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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 

Move Along Folks, No Rage Here

Two nice individuals who commented on my Giving Emergents Equal Time post seem to believe that I was writing said post in a fit of rage. Nothing could be further from the truth (of course, thinking like an emergent, truth if fluid and irrelevant until properly discussed, so take that for what it’s worth).

If I was writing in a fit of rage I certainly would not have said “I certainly understand emergents rejecting most of what passes itself off as Christian these days. The whole “meeting them (the unchurched) where they are at” and “don’t talk to them about church stuff, we don’t want to scare them away” approach to evangelism makes us sound no different than the local glee club down the street.”

But where I think my two anonymous commenters go wrong is that they place the mission before the message. For many in our beloved synod, evangelism and the gospel can be separated as long as we are reaching out to the unchurched.

This explains how we can embrace those who understanding of what sin is and how we are brought to faith even though their view goes against Scripture and even though we have already spoken against these heresies in our confessions. As long as we are doing something, that the important thing.

What’s missing in the new love fest with the emergents is condemnation of their core belief that by our own will and through meditation, one can by his work and preparations come to faith and have an understanding of God. If this were possible, there’d be millions of Tibetan monks who would be Christian.

Scripture teaches us that faith is not some decision that we are able to make upon serious reflection. Faith only comes to us by grace externally. But even saying that wouldn’t be allowed in the emergent church because that is an absolute and absolutes aren’t allowed. To quote the father of the emergent church Brian McLaren: First of all, when we talk about faith, the word "faith" and the word "certainty," we've got a whole lot of problems there. What do we mean by "certainty"? If I could substitute the word "confidence," I'd say, yes, I think there are things we can be confident about, and those are the things we have to really work with”

I do believe that we should have a conversation with the emergent and that we should tell them that they are dead wrong and that they are leading people away from Christ. But that’s not what we are doing. Instead, we invite them to talk to a youth workers conference to help us understand how to retain youth.

That we invite people who think we can look inward to discover salvation should solicit rage. But with me it does not. It only brings sadness that we run after every fad we find instead of clinging to Christ where faith is sure, and yes, absolute.


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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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