The Emerging Church

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Jacob, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Jacob

    Jacob
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    I have recently been faced with churches and people involved in this movement. There are several aspects which I find problematic. Before getting into these I would like some feedback from others who may have some experience with the emerging church.

    Jacob.
     
  2. rlvaughn

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  3. James_Newman

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    I ganked this off of the first link posted by rlvaughn.
    What do you suppose it means to 'shake off' our 'leave it to beaver' orientation and 'begin swimming within the postmodern culture?'

    Here is a snippet from the page describing post-modernism:
    Here's another good one:
    It seems generation X is going to remake the church in our own image. I wonder if they need a new bible translation ;)
     
  4. Jacob

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    rlvaugn,

    Yes. It is not a denomination but rather a cross denominational movement.

    It is very anti traditional church and refers to all other churches as "institutional churches".

    It's leaders are names like Brian McLaren, Dan Kimbal, and Leonard Sweet.

    Jacob.
     
  5. Bro. James

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    Things gleaned from the title page of: emerging church.org:

    1. The church is organic--evolving, reforming.

    2. We must build upon the learnings of the first reformation.

    3. Authenticity is primary to post modern people.

    4. Vast ecumenical resources are available.

    Sounds like "rubbbish" out of "New Age". However, this type of thinking goes back to at least the Council of Nicea.

    Authenticity is an interesting notion: it is possible to be authentic and wrong.

    An old latin phrase is appropriate: ex nihilo nihil fit; literally: nothing comes from nothing.

    Beware the wolves in sheep's clothing.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    "Emerging church" is a lot like postmodernism ... It is a huge junk drawer that defies categorization. Leonard Sweet edited a five views type book called "The Church in Emerging Culture." It is a pretty good read. Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Seattle would be an example of some of what's right in the Emergent Chruch movement. His book, Radical Reformission, is a good read. You can read McManus (An Unstoppable Force) and Martoia (Morph!).

    Overall, the emergent church is a kind of return to medievalism of sorts. Strange in many, if not most ways. It is a reaction against the marketing/seeker church/pdc paradigm.
     
  7. av1611jim

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    I found this at the same link Bro. James N did.


    "my most precious images of church still come from my time at the st. catherine catholic worker house on the south side of chicago. st catherine was a community of people living and working among those living with h.i.v."

    Catholic = precious?
    HMMM

    Yep beware of the "wolfies". Just because it is "new", it doesn't mean it is NEW.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  8. Jacob

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    I have found that the emerging church isn't just a change in methods to reach more people for the kingdom but comes with it's own theology as well. That theology is relativism. In an attempt to reach the postmodern they have embraced post modern thought themselves. It seems to me that they are on a slippery slope towards theological liberlism.

    The others areas are more minor but troublesome none the less. Worldy potty mouth profanity, broad brushing all institution churches as bad, a tolerance of more liberal views but intolerance towards more conservative ones and a lack of church accountability and discipline.

    Mclaren refers to a "flexible theology", I've seen the term "saved" mocked on emerging blogs, I've never heard talk of heaven and hell. Grey areas are always defaulted to the more liberal "interpretation". These types of things concern me.

    Jacob.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    What's interesting Jacob is that some of it, perhaps the majority, is like that, but not all. Driscoll calls himself an old school Bible guy .... believes in inerrancy and authority, and pulls no punches. He mocks churches where all doctrines are welcome.
     
  10. donnA

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    I think I've heard this somewhere, this will be interesting.
     
  11. Purple Lady

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    Yikes -
    To believe whatever you want to believe makes it "right" because it's flexible and changing?

    Real scary....
     
  12. James_Newman

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    The gospel has changed, people. Jesus didn't die to save us from sin, He came to show us how to be good and have a good life. He just wants us to be happy and whatever our little black hearts desire is OK with Him, huh?
     
  13. Jacob

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    Pastor Larry, I looked into that Mars Hill church a little and yes it does seem solid. I would wonder if he is accepted in the emerging crowd or not. Most of the crowd seems to be into fluff.

    James, is that a quote? If so, where did you get it from?

    I am trying to figure out if this movement is something to be warning people about or cautioning them to tread carefully. From my isolated experiences it's raising red flags bigtime.

    Jacob.
     
  14. James_Newman

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    No, not a quote.
     
  15. donnA

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    I just had time to read everything, and YIKES!
    Sounds like comprimise to be accepted by the world. The church should be the church and let God do the drawing like He always has.
     
  16. ScottEmerson

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    One of the interesting things about the emerging church is its connection to the ancient church. Liturgy is returning as part of the worship service, giving to support others increases, and I've never seen an actual emerging church or heard of one that did anything that would be heretical in the areas of Jesus being the only way of salvation.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    There is a website ... www.allelon.org ... that is all about the emerging church. There are several others as well that have some information. But the emerging church is such a proverbial supermarket of ideas that it is hard to characterize.

    To me, the good thing about the emerging church is a certain freedom from the cultural slavery of the seeker/PDC/mega church movement. In many ways, they are outside the box of target marketing made popular by Saddleback Sam or unchurched Harry and Mary.

    I don't know that I agree with Scott that there are connecting with the "ancient church" as much as they are the medieval church (which isn't really ancient). I think as well there is a certain amount of cultural/historical arrogance that wants to overloook years of doctrinal development, or at least reconsider it in a way that, to me, is not flattering. McClaren brings this out in his chapter in Sweet's book and I think Horton does a good job of interacting with it, as much as he can on a limited basis. I think McClaren is one of those who is a little too willing to talk about a changing message and he blames on it his survey of church history which shows doctrinal development rather than an actual changing message. In that respect, I think McClaren fails on this point.

    As far as "heretical in the areas of Jesus being the only way to salvation," I don't think we can limit "heresy" to merely that, as if nothing else really matters. That is not to say we all have to agree with me on every nuance of doctrine, but there is certainly more than that particular doctrine that would cause a church to not be Christian. But there are churches such as the Church of the Apostles that I think are compromising the gospel. Their page on becoming a Christian has absolutely nothing about actually becoming a Christian.
    http://www.apostleschurch.org/community_becoming.php

    There seems too much of a willingness to tolerate "faith traditions" as if they are equal. When Driscoll refers to one (COTA I think) where "all beliefs are welcome" he rightly says "I doubt mine are." Much of the time such tolerance is actually a code word for being all about relationships rather than actual church. The emphasis on community is good, but lacking in what the church is to be about.
     
  18. IveyLeaguer

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    No big deal. Looks like another subtle deception, similar to seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, but from a different angle. Just another example of man shaping the gospel and the church into his own image, that he might fulfill himself. There'll be more and increasingly, more.
    That statement right there reveals a lot. The word church (ekklesia) itself implies a "calling out" from the world unto God. But like other current movements, this one invites us to move into the present culture. The very idea that God might impose His outdated gospel on mankind's trophy culture! It's so sad, observing all this, but the Bible predicted it. Let us hope and pray that God will be merciful and save many, especially the unknowing. HERE'S THE WHOLE ARTICLE.

    Does Brian McLaren, one of the leaders of this movement, believe the Bible is the Word of God? I don't know, what do ya'll think? Here's his Statement of Belief about the Bible from the WEBSITE OF McCLAREN'S CHURCH.
    I think you were wise to be suspicious, Jacob. Keep digging, Brother.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    As for your first statement, my understanding of emerging church claim is that they are bringing hte gospel and the church to the present culture. They are reacting against the superchurch culture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and the mega church movement of hte 80s and 90s. For a church to "arise out of culture," I think they mean that they are trying to minister to people where they are, rather than saying "YOu have to become like us to become one of us. I am not defending them, please understand. I think there are many problems. But I think you are misrepresenting some of their intent.

    With respect to McClaren's statement, what exactly do you object to, and why?
     
  20. IveyLeaguer

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    Brother Larry,

    Easy, I wasn't addressing you at all, just the OP. But, as usual, you make a good point. Nevertheless, I can't accept the notion that the intercourse of the "emerging church" and the present culture (here, much less in Europe) is somehow 'innocent', or even remotely acceptable, just because they are doing it a little differently than the CGM. BTW, I'm very pleased to see your discernment and concern with the serious problems of the seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, CGM.

    Yes, I understand. I know you aren't defending them. But I think "you have to become like us" is somewhat misleading and a copout. God made the rules. All we can do is either follow them, compromise them, or reject them outright. And we certainly can't make the unregenerate like them.

    Well, it's not that I object to anything, I just wonder why the Pastor of a large, successful, church, in a breathy doctrinal statement, would not say, or even hint, that the Bible is the Word of God, if that is indeed what he believes.

    Brother, I hope not, since I have no way of knowing their true intent. FWIW, I believe the intent of at least 99% of all the people involved in this movement is very good and sincere. Just a guess there, but that's apparently the way it is in purpose-driven, for example. From what I've been able to gather, in the GCM few outside the nuts and bolts of power really know what's driving it all, including the staff in most churches, as I'm sure you know. I would expect to find something similar with this movement.

    BTW, while skimming just a few pages of the McLaren church website linked above, I picked up traces of 'Diaprax', or the 'Hegelian Dialectic', for those who may be familiar with it. It's a 'consensus process' and is a telltale sign of the involvement of our enemy. But there's no way (for me, anyway) to know for sure without a good deal of further digging.
     

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