Thursday, December 16, 2004

Emerging Church and Justice...?



I was really disappointed to have missed the recent blah. Disappointed in that for the first time it wasn't mere intrigue that was my motivation to go. For the first time I was more than intrested in the subject matter. It mattered little that HIS EMERGENCE Brian Mclaren was the guest - what mattered was that for the first time since I have been going, justice was on the agenda. It was flirted with by Kester Brewin with his definitions of 'dirt' but Justice was taking centre stage with Brian Mclaren down to talk about The Gospel and Justice.

Jonny Baker gives a brief synopsis of the evening which helped my disappointment very little - I wish I was there. It seems that the emerging church contains elements of those licking their ecclesiatical wounds; those preening their 'alternative' feathers; those that at last have found an outlet for their creativity and thinking and many more! But there seems to be an avoidance of real justice talk.

Fairtrade, marches for peace, third world debt, disarmament is great but given that the emerging church is so big on incarnational living where are the local stories. I hope Kester is right when he states...

"It is my belief that the Emergent Church will be, as Christ himself was, a force for re-evaluating dirt boundaries, and as a result of these re-evaluations, become a place of refuge for those who have previously been labelled as 'dirty'. pp137

Brewin, K. (2004) The Complex Christ. SPCK

...But I have problems believeing that the emerging church will authentically engage, unless or until it is content to lose its designer label.

So I'm disappointed as I too would have found encouragement in that emerging church is talking about issues of global and local justice. I too hope that is a continuing trend, that a whole new set of questions will be asked. More than that I hope that true engagement follows and that the emerging church will be built on the foundations of justice constantly looking up, out and away from its navel!

We wait and see.

But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do,what GOD is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously--take God seriously. (Micah 6:8)

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