Evidently I’m still thinking about this. EC is charged with weakness two:
2. It does not face the concept of sin.
One rarely comes across personal sin in emerging church. Steve Chalke is interviewed by Mclaren and they both agree that Jesus’ message is the Kingdom of God and not trusting in Christ’s death for salvation. ‘Original goodness as well as original sin need to be emphasised,’ they say. The mood of the church is not the courtroom needing a verdict but the pub having a chat. No it is not. Nail the sinner to the wall. “Are you going to leave this place tonight with or without Christ?” This ‘Christianity’ is not even liberalism. The plot line of the Bible is redemption accomplished and applied. That ought to produce electricity and radicalism.
Off the cuff… if there’s no personal sin in EC, isn’t that a good thing? Wow, complete sanctification! No, wait – EC is about action, we don’t just talk about sin, we actually get out and do it. No wait, maybe that’s not what he’s getting at either.
Maybe he’s just looking in the wrong places. When I look at EC, I find people who actually aren’t afraid to talk about their sin so much… not because it doesn’t matter but because there’s less judgementalism in response. It’s talked about as something to overcome, something for which the blood of Christ and the power of the Spirit are available to overcome with. In some of the traditional and charismatic churches, I found sin wasn’t talked about either unless it was somebody else’s sin. It’s talked about to condemn it, to the point where if you’ve got some sin, you wouldn’t dare speak up because even if Jesus somehow found a way to forgive you, the congregation wouldn’t. In EC, I hope sin is talked about in a gracious way because it’s a disease and we’re all infected but we have lots of antidote available, and we want to share.
Oh, and “Nail the sinner to the wall”? I thought Jesus got nailed to a tree so we might avoid that little eventuality.