The Emerging Church should prepare for nastiness
The Emerging Church should be prepared for a lot of heat in the next couple of years. For years the EC has existed under the radar but now articles and books are being written. Some are fair and some are not. To many the EC seems like another new hip trend to further distract people from things that really matter. That certainly isn’t my experience but I can see where people get that impression. Because the EC is so diverse almost any criticism will have some truth in it.
In certain situations we need to resist the urge to respond. There are some people that aren’t worth responding to. We should ask ourselves two questions. Is the person I’m talking to being helped by the conversation? Am I being helped by the conversation? If the answer is no on both counts let it go.
If the criticism is based solely on the critics interpreation of text (websites, articles, blogs, books) and they have haven’t first asked a real person “help me understand you”, chances are they aren’t motivated to understand. They just want to be understood.
Some criticism is destructive. There is no way to avoid this. Jesus said those who follow him will be persecuted. I’m not trying to paint the EC as Jesus’ movement and the rest of the church as the Pharisees. I think all movements and denominations are a mixed bag. However as soon anyone begins to question the status quo and real fruit arises from their ministry evil reacts. There is no honor in suffering for your own idiocy, but God does honor those who suffer for righteousness sake. If we want to be leaders in God’s kingdom we have to prepared to suffer, to be misrepresented and slandered.