Thursday, March 24, 2005

'Emerging Church Movement' - Threat to the Gospel

Leaders call 'Emerging Church Movement' a threat to Gospel - (BP): "When asked whether a person must trust Christ as dying to make atonement for sin in order to be a Christian, McLaren replied, 'I want to help people understand everything they can about the cross. ... I wouldn't say that having that understanding (Jesus dying as a substitute for sinful humanity) is all that it means to be a Christian. I think that some people might have that understanding and not be interested in following Jesus. They want Jesus' blood to pay for their sins so they can go to heaven, but they aren't really interested in following Jesus in this life.'"

When are people going to realize that questions are not "threats", and that re-thinking our pat and simplistic answers is not a bad thing? The real "threat" is allowing people to stagnate in the pews while the world around passes them by. The real "threat" is embracing "Jesus Is The Answer" while never checking to see what the real Questions are outside the four walls. I get tired of everyone throwing stones at the way church is changing and at the leaders of the "conversation".

"Mohler concludes that McLaren and other leaders in the Emergent Church represent 'a significant challenge to biblical Christianity.'"

The challenge is not to biblical Christianity - there is more love and respect for the WHOLE of scripture within this shift than I've seen in lots of other circles. No, the "challenge" is to the status quo, to the elitist and judgmental attitudes of those who've already figured it out for themselves and are now marketing it to the masses, devoid of meaningfulness and transformational power.


Blogger MaryAnn M said...

YOU SAID: ..."re-thinking our pat and simplistic answers is not a bad thing? The real "threat" is allowing people to stagnate in the pews while the world around passes them by. "

this is where i am.
for years i sat with the sunday smile on..broken and hurt and discouraged.
i am now OUT of church because I got tired of giving and getting pat answers that are the MickeyMouse Bandaid on the deadly destructive wound that threatens to take our souls

i dont want to be status quo

I need God in all of his Fullness...and I am finding Him, like a Rock, in the middle of my journey. (Message translation:Romans 9)

not sure where God is taking me now, exactly...but at last, I am His. the weeks are more filled with Him now...not a frantic schedule of appearances...but life, lived out in His Presence.

24/3/05 3:50 PM  
Blogger janet said...

I couldn't agree more with your post, Rick, and with MaryAnn's comment.

Half a lifetime of dying in a pew after seeking answers that actually answered what I was asking... we left the congregation we were in and found a home where people are real, where they ask the hard questions and aren't afraid of the answers -- it's been like Life has finally begun again. And go figure, the new place was in an "emerging" church.

24/3/05 6:45 PM  
Anonymous blueskelton said...

woah jesus isnt dead he faked his own death and now he is singing showtunes with elvis in a barn in mogadishu

24/3/05 11:06 PM  
Blogger Jeff Stilwell said...

Seems McLauren is being signaled out not because of what he says, but because of what he doesn't say.

25/3/05 8:52 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

McClaren's opponents seem to view this as an "either/or" rather than a "yes...and".

25/3/05 10:20 AM  
Blogger JP said...

You are correct Jeff, its seems frustrating to them they he skirts around their direction question, yet in a way he answers it. Too much judgemental behavior exists in the christian community....

25/3/05 4:01 PM  
Blogger julieunplugged said...

I recommend reading outside of our theological comfort zone to get a handle on what McLaren is pointing to here. Black theology (in the hands of James Cone - God of the Oppressed is a good one), Letters and Papers from Prison - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, She Who Is - Elizabeth Johnson, Introducing Theologies of Religions - Dr. Paul Knitter are a few titles that have helped me to get out of the narrow definitions of evangelical theology.

I also think our rhetoric that emphasizes leadership is mis-leading. It misses the cross and focuses on maintaining the status quo (which is exactly opposite to Jesus' mission, imho).

I wrote about this a bit last week:

Thanks for a provocative topic, Rick.


25/3/05 4:36 PM  
Blogger MaryAnn M said...

yes Julie!!
we all have our private little comfort zone theology...its High Time that Jesus comes into our Temples and starts flippin the tables.

get out of your box...look at the incredible Christian theology from other cultures, races, time periods.

When you look at the WHOLE of humanity, you see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at work.

no more status quo here!! NO Ma'am!!

27/3/05 7:27 AM  
Blogger julieunplugged said...

Thanks Maryann! :)

Where's your blog?


28/3/05 3:36 PM  

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