December 18th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Reading My Second Book on "The Emerging Church"
This Emerging Church could easily be "rolled back into" the RCC!!!
The way they describe historical Christianity is going from sacral society* based on pagan imagery (RCC) TO sacral based on printed word (sola scriptura/Reform) TO fundamentalist divisiveness over the meaning of that word (modernism) TO seeker/purpose-driven postmodernism TO post-evangelical emerging experiential church with images and sacralist (God-centered) "community" again -> (similar, it seems, to Geneva under Calvin only with "images" like early Catholicism rather than the Word).
What do they mean by "sacral?" They mean merging Christianity back into society (or "community" they call it) without the government aspects -- YET (They say they don't know what the final form will be). No more "division" of the secular and the sacred that the modernists (fundamentalists) introduced and is the basis for our separation of church and state! (as in "composite society" where a mix of diverse religions "proves" by God's blessing which one is best i.e. OT Jews vs Gentiles)
BTW, scripture probably lays this out like this (Rev 2-3): Purgammum and Thyatira = RCC, Sardis = Reform, Philly = modernist/fundamentalist, and Laodicea = postmodern + emerging (my own opinion anyway).
Here are "3 core practices that combine to create other practices" (we'll get to them later):
1) The basis for their theology is not the scriptures mainly but the "life of Jesus" as found mainly in the Gospels and in their own lives (subjective/experiential Christianity).
2) Transforming secular space into sacred space. Thie means taking the corrupted tools of the society (music, images, activities, etc,) and putting them to sacred purpose.
3) "Living as community." IOW, ecclesiology is "out" -- practicing corporate life in accordance with a) the "kingdom of God" model (as if the kingdom was physical and not just spiritual) b) that they derive from Jesus ministry is "in." They commit their lives to the "King" and lay aside divergent loyalties (to theologies, ecclesiologies, etc.) the basic "ends" of which, IMO, is waiting for Christ's (IMO, AC's) coming.
Well, that's just a start. Jump in where you feel you have an opinion or commentary to add. Obviously, I had my own opinions and "visions" of where all this might lead. What say you?
The book, BTW, is Emerging Churches by Gibbs and Bolger.
* All major empires were "sacral" until the Magna Carta and then the United States of America. Basically, they were government and religion combined with the Pharoah/king/emperor/governor being the worshipped and religious law comingled with society's law.
December 18th, 2008, 10:23 AM
You got it! And it is spreading like wildfire because it appeals to the flesh. It is the perfect way to combine Protestant and Catholic which will usher in the global religion.
But tell that to many "christians" today and be ready to be demonized.
December 18th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Thank you, HB!
Originally Posted by His Bride
My SBC church is currently going through the "conversion" and I really don't know whether to confront (being 62, I'm not of their generation) -- or leave and leave my brothers and sisters "in the lurch." I lok around in my Sunday school class and there are people who should be or were teachers who are "sitting on the sidelines" probably because they are just as bewildered as me. One couple are former missionaries and and another teachers at the Christian college in town but both longer time members.
But I have to tell you --- they are going "right by the script!" We're building a "Bridge" to our community. That would be our $15M+ SGF building. And here's the "text without a context" (pretext) -- the children of Israel crossing Jordan (on a "bridge??") [i]to set up their (12?) small group communities? franchises? fellowships? I'm lost. I thought GOD stopped the water so they could cross "dryshod."
Well, this is just a "diatribe" and a "cry for help" on my part (I hate to see my church turn to this). I'll try to get back to the book and academia next time I post.
December 19th, 2008, 07:15 AM
I'm sorry Skypair. I have been dealing with this for ten years, as a new Christian it was difficult for me to figure out. The SBC churches seem to be embracing this rather quickly. I've always been in a SBC until two weeks ago.
Now that I've found this board I know what the Holy Spirit was telling me all along. You and the others are so very needed in the day and age! Now more than ever. I'm praying for you to do what you need to do, whatever that may be.
December 21st, 2008, 10:44 AM
Well, time to add a little bit to my initial reactions above.
I read the chapter on "Transforming Secular Space" and it mainly speaks of the earliest occurences of the "emerging church" as being "clubbers" in the U.K. They would transform a dance club to a "worship center" on Sundays and do music-and-image shows with "DJ's" stringing together familiar tunes, not from some podium like a pastor but from the floor or an out of view location. Pretty much the participants were supposed to "see" the "God-clues" in their "communal" music.
This DOESN'T seem too much like what my church is doing unless they perhaps allow the SGF's meeting off campus to "do their own things."
The next chapter is "Living as Community." The primary thrust of this part is "The focus of emerging churches on the 'gospel of the kingdom' as distinct from a 'gospel of salvation' has produced a new ecclesiology." IOW, they appear to think nothing of salvation but promote in its place a kind of "heaven on earth" kingdom that encompasses many subcultures of local practices. This was pretty much what Rome was in Christ's day. They allowed any and all religions as long as they worshipped Rome/emperor above all (The Jews had a "dispensation" from that requirement until it split into another group desiring the same dispensation -- Christianity -- at which time it was decided that they both were destabilizing to Rome's control.)
"Believers must give up old loyalties in order to create a space for the kingdom to come. Nationalism, individualism, and consumerism are a few of the ideologies that must be reappropriated or completely abandoned in the light of the coming reign of God. In addition, some of the most cherished church forms may be more a hinderance than a help in creating space for God."
This is beginning to sound "one world-ish" to me and the "reign of God" like the "reign of the emerging church, itself!"
December 22nd, 2008, 08:38 AM
Actually, not only does it sound one world religion to me, but it sounds very Kingdom Now, Dominionist, which typically goes hand in hand with Emergents. Good info, though. I never connected the practices of Rome with the emerging movement. Thank you for reading the books and giving us your critique!
December 22nd, 2008, 10:27 AM
Per the OP, it is why the mystics old and new are seen as such guiding lights in the movement. The whole contemplative movement is re wrapped middle age mysticism.
My head still hurts from my reading on all this hogwash.
December 27th, 2008, 08:05 AM
Yeah, mine too. I've given up on the book unless I get really bored.
Originally Posted by OnceWasLost
The upshot of the whole thing seems to be that, since many of them take biblical accounts of "experiences" of God as teaching doctrine, they take their own experiences and call them doctrine!
Say the laying on of hands that "transferred" the Holy Spirit to the Samaritans in Acts 8. That is an experience -- not a teaching. It is not normative of the receipt of the Spirit like Acts 2:38 TEACHES. But since these people will accept experience as normative, they are "scripturalizing" their own experiences into doctrine, too, just as long as they think it is related to God.
December 27th, 2008, 12:03 PM
December 28th, 2008, 02:46 PM
Skypair.. we left a 6000 member SBC 2 yrs ago because of this stuff. To date, I still have old friends who refuse to believe any of this stuff. They are comforted in the socializing the church offers and Fluff talk Bible Story sermons and revival talk. "god, god, god, god.. " but WHERE is Jesus?
December 29th, 2008, 09:18 AM
Ours is about that size as well. Here's just the major issue -- "The Bridge." The 'church' has decided to build a new SGF building so that was the "text" for 6 weeks of sermons. The "context" was Judges where, as you remember, the children of Israel crossed Jordan into the promised land.
Originally Posted by Sing4Him
But look -- the children had a promise; we, in my estimation, didn't. What would God need with a building where we come to merely "socialize" in? The children didn't build a bridge; GOD stopped the water. And when they got to the other side, the children didn't set up "franchises" to attract the Canaanites to their faith; they went in with their faith and defeated the enemy! But defeating the enemy with doctrine is not what our SGF's are about. There is almost no doctrine in our study materials and if, say the pretrib rapture is mentioned, it is brushed aside as not pertinent to the study of Revelations.
And everything is about experience and how that is the Spirit speaking to and through the church. "How did you feel?" or "What do you think?" or "Consider if your child died and imagine how Mary must have felt."
I ran into this in Bellevue Nebraska in 1977 at an SBC church and I immediately joined a GARB church (General Assembly of Regular Baptists). They were GREAT! I suppose that is what I ought to look for here.
December 30th, 2008, 05:18 AM
December 31st, 2008, 08:05 AM
Yep, read about that in this book! Proportedly, according to the book, that was the first emerging church to be organized within the church. Sounds like they were "up to no good!"
Originally Posted by naoip