Friday, November 24, 2006

I am emerging, not post-modern

(I have mentioned that everyone who lives in this age is postmodern by default, which is true, but one can live in an age and not be of it, or as Jesus stated, we are in the world, but not of it.)

I am more and more under the conviction that the biggest reason we are having a gap between those of the Modern based church… (Based on human reason and propositional truth in which creeds and doctrine replace a relationship with Jesus) and the emerging church… (in which not all that is taught and practiced I would consider of Jesus, let alone the “emerging church”) is that those who cling to their creeds and doctrines over a relationship with Jesus have been caught in the spirit of religion and are blinded to what God wants and is doing.

I do see that there are many in the emerging church who are also suffering from a bit of delusion. This delusion is that if one “does” the “cool things” and still bases their faith on their own interpretation and reasoning… that they are “in Christ”.

That is why I have never called myself a Post-modern Christian, as I do not live my life as a Post-modern but live my life from a biblical world view. In that view I see that if one places their faith in Christ Jesus and live their life in Him… creeds can be a nice supplement… but are not the same as living by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the power of the resurrection. The Christian Life is not about “doing the right things” (which is works) to earn ones salvation, nor is it about “believing the right things” as we can easily deceive ourselves as to what is the “right things” to believe… As in the book of James it is stated, “even the demons believe, and they shudder!” So in that we can “believe” or even confess the way of salvation as in the case of the girl with the spirit of fortune telling Acts 16:15-17 who called out to Paul and Silas, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."

A huge issue is that often the modern view which has infected the church makes one think they have “made it”. By just believing a creed, or saying a prayer, or going forward to an alter… all are just fine in the right context… are not fine if they replace the Person of Jesus for one’s salvation. We must introduce people to Jesus as a real Person… and they must believe on Him and place all their trust in Him. If one thinks there is some magical line to cross… which is a lot easier than having and building a relationship with someone… can get one saved, is a sad deception of the enemy. I have seen many and have help some who have been caught in a religious system of belief, who when they come to the Person of Jesus have had their lives changed. Some of these people, including myself walked as a Christian… or rather struggled as what we thought it was to be a Christian yet lacked any real power to change. We in ourselves do not have the power to change. Yet, with God, what is impossible for man is possible for God.

As one releases the grip they have on religion… as defined as “man made doctrine” and realize that God’s job is to be perfect, and our is to be the creature He has created… which is imperfect. He is alright with that as The Father does not see us in our sin… but as a true child of God, clothed in the Person of Christ Jesus. Jesus is our covering and salvation. In Him there is no sin… and as we dwell in Him we too have no sin!

Am I saying we never sin? No. I am saying we are forgiven and our sins have been taken away by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. This is the core of scriptures teaching. This is the tip of the iceberg of our Great Salvation… can you believe it only gets better that this! No longer do we need to worry as God is for us… and Jesus is our mediator and defender before the Father.

Modernism and postmodernism both have there point that one should consider. Yet, one should never take both without running it through the filter of the Biblical world view. If we are not careful, both modernity and post-modernity can taint and reduce the Gospel from its true Glory.

That is why I push Jesus as a Person… and to have a personal relationship with Him… in that He becomes are focus. And in Him we have His Eternal view and attributes. In that we are empowered to go into all the world to make disciples… to reach this generation with the Gospel of salvation… To be part of the New Creation. To be a New Creation.

Blessings,
iggy

10 comments:

Steve said...

Hi iggy,

You say some good things here. Some things that need to be said. And some things that are good to ponder. Your blog makes us think.

You also say some things that are overstated. Living in this age doesn’t mean someone is postmodern. They might be living in a time where many think and behave in postmodern ways. While many others live and think and behave in modern ways.

I presume we’ll disagree on some terms there, and of course we’d both be able to find those who agree with our terms. It comes back to how one defines postmodern.

You criticize the modern church for being based on human reason and propositional truth, yet do you realize that this whole entry is based upon your human reasoning and your propositional truths. And you’re inviting us to use our human reasoning as we read your propositional truths.

And I in turn am using my propositional truths to respond back to you, which then you will use your human reasoning as you read this. And if your respond, you’ll use propositional truths.

Your statement “everyone who lives in this age is postmodern by default” is a propositional statement. And as such a statement, it would be found to be false by many people.

But the biggest overstatement is that the modern church and those who believe in doctrines have used those in place of a relationship with Jesus Christ. That might be true in some quarters, similarly as you admit there has been a similar “delusion” in the emergent church. I have seen some have a greater love for God’s word than the did for God’s Son, but I have also seen those who believe in doctrines to love Jesus passionately.

Lastly, your statement that you live your life from a Biblical world view is fine, yet those who believe in doctrines also say they live by a Biblical world view. Can both be right? I think so. But one shouldn’t say, as you seem to be saying, that those who aren’t like you don’t believe and hold a Biblical world view.

I apologize for my defensive tone. I like you, iggy, and I like your blog, and it’s not my intent to be argumentative, but rather my intent is to defend those who of us who love the doctrines, but love Jesus much more.

iggy said...

Steve,

I don't take your tone as argumentative at all. In fact it is refreshing.

I think for clarity sake I will just ask a question.

What do you call the people who lived in the medieval age? What do you call those who lived in the Stone Age… the dark ages?

Yet, within all those ages some thought pre medieval, and some post medieval and so on… maybe a bit overstated, yet I think you get the point… that is the “default” category… yet as I stated one may not think in line with the “age” they live.

If you read my critics you will see what they mean by “propositional truth”. Again, I am not against it, just that it is used in the proper perspective in the biblical world view… in that once we receive understanding by the Holy Spirit, then God through that reasons with us…(using propositional truth) and then we as brothers and sisters reason together ( again propositional truth can be used).

The issue is that I see Jesus as my everything and some criticize that as wrong… and then twist what I am saying… I admit that it is a bit hard to grasp… in some ways it is very illusive.

Again, I use propositional truth all the time… and again I am not against it, the issue I have is that someone that teaches we can, but human reason… think our own way to salvation without the power of the Holy Spirit… I see this as usurping what Jesus did and saying in affect, that man one his own is as great as the Holy Spirit.

I believe we are saved by Grace… (God giving us His favor and Love to us) through Faith (our response to the Grace and love given to us) If we think we are able by human reasoning… think and reason to the point we can comprehend God, let alone His Love and Grace to the point of being save, is not responding in faith. It is denying it. Once one is “in Christ” we are given the mind of Christ and as we walk in humility He will guide our path. It in trust in Him and not are ways that we express faith in Christ.

On doctrines, I have seen many who say they live by doctrines… yet we are told to live by faith. We must be careful in what we place our faith in. We must remember that often doctrines are man’ interpretation… my point is this… Was Calvin completely right in all of his doctrine? Arminius? Augustine? Luther? The Catholics? The Baptists? The emerging church? NT Wright? Charles Spurgeon? I think you get the point… we must have our faith in Jesus and hold tightly to that and loosely to anything else we may accept as doctrines. In that we must first go to the Bible and then to man. We must have a relationship with Jesus to understand the bible… and then by His revelation then we can only begin to reason… and discover doctrines.

In my experience I have found some who vehemently react to me talking about a relationship… I have been mocked and slandered and heavily criticized for believing in that. Yet without that aspect I would just walk away from my faith as the other stuff is not that real to me. I spent many years in my early walk… walking trying to appease God by my works. I was doing all the right things, yet was empty… there was nothing wrong in the “things” and I have stated that in other posts. When I found grace I entered into a whole new experience in my faith. I found the Person of Christ Jesus to be real and desiring to be my friend and love through much pain. Jesus became real… In that in a proper relationship doctrines can be helpful, as well as creeds and poems and songs and whatever type of expression one might use to share their love with Jesus in worship.

I still pray, journal… as you are reading, yet the motive is not in the hope god will accept me, but I have the foundation of being loved and then I now do the “things”.

Again, it is perspective… and priority… it is in who is the focus in our faith… if it is me, me, me, and then that is the fruit we will bear… that selfish fruit. If it is Christ, He is glorified, in that when He is we are glorified in Him.

I hope that clears up some things.

Blessings,
iggy

iggy said...

Also Steve,

I have stated before that not everything in the Modern Church is evil or bad... mostly it revolves around values.

In that again I see that there are "tools" within both ideologies that are useful... and I am careful to define the ones I am talking about... so if you read closely you will see that...

"I am more and more under the conviction that the biggest reason we are having a gap between those of the Modern based church… (Based on human reason and propositional truth in which creeds and doctrine replace a relationship with Jesus) and the emerging church… (in which not all that is taught and practiced I would consider of Jesus, let alone the “emerging church”) is that those who cling to their creeds and doctrines over a relationship with Jesus have been caught in the spirit of religion and are blinded to what God wants and is doing."

A bit odd to quote myself... but that in here I define the "moderns" "(Based on human reason and propositional truth in which creeds and doctrine replace a relationship with Jesus)" I am talking about and also the Post moderns I am talking about inside the EC (in which not all that is taught and practiced I would consider of Jesus, let alone the “emerging church”).

I might add I write a lot in which sometimes I might sort of bounce off something I wrote a week ago and I may be guilty of assuming "the reader" has been following along. Though also I feel a bit like I repeat a lot also as I look at a theme in a variety of ways.

It seems for now, this is the years of Truth being literally Jesus absolute incarnate, propositional truth being placed over Jesus in a humanist attempt to understand spiritual things and a couple of men bent on personally attack me on those very things.

So I will hammer on the theme until God give me other themes... which happily it looks promising as the teaching side is coming back over the apologetics side.

Again, Steve I do enjoy people, it has take me years to actually gain a heart to love people... yet God has changed me and I have grown to love people... this is the year of fire to learn to "love my enemy"... and in it I am challenged yet finding it rather... bizarrely... fun...

BTW I do not feel or think of you as the enemy... just to clarify. Just because we may not agree on one or two or 100 points, does not make us enemies, just uniquely different. I do not agree with my Calvinist brothers on a lot of things… nor do I agree with my Armenian brothers on many things… yet as I said, I hold loosely to being “emerging” as I do being of Vineyard Church, and I hold tightly to Christ. Not meaning not to have loyalty, but to be careful that zealous emotional attachments to something other than Jesus can replace Jesus as my Lord and Savior and Friend and Brother.

Blessings,
iggy

Ken Silva said...

Fair enough re. lost in the "glitches." Here is what I tried to leave earlier here and I it is my reply to your comment on Slice as well:

Hello Iggy,

In your comment at Slice you say: "I am always amazed at what you all think we believe in the emerging church...just wondering... because what you often accuse us of I have never ocme across in the 3 years I have immersed myself in it..."

Then I follow your site link back and I read this: "the Modern based church� (Based on human reason and propositional truth in which creeds and doctrine replace a relationship with Jesus)"

I was just wondering because what you just accused us of I have never come across in the 18 years that I have immersed myself in it. I just thought you'd like to know that you're guilty of the same thing.

Do you just sit around and make things up? Also have you seen this Site from my brother Phil Perkins also in Billings:

http://zitsemerge.blogspot.com/

blessings,

Pastor Ken Silva

iggy said...

Ken,

Thank you for your prayers and for sharing the burden of reaching this lost generation.

My calling is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to this post-modern generation. I have kicked the dust of modernity off my sandals and am thankful that Christ has loved us as His children… I expressibly rejoice in our diversity… and even more in the unity we share in Christ Jesus…

Please continue to pray with me as I will with you, that we can reach this generation with the Love and Message of Hope and salvation… that comes with Christ Jesus. I know your one desire is to share the Love of Christ and that others will find comfort in His Body the Church.

Blessings to you!

iggy

Steve said...

Hi iggy,

From my experience and my reading, we don't live in a postmodern time.

While there are segments of our culture that live and think in postmodern ways, the majority of our culture still operates in a modern way.

My banker, policeman, government, sports teams, school district all operate very modern.

Even Hollywood for its postmodern movies, makes them with a modern philosophy of capitalism and organization.

Again we have difer in our terms, and I know there are many postmoderns in our culture, but I think the moderns outnumber them and still rule the day (which isn't a good thing).

iggy said...

Steve,


Actually Postmodernism has it roots in the 19th century as it were know as the liberal as far as its relationship with Christianity... thought according to Wikipedia (I do hate that as a source though it is a handy place to start) Some claim that the style of thinking is dating back to Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas and a few other of the "mystic" school of Christianity... That is the history of "Postmodern Christianity".

The Philosophy of post modernity has it's roots as far back as the 1950s.

I do think we are in the postmodern age... in fact I see us moving very fast into the post-post modern age... in the age of Pragmatism/Performatism... which is very scary and exciting at the same time... I have written briefly on that if you look a bit... it was in the last month or so... just put "Performatism" in the search this blog search engine and it should pop up.

The reason I see that is happening fast as deconstruction has moved very fast... in some ways it has gone full circle and with some of us it only reaffirmed our belief as it were... some have gone a bit farther, yet even in the days of the great Reformists, some literally killed their best friend over a slight difference in Calvin's T.U.L.I.P. Yep, Calvin himself killed his best friend... so I think in a way we are a bit more civil.

I understand what you mean about some parts of society still move under modernity... yet just because something is deconstructed... it does not mean it is destroyed. It may be restructured a bit... and I see that is part of the shift that was pushed at 9/11. Security is a higher priority and liberties are now taking a second stage to safety...

Which brings me back to Pragmatism/Performatism... as this is part of the polarization that will come of that age... we give less and less credence to certain institutions unless they line up in some way to something bigger... I see that we will give more and more over to the Gov’t to create our safety, and give up more and more freedoms. Religion will stay focused on being a system… in some ways fit into that bigger picture… we are seeing this a bit in the religious right and their combining Christianity with politics.

What will happen is a great polarization meaning that for some of us in our relationship with Jesus we will find “it works” or in this case “He works and is real” while others will go the other way and stay tied to a “system that works”.

Bottom line is atheistic/humanistic/rationalist systems will partner with systematic religions… (Weird to think) and will come against True Christians as that:
1. Jesus is not real… (atheist)
2. Jesus is not real… (outside their system of belief)


This fits very interestingly in what is prophesied in scripture at the time of Christ’s return BTW. It will center on those who believe in the One True God… and those who trust in man. Pragmatism/Performatism will be about whom will have the power… God or Man…

So forget about how evil postmodernism is… it is nothing compared to what is coming. That is why I am preaching so hard that Jesus is Real… and the only people I see doing this loudly and seeking true authenticity is the emerging church… we want to be down to where the rubber meets the road in our faith and not just play games…the branch I see that is moving the hardiest in that direction are the “missional EC’ers” as they have caught the vision to spread the Gospel where they are at… and not just leave it to the professionals. Meaning we are not leaning on clergy to do the job any more.

I personally see that post modernity will go for about another 5 to 8 years and then Pragmatism/Performatism will hit hard and furious… as I see the spirit of it (called the religious spirit) is already alive… I mean there are people out there who claim to be Christians… but deny a relationship with Jesus! They are creating a religious system that is based on human reasoning… and denying that Jesus is needed to be saved… not to mention fundamentalism in its various forms… from Christianity to Islam… Watch Israel close in the next few years… there will be a great harvest there soon…

Blessings,
iggy

iggy said...

Ken,

I had been immersed even longer in the modern church, and if you have even bothered to read my blog I do not say EVERYTHING is bad about it... as long as Christ is in what it does...

Being that I have been immersed in the modern church I have seen and even done many of the things I "make up" as you accuse me of... so I have first hand of being where you are... knowing how you think... and also seeing it from the emerging church point of view... and no not everything is "right" here... but to attack and be divisive is truly un-Christ like... and un-biblical... in fact your idol, Walter Martin would seek common ground in order to reach those caught in Cults and then focus on the Person of Jesus... on my blog i focus on the person of Jesus and people like Phil Perkins accuse me of being a heretic and twist every word I say.

Walter Martin was a man of Grace and Mercy... who truly loved those caught in cults... I do not get that impression from anything I have read by you...

Peace,
iggy

Mark said...

Iggy,

I know this is an old post, but I must say I agee with your explanation of your faith. I have read ALOT of your comments at various sites and never would have come to the conclusion I have now come to. Though my reading of your words are probably very limited.

The reason I went "snooping" on your blog was because I read your comment at CRN.info around 5:00 10/13 on a post about Dwayna. In it you gave a very, very close explanation of your veiws and beliefs that are strikingly similar to my own.

I don't identify with emergent, nor can I say I ever will. I get from what I have read that there is too much emphasis on "liberty" causing as you have said not all things are of Christ. I don't want to go to the opposite extreme and become isolated so to speak, but be very careful to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ and know all I can about the implications and blessings of being truly in Him. As for saying you are "emerging" I have to disagree in that the truth has been there all along, it's that few have been broken and see their desparate need. The way I see it is you are either "in Christ" or not. The Lord will only reveal the deep things to those who see their own wretchedness before a holy God. But we tend to cling to man made "doctrines" and miss His majesty. Even though we have the perfect law of liberty fulfilled in Christ Jesus, the writer of Hebrews was clear in pointing out that our God is a consuming fire. I think wide open clarity is missing.

Paul, Peter, and John always brought the things they wrote about back to the Person of Christ, showing how we should live in light of our position, things we already have, and understanding our walk from that respect. How we worship and walk is defined only in this way.(if I can be so precise)

I agree doctrine is good only if it is based firmly on Jesus Christ and His work. I have a friend who loves the Lord who told me this about the Scriptures: "Jesus Christ is central, all things reflect Him, we don't study Scripture to elevate our pride, we study Scripture to show our dependence on Him, and there are three types of people in Scripture, those who accept Him, those that reject Him, and those that have a need for Him."

Keeping it simple and our eyes on Jesus Christ would do much for helping us in this man made confusion we have before us today.

Good to know more about you!

Your brother in Christ,

Mark

iggy said...

mark,

When I state i am emerging, it is that i am a New Creation, yet I am not complete yet in that... I am only complete now in Christ Jesus.

The point most miss about the emerging conversation is that it is what is going on inside of us who have found Jesus and it is working itself out of us.

Most emerging people state plainly it is not about externals but about internals being expressed externally. I will add that this is God working in a person.

Now, as we grow, many man-made traditions have blurred the purity that is Christ. It adds and thus takes away.

We will always have some that take too much liberty, yet is there really such a thing as too much liberty? Is there a limit to the freedom that is in Christ. I hope you say no.

Yet, this liberty and freedom are not to indulge in our own pleasures and desires. It's purpose is to free us to love God freely and thus compel us by His love to love others.

Now, some I think find Jesus then grab liberties, then never take hold of the Love of God...in that they take only the liberties and miss the Great Love that compels us to love others. That is sad.

Now also, to start putting limits on the liberties, or in affect add "laws" to the liberties negates the very Grace and freedom we have in Christ, we then become subject to a lower law and cannot live by the Higher law.

So, I see to error on grace and teach the love and liberties with the possibility that one might take the liberties at the expense of Love with the possibility for them to grow in their understanding and find how to live in love, is greater than the error to teach a law that will hold someone in bondage and then never find love or freedom as they live in fear of punishment that they cannot fulfill the law was it is.

Be Blessed,
iggy