I struggle with the idea of belonging to a movement, or conversation if you will. Either way, it seems to me that identifying with a group many times forces one to become segregated from those outside the group; a significant dilemma for sure. While there are many emerging voices I highly respect, and while I strongly agree with much that the emerging church stands for and believes in, I have a hard time reconciling the creation of a "new" Christianity. Reform the old, yes. But is that what we are doing? I realize that a strong resistance to change exists, however, instead of breaking off should we not be working harder from the inside? I do see the enormous benefit to creating new and emerging churches; nevertheless I see it also as another split amongst Christians. Working from within already existing churches would definitely be difficult, but by creating new churches are we not allowing those who are resistant and ineffectively stuck in their old ways to remain that way? Breaking off to form our own churches leaves the traditional church unchallenged by our presence. Can we not apply some of our emerging theologies to our own conversation? How connected are we staying to non-emerging Christian communities? Prior to exploring the movement, this dilemma was my source of resistance to the emerging conversation. And although I have begun to really embrace the movement, I continue to struggle in reconciling these concerns. Any thoughts, ideas, solutions or disagreements?
Labels: Emerging Church