It seems to me that the only way for me to get any kind of response from people is to say something positive about the emerging church. I can ask a real question with genuine application, and no one says a word. This is of course in reference to my question regarding fornication. But if I say something such as “The Emerging Church movement is right about (Fill in the blank) ,” I get responses out the butt about how utterly wrong and heretical I am, I get kicked off a message board, and my credentials as a youth minister are questioned.
This brings to my mind a thought that I have been rolling around in my head for some time. We in the Christian community are becoming, as a rule, theologically dead. All we do is debate about who’s theological position is right, make blasphemous comments about God, and live lives that are in agreement with this mentality. We live lives that are blasphemous before the eyes of a holy God.
I remember reading in the Bible one time that God is not at all happy with what we bring to Him when our hands are covered in the blood of those whom we have killed. He told the people through the prophet Isaiah,
When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. (Isaiah 1:15 The Message)
We have become so distracted by being doctrinally right and being pure in our methods of “doing church” that we have missed the entire point of why God chose us in the first place.
For we are…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
And what are the good works that God prepared for us that we should be doing?
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NIV)
When we are so caught up in pointing out the faults of others, we end up neglecting the things that God has required that we do, and we become theologically dead. Our beliefs should bleed directly into our actions, and our actions should bleed directly into our beliefs. We should not have to create a bridge between our faith and our lives. They should be one.
In fact, look at this grand analogy that Paul applies to Christ and the church.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)
I do not think that this only applies to Christ and the church or the marital relationship between a man and a woman. I think this is also a symbol of our relationship with the church. We should leave our father and mother (the world) and hold fast to our bride (the church) and become one flesh with her. We should become a deeply connected and unified part of the church. This means that our doctrine and our lives should be connected with each other. If they are not, well, Paul tells us what that means:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV)
Let’s paraphrase this as we close.
If I speak right doctrine without being in union with Christ, I’m just making noise. If I can speak prophetically and am wise and knowledgable and am firm in my faith, but am not in union with Christ, I’m a waste. If I give everything I have to others and let people beat me up, but am not in union with Christ, I have become totally destitute.