The Emergence in Question

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?


5 Comments on “The Emergence in Question”

  1. cara :) says:

    Is it possible that the negative groupies are emergent as well? Based on the wiki stuph about emergent, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  2. Mike Ash says:

    wow…I’m thinking of all of the faces that I can direct my negativity towards…

  3. joshnjesse says:

    A name, face or even a structure (like a wall, statue or…palace) is easier to wage opposition against than, say, a theory. I’ve always found it difficult to analyze theories (and by analyse I mostly mean refute), because I tend to pull out helpful nuggets from all of them. Might I request a tutorial-a survey of modern church theory (including ones you’ve mentioned like House Church and Emergent/Emerging Church)? I’ll read up on wiki, but could you prepare something simpler, with action figures?

  4. metamoses says:

    It’s the 3 3/4″ action figure idea that excites me. ***Rev. Ralph D.- Now With Bible-Thumping Action!!!*** Perhaps a communion playset? ***Confession Booth w/ Sinner’s Remorse Parishioner Dan***
    As for the church survey- the Denominational Handbook, if you will… there’s no easy way around it. I will have it finished in about 17 years. I am working on this already, though. Seriously. It’s a lot of fun.

  5. jesse says:

    I must pre-order, tout de suite!

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s