Have you heard the phrase “emergent church?” If you haven’t, you are probably living a very satisfying atheist life or perhaps just living under a rock.
Over the last eight years or so, a significant contingent of young Christian evangelicals have become absolutely disgusted by the faith. Somewhere along the line their close ties with the “world” came to mean something. Going to bitter baptist churches and hearing about the secular world in harsh terms got old.
Liberal Christians live with a little discomfort with the Bible, and of course inherited some anti-gay, anti-sex attitudes in their youth. In 2012, a lot of thirty year old men and women do NOT want to go to a stuffy church and hear the tired cliches of the pulpit.
The throngs of disenfranchised church goers want to go to a Starbucksy, hipster friendly place where black guys look like they do on commercials for expensive electronics: skinny jeans, vests, Buddy Holly glasses and bowties. They want white preachers who preach barefoot in pretorn jeans and have highlights. Maybe they wear “guyliner” to accentuate eye contact.
The praise music should sound like Coldplay-Black Keys-Matthews Band. Design tends to be minimalistic and weird, like a mish mash of celtic shit with scribbly post modern shit too.
These churches have coffee *though not free* and a fresh feeling of “authenticity.” The name of the church should sound like a new club, like the Place, the Rock, the Atrium, the Aperture, the Narthex…
The preacher normally says something like, “we are just doing life together. Christianity is a relationship. This church isn’t the building y’all.”
NOW THERE ARE TWO THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Over the last ten years there have been thousands of “relevant” style churches like described above. The EMERGENT church is DIFFERENT. At relevant churches, you might see some bra straps showing and tight pants here and there but the casual crowd still carries around the same fucking Bible under the arm. The same verses. The same dogma. They just don’t talk about it. They won’t argue against it or be embarrassed of it outwardly, they just focus on pop psychology-friendly Dr. Phil fodder from the pulpit.
The EMERGENT CHURCH is indeed different in that regard. These people are willing to put the Bible back on the shelf and openly question whether much of it is true, or for today, or what have you. They take “moratoriums” on casual sex, homosexuality, abortion, and other things which are traditionally frowned upon by the faithful.
The popular voice of this movement is a close tie between Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, if not Donald Miller. Rob Bell is public enemy number one among the ultraconservative Baptist crowd. Bell’s doctrine is reliable as a mesh condom.
Bell wrote a new book recently called, “Love Wins” which sneakily posits the idea that hell is simply a metaphor or perhaps hell is what we make for ourselves in this life. Heaven is a state of mind. Bell writes like a man fed up with Christianity but without the balls to turn to the dark side of atheism.
The Emergent Church is praised in the West Coast because it is the “first rung” of the ladder for people who are seeking truth on their spiritual quest. It is praised because it is the last rung people clutch onto when they fall off the ladder! Bitter, disaffected Christians who haven’t read their Bible in five months mingle with unsaved people. Balding guys with glasses and an iPad fresh out of Panera Bread mingle with girls who were on Girls Gone Wild the weekend before. Jesus is the Buddy Christ, and Truth is relative.
Anyone who has encountered some fall out from denying Christ publicly must feel a bit cheated when others join the damn Emergent Church. It is a pussified way to leave the church. Everyone knows that the Emergent Church is to Real Church what Coke Zero is to an XXXL-Triple Thick Chocolate Shake with whipped cream and a sidecar of Jack Daniels. The content is bereft of real meaning and void of truth claims. The Playboy Channel’s “Nude Yoga Spotlight with Bree” segment has more spirituality. And maybe that is the problem with America.
This country’s left leaning young people are obsessed with the ambient, phony, weak-tea spiritual fuzziness but abhor taking a stand for doctrine. They carry the Bible to church on Sunday morning but go grab a beer and rent an R rated comedy like the Hangover 2 for Sunday evening’s entertainment. When the real Christians who allow the Bible to influence their lives (a little bit) see this, they call “hypocrite!” It is a douche move, but a valid observation. The Bible does not describe a Christianity that coexists very well with blatant secularism. Christians should look like “aliens and foreigners” according to Peter. Strangers in the land. Paul called Christians a “peculiar people.” Jesus said, “they will hate you.” I am sick of people who bask in the light of secular reason go off to church on Sunday morning and tell the world that there is something of worth going on at these Emergent churches. To all Emergent people out there…GET A LIFE. GET LAID. Fucking grow up ? You are all a bunch of milquetoast single people who hate Jerry Falwell and James Dobson and you realize you cannot get a date to get into your car with all your Christian shit bumper stickers on it. You just want to be happy. It’s called LEAVE THE FAITH. Make it decisive. Make it count. Stop falling off the ladder or wasting your life trying to climb it. Whether the Emergent thing is the beginning of your “search” or the last thing you could cling on to before hitting rock bottom, let me tell you…the bottom is where it’s at! Just let yourself go. The ladder is a lie.