Wednesday, January 25, 2006

eC Value #4

The forth and final commitment of the emergent Christian (eC) that I will consider is the commitment to one another.

To strengthen their shared faith, to encourage, and learn from one another, the eC places high value of interaction with other’s who share this commitment. This is done through respectful, sacred conversation between divers Christian friends. They identify themselves as members of a growing, global, non-exclusive friendship. They welcome others into this friendship as well. They bring what ever resources they have to enrich this shared faith.

The proof of this commitment is an annual pilgrimage to an emergent gathering; to give one another the gift of their presence whenever possible. They publicly identify with emergent where appropriate and to represent emergent well. They seek to be positive and constructive in caring for the emergent friendship. They host gatherings, network people, recommend good books and other resources, and perform other tasks for emergent type events. They stay informed about emergent locally and globally via the internet.

The eC is personified by valuing others. They seek peace not debate. They try to learn instead of passing judgment. Their joy is in their fellowship between God and God’s people. Yet at this point my detectors of suspicion come up. My studies have strictly dealt with commitment between Christians. Does the eC draw a line that faith forbids a friendship to progress? Or maybe my thinking is tied to an imaginary line that God doesn’t expect me to draw. Salvation is in the hands of God alone, therefore, should friendship be limited to salvation? Because a man is down a wrong spiritual path does that forbid me to seek his friendship? Do I treat this man as an agent of the Devil or embrass the fact that I am an agent of Christ and through the bond of friendship, Christ will be reviled?

It is not man that causes me to fall short of God’s glory; it’s sin, the sin within me, the sin I control. Can a man’s thinking pull me away from God unless I will it? I think not. Perhaps the eC best lives out the Bible verse that most already know, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son (John 3:16).” If God loved the world so must I and if God sacrificially gave the world a piece of himself, so must I.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

hey chad...just ran across your blog while looking at the holohan's....have a good day!

Betsy Wolf