Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm wanting to go to Borders to find a book that will settle me a question that distracts you? -Go get a book in order to hang up your idea.

I need to. I need to hang my idea on something. Are my ideas of creativity and relevance in the world being hung up on Emergant? I am so uncomfortable with the label. I have seen that others are also. Well, at least in a think-tank that recoils from confining labels, we can all agree that we don't want to be labeled. The Unlabeled, if you prefer. The Emergant conversation, whether you spell it with a capitol or not, is a divisive agent. If I may use intuitive language now, I will share my concern over anything remotely emergant.

I have stepped into a conversation that is morphic. Emergant wants not to be about "what will we do", but rather, "what we are". The emerging church by it's very nature is unaccountable. If you fancy yourself emerging, than you are unaccountable to the church you are emerging from. If you say no, I am accountable, than I would say you are not emerging.
I'm finding out that there is actually a "club" of sorts forming over this expression. In an effort to express my concern over things I heard last week at a conference, I have stepped into the stream. Some in this stream are card-carrying and others argue semantics over their relationship.

All we can ever do is process what has been handed to us. In this emerging church, I personally am filled with warning. I have been the one in the past to be the intrepid explorer, but at this point, I am a cautionary tale.

I am old enough to have had this conversation many times. "I need something that you're not offering, so I will go find it elsewhere." Let's be careful about this attitude within ourselves. The church is not about free speech. It is Holiness and Authority. An authority, which by the way Watchman Nee puts it in his book Spiritual Authority, is a lovely expression of what is best and right of any ordered creation. The pain in need is palpable to me. I know this pain and still feel it. But the rupture that seeks for healing, has in it's nature a repelling quality. In the context of the church, compared to a body, I see a struggle of others to bring about significance in the church, & the struggle tugs at the very organism that, out of it's nature must bind together.

I do want to patiently relate to the flesh and blood in this struggle. But will you patiently stay in it with me? Or do I just represent all that you are hurting over?

Have you ever been part of a church split? I have. Have you ever been in a divorced family? I have.
Some people find their purpose through their survival. It may have been homelessness, drug culture or an IRA bomb. But does our language of survival supersede the life we are left with? In our effort to create, do we really just make a more palpable destruction. I am here to watch. Accountability keeps me and you in the 360 degree gospel.

Let us be very calculated that we do not let ourselves, in our freedom to journey, be so shocking and offensive of speech and exploration of ideas that we lose our voice with those whom are called to commune. I see us in the struggle. I care about what is in us and the pain that puts us in that displacement. The gospel we share leads us to commune over that displacement rather than exacerbating the reality.

I believe Christians get it right when we stand on scripture, patiently ministering [dispensing] the living words of Christ. Know your audience. Be all things to all people in order to save some. He has come to seek and save that which is lost.

The life of Christ emerges out of the church. We ourselves must hold on to each other.

1 comment:

JoBloggs said...

Dear Suzanna,
I'm enjoying your beautiful photos and your thoughtful words. I particularly 'chimed' with this post. I'm starting to explore the phenomenon of the emergent/emerging church and I'm excited and scared. Excited because it speaks so strongly to my own needs and hopes. Scared because I read my church history and know how important it is to be humble in our critique of the past, how foolish and hurtful to cut ourselves off from our heritages.