Frozen Chosen No More
There is a weekly newsletter within the Presbyterian Church. Its is the Presbyterian Outlook. Presbyterian Outlook Article. There are more articles at this site including one from Bruce Reyes-Chow (www.reyes-chow.com) who has a great blog to check out. Sorry Bruce I haven’t got to your article yet. Occasionally I read through it to see what is going on in the denomination in the nation and the world. Overall it is a pretty good read. This week the theme is about the Emerging Church. I am surprised for several reasons. The first is that the Emerging Church is actually being recognized by the denomination. And secondly not in a negative light. That is until the letters tot he editor comes later this week.The emerging church comes in many different shapes, sizes, theology, and political beliefs. Not two are the same. There are the ones that meet in bars or community based. One can find the liberals that think the church as an institution should be abandoned and those that look much like a mainline church but act in a very different way. One thing binds them though. That being seeking Jesus as a community in a very different but real way.“And the appeal of Emergent thinking isn’t limited to young adults. “It’s for everyone who hates church,” one Presbyterian pastor said matter-of-factly. What she meant is: It’s for people who want an authentic encounter with God, and too often aren’t finding it in traditional congregations.”A key cornerstone in emerging thinking is that of authenticity and not blind faith. It creates in many way a multi-sensory approach combined with community to bring about a real sense of faith.It’s the force that has to be acknowledged. While some mainline congregations are open to innovation and change, others are not. “I long for that kind of community,” one Presbyterian pastor said over coffee. But in her congregation, “we really don’t want to be relational. We want to be nice to each other. But when it comes down to sharing our guts, our deepest thoughts, we’re not sure we want to do that.”Many think that one needs to either be mainline or emerging. That is untrue. The Presbyterian form of government (Book of Order) does not tell us that we need to be the frozen chosen. Rather it is “through Christ that the Church is called into being, giving it all that is necessary for its mission TO the world, for its building up, and for its service to God”. (G-1.0100b) It is our own polity that tells us that we should be everything necessary to serve the world and the church. It says nothing about being static and frozen. Many use the PCUSA catch-line without really understanding it. “To be reformed and always reforming”. We are not to be static but always changing with Christ at the center of it all.