As I spent some time traversing bloglandia, I stumbled upon a post from Ben Pun about his struggles with the "rules" of being a good Christian and what that meant to the true meaning of the faith. I couldn’t help but chuckle, because these seem oh so true . . .
- Go to church regularly; sit in a worship service, go to a Sunday school class.
- Go to a bible study once a week in a small group where you talk about the Bible.
- Refrain from doing things like cussing, pre-marital sex, getting drunk, and dating non-Christians. Try to listen to Christian music instead of secular music.
- Hang out with other people who are following the last three rules.
Damn, I think I am going to have my Christian card taken away because I KNOW I have broken some of those rules . . . today. No more Shakira for me 😉
Still . . . got me to thinking, "What are the rules for Emergents?" Sure we would like to say, "Rules, we don’t need no . . ." but the reality is that there are always some boundaries within any movement or ideology. I would just think that the Emergent/Postmodern boundaries are slightly less rigid, a little more porous and valued for both those traits. Toss in a little Jesus and we got ourselves a regular Postmodemergent Partaaaaaay! Sorry, got a little excited.
So since I never received the emergent/postmodern church handbook (No offense to McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy which comes very close.) here are my rules for the Emergent church. Actually there are more like guides, characteristics and marks than rules (sorry couldn’t resist) . . . . do with them what you will.
- To be able to find joy in authentically expressing one’s faith truly informed by one’s context;
- To be able to appreciate – not just tolerate or accept – that others may indeed be expressing one’s faith informed by one’s context;
- To be able to understand that ministry is more about approach and posture – Way of BEing – than methodology and structure – Way of DOing – ;
- To be able to live in a world/life/faith of chaos and ambiguity and not feel compelled to hold on to one definitive TRUTH so tightly that one fails to revel in the many truths that may be experienced along the way;
- To be able to claim Christ as center of community and from there on out, engage in intentional discourse and relationships, not division and polemics;
Now I realize that I am just asking for it by putting anything into any kind of neat little nicely wrapped box. I think, however, that it is important that each person, as they engage in ministry, know the foundations from which they serve. These are simply some of mine.
Still . . . what would you and, take away, change? Bring it on!
BTW – I have no idea why that picture is on this post, don’t even know why I ever took it!