One of the books I am reading right now is Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. I have tried to read it before, but just got distracted. So far, this paragraph has stuck out to me:
"I am learning to believe better things. I am learning to believe that other people exist, that fashion is not truth; rather, Jesus is that most important figure in history, and the gospel is the most powerful force in the universe. I am learning not to be passionate about empty things, but to cultivate passion for justice, grace, truth, and communicate the idea that Jesus likes people and even loves them" (112).
I don't know, I have really been struggling with what to write these past few days. That is honestly why I haven't written. I am also reading Why We Aren't Emergent, like I said I would. It has not failed to impress... :)
I have continued on my journey of discovering the Emergent Church. Yet the more I read, the less sure I feel. DeYoung and Kluck(the authors of WWAE) say that describing the Emergent Church is like trying to "nail jello to the wall." And that's about how it feels as I have continued reading and hearing things. I love the emergent passion for the poor, the sinful, and the broken. I love their ideas of community and missional living. Here are just a couple problems I have recently discovered:
1. Each person we would consider an "emergent leader" refuses to be considered so. It is part of their communal teachings... They like to be seen as "teachers" who are only part of the discussion. Yet, when they are preaching sermons, leading seminars, and writing nationally read books, they can no longer be only part of the discussion. They are publishing their thoughts, and being watched as leaders. This "communal teaching" method means a difference of opinion. This is what emergent teachers love, since they are postmodern thinkers who believe there is no definite truth. But this leads to a problem seen by the outside world: they contradict each other. They are all part of this emergent movement, calling for believers to "repaint Christianity," but there are too many different paint options. One believing in a Hell and another saying it's against God's nature seems to shaky for me. I like my leaders to somewhat agree on doctrinal issues, instead of saying, "eh, what he says is fine too, just pick what you like best..." That's scary!! Freaks me out, man. I believe in a solid theology shown to me by the Word of God... and while terminology might prove questionable, the doctrine still stands.
2. I thought of this one while typing out the Donald Miller quote... "fashion is not truth." I go to Baylor... and a trend has recently swept across campus that I have termed, "granola". It's actually considered bohemian or something like that... I like granola better. Anyway, this style really goes with the emergent style... free spirit, more open styles of worship, journaling, candles, lattes... granola! I feel like the emergent church is almost like a religious fashion statement... out with the old, in with the new. Beliefs changing with each generation. While I love the fact that our generation has been able to reach tons of people by changing the way they "do church," throwing out biblical theology as Christians should not be taken lightly. One aspect that really worries me is their stance on homosexuality... Now, mind you, I can't say "they" because they don't all believe the same things... but I'm going to keep this simple. Some emergent leaders have been quoted saying that they don't yet know how they view homosexuality... They suggest questioners should come back later. Yet, the Bible's strong, unquestionable statements about the matter seem to offer a solid explanation. Homosexuality is a sin. Biblical writers go as far as to say that it is an abomination to God. While I agree that homosexuals need to be treated with love and respect, I feel that their struggles should be addressed just as any other sin. Most Christians (but maybe not those who are emergent) would encourage any alcoholic to stop drinking after he or she became a Christian. They would urge the thief to stop stealing and the violent husband to stop abusing. Liars are encouraged to stop lying. So what makes homosexuality any different? I'm afraid that the liberal, post modern thinking of the emergent church may have come too far.
Just some thoughts that have come up during my search.
Click here to read another great blog I just found on the emergent church!
Grace and peace