The Passion Movement: The Emergent Church On Steroids

It grieves my heart when I see Christians getting emotionally caught up in the Emergent Church and their unbiblical New Age practices. I cannot imagine how much it grieves the heart of God when He sees this.

Jesus Culture is part of this Passion Movement

What exactly is Jesus Culture Movement?

Excerpts from

Before looking at Jesus Culture’s teachings in-depth, a brief look at the people who influence them is necessary. While who they associate with may not alone make the movement heretical, the people Jesus Culture support and have speak at their conferences gives reason for one to worry. First, the movement is heavily influenced by Bill Johnson, senior pastor at Bethel Church. He has been heavily influenced by the charismatic Toronto Blessing and its leaders.

A Low View of Scripture   ( my comments in blue)

The first danger of the Jesus Culture movement is the way their leaders deal with Scripture. They handle God’s Word in a way that suits their own purposes. The leaders of the Jesus Culture movement have a tendency to allegorize biblical narratives, especially in the Old Testament, to make the text about the contemporary Christian, rather than seeing what a passage is saying about God—His power, purpose, and salvific plan.   (emphasis added)

Does Andy Stanley’s mishandling of God’s Word come to mind? 

Another error that the leaders of Jesus Culture often make is using Scripture in a dishonest way, using it out context to make whatever verse they quote mean whatever suits their purposes. In Jesus Culture, Banning Liebscher quotes Acts 10:38, which is part of Peter’s speech to the Gentiles in Cornelius’s home. Then he claims that the new breed of revivalists that is rising up “will be marked with an Acts 10:38 anointing.” However, Liebscher gives no evidence from Acts 10 or anywhere else in Scripture for his claim that Christians should operate under an “Acts 10:38 anointing” which, in context, is speaking of Jesus’ anointing and the signs and wonders that He did. Rather, Liebscher merely quotes this verse, claiming that all Christians should operate under this anointing. This use of Scripture is dubious at best.

Sounds like another version of “Name it and Claim it”

Other examples of flawed uses of Scripture in Jesus Culture, the sermons of the movement’s leaders, and their blogs abound. However, the most tragic and dangerous treatment of Scripture comes in their elevation of visions and dreams to the same level or above Scripture. source

The Word of God is complete. Extra-Biblical visions and words of knowledge are simply heretical.  God’s Holy Word should reign supreme in the hearts of His children

Running on Emotion Instead of Standing on the Word

I believe that the “slippery slope” began with the Charismatic Movement. In the 80’s, I was saved in one of these churches.  Although being a baby Christian, the Lord gave me an abundance of discernment for my protection. Each week, the same people would stand during services. They had visions, dreams to impart and words of knowledge to share.  I began to feel so uncomfortable and finally left.

God is a God of Order. In my spirit it was clear that these services were “out of order.”

I just wasn’t sure that what these people were saying came from God or from their own minds. I kept thinking “Is God’s Holy Word not enough?”

Contemplative Prayer 

Those pastors and teachers who have aligned themselves with Jesus Culture and the Passion movement are all Emergent Church members.

What is the at the heart of the Emergent Church?

In two words, I can sum up the goal of the Emergent church – SOCIAL GOSPEL.

From  (this article was from 2012 )

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

Passion Conferences:  Contemplative Prayer for Social Change

At the beginning of this month, the Passion Conferences hosted Passion 2012. Originally founded by members of the Emergent Church movement, Louie Giglio is the speaker and co-founder of the Passion Movement. He also pastors at Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA.

The conferences reach several cities and they have ministered to other continents with a purpose of  “…uniting students in worship and prayer for spiritual awakening in this generation.”[1] It reaches college age individuals with their message, and raises money for social justice causes.

Louis Giglio – founder of the Passion Movement

From CBN:

The Catch
As we have seen within the Emergent Church movement, Passion Conferences are pushing the TM-like practice of Centering/contemplative prayer – but they call it Lectio Devina for their own reasons. It is a traditional Catholic practice of scripture reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God. Like Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina is a contemplative approach to pondering the scriptures, and they share common ground with the same prayer practices of other false religions.

As we learned in a comparative study of TM vs. Contemplative/Centering Prayer, there are several distinct similarities between the two, and more importantly a mystical practice used by Pagans which is practiced by Catholics – opening believers to seducing spirits and spiritual deception.

This form of mysticism is playing an important part of the ecumenical movement and the one world religion. In his book Speaking My Mind, Tony Campolo drives the point home about Contemplative prayer and mystical practices:

Tony Campola : “Mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditions, but have much in common with each other.”  – source


Brethren, have you read enough to see the blatant heresy which has gripped much of the church?  It sickens me that not one of these people have the gift of discernment from our Lord.

If they did, they would see clearly that they are acting as if they are “of the world” and not just in it.

Pray for all who have been drawn into this satanically inspired movement!

Shalom b’Yeshua



13 thoughts on “The Passion Movement: The Emergent Church On Steroids

  1. Question are the people mentioned in the article are Brothers and Sisters in Christ or not? What part of in the world but not of it don’t they get I mean I get it. This world is not my home heaven is my home and Jesus is my king!

    1. Only God knows if these who are following the Emergent way belong to Him. I hope and pray that they do. But as a writer, I feel that it is my job to tell the truth and to warn people to flee from New Age practices. If I am wrong to name these people, I pray that the Lord will show me. I would immediately take down this article.

      1. I don’t believe you are wrong to name names. Paul named names, Jesus exposed the “vipers”, as well as John the Baptist. Having been raised in and abruptly pulled out of the Pentecostal movement, learning who was directly involved with the dangerous doctrine has been CRITICAL information to lead me out of it. I’ve been able to study these individuals and their teachings, etc. which helped to confirm they were false teachers. Excellent information, thank you Geri! Your site has been one of several used to bring me out of “tongue-babbling” deception and into the truth. This link might be helpful, lots of Scripture…

  2. tonytarr11

    i hear your heart quite well on this one Geri, its very puzzling,…God only knows. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done Lord Jesus

    1. I’m not sure. I loved David Wilkerson – he is sorely missed. What is it about Nicky Cruz that would prompt you ask the question? I just saw that Nicky was one of the gang members who came to Christ because of David Wilkerson’s ministry. I don’t see anything that would make me think that Nicky is involved in New Age practices. He sat under David Wilkerson to learn about the Lord. Quite honestly, I think that Pastor Wilkerson was one of the most grounded and best preachers of our lifetime.

  3. Not all acts in the Passion are in heresy. You have to vet them one by one. Jesus Culture has excellent musicianship and HORRID theology. Johnson’s Bethel crowd is way off the train into new age mysticism for sure.

    As far as seeing into the heart. That is for God alone. We can only speak the truth in love. I am convinced that most of the rank and file people caught up in this nonsense, truly love/seek the Lord. It is possible to love the Lord and be in the error of ignorance. Look at Paul. No doubt he Loved the LORD and his zeal prompted him to persecute Christians. The LORD sees all and knew Paul’s heart, that is why HE called him to be an Apostle.

    Most of this movement are young and without solid leadership. To be sure many will fall away, yet some will mature into solid believers. Ones capable of warning of the minefield they once walked in.

    They need our prayer.

    1. I have to disagree with you about much of the music which comes out of the Jesus Culture movement. Much of it sounds like New Age mantras. This is not just my opinion. I have read many solid teachers of the Word say this as well.

  4. Thank you for this article, your comments, and naming some “names.” I”ve done research in the past, regarding different people, ministries, and beliefs. Today I am very careful what I read, listen to, etc. So much being taught is a lie. I have to stay in God’s Word constantly, so I will not be confused or deceived. I appreciate your consistent honesty and desire to speak and write truths.

  5. Good article! I may see more hope there than you, but am concerned about the low view of Scripture. If Jesus claims to be “the Truth”, cites the Torah and the Prophets, and bases the spiritual principles of the New Testament on the miracles of the Old Testament, then we do well to take the whole Book seriously as He.
    Youth culture truly is poisoned against Christ through education and pop culture. Schools teach unanimity of thought aka PC speech.
    They teach history through the Marxist lens of race, class, and gender. So no wonder the Church is full of kids who see everything as racist, envious of wealth, and judgmental of LGBTQ.
    We need to show society that BECAUSE He is the Truth, and that He actually came and revealed it Himself, that they can trust Him as a source of truth.
    We need to underscore that the “judgmental” labels society has thrown on Jesus are only in areas that cause people to separate in relationship and or lead to death. (Sin)
    Our Lord is SO tolerant of disagreement, so superior in reason that He is not threatened by our questions like academic or political culture. He just have to remember the rules of debate: He is G-d therefore love the Truth, love our neighbor and ourselves, and love our enemies.

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