About This Emerging Church Thing

This one’s for you, Jill. And it’s better late than never, huh?

I’ve been a part of church culture all of my life, and it occurs to me that in some instances we are apt to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And there may be a baby emerging from this Emergent Church thing. If so, right after we dry it off, properly clothe it, and snuggle it- we need to go ahead and throw out that bathwater…

Please consider that reason is not absent because experience is present. Words do not loose their importance in the company of image- words often conjure image. All that is external does not become meaningless because of the worth of what is internal. Feelings are not without significance in the face of the tangible. These things are true.

Now, the presence of Truth does not indicate a lack of love; nor does it indicate an intolerance for ignorance of its existence. On the contrary! As Christians, we are bound to acknowledge, in fact compelled to heed the undeniable presence of Truth, and to lovingly point others toward it.

For Our LORD has declared Himself to be Truth incarnate; therefore the pursuit of absolute truth is the most rational, the sanest occupation for any man.

Of course, it is true to any thoughtful person that much of what we think we know- we do not know, and that we may even in glorified state not know it all; however this does not negate the value of what we do now know.

And the pursuit of Truth most certainly does not breed arrogance. It produces confidence. It is sin that breeds arrogance, a lust to be right, and the desire for control. Nevertheless, the loving quest for what is true will often produce righteous leaders. This is not to say self-righteous leaders, and the distinction is important.

For what we actually know, should be determined by no less than a clear eye focusing a penetrating gaze upon The Word of God; and then filled with reasonable passion for Him who has declared Himself to be Truth, that eye must strive to maintain an unclouded view of the world and all that is in it, through the lens of The Spirit of Truth.

Thus, it should be understood that the awareness of and love for Truth, will no more violate the experience of Faith, than being alert to the existence of water and desiring it, will ruin the experience of swimming.

That said, I should also say that a swim in a cool, clear creek on a hot summer’s day is a delight, but a swim in dirty, lukewarm bathwater is another thing all together.

Copyright 2011, L.L. Shelton

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