11 02 2008

Sometimes we are quick to be critical of that in which other people we respect are critical. We may only have sound-bites of knowledge about a subject or issue, yet we form either a positive or negative opinion about an issue or a subject. We trust other people to do our homework and then accept their opinion based upon who they are. Trouble is they may have gotten their opinion from yet another source, etc…

The subject of the “Emergent Church” is my case in point. Many believers do not know of the movement, but they are blindly opinionated, depending upon the comments that another makes.

The movement seeks to reach a generation (“Gen X”) of people who are emerging out of a post-modern era that we have been in since after World War II. Their objective is to understand the thinking process of the “Emergent Generation” and attempt to reach them for Christ by using non traditional methods and settings. They boast of their non-threatening approach as being the only method to influence the Gen X-er’s. They caution us to adapt to the paradigm shift in culture, or risk the chance that our current post-modern mindset churches will die a natural death.

I commend the movers and shakers of the Emergent Church movement for their sincere desire to reach people for Jesus. I commend them for challenging the traditional church to truly understand this present generation. As a baby-boomer, I became involved with the Fundamental Baptist movement at the age of 21. I was taught to seek the “old paths” of the previous generation (Jer. 6:16). My ‘rebellious” generation was condemned without an attempt to understand what made us tick. My generation’s styles, music, and ways of thinking were wicked and the standard of being right was the previous generations, the “old paths”. Because of such rejection, Fundamental Baptist Churches lost my generation and we were captured by the Evangelical Church Movement. It is my desire not to treat the 30 and under generation with such rejection. My desire is to try to understand where they are coming from and not to expect them to conform to my generation. Of course, sin is still sin and holiness is still holiness. Too often we are quick to label a generational oddity as a sinful compromise. The Emergent Church understands this principle but have gone too far in its application.

The Emergent Church makes radical suggestions for redefining the church. While I certainly agree with their passion to reach this current generation for Christ, I disagree with many of their conclusions and methods.

I will continue this discourse in another post.




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