I had an email over the weekend from Mark Edwards, friend and regular commenter on here. He was concerned that his comments on here may have appeared to convey the wrong message in terms of how he feels about different expressions of church.
He sent this to me and told me I could post it.
As I said to Mark, I never mind some disagreement and while we might come at things from different angles I’d rather have the open discussion and the thoughts of those who don’t agree with me than the simple hum of the choir drumming in your ears 24/7. So here you have some thoughts from Mark:
There has been over the past few years a lot of discussion of the so called ‘emerging church’. The very name causes much angst among both its protagonists, and antagonists, with neither agreeing exactly what it means.
For a pragmatist such as myself, the question I am always asking is, what do you do, and what are you producing. For the evangelist in me, I am asking, what fruit in terms of peoples lives are you seeing changed?
I am in regular contact with one such leader, Andrew Hamilton, and regularly receive updates on his work, ‘Upstream Ministries’. There are plenty of people who are critical of what he does, and the decisions he has made. I am not here to defend him, or the ministry he is involved in, but I do want to encourage and state what is good about his ministry.
He cares about people, passionately. This is evident through the various community activities he and his team are involved in. From backyard renovations to building veggie patches, he is actually doing something, instead of just talking about it.
The other thing I love about Hamo is his willingness to dialogue and work with those he does not necessarily line up with theologically. He talks to Lutherans, Anglicans and atheists. Hamo has also not rejected the established church, in fact he still is involved at a more traditional Baptist Church, and finds meaning and purpose there. In contrast to some Emerging Church guys, he does not appear to have a axe to grind, chip on shoulder or barrow to push, unless its his neighbours.
In the midst of discussion about methods of church, lets not forget that those of us who call on the name of Christ, and who are encouraging others to do the same, are on the same side.
I pray for God’s richest blessing and joy on Andrew and all the crew working with him in Brighton.