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The Great Confluence

The Emergent New Apostolic Reformation Flowing into the New Age

“If you’re a house churcher or emerging churcher (or baffled onlooker), what do you think of this confluence of HC [House Church] and EC [Emergent Church]?”
– Mike Morrell, zoecarnate[1]

The previous Herescope post looked at the big picture of how the Emerging Church movement is connecting with the New Apostolic Reformation, as exemplified by the release of the new book Jesus Manifesto co-authored by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. There are even more troubling connections, and these lead straight into the New Age movement.

Emergent leader Mike Morrell got the plum job of conducting the book-launching “Interview With Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet,” which was posted on June 1 at Morrell’s webpage HERE. Morrell, “an editor with TheOoze.com and founder of the popular ‘alt.Christian’ web directory zoecarnate.com,[2] explains how he originally hooked up with Frank Viola in his article “House Church: Ready for Prime Time? Frank Viola says ‘Yes!'” Morrell, describing Frank Viola as a “family friend,” records that he “started reading Frank right at the beginning of my house church journey in 1998, my freshman year in college” and how “[o]ne year later, he crashed on a pallet beside me and three other guys on my parents living room floor!”[3] He then explains the significance of connecting the Emergent movement to the NAR’s “house church” movement. He began by relating that

Around 2005 Frank discovered what dawned on me in 2001; that these ‘emerging church’ folks were valuable friends and conversation partners in discovering the life, meaning and mission of Jesus’ followers in the 21st century. He asked me what he should be reading more of, and who he should be talking to. I introduced him to some friends, and gave him some contacts with the e-zines. After digesting more of ‘the conversation,’ Frank penned an article that went viral, Will the Emerging Church Fully Emerge? Andrew Jones and many othersweighed in. . . . [4]

This 2005 article of Viola’s that Morrell is referring to, “Will the Emerging Church Fully Emerge?”,[5] was a bold attempt to tweak the Emergent Church, moving it closer towards the ideal structural format of the New Apostolic Reformation’s concept of “house church.” At this point it is important to explain that the emerging “house church” concept in the NAR is engineered to be an organic whole that is facilitated and networked by a growing alliance of international self-anointed, self-appointed apostles and prophets – a living “body” on earth that is both hierarchical and cellular in nature. It is an “organism” that must be managed by the machinations of man (not God), assessed via feedback mechanisms, monitored and propelled towards an evolutionary target of a collective “emergence.” Don’t be misled by the rhetoric! The NAR concept of “house church” is not about humble little autonomous churches meeting in living rooms.[5]

By 2008, Morrell was explaining how Viola’s ecclesiology was appealing to various Emergent leaders, and he opened the topic for further discussion:

So these days Pagan Christianity? and Reimagining Church hold their own in faith-based best-seller lists alongside other house church-oriented books (that you may or may not have heard of) like The Shack. Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk himself, thinks that emerging church practitioners should take Frank and his ecclesiology seriously. RTS prof Steve Brown is pleasantly surprised by house church ideas. And Relevant’s newly-launchedNeue Ministry discovers that house church folks really can care about the poor.

If you’re a house churcher or emerging churcher (or baffled onlooker), what do you think of this confluence of HC and EC?[6]

Emergent Future Scenarios

On June 1st this past week Mike Morrell greatly assisted the marketing of Sweet and Viola’s book by publishing the interview about it on his zoecarnate webpage.[7] The significance of Morrell’s role in launching this book must be noted. Morrell is at the cutting edge of this Emergent “confluence.” His online bio states that

Mike Morrell – Partner and Associate Consultant/Futurist: I am a Graduate Fellow in Emergent Studies, Master of Arts in Strategic Foresight program at Regent University, and a member of the Association of Professional Futurists. I have six years experience in the publishing industry, working in editorial, marketing and consulting capacities for ABA and CBA publishers including Random House, HarperOne, Tyndale and Zondervan. I am an editor with TheOoze.com and founder of the popular ‘alt.Christian’ web directory zoecarnate.com. My passion lies in the intersection of media and sustainable futures, creating usable futures to function resiliently in a generative economy. This passion has resulted in a growing expertise in the areas of local and global food economies, generative community building, human development and social justice issues, and a focus on sustainable and resilient practices for global resources.[8]

In his capacity as a self-avowed futurist, Morrell represents the most forward wing of the Emerging/Emergent movement that is propelling the church forward into a New World Order/New Age. For example, Morrell was a featured speaker, along with Emergent leader Brian McLaren at the New Age World Future Society Annual Conference held on July 26-28, 2008 in Washington, D.C. At the time, we posted a report describing the significance of this event:

The World Future Society is a leading organization devoted to creating alternative future scenarios for planet Earth. According to Wikipedia, it has about 25,000 members in more than 80 countries.

Also listed on this year’s conference program is evangelical leader Jay Gary, who has longtime associations with the World Future Society (see article written by Warren Smith entitled “Evangelicals and New Agers Together”). Gary was instrumental in writing the Perspectives course, which has trained an entire generation of missionaries in new theologies and practices.

Jay Gary and Brian McLaren have both been actively eschewing “doomsday” eschatologies, a fact which we have written about previously on Herescope (a very important read!).[9]

Morrell has published his infatuation with the future on his blog.[10] He has been a student in the Masters in Strategic Foresight program at Regent University under the tutelage of Jay Gary, a global mission leader who has been for the past 3 decades closely associated with the leaders of what is now called the New Apostolic Reformation. Jay Gary, who has also been a speaker at the World Future Society,[11] is at the forefront of Christian Futurism. Over the course of the past decade, Gary has been working on an alternative eschatology of “transmillennialism”,[12] which is an unabashed attempt to reformulate and update Teilhardian evolutionary philosophy into a new hybrid eschatology that will facilitate an evolutionary ecumenical convergence. Morrell describes how he works with Gary’s agenda:

Presence, an eschatologically adventurous think tank and activist cell living visions of a new reality. Together we’re helping mine creative futures for a world chock-full of the earthy and divine.”[13]

Closely connected with this newly concocted eschatology is the idea of “transhumanism,”[14] that humans can evolve into a higher order species via techno-spiritual evolution.[15]

Jay Gary is a fascinating study in how an evangelical mission leader could hook up with the New Age so quickly. In 1996, Berit Kjos wrote about his connections with the New Age, explaining how he had joined

forces with Robert Muller, the former under-secretary of the United Nations, whose spiritual tutors include former Buddhist U.N. leader U Thant, former occult Masonic leader Foster Bailey, and Alice Bailey, his wife who channeled the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul…. On the first page of his Bimillennial Research Report (March-April 1992), Jay Gary gave an uncritical endorsement of Robert Muller, announced the coming “World Parliament of Religions”….

Kjos continued:

The World Goodwill Newsletter published by Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Press, which was founded by Foster and Alice Bailey, offers a clue. It describes BEGIN, the global networking organization founded and directed by Jay Gary, and endorses the relationship between Gary and Muller.

The Bi-MillEnnial Global Interaction Network (BEGIN) is a group of concerned world citizens who circulate information and ideas on celebrating the year 2000 as a planetary jubilee with an agenda of hope. The question which BEGIN seeks to address is: “How can the thousands of bi-millennial celebrations of life and civilizations truly leave a legacy for the entire human family that will endure the test of time?”

In a letter to World Goodwill, BEGIN Executive Director Jay E. Gary writes:

“One common project we are developing is an `International Year of Thanksgiving’ in 2000, especially through the United Nations. Dr. Robert Muller has given leadership to this proposal. If any of your readers would like to bring definition to a World Thanksgiving Year in 2000, marked by reflection, reconciliation, and gratitude between nations, cultures, and peoples, please have them correspond with us. We are collecting articles and papers on these themes for an upcoming Lets Talk 2000 Forum.”

Apparently Jay Gary does not seem to discern the danger inherent in an alliance and joint celebration with occult world leaders.[16]

All of this interaction with leading Luciferian futurists[17] has far-reaching consequences. Gary’s student, Mike Morrell, is playing a key role in this great “confluence” of Emergent, New Apostolic Reformation and New Age. Morrell wrote the following explanation about how this has all come about in a piece entitled “Sunday Devotional: Matthew Fox, Cosmic Mass”:

…no one processing religion, faith, and spirituality in a post* world can afford to ignore Matthew Fox – tempestuous, flamboyant, inventive; priest, artist, liturgist and theologian. The defrocked Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest was (with the unlikely influence-pairing of Vineyard revitalizer John Wimber) responsible for inspiring what was arguably the first ever emerging/postmodern congregation in the mid-1980s – the brilliant, controversial, combustible Nine O’ Clock Service. Inspired by a Wimber prophecy at St. Thom‘s in Sheffield and nurtured by Fox’s Creation Spirituality amongst working-class rave culture, the NOS was a potpourri of influences and expression.

Even after it’s untimely demise, the UK’s ‘Planetary Mass’ idea – shades of Teilhard de Chardin‘s Mass on the World – re-caught the attention of Fox himself, who brought it back to the US as a ‘Techno-Cosmic Mass.’ To this day, there are many interested in applying the ideas of Original Blessing and Creation Spirituality to communal expressions, as well as many of more staidly orthodox persuasion interested in alternative worship expressions…[18]

A new article just posted on the Apprising Ministries website, “MIKE MORRELL ON MATTHEW FOX, JOHN WIMBER, AND THE EMERGING CHURCH,” provides an in-depth examination of the background and far-reaching ramifications of all of this emerging “confluence.”

Matthew Fox’s Cosmic Christ is an alternative “christ” that is more in keeping with an ecumenical New Age than the Gospel of Salvation of orthodox Christianity. Which raises the question: precisely which Jesus is being talked about in Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet’s new book?. . . .

The Truth:

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” (Romans 6:3-5)

1. “House Church: Ready for Prime Time? Frank Viola says ‘Yes!’.” October 23, 2008, http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/house-church-ready-for-prime-time-frank-viola-says-yes/ Typos and links in original.
2. Bio of Mike Morrell posted here: http://forwardonline.wordpress.com/meet-mike-morrell/
3. “House Church: Ready for Prime Time? Frank Viola says ‘Yes!’.” Ibid.
4. Ibid.
4. “Will the Emerging Church Fully Emerge? An Invitation for Serious Reflection and Open Dialogue,” by Frank Viola, http://www.ptmin.org/fullyemerge.htm
5. For a more complete explanation with documentation, see the Herescope series that ran in the Fall of 2007 called “The Networking Church,” beginning here: https://herescope.net/2007/02/networking-church.html
6. “House Church: Ready for Prime Time? Frank Viola says ‘Yes!’.” Ibid. Red emphasis added.
7. “Frank Viola & Leonard Sweet on ‘Jesus Manifesto’” http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/frank-viola-leonard-sweet-on-a-jesus-manifesto/
8. http://constructingmeaning.com/blogs-worth-reading/
9. “Brian McLaren to speak at World Future Society,” March 24, 2008, HTTP://HERESCOPE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2008/03/BRIAN-MCLAREN-TO-SPEAK-AT-WORLD-FUTURE.HTML. Links in original. The original conference brochure is still posted online here: http://www.wfs.org/MArch-April08/WF2008_preliminary.pdf
10. “The Future, Through the Eyes of Childhood,” January 8, 2008, http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/the-future-through-the-eyes-of-childhood/
11. Speakers page, archived on March 12, 2007, no longer online: http://www.wfs.org/2007main.htm and “Values and Spirituality” http://www.wfs.org/2007values.htm
page no longer online:
12. See this key article by Jay Gary, “The Patterns of Biblical Transformation, July 30, 2002, http://www.christianfutures.com/print_btransform.shtml
13. New Agers Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer are also working on this concept of Presencing, coming at it from the New Age evolutionary perspective See: http://www.presencing.com/community/ and http://www.blog.ottoscharmer.com/
14. See Herescope posts “The Spiritualization of Science,” May 20, 2009, https://herescope.net/2009/05/spiritualization-of-science.html and “The BRAVE NEW BREED: Creatures in Pursuit of Autonomous Perfection,” February 10, 2006: https://herescope.net/2006/02/brave-new-breed-creatures-in-pursuit.html
15. For more information on Morrell’s views, read “RICHARD ROHR AND THE EMERGING CHURCH AS THE THIRD WAY,” by Ken Silva, March 30, 2010, posted at: http://apprising.org/2010/03/30/richard-rohr-and-the-emerging-church-as-the-third-way/
16. Berit Kjos, “Whose ‘Global Kingdom’ Come?” originally published in The Christian Conscience, October 1996, posted here: http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Books_D/JayGarybk2.htm
17. A year ago we ran a series about the history of the Emergent Church movement, and examined how futurism was embedded into the movement as an evolutionary concept. Pastor Bob DeWaay’s book, The Emergent Church – Undefining Christianity, also covered this topic in-depth. The Emerging Church has always been enamored with creating an alternative future scenario which could bypass the biblical endtime scenario by promising to create a new man and paradise on earth.
See the series that begins here: https://herescope.net/2009/05/emerging-church-circa-1970.html
18. “Sunday Devotional: Matthew Fox, Cosmic Mass,” February 7, 2010, http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/sunday-devotional-matthew-fox-techno-cosmic-mass/ Links were removed, but can be accessed in the original. See wikipedia entry for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fox_(priest)