Loving your enemies


Let me preface everything I’m about to say with this disclaimer:

I am no fan of the emergent movement. In fact, most people within the movement would classify me as extremely hostile to it. I find some parts weird, some parts refreshing, and some parts heretical. Unfortunately, I find some of the teachings to be apostasy (though this is more on an individual basis and not overall). I am hostile to the theology, I do find much of what they’re exploring/teaching to be a dangerous rehashing of old heresies, and I do not like how flippant they tend to be toward Church history.

With that said, I attempt to argue against the theology and not against the person. I fail at this, but I do attempt it. In most cases, just because I disagree with them – even if that disagreement is huge – I always try to divorce the person from the idea. This means:

1) That I try to be friendly

2) If possible, I try to be their friend

3) Before criticizing what they’re saying, I try to understand what they mean and why they’re saying it (from the person if possible)

Sometimes, I fail at all three, sometimes I succeed at all three. I’m a sinner, so it’s hit and miss. But I only know when I’m wrong because I also know how I should act and by knowing how I should act, I know how others should act.

The reason I bring all of this up is recently, Michael Morrell (helps with “The Ooze” website, an emergent website) opened up with some problems he’s been having concerning extreme anxiety. In the post, he confessed that for whatever reason, he’s slowly been gaining a fear of travel, so much so that he can’t drive out of his local area or even ride with other people. I’d encourage you to go read the article because it’s very refreshing to see someone so open about their struggles.

Unfortunately, some people with a Reformed bent who are also anti-Emergent and pride themselves as heresy hunters read the post and decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make fun of Mike. They mock Mike attempting to find alternative cures to his problem to simply having the problem, viewing it as a weakness within Mike that they can exploit.

I’m all for arguing against false teachings or false spirituality, but what these men at Remonstrans are doing goes too far and is unbecoming of a Christian. Under the Christian worldview we wage war against ideals and not people, though sometimes we must wage it against the people as well in order to save those who they lead astray. But even when we go against the person, we show how what the person is saying is wrong; we don’t attack the personal problems of the person, especially if the person can’t help it. What Mike is going through is not something that is under his control; he deserves our prayers, our empathy, and our support, not our vitriol and insults. Continue reading

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Is it time for a “New Kind of Eschatology”?


Recently, Brian McLaren wrote an article in the Huffington Post titled, “Needed: Christians Thinking Differently About the Future.” In it, he argues that because many evangelicals believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, or some type of end to the world, they have forgotten their current responsibilities. He argues that many evangelicals (and some Roman Catholics) argue that since the world is going to end and Christ will reign forever, does it really  matter how we treat creation, how we treat each other, or anything else? All that should matter under such a view, according to McLaren, is saving souls. McLaren argues that such a view does not benefit the world and, in his words, “If God has predetermined that the world will get worse and worse until it ends in a cosmic megaconflict between the forces of Light …and the forces of Darkness…why waste energy on peacemaking, diplomacy, and interreligious dialogue?”

While this might come as a surprise to some, I do agree somewhat with McLaren on this issue. For those who don’t know, my eschatological stance is best summed as, “Something is going to happen.” While I do have an eschatology that remains stable and absolute (i.e. that there will be a physical resurrection of the dead, there will be a judgment, Christ will reign over the world, there will be a new heaven and a new earth), the question of how this will all come about is a complete mystery to me. Likewise, it’s not all that important either.

Continue reading