Another example of the collapse of biblical separatism among fundamental Baptist churches is New Testament Baptist Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the 1970s Pastor Dino Pedrone was a regular speaker at Southwide Baptist Fellowship conferences. He was a separatist, used only the King James Bible and sacred music, had modest dress standards, and preached against rock & roll. But that’s all gone. The church, which was renamed The Gathering Place, promotes R-rated movies, recommends books by emerging church leaders who reject the infallibility of the Bible, such as Chris Seay, and feeds its youth a steady diet of rock & roll. The church’s 2011 Imagine Women of Faith conference featured ecumenical charismatic rockers such as Amy Grant, Mary Mary, Sandi Patty, and Sheila Walsh. Later this month (March 2012), New Testament Baptist will feature rapper Adriel (Skrip) Cruz at its You Generation conference. Cruz is a pastor of World Renegade, an emerging church in Chicago which claims to be “traditional in theology and modern in how it is presented.” This is the same philosophy promoted by Mark Driscoll of Seattle, who is “theologically conservative and culturally liberal.” To prove it, Driscoll hosts champaign dance parties. The New Evangelical emerging crowd wants to have the world and Christ, too, and they are quite comfortable with the sensual pop culture, but what they have is a worldly Christ. Contrary to the emerging concept, Jesus was not a party animal. To preach repentance and warn about hell and to exhort people to “go and sin no more” is not a party message! Jesus was called a friend of sinners, not because He was a party guy but because He sought to save sinners. Christ loved sinners but He was also at the same time “undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). We document the error of cultural liberalism in the book What Is the Emerging Church? which is available in eBook and print editions from Way of Life.
(Friday Church News Notes, March 9, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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