Episode II: The Emergent Writes Back

Posted: October 15, 2008 by Matt Horan in ReEmergent Church
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By Matt Horan

     It is with great joy (and some relief) that the mainline churches heard back from the Emergent Church.  Of course, it would not likely have come via “thank you card,” but rather by e-mail, text message, or RSS feed.

Dear MLC,

     We were so glad to receive your note.  Honestly, it was unexpected, but we read it six times, by candlelight, of course, and will likely read it again, maybe aloud with a soft combination of organ music and electric guitar playing in the background.  It’s currently being forwarded as an e-mail, and there is a dramatic interpretive dance rendition that you can view on YouTube.  Check it out when you get the chance.
     Thanks for mentioning the “Where do you think you’re going?” remark.  We did take that personally at first, probably because we’ve spent a good part of our brief existance discussing what we don’t like about you.  We’re full of people who are MLC dropouts, but still, many of us first followed Jesus in an MLC, so we haven’t forgotten those important times.   We also miss your history and tradition, and still have many MLC friends and relatives.   We try to recreate it sometimes with “ancient-future” worship services, but it sure is a lot of work to decorate a Starbucks to look like a 12th century burial chamber, so we’d be glad to visit again.  Maybe we could borrow the old chapel sometime?
     Maybe it would help to know where we’re coming from.  The path to following Jesus that we learned growing up was that we first accept Christ, then we learn about Him, then we grow in our relationship with Him, and then we serve Him and others.
     Now, it seems, we need to reorder the steps.  We’ve mostly grown up watching TV, reading things on the internet, and just generally having more exposure to the crises of the world.  While you were taught growing up in the church that the starting point is right belief, we’ve grown up more bothered by the suffering that we can see.  It seems to us that people’s differing beliefs are even the cause of the suffering sometimes.  Now, people are more likely to follow Jesus if they first have the opportunity to make a difference by serving in a meaningful way.  What tends to happen is that we get emptied of meaningless stuff as we serve suffering people.  Then, when we hear about Jesus, we discover that we’ve been living like him all along while we served the poor and marginalized people in our world.  Seems that the leap to Jesus isn’t such a huge leap anymore.  So, learning about Jesus and then becoming His follower are often our last steps, rather than our first.
     Thanks for listening.  We’ve noticed that you really have been showing geunine concern for us, and that you’ve even been praying for us.  Even though we’ve probably been praying for different things, turns out that we were praying to the same Savior, which brought us closer and closer together.
     We sure would like to work together again someday.  What do you say about letting us use the chapel?  If so, please let us know where the fire extinguisher is, as we use a lot of candles.

Peace,

E.C.

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