Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Emerging Church, explained in images (and why I am not one of them, I guess...)

Here you go.

6 Comments:

At 10:57 PM, Blogger whiskeytown said...

read your latest comment slamming red letter Christians - Then I read the top smackdown for Thursday morning - good place to leave a comment or two -

I found some interesting logic in your writings - this quote in particular

"Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and others (everybody Campolo names in his group are left-of-center on the political continuum) have decided to galvanize believers disturbed by evangelical Republicans by dubbing themselves and all who will join them "Red-Letter Christians."

One wonders, of course, if the real reason they have decided to use Scripture this way is that Jesus never actually uses the terms "homosexual" and "abortion." The Red-Letter designation ostensibly frees these passionate lefties from the issues they despise the most and the texts that more directly address them."

Red Letter Christians don't neglect the Law, but they realize it is secondary to the Gospel - you would have them on Equal footing when Christ made sure he clairifed - the old has passed away - he is the new way -

for 2K+ years, Christians have started war after war in the name of Jesus - they have brought a tremendous amount of shame to his name - to a point where I feel I must constantly point out - I'm not a Republican, but I am a Christian - that's how bad it has gotten for us who live in the world - (not of the world, but not isolated in enclosed gated communities either)

what I found most interesting about your quote is the assumption that Jesus's statements on the Sermon on the Mount are meant to be taken as a literal resumption of Jewish OT Law amongst Christians in the present age? - Even Peter and Paul didn't inflict such a burden on 1st century Jewish Christians.

you would take this quote "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." and use that to imply only strict obedience to the law will get you into Heaven - while leaving out the fact that the law is the ruler by which we find our lives faulty and come to the Gospel - plus he was speaking to an Old Testament minded Jewish audience and did have to give them a certain reference point, no doubt.

What I have found most interesting is if you ask a hardcore Christian whether a Jew can be saved thur adherance to OT law, they'll immediately say "No - only the blood of Christ can forgive"

and yet when modeling our daily lives, we choose to follow that OT law again instead of the new commands we were given by Christ - I believe Christ's command to love one another supercedes anything he would have me try to drag out of the Torah as justification for continued aggression in the Middle East - I believe the call to non-violence that Jesus applied to himself applies to all of us who would call ourselves Christian.

I also believe the single greatest threat to Christianity is the merger of Church and State - both Jesus and History make clear to me that the Church functions best and at it's purest when it can operate without the interference or the State - the State brings the corrupting influence of money and men who have no love for Christ claiming alliegence - this is bad for the cause of Christ in General -

in fact, I would argue that the single biggest obligation Christians have right now is a serious re-evaulation of the partner they have chosen to hook up with - We cannot serve both God and Money - Jesus made this clear.

and all these men love are money. They use war, fear, and the arm twisting of "God votes Republican" to keep the faithful in line while calling anyone on the Left "Godless liberals" - this soothes the conscience of the voter who may be worried about escalating war for profit in the Middle east but wants to be assured he's doing God's work on stuff like Abortion and Gays" - (another fallicy I will address in a different time)

The continued mixing of our faith with Govt. politics is corrupting the faith - and I disagree with the assessment that to be a good Christian, one must vote Republican.

and God compells us who would to speak out against such an institution - by us, I choose to lump myself in with the Red-Letter Christians.

what I won't do, however, is disparage your faith because we disagree - there are heretics here and there, but Red Letter Christians - no - they're just focused on the Christ part of Christianity -

Pride is the 2nd greatest threat facing Christians today, but I'll digress no more in this post. I do not truly know whether you trust in Jesus as your savior any more then you will know, but although we have some severe theological differences, I will not try to regulate your faith to the heretic pile. However, I would like to drive some of the moneychangers out of the church.

something the church has mostly neglected for 2K yrs - no harm in trying it now, right? - look how well it looked for Martin Luther King Jr. - While you may have reservations of MLK Jr. based upon your location of residence, I found his autobiography to be very instrumental in guiding me back to Christ - to see men LIVE and ACT as Christ would act, and not just reduce it to a vote every Nov. and a WWJD bracelet -

that can bring people to Christ, not bombing them into democracy while starting unjust wars for money, all while focusing on the fringe moral issues that Republicans address to whip the base into a voting frenzy when they know full well that they would lose their majorities in Congress if abortion became illegal again.

anyways - I will have to read up on your blog - can't go letting you guys sneak some bloodless coup of the minority into my America without questioning your motives.

Let us hope that Christ wins out no matter what happens - but it is time to seperate Jesus from the entangling alliance of the Republican Party - it drives away the poor, the sorrowful, the humble, the repentant - everyone who despises hypocricy - cause that's what being a Republican makes a Christian - in the eyes of those you're trying to reach, it makes us all look like hypocrites - you and me.

pax, in the Lord.
RB

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger whiskeytown said...

read your latest comment slamming red letter Christians - Then I read the top smackdown for Thursday morning - good place to leave a comment or two -

I found some interesting logic in your writings - this quote in particular

"Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and others (everybody Campolo names in his group are left-of-center on the political continuum) have decided to galvanize believers disturbed by evangelical Republicans by dubbing themselves and all who will join them "Red-Letter Christians."

One wonders, of course, if the real reason they have decided to use Scripture this way is that Jesus never actually uses the terms "homosexual" and "abortion." The Red-Letter designation ostensibly frees these passionate lefties from the issues they despise the most and the texts that more directly address them."

Red Letter Christians don't neglect the Law, but they realize it is secondary to the Gospel - you would have them on Equal footing when Christ made sure he clairifed - the old has passed away - he is the new way -

for 2K+ years, Christians have started war after war in the name of Jesus - they have brought a tremendous amount of shame to his name - to a point where I feel I must constantly point out - I'm not a Republican, but I am a Christian - that's how bad it has gotten for us who live in the world - (not of the world, but not isolated in enclosed gated communities either)

what I found most interesting about your quote is the assumption that Jesus's statements on the Sermon on the Mount are meant to be taken as a literal resumption of Jewish OT Law amongst Christians in the present age? - Even Peter and Paul didn't inflict such a burden on 1st century Jewish Christians.

you would take this quote "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." and use that to imply only strict obedience to the law will get you into Heaven - while leaving out the fact that the law is the ruler by which we find our lives faulty and come to the Gospel - plus he was speaking to an Old Testament minded Jewish audience and did have to give them a certain reference point, no doubt.

What I have found most interesting is if you ask a hardcore Christian whether a Jew can be saved thur adherance to OT law, they'll immediately say "No - only the blood of Christ can forgive"

and yet when modeling our daily lives, we choose to follow that OT law again instead of the new commands we were given by Christ - I believe Christ's command to love one another supercedes anything he would have me try to drag out of the Torah as justification for continued aggression in the Middle East - I believe the call to non-violence that Jesus applied to himself applies to all of us who would call ourselves Christian.

I also believe the single greatest threat to Christianity is the merger of Church and State - both Jesus and History make clear to me that the Church functions best and at it's purest when it can operate without the interference or the State - the State brings the corrupting influence of money and men who have no love for Christ claiming alliegence - this is bad for the cause of Christ in General -

in fact, I would argue that the single biggest obligation Christians have right now is a serious re-evaulation of the partner they have chosen to hook up with - We cannot serve both God and Money - Jesus made this clear.

and all these men love are money. They use war, fear, and the arm twisting of "God votes Republican" to keep the faithful in line while calling anyone on the Left "Godless liberals" - this soothes the conscience of the voter who may be worried about escalating war for profit in the Middle east but wants to be assured he's doing God's work on stuff like Abortion and Gays" - (another fallicy I will address in a different time)

The continued mixing of our faith with Govt. politics is corrupting the faith - and I disagree with the assessment that to be a good Christian, one must vote Republican.

and God compells us who would to speak out against such an institution - by us, I choose to lump myself in with the Red-Letter Christians.

what I won't do, however, is disparage your faith because we disagree - there are heretics here and there, but Red Letter Christians - no - they're just focused on the Christ part of Christianity -

Pride is the 2nd greatest threat facing Christians today, but I'll digress no more in this post. I do not truly know whether you trust in Jesus as your savior any more then you will know, but although we have some severe theological differences, I will not try to regulate your faith to the heretic pile. However, I would like to drive some of the moneychangers out of the church.

something the church has mostly neglected for 2K yrs - no harm in trying it now, right? - look how well it looked for Martin Luther King Jr. - While you may have reservations of MLK Jr. based upon your location of residence, I found his autobiography to be very instrumental in guiding me back to Christ - to see men LIVE and ACT as Christ would act, and not just reduce it to a vote every Nov. and a WWJD bracelet -

that can bring people to Christ, not bombing them into democracy while starting unjust wars for money, all while focusing on the fringe moral issues that Republicans address to whip the base into a voting frenzy when they know full well that they would lose their majorities in Congress if abortion became illegal again.

anyways - I will have to read up on your blog - can't go letting you guys sneak some bloodless coup of the minority into my America without questioning your motives.

Let us hope that Christ wins out no matter what happens - but it is time to seperate Jesus from the entangling alliance of the Republican Party - it drives away the poor, the sorrowful, the humble, the repentant - everyone who despises hypocricy - cause that's what being a Republican makes a Christian - in the eyes of those we're trying to reach, it makes us all look like hypocrites - you and me.

pax
RB

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger Christian said...

I enjoy your blog Matt, but does it really do us any good to be so critical of other styles of Christianity rather than recognizing that a urban, liberal center (such as Seattle or San Fran), is not going to be nearly as reached by a traditional southern style of preaching or relating as a "emerging church" style. Shouldn't we focus on the fact that we are part of the same body, instead of stereo typing and making fun.

And not all "Emerging Churchs" are liberal (socially or theologically speaking) or deny absolute truth or a triaditional and concervative traslation of scripture (primarily speaking of my home church in Seattle, Mars Hill. Where I was inistially very judgemental about their methods, till I saw how greatly God was using them there in that environment).

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

Christian:

If you knew me I think you would find I am very, very open to varying methods. The key is not "does it satisfy me" but does it embrace orthodox truth and make disciples in the character, teachings and actions of Jesus.

Fact is, I am trying hard to figure out the emerging church...and it is like trying to herd ideological cats.

I am still learning!

Matt

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Christian said...

what you say is very true Matt. And since my comment above I did a bit more digging, I didn't realize that there was a actual orginazation known as "Emergent" that does indeed imply that Christ isn't the only way to heaven, that there is no hell and even if there was, God woudn't send anyone there. This herisy and post-modern thinking (or lack there of) sliping into churchs is indeed alarming.

I have since realized the distinction between such a universalist thinking that is known as "Emergent" and other churches that are "Emerging". Such as Mars HIll (Reformed, 5 point Calvist and quite missional) and externally can easily be mistaken for Emergent with there hit and culturally relavent styles and urbanism (if that's a word).

Anyways, just wanted to clearify.... keep up the interesting posting and pursuit of Jesus.

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

He forgot the word "paradigm." I'm so sick of hearing that word! :) He also forgot Donald Miller.

I'm reading a book by Rob Bell right now...Velvet Elvis. Some thoughts are very interesting, and I feel worth digging deeper into, particularly for the church who DOES want to reach the culture. But...the most of it leaves me as cold as vacuous, touchy feely choruses ("I want to worship you, you make me feel so good, I want t o praise you..." Makes me want to say, "then just do it! Stop singing about it!" :) .) It seems so empty, so in need of a foundation.

I am still learning, too, though...

 

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