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« What the Emerging Church Needs, pt. 1 | Main | Christianity PLUS: How Syncretistic Are We? »

July 27, 2004

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"EC leaders need to begin weeping over the institutional Church, instead of only discrediting her."

Oh Chris, you've spoken my heart here brother! When will we remember that, when Christ looks at the institutional Church, he sees "a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless?" When will we begin to feel his compassion for them? When will we learn to look beyond her faults and see in her something beautiful?

Heaven knows I am not a perfect man, but my wife, who better than anyone else knows my weaknesses, imperfections, and sins, still looks upon me as though I were perfect. She has made herself my partner in growing beyond these things, all the while loving me as though they didn't exist. Is this not how Jesus loves the church, institutional *and* emerging?

If we of the emerging generations will not adopt this same compassion toward the institutional church, I am certain Christ will judge us as those who would rape his beloved bride.

Wow. That was one of the most insightful pieces I've read lately. I think you nailed every point.

All I would add is that deconstruction is always dangerous when it comes to deconstructing God and His words to us. Personally, I believe neither is meant to be deconstructed and reconstructed because the reconstruction usually bears little resemblance to the original. In the end, our deconstructions tend to fall along the lines of the serpent in the Garden hissing, "Did God really say...?"

chris-
what a great post. I am challenged, convicted, and filled with hope. I think that you hit the nail on the head in all areas. I hope that more people start hearing your voice, you have much to offer. I know that recently I have been terribly convicted about my critique of the IC. No matter how I looked at it, I have been bad mouthing Christ's bride. I would not let anyone ever bad mouth my wife, but here I was bad mouthing the bride of Christ. I have so much to learn, and I am thankful for pastors like you who, in gentle, thoughtful ways can help me learn. Thanks again

Good words, DP.

I've often found myself saying to moderns, "We are to convert people to Christ, not to modernism." But I should also be saying to my POMO brethren, "We are to convert people to Christ, not to postmodernism." I think that Christianity, at its core, is the same no matter what the era- love your God, love your neighbor. Period.

my immediate response is this:

but DP, my friend! you're wrong! i've deconstructed all kinds of systems these last 20 years. medical care (that's why i birthed 2 babies at home). education (that's why i home schooled for several years). grocery stores/fast food/pre-packaged foods (that's why i've been a health food nut). religion is only one of the systems that i've questioned and attempted to reform.

my second response is this:

there do seem to be a lot of ex-fundies claiming the postmodern title. however, postmoderism is not the same thing as what the emerging church is all about.

my third response:

we are replaying history in all of its pain and hatred, if we allow the EC and IC to become labels that we use against each other. in fact, i believe that we need to stop using those labels at all. i'm quite frustrated with them.

so in the end, i agree with DP, my friend, more than i disagree.

so i guess we're still friends. :D

Tammy -- thanks for responding, and then taking the time to explain.
It's encouraging to hear how you've challenged several institutions (e.g. education, medical)and not just the church -- that's probably why I've always tended to trust any "deconstruction" you've done. A true role-model! ;)

The IC/EC "labeling" is problematic, isn't it? Language is both a blessing and a curse. I'm all ears for any suggestions.

Your friend -- DP

i have no suggestions.

but i'm still your friend. :D

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