I found this google map of people, churches and communities associated with Emergent Village via the Glocal Christianity blog. The great thing about this map is that it is open source and any one can add themselves.
According to Mike Clawson the goal with this map will be to create a resource to help network folks with what is going on in their own local area, or help them start something new if there isn’t anything already. I think this is a great idea. I think it can end up being a great way for people who are interested in connecting with other people who are asking the same questions but just don’t know where to start.
I’m not officially connected to Emergent Village, but I do consider my self a part of the broader emerging church conversation. I went ahead and added my self to the map.
That’s me all by myself in Fort Wayne, IN
Here is a beautiful story I found at Sarcastic Lutheran about a community of believers bringing the Eucharist to a sister who had been denied the opportunity to participate in communion at her parents church.
Quite a while ago Grace from the Emerging Grace blog posted a group of posters in response to some less than grateful posters created by some people who vehemently oppose the emerging church movement. I downloaded the set and I now use them as my screen saver at home and at work. An expanded set of posters can be found at Grace’s current blog Kingdom Grace. ( I stumbled upon this expanded set just now as I was writing this post)
I was sitting in my office over lunch just taking a few moments to meditate on a passage of scripture. I look up from the page and watched as this set of posters flashed across my computer screen. I was struck by the beauty of these images and the values that they embodied. I believe that these images give us a glimpse in to the heart of the emerging church.
Over the course of few posts I would like to use some of these images to take a look at what I see as the heart of the emerging church of which I now consider my self a part of.
Non-conformity and the willingness to challenge traditional expressions of church were two of the first things to draw me to the emerging church conversation. I have never been one to do something just because “everyone else was doing it”, and I have never believed in doing things a certain way just because “thats the way we have always done it.” Thats just not in my nature. I have always thought that Why was an important question to ask.
I believe that it from these two aspects of the emerging church which all the others flow. With out the willingness to break from the herd and forge a new way forward, or the willingness to question the traditional expressions of church there could be no positive change. The church would be stuck in the past as our world changes rapidly around us.
We see these two values modeled by Jesus during his incarnation. All through out the gospels he went against the conventional religious teaching of the day. Jesus never did things the way that the religious leaders of the day thought that he should. In fact it was his unwillingness to conform, and his constant challenging of the religious establishment that got him killed.
I take a lot of flack sometimes for my perspective on many things. Just today I was drawn into a conversation I didn’t want to have and was called a “Greek loving apostate who was going to hell.” just because I don’t believe that the King James is the only true Bible. At times it can be discouraging to say the least but then I remember that Jesus once told his disciples that “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” I find comfort in that statement, because if you look at who was persecuted Jesus while he was on earth it was the religious establishment of his day.
So to all you fellow questioners and non-conformists Don’t give up! I believe we are on the right track
Here are some posts I found this morning while skipping Church.
Heather over at A Decontsucted Christian has a good post entitled Of franching and branding and growth about Hillsong’s global growth which reads more like a hostile corporate takeover than Spirit driven growth and multiplication.
Stuff White Christians Like This site is hilarious, even if you are a white Christian. I found this site by way if this post by Mike over at Emerging Pensees.
Never mind. It looks like I’m not skipping church. Just going to the late service.
Here are some statements that I have heard lately that really concern me. Some of them about left me speechless which is hard to do. (Just ask my wife)
“We need to be good stewards and be concerned about the environment. But we have to remember that ultimately the Lord is coming back and he’s going to destroy it all any way.”
“I think that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima actually saved a lot of lives” When I mentioned that the United States was the only country to ever use a nuclear bomb.
“The Bible is full of wars” Used in the context of defending the war in Iraq
“More people die of cold than the heat. So if global warming is really happening. I think it would be a good thing.”
When asked if Jesus would torture terrorists – “He wouldn’t. He would just kill them”
These are just a few that stuck in my mind. There have been plenty of others that I just can’t recall.
The problem for me is that all of these statements have come out of the mouths of fellow believers that I know and respect. People that I know love God deeply, and try to love their neighbor as themselves.
I am finding my self increasingly at odds with many of the believers I am in contact with on a daily basis. I’ve been told I sound “un-American”. I have been lambasted for daring to question if the American brand of capitalism is the most biblical economic system., or questioning if Wal-Mart is a good company.
- Has anyone else had similar interactions?
- Do you have any concerning statements to add?
- Does anyone else notice an increasing polarization among believers?
- If so what do you see as the root cause of this polarization?
Jonathan Dodson gives some tips over at his blog on 8 Ways to Easily be Missional. We don’t necessarily have to become part of some big program or organization to have a positive impact on our community.
We just need to become a part of the local community in which we live.
This is my latest poem and grows out of interactions I have had with some people over the last year or so. In my head it is a song (an acoustic folk song sung with attitude) but I don’t have any musical ability, so if any one wants to help with that it would be great
Don’t Be Bringin No New Fangled Thinkin
I got my guns and my color TV
You try to break through, but I can’t hear
It’s out side my theology
You can’t be right. You must be wrong
It’s obvious – only a fool can’t see
You can’t be right – because you don’t think like me.
I like my religion like an old pair of shoes.
Soft, worn out, and comfy
A pliable philosophy that conforms to my views
So don’t be bringin no new fangled thinkin
With your talk of His Grace & His Love
It’s all about no cussin, no druggin or drinkin
And earning a spot with the big man above
I got my Bible and a flag in my hand
Don’t even question American intention
Fall in line – it’s the law of the land
Our God is red white & blue
In God We trust is our battle cry
He watches over us but he don’t care about you
God is on our side and he carries a stick
He rides shotgun in our M1 tanks
As we destroy your village brick by brick by brick
So don’t be bringin no new fangled thinkin
With your talk of His Peace, and His Love
Its about American interest and American lives
It’s been sanctioned by the big man above
No don’t you be bringin no new fangled thinkin
About a God we can’t wear like a glove
We don’t want no God who won’t fit in our box
To whom power means nothing – Only unselfish Love