The Emergence in QuestionPosted: March 5, 2008
So, here’s a theory;
the emergent church is a propaganda product. It does not actually exist. It is a construct of church leadership. Negativity is always the lowest common denominator. The best way to raise support (money, people, resources) is to create a scenario where there is a good guy and a bad guy and tell people that the bad guy is threatening your way of life, your god, whatever… and it will take money to stop the bad guy. The emergent church is the bad guy.
Is this like the Scapegoat Mechanism we find in ancient religions?
Kind of. The emergent church is too vague. You need names and faces to target or it doesn’t work. The Baghdad thing was fully supported by the american people until they ‘got’ Saddam- and the whole mechanism broke down because they ‘got’ the face. Lost all support for it because you can’t place vague blame- it has to be specific. Terrorist cells? Huh? Bin Laden- yeah, people get that.
Is that where Brian McClaren and Rob Bell come in?
Exactly. You have to channel your negativity toward names and faces. Clarity is power. Specificity is action. Brian uses emergence theory when talking about church- and it is a beautiful analogy of the church- but i guess that’s why he’s been made the poster boy. I mean, i didn’t need Brian to tell me a bunch of stuff i already knew.
Rob, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to go for the emerence theory stuff directly, uses the term loosely and appropriately, and generally disengages himself from emergent church talk. But his name always comes up when someone needs a scapegoat for their cause of righteousness.
“We need to be careful of terrorist cells and ‘squishy theology'”… huh? what? “We’ve got Saddam on the run and Rob Bell is a heretic”. Oh! People get that.
That’s a terrible theory- why would anyone do that?
There’s a lot of anger out there/in here. People need to place blame. Need to have a place to put their anger. People feel threatened by “new” ideas or thoughts. When people feel like they have to defend the gospel or stand for righteousness or stick up for god, its not because the gospel or righteousness or god is actually threatened, its because their way of life, which they think is divinely-mandated, is threatened, because their power is challenged.
Way of life, anger and power are not abstract concepts- they are very real and present actualities. We deny our involvement by making them abstract and fuzzy and complicated to cancel out our complicity.
We engage in these behaviors without understanding. We claim allegiance to the Scapegoat Crucified when our own complicity created the need. We know not what we do.
Deeply Misguided Theory or Mind-Blowing Revelation?