To my semi-regular reader Chris, this one’s for you.
I recently had coffee with a friend whom I’m getting to know, and as our discussion moved to the spiritual realm I found myself hesitant to really open up about myself. I was avoiding certain topics and discussions, and in particular as we were figuring where one another is on the Christian spectrum I didn’t throw certain names around.
I didn’t want him to suddenly fall his head back with an “ooh,” thinking I’m one of those.
To be direct, I was hesitant to mention the Emerging church movement.
If you’ve read any number of posts on here, you’ve probably figured out that I’m not only not conservative, but that my thinking could often place me in the emergent camp. An odd camp to be in because it has few, if any, defined or distinct ideals.
But truth be told I read some emergent authors, and even think I gain a lot from their insight. I’ve avoided naming names on this blog precisely because its so dangerous these days. It’s a near-instant way to turn someone off. It’s likely this post may even accomplish that.
The wide availability of information on the internet, as well as the polarization of politics, has only increased the division among believers. In some ways the brotherhood is gone, because these days the common bond of Jesus falls to the way side as we determine “what type” of Christian (or heretic) someone is upon meeting them.
Are you Southern Baptist?
Or a strict Calvinist?
A crazy Pentecostal? One of those flaming Methodists? What about a social justice Christian? Fuzzy Wuzzy Seeker Friendly Evangelical*?
*a term I just coined
Christians have tremendous difficulty simply getting along with one another – can you imagine what it would have been like for Jews and Gentiles coming together? The kicking and screaming and dragging of feet that went on?
Though it certainly didn’t happen cleanly, instead of staring down all the obvious differences, instead both groups lost their identity in Jesus. No longer was there Jew nor Gentile, Greek nor Roman.
And though it certainly seems helpful to know if someone is emergent, fundamentalist, pentecostal, episcopalian – maybe we need to lose our identities. Maybe we trim down on some pride.