Monday, December 04, 2006

Open letter to the Emerging Church

Open letter to the Emerging Church

(Originally this letter was sent to Andrew Jones. I think though that we of the emerging church need to begin a new phase. I am hoping we may begin this new phase as rise above the pettiness of the “religious spirit” of this age. Though I did not say it in this letter to Andrew, I think we need to focus again on the one thing that does separate us from our harsher critics… our values. Andrew did respond back to me. I have not asked him if I can post his response, but I will say it was positive.)


I want to thank you for all your hard work and in all you do for so many of us. God is using you mightily...

I have had an interesting thing happen just recently... and thought that I might run it by you...

I keep seeing this attitude popping up on our blogs... I believe that our interaction with some of our harsher critics is beginning to rub off on many of us. I see that some are adopting the attitudes of those caught in a "religious spirit" and I fear if we do not refocus as the emerging churchians... we may be taken down... Over all I see God at work so I am confident that if it is not us, then a new group will rise... and it may already be so, to do the work we are called to do.

The point I am getting at is we have a mission... to spread the Kingdom... and as we are overly focused on our detractors (though I see many of us do so in hopes to engage and bring them closer to Jesus) we in that focus lose sight of our mission. I have been praying as to what to do on a personal level as I have begun to cast the dust off my sandals of those who attack without really wanting to converse... their fruit is self righteousness... and we need to begin to bear the fruit that God has for us and has preserved us for.

This is the next phase. To start uniting and teaching about the Gospel of the Kingdom... we need to move forward and infect and affect this world and ignore the ones who have decided to stay in Egypt...

In Nehemiah, chapter 6 Nehemiah's enemies try to get him to come down to meet them... to leave what God was doing... Nehemiah's response I believe should be our new motto:

Nehemiah 6:1-3. When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it--though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates-- Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono." But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" (Emphasis is mine of course.)

We need to build the Kingdom... we have a greater calling than arguing vain arguments with those who do not care to hear... nor see...

I hope you take this not in any way that I am saying you are not doing the greater thing... as that is why I wrote as I believe you of all are doing the greater... yet are also as I have been, distracted. i do see we need to listen to the legitimate critics, but ignore the Slice of Laodicea types out there.

I am praying with and for you... not that you change, but rather that God works mightily in you in all you do. I do not know if this is just a word for me... and partly that is why I am talking to you. I know I have been heavily attacked and slandered and I know also it will not stop but only get worse as it rightly should because God is working. As He does those who oppose will stand and shout hatred out of pride. God can only reach those... and so I cosign my attackers to God...

Again, you have been a blessing in my life as many others in the emerging church have... I have never found a group of people that are able to focus on Jesus and let the differences fall... I hope as we grow more... we do not lose that as one of our core attributes.


Part 1
Part 2

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Anonymous said...

Great application from Nehemiah. I have tried to educate my Presbyterian brothers and have only been frustrated so I decided to move on. I am spending more time with those who want to build the Kingdom and love our neighbors rather than debate theology and motives.
You are right that we need to move on.

iggy said...


i must say that the message of Nehemiah was given to me by my friend and pastor... as he saw I was struggling about how to deal with some people that were attacking me on a personal level...

In a way I am trying to detoxify from these men as they have dragged me down...

that is why I am calling out to others to turn back to Jesus and not address these type of people again.

It is not easy as I want to defend and fit back... But God has a better way and plan...

Thanks for you comments.


Rob Witham said...

Some excellent thoughts. It is easy to get distracted - even if our motive is good. The application from Nehemiah is fitting and well worth remembering.