Archive for April 2nd, 2007

For months now Ken Silva has made accusation after accusation against leaders that he claims are emergent. Many of us here at and Analysis have felt that that these claims and accusations have been made incorrectly and unbiblically. I know that I have personally asked Ken to look to Matthew 18 as the way to deal with conflict and sin among brothers. The first step in that process would be to go to the person who has offended and address them personally.

Surprisingly, Ken has not made personal contact with many of the men that he attacks on a regular basis at CRN and Apprising. His justification? He has said several times that Matthew 18 is referring to a sin or conflict between two people. Ken says what he is addressing on his website is a sin between man and God. According to Ken, These men have not sinned against him, but against God himself. Because of this, Matthew 18 doesn’t apply to the situation.

However, in this recent article on CRN, Paul Walker apparently has a different idea. It seems that Paul used Matthew 18 to remove a couple from his church that were “emergent” and obviously had different ideologies than him. He followed Matthew 18 procedure, and this couple was recently voted out and their names were removed from the membership roster. Apparently it was ok for CRN to use this passage of scripture with common church members, but it is not correct to use this passage with world class leaders such as McManus, Bell, Warren , etc.

So Ken and Paul, I pose this question and discussion. Why is it ok to use Matthew 18 to kick somone out of your church who subscribes to “emergent” theology, but it isn’t ok to us Matthew 18 to condemn a leaders for subscribing to “emergent” theology. Isn’t either case a sin against God, as you have so often defended yourself with? Or, could it be that you really do need to personally go to Warren, Bell, McManus, etc. before you inform the whole world of their “downfalls”.

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In an attempt to break down the idea that men like Rob Bell and Erwin McManus are “emergent”, I am finding articles that would help prove this. This was a recent article written by Erwin Raphael McManus entitled “Emerging Angle”

Broken and Fragmented

I must confess I was a bit apprehensive writing under the moniker of emerging church. There is so much baggage that comes with this term. This is not a term I have ever chosen for myself or Mosaic. Mosaic by the way is the community of faith I serve here in Los Angeles. Yet it seems everywhere I turn this is the designation that is placed on us.

So my disclaimer is that I don’t get anywhere near speaking on behalf of all of those who would identify themselves as emerging. On the other hand I will acknowledge that what is going on in L.A is different than what would be described as a modern church – even the innovative ones. Let me begin trying to help you know and understand our heart, who we are and why we do what we do.

In my case I am from El Salvador. That means that I have the Spanish language and the Roman Catholic Church in my background. My grandmother taught me the name of Jesus and my grandfather taught me reincarnation. They both fit comfortably into my belief system – as did aliens, astral-projection, trans-channeling; and pretty much anything else meta-physical.

While studying philosophy in college my mother came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Through her and the first Baptist church of Orlando I also came to embrace Jesus.

When I gave my life to Christ it was not to go to heaven or avoid hell or even to have my sins forgiven; it was for one reason above all the others – Jesus could change me to become like him in his character and in him my life would not be wasted. For me the gospel was a call to live a heroic life marked by honor, wisdom and sacrifice.

This is central to the heart of Mosaic. Jesus didn’t die just to get us out of trouble. His death was the price for our lives – so in him we become fully alive. As followers of Christ we live to love and love to live. Jesus pulls us out of a life of mediocrity to live a life defined by passion and compassion.

We choose the name Mosaic because it is an art form where broken and fragmented pieces are brought together by an artist to create something beautiful out of the imperfect and irregular pieces. We are a work of art formed by the hand of the master artist. He is creating something beautiful through us all using even our brokenness and imperfection.

This is at the core of what is happening on the edge of what has been historically known as Christianity. It may also be the best way of understanding what we are about and why it is so hard to embrace at times. What others see is the mess of our pieces scattered all over the place in disarray; what we see is the future Mosaic.

It is different; but different in a good way. It is more raw, more honest, more authentic, more transparent, and in this way more dangerous and less palatable. Sounds like the first century church to me.

There is a new church coming. There is a new movement erupting. There is a new future being created. We call it a Mosaic future.

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Along with the article Joe pointed out below, CRN posts an introduction to an interview between Rick Warren and Sam Harris moderated by Jon Meacham from Newsweek.  Technically it’s not a debate… it’s more of a tit for tat discussion.  And as is typical of these kinda things, Meacham does a poor job keeping things on track.

Three initial impressions:

RE: Rick Warren – I thought he did a good job considering the format. He didn’t back down or give in or waffle.

RE: Sam Harris – I thought he avoided a lot of the questions and tended to change the subject instead of answer.

RE: CRN – They posted this without finding any fault with Warren.

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First of all, I need to give a quick shout out to our friends at Slice 2.0 for linking me to this article. I have taken some criticism for coining the term “fightin’ fundie”  but I offer this article as proof that not all fundies are fightin’! I remember as a child reading sword of the LORD. As I grew I realized I didn’t agree with all of their stuff, but I always appreciated that they always supported what they had to say. They didn’t quote people out of context. They had integrity. In this article the author, Dr. Shelton Smith offers some advice for those who would call themselves watchmen on the wall. I’d love to give you some favorite quotes, but I am at work on a 5 (five minute break) so I don’t have time.

Incidentally, a commenter on this blog has an excellent post on the same topic. Both of these articles prove that Christians can be disagreeably agreeable but there must be a level of accountability. There must be some honesty by those that post. When people are allowed to post whatever they want and given Godly status for doing it, there is a great danger. When Christians lie about other Christians (as Ken has done numerous times) it is a blight on the Body of Christ and a slap to the face of His Bride. Click on the links and enjoy the articles. As Chris L has said numerous times, there is room for both the emerging and the fundamentalist in the body of Christ.

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