Okay, I have been doing some research on the Christian labels. Emergent, a label which dominates blog posts, means:
The emerging church or emergent church is a diverse movement within Protestant Christianity that arose in the late 20th century as a reaction to the influence of modernism in Western Christianity. The movement is usually called a “conversation” by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people and no explicitly defined leadership or direction. The emerging church seeks to deconstruct and reconstruct Christianity as its mainly Western members live in a postmodern culture. While practices and even core doctrine vary, most emergents can be recognized by the following values:
Missional living – Christians go out into the world to serve God rather than isolate themselves within communities of like-minded individuals.
Narrative theology – Teaching focuses on narrative presentations of faith and the Bible rather than systematic theology or biblical reductionism.
Christ-likeness – While not neglecting the study of scripture or the love of the church, Christians focus their lives on the worship and emulation of the person of Jesus Christ.
Authenticity – People in the postmodern culture seek real and authentic experiences in preference over scripted or superficial experiences. Emerging churches strive to be relevant to today’s culture and daily life, whether it be through worship or service opportunities. The core Christian message is unchanged but emerging churches attempt, as the church has throughout the centuries, to find ways to reach God’s people where they are to hear God’s message of unconditional love. Wikipedia
Hey, what’s wrong with that? That was my first reaction. But digging a little deeper uncovered the controversy. It goes back to the authenticity point: “emerging churches strive to be relevant to today’s culture and daily life.” There is nothing wrong with being relevant — Paul became all things to all people in order to win some — but care needs be taken, so that God, the Word, or Christianity itself is not presented as something it is not in order to make Him, or it, more palatable to today’s culture.
Let’s face it, today’s culture is toxic. It seeks to undermine the foundations of family which must be in place to generate the greatest blessing, the greatest health, for our society. You only have to look at what is presented as “normal” in today’s society: parents — both Mom and Dad — work outside the home, when there is a two-parent home. The homo[s-x]ual subculture seeks to be accepted as just as valid as “male and female He created them.” The feminist movement has been attacking gender identity from a different angle than the gays — they seek to destroy masculinity by redefining it as evil, and to destroy femininity by redefining it as slavery. According to the feminists, the only people who can practice femininity with impunity are gay men. Child predators live among us. The public schools seek to break the bonds which God established between children and parents. As well as indoctrinate children to be anti-God. Our entertainment glorifies horror and violence. I mean, this culture is poisonous for humans.
So that is where the trouble comes in. The leaders in the emergent church movement, to name just one controversy with it, have stated that they do not know what to think, doctrinally, about homo[s-x]uality. (Hat tip: Slice of Laodicea.) When someone says that, here is the translation: we believe homo[s-x]uality is not condemned by Scripture, but we can’t come right out and say that because the ignorant people believe it is, so we have to say, “I don’t know.” They have the Pharisee syndrome.
I’ve been studying this subject for about a year now. Dh and I visited a somewhat emergent church last Sunday while out of town. I wanted to visit Dan Kimball’s Vintage Faith but they only meet Sunday evenings and we’de be on our way home by then.
Read Dan’s website for a thorough indoctrination of emergent thinking-he is a leader in the movement. It’s fascinating on the one hand but scary on the other.