I have realized that the Rick Warrenites don’t necessarily identify themselves as emergent or emerging, they don’t like labels. However, they are quick to point out labels of others. I’ve read it, but not yet heard it openly in my church. Those who oppose are called “wolves.” I guess I am what Warrenites would call a wolf then. I am not intending to be so. But the truth is, whether they think I’m a wolf or goat matters not. What matters is whether or not I’m doing the will of my Father in Heaven. That is what I must focus on.
We have had a few events occur this week. Our small group had the “group supervisors” (our church uses a different term) come to and lead a meeting. We’re going through a touchy-feely marriage book, and so we spent an entire night discussing our selves and marriages in depth with each other. One bible verse was mentioned by the wife of the supervisor…and I mentioned the model for marriage in that Christ is the head of the Body, and marriage is to be like this. That’s it. I think there is some value in looking at how your spouse needs to be loved, and we are to focus on our spouses, but I don’t find these exercises in small group to really do anything substantive in my marriage. I just feel guilty for not doing the exercises well, enough, or for doing them quickly before the next small group meeting. Sure, we might get a little for our marriage, but would we not do MUCH better in studying the bible and learning about Jesus? Wouldn’t we benefit our marriages if we were close to God?
I learned, as the wife supervisor mentioned, our group is tracked by our weekly reports. This is not just a report to the supervisor couple with our prayer requests (by the way, what is said in group is supposed to stay in group), but it’s a small report on the group topic and discussion as well as prayer requests that are put into some sort of church data base. What is said in group goes into file if someone happens to write it down. Yummy. Big Brother Church?
My husband doesn’t have the time to study up on the Warrenite movement (as well as emergent church etc) and so relies on me for research and knowing. He is however going by the most appropriate method and is the leader and head of the household. So, he’s the one going to elders to discuss problems. Unfortunely, his grasp of this all is a little patchy, so when he shares with an elder, he often is pulled a bit in their direciton. He went to an elder mentor of his this week with a few concerns and questions. The elder glossed over much of it, and then told my husband he would nominate him for elder. What tactic is this? I know this elder teddy bear giving man, but why on earth would a family as busy as mine, and who has not got their money in order (I mean it, we are poor budgeters) need to have an eldership thing? We have small children, and I believe we’re too much in the season of raising our kids to go that direction. At first it sounded great because the elder teddy bear giving man said, “you can best change things in this church as an elder.” However, my husband is not ready to fight like that. Not in there. He’s not aware of the manipulative nuances. I’m not a good one in face to face either. I wilt, and shake, I either seem meek or downright crazy. Besides, the elders are men, so I am not going to be one anyway. However, I think this move is an attempt to boost an ego and to keep my husband in the church. Telling him he’s a good enough leader to be considered an elder plays right into his fears and insecurities. He’s afraid he’s not a good enough leader at work, and cares what this man thinks. If this man, who seems to be such a wonderful leader, is saying my husband can lead it must be true. I do believe my husband is a leader, a very calm and compassionate leader, he’s just not a fighter. He’s also not yet got that foundation of biblical knowledge and doctrine down pat yet. I think eldership for him is a few years off, and he has to commit to study first.
At first, I said to go for it if it happens, thinking in my own plans that we could fight through that platform. Now, after consideration, prayer, and listening to the promptings I believe God is actually giving, and asking a trusted friend in our church, I think the eldership would be a bad thing at this time for our family. It would take valuable training time away from our kids. It would push my husband right into the Warrenite philosophy as he’d have to read those books they read. He’s not got my warning bells. He relies on my discernement a lot, and I cannot be at elder meetings.
Difficult times are ahead, I can tell.