Monday, July 30, 2007,11:19 AM
Motivation or Ridicule?
So the blog buzz over the weekend were the anti-emergent motivational posters and then Emerging Grace's beautiful response. She took what was an attempt to tear down others, and focused on the true message of the gospel. I found the anti-emergent set to be disturbing and cruel and not just because I disagree with the sentiments they express. Some of them just completely miss the point of the emerging conversation which I hope is the result of ignorance and not malicious misrepresentation (one can always hope right?), but others demonstrate seriously harmful attitudes of prejudice and intolerance. While of course many who like these posters are the types that uphold intolerance as a Christian virtue (its all about the hate man), they so miss the point of the Christian message it's not even funny.

For example the following two posters were created to ridicule emergent and anyone who is not a middle aged white middle class yuppie -



The unspoken assumption that those people are crazy, they are wrong, and that they need to change is heartbreaking. It made me recall a few years ago on The Ooze when I got into an argument with one of the many men who post there in order to tell the rest of us why we are wrong. He was going off about how dress codes in schools are good things because khaki pants and polo shirts really are the most appropriate clothing for everyone. As he saw it, yuppie middle class white America males are the majority in the world and therefore make the most godly choices (flawless logic of course) . All people (of any culture or ethnic group) should emulate him in how they dress if they are to be good Christians. He was serious. And he got really pissed when I mentioned that his ideas were racist, classist, ageist, and sexist among other things. It's great if he personally wants to dress a certain way and worship a certain way, but to assume that we all have to become like him in order to be real Christians is not only absurd but it is hurtful to the millions of people who don't fit inside his myopic view of Christianity. To say that the people in these posters cannot really have an authentic relationship with Jesus until they change their appearance and taste in music is one of the most sad warpings of the Gospel I have ever heard.

I love the poster Emerging Grace created in response -

If the Gospel is truly good news, then it is good news for this person right now. Not after he gets his life straight and comes to church looking like he just came from the golf course, but right where he is at. And the gospel is good news for people no matter the length of their hair, the number of piercings or tattoos the have, or if their clothing is made from hemp or stain-resistant wrinkle free cotton/polyester blend. The gospel is relevant to all people. That is the message of Jesus Christ, so its really no big surprise if it happens to be the message of some in the emerging church (or anyone in the entire history of Christianity for that matter).

So Pyromaniacs and Ken Silva can use the emerging church as the butt of their jokes if making fun of people is what entertains them, but I want to go on record here in asking them to stop making fun of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Labels: , ,

 
posted by Julie at 11:19 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


56 Comments:


  • At 7/30/2007 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Word.

    It's OK to tear down Ken and the Pyromaniacs, though, isn't it?

     
  • At 7/30/2007 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous sonja

    Anonymous ... Is that what you think this post is about?

    I didn't see that anywhere in Julie's post at all, but maybe you read it from a different perspective than I did.

     
  • At 7/30/2007 01:44:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    They have the right to do whatever they want. I'm just saying that these posters to not represent truth or the Gospel and asking them to refrain from making fun of Jesus. Yes, I am expressing disagreement but I don't see myself making fun of them.

     
  • At 7/30/2007 02:34:00 PM, Blogger Ken Silva

    "I want to go on record here in asking them to stop making fun of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

    Well, I want to also go on record here and say to the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church: Stop making people think that your brand of semi-pelgian pseudo-Christianity is the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    "I'm just saying that these posters to not represent truth or the Gospel and asking them to refrain from making fun of Jesus."

    And further, I'm also just that saying Emergents preaching apostasy like Rob Bell and Donald Miller do not represent the Truth or the Gospel and I am asking them to refrain from repainting Jesus into some kind of subversive social reformer.

     
  • At 7/30/2007 03:13:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    I am asking them to refrain from repainting Jesus into some kind of subversive social reformer.

    So are you saying that social reform isn't needed or that Jesus was just content with the status quo?

    And btw, if Jesus actually was a subversive social reformer who exactly is it here that's doing the repainting?

     
  • At 7/30/2007 03:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Anonymous ... Is that what you think this post is about?

    Yes, of course. We're not affirming Ken and the Pyromaniacs, are we? We want to discredit what they think of as "truth," don't we?

    Don't confuse me here just when I thought I was tracking with y'all.

     
  • At 7/30/2007 05:17:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Well since Ken has continued the conversation regarding my "incessant whining" over at his blog but is too afraid to allow for actual dialog there, I guess I'll reply here...

    But besides calling me a whiner, letting the whole world in on the secret that I'm married to Mike Clawson and revealing that amazingly enough both Christians and Wiccans make use of the English language (and something about Jesus calling down fire upon me...), he didn't really say much. Thwarted again in attempts to engage in actual conversation. Oh well.

    Anyway - thanks for the link...

     
  • At 7/30/2007 06:54:00 PM, Blogger gerbmom

    I thought the posters were a sad attempt of making fun of/bashing emergent.

    I thought your post was succinct and civil. And I agree.

    Who is Ken Silva anyway?

    In his own words....

    “As you know I am also pastor of Connecticut River Baptist Church (CRBC), which is a small church of about 8 members that is currently meeting in the home of one of our members. This church was once a fellowship of some 100 members in the 80’s that had shrunk to 13 or so by the time I was called a little over a year ago. My stand against PDL then caused us to lose around half of the remaining members–including our largest financial supporters–and would find us being shunned by both our state and regional associations.

    When I came in [to a church of 13] we would then lose another 6 through God’s weeding process as He turned us into a church while I preached what the Bible actually says and through my standing against the things that I am now writing about at AM.”

    So....I'm not sure who made him the authority - and, wow, have you ever read his rambling attacks on other blogs? Just my two cents....

     
  • At 7/30/2007 08:18:00 PM, Blogger iggy

    Keep up the good works of Jesus Christ!

    Blessings,
    iggy

     
  • At 7/30/2007 10:35:00 PM, Blogger Andrew

    Wow... I am not even sure how to approach comments like Ken's; but I will pass on the wisdom of Chris Knight who said that decaf can be just as tasty as the real thing.

     
  • At 7/30/2007 11:02:00 PM, Blogger newcenturion

    Okay I'll bite, what is “good news” for the person in the emergent poster? What “good news” would you tell that man? "Well gee-whiz, I'm sorry it looks like your going to die. I ah don't have any words of comfort because really I'm not sure what I believe, but I do know that I don't really believe what's in the New Testament because it’s really only a meta-narrative describing the political, social, economic and environmental morass of Jesus’ time and it can only be understood within the wider context of the faith community, I think. I mean you can believe whatever you want. And well we sort of believe that Jesus came to establish his kingdom on earth not in Heaven, so I ah guess you're out of luck. Maybe if you try journaling on some recycled paper or something? Hey can I get you a latte?" Just a gentle reminder to my emergent friends: the “fundies” have ministered too and cared for, the sick, hungry and dying long before Brian McLaren fell out of his Ivory Tower.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 12:09:00 AM, Blogger iggy

    New Centurian,

    And that is the issue isn't... Well, lets see he looks naked, cold and possible hungry... so I would start with clothe, warmth and food...

    But then you would just say that was the "social gospel" and call it bad... which I hope not!

    I think though that if you just stood there telling the man what a sinner he is and that he better repent and accept Jesus, most likely you would receive a blank stare.. that would be more like saying..."Be a peace and God bless you" as you watch him die.

    But again, Jesus did call us to "good works".

    Be Blessed,
    iggy

     
  • At 7/31/2007 01:34:00 AM, Blogger paul

    i find that when we head down this path it always ends up in an almighty christian bitch fest of who is more right - i liked grace's response she didn't attack she just represented in the same medium her take and it was all the more graceful and helpful for it...

    my personal response would be to get equaly as creative - to live out the image(s) with which we identify - to step into the picture as it were...

    in a world of perceptions let's be the reality we see in the gospel and acknowledge that others may see an equally valid and related different one...

     
  • At 7/31/2007 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Paul - yes, I see what you mean. There is always the part of me that wishes real discussion might possibly take place, but when someone calls down fire and brimstone on me just for disagreeing with him, it makes it slightly difficult.

    but (and to address part of newcenturion's comments) - While yes I do identify with the emerging church, my issue here was not with people picking on the EC it was on the misrepresentation of the Gospel. Of course the EC isn't the first group to help people and lovingly be Jesus to them. To dismiss such a living out of the way of Christ just because the Emerging Church is doing it too seems highly unbiblical imho.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Ken Silva

    LOL! FYI, don't flatter yourself: "when someone calls down fire and brimstone on me"

    My reference was the figurative fire of persecution and adversity. Tends to test one's faith and show who's real and who's just frontin'...

     
  • At 7/31/2007 09:41:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Ken - my apologies for misunderstanding your usage of figurative language. Thank you for testing my faith and helping me to clarify what I believe. You have served as a perfect foil in guiding me closer to the truth.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Ken Silva

    Julie,

    I'm happy to play my part (e.g. Isaiah 6:8-10).

    Tell you what; you be sure and let me know when you and Mike turn from this Emergent rebellion against the Bible and the doctrines of grace by publicly repudiating it because it is not actually a move of God, and I'll be the first to embrace you as genuine Christians.

    Until then...God the Holy Spirit is drawing the lines...

     
  • At 7/31/2007 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Spencer

    Julie,

    Great hanging out with you and Mike last week in Chicago. Thanks for working so hard on the event.

    And thanks for this post it is hard to have a conversation these days...

    Just a point of clarification about TheOOZE and what we are trying to do in the Missional arena. Here is a quote from an article I posted a few months ago...

    "Grace is what is essential in these high bandwidth conversations. We need the grace to hold various viewpoints in conversation – holding paradox gracefully. We need the grace to embrace and honor multiple ways of seeing things.

    Only when we approach our high bandwidth conversations with grace can we truly engage and be changed by the conversation.

    TheOOZE stands as just one place among many where these kinds of conversations are happening. There are a wide variety of people who are a part of TheOOZE community. Not everyone sees things the same way. In fact I don’t agree with everything written or posted on TheOOZE. But this is the beauty of it all. TheOOZE stands as a place where graceful exploration can take place, where we can learn from one another."

    Keep up the good work,
    Spencer

     
  • At 7/31/2007 01:07:00 PM, Blogger newcenturion

    Iggy, like I said the "fundies" have been caring for the sick, dying and hungry long before the Brian McLarens of the world came along; think of the Salvation Army. I do have several issues with the proponents of the “social gospel” who are usually driven by the latest fad or ‘in’ thing and are very short on action unless it involves lots of ‘dialogue’ or ‘conversation’. Jesus never came to end poverty, fix the environment, cure social ills, feed the hungry, end disease or cancel third world debt. I can’t find that anywhere in the Gospels. Jesus did of course heal, feed and comfort others and he teaches us to treat others as we would have them treat us, however each and every-time he coupled his actions with the message of repentance and salvation. He calls sinners, sinners and spoke about the dangers of hellfire for the unrepentant. Jesus came to save that which was lost, those who were perishing. I liken the emergent church to a rebellious child. Nothing more than the offspring of the me-centered mega-church and the purpose driven feel good Christianity of the West. In their efforts to throw off the shackles of their hypocritical spiritual parents emergents have run head long into the arms of ‘culture’; because ‘culture’ to the emergent is ‘authentic’. Culture is the ‘real world’ you’re not authentic if you aren’t dropping the f-bomb every second sentence, drinking down at the pub or indulging in every worldly activity out there. Emergent’s who like spoiled children want it all; with out any of the responsibility, want all the trappings of religion but none of the sacrifice that goes with true faith, unless of course it’s on their terms. The ‘post modern culture’ emergent’s embrace will eventually turn on them. Emergent’s are not fooling anyone and world sees them for what they really are; neither hot or cold, posers, like the white rich kid in school who dresses like the ‘ghetto gangsta’. Real disciples of Jesus caught in this fad will themselves eventually see it for what it is. Sorry to be harsh but that's the way I see it.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Ken Silva

    *waving*

    Hey Spencer. It has been a while.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 03:26:00 PM, Blogger iggy

    nwcenterion...

    "Iggy, like I said the "fundies" have been caring for the sick, dying and hungry long before the Brian McLarens of the world came along; think of the Salvation Army."

    Then why are you so upset that Brian is reinforcing what you believe?

    Also, yes the "social gospel" as presented by (i can't remember the baptist pastor's name) has in it's shortcomings as he presented it... yet that is the focus we are at to get a more balance understanding out there...

    Also, no one is putting down Salvation Army or what they do... but that is the issue again we are saying that you, me and anyone else should also being doing these things in our daily praxis and not just leaving it to Sally Ann and other programs to do it for us. There is more to doing the good works God has prepared for us than dropping a few bucks in a offering dish, though i do not diminish that as an act in and of itself.

    The real issue is many see this as either/or... yet it is and/both and all of the above... IF the singe focus is to get our butts our of hell and into heaven the we are missing things like, why would we need to learn to "love our enemies"? How many enemies are you going to have in heaven?

    It is the focus that Jesus had... yes it was on His Father's Kingdom... but it was that it be "on earth as it is in heaven" so he also did not neglect "the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness."

    You stated:
    "Jesus never came to end poverty, fix the environment, cure social ills, feed the hungry, end disease or cancel third world debt."

    Please take a close look at the verse i just quoted... Did not Jesus feed the hungry, cure the sick and end their disease, correct people like Zacchaeus who were robbing the poor and adding to their debt... in which he responded to Jesus in that he would pay back much more than he took... Jesus even touch the leper which broke the binds of the social ills such as caste systems... and we are to be conforming to His image.... yet you are saying the opposite and that it is not in the Gospel? Have you really read them? (that was tongue in cheek as I suppose you have.)


    Your grasp of the gospel seem to be less than your grasp of emerging... and I am trying to be kind as I say that....

    It seems that you want what you want and want to ignore that we are to be conforming to the image of Jesus... and in that do as He did and as He guides.

    Be Blessed,
    iggy

     
  • At 7/31/2007 08:03:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Spencer - good to hear from you. I love the Ooze and have been blessed greatly by it. Just sometimes I encountered some rather heated debates there. But for real conversation, it is the best message board out there.

    Newcenturion - thanks for your comments. I think it could help if you took some time to actually discover what emerging folks believe and what Jesus actually said (Luke 4 might be a good place to start)

     
  • At 7/31/2007 08:33:00 PM, Blogger newcenturion

    Okay iggy maybe we need to move this to a different forum because you’re losing it in the translation somewhere and I want to remain civil. First off the Sally Ann is just one out of a thousand “fundie” Christian organizations that walk the talk. Secondly, my conviction towards helping others does not simply amount to dropping a few bucks in the collection plate. The point I’m trying to make is good works are nothing new to the church however emergent’s (like McLaren, Bell and others) act like they and they alone are the only ones after 2000 years, to have unlocked this hidden little nugget. This makes me question the biblical literacy of many in this movement. Helping the sick, dying, hungry and poor are the good works which are natural extensions and EVIDENCE of a redeemed life, a true Christian (or Christ follower if you like). We as Christians should be following Christ’s example (do unto others, I’m sure you read that one) however be that as it may, social revolution was not Christ’s sole purpose for coming to this earth “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always” And as I stated before for every social norm that Christ violated (like talking to the Samaritan woman or healing on the Sabbath)he always followed up with a message of repentance. I mean why did He have to die on the cross (which some of your brethren liken to “cosmic child abuse” and a “vile doctrine”) if all He came to do was start a social revolution? Didn’t He refuse when His followers wanted to make Him King by force? Didn’t Jesus say to Pilate My Kingdom is not of this world? To quickly address your example of Zacchaeus, Jesus’ encounter with this man this was not about the evils of adding debt to others, it was about repentance, Zacchaeus was pricked to the heart over his sin; the evidence of his repentance was that he offered to repay those who he stole from (a good work I suppose). As I see it there is a vast disconnect between wider emergent church beliefs and Jesus’ teachings;
    1. Jesus never questioned the authority and validity of scriptures – emergent’s do
    2. While Jesus was accused of eating with sinners and tax collectors He never did it while quaffing a pint or two or telling ribald stories, or by cussin’ up a storm to seem hip. He loved His Father in Heaven too much. He never approved of people’s sinful lifestyles, He had a purpose; He told them to repent. Emergent’s of course embrace the wider culture, they act like the world, sound like the world, look like the world and lust after all things the world lusts after (hey I visit their blogs) all of course to connect with the “unchurched”. Jesus said His followers would be “hated” by the world.
    3. Jesus taught that the unrepentant who died in their sins will go to hell – not a real popular teaching in emergent circles.
    4. Jesus was exclusive not “scandalously inclusive” (see I read one of Brian’s books) “I am the way the truth and the life no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Nothing about following Christ within the context of being a good Buddhist, Jew or any other religion for that matter .
    5. Jesus called sin "SIN" – Sin is a word absent from the emergent’s vocabulary (not quite sure about that homosexuality thing yet, or the swearin’ and a host of other worldly activities)
    Out to you iggy....

     
  • At 7/31/2007 10:00:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    Newcenturion, you don't know many emergents personally, do you? Are you friends with any? Have you had any real conversations (not just debates) with any? If you had I doubt you could make such inaccurate and slanderous accusations about them. If that's what you think the emerging church is about then you obviously don't know anyone in the emerging church personally.

     
  • At 7/31/2007 10:26:00 PM, Anonymous speared4me

    Gotta love the fundies, huh? And Ken, before you get all hot and bothered, find out who you are dealing with before you make assumptions. You label the EC crowd en masse...and I beleive are more often wrong than right.
    Julie, thanks for the posters. I'll pass them along to my pastor--they are right up his alley. Does that mean I attend an EC church? Depends on who you ask. I guess if holding a VBS in between two housing projects/apartment complexes known as 'murder one' makes my church EC, then its EC. If caring more about people's eternal salvation than a builidng is EC, then I am EC. If trying o live out a faith depictd in Julie's posters is EC, then I am EC. If trying to be like the pyro pics is 'traditional' or 'fundamental' then PLEASE, DEAR GOD--LET ME BE EC!!

     
  • At 7/31/2007 10:58:00 PM, Blogger iggy

    Newcenterian,

    I think that the real issue is you refuse to hear...

    There are a few Salvation Armies (on in Canada) that is an emerging church... so not all are "fundies" as you (and not I) have referred to yourself as.

    Also, now one I know of in the emerging church including Brian McLaren claim that "good works" are a new thing... so i am not even sure to how to talk to you on any level as you ideas of what I and others beleive seem pretty will set to you... though have not real reality to what and how we do believe.

    BTW ~ I am being civil... so I hope that you can keep self control enough to stay so...

    Each on of your point about me and others shows more and more of your ignorance... I am not to even attempt here to try to unravel the extent of what you do not know.

    It does seem that what you do know is second or third hand and if it is from reading a "book" it has been run through your own "filters" to the point that no matter what anyone states, will be wrong and reinterpreted....

    The Cross though was very inclusive... Jesus death was sufficient to cover all mankind's sin. In that I think you confuse the atonement with salvation and if you read closely the scripture the are not the same thing...

    The blood of Jesus cleanses us, and gives forgiveness, the Life of Christ is then what we live by... for Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

    It is not just the Cross that we are give this expression of God's great Grace, but even more so at the Resurrection in which we are saved by Jesus' Life.

    Again, the things you bring up which seem based on a few of the loudest voices but are not true of all of us. It is like me judging all baptists by the one I met who drank like a fish and slept around on his wife, who told me he was saved and could not lose his salvation... I do not think all baptists would think that if I judged all of them by him that be a right representative to choose.

    Again, the things you bring up are part of a larger conversation... these are things being discussed openly and freely but not all are accepted and thought to be "right"...

    If you want some better people to judge by, try Scot McKnight... or one of Brian's influences, N.T. Wright... which I think you might be interested that Brian almost quotes verbatim at times...

    Be Blessed,
    iggy

     
  • At 7/31/2007 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous David H

    1. Jesus never questioned the authority and validity of scriptures

    But he did frequently and stringently question the "fundementalist" interpretation of the authority and validity of scripture.

    2. While Jesus was accused of eating with sinners and tax collectors He never did it while quaffing a pint or two or telling ribald stories, or by cussin’ up a storm to seem hip.

    And yet he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton. Heavens, he was even called a friend to sinners. Perhaps the whole wedding in Cana thing was just metaphor and not actually water turned into wine?

    3. Jesus taught that the unrepentant who died in their sins will go to hell – not a real popular teaching in emergent circles.

    And yet he never began evangelizing someone by telling them they were going to hell. In fact, it wasn't the sinners he most frequently said were facing hell. It was the fundamentalists of his day, the righteous, those who put the law ahead of mercy. And especially those who called their brother a fool.

    4. Jesus was exclusive

    Perhaps Jesus was exclusive, but he told his followers not to judge. Maybe he was telling us we aren't in a position to be exclusive because we have neither the requisite knowledge or righteous. Maybe what many see as scandalous inclusiveness is actually a refusal to be condemning. How novel would that be if Christians were known for their love and steadfast efforts to embrace others (even their enemies) rather than dogmatic adherence to the standards others must meet to be acceptable by us.

    5. Jesus called sin "SIN" – Sin is a word absent from the emergent’s vocabulary (not quite sure about that homosexuality thing yet, or the swearin’ and a host of other worldly activities)

    Well, if we are going to talk about sin, why not discuss self-righteousness and judging others. Jesus seemed to mention those two more than just about any other sin. He also got a bit angry about them -- that whole brood of vipers thing, as I recall. Let's face it, we all cheat and lie and steal. We are all selfish and put our own desires before the good of others. Some think it is important to call that sin -- as if giving it that name alone is what makes it something special. I would argue that it is far more valuable to talk to people about the harm they are doing themselves and others than to simply slap labels on activities. Maybe it makes me wishy-washy, but I am far more concerned with how anyone harms them-self or another with sexual activities than simply saying -- Gay = sin.

    As for the whole lukewarm thing, I work among non-Christians all the time. We have several emergent types here and they get into great discussions with those "unsaved" folks about love and forgiveness. I never once heard any of them called lukewarm by the worldly people. Lukewarm seems to come mostly from the fundamentalist Christians (there were two of them) who used to work here. But the odd thing was that no one wanted to talk to them about Jesus, God or any spiritual things. How weird is that?

    Finally, on the social revolution front, Jesus didn't come just to foment a social revolution. but he certainly intended for his followers to turn social norms upside down. Jesus rebuked his disciples with the words: The poor will always be with you. American Christians should feel just as rebuked by those words. Go back to Deut. 15 and read verses 4 and 5. There God says: "However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today." A few verses later God says: There will always be poor in the land -- because you who claim to be my followers will not do what I have commanded in order to stop poverty. Jesus made clear to his followers that they were still part of that problem. Jesus came to save the world, but what he told his followers to do was care for the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. What's more, he said those who do that will be considered blessed by his father.

    There is little that can be said to those who want Christianity to be about laws and morality. To them the gold standard is don't smoke, don't drink, don't chew and don't go with girls who do. It doesn't seem possible to change their attitude and approach, no matter how damaging it is to the cause of Christ. So I just tell them to keep a close eye on that measuring stick that has become the focus of their faith. Because they can't afford to slip one millimeter in the eyes of the God who will judge them by that standard.

    For the rest, I say, in the words of Paul the Apostle: "The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him." So remember: Everything is permissible for me -- but not everything is beneficial.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 07:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Frankly it appears to me that the Emergents not only rely on a very flawed view of Scripture. . . But also must mix some peyote or other mind-altering drugs in the mix of their hermeneutics. . . God Save Us!!!

     
  • At 8/01/2007 08:26:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Obviously there are various interpretations of scripture at play here and varying beliefs on what parts deserve the most emphasis. But Do we really have to accuse people of being on drugs just because their interpretation of scripture differs from yours?

     
  • At 8/01/2007 10:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    First, let me say I am neither a fundie or an emergent. I am a believer who desires to live my life on earth reflecting the image of Christ. As I have been educating myself on the EC, several things have become clear to me. Stanley, Seay, Young, Shook, et.al. are all the products of SBCC. Whatever happened in their childhoods to make them invent a new "community" must have been horrific. Read Seay's last chapter of Faith of My Fathers and you will see an anger that holds no regard for what words can do. In fact, read the whole book and you will see an arrogance that could never be described as "Christ-like." The same goes for McClaren, et.al. Here's what I don't get, though... why can't the EC people just be and let be? Why does it have to be there way or nothing? Don't we need all kinds of "communities" for all kinds of "communities?" I don't get it.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous David H

    Julie said...

    "Obviously there are various interpretations of scripture at play here and varying beliefs on what parts deserve the most emphasis."

    Why are there varying beliefs about which parts deserve the most emphasis when Jesus said that all of scriptures can be summed up in two things: Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus felt the second was so important that he re-emphasized it after his resurrection by making it a new commandment: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

    I would suggest Jesus made it clear that anything not in keeping with THOSE commandments goes against the will of God. In fact, for followers of Jesus everything must be seen through the lens of those commandments.

    I am guessing that Anonymous suggested drug use by Emergents because he believed it to be an insult. I don't find it particularly insulting, although I have never used drugs. But I wonder if that constitutes loving your neighbor as you would be loved?

    Here's the thing, if you can't love your neighbor as yourself, then you can't love God above all things. At that point your view of how others should interpret scripture is, to put it kindly, moot.

    God save us in deed.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 12:32:00 PM, Blogger newcenturion

    Mike
    "Have you had any real conversations (not just debates) with any? If you had I doubt you could make such inaccurate and slanderous accusations about them.

    I've highlighted the beliefs and quoted the very words used by leaders in your movement concerning the cross and the scriptures. No slanderous and inaccurate accusations here.

    spearer4me

    "I guess if holding a VBS in between two housing projects/apartment complexes known as 'murder one' makes my church EC, then its EC."

    Okay, okay I get it nobody else in the whole wide world is doing more for the downtrodden than the EC. Thank-you.

    Iggy

    Each on of your point about me and others shows more and more of your ignorance... I am not to even attempt here to try to unravel the extent of what you do not know.


    I believe I was addressing what I see as problems with the movement as a whole and what the leaders and others who wear the label “EC” have been saying in the public forum (blogs, articles, books etc.). I did not fabricate or exaggerate in any way shape or form any statement, belief or “conversation” that members of this movement have articulated in one way or another. Finally, while I did not specifically make any “points” about you personally, I obviously touched a nerve so I apologize if you were in anyway offended.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 02:07:00 PM, Blogger terriergal

    anonymous -- yeah, it's YOUR fault you misunderstood what she wrote. Even though she spent all this time criticizing Pyro, that's NOT what the post was about. Sheesh. Don't ya know? Emergents spend their time criticizing 'traditional' church and saying "oh no I'm not for that" but they're not about negativity ya know. It's your fault if you take it that way. (cough cough cough ahem)

    Thank you all for blessing me simply by knowing that I am the type of 'judgemental' Christian you criticize here. I count it all joy!

     
  • At 8/01/2007 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Anon - yes there are those who self-identify as emerging that are arrogant dicks. No other word for it. Does that mean everything they ever say is utterly wrong? Not if one has even the most basic respect for truth. Is there one defined way to act, worship, believe etc... in the emerging church. No to that as well. I think a lot of critics miss the boat there and decide to apply broad stereotypes to the entire conversation. I am very very different in many ways than Seay or Don Miller or Dan Kimball. They are all about cultural expressions of the artifice called church (something that yes does need examined). But then there are those of us who are trying to get beyond the last 100 years of theology. So sterotyping really isn't all that effective if you want to pretend to know what you are talking about.

    you said - why can't the EC people just be and let be? Why does it have to be there way or nothing? Don't we need all kinds of "communities" for all kinds of "communities?" I don't get it.
    I think you are right. Very few EC would ever say that. Just because we are proposing something that is different in some ways that what others are used to does not mean that we don't think others are doing good things or have meaningful communities. If we critique certain habits of the church and say that some people have been hurt by them - it doesn't mean that others haven't been blessed by them as well. it is not an either/or. Often I feel that it is the people who ridicule and tell me I am not a real Christian because I am different than them that fit that description most aptly.

    Terriergal - why is one side allowed to tear down and the other then is not allowed to clarify and defend? Why should an outside group that doesn't know much about us at all (as demonstated here so perfectly) be the ones allowed to define who we are? I'm glad you think it is joyful to be judgemental, but perhaps the joys of love and peace may one day bless you as well.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Ken Silva

    Julie,

    As I did with Mike, so I do with you. Let me gently point out the heart of the matter. You hit it when you asked: "why is one side allowed to tear down and the other then is not allowed to clarify and defend? Why should an outside group that doesn't know much about us at all (as demonstated here so perfectly) be the ones allowed to define who we are?"

    The argument works in reverse as well, which is what those of us hold to the doctrines of grace of Biblical Christianity are doing. We are only reacting to the false characterizations initially made by the emerging church movement concerning what you incorrectly call "fundamentalist."

    Think about it; prior to 1997 men like me had nothing at all to say about any emerging church, for the simple fact that there was no emerging church movement. So you do the math as to where all the criticizing first began and just who it is that is actually reacting to whom.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 03:26:00 PM, Blogger iggy

    newcenterian,

    You didn't touch a nerve or anything... i am very used to having what I believe taken and turned on its head... (I am not meaning that you did that to me, rather that the points expressed seemed far from where I am at in the emerging movement.) I was hoping to get beyond the "Your leaders beleive this and that and you guys promote this and that" which again had no real relevance to me at all! LOL!

    I have had so many people from your perspective come and TELL ME all I believe and then not even listen to what I actually do believe that I wonder if it be a total waste of time to even bother engaging in futile arguments over things that I do not even see as true about me and many others.

    Though I think you beleive you did not exaggerate anything, I think you are missing many of the nuances within the conversation and conversations. Which is why God is calling this movement (which i hate to call it that myself) to reach the postmodern mindset as they do not think as you do and so will not and may not even listen. Yet, to paint me and others as "postmodern" as some do, misses that we are not rather we are reaching out to those who are!

    Again, part of the conversation is to look at others views. I have come out of your point of view so know it fairly well... and in fact many of the things I teach are still founded on those things. I just rephrase them and address them in a different way.

    There is nothing "new" and I know of no one who claims this is "new" as I know more even dislike the label "emerging church" as it seems to imply that we are "separate" from the Body as a whole which is not at all the case... I for one prefer the conversation as I see God started the Conversation in Genesis and that Conversation became Flesh and walked amongst us.

    We also look at people in a way that all add to the conversation... even if they are wrong. For how can we correct if the wrong is hidden... in fact we seem to hold out the
    wrong" ideas so we can discuss them further to show that things like "Gnosticism" is not truth.

    I think that God is big enough to handle any questions... so I for one am not worried about the question.... I think though that some of the accepted answers are not always good let alone "right".

    Be blessed,
    iggy

     
  • At 8/01/2007 03:27:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    Newcenturion, you said:

    "Okay, okay I get it nobody else in the whole wide world is doing more for the downtrodden than the EC. Thank-you."

    And yet no ECers in this conversation have said anything remotely like this. To talk about the importance of serving the poor or to describe how your church is doing in no way implies that you think no one else is doing it too. By accusing us of saying this you are putting words into our mouths and doing what the Bible calls "giving false testimony against your neighbor". If you prefer to attack strawmen, go right ahead, after all, they tend not to fight back nearly as hard as real people and thus are much safer to criticize.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 03:34:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    We're not talking about the whole history of the EC here. We're talking about this set of posters. Your friends put them up, some of our friends responded with another set that (without any hint of criticism towards you guys) clarified and said, "Those posters aren't us. This is what we're really about." And now you all are crying foul simply because we clarified our own beliefs!? And you call us whiners? Enough with the double standards already! You said it yourself: if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. (And we didn't even bring "heat", we just put up some posters saying "this is who we are"... I still really don't see what you have to complain about.)

     
  • At 8/01/2007 04:10:00 PM, Blogger grace

    Wow Julie! Interesting discussion going on here. You and Mike handle this kind of dialog(?) really well. Thanks for the link and for representing their intent so well.

    As you said, we really are talking about the same gospel.

     
  • At 8/01/2007 11:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    so, julie, let me get this right...
    You say you are different from Seay and Miller; but yet you have Mars Hill as a highlighted website on your very own site...
    From what I have studied about EC this is just what I find distrubing about it all. You say,,,"We aren't like them..."
    but yet, you really are like them. Maybe except for the social issues, or whatever you want to put into that blank. Give me a break. You say so little, while saying so much. Just like the rest of them. EC is full of this BS. Ya'll don't know which end is up. I can tell you which end is up... the one that spews.

     
  • At 8/02/2007 08:03:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Ken - It might be useful if you read my entire comment. Of course there is critique coming from the EC. Most of us are critiquing our own experiences - the world we grew up in and know very much about. I was expressing confusion as to why you guys seem to think that its okay for you to ridicule and tear us down but then throw hissy fits and accuse us of "incessant whining" if we disagree with your description of who we are. Part of my point was that although I disagree with various sects of Christianity, I still see that we are all Christians who love the same God and follow the same Jesus.

    Anon- you really don't get it do you. Nothing anyone can say with ever get through to you or change your preconceived notions. You've made up your mind which fingers you want to point and will point them no matter how absurd or incoherent it may become. But could you at least learn how to spell "y'all"? I can deal with ignorance of the EC, but insist on people getting basic Texan correct.

     
  • At 8/02/2007 08:05:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    Nony Mouse,

    Why do you feel the need to spew insults?

    And why can't you grasp the fact that the EC is a conversation and therefore the has never been any requirement that anyone in it has to agree with every other member of the conversation. If we did there really wouldn't be any point in conversing now would there.

    Not that I think you care about such distinctions. You just seem to want to accuse and incriminate, and if painting with a broad brush helps you do that, go ahead and knock yourself out.

     
  • At 8/02/2007 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin Ady

    Julie,

    Oh dear. I fear I actually found the posters slightly amusing, as a sort of half-insider in the emergent movement. Plus a couple of them kind of hit home for me as in: "Ouch, yep--that's a little true about me"

    But I really liked Emerging Grace's posters.

     
  • At 8/02/2007 02:08:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin Ady

    I really loved the "down with metanarrative" sign someone was holding in one of them. I'm totally gonna get me a sign like that and hold it up at some appropriate moment at the hear listen connect conference

     
  • At 8/02/2007 11:29:00 PM, Anonymous becky

    Just wanted to add one small comment - from what I understand neither Rob Bell nor Donald Miller self-identify with the emerging church movement. There is a Wikipedia entry that lists a number of people as being "emergent," who will tell you point blank they are not. Yes, there are some goofy elements of the emerging church movement as the Wittenburg Door gleefly points out. But these ads don't seem to have the spirit of satire but rather they come off as mean spirited.

     
  • At 8/03/2007 12:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Julie: "He was going off about how dress codes in schools are good things because khaki pants and polo shirts really are the most appropriate clothing for everyone. As he saw it, yuppie middle class white America males are the majority in the world and therefore make the most godly choices (flawless logic of course) . All people (of any culture or ethnic group) should emulate him in how they dress if they are to be good Christians. He was serious.

    Sounds to me like you are exaggerating and making exactly the same kind of caricature you pretended to deplore in those posters.

    All this venom and emotion over some satirical posters is bizarre, coming from the side of the postmodern divide that is supposed to reject the only-my-perspective-is-the-right-one mentality.

    And the comments claiming that the Door's satire is humorous, but these posters are merely mean-spirited? Talk about hypocrisy. Have you actually READ the Door? Some people here might need to back up and cool down a bit.

     
  • At 8/03/2007 12:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Julie: "yes there are those who self-identify as emerging that are arrogant dicks. No other word for it."

    Well, there ARE other words for it.

    But tell me: how are Phil Johnson's posters more "mean-spirited" than that comment?

     
  • At 8/03/2007 07:50:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Anon- I was relating a real encounter from the Ooze. I'm sure it's in the archives if you want to look it up. And it might help to learn the definition of satire before you accuse someone who works for a magazine of not reading it...

    And yes, calling people arrogant dicks is mean. I fully admit that. I have very little patience for those who insist on the oppression of women.

     
  • At 8/05/2007 08:13:00 PM, Anonymous Don

    Julie:

    I've been reading your blog with interest ever since you posted your "bra search" on God's Politics. I made a couple comments on the postings.

    I'm concerned about this emerging church movement, though I admit I don't know a lot about it (so if I say something inaccurate here, please correct me). Unlike those who have posted negative comments here, though, my concern isn't doctrinal or theological. My concern is that once again we seem to have a new generation of churches springing up that are "generation-specific," i.e., that cater to the mores and tastes of a particular generation. I think these generation-specific churches cut Christians off from a lot of richness by isolating themselves from older generations. I have my own experience to support what I think.

    I don't know if you consider yourselves Xrs or Yers, but I'm a boomer. A quarter-century ago, when we were approximately your age, we belonged to an independent, charismatic church that had sprung up among college students. We didn't worship or fellowship with people who weren't approximately our own age. We thought we were on the cutting edge of God's purposes for the earth at the time--yeah, we were (more than) a little arrogant.

    Now that our own children are grown and in college, we regret not exposing them when younger to true "elders" in the faith, who had their years of wisdom to give them. Our older son in particular loved to seek the old folks out and talk with them whenever he had a chance--and he still does that today.

    To make a long story short, we had other issues with the church that eventually manifested themselves, especially with a controlling leadership that didn't like people to disagree with them. We eventually moved away and joined a Lutheran church in our new location. Our older son was in high school at the time; now he's in Lutheran seminary preparing for the pastorate. (In fact, he's just finishing his year of internship, which was in Chicago; we'll be there next weekend helping him move him back to the seminary.)

    I understand from the little I have read that the emerging Christians have problems with the mainline churches, especially "ecclesiastical structures." If that's true, I think our experience is a lesson in how useful they can sometimes be, despite their faults. The mainline churches are losing members, in part because committed Christians of both yours and my age groups, began abandoning them, in part for that reason. We would love to engage in your dialogues, and for you to engage in ours. There's certainly room for you. I wonder if there might be a place in the mainline churches for the emerging generation?

    Peace,
    Don

     
  • At 8/06/2007 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Jose

    Hello Julie

    The posters represent "objective truth" about the Emerging church. Don't you think so? They are so relevant and true depicting the exact beliefs that are constantly being conveyed by EC authors and web bloggers.

    You should actually use these to identify yourselves.

     
  • At 8/06/2007 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    Hey Don,

    When the emerging church conversation started about ten years ago, it began as a conversation about "GenX" ministry. And for those for whom the conversation has stayed only on that level your concerns are entirely valid.

    However, for most of us the conversation rather rapidly moved on past how to do church for young people to weightier issues of ecclesiology and even the meaning of the gospel itself. You might find this post of mine helpful in understanding the current streams of the emerging conversation. I think you'll find that your critiques are probably only still applicable to the first stream.

    Honestly, as Julie mentioned in her most recent post, our church is actually quite diverse age-wise, and is not predominantly composed of young people. And at our recent Midwest Emergent Gathering, some folks actually complained that there weren't enough young people there. The predominant demographic at our conference was actually the middle-aged mainline church pastors.

    So yes, there's plenty of room in the EC for older generations and for mainliners. In fact, that's the group that seems to be showing the most interest in the EC these days.

    Also, you might notice that GenXers aren't really the younger generation anymore. The oldest GenXers are pushing 50 now, and the youngest, like myself will be turning 30 soon. We're not the "young church" anymore. We're just the church, like it or not. :)

    Peace,
    -Mike

     
  • At 8/06/2007 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    I deeply feel that both RELEVANT posters reflect the spiritual state of all those who have embraced the emerging philosophy. Its very sad. I wish you guys would truly repent and turn back to God.

     
  • At 8/06/2007 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Don

    Thanks, Mike and Julie, for clarifying things. And I'm glad a lot of the emerging folks aren't embracing the error I thought we had made back in the late 1970s. Before we moved and left our former church, but after I was beginning to have doubts about things, a lay leader told us he and his wife were moving to a large Midwestern city (not Chicago) to start a ministry for gen-Xers. At the time I thought, how sad. If the church is the family of God, I reasoned, ought it not look like an extended family, with people of all ages?

    I read Diana Butler Bass' Christianity for the Rest of Us and was very encouraged. I talked to our pastor a few weeks ago about starting a "centering prayer" group in our congregation, but I haven't followed up on it yet. I hope there will be interest. A seminary intern had introduced the topic to one of our adult classes.

    Regarding leadership, I personally am glad that there's a leadership structure where we are now. To me it's a check and balance thing. I can understand why some are suspicious of "hierarchies," but after being burned by overbearing "elders," I think we need that structure ourselves. At least, as imperfect as it may be, there's a place we can go if we have a disagreement and can't get it resolved. And our relationship with God won't be called into question if we disagree with the leadership (something that happened to us before).

    God's peace to both of you!
    Don

     
  • At 10/21/2007 10:51:00 PM, Blogger rajito

    Hey, peace love dove to everyone, I just want to know if Julie, or who ever makes these posters, sells them anywhere? I would like to give them for gifts to my friends who are capable of using their gift of humor to improve life. Let me know, I have a list of them I am interested in,

    Kathy

     
  • At 11/20/2009 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

     
  • At 11/21/2009 12:30:00 AM, Blogger Adi

    Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.

     

Links to this post:

Create a Link

--------------