The views from the massive mudslide that crushed a rural Washington state community are chilling: shredded homes and twisted cars. A county medical examiner increased the death toll to 29 on Wednesday; 20 people are still listed as missing.
More than 10 days after a large section of a rain-soaked hill crashed down on a neighborhood in the small community of Oso, teams with cadaver dogs are still sifting through debris and soil to determine exactly how many people died in the March 22 mudslide. (Associated Press)
Horrible! An unsuspecting village buried by a mountain of sliding mud. Who would of ever thought that such a beautiful hillside could be so unstable...so deadly? Sometimes we wrongly assume security, because at the present time, "All seems wonderful, like the beauty of a sleepy mountainside!" We must always consider carefully what we are building our lives upon; without realizing it, we may be sitting ducks for destruction because "Erosion Happens!" It always happens, because it always rains. Where there is no bedrock, there is no certainty. If the foundation is not firm, built on rock or "Cement & Truth", erosion will occur, and your life may be destroyed.
Just like the deadly slide of mud, I have seen presumed faith destroyed again and again and again; all because of erosion.
Take for instance the popular movement in modern evangelicalism that first appeared about 15 years ago called the "Emergent Church Movement." Charismatic and compelling leaders like Tony Jones, Brian McClaren and Rob Bell generated enormous excitement by declaring they have found "A New Kind of Christian and Christianity." Wow, was it interesting. Personally I was really, really intrigued; I had to hear them out!
I read many of their books, listened to a boat load of sermons online, and I even followed a blog site called "The Ooze." But I have to tell you, after awhile I was always left with more questions than answers. When I tried looking for answers, specifically concerning their doctrine and their approach to how they properly handle scripture; the only response I seemed to find from this movement was "questions are innocent & healthy; answers are manipulative and dangerous." As much as I wanted to, I just could not trust the foundation that they were building on . However, both the leaders and followers of the emergent movement didn't seem to care. "All seemed wonderful! Like the beauty of a sleepy mountainside."
In the area of Michigan I am from, Rob Bell was undeniably the most compelling emergent personality and leader (even though he won't admit he ever was emergent). People from all over flocked to his church by the thousands. I will agree, the man can speak; he was and still is a true artist of rhetoric. But when I tried questioning his teaching; his followers, fans, and casual observers would cry foul. "I like him and what he has to say, and so do a whole lot of people. Have you seen all the cars driving around with 'Love Wins' bumper stickers? He must be doing something right?"
My response, "Yeah but his doctrine...well...it stinks. His exegesis is weak. His foundation seems to be built on mud!"
Do you know when you try to discuss theology, doctrine, logic, and sound ministry practices; there is a large group of people in the church who no longer care? They really don't like you pointing out foundational error; you see, people don't believe in erosion anymore. And they certainly don't want you upsetting the "Calm serenity of a sleepy mountainside!" But mud is still mud!
15 years ago the first raindrops of the emergent's bad doctrine began to fall, and it seemed like the mountain would hold. As the years went by, as arrogance and pride swelled, down came more and more rain. Well, I have to tell you, the mountainside has broken free . . .and it's a mess. McClaren and Jones have lost their platform and the audience they once had; and Rob Bell...well...you know what happened to him? See for yourself:
The real tragedy in all this are the people who are still caught in his and the post-modern emergent's mud. Still defending, still asking questions without looking for real answers. But we must remember, a solid foundation is a must (Luke 6:46-49); no matter how "wonderful" a new movement or compelling a man seems.
Never forget, "Erosion Happens!"