Emergent Church? by Merwin
Okay... How about a legitimate definition for the Emergent Church?
My main gripe about the Emergent Church panic, has been that... seemingly, no one could give a legitimate (in my opinion) definition for what it was.
I would hear, "...watch out for that body out by Hayden Lakes area they are an Emergent Church!" and, or, "...that body over there is - or that one."
And when I asked Pastor, he said he didn't know for sure, but had heard a lot of scared people, saying nothing definite (gotta love Pastor Tim). So no definition from Tim.
I would hear, Emergent Church this, Emergent Church that, I went so far as to start saying to friends (who really weren't in a panic)... "Well I can't find any criteria for what the Emergent Church is supposed to be, and, a lot of what that (named as a possible EC) Pastor over there is saying... I like! Heck for all I know... I, might be part of the Emergent Church."
Then those good friends loaned us a DVD from Compass International that featured Bob Dewaay explaining the dangers of the Emergent Church.
This DVD has a lot of good content and is very specific, informative and convoluted. Heavy on the convoluted, and I would recommend watching the DVD to anyone that wants to know the dangers of the EC (Emergent Church = EC), but I would not recommend it for getting a one or two line definition of how to recognize the EC, unless that is your distinct purpose for watching it, honestly, because the material is that complicated.
So... what is the one or two lines for description of the EC?
They do not believe there is a coming judgment. And, they believe we are drawn to God's perfection by God, and that He is making the world evolve into it.
Feel better for the knowledge? I know I do, what a relief.
And no... I am not part of the EC even if I do like a lot of the things that is said by a Pastor that is supposed to be part of that movement (my jury is still out on that one).
Which raises the question... "What is it, that believers are drawn to in regard to... let's say... the flavor of the EC's message?"
It is... - a flavor - of grace, or a "kind" of grace.
What makes the EC so dangerous is that has a kind of grace that has no requirements... at all! And, I really do not want to get into all that, if you want to know about that specifically I will provide a link at the bottom to purchase the DVD from Compass International.
The absence of grace, and mercy from most NON-EC churches out there is the real problem, and the reason I am writing this Hub.
Yes, there is absolutely a coming judgment day (very soon/this generation), and the individuals of the world will be judged on what they decided about the message of Jesus Christ for their lives, the Good News.
The Good News, the Gospel of God, is about His grace (real grace, not a "kind of grace") and mercy.
Mercy... now there would be no need for mercy at all, were it not for the coming judgment.
Mercy, and the grace of God, are not the main fair being served at the banquet table by most churches today. Rather, it seems to be a constant diet of guilt and conviction. Yes, yes, I know, how can a people repent unless convicted of sin? That is an excellent point, one that should be made to those that do not believe that there is anything wrong with them. One cannot repent nor find redemption if one is not looking for it.
Once the need for mercy has been exposed, then mercy should be applied.
Once the... "I am broken and cannot fix myself" symptom has been diagnosed, then the medicine of His mercy and grace can begin and continue the healing.
What ends up happening though, is that the message of this Good News, gets trampled by the Pastor's effort to make his flock behave.
God's mercy and grace becomes lost in the catch phrase... "Yes, you are saved by grace, but...", and as a result, you have the Emergent Church providing a counterfeit for grace that your flock is running to.
This is a shame... when all along the message of redemption, grace, and mercy is that which, you should know... would save your flock, and not, your need to make them behave.
The greater the message of God's tender mercy, His wonderful limitless will to give His children good things, the better the behavior of those that truly understand it and receive it. They are struck with the overwhelming generosity of God, that they now know lives in the heart of their being.
They are consumed by their desire to enjoy this unmerited favor of their Father, and your legalism prevents them... "The letter of the law kills, the Spirit of the Law causes life."
The tragedy of what most legalism does is, it plays to Pharisaical pride, and most of those engaged in legalism deny that they are behaving like Pharisees.
They simply complain about the Emergent Church and not even knowing a specific definition of what, that might be... end up sometimes pointing their fingers at churches that are not EC... but simply preach God's redemption, mercy and grace (the Good News).
So finally... straight up ask a Pastor (not one of his flock) of a suspected EC, if he believes in the coming judgment if he is not sure or says "no", then he and most of his congregation are probably EC.
If you do not believe in the coming judgment then that might be your new Emergent Church home.
If you do believe in the coming judgment, but hunger for the Good News of God and not legalism, then your search continues.
LINK for Compass International's Bob Dewaay's DVD on the Emergent Church...