Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

August 18, 2005

Two in one day! But this one I didn’t write a lick…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:09 am

Two in one day!
But this one I didn’t write a lick of. I ‘d cut and pasted it from a link I found today while surfing. If you want the source, ask.

Read on:

Beginning of paste –
Over 1350 pastors and church leaders from around the world attended a
pastors convention in San Diego last week. The dual National Pastors
Convention and the EmergentYS Convention were held at the Town &
Country Resort in Fashion Valley. This year, nearly half of the
attendees came to participate in the EmergentYS Convention focused on
the growing emergent movement in the Christian church.

The emergent movement has been called a reaction against the
traditions of mainline Christian churches. The goal of the movement is
to deconstruct these traditions and refocus on what it means to live
true to scripture. This movement continues to gather followers and
influence in America. Brian McLaren, one of the movement’s statesmen,
was named one of the top 25 most influential evangelical Christians in
America, according to the February 7 issue of Time magazine.

At the convention, McLaren and other leaders in the movement taught
sessions, such as: “They Like Jesus but Not the Church”; “How to
Change Your Church without Killing It”; “The Church in Transition”;
and “No Perfect People Allowed: Creating Church Culture for the
Postmodern World.”

I spoke to a number of local attendees about their thoughts on the
mainline church, the emerging church, and what they believed.

“The Christian Church has to sober up. The church in general is in a
bit of a drunken arrogant stupor. We feel like we have arrived.
Christians have a belief that we are superior to everyone else in our
rightness,” said Garret Akerson. Akerson, a former youth pastor, lives
in Oceanside, where he attends Saddleback Church.

“Too many Christians are concerned with heaven and hell,” stated
Akerson. “It is a lot more important to be like God. My view of hell
is that it is not an actual place. There is no lake of fire or
partying with the devil. We all are on a journey. If you choose God,
you will be with Him. If not, you will cease to exist.

“Scripture is best seen as a case study or story- book; it should not
be read like a code book or a science manual,” Akerson continued. “The
Bible speaks about how God had a relationship with the people. He has
been misrepresented by the Christian community. A lot of Christians
hold to an Old Testament view, ‘God will strike you down’ type of
attitude.”

Matt Mills started an experimental café church. He attended the
convention to participate in the discussion regarding the future of
the church. “People say they want to reach out to the unbeliever. The
vast majority are just spiritual baby-sitting. Their churches end up
reaching out to people raised in a Christian environment,” said Mills.
At Mills’s café gatherings, the people don’t identify with any
religion or church. “They are actually hostile towards church,” Mills
remarked. “I create an environment for people to interact in a
spiritual way. We host community groups for the people that live in
the local neighborhood.”

I asked Mills what a person has to do to get to heaven. “Heaven is an
afterthought. Heaven isn’t a 401(k) program where we cash out.
Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, witches can all be saved. Your
religion isn’t going to save you. It is your relationship with the
ultimate being. Christianity is not what most people think it is. A
lot of Christians don’t know God. These Christians are the Pharisees
that Christ fought against,” said Mills. “I believe a person will move
toward the Christian ideal of becoming like the nature and essence of
Christ. There are ways of moving toward that and moving away from
that. I have faith God will do the converting of people. We all are
converting to what God is.”

Shawn Beaty is the senior pastor at North Hills Church in Oceanside.
Pastor Beaty calls North Hills Church a replant. One-and-a-half years
ago, North Hills took over an older, traditional church that was once
a thriving church that had since dwindled. Forty people started with
North Hills, which has since grown to 120.

Beaty considers himself emerging, but still holds to traditional
Christian beliefs. “I believe you have to accept Jesus Christ and that
He died for our sins.” I asked Beaty what happens if someone doesn’t
accept Jesus. “The Bible leaves that as a mystery. People usually
believe [if one doesn’t accept Jesus, that leads to] annihilation or
eternal torment. I believe that people will perish. [As part of the
emerging church], we are okay with not knowing everything. The
traditional church has to know.”

I asked Beaty his thoughts about theologians such as Martin Luther,
John Calvin, John Wesley, and Jonathan Edwards. “These are guys that
were used by God for their time. A lot of what they dealt with, such
as Calvin and predestination, are no longer the issues of our time. In
San Diego and the West, pluralism is the issue.” Religious pluralism
involves accepting all religions and beliefs as equal spiritual
expressions. When asked what religious beliefs are wrong, Beaty
replied, “I’ve always believed if you begin slinging mud, you’re going
to get yourself dirty. There are enough errors that [Christians] have
made that need to be corrected.” Beaty reiterated his belief that to
be saved, a person needs to accept Jesus as his Savior.

Glenn Murdock works in public relations for EmergentYS. Murdock lives
in San Diego and attends The Flood, a local postmodern church. At The
Flood, the church service includes concert ambience, loud music, dark
lighting, and the ability to “ask questions, find answers, doubt,
heal, learn — there’s total freedom.” I asked him about the emergent
movement’s scriptural beliefs. “Some people in the emergent movement
are open to reinterpret everything, like how we view God and the
Bible. However, most people believe the way we express our faith needs
to change but the principles stay intact.”

Charlie Johnson works for the Church Resource Ministries (CRM) in
Anaheim. The purpose of CRM is to develop leaders to strengthen and
start churches worldwide. He spoke to me about the emerging church.
“The philosophy of ministry in the emerging church is evolving and
fluid. It changes with each new culture and time period so that we can
be a tasty representation of Jesus,” said Johnson. “Traditional
churches are based on a culture that is 100 years old. The emerging
church is much more relational, community-centered, with a holistic
component. Traditional Christians often go to church in order to
consume from a religious service. But, the emerging church is a
gathering of people that participate in the work. The emerging
churches use art, poetry, interpretive dance.” At the convention,
seminars on this included, “We Speak Art: Rituals and Celebrations
from a New-Monastic Postmodern Tribe” and “Art Therapy and Prayer.”

My last conversation was with Renee Altson, San Diego author of
Stumbling Toward Faith, a book that deals with her faith struggles and
the abuse she’s experienced at the hands of the church. She spoke of
her desire to find a church to call home. “I’m looking for a church
that honors story, that holds a big God, and that creates a safe place
for people to be human with one another.

– End of paste –

Ya wanna’ know how to tell these places are full of it? (and I believe most of you know what I mean by ‘it’) – Go to their websites and read their statement on tithing. All of a sudden they get real traditional, but in extremely smarmy lingo.

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1 Comment »

  1. Those comments in quotation marks? Did you have a tape recorder with you? Or do you have a photographic memory. That is something like perfect pitch.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 19, 2005 @ 4:58 pm


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