[friend]I remember back in the day you were into some emergent authors. What have you taken away from that?
[my response]That’s a tough and broad question. In one sense it has redefined my approach to God and religion. I think religion can be an opiate for the masses, but Emergent Christianity fits into that category. I think we needed to experience a bit of a reformation, and are continuing to, but I also think you have to approach with caution.
I had a friend correct me when I said truth lies in the balance. Balance is fixed. Tension is a better word. Tension means you are always in motion, moving one way or the other. If you remain true to your heart and relationship with Christ, you will find his heart and that’s when you become “emergent”.
The word emerge means to come out of something. To know and live the heart of Christ should not mean emerging from mainstream Christianity, but unfortunately, it does. So if that’s what I mean by being emergent, to seek first his kingdom and righteousness untainted by religious expectation, performance, and politiking, then I guess that’s emergent. But the mainstream emergent church, though reformists, have their flaws.
Seek the heart of Christ in the gospels and in your spiritual life and you will find God regardless of what you call it. That’s where I am after reading all of these quote “emergent authors”.
Reading through some of that conversation, I would probably edit a few things. Understand that some of these terms can be defined in different ways. By “mainstream church”, I mean the majority of my experiences within evangelical churches I’ve been a part of. I know there are a great many evangelical churches that seek and live out the heart of Christ in the gospels, but unfortunately, based on my experiences, several churches I’ve been a part of or pastors I’ve spent time with did not reflect this sort of Christianity.
I’m not pointing fingers. I think most people involved in church today would say that the church as a whole needs to experience new life. I don’t think I would offend anyone by saying that. I believe the emergent conversation has played a role in ushering in this new life, but it is not where the journey ends.
As with all things, when an author claims a new approach to faith and practice within Christianity, pray for wisdom and approach with caution.