[UPDATE: Convergence website removed the Walla Walla University Church listing around 3 PM on Monday the 18th]
We are told that the last days would be preceded by a "great falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Down through the ages, wise men have stood upon the calm interlude between the past and the future and wondered "What will that falling away be like? When will it happen?" It will happen right on schedule, and thanks be to our God, He will deliver His faithful children from it.
Convergence is a post-emergent integral-spirituality group. Well what is that??
It is a next-generation emerging church movement founded by several of the guiding thinkers (Brian McLaren, Eric Elnes, Diana Butler Bass, Phyllis Tickle, and Richard Foster) of the Emergent & Spiritualist Movements---all organized under the rubric of Social Justice. Put simply, the bedfellows of liberalism, mysticism, and Social Justice have now combined into a spiritual superbug. Convergence has numerous affiliate churches around the U.S., and Walla Walla University SDA Church is listed as one of them.
On October 18, 2014, I spoke in a Symposium called Operation Iceberg at Sacramento Central Church in California. I was one of six speakers. Our task was to reveal how mysticism was permeating into our church through the efforts of the One Project and numerous Progressive Spirituality Adventist 'leaders.' It wasn't necessarily fun, but it was necessary to hit this stuff hard and try to protect our people from it. (Incidentally, the term New Age is now outdated, the updated term is progressive or integral spirituality.)
During my presentation that day, I made this statement. That statement was almost prophetic. Diana Butler Bass is now on the board of directors of Convergence Christianity. And Walla Walla University Church is listed as part of it, according to the Convergence website.
The Theological Betrayal of Convergence Christianity
(1) They are letting go of the notion that their particular faith is the only legitimate one on the planet. They are embracing an understanding that God is greater than our imagination can comprehend (or fence in), and thus they are open to the possibility that God may speak within and across all faith traditions. In other words, all religions are of equal merit and value. But, there is no other way unto the Father except through the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Mohammed and Buddha need not apply.
(2) They are letting go of literal and inerrant interpretations of the Bible while celebrating the unique treasures that their texts contain. They are embracing a more ancient, prayerful, non-literal approach to these same texts, and finding new insights and resources as they do so. This means that we must surrender our confidence in the Bible as the inerrant guide to truth, replacing it with mystical prayer practices in order to find personal enlightenment.
(3) They are letting go of the notion that people of faith are called to have dominion over nature. They are embracing a more organic and reverent understanding of human relationship with the earth. This is radical environmentalism, bereft of the biblical mandate to "have dominion over the earth and subdue it."
(4) They are letting go of "empty worship conventions" and an overemphasis on doctrines as tools of division and exclusion. They are embracing more diverse, creative, engaging approaches, often making strong use of the arts. This is theological liberalism on steroids, friend.
(5) They are letting go of a "narrow definition of sexual orientation and gender identity." They are embracing with increasing confidence an understanding that affirms the dignity and worth of all people. They advocate for the rights of women and LGBTQ people. In other words they have found a way to fulfill Isaiah 5:20, and still look somewhat pious in the process.
(6) They are letting go of the desire to impose their particular vision of faith on wider society. They are embracing the notion that their purpose is to make themselves more faithful adherents of their vision of faith. This means that an all-encompassing vision of sharing the Three Angels Messages with the world is now untenable. It is imposing one's religion on others, and that is immoral because all religions are equally legitimate.
(7) They are letting go of notions of the afterlife that are dominated by judgment of “unbelievers.” They are embracing an understanding that, as God’s creations, God is eternally faithful to us, and that all people are loved far more than we can comprehend. This means that the biblical teachings of an Investigative Judgment are untenable; the concept of a Great Eschatological Judgment by the righteous Son of God "Who judges all things" must also be jettisoned. 'Love' is herein made the enemy of truth. Oh.... this is the foundation stone of Universalism, too.
(8) They are letting go of the notion that faith and science are incompatible. They are embracing the notion that faith and science can serve as allies in the pursuit of truth, and that God values our minds as well as our hearts. The idea that faith and science are incompatible is generally something that evolutionists prattle on about. Christians rarely do.
This is called Convergence Christianity, but it certainly is not Christian.
This is the path that liberal Adventism appears to be on. This may explain why the Pastor of Walla Walla University Church stated in a Friday night vesper service on November 11th, 2016 that the GC vote on Women's Ordination that took place in San Antonio was a "sin that needed to be dealt with." Really. Here's a text that I received last November 20th. [Edit] Here is another confirming email.
It's time to be brutally honest, folks. Some of us are worried that we might lose several of our institutions over female ordination. Through Social Justice and progressive spirituality we may have already lost them. They're toast. And if they must be retained with the aforementioned eight articles of deceit, we don't want them back. We must not dishonor our Lord in these ways.
I hope you are seeing now why many of our academic centers are pushing so hard for Women's Ordination, downplaying doctrine, accepting evolutionary duplicity, resenting any notion of a Remnant, idolizing multiculturalism, advocating for LGBTQ as an acceptable alternative to biblical marriage, replacing the Everlasting Gospel with temporal Social Justice, and substituting "Spiritual experience" as the universal ointment that heals all distinctions. If Adventists buy into the Convergence worldview, we will lose our mission and message. Those who adopt the aforementioned articles of Social Justice faith, will be distanced from the genuine faith that once defined them. It is sad. It is regrettable.
And it is happening right on schedule.
“Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature” (Selected Messages bk.1, p. 197 1904).
A few sources: