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Posts Tagged ‘emerging church’

Leonard Sweet mentions Dan Kimball and says he’s his doctoral mentor.   I wonder how much this will/has influenced Dan Kimball?  This talk is all about coffee and not really saying anything about their relationship nor Dan’s beliefs…just a document of relationship.

http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/FeedEnclosure/georgefox.edu.1952351666.01952351672.1947923694/enclosure.mp3

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The following link is interesting in that it proves a point, it’s not about Christ but all about the terms folks.

http://incarnate-network.eu/resources/church-planting-intro/4-church-planting-intro/56-church-planting-fresh-expressions-emerging-church-what-do-we-call-it

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My husband and I have been speaking with a friend who sees exactly what we see in terms of emergent/seeker friendly/contemplatives/Warrenite/Hybels and others as a problem.  He also asks some good questions. “When and why might it be necessary to completely disassociate with particular groups?   Or when could one still associate to some degree, but with discernment?”

Any thoughts?

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Today we attended a church recommended by several we know.  The sermon was about spritual gifts.  The people we met said the sermon was unusual as it was a theme.  The pastor usually preached expository straight from the Bible, but people had so many questions about spiritual gifts, so he felt they needed some lessons on that.  He spoke of spiritual gifts as being given to believers for the glorification of Christ to be used in service to the body.   He still used scripture, and focused a great deal on exactly what was said and gave very few tangental stories or illustrations.  I noticed two families sitting in front of me.  It was a row full of girls.  The three directly in front of us each had their own Bibles, and were taking notes from the sermon.  When the final prayer was given and we were standing to go, I looked around and noticed that many children were carrying their own Bibles, it wasn’t just the adults.  This particular church has Sunday school first hour, then service with only the youngest being in nursery and “children’s church.”  I think anyone older 8 is in service.  I noted the Bibles when speaking to people said “welcome” to us.  They said that Sunday school classes encourage the kids to use the Bibles, and they also then bring them into the church service.  This doesn’t mean this church is on the right track for sure, but it is a good sign.  In our former church, many adults still carried their own Bibles, but kids didn’t and teens even didn’t.  When they announced new members in service, the ceremony included asking them why they came to this church.  The people each said one reason was the strong Biblical teaching.  The people who talked to us after church also said that this church offered expository Biblical teaching.  One couple has five girls, and had come from out of state.  They said they had been greatly concerned when they were “church shopping” with all that they were seeing in most churches.  Wow.  They asked us which church we had left, and we shared.  They said they had visited there.  I explained that it took a while for us to even see what was happening, and they said they understood.  Some of it is in the relationships that are hard to let go of, some of it is in the choice to be blind as you cannot believe people you trust would be saying what they are saying.

We did see a few people we knew, they had come from our former church.  Many more we didn’t know.  It appears that there are many large families in this church, and many homeschool.  We have a larger family, but not the largest by far in this church.  One family we recognized as one member had been voted out of our congregation because, as we were told, he didn’t agree with doctrinal issues presented by an elder in our former church and he was unloving in his approach.  I have to wonder exactly what did happen then.  We trusted our elders and voted him out right along with most of the congregation.  That could have been us had we pressed…unless they really did approach things in the wrong way. 

Not sure this church will be our home.  If it were me alone I would say this is the church I want to attend.  However, my husband needs to have a big say.  The church we have attended for a few months is comfortable to him, and he believes we could have an impact there.  I am not so sure, I fear it’s just 10 years behind our former church and is really on the same path.  However, I am not certain as we haven’t interviewed the pastors.  So, it appears, unless something changes, we have two church possibilities.  One is a “Christ follower” style church with the “praise band” but so far with some expository teaching, and one we’ve attended only today that appears to rely almost soley on expository preaching.  The music also is hymns (unfortunately still on overhead, I believe we miss something when kids don’t see the actual music in hand…I wish that would change everywhere…maybe both overhead and music books?). 

I do have some hope though, this church we tried today may be on guard against the influences of the emergent and emerging church/Purpose Driven style/Seeker sensitive movement etc.

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I decided to give old Hank a try one more time.  I made it simple, I only asked one question.  Could you define contemplative prayer?  I had to wait almost two hours to speak to Hank.  The call screener (at the top of the first hour) asked me if there was more to my question, any movement or thing in particular I was asking the question in reference to?  Nope, I said.  He then wanted to know how people around me were defining contemplative.  I said something about “Be Still” and that some camps in the area were teaching it to youth.  Okay, so I waited, and waited, and listened.  Finally, in the second hour, Hank picked up my question.  He then gave this very long definition, I wish I could have listened to it.  I just couldn’t keep up with all his terms.  At the end, I basically said, “ummmm…what?”  Then he said a bit more.  I then said, “so are you saying contemplative prayer is good or bad.”  He then said something about how meditation in a Biblical way, to study the scriptures and think about them is fine, but contemplative prayer is not this, it’s “mystical mumbo jumbo.”  Okay, I got the point there.  That really gave me a better feeling.  Up to that point, I really wasn’t sure which side he was coming down on with contemplative prayer.  This doesn’t clear everything up for me with Hank.  I have to pay attention to him and see if he’s just skipping by what is obviously controversial and getting criticism.  I know he recently had a show speaking against emergent church, but have no idea how that went since I didn’t hear it.  I did call though on that night as a friend called and let me know he was speaking on that topic and he refused to answer a question about Dallas Willard (the screener wouldn’t let me get to him).  So, not sure what to make of it all…

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Lighthouse Trails Research has an interesting report about changes in a midwestern Nazarene university and also at a youth camp organization in Kansas.  Link here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1220&c=1

The article discusses contemplative focuses at the university that are required in the chapel (click the links in the article) and also the influence on youth at the camps and the leadership’s teaching on prayer.

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I am struggling right now with the seperation from the church we so loved.  Really, the church was our family, our community.  We do have friends and connections elsewhere, but I believe church is to be a place where you go for fellowship wtih other believers.  We have so many in our own family that are not believers and followers of Christ, that we felt a responsibility for witness to our own flesh and blood.  My husband’s father is now a follower and believer because of our influence (and he had a solid pastor who would have their church studying one book of the Bible week to week for months).  My step-mom has really been thinking about her faith and her commitment to Christ, and actually has people praying for my dad who is basically a deist.   My mother has never been in my life, but is in a position where I can begin a letter writing relationship with and can share more about Jesus.  I have written letters to an uncle in the past who had attempted suicide.  I very much am one who tries to “go” and share the gospel.  But our refreshment came in our church family.  We love the people and are saddened by the deviation from truth.

I have other things that have been pulled apart.  The realization that merging is everywhere is shocking.  I am a radio listener, love pastors and Christian talk.  I hear the terms popping up there.  I also am sick of many contemporary songs that are not clear on doctrine (singing to the “beautiful one I love” but who is this one?).  Everything I ate up thinking it was doing something positive, and maybe most of it was positive.  It’s just I feel I need to evaluate everything.  I had sources I trusted, and now some of those are gone.  It’s rather frustrating. 

I am learning more and more that I have been out of the Word of God too much.  I used to be one that read, wrote prayer requests down in a notebook, and prayed almost constantly.  Life has gotten in the way, and I have felt so “good” in church I was unaware how far I had let myself go.  I really need to be regular in study, and in prayer.  This is not so I am saved, but so I can grow again.  It’s like my lifeline has been pinched so I was withering a bit.  I need to study and learn.  God’s always been there, I’ve just let myself go further from Him.

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