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A New Kind of Christian (Affirmation) May 27, 2005

Posted by fajita in Uncategorized.

Below is the full text from emergent village of what is called the emergent order. Frankly, I don’t like how the word “order” rings in saying this, but I do think that the text is wonderful. As I read it (again) on Wade Hodges blog, I found myself looking at a direction that seems more in line with what Jesus wanted than other things I have read. It’s not that it is perfect, but it is less imperfect than anything else I have seen.

Feel free to comment on what you think about this.

1. Commitment to God in the Way of Jesus:
We are committed to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God, as the Scriptures teach. In the words of Jesus, we seek to live by the Great Commandment: loving God and loving our neighbors – including those who might be considered “the least of these” or enemies. We understand the gospel to be centered in Jesus and his message of the kingdom of God, a message of reconciliation with God and among humanity.

We are committed to a “generous orthodoxy” in faith and practice – affirming the historic Christian faith and the Biblical injunction to love one another even when we disagree. We embrace historic spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, solitude, silence, service, and fellowship, believing that healthy theology cannot be separated from healthy spirituality.

2. Commitment to the Church in all its Forms:
We are committed to honor and serve the church in all its forms – Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal. We practice “deep ecclesiology” – rather than favoring some forms of the church and critiquing or rejecting others, we see that every form of the church has both weaknesses and strengths, both liabilities and potential. We believe the rampant injustice and sin in our world requires the sincere, collaborative, and whole-hearted response of all Christians in all denominations, from the most historic and hierarchical, through the mid-range of local and congregational churches, to the most spontaneous and informal expressions. We affirm both the value of strengthening, renewing, and transitioning existing churches and organizations, and the need for planting, resourcing, and coaching new ones of many kinds. We seek to be irenic and inclusive of all our Christian sisters and brothers, rather than elitist and critical, seeing “us” we were used to see “us versus them.” We own the many failures of the church as our failures, which humbles us and calls us to repentance, and we also celebrate the many heroes and virtues of the church, which inspires us and gives us hope.

3. Commitment to God’s World:
We practice our faith missionally – that is, we do not isolate ourselves from this world, but rather, we follow Christ into the world. We seek to fulfill the mission of God in our generations, and then to pass the baton faithfully to the next generations as well. We believe the church exists for the benefit and blessing of the world at large; we seek therefore not to be blessed to the exclusion of everyone else, but rather for the benefit of everyone else. We see the earth and all it contains as God’s beloved creation, and so we join God in seeking its good, its healing, and its blessing.

4. Commitment to One Another
In order to strengthen our shared faith and resolve, and in order to encourage and learn from one another in our diversity through respectful, sacred conversation, we value time and interaction with other friends who share this rule and its practices. We identify ourselves as members of this growing, global, generative, and non-exclusive friendship. We welcome others into this friendship as well. We bring whatever resources we can to enrich this shared faith and resolve.

So, what do you think about this one?



1. judy thomas - May 27, 2005

I think all propositions are worthy of being discussed in classes and small groups all over.

Chris these old eyes are having a hard time reading your tiny font these days!

2. Brandon Scott - May 27, 2005

I think it’s perhaps the best summary I’ve heard of the way things should be. I also think it’s the most positive and encouraging things I’ve read in a while.

3. Chad Nall - May 28, 2005

The points are comprehensive and sweeping. Like Judy said, I think they are worthy of being explored and discussed in depth as for their significance and implications for how to orient our faith communities.

4. Greg Brooks - May 28, 2005

The broad and shallow community brought about by the internet speeds the revolution evolution: visionary leader, discipling, norming & law-giving, schism, revolution.

Soon (if it hasn’t already begun) there will be defectors from the inner fold of the Emergent movement. Some will claim to have the keys to the One True Faith and they will have their adherents whether they like it or not: McLarenites, Kiwinians, and so on, in the tradition of Lutherans, Campbellites, Augustinians, Paulines, Cephasites. The ‘message’, as represented by orders/creeds/rules like this, will be diluted and reified at the same time.

Fajita, you and I see this in the development of mental health theory. Am I cynical?

5. Fajita - May 31, 2005

Of course there needs to be discussion about this and anything else making claims about Christian faith.

This emergent order cannot be viewed as an end. It is better viewed as part of the story.

I have questioned before and in other places how will emergent not become a denomination. There is so much inertia to do so. KLuther didn’t want one. He got one. Campbell didn’t want one. He got three.

I am skeptical about emergent, not in intention, but rahter in idealism. Can there be uch unity when people are involved?

6. Greg Brooks - May 31, 2005

Can there be unity when people are involved? I ask that question too. Any time there is an order, or rule, creed, book, or article published, or sermon preached, there is a space created for disunity. So the Emergent order, or the Christian Affirmation, becomes a fulcrum for agreement and disagreement.

Jesus, on the other hand, changes us to be like Him, so that His prayer can be answered:
“I pray . . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21

In this passage, unity is equated with being “in” the Godhead. Certainly any human attempts at agreement or unity will fail if unity is predicated on being consumed by the Lord!

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