I think I can pretty much sum up the controversy between the emergent church movement and traditional Christianity in one or two sentences. The emergent church has ushered in a new “social gospel” that has made America and Americans the new sinner, with conservative Christians being the contributing source of blame; unfortunately, the cross has been left far behind and all but forgotten there at Golgotha.
There you have it. But I have a desire to explain, so that is what I intend to do in several future posts. What I believe is at issue here is that the “social gospel” is not trying to save the world from a heart issue of sin. Rather, it is trying to save the world from poverty. Americans so rich in resources and wealth compared to the rest of the world, I’m afraid, according to emergent pastors are the new sinner.
If you have no interest in this topic, then the rest of this post is going to be extremely boring for you. You may not want to read further. If you have been following the emergent church movement, you probably already have an opinion, and the rest of this may indeed be a bit controversial so you also may not wish to read further. But if you like reading other's opinions, (not that my thoughts will be 100 % accurate, they most likely are not, but I do believe that discussion aids in bringing about truth) then you might enjoy the rest of this post. I’ve enjoyed the study, and I’ve enjoyed where it has brought me.
I became interested in the emergent movement several years ago, when I had first heard about it through an issue that had risen in a news program I had been watching. I pursued study of it, because whatever has taken place in “the church” has always interested me. Throughout my life, I have watched the pendulum swings from doctrine to doctrine. Yes, it does swing! But “the church” has never lost its foundation, and it has held on to Jesus’ promise to us that He will never lose His church. Because of that promise, I have never feared the swings of the pendulum, but I do enjoy the discussion and a chance to bring awareness.
Most swings I am talking about were not damaging to salvation. This swing is a little different, however; and is quite possibly going to have an after effect that could be quite dangerous. Though most involved in the movement would likely deny it, this movement is very political. So while conservative Christians get bashed for being too involved in politics over moral issues, we have a new group entering on the other end of the political realm.
When I owned my bookstore, I studied the emergent church movement a bit further, and a bit deeper. I did not want to be guilty of encouraging or spreading false doctrines simply because I had a book in my store that was inaccurate. For that reason, I monitored my Christian books more carefully than any other genre I carried. I learned authors, ministries and pastors who might be teaching things that were not according to Scripture. I did not attack their ministries. I simply did not carry their books on my shelves.
Recently, a letter to the editor of our local paper prompted my decision to begin the posts that I am beginning to share. I did not want to respond to the letter in the local newspaper. Though others did; personally, I don’t believe that is the proper place. It’s almost like the church "airing our dirty laundry" for all to see. I believe that is damaging. Letters to the Editor are all about opinions, but for myself, I'm not really sure I want to see matters of faith, there. Blogs, however, are understood to be a place to read someone’s view point on any and every topic. My thoughts on a variety of issues, is some of what I wanted my blog to be…not entirely, though. But every now and then, one will find on my blog something that is political or controversial. This is a warning for those that don’t want to go there. I’m beginning a series on the emergent church. They will be added among my other posts, but they will be labeled as such to prevent one from having to read them, if one would rather not.
So to bring a little levity to this post, I will quote from one of my favorite country music singers: “Hate me if you want to, love me if you can.” ;-) And, happy reading....or, not!