I title this as post #1 because there will probably be a lot more to say about this as I continue to formulate my thoughts. When I first heard about the emergent movement, I really felt as if it was something that dealt with the needs I saw in the church as a whole and became really excited about it. However, I must say that I am getting a bad taste in my mouth with a few of the people who claim to be “emergent.” It seems as though they would rather be an exclusive club than edify the body of Christ as a whole. Instead of thinking of ways to help heal the dying church in America, they are wanting to go start their own churches and critisize those who do not. In addition, “real” emergent folk get up in arms over churches who do call themselves “emergent” but who don’t fit the emergent mold (as accused by the “real” emergent people). Doesn’t this go against everything emergent stands for?
I thought emergent was about opening up communication and dialogue within the Body of Christ. Excluding certain churches because they don’t fit the mold seems contradictory to what emergent stands for. I think the people who call themselves emergent have a lot to give to the church. But they need to begin doing it in a more prophetic way rather than try and create an exclusive group of churches. If the end goal of emergent isn’t that the Body of Christ as a whole become healthier as a result of this movement (or “conversation” as they like to call it), then I want no part in it.
We need to be exploring ways to get our message out, not ways to start our own churches. This sort of reform might need to come from the laity. I have no idea how many pastors and church members have any idea what emergent is or what it stands for; I’m willing to bet it’s a fairly small number. But they need to know. The church needs help. Why are we keeping it to ourselves?