God bless my Pastor, but he has a tendency to rail against people who are...well, like me.
This, I explained... was the best analogy I could come up with for why so many rich, comfortable, western, neo-conservative, first ammendment protected, christians could claim they are being persecuted in a society of freedom.
Now, I happen to agree with him that the church claims persecution too much, and what we see in America is more of a "it's not as popular as it used to be" mentality than true persecution.
I also agree that persecution forces people to take a stand.
What I am concerned about is the mentality in the emergent church to think that anything conservative, or western is automatically discounted.
Take Pastor Billy's infamous "...arrogant, overfed and unconcerned west." line. I use to beat him over the head anytime the US, England, or Australia does something magnanimous.
Having only been exposed to the emergent church from Pastor Billy's viewpoint, I sometimes wonder if there is a place for me there.
As shown in two different places, it seems to champion leftist causes, often accepting feel-goods over fact. The "we should be doing something to help people" often trumping more realistic solutions. After all, sometimes the best solution is killing the people doing the killing. Does anybody really think that Saddam and his sons would stop the rape rooms if we had asked them really really nicely?
The irony is that most people in the emergent church seem to idolize Diedrich Bonhoeffer for his radical views on how a church community should operate, and seem to conveniently forget that he helped foment an assassination attempt.
True, it was Hitler, but Saul was an evil leader, and David still slew the man who killed him. It should not be the place of any modern Religious icon to be involved with the active planning of military matters. That is called a Crusade, and you can see how well that turned out.
One other thing that seems to pervade the Emergent Church is the readiness and willingness to take swipes at the Conservative viewpoint.
To be fair, Billy did amend the headline to say that "Sutton says" to blame Aimee Semple McPherson for the religious right.
My question is why should we isolate the "Religious right" to begin with? It only serves to isolate and divide a church along political lines instead of denomination lines.
Pastor Billy and I have disagreed about the church's involvment in politics. I think that the politics should follow the church. Pastor Billy thinks that the church should get in on the political game.
Now, with that much venom between political sides lying just below the surface, why infect the Church with venom that had formerly been left at the door?
Yes, pastor was joking with me when he stated that he wished there was so little conflict in the world that my employer (a defense contractor) wouldn't have work.
However, would it have gone over so well if he told one of the more-hippy-ish people that he hoped that there would be enough environmental understanding so that his people could stop torching SUV dealerships and spiking trees? Somehow, I think not.
As one of my friends used to say, "Multi-culturalism/tolerance is only tolerant as long as you agree with their politics."
Tell someone with a left-leaning slant that you think global warming is linked to sunspots, and not man-made CO2, and see how tolerant they are.
Tell someone with Birkenstocks that you think current firearms restrictions make no sense, and, more likely than not, you'll get a diatribe on how firearms in the hands of citizens are the worst thing we have ever thought up. Never mind that it prevented Japan from invading during WWII after they had smashed Pearl Harbor.
The emergent church, with its exploration of viewing things from other points of view, seems to reject mine.
How am I expected to get behind a supposedly tolerant movement that feels free to rail against my viewpoint almost exclusively?
Please don't take this as me leaving my church. When I don't feel my viewpoint assaulted, I value the different take on the Bible that Pastor Billy provides.
As should be the case with any blog, this is me simply expressing my viewpoint for all you sicko voyeurs to read. For those who agree 100% with Pastor Billy, good on you. I am simply voicing a concern regarding my exposure to the Emergent Church.
P.S. H1alphas were the only true Hummers. That makes this a thing of wonder and beauty