The past couple of days, I've been watching (and participating) in a dialog at the Relevant Christian blog. The "Relevant" folks-- comprised of Aaron Crawford, Jimmy Eldridge, founder and main contributor of the blog, and Pastor Timmy Gibson¹ (how come Aaron doesn't have a name that ends in "y"?) --recently aired their frustration with some Christians in a post entitled: Why Christians Su*k
Well, the title of the blog certainly caught my attention, so I headed on over to see just what had these fellows so upset. In their own words, the "relevants" explain their upsettedness (I made that word up) as follows:
This is one of many reasons I am finding it difficult to "like" Christians. Yes, I of course in reality love Christians, shoot I am one! This is just my way to VENT my frustration over the Pharisee type Christian who violates the John 8 scripture where Jesus has a women caught in adultery thrown at His feet to judge. And if you know the story, Jesus of course DOES NOT judge her to a hot hell. But He does address those Pharisees who brought her to Him to judge by saying, “ye without sin cast the first stone.” Thank God that didn’t happen today, because I truly believe some Christians would be throwing stones. And that my friends is what bites my tail! Christians who think they stand in the position as Jesus… perfect and able to cast stones.
Several people, including myself, commented on the post, particularly the choice of title. My comments were more focused on what I saw as a misinterpretation of the passage. I stated that in order for "adultery" to have taken place, there had to be a man (noticeably absent) involved with the women. Additionally, I saw the Pharisees' actions are more of a trap for Jesus than a path to guarding of the the Law they supposedly revered. In response to Pastor Timmy's statement: "Jesus of course DOES NOT judge her to a hot hell", I pointed out that though Jesus apparently saw the adultery charge as a ruse, he DID tell the woman to "go and sin no more" implying that she was not entirely guiltless. Jesus loved her enough to confront her with her sin.
My comments were never really addressed...but they had plenty to say to those that disagreed with the title of the post. The next day, the "relevants" posted a follow-up entitled "No Apology Necessary" which began with: Ok...so...we seem to have pi**ed some people off with a blog entitled "Why Christians Su*k". (They didn't use the asterisks). The post went downhill from there. As of today, there are 150+ comments on THAT post, consisting mainly of the "relevants" defense of their language. It's really not worth the time to trudge through.
OK. That's the background-- so here's why I'm not "relevant", aka "emergent." I don't claim to be an expert on the emerent church/movement, but from what I observed at the Relevant Christian blog and other places, I get the impression that "emergents":
- Enjoy using "off-color" language.
- Use same language for effect. One of the "relevants" stated that his language was my “culture” if you will. There is no attempt on my part to be “cutting edge” as you put it…that just happens to be the way God designed me.
- DON'T like people to disagree with them. They get down-right ugly about it.
- Frenquently pull Scripture out of context to make their points.
- Don't like to comb their hair (based on some of the bio pics I saw)
- Have some really unBiblical doctrines-- Pastor Timmy claims to be "born and raised a Christian." (See the "Su*ks" post)
- Think their method of doing ministry is the ONLY way of doing ministry...until next week when they change their method to what ever seems to be more relevant.
- Think "sin" is a bad word.
- Enjoy using "off-color" language...or did I already mention that?
EDIT: 03.30.2007 - relevantchristian.com has a new post entitled: "True Relevance Part 1: Stats Don’t Mean Cr*p!!!" I'm trying to imagine my own pastor saying something like that from the pulpit or even in everyday conversation...nah, wouldn't happen.
¹ Timmy Gibson is the pastor of Olathe Life Fellowship in Olathe Kansas