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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Latest Tripe in the Nazarene/Emergent Mess

So here is a link to an editorial in our Nazarene publication, Holiness Today: David J. Felter, editor in chief, concludes his flowery editorial with these words referring to emergent nazarenes; [Just]"Because they are different does not mean they are aberrant." Here is my response; "Just because you can wax eloquent doesn't mean your words are less the lie." Again, you can no sooner have a "post-modern Christian" as you can have a "Satanic Christian" and I pray that the leadership in our Denomination realize this before people will begin to add "Nazarene Christian" to this list of oxymora.

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James Diggs said...

you wrote, "you can no sooner have a 'post-modern Christian' as you can have a "Satanic Christian'".

I just don't get it Nyk, this makes no sense. That is like saying, that pre-modern Christians,and "modern" Christians" are somehow also an impossibility. Or Maybe you think the opposite, that being a Christian means being "modern". I am not sure how Jesus and his teaching's were "modern", but you still defend modernity as if it is somehow the gospel.

Honestly Nyk your statements are extremely ignorant. The gospel has always been both incarnational as well as transformational; both culturally relevant while also being counter cultural.

It makes no sense to somehow disqualify emerging post modernity from Christianity than it would have for the pre-moderns and then medieval people to somehow disqualify emerging modern thinking during the Renaissance. (though I am sure this happened because of ignorance then too; the church calling Galileo a "heretic" for believing the earth revolved around the sun comes to mind.)

Nicholas said...

You should be careful about calling someone ignorant when you believe myths like that one about Galileo.

Post-modernism is a humanistic philosophy just as modernism was/is. I don't see where I have defended modernism in any way. The instances where it may have seemed so is only where modernism coincided with Biblical Christianity. I was not defending modernism, rather I was defending Biblical Christianity.

Now what is truly ignorant is this idea that Jesus was both culturally relevant and counter cultural. Only in emergeworld could this be stated in any serious manner. Tell me how Jesus was relevant to the culture of the priests? Or Pilate? Or Rome, or the young, rich man, or the woman at the well, or the tax collectors? And the list could go on. He was not relevant to the culture at all in any way. He was counter cultural in every way.

Jesus, on the other hand, was relevant to each person He met on a personal level. This was and is because everyone of us has the same need. The need to be forgiven and set free from sin and empowered to live a life for Him. That has been the same since Cain and Abel to this very day. And that is why Biblical Christianity can be and is relevant to everyone in every culture, in every age. The need doesn't change, God doesn't change and true Christianity doesn't change. AND it is counter cultural in EVERY culture it resides, whether its Communist China, Socialist Scandinavia, Fascist Germany, or the Democratic West in its modern or post-modern mindset.

It never ceases to astound me how emergents constantly complain about how Western Christianity adopted so much of the modern mindset and that this was such an evil thing (if evil does exist in the mind of an emergent) and yet they don't simply allow themselves to be influenced by the now post-modern mindset but rather seek out and openly adopt, whole-heartedly that mindset. Something that Christianity never did with modernism. If you want to see Christianity unaffected by Western modernism, go to Africa and you will find no stronger an opponent of emergent theology than those Christians.

The whole point is that you can't be a Christian and embrace the culture in the way it thinks and believes. If there were Christians who embraced the aspects of modernism that contradicted Scripture (and I am sure there were those that did that, clearly) then I would question why they are calling themselves Christians just the same. But again, there was never a movement of the Church towards modernism as there is one towards post-modernism. Neither one can be tolerated. You can't have a "satanic christian" because satanism is diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity. Likewise, you cannot have a "post-modern christian" because post-modernism is also diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity.

I really wish you had not simply commented on that one little statement but instead had commented on this issue that because some "christians" look or act differently they are not being accepted into the church when really the entire reason for the conflict is not because they look different but because they are not Christians.

I've written far more than I had planned but that's how it goes and much more could be said so with that I bid you God's Grace.


James Diggs said...

you wrote, "He (Jesus)was not relevant to the culture at all in any way. He was counter cultural in every way."

Jesus was a Jew and a Nazarene during Roman occupation - that is cultural and relevant.

By the way I acknowledged that the gospel is also counter cultural to those living in post-modernity. I am sorry you can't see where things can be both/and.

You wrote, "...Something that Christianity never did with modernism. If you want to see Christianity unaffected by Western modernism go to Africa..."

lol- this is funny on many accounts because historically modern missionary efforts have always been steeped in modernizing and westernizing the world in the name of "Christianizing" it. You clearly can not tell the difference between modernity and Christianity if you think African Christians have been "unaffected by Western modernism".

You wrote, "post-modernism is also diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity."

You are obviously defining "Biblical Christianity" by the modern standards that this term itself emerged from historically- this is another reason why you get modernity and "Biblical Christianity" so confused as the same thing and why you think post modernity is incompatible with "Biblical Christianity". Many of the Nazarene leaders I know who have been under attack for being "emergent" are the most biblical people I know.

So Nyk, I'll stick with the word "ignorance" I used earlier as you continue to attack (or support the misnamed "concerned nazarenes" attacks on) our leadership in our denomination (many of whom that I know and can see Christ in their lives) as as you call them based on a label, "satanic" and "not Christians".

I greatly appreciate the Holiness Today article because it calls people away from such nonsense of being caught up in the fear tactics of the ignorant.


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