Emerging criticism

Emerging criticism

A few days ago I was on the verge of making a critical decision in my life so I called up a veteran blogger friend for some advice.  We ended up talking about the emerging church blogs.  My friend said they were boring.  It is true.  I think that for many of us the conversation has run its course.  Perhaps in some sections it continues to thrive but I can’t keep up my interest. 

Part of my disinterest stems from some of my experiences.  In one particular emerging church group a former member of a church I was involved with defamed other members of the church without using their names even though lots of people would have known who he was talking about.  A number of the people who knew they and their friends were being attacked confronted the person and the situation wasn’t adequately resolved at any level.  It was through these kinds of experiences I realized that a little bit of structural accountability is a good thing for all involved.

I’m convinced that a great many people are disillusioned with church because they themselves were in denial about their own issues and it was easier to blame the church than change. Some others just like to feel superior and want to be on the "cutting edge" and aren’t particularly concerned that the edge isn’t cutting much of anything. 

I look back at my deep investment in so many things emerging and realize that real positive change is a hard thing to come by.  It is hard for one person and even harder for a group of people or an institution.  It is really easy to deceive yourself in to thinking you are something when you are not.  I really think we are all in the same boat.  The movement that really impacts the church will the be the one that starts with brokenness and repentance.

I’ve seen the latest Pyromaniac Emergent-See Motivational Posters.  While the posters have elements of truth they just highlight the deep problems we have in church that is more content to war with itself than to serve God.  Looking at things in light of the parable of the talents do I really want to check in on judgement day and explain how I have no real talents to give back because I wasted them attacking the others.  God knows I’ve spent too many of my own talents on fruitless conflict.

  1. #1 by Darryl on August 1, 2007 - 4:42 am

    Good post, LT.

    “The movement that really impacts the church will the be the one that starts with brokenness and repentance.” I think you’re absolutely right.

  2. #2 by Clayton on August 1, 2007 - 10:35 am

    What you have admitted personally here takes courage – I applaud you for that. What you have admitted otherwise is a step of humility that we all need to take in whatever institution, group, or cell we belong. As you said, we all (as a church) need to address our brokenness and repent. Thanks for this post.

  3. #3 by Randall on August 1, 2007 - 10:44 am

    Yeah, thanks for that Leighton.

    For me, on my better days, I hoped, and hope that the emerging church is a helpful correction and response to a church that has lost focus, or is focused on the wrong things.

    these days it often feels like any broken, self absorbed individual can go and start up their own church, slap an Emergent sticker on the thing, and off they go, on their own.

    “The movement that really impacts the church will the be the one that starts with brokenness and repentance.”

    Yeah, that was always my concern at the start of this emergent thing. More an attitude of “Look at us” than, “We were wrong.”

    But I still have my hopes and I continue to look for life among the gristle.

    Good post guy.

  4. #4 by BD on August 2, 2007 - 3:04 am

    Good post LT, I think your friend might be on to something. The conversation is the same old same old, like putting new wine into an old wineskin. It’s been had before, I think of the late 1980’s, 1990’s when health/weath came in the door with of corporate structure and charismatics went off the rails.

    I was really saddened and a bit disgusted to see Pyromaniacs posters. A self identified emergent blogger responded with some of his own, but they weren’t funny, weren’t cool, weren’t cutting edge. The bigger questions hang like unpicked fruit.

    Would Pyromaniac survive as a blog if it wasn’t attacking others? Would some emergent blogs survive if they weren’t identifying as victims?

    No. There wouldn’t be much left for the bloggers to say, fewer left to listen. Where would they honestly be if they stopped the attack/defend game.

    The blogs are merely symptoms of a deeper problem of course – the human heart – our spiritual health or disease.

    Yes, we need brokeness and repentence. I think as things remain unstable geo-politically, and will remain unsettled as power structures shift world wide and in our neighbourhoods; there will be ongoing repentence and shedding of the deadly sins that plague the body. But it has also been this way.

    I don’t think ‘reform’ or ’emergent’ have ever been the answer, and we those of us who have become genuinely disintereted, perhaps we have come to understand the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    These are human, self-glorifying characterics.

    pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

    Ghandi’s indentifed seven deadlies need to be repented from also –

    Wealth without Work

    Pleasure without Conscience

    Science without Humanity

    Knowledge without Character

    Politics without Principle

    Commerce without Morality

    Worship without Sacrifice

    I trust the Holy Spirit. I trust Jesus Christ to purify and prepare His bride. I trust His passion and Love to transform us into His image and likeness. He has faithfully done so throughout history.

    The Cardinal virtues: prudence, temperance, courage.

    The Theological virtues: love, hope, faith

    The Seven Contrary virtues: humility, kindness, abstinence, chasity, patience, liberality and diligence.

    The fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and kindness.

    The virtues are all part of God’s character. We can’t fake them no matter what branch of religion we claim to be a part of.

Comments are closed.