Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jesus Creed, Dialogue & Emerging Submerging

On an earlier post, I mentioned that I have been part of the online conversation at Jesus Creed, the blog for The Emerging Church, The Emerging Movement or Emerging. It is the creation of Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies of North Park University in Chicago, Illinois.

I have found a very interesting phenomenon while participating in the conversation at Jesus Creed. Yes, it is true that eveyone is encouraged to particpate in the online dialogue. But there are limits to this open conversation. It has nothing to do with crossing the boundaries of decorum as in vulgar speech or personal attack. It has to to with the tenor and breadth of conversation actively encouraged and advertised.

No topic is considered taboo and questions are almost considered mandatory. This is because of the supposed openness of questioning anything and everything historically traditional within the realm of Christendom. Biblical texts and all related issues as well as historical settings, subsequent epochs and all recorded actions of personalities of note are fair game.

But their appears to be a few unspoken caveats. Certain conclusions deemed unsuitable to the Emerging modus operandi are not acceptable. However, the only way of ascertaining these boundaries is through the experience of asking questions, participating in the dialogue and, then, drawing conclusions. And certain conclusions are not agreeable to Emerging conclusions. This is true in spite of any claims to the contrary.

One caveat can be found when scrutinizing certain Emerging conclusions. Questions and dialogue are OK as long as absolutes are not taken only from Scripture or from an historically traditional view of Scripture. In some areas, it seems that absolutes are not welcome at all. The area in question remains open to individual thoughts and conclusions.

Another unspoken caveat is ascertained by taking a consistent stand regarding a particular issue and not backing down. This is not respected. To think you are right about that particular issue is unacceptable. You may have others challenge you on various points about that issue, yet, if you remain steadfast, you are considered to be arrogant. This is viewed as an attempt to impose your will on the others in the conversation.

Another Emerging caveat is unveiled more quickly by any thought deemed to put The Emerging Movement in a negative light or to identify Emerging with certain movements outside of Traditional Christianity. For example, if Emerging practices or teachings are said to be the same as those in Eastern Religious practices such as Mysticism, Transcendental Meditation, Spiritism, Spiritualism, etc., the one intimating such thoughts is instantly challenged, if not outright called out on the blog. Receiving rebukes and reprovals by certain ones in the conversation can accumulate quickly.

Of course, the particulars of the dialogue are not put to the strict scrutiny of Scripture. There may be lame attempts of using Scripture outside of context or literal meaning, but strict scrutiny consistently using Scripture is not allowed.

Eventually, the caveats become unashamedly overt. You will be warned and if you do not abide by their strict standards of conduct on the blog, your posts will be removed and your IRL temporarily blocked from further participation in the conversation. Failure to heed the Emerging caveats results in a permanent block. I

have nothing of a personal nature to say against Scot McKnight except to say that there are certain topics he will not allow to be discussed on his blog. This is perfectly fine because, after all, it is his blog. And he is allowed to determine the parameters of conversation; but not when the idea promoted is that the conversation is open.

So, it seems that Emerging is really all about Submerging, submerging Truth, submerging certain Truth. Believe it or not, Emerging types are being led down a path containing the aromatic tinge from below.

Emerging Vacuum

When is Black not black? When is up not up? When is good not good?..........................................................................................................Give Up?

Well, silly you,..............when its Emerging! Anybody should know that!

Please, doubting me about this will do you no amount of good............not that good is really good..........and who are you to determine such things? If I say good is bad, then that's good!

Of course, the most important part of good not being good is the fact that the truth of good being good was questioned. Truth not questioned cannot be truth can it? So we question. And truth begins to take on the bright luster of darkness. Isn't it amazing?

Imagine the new twists and turns available to the one who questions. What you thought to be true is pregnant with the possiblity of falsity. And what you thought to be false blossoms into absolute truth. Reality takes on any number of different dimensions only limited by the amount of questions posed.

Just think. All that past asurance and confidence carries a high probability of being chaos and confusion. How could you have missed the obvious, chaos and confusion being the place of security and vitality?

All I can say is that I am so happy for you and your newfound understanding of Life. Emerging fits you very nicely. You look good! You look confident! You look as if you have everything figured out..........finally! The real you has finally Emerged!

Welcome to a new existence, where everything is exactly as it appears not to be. Otherwise, there's no confidence in your knowledge of nothing. No problem as long as you know the difference betwen nothing in its appearance and nothing in its reality, the essence of Emerging.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mars, Al Gore & The Conspiracy of Global Warming

If you have been keeping up with the PR circus known as Global Warming, then you have heard the latest rumblings from a lone wolf scientist by the name of Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia. He says that the sun is the cause of the warming of the earth as well as the simultaneous warming on Mars.

These lastest revelations have temporarily diverted our atttention away from the most serious theory to explain the warming of the earth's atmosphere. The sheer amount of raw hard data forming the foundation of this purely scientific theory is hard to ignore for any lover of true knowledge. It seems that man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions can be traced to a major non- stationary source upon the earth, a source large enough to effect the entire globe even though largely limited to the Western Hemishere. It also seems that data mined from the travel records of major airlines, university speaking itineraries as well as satellite infrared imagery have left scientists of the highest regard with no choice but to disclose the intial findings of the latest climate change study.

The warm issuance of such man made emissions has been closely linked to the geographic travel patterns of one Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States. Interestingly, the data heavily suggests the correlation between the political trajectory of the carreer of Mr Gore and the warming of the earth's atmosphere over the last 25 years, with alarming increases in recent warming activity also coinciding with the increase of Mr Gore's activity outside of the political realm. Needless to say, more study is needed, but the seriousness with which this theory has gained acceptance cannot be ignored by the general populace of any nation.

Which leads me back to the latest scientific crossing of swords regarding this hot issue. While the theory of Mr. Abdussamatov is hotly contested by many scientists, the data mentioned above is being ignored. I propose the following conspiracy theory:

  1. Since Mr. Abdussamatov is from Russia, he can't be trusted. He's obviously a part of a Communist plot by ex-KGB agent and present President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Which means that;
  2. Al Gore and Putin (and others) are in league together. They are executing a well orchestrated plan to keep the world's population from knowing the real cause of global warming, not just here on Earth, but also on Mars. And this is where the real conspiracy comes in. The link between Earth and Mars is that;
  3. Mankind is already on the planet Mars. That's right! There are extensive colonies of Earth's citizens already planted on the Red planet as I write this blog entry. Lest you think I am attempting to connect the warming of Mars to the invasion of Earthlings, please settle down. This is where the data mentioned above comes into serious play. This data shows that;
  4. Al Gore has been Mars' most prestigious as well as most frequent visitor, making many secret trips known only to a select few. Which means that;
  5. All the current hoopla surrounding global warming, with its conflicting thoeries, is really a coverup of the fact that Al Gore is currently acting as an interplanetary Ambassador on behalf of the United Nations and Earth Goddess Gaia to Mars.

If you don't believe in conspiracies, don't worry. Not many do, including Rush Limbaugh. He says that anyone gullible enough to believe a political conspiracy is nothing more than a "KOOK." So you are in great company.

Just be glad I didn't reveal the part President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the War in Iraq plays in this grand scheme!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Legacy of Compassionate Conservatism

How many Compassionate Conservatives now confess that President George W. Bush is not the second coming of Ronald Reagan? How many would agree that the legacy of this Republican Administration is no different than the Democratic Administration preceding it. Six years ago, who would have imagined verbalizing such repulsive thoughts. But here we stand, viewing the wreckage previously known as the GOP. The once proud and conservatively Christian answer to the diabolical group of donkeys known for braying their sexual escapades to the wind, now find themselves attempting to protect the secrets of the once chaste herd of Elephants. The filthy stench emanating from such activity has the perpetrators running for political cover while many others point the accusing finger and exalt their own brand of stench for the populace to choose.

The Moral Majority, The Chrisitian Coalition, The Christian Right, etc must be supremely disappointed in their failure to implement the political promises made more than a quarter of a century ago. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and D. James Kennedy have to shake their collective heads when viewing the debris of the current administration. What happened to the promising hope which fueled the rapid rise of the so called conservative Christian base which wielded so much power and influence in the legislative halls of the United States of America? Where are the Biblical laws which have been touted as the answer to the moral decay of American culture? Where is the impact of the Faith Based Initiatives exalted and signed into law by President Bush? Where is the evidence that the family, considered the fundamental unit of any society, has been promoted and edified by American public policy? All signs point to the continued downward spiral of all things familial.

The Conservative Collapse is official. Oh, there may be a few gasps left in the diminshing corpse, but the end is in sight. Which may be a good thing. Maybe now, those touting the viability of Christian politicans in the Secular realm will begin to rethink their position. Maybe the possibility of previously viewing the Scriptural statements about politics in a perveted manner will be consiodered. Maybe the possiblity of admission of wrong thinking will not be silently shoved into the nearest dark corner. Maybe a return to Holy Writ and its clear political statements is possible.

Hopefully, the Body of Christ will let this collapse cause them to consider the Word of God when it comes to poltiics. Maybe then, the political maneuverings that have continuously exasperated them over the last few decades will be put into their proper context. Maybe the frustration will begin to make sense. Maybe they will begin to understand the true political aspirations God has for His People. Maybe the true intent of God for His People in this world will begin to come into focus to the point that many will realize their past political mistakes and how to begin the repentant process of substantive change as the World observes.

Yes, God expects His People to be politically active, but in the proper context and for His purposes, not the purposes of the World; for God has not made His People to be the political capital of this World.

So, as Attoney General Gonzales teeters, as the Iraq war staggers, as the War on Terror polarizes, as the New World Order takes shape, let our gaze be on the Only One who truly understands what is takng place before us. And let us seek His understanding while abandoning our own. He has promised to direct our path if we do.