I can't even imagine what Jesus' disciples were feeling the day after his crucifixion. Their greatest hopes had died with him the day before, and the new hope beyond all their dreams was yet to be realized. They must have felt completely desperate. So it's not such a bad day to indulge some dangerous ideas.
It's in that mood that I came across John Frye's "The People Formerly Known as 'The Pastor'." It's more strongly worded than I would ever dare, but seriously, it reflects a lot of how I sometimes feel as a refugee from formal ministry. It's a response to another piece by Bill Kinnon, called "The People Formerly Known as the Congregation," which seems to me more strident and more typical in its complaints against the established church. This one is more the view from a disillusioned insider. But another piece, "Underlying Issues," kind of unpacks it and deals with the issues raised in more measured tones.
And they're issues that need to be dealt with. There may be much inchoate anger in some of the emerging movement; there may be youthful idealism and unrealistic expectations; there may be too much throwing out of the baby with the bathwater. But there are reasons--real, justified, even biblical reasons--why people engaging in the emerging conversation are rejecting the institutionalized church. We need to listen to these voices. We need to ask if what we are doing is what Jesus intended, what he wants from us now. We need to fight the perennial temptation to substitute the traditions of men for the glories of the life God wants to give us.
Technorati Tags: John Frye, Bill Kinnon, Emerging Church