Archive for the ‘Signs of Emergence’ Category

Emergent Church of Christ on FACEBOOK

August 20, 2008

There is now a facebook group called Emergent Church of Christ. Check it out. Join it. Interact with others on it. Who knows what Restoration historians will say in 50 or 100 years about the social networking of emergents in the Church of Christ?

How else will we know who else is out there? Let’s share stories, encourage each other, and stay connected.

Lectio Divina with teens

August 3, 2008

I just taught the high school bible class at Flaming Pine Youth Camp. It was incredible to see what these kids did with scripture. They read scripture, meditated on scripture, interpretted scripture, and discussed the meaning of scripture with each other.

At the end of the week, they were asking for more.

I reject the notion that adolescents do not like scripture, the bible, or religion. I believe that boring, pointless, and guilt-laden approaches to scripture make it unattractive. But when teens get a chance to converse with scripture, they like it. Teens are able to go deep in their conversations with scripture.

We used a variant of a practice called Lectio Divina. In short here is what we did:

1. I read the chapter or scripture selection to them and asked them to let it wash over them. Nothing was required of them but to listen.

2. I read the same passage again. Only this time they were to pay attention to the part of the passage that was calling out for attention. (No one even questioned that scriptiure was able to call out for attention).

3. Then they were to free write about that piece of the passage which called out for attention. They were to wonder about why such a piece of scripture would call to them.

4. Then there was optional sharing time with feedback from the other students.

They couldn’t get enough of this way of reading and conversing with scripture. They ahve asked for a facebook group to be created in order to continue this practice.

A tile in the mosaic

June 30, 2008

Last night at the Solomon’s Porch gathering I shared what was important and central to Christianity from the Churches of Christ position. I am certainly no spokeman for the C of C and I am no theologian.

But here is what I said (roughly):

Churches of Christ began as a unity movement back in the early 1800’s with an optimistic desire to restore the 1st century church. It was assumed that honest people could read the Bible and by necessity end up with the same conclusions. Differences were the result of a dishonest reading or misunderstanding of the truth.

In churches of Christ, the bible is the authority. In a Church of Christ, you are likely to hear someone say, “Speak where the Bible speaks and keep silemnt where the Bible is silent.”  Faith, in large measure, was measured by how much a person knew about the Bible. In some cases, the more specific a person could be was an indication of their faith.

Biblical correctness resulted in some wonderful things like the high value places on baptism, communion, and worship. However, where the Biblical correctness goes to seed is the rules attached to each of these things. Baptism is not just honored, but there are specific ways in which one must be baptized – fully immersed, for the remission of sins and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Worhsip must be without instruments becauser that is how they did it in the New Testament and communion must be every Sunday.

It was also noted that Max Lucado, who most Christians know, is a Church of Christ guy.

I said more. I hope that I did a good job of honoring the efforts of unity that the Church of Christ was involved in, but at the same time I hope that I revealed some bias which the Church of Christ introduced into the Christian mosaic.

Signs of Emergence #2

June 4, 2008

Click here to see a sign of emergence from a life long church of Christer.

Signs of Emergence #1: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Tiny emergence

June 4, 2008

Words have meaning. Labels are powerful. Names matter. The language we use is important. We should not take it lightly.

Language and origins of language are power laden. If we do not consider the leverage language gives one person or or how it can work to de-power another, we are prone to either abusing or being abused. When we do not consider how power flows through what we do, then we will miss what is actually going on.

Consider this conversation (post and comments) as an example. It is a conversation about the name “church of Christ.” This conversation has hints of emergence in it as well as old-line power dynamics – with the Bible as its tool.

The hint of emergence is that the “true” church does not have to be a collection of like-minded, religious people who have a building where they gather regularly with the name “church of Christ” on it. The blogger states the following:

Must that great church that Christ established bear the name “church of Christ?” No, I do not believe it must. Now in some circles, that last statement would have branded me a heretic.

What is so striking about the risk this blogger is taking with the name of the church is that such minutia is so controversial. And yet, we must consider the power game behind the name of the church. The right name, the most Biblical name, is understood as an indicator of the most correct. Being the most correct means being the most faithful. Being the most faithful means being closest to God. Being right means winning a guaranteed spot in Heaven. And the naming of the church is part of that nearness to God.

So, having the right name is essential. Without it, there is the risk of disobedience, the risk of sin.

Yes, this church of Christ blogger who does not  require the church he attends to have the name “church of Christ” on the sign (even though he prefers it) is taking a big risk. He is also showing, though it is itsy bitsy teeny tiny, a sign of emergence.

It also shows what compost emergents within churches of Christ must emerge through in order to emerge.