Arent you consternated too?
Two irritable reflections on the Church's mission and proclamation of Christ precipitating here (and do keep in mind all the caffeine and read accordingly- I really do mean to be edifying)
1. The Emerging, Fledgling, Believing Church.
I am so tired of the various, well-meaning, incoherent diatribes against the Emerging Church which have been crossing my screen lately...:
"I would only add that the Emergent Church is also in a really bad place right now; that many spiritual laws are also being violated; and they would do well to heed the Word of God and repent before their artsy-craftsy plans for the future are unexpectedly altered..."
In the first place, this Emerging group, marked loosly by concern for authentic relationships and worship, great aesthetics, and Yuppie home groups does not have enough consistency either in practice or belief for one even to begin pointing a finger at "them" - who are they, anyway? (the good people at Jesus Creed were Rather Helpful here-)
Secondly, those of the rather hysterical-conservative-evangelical crowd who are critiquing them are hardly in a position to point fingers at a lack lack of coherent doctrinal statements or centralized authority structures; the well-intentioned critics dont really have those nice things either.
And finally, I just dont understand why well-intentioned critics dont spend their critiquing time going out to find young emergents in need of pastoral guidance, and then offer the services of the Older, Wiser, and Self-Consciously More Orthodox and Concerned About It to these communities of precious young souls. As far as I'm concerned, no one has the right to critique the Emerging Church until they have personally sought them out at Starbucks behind their Macs, complimented the Christian icon on their screen AND their great bag and shoes, and then attempted to build a relationship with them. Get real, critics. Shepherd, dont stymie.
2. Secondly. The Litigious Church.
There is a lot of legalese being tossed around in Episcopalian circles these days.
"What are our property rights???? What's our RECOURSE? Didnt someone say we HAVE recorse? What? Somebody find a contract or a tort or something we can sue on!!! Did someone say TORT? Please God, let there be a TORT!!! Someone quick find A Good Anglican Attorney and for heaven's sake Get Them on Board!!!!"
I am perplexed. Even the New York Times is aware of this passage-
1 Corinthians 6- Lawsuits Among Believers Forbidden
1Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? 2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5I say this to your shame Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren....