Must listen for all Catholics! The Emergent Church

Have you heard of the Emergent (Emerging) Church?

Many protestants are concerned about this new group/denomination/split. It has been called a new reforrmation.

I’m not an expert on this Emergent Church, but some of what I have heard is that there is a desire of some bible only Christians desire to go back to the sacraments, icons, candles, etc.

Below are 2 links from a protestant show that I think many will find very interesting.

oneplace.com/Ministries/Understanding_the_Times/?bcd=9/21/2006

oneplace.com/Ministries/Understanding_the_Times/?bcd=9/22/2006

I would suggest this “Emergent Church” is a false imitation of Catholicism. These Evangelicals are afraid the Catholic Church is somehow behind the “Emergent Church”, but the Emergent Church views on several issues are diametrically opposed to Catholicism. People keep looking for the Catholic Church to become this one world church with the evil Pope as its head, but it doesn’t really work.

I would suggest that this is an unduly paranoid attitude. Why not see it the other way round–as a manifestation of the natural and legitimate desire for aspects of Catholicism from which Protestants have foolishly alienated themselves?

Furthermore, the term is coming to be used as a broad catchphrase to cover a lot of very different things. No one really knows what it means, but everyone is excited about it (one way or the other). Like so many Protestant movements, it’s anything but a “denomination”–it’s a very loose set of trends.

For instance, a friend of mine who is a Methodist pastor has been labeled by his superiors as a proponent of the “emergent church.” They say this because he’s taken a struggling, working-class, rural Indiana congregation and taught them to appreciate the lectionary, the sacraments, etc., while maintaining a very informal, folksy tone (when I visited his church, he sang a Charles Wesley Eucharistic hymn while the people received communion–he was dressed in an alb and accompanied himself on the guitar to a folk-style tune of his own composition). Is this really “emergent church”? I don’t know, but I think it’s great (though no doubt it reminds some of you too much of 1970s Catholicism). I know my friend’s theology enough to know that he really is concerned to be faithful to historic Christianity, and that he’s very favorable to both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. So if this is emergent church, then emergent church really is a form of crypto-Catholicism. But I suspect that you’re right, and the more standard “emergent church” types are far less Catholic in their theology.

Edwin

Because it seems as if the movement embraces homosexuality and non-Christian practices like Eastern meditation. I’m strongly doubtful it would be pro-life based on the people who are supporting it (apparently people like Tony Campolo who is an unabashed liberal).

The idea that the Pope is trying to set up some one world church is ludicrous on its face. The world is moving away from Catholicism, not the other way around.

It is a reaction against on the one hand “Cultural American Evangelicalism” and “The Church Growth Movement” on the other. As such it’s motivation is hard to argue with; those things need to be “reacted against”.

But in practice, it appears to be, as often as not, an overcorrection.

Brian McLaren is incoherent, emotional and reactionary and he’s their best spokesman.

That should tell you something.

This is, to Protestantism, what the “We Are Church” movement is to Catholicism; a necessary reaction whose program goes overboard.

Apparetnly Tony Campolo is against abortion and same sex marriage according to websites such as:

progressive.org/?q=mag_camp0805
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Campolo

Which I have no reason to doubt. Would you be careful that what you say about people is correct please.

Great, except he supports candidates like Al Gore who take opposite stands. Ted Kennedy says he is against abortion.

I have long suspected that the Emergent Movement is a kind of Trojan Horse for liberals to invade Evangelicalism.

That’s worse case though.

What we’ve seen is that the more ponderous Protestant denominations are capable of evaluating and absorbing such movements, eventually sifting out the junk and keeping what is of value, if anything.

What is absolutely certain is that the apparent lock-step association of Evangelicalism with the culture and especially with conservative politics is not necessarily an unalloyed good if for no reason other than that it sets itself up to become a kind of whippin’ stick for only one side of the room.

For an intro to ‘emergent’ thinking, I recommend McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy.

I heard something similar to this on a Protestant radio station.

The host, who sounded like Pat Robertson, was very upset about this and then began to insist that the pre-reformation church was as Protestant as it had always been and that the Catholics changed all this stuff around.

I thought I was in a time warp.

Here is an brochure explaining the Emergent Catholic Church.

catholicfaithcommunities.org/ecci.pdf

North

First of all, this is an impossible generalization given how diverse the label is. In the second place, I don’t see why “non-Christian” practices characteristic of India and the Far East are worse than non-Christian practices and cultural attitudes (prayer, sacrifice, the immortality of the soul) more familiar to the Ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world. Most of the prejudice against “Eastern” practices has nothing to do with Christian orthodoxy and is simply a cultural issue.

Since support for Eastern practices is hardly characteristic of the emergent church as a whole, this is really a side issue.

I’m strongly doubtful it would be pro-life based on the people who are supporting it (apparently people like Tony Campolo who is an unabashed liberal).

In one sentence you manage to combine blatant examples of guilt by association, unfounded speculation, and inaccurate labeling. I would be very surprised if Campolo were not pro-life. By my standards he’s hardly an “unabashed liberal.” But these labels are meaningless.

Edwin

Surely you know that voting for a candidate doesn’t mean that you support all his positions.

Campolo may disagree with you on the relative weight of abortion compared to other issues, but that’s no reason to slander him by claiming that he isn’t pro-life. If someone opposed the Iraq war but voted for Bush because of the abortion issue (the only reason I would have voted for Bush–since I’m a resident alien I didn’t need to make the choice), would that mean that they were really pro-war?

Edwin

What would Jesus say about the Emergent Church? I think He would say nice try but you still don’t have it right.

Natural it may be - that doesn’t guarantee it’s healthy or legitimate. The CC was pretty Catholic in 1517, but that did not in the least mean it did not stand in dire need of reform. Catholicism is all very well, but it does tend to appeal to the “natural man” in a way that evangelical Protestantism does not. Whatever may be said against the Reformers, the Catholic reformers did not turn back the clock to the days before the Reformation - they could hardly do so without implicitly excusing the abuses with which the Council of Trent tried to deal.

Besides, “alienated themselves” when ? I think this is important, because neither the CC nor the Protestant Churches have stood still - those who were never RC can hardly be said to have alienated themselves from the CC in the same way as the earlier Reformers. And it takes two to have a division. Rome is bigger than Protestantism; that does not mean it has not been as truly divisive. And the reasons for Christians not to be in communion with one another don’t depend solely on the existence of past scandals such as the indulgence-traffic, or even on more recent events like the brutalities against Protestants in Bohemia after 1620, or even entirely on definitions such as those of the Immaculate Conception & Papal Infallibility - events in 1517 & soon thereafter play a part in deterring overtures to Rome, but they are not by any means the only deterrents. So the reasons for coolness toward Rome shift a bit with time, but are not non-existent.

Besides, what is Rome’s real attitude to Protestants ? That may seem an absurd question, even insulting - but if Protestants don’t see a close fit between the milder statements they hear from Rome, & the lives of the RCs they know, they are unlikely to be favourably impressed. The CC has a lot of history to live down, & if RCs say things or seem to say things which fit with the picture of a persecuting & intolerant Papal dictatorship, this puts people off - quoting Dignitatis Humanae is not enough to assure everyone of Rome’s bona fides.

ISTM there’s fear & suspicion on both sides - humanly speaking, this is insoluble.

There are genuine issues of theology & doctrine, & they do get in the way of reunion. ##

Furthermore, the term is coming to be used as a broad catchphrase to cover a lot of very different things. No one really knows what it means, but everyone is excited about it (one way or the other). Like so many Protestant movements, it’s anything but a “denomination”–it’s a very loose set of trends.

For instance, a friend of mine who is a Methodist pastor has been labeled by his superiors as a proponent of the “emergent church.” They say this because he’s taken a struggling, working-class, rural Indiana congregation and taught them to appreciate the lectionary, the sacraments, etc., while maintaining a very informal, folksy tone (when I visited his church, he sang a Charles Wesley Eucharistic hymn while the people received communion–he was dressed in an alb and accompanied himself on the guitar to a folk-style tune of his own composition).

This does not sound so very unlike the ways of the Anglican “ritualist” clergy, who combined zeal for the betterment of the the lot of the poor with a zeal for liturgical splendour. At the time, they were heartily vilified by their more Protestant brethren as crypto-Papists & “Romanisers”.

It may be worth pointing that the Oxford Movement had plenty of repercussions in the USA - though one can’t expect Catholics in the USA to have heard of this, unless they’ve heard of converts to Catholicism like Bishop Ives.

St. Aidan also comes to mind - though he lived even longer ago. ##

Is this really “emergent church”? I don’t know, but I think it’s great (though no doubt it reminds some of you too much of 1970s Catholicism). I know my friend’s theology enough to know that he really is concerned to be faithful to historic Christianity, and that he’s very favorable to both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. So if this is emergent church, then emergent church really is a form of crypto-Catholicism. But I suspect that you’re right, and the more standard “emergent church” types are far less Catholic in their theology.

Edwin

Should that be “Catholicism”, or “catholicism” ? Your description, so far as it goes, doesn’t seem to be of anything unmistakably Roman.

Someone of these people would benefit from reading Orthodoxy. :slight_smile:

O good grief.

Can we spell s-y-n-c-r-e-t-i-s-m?

Bad enough to have cafeteria Catholics…these are diner catholics. (note the little “c”).

Nice try, but “catholic” can’t be trade-marked.:smiley:

Oh boy, what will they think of next? These new-fangled church styles are changing so quickly, this group is making “health and wealth ministries” look like bell-bottoms.

Actually, in mindset and in practice, it is more PROTEST-ant than protestant churches.

In practice, it looks like anarchy. NO leadership. No structure.
It is cult-like, even. The people who “aren’t leaders” attempt to control what you do. If you disobey them or think otherwise, they will cast you out of their midst.

I experienced this.

While it can lead true believers and truth seekers (privately) toward the truths found only in Catholicism, as it is practiced, it is nothing like Catholicism. I found the adherents of the emergent church “network” that I was involved with to be more anti-Catholic in conversation (which would be “Church” to them), than any protestant evangelical church I attended.
Seventh-Day Adventists would come close, though.

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