Saturday, November 04, 2006

Critics of Emerging Church show real lack of understanding…

Critics of Emerging Church show real lack of understanding…

I have found in reading (some) critics of the Emerging Church that really have no idea what they are writing against… They confuse terms and interchange them without comprehension of the very terms that are used… then condemn them in ignorance… To read them really truly shows them to not care that they are accurate or not about facts or that they have even put much thought in what they are hoping to accomplish. Most often they just fall into character assassination and become divisive rather then imitating God and displaying “compassion and grace, being slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” They come across as mere brute beasts who care only to stroke their own egos.

So to help you be a better critic, here are some definitions….


In the beginning there were some folk who used the term “Postmodern Christian” or an abbreviation of “PoMoXian”. This was to let others know that they came not from a Judeo/Christian world view, yet have come to Christ. These in a sense were pioneers as they grasped the world was changing… or in affect had changed… this is called a “paradigm shift”. I agree with one of these pioneers that we really are in the “paradigm shifted” as we have shifted from the age of modernism… to the age of postmodernism.

If one looks at how philosophy and thought has developed and placed it on a timeline (sorry I hoped to find a better timeline that was more linear).

If you think of this as historical eras (this one is a bit better for my examples) one will see that we are all postmodern by default… just as those who lived in the “medieval age” would be looked at today. I would even wager that many in the medieval age did not think exactly as the highest thinkers of the age did… some would think pre- medieval, and some would look forward and think post-medieval. I suspect with any age that there are progressive thinkers pushing forward and that even in the medieval age, there were those who were already in the Renaissance age. I am positive that even then there were those who argued vehemently and hated and even waged violence and war against each other over the paradigm shift that took place.

Yet, even now we have the same thing… we have pre-moderns, moderns and post-moderns all existing all arguing and all think they are right.

And I think that they all are to a degree.

I see that man’s thinking and how he views the world changes… most often it changes with technological breakthroughs. It has been less than 60 years since we have developed plastic… as a product we use every day. Computers have changed the world by the increased ability to share and access information at an apocalyptical biblical rate. It was only a few years ago Dell wanted to get a computer on every desktop in America… it seems it has grown to the whole world. The funny thing is someone said that there would be no way this would ever happen… this was the same mindset that claimed that no one would be able to store more that 740 kb on a computer… in fact they claimed that was too large to be able to fill!

So things are a changing… music, television, the medias we use to transport this information has gone from record albums, mono, stereo, 8track, cassette, CD, dat, and now various forms of MP3’s, and it looks like it won’t stop there as we can get more info on smaller media. I can now use a SD media for my camera and it can have up to 2 Megs of memory… it is the size of a postage stamp… I remember just a few years ago I thought having a 5 GB computer was HUGE! Now I have 150 GB on my computer and a backup hard drive with over 200gb…

This is also happening in the world in general… and if we do not take notice people will be going to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. I will not and do not care for that to happen.

That brings us to the “emerging church”. This is mostly made up of people who see that modernism has brought us into a bit of a cultural clouding of the Gospel. In America I think it is worse as we tend to base everything as lesser than our own standard. In that comes a bit of bigotry toward others not like us “Americans”.

Fundamentalism is really mostly an American phenomenon within Christianity. It may be rapid in Islam through out the world, yet here in America mostly it is at home.

In more and more of the world and even here though it seems we in America polarize over it, Christianity is not so much intertwined in the culture. Many countries view Americans as all Christians… just because they are born in America. That is a bit like saying one is a hamburger because they were born in a McDonalds or saying that one is royalty because they were born in Burger King.

Yet, again as I said, if we do not take notice that these changes are happening, and focus on whether modern Christianity is more right that postmodern Christianity we will lose so many to the Lake of Fire… I can not help but wonder if God will judge those who judged their brothers and condemned them. I choose to live at peace. I will speak out against what I see as “attachments” to the purity of the Gospel, just as Paul. I will defend that purity…

Within the “emerging church” we will find many people with many different view points. One is what is called “Emergent” in which some have tried to become a bit more organized in their definitions. Not all of us subscribe to their views… though I will say I think theirs is most conservative in comparison to some. The usage of “emerging church” and “Emergent” are not interchangeable... They are separate yet on comes out of the other. I realize this is a bit confusing, but think of it as in the ocean of millions of fish, there is one specimens of fish… one can go farther and say it is like cattle and this is the angus beef.

My own thing is “emerging thought” it may not catch on… but I encompasses the total as a whole. In that I can be fluid and flexible and read from a variety of differing views and study them out with and against scripture.

I do not have room to go into the various “types” of emerging folks… but this is a good article about the differing view points. Ed Stetzer attempted to bring some definitions and types of emerging folks.

I think that is real good resource to begin to grasp how complex this “emerging church” thing really is. There are many people who are influential in the "emerging church" some even do nto like that term... Brian McLaren is but one, Len Sweet another... N.T.Wright, who would not even think of himself as "emerging" is one of the influences. There are Calvinists, Armenians, and hybreds, there are Open Theologist, and Reformist, Anglicans and Baptist... and getting along and communing under One God... I see it as the coming fulfillemtn of Jesus' prayer in Mohn 17... to bring us to Unity in Him.

Also, as many people there are each on brings something new to the table... like a potluck dinner... and like that not all things brought are "good" not all are "bad", some ar a mixture of both... and some are pure delighful! Mostly there is a joy we have as we share our stories and our thoughts... no we do not all agree... but I heard someone once say, that is two people agree on everything... one is not needed... I think we are all needed in the Kingdom... I think God delights in our diversity... and in our unity in Him.

Again, if one is to critic… some knowledge of the topic is needed to be taken seriously. Otherwise you may be taken as rather foolish and petty.


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