A Christian discussion blog for those interested in living a blend of Christianity that is as counter-cultural as it’s supposed to be. As a counter-culture we need to make ourselves truly different, yet also truly available – to anyone and everyone. Postmodernism is here and the Church needs to embrace a paradigm shift- (i.e.- emergence). And we need to do this while coming together (i.e. convergence). The journey continues…

Friday, May 06, 2005

Emergent Perspectives - Part 1: Counter-Cultural Passion is Essential

In an earlier post I mentioned that I would get around to writing about the whole "emergent church" concept. Now, as I have pointed out previously, there is much I love about the concept (and I will write about that in a future entry); but for now let me touch on one of the major problems I see.

What I have found is that the "emergent church" concept works best- in that form, as a concept only; concieved of, but not yet acted upon. In other words, the proof in the pudding- in my experience anyway, has left much to be desired. I think this needn't be the case, but motives and our own frail humanity too often get in the way.

Now I am aware that others might have had different experiences, but let me describe my own. In my last round with church planting, I found that - in trying to do Church differently, what we ended up doing by default was attracting those who just didn't really want to do church at all. In other words, we attracted all who were burned out on Church. And I'm not talking about those who were burned out on a particular church, but rather those who have serious doubts about the Church in general- like whether or not its even supposed to exist in the 21st century.

Now everyone knows that there's nothing more frustrating and agrivating than sitting around in a room full of people who just want to go on and on questioning whether or not they should even be gathering as "the Church". I don't mind helpful dialogue, and I don't mind it when people disagree with me. What I don't find helpful is those who have caught on to the idea of chewing on something bitter- to the point where they begin to really enjoy the taste as a thing unto itself. I seriously question whether such people are even trying to find resolution to some of their questions.

So I'll leave this first post on the "Emergent Movement" at that. If we're going to try and "do" Church differently, then I think we at least need to believe in "IT". We need people more passionate about the role of the Church- not less so. If we want the World to take us seriously, then we need to pursue something more real and more counter-cultural than a group therapy meeting with coffee and scones thrown in to make it go down more smoothly.


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