Monday, January 05, 2004

How 'bout some Em-pathy?...

Am I being too hard on the Em-Church? Maybe so. I tend to get that way when I hear arguments along the lines of, "Well, as long as it's bringing people to Christ..." Why should we have to rationalize a church movement? Shouldn't we, rather, be striving to disciple Christians in the Word? Yes, I know that we have different styles of worship and different bents that will emerge as denominations. But I don't think that's the issue here. I believe what's going on here strikes at the core of how we, or they, perceive Christianity. Read the article. Check the general feel of what is preached - we are witnessing a marketing approach clothed in the guise of connecting with kindred souls. Unfortunately, emotional experience tends to trump knowledge in our culture. We tend to give authority towards something that moves us emotionally and relegate to the lower realms anything that requires thinking. And, unfortunately, emotional experience is extremely self-centered. Yet, can we really blame the post-moderns for wanting this experiential aspect of life - when our style of worship and our walk with God seems to be driven by it as well? This, I believe, is the core of the issue - our insatiable appetite to be stroked. It has nothing to do with meeting 18-30 year old's needs, or those of the now 10-17 year olds. If it did we should get a jump on things and start a marketing plan to kick off in 2018, when the current 3 year olds turn 18. It's ludicrous. And it's ludicrous because, in our American mentality, we're looking at it like it's a marketing plan. The Christianity Today article closes with, "We're waiting to see what emerges once Emergent becomes mainstream." I predict Emergent churches will never become mainstream. And I predict this for the same reason that you find people now wanting to get their tatoos removed. They grow up.

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