Watchdawggie doing what is natural at the keyboardSeveral years ago, after the great explosion of 24/7 News channels, a problem arose.  Once the Clinton scandals settled down, there was little real news to be had that would fill 24/7 programming.  So, to fill the air, a lot of ‘fluff’ stories and sensationalist segments took on lives of their own.  One in particular was that of “El Niño” – a weather pattern in the equatorial ocean which has an affect on world weather.

As the summer wore on, it seemed like everything was being blamed on El Niño, even when the remotest of plausible connections seemed ludicrous.  You knew it had reached a tipping point when Jay Leno was blaming a lack of good summer movies on the effects of El Niño.

That time has passed, but the need for some sort of all-encompassing scapegoat has not.

Case in point today is the ‘Emergent Church’.*

First, we have the issue of an Episcopal (NOTE: Not Emergent) priest (NOTE: Emergent and emerging churches do not have priests, and shudder at such heirarchies which run opposed to a fully encompassing view of the priesthood of all believers), Ann Holmes Redding, who has embraced Islam without leaving the Christian church.  I happened to see this same story on the cover of the Seattle newspaper on a Washington state ferry a couple of weeks ago, with ‘I am a Christian Muslim’ emblazoned above the picture of Ms. Redding.

Though I have not conferred with the other writers here at, I would be willing to bet that – to a one – the idea of Christianity and Islam being a compatible match would strike every one of them (as well as me) as sheer lunacy.

Now, there is no indication that you would find broad support of a ‘Christian Muslim’ faith within the diverse Emergent/emerging churches.  While some Emergent Village (a small liberal subset of the entire EC movement) figures fall somewhere between open theism and universalism, most emerging churches (which are the majority in the EC) do not.  Mark Driscoll, Dan Kimball, Bob Hyatt and a host of other ‘emerging’ church figures I am certain would not (and do not) support such pantheistic/univeralistic theology.

Which is exactly why it is not surprising that Ken Silva would trot out his El Niño for a sick exercise in attacking part of the body of Christ.

In today’s miss-ive, Mr. Silva writes:

note also that her spiritually obtuse “Bishop Vincent Warner of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia told the Seattle Times that Redding”s embrace of Islam has not been controversial in his diocese.”

His next paragraph is this:

Did you catch that? The effect of the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church upon American Christianity is such that embracing two diametrically opposed faiths hasn’t even “been controversial” in her diocese.

Did you catch that?  In the entire first half of the article and in the linked articles, the Emergent Church is mentioned exactly zero times.  Now, jarringly, it is El Niño’s the Emergent Church’s fault that one of the most liberal of mainline churches (NOTE: Not Emergent Churches), the US Episcopal church, in one of its most liberal diocese, western Washington State, has a nutcase priestess who has attempted to be a Christian Muslim (which is like trying to be a fertile eunuch).  And somehow, this is the fault of a hugely diverse (but yet, broadbrushed) group of churches who have no broad support for wacky ‘Christian-Mormon’ doctrine.

This is just one more example of C?N’s complete lack of research and zeal to slander, smear and divide the church.  But there’s more:

Well guess what, since I first covered this at Christian Research Net this sickening story hasn’t even been controversial to the Christian public at large either. Which is even more evidence of the fetid fruit of the egregious and ecumenical emerging church movement.

Really?  It was published in the Christian Post and elsewhere.  I saw it two weeks ago in the secular press and commented to my son how sad a thing it was that someone who was supposed to be a church leader didn’t have the sense to see that Allah is not YHWH and that you cannot have both in existence.  Additionally, there are significant Anglican voices speaking out against this woman’s lunacy (for those of you who need a scorecard, the Episcopal church is a part of the Anglican church).

Additionally, SBC radio host and frequent Silva whipping boy, Al Mohler, Jr., and other prominent Christian voices quickly noted that Redding was off her rocker and that being a ‘Christian Muslim’ is about as orthodox as baptizing farm animals. 

Interestingly, Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, has spoken several times about Islam in very black/white terms, and about its ‘truth claims’ which are incompatible with Christianity.  So – the pastor of one of the largest emergent churches in one of the most liberal cities in the USA – the same city as the “Christian Muslim Priestess” – is publicly on record vociforously opposing such nonsense.  But does Ken take this into account?  If you’re reading it here, you already know the answer.

At Apprising Ministries I have been attempting to warn you that at the heart of this Emergent Church, which is not a move of the Holy Spirit, is the eventual bringing together of all religions.

Really, Ken?  That’s an awfully self-assured statement from one not in any place to know.  About the only thing you’ve proven in this article is your divisiveness, which, sadly, is addressed in Titus 3:11.

As I remember that summer of years past – the summer of El Niño – I take a bit of solace remembering that eventually it passed, and by the next summer season, a new scapegoat had surfaced: La Niña.  And so, I wonder, when will this season pass – and who will be blamed for all ills next?

*This is not differentiating between the Emergent Church (an actual network of left-leaning churches in Emergent Village) and the emerging church (a movement within multiple branches of Christianity, from conservative to liberal), as the author of the hit-piece in quesion does not make the distinction, and at least one writer on C?N blatantly (and intellectually dishonestly) refuses to even acknowledge the difference between the two.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2007 at 1:04 pm and is filed under Emergent Church, Ken Silva, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, Original Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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11 Comments(+Add)

1   phil    
July 2nd, 2007 at 1:28 pm

I laughed when I read that, too. I mean, do we really need to remind Ken of all the heretics that have come from all sorts of “good church” backgrounds? To point this is out as somehow being the norm for the EC is just ridiculous.

I guess everyone’s gotta blame somebody.

To quote Moe Sizlak from the Simpsons: “Aw, it ain’t no mystery. The whole modern world’s got a swishifying effect on kids today. And their MTVs and their diet sodas ain’t gonna set ‘em straight, neither.”

2   another nathan
July 2nd, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Dovetailing on this…

This pseudo-research also does not acknowledge the undeniable reality that there are many theologically sound parishes/dioceses in TEC who are at odds with the decisions of the general convention.

Instead of bailing out completely, like many others did from other denominational battles, some dioceses and their bishops are fighting to “keep” the Episcopal church and boot the revisionist, heterodox members if loving calls to repentance do not work (how different than the attitudes and cutthroat powermongering of the SBC conservative “resurgence”).

Even the worldwide communion is overwhelmingly orthodox and calling on TEC to repent. Other parishes are bolting from their liberal dioceses and acquiring alternate oversight from other national churches so they can retain their anglican identity and historic connection to Canterbury…balancing their worship traditions while remaining biblically sound.

The lack of acknowledgement of this is a sign of “free church” bigotry and ignorance about how the polity of the anglican communion works.

It’s easy for anyone whose ultimate church identity is local to just declare people should jump ship…instead the polity of anglicanism is governed by equally theological (AND biblical) principles: doctrinal clarity AND loving relationships. The southern primates have demonstrated great patience, respect AND clear biblical doctrine. This is something to be commended, not overlooked. Clarity and longsuffering heartbreak over sin. But to some people that is compromise. You’re only faithful if you’re a jerk about the truth…

As far as the “EC blame game”…
It’s something new to “urinate” or “defecate” on–and actually worthy of it too. Unlike the Reformation we supposedly hate so much.

We should be praying for TEC, the Anglican Communion and Ann Holmes Redding.

3   Tim
July 2nd, 2007 at 1:59 pm

I’m sure repentance and an apology will be issued with all due haste.

4   Chris L
July 2nd, 2007 at 2:06 pm


I am friends with the Canon from one of the ‘flyover’ states, and he is exactly in the camp you are speaking of. We’ve had a number of discussions about the TEC and the decisions of whether or not to bolt or to persist (and he is still persisting).

My apologies to you and to the Canon for not mentioning this…

5   Henry (Rick) Frueh
July 2nd, 2007 at 2:23 pm

“being a ‘Christian Muslim’ is about as orthodox as baptizing farm animals.”

Hyperbole, I love it! Articles like this would serve well in combating the apsotates that will label themselves as emergent. I have watched many a Southern Baptist on “The Journey Home” which is a talk show for RCC converts.

If the emergent/emerging must have some internal accountability from those who have orthodox roots. If all the theological deviates who have called themselves “baptist” were used to blanket all of us, well, brother Fred Phelps comes immediately to mind. (I call him brother in Adam)

6   another nathan
July 2nd, 2007 at 2:43 pm


I meant the article that bashes EC, not your article…
I was just dovetailing off of what you said.

Your article is just fine!

Sorry if it sounded like I thought otherwise.


7   robbymac
July 2nd, 2007 at 2:47 pm

You’ve got to be kidding. Ken must think all his (supportive) readers are idiots if he thinks they will swallow this!

8   Tim
July 2nd, 2007 at 6:34 pm

If Ken thinks that, I agree with him.

9   iggy
July 2nd, 2007 at 8:08 pm

This again is why I wonder how the dare claim “research” in their name…

There is a huge difference in respecting and even learning from other religions and accepting two religions that are contrary to each other as co equal…

Personally there is NO “world religion” that is of God… even “Christianity” if it is just a “religion” like others… it is in the relational aspect which is preached heavily within the emerging church that true understanding of one being “in Christ” and a follow of Jesus is about. It is in hearing and doing that most are working on in the ec that I know of.

There is also a difference in acceptance of a person and letting them be of whatever faith they are while they attend your fellowship. In that we listen and learn from each other and as they learn the Love of God they are drawn in and in many cases find Jesus as their Life itself. Many are so concerned that a sinner will dirty their church I wonder if they have ever heard of the Cross and the Blood shed.

I guess some of us have more faith in the ability of God to save others and to keep His church pure.

Be Blessed,

10   jimmy@relevantchristian
July 3rd, 2007 at 12:59 am

Classic…it’s all because of El Nino!

11   Brendt
July 4th, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Really, Ken? That’s an awfully self-assured statement from one not in any place to know.

Chris, Chris, Chris. I’m really disappointed in you, man. Let me try to lift the post-modern fog from your eyes.

You know that the C?N crowd has special insight that we mere mortals lack. Steve Camp can tell us definitively who is and is not saved. Ingrid can say positively that the angels all sound like Anglo-Saxons. It’s only logical that Ken would know beyond the shadow of a doubt not only the true motives of every last person who identifies themselves as emergent, but would be able to divine the primary purpose behind a wholly undefined entity.