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Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 3 new church movements seemingly at odds

In light of Sermonindex' overarching theme of revival, I wanted to present a question that has been forming in my mind regarding the future of the church.

Currently I am noticing 3 different and apparently conflicting trends for the future of the church. All 3 directions claim to be the fastest growing and most radical adjustment in Christianity since the Reformation itself. What is curious is that they all want the same objective: authentic New Testament apostolic Christianity

Let me briefly describe these three models as I understand them. My intent is respectful since I am presuming to describe my brothers and sisters.

1) The Apostolic Reformation: The loose formation of apostolic networks all over the world in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States, which desire to be God’s "new wineskins" for what used to be denominations. At the core of this idea is that God is restoring the office of Apostle in every literal sense minus the penning of new scripture. Along with prophets, these leaders become the foundation of the church. "Vertical" apostles are over several churches and "horizonal" apostles postion themselves as guides to other apostles. It should be noted that all of this sounds much more authoritative then it could be---these structures currently just function as friendly peer groups.

The pastor, rather then being an employee of the church, leads almost unilaterally with majority descretion of the budget. Megachurches are regarded as the flagship vessels, where most of the senior apostolic talent will be raised up. Money and modernity are talked about openly and directly as pragmatic solutions for advancing God's kingdom.

The chief virtue of the Apostolic Reformation is that the church, through nimble Godly leadership, can mobilize people and resources faster, without bureaucracy to fullfill it's prophetic mandate.

For more info read C.Peter Wagner's "Churchquake", regarded as an essential guidebook for the movement.

2) The Emergent Church: If the Apostolic Church represents "consensus", then this international movement represents "contested consensus". Here the modern mega-church, as well as traditional authorities are being rejected in favor of the post-modern faith community. Whereas the 20th century church had to engage a society certain of it's scientific knowledge, the 21st century church will have to engage a society certain of nothing. Newtonian laws give way to quantum chaos. In order to provide a counter culture to the angst of uncertainty, the ermergent church reaches back in church history and employs icons, creeds, and liturgies freely with contemporary worship and preaching. Of the many churches that are identifying themselves with this movement, the one thing they have in common is uniqueness from each other. Each community invites it's members to creatively contribute to the mission formation.

In claiming that the post-modern world shares several similarities to the ancient pagan world, this movement assigns itself the goal of restoring historic christianity---not reinventing it. They are not the irreligous liberal church. Though they seem to attract Christians beyond the "right-wing"spectrum, they espouse descipleship to the living Jesus.

It is noteworthy that why they maintain the sole authority of scripture they do not maintain that objective certainty is always possible concerning it's intepretation. They point out that the church predates scripture so each community is only bound to historic orthodoxy, not the strict minutia of modern denominations. To them, this is being an authentic and living "Christocentric" church, vs. a modern static "bibliocentric" church.

The chief virtue of the Emergent Church is that each member feels ownership for the ministry of the community, allowingfor vital nuances of communication needed to reach the shapeless global society of the new century.

For more info check out "Emerging Church" by Dan Kimball, or "Ancient Faith, Future Faith" by Robert E. Webber.

3) The Churchless Church: This is a trend that I just recently became aware of. Also called the "Out of Church Christians" this group is an unorganized (at least by man) phenomena that is gaining global attention. I would describe these believers as "disenchantment seeking reinchantment" or better yet, "Reorganizing Church outside Organized Religion." They are the former laypeople, lay leaders, and staff leaders of organized churches.

The fact that this trend represents a diverse and autonomous exodous across racial, economic, denominational, and cognitariat borders, yet still has a unifying principle is noteworthy; these believers are bleeding out of organized religion because they feel established leadership is failing to obey the commands of Jesus for His church.

Claiming financial and spiritual fiduciary failure by existing leadership, these brothrs and sisters have determined to reorganize themselves afresh in each others homes or businesses. They want a renewed passion for frontline ministries such as feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, and evangelizing the lost without pointless spending. They want to be free to express the gospel without being co-opted into political party advertising. They want to find healing and recovery from hurtful authority experiences. They want to leave the entrenched command structure of the fortress and engage the enemy as aggressive calvary and infantry.

The chief virtue for the "Churchless Church" is that they can commit their spiritual and material resources to the Great Commission in a manner they believe in, free from undesirable wastefulness.

I know that several people have recently posted on this subject who certainly know more then myself.

Here is a link on the subject:
[url=http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~revival/00-Out-Of-Church.html]Out of Church Christians[/url]


If you are still reading this, I am interested if someone can suggest a meaningful theme to what seems to be divergent trends. I like to make order of things...it's a compulsion I guess. If you have an insight, concern, or critique I would find it interesting.

Please do not post stories of abuse and disillusionment by any of these movements. Please do not use my sincere inquiry as a dartboard to throw around scriptures like 2 Peter 2, or Matthew 7:15-23. Besides missing the point of my question, I'll feel the sting of the darts since I stand in solidarity with the body. Cutting off branches is not the work given to me. :-o

Thanks!

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/2/27 19:39Profile
geddingsm
Member



Joined: 2003/11/3
Posts: 61
south carolina

 Re: 3 new church movements seemingly at odds

Just my humble opinion but I feel that all these movements are the result of people in traditional church tired of a powerless bride that has become a shell of her former self.
I know exactly how they feel. The two I am most familiar with is the Apostolic and the Out of church. I feel that people may be in search of "back to the basics" theology with hope of restoreing the Church to Her former glory. The ones that are not in the apostolic movement may be afraid that it may be too charismatic. The out of chruch may not want any of the traditional sturcture of church.
Like I said before this is my humble opinion but I can certainly identify with those that feel something needs to give in tha way traditional church is done in the US. I do feel that God could certainly use any of these movements to bring revival.


_________________
marvin geddings

 2005/2/27 20:56Profile
jeremyhulsey
Member



Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

I think you might be missing one known as CGM or Church Growth Movements which seek to impliment Marketing practices in their programs to help growth (i.e. Purpose Driven/Willow Creek/G12). They are closesly related to the emerging church movements but not completely the same.

However, the movement I want to be apart of is a despised section of the Church known as the Remnant.


_________________
Jeremy Hulsey

 2005/2/27 22:19Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
...I feel that all these movements are the result of people in traditional church tired of a powerless bride...



It's so obvious I missed it but I think you are right. These movements are catching the fall-out from traditional churches. Taken together numerically they represent an obvious problem for mainline churches. I know of at least one Emergent church that is affliated with a mainline denomination, the ELCA.

I realize that any church could be a blend from these categories. Also, the Emergent and the Apostolic reformation both claim Rick Warren's Saddleback church...which seems like a stretch in both cases

For those who might be unfamiliar with the Emergent Church, here are a few examples:

[url=http://www.apostleschurch.org/home.php]Church of the Apostles[/url]

[url=http://solomonsporch.com/index.html]Solomon's Porch[/url]

[url=http://vintagechurch.org/]Vintage Faith[/url]

For those who are curious about the Apostolic Reformation here are some examples.

[url=http://www.victoryint.org/]Victory International[/url]

[url=http://www.antiochchurches.org/network.htm]Antioch Church Network[/url]

[url=http://www.asianoutreach.org/index2.htm]Asian Outreach[/url]

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/2/27 22:49Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: CGM

Jeremy,

You are right. I guess the Willow Creek Church is like a "proto-emergent church." :-D Listen to me. Now I sound like I'm some kind of doctor of "Churchiology". :-P

Quote:
However, the movement I want to be apart of is a despised section of the Church known as the Remnant.



May we both be so blessed!

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/2/27 22:57Profile









 Re: 3 new church movements seemingly at odds

As far as the New Apostolic Reformation church goes, they are as far removed from scriptural reality than anyone could ever imagine. Just more of the same kinds of Type A silverback pastors and prophets who want nothing more than to line their pockets with the profits of their latest book deal or Prophecy conference so they can continue to go to Panera Bread for lunch every day. They also seem preoccupied with teaching "Satan's deeper secrets" than preaching the Gospel.

I don't know much about that emergent church so I will refrain.

I do, however, think that the "Out of Church Christians" will be the trend of the future. The Lord is currently waving his winnowing fork and will soon begin to beat the threshing floor to separate the wheat from the chaff. This will mean that many will leave current denominational churches and non-denoms but they will do so mainly because the greatest persecution that has ever been will be underwiegh. I myself have grown extremely bored, unchallenged, and unwilling to attend my current church.

This is the way I see it anyway.

 2005/2/27 23:49
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:

silverback pastors and prophets who want nothing more than to line their pockets with the profits of their latest book deal or Prophecy conference so they can continue to go to Panera Bread for lunch every day. They also seem preoccupied with teaching "Satan's deeper secrets"



Don't sugar coat it Picky. Tell us what you really think! :-?

Actually I have to admit that the Churchless Church idea has been kind of growing on me. I like the idea of my money actually reaching the needy and lost. Furthermore, the fellowship I have with my fellow Christians is really what I live on each week...I can see about 12-20 of us meeting in my studio...

hmmm.... :-(


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/2/28 0:27Profile









 Re:

Hmmm, I like that Compton! When do we meet and where? I'll brew some coffee.

OUTSTANDING BROTHER!!!!

 2005/2/28 0:59
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Symmetry

Just thinking out loud but there may be a symmetry to the history of the church...

1) From early small house fellowships with a few larger communities...

2) ...to the Constantination of the church into an unequally yoked state relationship...

3) ...becoming an earthly magisterial government ruling the state...

4)... breaking up into segments of the invisible church...

5) ...further breaking down into countless denominations...

6) Untill finally atomizing back into small house fellowships with a few larger communities.

Ironically, this faith without walls could actually be more united in purpose then it has been for 1000 years. Another benifit would be that American Christians would not have to choose between churches sold out to Republican or Democratic party politics.

Consider how this trend reflects the liquidity required in globilization---a global community kept connected by websites like Sermonindex.

A truly Catholic movement, from Fordism to post-fordism, centralized money trapping to decentralized money flow, geographical division to cyberspace connection with millions of net worked communities.

Groovy 8-)

MC




_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/2/28 1:49Profile









 Re:

Ratt-a-tatta-tat tat groovy Jazz Cat. I'm envisioning sit-ins with flowers, tea, and nylon string acoustic guitar singalongs.

Nah, just kidding. I like the analysis though!

 2005/2/28 1:56





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