Wednesday, November 02, 2005

7 Layers to get to Emergent?

I love Brian McLaren and though I personally think the bridge building days are past, I understand what he is attempting here.

Personally, I see we often spend too much time on things that really do not matter. I agree that these things Brian points out do not make one a PM/e church body. Yet, I am confronted with the thought why are we still looking behind us? We are the new visionaries... whether the modern church accepts this or not. We are the Spirit driven church... not the fad/program driven church.We see our purpose and really never needed a book to tell us what it was... for our purpose is to be available for God to work out our salvation with fear and trembling as He does His Will and Good Purpose though us.

I have had a couple or great teachers in my life. One was Bob George, and the other was Major Ian Thomas. Both these men taught of God's grace as none others I have heard. With these men I found the way out of the shame/performance belief system that plagues so many Christians and keeps them from experiencing God's Sabbath rest for them. So many people of faith actually lack faith as they depend on works.

I see a new generation of believers who desire a deep and richer relationship from God through Jesus. They desire THE REAL.

Authenticity and honesty should be at least on the top of our lists as Christians... yet when I look around I see trappings and window dressing that is supposed to substitute a real relationship with God through His people. This is subtle. This is Satanic and cuts across the very heart of the Kingdom of God. It brings us to the temple to worship, yet we bow before Baal and Dagon.

The Hebrews would complain, no they would bitch... to quote Hal Lindsey in a sermon I heard years ago... He said that was the more accurate word for it. They bitched and moaned and wanted to go back to Egypt... not the real one, the one of their fantasy..."all the meat and bread we could eat." What has happened, I believe is we have without realizing it, reduced Christianity back to the sacrificial system... except now we do things like tithe.

Many do not realize that we already had the forgiveness issue taken care of before Jesus arrived. We had the sacrificial system. Sacrifice an animal in our place and we are forgiven.
So, what did Jesus truly accomplish? Redemption and a sacrifice once for all!

He was the atoning sacrifice that ended the sacrificial system by His works! That is why we no longer need to depend on our own works. It is through His Obedience not ours that we are now, obedient children. (Romans 5:19) That is why Paul says it is obedience that comes by faith, as we respond n faith we abide/walk/Live in Christ"s obedience to death on a Cross. For now Christ, as in the beginning is literally our Life and Light.

We as emergent's need to stop looking back at Egypt. We need to follow Jesus. It is interesting that we are content with looking at the shadow when we can turn and see the Reality that Is Christ Jesus.

Brian talks a lot about this bridge, the bridge to nowhere. I think it is a great example of where we are and must be as emergent people of Christ. It was once the main road over the river,which now one must swim or raft to get to the other side. This bridge is now just a tourist attraction. Really it is of no value, yet people come and see it as an oddity.

This to me is the modern church. It's structure stands, yet without any real use. People come and gawk at it as an oddity, but see that to them really will not get them across the water.

Now, we can sit and have pride about how well that bridge was built and how it stood the test of the weather, and not notice it goes nowhere and is of no use.

We need to be visionaries and build a new bridge; One that gets us to where we need to go. We need to realize no matter what we do the old bridge is gone, and the new one is here. We need to stop putting new wine in the old wine skins and get new wine skins. We need to let Jesus build the New Bridge that will stand and be more than an oddity, but a living organism.


leviathen said...

exceptional. Great article.

maybe we don't need another bridge at all. Maybe the process of constructing this bridge, with the heart of making "achieving christ" easier for the masses, has in fact made easy christians, followers with no substance.

in a sense, like taking a chimpanzee out of the wild and making him domestic. after a time he can no longer be put back into the wild becasue he would die. he has forgotten the process of nesting, foraging for food, etc. maybe the church has become domesticated.

maybe without building the bridge and allowing each person to make his/her own way, with the occasional person to help with directions, they mustface the perils of the journey and there by learning the skills and tools of survival in this world.

I found this true with the churches and orginizations I haev been a part of. many with a wonderful history and tradition built on times of faith when they had to really walk the hard road. but after a time they "built a bridge" so that those behind them would not have to walk that hard road. personally, i had to reject the bridge, knowing if i did not have to walk the faith road, how would i then learn what it means to need faith.

just musing.


iggy said...


In a way I was working toward the idea you raised, yet myself falling into the trappings the we need to still build the bridge.
I know I am going as far as letting Jesus build the bridge but, I think your idea of the journey and what we learn is awesome!

Jesus must be our bridge across the river. He is the creator and completer of our journey.

I was alluding to this yet you have said much more clearly.

So many Christians are missing the maturation process in America. To suffer is anathema in many churches. It is looked down as that one is not "good enough" or has "sinned". Yet, just taking Paul’s life for example... show me in his many sufferings where he "sinned" as many churches would say... and condemn fellow servant on their faith journey.


Michelle said...

I grew up in the church (pastor's kid!), walking the easy bridge others had built before.

But it's not enough. I can't sit there and let religion flow over me, assuming that as long as I'm in the general area of the saved I'll be saved too (magnetic salvation! :) ).

I need to build my own bridge - or perhaps not build it, but walk one that doesn't seem to exist. A bit like old Indiana Jones, who had to step out in faith onto an invisible bridge across a chasm - only realizing it was there after he'd taken the first step. Am I making any sense?

What I mean is that I'm having to relearn my faith from scratch, to find where I fit into God's plan, and then see if I can join with others on the journey whose path we can't plan.

iggy said...

Great thoughts and imput!

I can't help but think about how Jesus said we should be as a child...

The awe and dicovering of life and all it's mysteries that are ready to be revealed..
Go build that bridge = )