could it be that we have reached this point? could we be in a "postemerging" reality? have we "emerged?" i am not sure. i think on one hand we are there, we have emerged out of the primordial slime of the past theologies and church functions and we walking upright in the evolution of faith. yet on the other hand, i know we are still "cro-magnon" in the eyes of many who disagree with us, not yet fully human and still working with small brains. if we can only be either "emerging" or "emerged" - where are we as a people of faith?

for me, i am leaning towards the "postemerging." why? because i am tired of all the games that seem to be developing, mostly with the evangelical arm. it seems that the evangelical arm is unwilling to work with the emerging. at the same time the emerging is trying hard to be open to the evangelical arm. but like any body, if the arm is not working then how can the body pick itself up when it fall? if evangelical arm is unwilling to work with the emerging, then the body can't even wipe itself.

i am not evangelical, and i never claimed to be one. i did not grow-up in the church. many in the evangelical arm believe that all of us in the emerging church are simply evangelical who left the church and want to form a new church because we are mad at the evangelical church - not true. i have never been evangelical, i have never been fundamental. while i will say i am not evangelical, i will say i am a christian, and i believe with all my heart in christ as my savior. i might not believe in it the way an evangelical does, but that does not make my faith any less real.

i do not desire to be part of the evangelical arm of the faith. given that, according to them i am not a christian. so, i desire not to fight or argue with them - because they are not listening to us anyway. they twist our words, and say things we have never said. i like what andrew jones reminded me that icon said. over this past year i have felt as if the evangelical arm of the church is self attacking the "face" [emerging] part of the church. it seems that the evangelical arm is spending more time slapping us, then grooming us.


kevin h said...

When will we be beyond the need for a label at all? Why do we have to be "something"?

todd said...

One of the pillars of the EC is an honest critique of every tradition that has come before the EC. Occasionally, it gets a bit nasty. Evangelicals and fundamentalists seem to receive the most flak, possibly because of the social/political/economic stances that are tied to these traditions. Whatever the case, one of the primary points EC apologists seem to make is how much difference there is between the EC and the traditional church. Sometimes, it is only a mild observation of how things need to be reimagined with an eye toward presenting the gospel in a culture that has moved way beyond the "Leave it to Beaver" days. Often, the distinction is made by slamming the traditional church for its hypocrisy, deadness, lack of compassion, lameness of worship style, etc. I am guilty of this and I am not proud of that fact. Most of my knowledge is second hand, although I believed the criticism was justified because it seems patently obvious that the traditional church is doing a poor job in reaching the lost.
The blasts coming from the other side of late make me realize this; I helped create the weather and I can't complain that it is raining. There has been a lot of "attack for the sake of attacking" on both sides and I for one don't expect the traditional church to put its stamp of approval on the EC, when much of our focus is pointing out the flaws we believe are inherent to the traditional church. Also, I am going to accept that we don't need the stamp of approval, either. I want to lay off the critique of the traditional church because the EC is legitimate and doesn't need to gain credibility by pointing out the perceived flaws in the traditional church. This struggle for simultaneous distinction and acceptance seems to be our fight of late. Meanwhile, the lost receive a message of "the Kingdom is at hand, but the Church is schizophrenic".

andrew jones said...

good thought - i have been thinking this also

if we could have three stages . .


then i would identify with the third stage. you too, i guess.

john o'keefe said...

andrew, i like that a great deal - the stage process is very cool and would help a great deal. i am with you on that one.