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.