Friday, April 13, 2007

so much anger

i'm often troubled by the amount of anger expressed by christians at other christians

in my tribe, this is most often manifested as young people
or emergent types
or pomophiles
or dissenters
angry at the church-as-it-commonly-exists-in-america
for their
consumerism
apathy
uselessness
irrelevance
marriage to tradition/disregard for mission

but,
i actually believe that our anger at these [justifiably] bothersome traits
is as much of a problem as the problems we are identifying

first
because our anger allows others to dismiss us as idealists/professional protestors
whom they assume will never be happy because we're "anti-institutional"

second
because we're very free about the expression of our anger
such that others see our malice
and equate our hatred with the cause of christ
the fallacy of religious unity
and identify us as the evangelical al-queda
on par with jerry falwell
or those weirdos from the appalachians who call down judgement on those unlike themselves

and,
third,
because it makes jesus sad to see us hate the very people he loves

because
after all
he does indeed love the church

he died for the church

we're told in the gospels that men will know we are christ's disciples
by our love for one another

not by our cool churches
or narrative theology

but by our love

which - to me - is what seems most absent about our movement

there is no love for one another in the emerging church

we defend against our detractors
we're hospitable to people of other faiths
we're engaging with people of no faith
we're warm and loving for anyone god brings to us - except brothers and sisters from another part of our family

and this
more than anything
is the quality that disqualifies us from effecting real change in america

we don't live the gospel to those who already know it

2 comments:

  1. Who's angry, and who hates "the very people" Jesus loves? Is a demand/need for change and improvement on "their" part equal to anger and hatred on "our" part? I doubt many are angry and/or hateful of the traditionalists. We just see that things could be different and better.

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