Sunday, July 17, 2005

Response about the Emerging Church

Justin Tapp is correct about a couple of things, the church in America does not look like churches overseas, and furthermore a great deal of things we do at church are nowhere mentioned in scripture. However, I will have to say and I am not saying that Mr. Tapp is saying the opposite of this, but while Sunday School, "Church Clothes", hymnals, and organs are not mentioned in the Bible, there are many things in American churches that are done correctly. For starters, Paul tells us in the book of 1 Timothy about the organization of the church including Bishops, Elders, and Deacons. This letter was written after the churches Peter started in Acts. The Acts churches are 1st generation believer churches. However, Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit knew that organization was required to prevent chaos. He tells that the Pastor should be paid. He talks about discipline and the Sacraments. While Sunday School or the day of the week meeting should take place I will defend the reason for the both. However, the rest of the things we do the music, and clothing I have come to think are a matter of taste to each congregation. Sunday School while not technically found in the Bible, is good I feel for the following reasons. First, it builds a since of community with the small group meetings. This helps the body of Christ. Small groups also field subjects and questions that may not be able to be addressed in corporate worship. They also help with accountability and with ministering to people in the church because the small group usually makes for more intimate relationships. As for the day of the week. I dont believe anyday of the week is particularly the the Sabbath. Jesus says that the Sabbath was created for man not man for the Sabbath. God knows we need a day off. In American society this day is Sunday because of cultural mores. The day of the week we devote to the Lord should be the day of the week we can devote the entire day. Thus in our culture, say Thursday wont work, but in China it may, I dont know. Church on Sunday is good in our culture because our society has been setup to have Sunday off from work, therefore, it makes for a good day to worship the Lord. I realize I have left some holes in some of my arguments because it is short. I hope some comments will fill them in. If not I will answer them as I have time.


At 7:22 PM, Blogger JTapp said...

I think you're correct, and you don't contradict anything I say.

My understanding is that the "emerging church" movement is (for example) saying that, for certain folks, Sunday is not such a good day to have church (more Americans now work on Sunday than ever before), so they say "Where does it say we have to worship on Sunday" while the "traditional" church says "Because Sunday is the Sabbath, and it's our tradition." Something as subtle as that makes a church different and therefore "emerging."
Am I correct in my understanding of the definition of "emerging church?"

My observation (and fear, which I'll blog about later this week) is that these newer churches are saying "Sunday School is traditional, therefore it's bad. Anything traditional is bad." They eliminate their Sunday schools, and try to start home groups (or something else), and end up losing both the # of people who used to go to Sunday School, and the positives that Sunday school had (which you listed well).
(not to say home groups are bad, I'm just making an example based on observation).

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