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Diddle Question

29 April, 2003 3:30 PM

My friend 'Diddle' left this question in the last posts comments - thought I'd post it for all to see (with his permission) as I think its a good one. Lets have a discussion!!!

"The church I go to is reasonably modern and fits the traditional model of church - we have 3 services on Sundays, sing predominately choruses, have a sermon each week, the occasional drama, have a mid-week bible study, and lots of young people, etc.

We hear a lot about emerging, experimental churches - held in cafe's, some in pubs, some don't have any singing, some are small groups based, some don't call themselves 'church', etc etc.

The new style of emerging church is one to which I'd feel a lot more comfortable inviting a friend.

What I'm interested in, is whether there's a 'gap' which exists between the traditional model of church, and what these emerging churches provide.

Are some people attending 'emerging' churches missing out on solid bible teaching in order to provide a non-threatening environment for non-Christians?

Has anyone attended one of these churches noticed a difference in their relationship with God over time? Positive or negative?

Please look over any generalisations here - I realise there are probably models out there which are very close to how Jesus intended church to be run.



I think it is quite the opposite. A part of me has always felt a bit of an obligation with respect to church in the traditional model - I have to admit, occasionally I get something out of the preaching, rarely out of the music, but my real learning and discipleship has always come from places other than the worship service.

Being involved in a different model of church, I am really enjoying it and getting a lot more out of my church experience - on all levels - than I have before.

The question I am curious about, is how often do we ask whether our traditional church models are really giving us "solid bible teaching"? In my experience, with different models, we are much more conscious of what is being neglected and the balance that is being acheived, because it is a work in progress that we are trying to hone to get the right balance. I don't think that we have the same impetus with traditional models of church.

dan » 30 April, 2003 10:23 AM

with all the crazy stuff that gets posted in here I would have to agree with diddle's concerns about solid biblical teaching being taught in these so called 'emerging churches'.

Greg » 30 April, 2003 3:34 PM

Just typed a comment and it disappeared.

I notice Greg just can't keep away!

I do think that there is often a lack of solid teaching and a trend to what I often think of as fairy floss. I notice the lack of good teaching because I am a teacher by gift and training. I notice that people need such teaching when they are unable to refute bad teaching or have little idea of what the Bible has to say about anything more than a few proof texts. Then again, maybe it is just my leaning towards solid stuff and others like what they hear.

I also know there are those who are first down the front every week for prayer. I don't want to sound judgmental, but they seem unable to cope without the pastor praying for them. Perhaps I should be there more often myself. My feeling is that froth and bubble preaching often leads to a quick fix mentality where real problems are skimmed over.

Then again, I'm the sort of person who can go WOW when I see something I hadn't noticed before in the text. I'm not an overly emotional type of person in many ways. I tend to keep my feelings to myself, fairly introverted.

Of course, these too, are generalisations, but I think we need to be aware of possible problems to forestall them.

Jan » 30 April, 2003 5:18 PM

We go to a different kind of a church in Canada. We didn't go there to check it out just because it was different, but we ended up staying because there was no doubt in our mind that the Holy Spirit was present and it was just a fit for us. We meet in a converted movie theatre, are now up to 2000 people a week and it is incredible. This is the most biblically based teaching I have ever experienced in my life. Coming from a legalistic church background, going to a movie theatre (popcorn and all some weeks) and being preached at by a guy with long hair, earrings, and orange parachute pants was a surprisingly easy adjustment. We are challenged every single week, and everything is backed up with the bible. It is a great place to bring pre-believers, yet it pulls no punches for the believers. For our family, none of us have ever grown so much as we have since we started going there. Unbelievable growth, awesome worship music and the most amazing preaching I have ever heard in my life. Seriously miss nothing "tradition wise" from our old place (I was there for 30 years).

Heather Field » 1 May, 2003 10:07 AM

Greg, you still here? Get lost!

An interesting question I have is how come it is the emerging churches that have to substantiate their existence? Why can't we ask the same questions of the existing church? Ie:

. How do they know that what they are teaching is faithful to historical and orthodox doctrine not just the latest Christian fads?
. How does the average pew sitter discern between orthodox teaching and cultural blindspots that have crept into the teaching over the decades and centuries?
. How many people are being "saved" in conventional church services? And what is the flow through rate? (Ie: how many stay for more than the standard 18 month stint?)
. How close are per sitters to God? Is the measure of their spirituality of a depth that qualifies them as disciples of Jesus?

Answer me these questions and then I will answer them concerning the parts of the emerging church that I know about.

The questions sound very similar to another question I heard in a story once.

"By whose authority do you teach?" Jesus replied "You tell me about the baptism of John first, then I will answer your question."

See Greg, I am on good biblical ground here. All we get from you is hot wind, and I am often not sure which end it is coming from!

Mugshot » 2 May, 2003 9:32 AM

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