Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Emergent church's language is full of building community. I like that. I like being apart of a community, and feeling welcomed by a group. I also feel that my church does a good job of that in Beaumont. My concern is however that through this language of building a community is that we have lost an individualistic spirit. Now some of you out there would say, "Ray church is a community." Yes, but the community ought to be made up of individuals who have different characteristics and opinions. I do believe that in the essentials, we ought to be unified. However, with non-essentials I think there is beauty within diversity. Because even though we may disagree over a particular issue, say speaking in tongues, we serve the same God, and it is beautiful when people worship together and get along in community despite individual opinions. In Baptist life we have lost this. Historically, Baptist churches have been autonomous, and supposedly they still are. Now it seems that if you do not agree with me on a specific issues, there is no way we can even be in the same room without tension, much less worship together. However, we were all created in God's image. God also created us different from everybody else. God created us to be diverse, and to have different outlooks on life. God created us to be individuals. That is why it is an individual's decision to come to Christ, and not a family's. Family has an important role, but ultimately it is up to the individual to make the decision to come to Christ. As Baptists, as Christians, we ought to welcome individualism, and realize that we are all in it together. That is community.

4 comments:

Justin P. Farrell said...

Nice ideas ray. Yea, I guess it gets sticky when we have to determine what is essential and what isn't. That sure can have an effect on membership requirements to the 'community.'

tony tyler said...

interesting thoughts, money. like justin said, the problem seems to come in when determining what those essentials are. so what do ya think? How's school going? facebook or email me at school id love to chat with ya bout how truett is

kate said...

ray..these last two posts were really good. quite provocative for a souther baptist preacher's boy don't you think? ;)

it's definately an interesting tension within the church, individualism and community. but i think you summed it up appropriately, we are all uniquely together. i do think that Baptists have historically lost the sense of community towards fellow believers outside of there denomination, but I also think that the emergent movement (although I would consider myself a "conservative emergent") has opened community of believers outside of those who believe in the One True God. Now you KNOW i'm not saying we don't live with, among, and along side these people, but I do think that there is a risk to saying "We are all unified in Christ through Christ" (even those who don't recognize Yehweh) as opposed to "You are created in the image of Christ (imago dei) therefore I love you as I love Christ"

But it's been interesting as I have been searching for a church here in Denver (which by the way, you still need to send me that info). I'm looking less and less for worship style or preaching style, instead I'm searching for a home, a community of believers (not all necissarily exactly LIKE-minded, except for in our goal of mutually forming into the image of Christ...within appropriate and what i consider essential theologies).

Justin Farrell said...

Ray, I posted a short review of a book I just read (concerning the emergent church). Check it out here... http://farrell.blogs.com/the_farrell_blog_cabin/2006/09/how_not_to_spea.html