Why emergent is not a church

there is conversation flying around about whether the Emergent movement is a church.

i would add it is a conversation and so much. but that it is better seen as something that if fluid. something that is disarming rather than alarming. something that is flowing and not static. something that is inviting and dissuades the exclusive. something that is not monumental, but rather is egalitarian. something that invites the unloved, hated, heretical, murderous, criminal, anger, loved, religious, pious, fearful, adventurous to all sit at the same table and dialogue about the future as if we have a hand in it and as if it is something we can all participate in. it is broken people who wear their scars proudly yet know that there is room for movement. we’re chairs knowing we should be couches, and we’re all working on it together. we see the world as hopeful not destroyed. we see people as loved no matter what they’ve done and are doing. we see the world as possible and claim to deny any impossibilities, because that reality is nowhere near the reality of God the Maker.

If we say we are church, than we are bound. we are fixed. we are static. we would become institutionalized. we would be broken thinking we could do holy, righteous act that could make us better. we would have all the answers. we would learn to love conditionally. we would live in a world that was going to hell in a hand basket. we would need God in codependent rather than a partnership, that he invites us into. church as is, limits what we could be.

My Rant and Hope for the Church
yet, there is hope for the institution. if we can all come together and realize we are more than structures, dogmas, doctrines and scriptures…that all these things are good, but insufficient because they all together still don’t reach God. The lead us to him, but the romance is lost. someone blew out the candles for the dinner that night, if we subscribe to the reality that God is only found in the list above. I would say (personally, not speaking for emergent) that God is bigger than all of the above, and he invites us to find him not only in those things, but also outside of them. A bride is active. A bride serves. A bride loves. A bride is innovative, creative, beautiful, lively and moving. She restores things. Maybe Psalm 31 wasn’t about the virtous women, but maybe how God sees the potential of the Church. Can we find her, maybe like Hansel and Gretel she is lost in the woods, we have to find her. I believe this is what the people of the Emergent community want to do…

And there is so much more to the emergent conversation, this doesn’t even touch the surface…


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