Abductive Columns

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Misunderstood....Stuff Happens

A blog titled ‘Church Voices’ has responded to the post just below this post. (Museum Church or Missional Church).

The writer says…

First he (Fred) labels churches as “museum churches” or “mission churches”. As I noted before there’s a lot of name calling coming from emergent types, and it begins here with some extremely loaded language. I gotta wonder why he chose “museum church” rather than “crappy church”, maybe because that would be too obvious. But anyway, onto the show.
I hate name calling and will never resort to it. I am sorry the poet of church voices (as he refers to himself) mistook ‘metaphor’ for ‘name calling.’ The point of my post was to help the reader understand that unless the mainline church adapts, in time she will become Amish (irrelevant in wider culture). There are many conversing and shaping the emergent church, it just so happens I expend most of energy in helping the Christ-follower connect with the people Jesus misses the most. (missional)

The writer states that, “…nothing fundamentally or essentially changes just because the day or time changes.” Often, fundamental change is imperceptible while living our lives in a day to day world. But changes involves the essential. Obviously this writer's cultural antenna is failing him.

This gentleman points out that both Rob Bell and Brian McLaren pastor large churches (although Brian recently resigned as the senior pastor @ Cedar Ridge Community Church).
As for Bell, McLaren and other emergent(s) operating out of churches; there’s no duplicity in this, neither should it seem strange or unusual for an emergent church leader to be associated with a (traditional) faith community while in this transitional period. Email and snail mail also run side by side, and will probably do so for years.

I pray I’m not divisive as this writer says I am. I don’t want to be divisive. I don’t attempt to use loaded language. There is enormous diversity within the larger faith community yet I love my brothers and sisters in the traditional churches. I love all of them. I just want to be out front leading and clearing and paving the way for the next generation.


At 10:47 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Actually, I don't ever refer to myself as a poet. And I am not currently, nor have I ever been Rich Mullins.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I'll take the unpopular stand between y'all for a moment.

I'd have to say that there's room in the Father's house for both kinds of mansions ... uh, churches. Museums and missions. But I'll also have to say that the need for missional churches will outweigh the need for museum churches over time. Some will be large. Some will be small. Some will be in-between.

Change is the heart of Christianity. People must change, grow, mature. And therefore their culture must change.

It we want Christianity to be seen as the best option for that change, we need to be Christ-centered, rather than church-centered.

The bride who spends all of her time gazing in the mirror cannot be as attractive as the one who gazes into the eyes of her Groom.

I know there are a lot of folks who criticize emergent Christians - and perhaps some is valid, just as some criticism of "museum churches" is valid - but Christ-centricity seems to be the defining characteristic of emergent folks.

And I can't find anything to criticize about that.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

I have never really heard the term "emergent church" until quite recently while reading this blog and a few others. I think what happens many times in these "museum churches" is that they mistake tradition for doctrine, and thus mis the point that to be mission minded which Christ called us to be, we have to change our methods. Our minister has been talking recently in his sermons about how we can be conservative in theology and progressive in methodology. And this, I think, is right on the mark.

Another friend of mine has recently began to think about culture. The culture of the area will impact the methods that need to be used. Culture in America today are vastly different from the culture of 50 years ago. Really, the culture in America today is vastly different from that of just 10 years ago. So, if your methods don't change we lose touch with the culture, and thus lose our chance for reaching the unchurched folks of today.

Our message never changes, but the methodology we use must change.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger K. Rex Butts said...

I am planning to do church planting in Australia, a secular - postmodern society where the traditional church model is failing to reach society because of the lack of incarnational ministry. Currently, while I finish seminary, I serve in a small, conservative, and dying church. I know they are not going to change and I am not trying to change them, but I wish the many who think like them would stop trying to insist that new church plants must look just like them.

One more thing... Stacey said,"Our message never changes, but the methodology we use must change." I agree with you 100%. HOwever, my experience has told me that sometimes the message we thought was right was not as correct as we like. Also, I meet many people who intertwine the message and methodology to the point that any change to the method is a change to the message. This is unforunate and something I wanted to point out, even though I doubt that is what you were implying.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Neal W. said...


I'm grateful for your voice in this time of transition. I hope someday calls for change will cease to be interpretted as attacks and begin to be seen as a plea for growth. Maybe some day the church's unarticulated, yet dominant cry of "don't rock the boat" will cease to be its greatest spiritual value.


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