Saturday, February 12, 2005

To Continue...

Somewhat of a reply or at least reaction to the Small Blog World post was posted by my great friend John Gillespie, so go check that out. I normally try and vary the topics of the posts, just by the nature of my irrational thought patterns but I think Im going to continue the Blog World Post and maybe direct it a little bit more towards the discussion of the emerging church which is where Johns Post "The Rise of the emerging Blog" takes the discussion. Please Continue Reading by clicking here Relativism is annoying first of all, but I really want to apply it to this situation we find ourselves in. Emerging in relation to the church and this context is "emerging" in many different ways for people, I think for some its a reformation of doctrine, for some methodology, for some a mixture of both, others it just means they are thinking, other it means doing. But then I think there is also a general undertone that as opposed to many "moves" (which I struggle to characterise the emergent church as right now) it seeks to bring in influence from the past, as people explore monasticism, mediatation and the deeper implications of community. Yet it when looking at it in its various forms also seeks to live now, and not to re-create a decade as a golden era, it looks forward, lives now and lives in light of the past not just inspite of it. For me I guess my journey of faith which is necessarily because of the nature of the bible tied in to the corporate journey which the body of christ is taking, has been one which began as a younger teenager lacking identity and submersing myself in some what of a stereotypical teenage culture of music, partys and all the other things that come along with that, then came the act of salvation then came a shaping of me spiritually more into the form of Jesus, but somewhat unwittingly but also somewhat conciously I adopted this other form, a church culture form not rooted or required in life in Jesus, Now basically I am re-examining, re-defining my spirituality on the baserock of the doctrine I know to be true. So maybe more than my doctrine changing, it has been a re-inforcement of that, but wholly rethinking methodology, and my thought patterns in relation to Christianity. Andrew Jones characterises Emergent like this, which I think is helpful "Emergent is a name that a lot of us are using, at the moment, to describe the church’s response to the current emerging culture, and the peculiar aggregation of believers being called up out of this culture to follow Jesus back into it." He also looks at Emerging church in the sense of what it grew out of: On a simpler lever, “Emergent” or “Emerging Church” is the replacement term for what we used to call “Youth Church” in the 80’s, “GenX Church” in the early 90’s, and “Postmodern Church” in the late 90’s. If this is true, it is probably a better word, since it transcends the problem of associating the term with an age group, a cultural preference or a controversial and misunderstood philosophy. For Andrew Jones' fuller look on the following three questions see here 1. What is emergent? 2. Why are you involved in this? 3. Seeing as one of the emergent values is missional, who is your mission? Coming back to relativism in terms of Emergence, the reason I have to look at emerging church in these terms is because, a) Im not directly involved with the formal Emergent movements in the USA etc b)A large proportion of my understanding and interaction with the emerging church is on the Internet which contrary to popular belief is not real life, the community and friendships maybe but for example you cant have social action on the web in any truly meaningful way. So In light of these things I will comment on Emergence and my own "Emergence" not professing to be a voice of authority, but to be just a voice. Emergence to me means, looking at the biblical principles of church, life, and love and saying how do we do this for NOW, and how do we see what Jesus see's about culture, church and life. As much as anything as well I think emergence for me means the abandonment of sunday christianity, not tha abadonment of sunday as the sabbath to be observed but the abandoment of fractured lives between church and work/school/fill in the blank, its a return to a system of community, friendship, acountablility which we were created to exist in yet has been stolen by among other things the platonic thought riddling the church today which says that Christianity is not about holistic living its about meeting with manageable members on sunday, than living the life, running the race, fighting the battle with broken friends in the knowledge that his sacrifice prompts our sacrifice to him. Another key thing as I seek to have a paradigm shift in the understanding of my expression and my understanding of what I believe to be Gods Intentions in the corporate expression of worship is that its no longer about pride, rebellion or self righteousness. 1)Its not about pride in that its not saying "yeah this is the Movement, this is the way forward and the only way, we've got it you havent attitude", it removes denominational boundries and allegiance while recognising the heritage of them. I have a few more points but I think tonight I will leave it there.....but as a closing point tonight I watched Oceans Twelve, not all it was cracked up to be, but the plots of the robberys were very intelligent, resourceful, and creative and in a disconnected sense to robbery Christians are becoming more innovative andpioneering instead of playing the age old game of decadent catch up....4HisGlory


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