In 1982, EMNR was formed as “a consortium of Christians in North America, seeking to help people distinguish authentic from in-authentic Christianity and strengthen evangelical Christian ministries to new religionists and cultists.” The founders of EMNR adopted the Lausanne Covenant as our governing document, to carry out this plea from Affirmation 7: “We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.”
EMNR began with a focus on cults and new religions, but times have changed. Moving to the forefront are world religions (such as Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism) and contemporary spirituality (such as the Enneagram, Transformational Festivals, or the New Atheists). Our goal is to serve people in ministry, not simply topics that were popular forty years ago. We remain concerned with pseudo-Christian movements which claim to be Christian but which corrupt or distort the Gospel of Christ.
In the Fall of 2021, the board of directors voted to close down “Evangelical Ministries to New Religions” and create a new non-profit organization, “EMNR, Inc.” which is our legal name. That acronym may be expanded to “Evangelical Missions to Non-Christian Religions” when necessary. The transition took stages but was complete in February 2022.
Our mission is to recognize, encourage, and strengthen responsible Christian outreach to non-Christian religions.
EMNR will never assume a magisterial role or become a closed guild which diminishes the validity of other ministries who are not part of EMNR. Many devoted and Spirit-led Christian ministries will never affiliate with EMNR, and in the providence of God, both our own ministries and EMNR itself will one day be drawn to a close. We pray that while we are now active in the service of Jesus Christ, we will bless and encourage our colleagues in the Gospel.
As in any coalition, we expect to find believers with varying levels of competence, maturity, and experience. Some Christians have not developed the skills and knowledge necessary to present a balanced approach to this difficult field. Some of us have engaged in unjust or superficial judgments against others. On occasions some have judged presumptuously, making nonessential matters a test for Christian fellowship. Because Christians still struggle against fleshly desires and ambitions (Eph. 4:20-32), there are occasions when Christians sin against one another by attitude, tone, timing, or delivery in their attempt to correct. As a result, some have earned the label “witch hunter” or “heresy hunter.” We need to be sensitive of such adjuration, and be ready to be instructed and corrected when the charges are valid.
The founders of EMNR recognized these issues and addressed them in the “Statement of Purposes” for our ongoing activity.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
- Missions — Facilitate mission to new religious movements through networking and the stimulation and formulation of mission strategy to new religions as frontier mission to unreached people groups.
- Accountability — Maintain worthy theological, ethical and missiological standards among members.
- Scholarship — Stimulate the scholarly and popular production of research and writing on neglected aspects of strategies, methods and materials important to reaching these unreached people groups.
- Recognition — Recognize the qualified and credentialed ministries reaching the unreached in the new religions and cults.
- Networking — Encourage mutual understanding and cooperation among evangelical Christian agencies and individuals, as well as secular organizations where appropriate.
- Referrals — Recommend to the public, churches and schools those agencies and materials which meet quality standards and may help as a protective to involvement with a non-Christian or pseudo-Christian religious movement.
Our Beliefs and Ethics
Our beliefs are summarized in the Lausanne Covenant, which is concerned with both orthopraxis as well as orthodoxy.
Our ethics are presented in the Manual of Ethical and Doctrinal Standards, also on this web site.