This was originally posted at EpinoiaCafe.com
Emergent Christianity is amazing and wonderful–it allowed me to come in. I was a non-Christian for my whole life, doing my best to follow God without Jesus’ help. Why? Because Christianity appeared completely insane. (I won’t specify… I assume you know what I mean by “insane.”)
So I’m a very happy “emergent” but I’m not emerging from anything remotely fundamentalist or evangelical. I think there might be other folks like me who are “emerging” from
- buddhism (which I still dearly love)
… not from evangelicalism.
From here, the emerging conversation is looking like a private party where folks talk about where they are coming from. It’s like I’m hanging out with people who all used to live in the mountains, and they say, “Oh, remember how in the mountains it was so cold?” and “I am beginning to think it might be safe to wear shorts.” To tell you the truth, it’s getting kind of boring. I’m tired of hearing about how somebody used to think this or that, but now they are beginning to wonder…
I am much more interested in talking about the experience of God, about theology as Rob Bell paints it, about what it means to love my neighbor and how are the “least of these” than I am about who used to think what, and which church they’ve left, and why.
But the real reason I bring it up isn’t to complain. It’s to explore whether there really are people like me out there, and how best to meet them where they are.
I was at dinner recently with a bunch of pagans, and confessed that I have a found a way to reach for God by following Jesus Christ. What happened next amazed me. One woman said, “Oh yes, I love Jesus.” She said that she felt very close to Jesus, but didn’t like Christians. She said that she communicates with him all the time. “He holds me.”
A man at table said he thought Jesus was amazing, “hard-wired” with awareness of God. “He really got it. I could spend the rest of my life on a mountaintop,” he told me, “and never get it like he did, never accomplish what he could do naturally.”
These are people who had described themselves as *pagans*. Amazing, huh?
But while post-evangelicals are standing around talking to each other, people like that are not being invited in to experience this beautiful thing that is Jesus Christ. And *I’m* not (though I’m stubborn enough to be here anyway). I’m bored with the emergent blogosphere, and hungry for getting into the meat of this path. I don’t want to talk about how Christianity is changing, and who is happy about it and who is not. I want to sing about how wonderful he is, how grace is the most amazing thing, how following him is what life is all about.