Skip to comments.Growing: Movement is new form of evangelism
Posted on 12/07/2004 5:12:03 AM PST by missyme
As we enter the 21st century, a vital new expression of Christianity is growing in the United States and worldwide. This movement even has a name. It is called "the Emergent Church."
This movement expresses what I call "progressive evangelicalism," because it emphasizes traditional evangelical beliefs - affirming the doctrines of the Apostle's Creed, a high view of Scripture and the importance of a personal transforming relationship with a resurrected Christ - yet rejects the structures and styles of institutionalized Christianity. The Emergent Church
The Emergent Church turns away from spending money on buildings. Instead, most congregations meet as "house churches" or gather in makeshift storefronts and warehouses.
Emergent churches espouse a decentralized grassroots form of Christianity that rejects the hierarchal systems of denominational churches. Each emergent congregation makes its own decisions by consensus.
Leadership is fluid, with all members sharing authority and participating in the mission of the church. Task forces are assembled to undertake such specific programs as feeding the homeless, establishing a partnership with a Third World church, developing an after-school tutoring program for disadvantaged children or organizing people in a poor neighborhood to solve pressing social problems.
The missionary programs of such congregations are committed to direct involvement with those they decide to serve. These churches want little to do with bureaucratic organizations with professional administrators. Members of these congregations want to be involved personally with those in need. They want to know the names and faces of the people they serve.
Emergent congregations must not be confused with those nondenominational mega-churches that seem to be popping up increasingly in communities across the nation. In fact, the two are markedly different.
Emergent churches often express a disdain for the "contemporary-worship music" heard in many mega-churches.
The worship in emergent churches often includes classical music, and such congregations often follow a more formal liturgical style that may even incorporate such ancient forms of praying as that of monastic orders.
The people who join emergent congregations are often folks who have tired of what goes on in churches that have "contemporary services."
A postmodern mindset
The Emergent Church is often somewhat indifferent to theological and social issues that seem urgent to mainstream evangelicalism. These church members tend to think that the crusade against homosexual marriage is a waste of time and energy, and they tend to reject the exclusivistic claims that many evangelicals make about salvation.
They are not about to damn the likes of Gandhi or the Dali Lama to hell simply because they have not embraced Christianity.
In many ways, these Christians express a postmodern mindset that may come across as being somewhat "new age."
They see care for the environment as a major Christian responsibility. They are attracted to Christian mysticism. They talk a great deal about "spiritual formation" and focus significant attention on the healing of illnesses through prayer.
This new expression of Christianity is growing faster than most sociologists could have predicted. It is thriving, in part, because so many people are fed up with the arguing and pettiness that they claim are all too evident in the rest of Christendom.
It remains to be seen whether the Emergent Church will fade away or become an ongoing expression of Christianity.
But there is no question that it is attracting many sophisticated Christians who contend that traditional mainline churches are devoid of vitality and mega-churches are irrelevantly narrow.
What's the struggle? God isn't a nice guy. Heaven is the most exclusive country club there is. God is a tough love Judge of All.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. -- Matthew 7
These Emergent Church are fundamentalists, true believers in the authority of Christ and His Word, not man made doctrine. Men are the head of the house, children are central to purpose, congregations function according to the Word.
While some fringe groups may be liberal and "accepting", the real movement towards these churches is conservative in nature. This author is either ignorant or is trying to sway Christians from even visiting these Congregations.
Are you saying predestination contradicts salvation through Christ?
What did I write that made you think I disagree with that in any way? LOL
What I wrote AFFIRMS what is written there.
I also AFFIRM this: Luke 23:42-43.
Now - did the thief know EXACTLY who he was talking to or not?
Yes he did. And he believed in Jesus BECAUSE of one thing: Matt. 16:15-17; John 10:29; 17:6
Anything there with which you disagree?
We have several of those churches locally. One is a merger of two small churches. Very evangelical and contemporary. They seem to have eschewed politics. The UMC plant is very touchy feely, like a social club. There is a Southern Baptist plant and an RP plant. The Southern Baptist is homey and the RP is very stiff and traditional.
Of course all of them hide their denomination links. The one old-timer, an independent startup, is very conservative and growing rapidly.
Salvation implies that the door is open to all. One chooses to walk through it. What does predestination assume. That it is already decided. So why prostelitize? And more important where does that leave free will? I realize these issues were all thrashed out in the reformation and early years of colonists in America. Sadly I'm not real familiar with the arguments. I have not studied Protestant Theology either in school, nor in much depth on my own. I was raised Catholic and predestination is definately not a part of Catholic teaching.
I would be interested in being educated, but not flamed.
Oops! My mistake. I take it back about Gandhi. LOL (At least from what I know of him before he died).
M-PI: "Where there's life, there's hope that they (and many others) are one of God's elect (that he chose before the foundation of the earth."
".....Where does that leave salvation through Christ?"
You have a lot of objective studying to do - if you're emotionally capable of it.
And please excuse me, but I only engage in debate with objective people who don't begin with a false premise subject to preconceived, ill-conceived notions.
Funny how nobody has asked the question: Who's making the money? Did Jesus make any money? How much does the moneymaker make? And...Why is religion based on money?
I see it as underground church setting up the necessary cadres for when we won't be allowed to worship Christ in public. I am a part of several small groups in homes and other places that, as of now, are supplementary to my regular church experience. We call it "Doing Life Deeper" and "Partnering with Others on our Spiritual Journey." Those aren't trademarks or anything, but we say them often enough that they need quotes.
Ho 'bout Jed Smock? Remember him?
Lakewood had quadrupled in the last five years. It's hard for me to see how Christianity is dying because it's going great guns here in the south. But I realize more and more communists and liberals are choosing hell.
Here is some information from the horses mouth:
Christ is the only one who paid for salvation. He paid for it on the cross.
Obedience is a requirement for what?
Think about it though: I live a hectic life with family friends and work. I have little time to serve others, so I gladly "tithe" to the church who I know will do great things with my money (a representation of my time and energy).
I invite unsaved friends to church or encourage the nonbeliever to go to church or speak with my pastor.
I make sure that on Sunday morning my kids go to a separate class than I and that they get a playful lesson and a cookie.
It is all about moving responsibility to the church and away from me.
He doesn't understand imputed righteousness.
Love for Christ.
If you love Me, you will keep my
You cannot love Christ and ignore His commandments.
Forgiveness is required by the saved because they cannot maintain obedience, but the lack of effort is a lack of love for Christ.
What's to struggle with? Remember the thief on the cross? He was one of God's Elect, but it wasn't evident until the very day he BELIEVED.
???.....Acts 16:30-31.........is it 'shalt',....or 'might'....?
(Titus 1:2.........Romans 10:17)
I don't hop in the boats of one-armed boat-rowers. Sorry to disappoint you.
Come on board!
Regeneration occurs after repentance of ones sins and the acceptance of Salvation through (only) Christ Jesus.
Biblical repentance as preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Apostles, involved a change of heart and mind towards God and sin that results in a change of life: obedience.
Salvation is not dependent on one's obedience.
Salvation is not dependent on the amount of one's effort to be obedient.
Salvation is not dependent on the amount of one's love for Christ.
Obedience is a fruit of salvation.
Effort to be obedient is a fruit of salvation.
Love for Christ is a fruit of salvation.
You have it backwards.
What's old is new and what's new shall become old again.
God the Father only sees Jesus when he looks at his redeemed. The righteousness of Christ is the only righteousness that is acceptable to him.
That's why the righteousness of Christ must be IMPUTED to the redeemed. The righteous deeds of men are as menstrous rags to God. He isn't pleased by them and he won't accept them.
That reeeeeeeally makes some people mad, too. Hahahaha
Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
Where does this leave free will? God chose some for damnation at the start of the universe, there is no hope for them. They will not hear the Gospel, or if they do will not accept it, or if they do will not be saved?
Believing the Gospel as only Christ defines it is the act of obedience towards God. Christ commands us to believe and Faith is obedience to that commandment.
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
See #58 which was for you but mis-addressed.
Leave off the ha ha. It's not a laughing matter.
Sorry, but I'll laugh if I want to.
But you're right. There's nothing more pathetic than arrogant man succumbing to the temptation to believe that he is a god. [Genesis 3:4-5]
I am not Calvinist, I have just found that site helpful in understanding the doctrine.
Much appreciated. It is helpful, I agree.
Salvation is freely given to anyone who will obey and receive.
"I am not Calvinist, I have just found that site helpful in understanding the doctrine" ~ CyberCowboy777
See if this is helpful:
Emory Report November 29, 1999 Volume 52, No. 13
"...Marci Hamilton ... [is] a nationally recognized expert on
constitutional and copyright law. ....
Her forthcoming book, Copyright and the Constitution, examines the
historical and philosophical underpinnings of copyright law and asserts
that the American "copyright regime" is grounded in Calvinism, resulting in
a philosophy that favors the product over the producer.
Calvinism? Hamilton's interest in the intersection of Calvinist theology
and political philosophy emerged early in her career when she began reading
the work of leading constitutional law scholars. She was puzzled by their
"theme of a system of self-rule." "They talked about it as if it were in
existence," she said. "My gut reaction was that direct democracy and
self-rule are a myth that doesn't really exist."
What Hamilton found was that a "deep and abiding distrust of human motives
that permeates Calvinist theology also permeates the Constitution." Her
investigation of that issue has led to another forthcoming book,
tentatively titled The Reformed Constitution: What the Framers Meant by
That our country's form of government is a republic instead of a pure
democracy is no accident, according to Hamilton. The constitutional framers
"expressly rejected direct democracy. Instead, the Constitution constructs
a representative system of government that places all ruling power in the
hands of elected officials."
And the people? Their power is limited to the voting booth and
communication with their elected representatives, she said. "The
Constitution is not built on faith in the people, but rather on distrust of
all social entities, including the people." ...
..Two of the most important framers, James Wilson and James Madison, were
steeped in Presbyterian precepts.
It is Calvinism, Hamilton argued, that "more than any other Protestant
theology, brings together the seeming paradox that man's will is corrupt by
nature but also capable of doing good." In other words, Calvinism holds
that "we can hope for the best but expect the worst from each other and
from the social institutions humans devise."
"Neither Calvin nor the framers stop at distrust, however," Hamilton said.
"They also embrace an extraordinary theology of hope. The framers, like
Calvin, were reformers." -Elaine Justice
The 55 Framers of the Constitution (from North to South):
John Langdon, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nicholas Gilman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Elbridge Gerry, Episcoplian (Calvinist)
Rufus King, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Caleb Strong, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nathaniel Gorham, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Roger Sherman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Samuel Johnson, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Oliver Ellsworth, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Alexander Hamilton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Lansing, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
Robert Yates, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
William Patterson, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
William Livingston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jonathan Dayton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
David Brearly, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Churchill Houston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Benjamin Franklin, Christian in his youth, Deist in later years, then back
to his Puritan background in his old age (his June 28, 1787 prayer at the
Constitutional Convention was from no "Deist")
Robert Morris, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
James Wilson, probably a Deist
Gouverneur Morris, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas Mifflin, Lutheran (Calvinist-lite)
George Clymer, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas FitzSimmons, Roman Catholic
Jared Ingersoll, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
John Dickinson, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Read, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Richard Bassett, Methodist
Gunning Bedford, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jacob Broom, Lutheran
Luther Martin, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Daniel Carroll, Roman Catholic
John Francis Mercer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McHenry, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Daniel of St Thomas Jennifer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Washington, Episcopalian (Calvinist; no, he was not a deist)
James Madison, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Mason, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Edmund Jennings Randolph, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James Blair, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McClung, ?
George Wythe, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Richardson Davie, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Hugh Williamson, Presbyterian, possibly later became a Deist
William Blount, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Alexander Martin, Presbyterian/Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Rutledge, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, III, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Abraham Baldwin, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Leigh Pierce, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Houstoun, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Few, Methodist
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. - Ezekiel 36:16-32
Repentance is a fruit of God's saving love.
Still posting that tired old propaganda list I see.
Does a Christian get a new heart from God because he has repented and believed, or does he repent and believe because God has given him a new heart?
Your problem right now seems to be with the Calvinists, who teach double predestination. How about reading some Martin Chemnitz instead? =)
Where can I sign up?
"Whosoever will, may come".
"Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens."
One chooses to walk through it.
And another doesn't. Why?
What does predestination assume. That it is already decided.
Since the Bible says the elect were chosen before the foundation of the world, that's a good assumption to make.
So why prostelitize?
Because Jesus said so.
And more important where does that leave free will?
More important? Why is being able to proudly quote the last lines of Invictus more important than the direct command from Christ to teach all nations?
I was raised Catholic and predestination is definately not a part of Catholic teaching.
Augustine would disagree, although it's now impossible to be Augustinian in both soteriology and ecclesiology (the Jansenists tried mightily, and it didn't work).
I would be interested in being educated, but not flamed.
This is a great resource.
You would do well do engage in an objective study of the subject of reprobation. You don't understand it.
Your comments seem to indicate that you disapprove of the God who said this: Romans 9: 20-22
God has a hard time living up to the high standards of some who can't conceive of a god that they don't approve of.
These church members ... tend to reject the exclusivistic claims that many evangelicals make about salvation.
They are not about to damn the likes of Gandhi or the Dali Lama to hell simply because they have not embraced Christianity.
So much for any alleged "high view of Scripture" mentioned earlier. Scripture is crystal clear about the exclusivity of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, Gandhi and Dali Lama are destined for hell. (And, by the way, we don't damn them.)
Oh, well. Another cult bites the dust...