Kevin Miller at Out of Ur asks a very helpful question: Who is more spiritual? Emergents or Traditionalists?
I have offered my comments over there so I won’t repeat them here.
On second thoughts I will have to because apparently my comment was too lomg for the Ur fellas. So here it is:
Well of course the emergents are more spiritual. Absolutely no bloody contest!
Everyone knows that, but no-one is willing to say it. So – there – I have.
Now before you traditionalists get your big black King James all bent out of shape hear me out.
Emergents win on number 1 because have a huge range of spiritual practices that extend well beyond the daily quiet time (does anyone actually do it DAILY?!). They actually ‘practice the presence of God’ every minute of every day (which surely is much more spiritual than 10 mins in the morning) and they welcome every tradition as a way of expressing their spirituality. No contest.
The fact that emergents don’t actually do many of the things they write about is not a fair reason to dismiss them. They do like the ideas very much.
As for social justice, well who could call gazillions of dollars worth of buildings ‘just’? Traditionalists just don’t have a clue on this front. Billions die for lack of food, but we have comfortable new seats, 3 big screens and staff for every conceivable need or is it ‘want’?.
OK – so traditionalists were the ones who responsible for establishing hospitals, schools, overseas aid agencies and mercy ministries, but what about a ‘cup of cold water in Jesus’ name’ or visiting the prisoner?… Oh ok prison fellowhship came out of trad churches too?
Emergents kick butt on mellowness of spirit. Those crusty old traditionalists who frown at every teenager who wears a baseball cap in church could really learn a thing or two from gracious emergents. Just go read their blogs and see how ‘mellow spirited’ they are. (Actually email me first so I can give you a suitable selection..) And if they sometimes seem angry then traditionalists just need to know that its righteous anger – usually fuelled by traditionalist critiques.
When it comes to community its still no contest. ‘Emergent emergent emergent’ the crowd chant down the back straight. Is sitting in rows at 10.00 each week community. Where are the couches? Where is the coffee? The beer? The wine? The party?
I could go on but I won’t…
Nonsense questions like these really do bring out the less mellow side of me because they only serve to polarise a discussion that at times has hope of being helpful and mutally informing, but can also degenerate into the drivel I wrote above.
Come on Kevin. Please…
If we’re to be the church and love each other then posts like these really don’t help anyone’s cause.