Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The "Emergent" Church

The "emergent" movement is sweeping the nation and Evangelical churches everywhere. What is it? Wikipedia desribes it as follows: "The emerging church movement is a controversial[1] 21st-century Christian movement whose participants seek to engage postmodern people, especially the unchurched and post-churched. To accomplish this, "emerging Christians" or "emergents" seek to deconstruct and reconstruct Christian beliefs, standards, and methods to fit in the postmodern mold. Proponents of this movement call it a "conversation" to emphasize its developing and decentralized nature. The predominantly young participants in this movement prefer narrative presentations drawn from their own experiences and biblical narratives over propositional, Bible exposition. Emergent methodology includes frequent use of new technologies such as multimedia and the Internet. Their acceptance of diversity and reliance on open dialogue rather than the dogmatic proclamation found in historic Christianity leads emergents to diverse beliefs and morality."

I would describe it as an attempt to reach out to post modern thinkers. An on going effort to make church more fun, thus becoming more appealing to people who think the church is just fulll of a bunch of "old fuddy duddies." The question that I would ask, is are we supposed to conform to the culture? It is my personal belief that the church should pluck people out of "culture," so that they may conform to Christ. The following is a list of flaws commonly found in the "Emergent" movement. (As found in the article, My Jorney In and Out of the Emergent Church, by Jason Carlson.) As you read, ask yourself if you can see any of these aspects in your church, or more importantly, in your own belief system.

- A highly ambiguous handling of truth.
- A desire to be so inclusive and tolerant that there is virtually no sense of biblical discernment in terms of recognizing and labeling false beliefs, practices, or lifestyles.
- A quasi-universalistic view of salvation.
- A lack of a proper appreciation for biblical authority over and against personal experience or revelation.
- Openness to pagan religious practices like Hindu Yoga and incorporating them into the Christian life and Christian worship.
- Openly questioning the relevance of key historical biblical doctrines such as the Trinity.
- An uncritically open embrace of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
- An unbridled cynicism towards conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism.
- A reading of scripture that is heavily prejudiced towards a social gospel understanding.
- Little or no talk of evangelism or saving lost souls.
- A salvation by osmosis mentality, where if you hangout with us long enough you’re in.

Questions? Comments?