Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the emergent child

The emerging church movement now days is quite a movement. It has all the ambition of youth and new ideas and an exciting new start. It doesn’t carry with it the depressive element of, like, rehabbing an old building, where one has to get rid of asbestos, mold, dry rot and such things. You start everything fresh. Right! Yeah, right. There are certain anticipations and an element of excitement that come with all pregnancies. However, a certain sadness hits when one discovers their child has special needs.

While Emergent, the child, was still in the womb, she was coddled by her parents at home for a few hours in the evening. She slept well and her every physical need was provided for. During the day she was bussed off to school to perform elaborate rituals in unison with a long line of homogenous peers. She went to church on Sunday and maybe a Wednesday to develop her spirit. At church she was shuttled off to another homogenous class designed specifically to meet the spiritual needs of numerous little people just like her. She lived in a neighbor hood of family units just like her. The neighbor’s toys were just like her own. Twice a year or so her family disrupted their cycle of homogenous type activities in homogenous style interactives, to visit grandma and grandpa who lived in a building of people who were old just like them. The whole family hated going there and wished they could be doing anything but that.

So then the emergent child emerged from its cocoon and sought out something different from all the homogeneity. She hungrily sought out the “dangerous” the “innovative” the “new” and the “unusual.” She found herself in the inner city. She found herself wearing black. She found herself angry and smoking something that would alter that. She wanted everything, anything that wasn’t that. She settled for a whole lot of all of that along with everyone else who was like that. She was named Emergent, for that was what she was. A product of the former—a child of homogeneity. Nothing new here—so says Ecclesiastes.

The emergent church would like to describe themselves and characterize themselves and their activities as organic. But allow me to point out—a farmer has to raise crops in his field organically for 5 years before the 5th year of crops can be truly called organic. It takes five generations of crops to cleanse the field of its non-organic element.

This is basically the same message as my post called, “the artist.


Chris B. said...

I won't object too strenuously to a critique of the emerging movement, since it has its flaws. However, I found your metaphor comparing it to a mentally impaired child somewhat unclear. I'm also a bit offended by your use of the word "retarded." The way you used your metaphor to critique the emerging church gave me the impression that you were being somewhat insensitive to mentally impaired people. Is there another way to make the same critique without connecting it to mentally impaired people in such a negative way?

espíritu paz said...

Yup you’r right, I know better than to use that term. I don’t try to offend my readers except towards the point and I do caution uncareful offensive language on here myself.
I’ve got mixed metaphors going on here—only the first paragraph truly matches the attempted title. I do think emergent is impaired, and marginalized by those it is a product of and then defined negatively. It certainly has special needs and only love and nurture and integration can redeem it—so too with the mentally impaired. My critique is more toward those responsible to the child and in some cases responsible for the child’s condition.
I’ll work on honing the appropriate mental shift/mental translation with respect to mental impairment—I think that’s the word to use. I will change my title to honor you but I don’t have changing capabilities on VanS’s site.

Hajar said...

Are your ancestors PA Dutch?

espíritu paz said...

Yes, they are--that is if the term has the same meaning for you as it does for me.
Hey thanks for visiting my site. I found yours of great intrest as well. We seem to have a lot in common.
You were from the old order mennonite?

Hajar said...

Yes, I am from the Old Order Mennonites. Most of my relatives still drive horses instead of cars, and light their homes with Coleman lanterns and the love in their hearts. ;)