Three Things Tuesday – Emergents Retreating?, Christian Women Oppressed and the PCUSA 219th GA

#1 – Has What Emerged Retreated?


I ran across an interesting series that Kester Brewin wrote about participants of the Emergent Movement in the UK returning to the institutional church and organizations.  He addresses this topic to some degree in his book  Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures (which I have now ordered and am looking forward to reading).  The series (and the comments) covered a lot of interesting topics including how spiritual maturation takes place (part 2), how institutions can become damaging and what can be done to counteract that (part 3), some  info about Vaux (a community of artists and city-lovers who sought to explore the Christian faith through the media that came naturally to their hands) and Temporary Autonomous Zones (part 4).  Jonny Baker and Andrew Jones both post responses to the series.  Of course the authors are all from Europe which is some years ahead of the US regarding emerging/emergent Christianity, but there are still many similarities.  What do you think?  Is a retreat taking place?  Is it maturation?  Has the institutional church changed?

—————————————————————————————————————–

#2 – Happy Christian Women…Really??? and Drinking The Company Kool-Aid

Pam Hogeweide and Kathy Escobar have written posts in response to a recent Barna survey of Christian women requested by Jim Henderson of Off The Map for his latest writing project about how the modern American church treats women.  I believe that this is a very important issue and am disappointed that no woman is authoring the book with Jim on this project (Pam addresses this in her post) but do appreciate that Jim is at least asking women (here) to let him know if their experience matches the survey results from Barna (mine don’t and I let him know).  Check it out and let your voice be heard.

——————————————————————————————————————

#3 – Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the PCUSA General Assembly voted in favor of lifting the ban of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy.  The bad news is that they voted to not even hear or discuss the issue of same sex marriage and so it is tabled for two more years.

Soul Force held a demonstration at the proceedings and some were arrested because they refused to leave.  There seemed to be some differing opinions (check out Shuck and Jive post and comments) about Soul Force being there but I appreciated them being there to represent the voice of the oppressed and excluded.

11 thoughts on “Three Things Tuesday – Emergents Retreating?, Christian Women Oppressed and the PCUSA 219th GA

  1. obmutescence

    Just wanted to inform you that I found your webpage on
    and though I enjoyed looking through your entry,
    it appears your blog acts up in a couple web browsers.

    Anytime I check out your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Firefox, it has some
    overlapping problems. I simply wanted to offer you with a quick alert, that’s all.

    Reply
  2. Ted Seeber

    “But governments who don’t respect the rights of all and work against equal treatment of all are fascist.”

    Yes, Democracies CAN turn fascist. But the solution to fascism isn’t to automatically overturn the will of the majority and grant special rights to the minority- it’s tot treat everybody the SAME.

    Which is why YES to civil unions, NO to same-sex marriage, is my position. The first merely grants the same rights to everybody. The second forces those who don’t believe the same as the homosexuals into accepting their lifestyle, with lawsuits.

    Funny how you forget that the Nazis slaughtered CATHOLICS as well- look up St. Maximilian Kobe.

    The majority will NEVER be ready to accept a minority- 2 million years of minorities infiltrating and destroying tribe after tribe, civilization after civilization, has left us with bigotry as an inborn human trait. And that is as much the fault of the minority, as the majority. Minorities that are able to respect the rights of others, however, will likely be more welcomed than those who come to destroy.

    Reply
  3. April Coldsmith

    But governments who don’t respect the rights of all and work against equal treatment of all are fascist. Look what the majorities of 1930’s Germany, Spain and Italy did when they flexed their will upon the common people. Jews, Gypsies, Muslims and Gays were slaughtered by the millions — all in the name of appeasing majorities who were not ready yet to accept people different from themselves.
    Thanks, Liz for this great entry.

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      April – your welcome – glad you stopped by. This is a civil rights issue and I believe in the short term the church is going to have to look back and apologize for being on the wrong side.

      Reply
  4. Ted Seeber

    Liz- I didn’t say TODAY. I said over the last two million years it has been so. Even ancient Greece, where homosexuality was widely accepted and bisexuality was almost a requirement- marriage was about procreation.

    “And I do believe that same sex marriages will get full government benefits (they already do get all the same rights/benefits as heterosexual married people in Washington State, Nevada, Norway, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain).”

    I don’t have much of a problem with civil unions- but when, as they have in Canada, they use the courts to sue churches that don’t believe the same way they do, they abuse their positions in business to FIRE people who don’t believe the same way they do- that is prejudice as equally bigoted as Rev Phelps and his interruption of military funerals over don’t ask don’t tell.

    ” I believe that in years to come the idea of same sex marriage being wrong will be looked back upon by Christians in the same way that we look back on interracial marriage, slavery and divorce … scripture was misused and abused in supporting such things. The majority of the upcoming generation already accepts same sex relationships and marriage.”

    If the majority of the upcoming generation accepts same sex marriage, then maybe same sex marriage should wait until the older generations are dead.

    “As far as accepting autistics – I am sure that there is a lot of prejudice and exclusion that is endured. I hope there is help available for autistic people who are having their rights denied.”

    None at all, in fact, rather the reverse- if my wife ever decides to divorce me, thanks to FAAAS, the laws are already on the books in the United States to deny me parental rights because I have an Asperger’s diagnosis.

    But that’s neurotypical society and democracy for you- what the majority wants has a tendency to go.

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Ted – You said “If the majority of the upcoming generation accepts same sex marriage, then maybe same sex marriage should wait until the older generations are dead.”

      My response is that once people recognize that an injustice is taking place it is our duty to do what we can to stand up against it. Justice delayed is justice denied.

      Wow – I had no idea that the law you mention existed. IMO civil rights should be decided by courts – not by vote.

      Reply
      1. Ted Seeber

        Basic democracy 101: All laws are decided by the vote, including civil rights.

        In a representative democracy, it gets a little more complicated- you vote for a representative who votes for your viewpoint, but in the end, the ENTIRE idea of a democracy is that the majority gets to make the laws.

        We have a term for societies that aren’t democracies: Tyrannies. And the tyranny of a minority in civil rights is EQUALLY bigoted as a tyranny of the majority.

        Which is why I think the answer, like the autistic learning coping skills, is to cooperate with the majority on something both the majority and the minority can agree on- in this case, civil unions.

        Reply
  5. Ted Seeber

    Liz- I think Emergence shot themselves in the foot on the whole same sex marriage thing. You can’t force the majority, who for 2 million years have been using marriage specifically to merge households for the purpose of procreation, to suddenly accept a form of marriage in which procreation is biologically impossible.

    We’ve had too much evolution hard wiring us the other way- and gays are a 1:10 minority at best.

    I say the same thing to my own special community of high functioning autistics who want neurotypical society to just accept their strange behavior instead of learning coping skills to “disappear” into the general population- though we’re much worse, we’re a 1:180 minority. NO chance that the general population will EVER accept autistics. But if the gay agenda backs off, and repaints this issue in terms of religious liberty instead of forcing others to accept their behavior, I believe they still stand a half a chance. They’ll never get 100% acceptance- or government benefits- but they *MIGHT* get the government out of the marriage business entirely (including rewriting all benefits to go to households rather than marriages) and telling people what religions they can follow.

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Ted – I disagree that the main reason for marriage today is procreation. That argument was pretty much shot down in the recent Prop 8 trial. And I do believe that same sex marriages will get full government benefits (they already do get all the same rights/benefits as heterosexual married people in Washington State, Nevada, Norway, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain). I believe that in years to come the idea of same sex marriage being wrong will be looked back upon by Christians in the same way that we look back on interracial marriage, slavery and divorce … scripture was misused and abused in supporting such things. The majority of the upcoming generation already accepts same sex relationships and marriage.

      As far as accepting autistics – I am sure that there is a lot of prejudice and exclusion that is endured. I hope there is help available for autistic people who are having their rights denied.

      Reply
  6. Jonathan Brink

    Liz, I actually think Emergence has retreated. Here’s my thinking. The original conversation was about wrestling with our historical theology, especially around the majors tensions of the Gospel and atonement. The problem is that much of the conversation was destructive in nature (not a bad thing). Something had to come down in order for something to be rebuilt. Unfortunately that process was slower than expected and we’re impatient. We want it now. So instead of staying in the space of tension, many retreated back to their original forms of worship and gathering. I still think this is part of the process because in going back, we discover once again what didn’t work, which solidifies it.

    My hope is to reconstruct a new conversation, which answers some of these fundamental issues.

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Jonathan, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You may be right – I guess time will tell. I thought Jonny’s post was right on and Kester seemed to agree. I am waiting on your book to arrive as I am interested in delving into the information there that I assume speaks to the new conversation you mention.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s