Sunday, August 1, 2010

July 28, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I've been meeting with an emerging church pastor for a while.

Trying to define an "emerging" church is like trying to define particular churches in mainline denominations; though Jim Belcher's Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional is a good start.

They're all over the ideological/ecclesiastical/spiritual/theological spectrum; but have one thing in common: "My generation was not satisfied with how church was presently done...traditional and pragmatic churches have gotten it all wrong. These churches are no longer effective in reaching the culture...they don't create the kind of authentic community that attracts someone in this post-Christian environment."

Simply, a church is emerging to replace a church that ain't working anymore anyhow for anyone if it ever did.

Or something like that.


It's the truth.

The old mainliners and newer sideliners are doing an awful job of reaching the proverbial lost and discipling the recently/continually found.

They're dying; primarily because they long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.

The gospel hasn't changed.

Praise the Lord!

The gospel's relevancy never changes.

Jesus saves!

He enables confident living in the assurance of eternal life.


But the traditional/pragmatic/denominational packaging just doesn't attract much attention except from those who need more fiber.

With "traditional" liturgies punctuated by hymnbooks published in the 50s and "contemporary" services singing songs written over three decades ago, the absence of 20/30 somethings isn't shocking.

That's just the tip of the outhouse.

Younger folks want to be Christian and do Christianity more than have meetings about it.

The preceding may sound superficial; but it's a start in understanding why a new church is emerging.


Let me put it another way.

Moody was criticized by a mainliner for how he did evangelism.

He responded: "I prefer the way I do it to the way you don't do it."


Let me put it another way.

Except for a special friend who buys books for me to read as led by Him, I'm frustrated by folks/family who buy books for me to read because they've read 'em and think I've got all the time in the...

My wife bought John Kasich's Stand for Something: The Battle for America's Soul for me while on vacation.

If you have to ask why I placed it ahead of the other ten books that I brought along, I'll know you ain't married or just got divorced.

Anyway, he wrote, "If you see something happening that sets you off, rise up and do something about it...We can't change the world by relying on anybody else...It's on us. Remember, everyone is a shepherd to someone...Do the right thing. Leave this place a little better because you were here...If lighthouses moved with those shifting seas, think of the trouble they would cause for sailors navigating their ships in the middle of a foggy night...A lighthouse. The values we've learned...They don't move."


Let me put it another way.

George McGovern just turned 88; and celebrated by taking his first parachute jump from a plane over the Kennedy Space Center.

When asked why he would do something so dangerous at his age, he explained, "Old guys don't want to be put on the shelf...It's no more dangerous than driving on the Interstate."


Let me put it another way.

Duisburg, Germany hosted a music festival on 7/24/10 to celebrate love and peace.

18 people were killed and another 80 were injured after a deadly crush in an entry tunnel to the event with only one way in and out.

Apparently, authorities would not open other avenues/doors/exits for relieving the congestion.


Let me put it another way.

It looks like a mosque is gonna be built near the site of the 9/11/01 mass murder by...

Please spare me of the rationalizing platitudes.

Two words come to mind for why another site is preferable: common sense.


Getting back to my friend who is an emerging church pastor, I asked which way he leans when it comes to theology.

He snapped, "Dude, I'm just trying to follow Jesus as He appears in the Bible."

It brought to mind an old friend who commented on my franchise's recent obsession with human sexuality.

He said, "It's not about sexuality. It's about the place of the Bible as authority or suggestion."

That's the difference between mainliners, sideliners, and emergings.

Mainliners and sideliners spend so much time reading about Jesus from sources other than the Bible not to mention confusing Him with their mirror reflections that they...

Emergings, more than less no matter what the mainline/sideline critics pretend/spew to make themselves feel better about their increasing irrelevance juxtaposed to the increasing relevancy of emergings to more than 20/30 somethings, just open the Bible and...


Back to Kasich, "I don't know about you, but I'm troubled by a lot of what I see and hear in America's heartland...some new scandal...Government officials on the take...Public school teachers on the prowl. Professional athletes on the juice. Organized religion on the decline. Traditional nuclear families on the wane..."

Oswald Chambers: "There is never anything abstract in the Bible, it is always vivid and real...Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey."

Emergings understand Chambers' answer to Kasich's angst a lot more than...


My first, uh, meeting after vacation was with my friend who is an emerging church pastor.

I said, "We must model Someone better."

He said, "Go on!"

I said, "Obviously, our world, country, and traditional church of all flavors and franchises aren't working anymore. It's time to stop compromising on the Jesus of Holy Scripture and accommodating people who think Christianity is some navel-gazing religion."

He said, "I'm with ya, man!"

I said, "We don't need a different way to do church. We need to be the Church as personified by Jesus and prescribed in the Bible."

He said, "Right on, brother!"

I said, "If Christians don't offer something/Someone better than what's being offered by the world, country, and church, there's no hope for any of us."

He said, "Won't argue with that!"

I said, "We must model Someone better."

He said, "Cool! Let's do it!"

I said, "I'll bring it up at our next church board meeting."

He shook his head; and I understood why a church is emerging to replace...


I'm not going anywhere.

I'm staying where I am because I love the people entrusted to me as His undershepherd.

And I love 'em enough to join hands/hearts with that emerging church pastor to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

I love 'em enough to say what we've been doing ain't working anymore anyhow for anyone if it ever did.

I love 'em enough to be rejected in saying so.

I have decided to...

We must model Someone better!

For God's sake!

And for the sake of those who need Someone so much better than what we've been...



Blessings and Love!

No comments: