. I simply laid out what I believe to be true. The philosophy of the emergent church tends to be focused on man and his ability to reach people. Hot Metal seemed to be an example of that. I am sorry that preaching has not reached you. It is not the Word’s fault. The written and preached Word of God is the most powerful worship available. You say that you have attended many types of services, but have you ever accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sins? This is true religion.

    Thank you for your honest response
    In Christ,

    June 13, 2006
  5. jason sluka said:

    You should read my personal testimony before jumping up and criticizing a church you know very little about. God worked through that church as I came to know Jesus Christ. There is such a thing reporting and editing. It was not up to me what the reporter wrote in her article. You are allowed to say whatever you want in a blog. Who are you to judge my testimony (which you know little about) and a church which God uses everyday? A wretch like me has been lifted out of the pit, the muck and the mire, and brought to a life in Jesus. Let God be the judge, especially of the ones who were not raised in a Christian household and got caught up in a world of sex, drugs, and money. The most amazing thing through my experiences at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community has been God taking me, a modern day prodigal son, out of the darkness and into his marvelous light.

    Thank you for your time,

    Jason Sluka

    July 5, 2006
  6. Dear Mr. Sluka,

    I would love to read your personal testimoy. I read my original article (BTW I am not a reporter) and must clarify that I never doubted the genuine nature of your testimony. I simply noticed that the testimony as written did not really contain anything about Christ. If that reporter skewed or left out part of your testimony that speaks of Christ’s power through His Word to forgive and save you, then I am truly sorry. My intention is not to cast a disparaging light on your testimony. If you have trusted Christ and Christ only for your salvation, I am happy to call you brother. I have no desire to doubt how God works in every individual person or church. My intention in the original post was simply to give my opinion on the lack of preaching in America that Paul the Apostle defended so much. Paul said, “I preach Christ.” It is my opinion that the lack of Biblical, Christ-centered preaching has caused a weak, watered-down Christianity. I stand by that premise, but I do regret writing about your testimony without getting all the facts. That said, I will delete that portion of my original post.
    Thank you for your response


    July 5, 2006
  7. Mitch Martin said:

    You should come out to Hot Metal sometime yourself. It is a real community of real believers. People living out Christ’s commands to be in community with fellow believers. It is not all “plays as sermons.” This last sunday there was no drama, just verse after verse of God breathed scripture relating to our need for Christ and his sacrifice for us. I have just started attending here but if you are ever in Pittsburgh, you should definitely come and check it out.

    August 5, 2010

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