During our class this past fall (Emerging Church Issues) we had the opportunity to watch a documentary that showcased some post-modern churches. Something bothered me as I watched it. Many of the leaders interviewed for this doc. were extremely zealous in declaring their distance or separation from existing churches. I think it was Erwin McManus who said something like,”we try to create something that doesn’t feel like church at all.” Many of the other presenters intoned similar ideas belying this prevailing curse that has plagued churches for years. Here’s how it usually works…(I kinda like Erwin McManus so it's not like I'm picking on him or anything...)
Identify a significant problem inside the existing church, come up with something new, and then start a new church or even a denomination to support the ideas that this new way of thinking supports. Since the reformation we have gotten really good at this.
Now here is my tension, I pretty unashamedly align myself with much of the post-modern thinking about church. I think it brings an important corrective to the church in many areas. I can resonate with the frustration that many of these post-modern leaders intone. I also live inside a typically rigid church for whom change comes almost as quickly as the final report of the Gomery commission. There have been and are many times when the temptation to start something new has been overwhelming.
Is this the best way to bring about change in church? Does an increasingly fragmented church achieve the goals of Christ’s intention in establishing the church? Is there point where rigidity forces people to separate themselves from the existing church and create something new?
If you use Christ’s ministry as an example – it would be hard to prove anything but his work as distinctly different and against the established religious norm.
This really bothers me…
Oh yeah one more sort of unrelated quote from the class:
“evangelicals venerate music just like orthodox kiss idols.”-Dale Dirksen