Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ermergent-YES: the Sequel

A question worth serious consideration: Why don't we just ignore emergent-no website? And Slice Of Laodecia, for that matter (aside from their unfortunate acronym)?

In the past, I've defended the idea that we need to listen to people who criticize us, just in case (in spite of their motives and methodology) they say something that we need to hear.
At the same time, it's a little like what happened to those of us who were in the Vineyard in the 90's: John MacArthur wrote Charismatic Chaos, which I've read in its entirety (bought my own copy, even!), because many of us thought there might be something in MacArthur's book that, despite his reputation for harshness, might be needful criticism.
Alas, it was such a hatchet job on Wimber and the Vineyard (factual errors which have never been corrected in subsequent re-releases of the book), that there was no redeeming value to it at all.

It should not be surprising to read that e-no's and SOL's writers all think MacArthur is amazing. It's also not surprising to see that they've chosen to emulate MacArthur's heavy-handed methodology as well.

In the Vineyard's response to MacArthur's book, the conclusion quoted Carl F.H. Henry, a respected conservative evangelical of his day, who wrote this way back in 1957:
"The real bankruptcy of fundamentalism has resulted not so much from a reactionary spirit -- lamentable as this was -- as from a harsh temperament, a spirit of lovelessness and strife contributed by much of its leadership in the recent past..."

If you're interested in the Vineyard's thorough refutation of MacArthur's book, you can read the Vineyard response PDF.
What these blogs are doing is exactly what their forebears have done for much of the last century. It was a waste of time trying to reason with them in the 50's, it was a waste of time trying to reason with readers of Charismatic Chaos in the 90's, and it will ultimately prove the same in the 21st century as well.

Let's invest our time and effort in reconstruction and moving ahead as we follow the Pillar of Fire and Cloud. Nehemiah made a point of prioritizing the work that God had called him to, and refused to be sidetracked by those who were attacking, slandering, spreading false accusations, and even threatening physical harm. You can read about it in Nehemiah chapters 4 and 6.

We would do well to follow Nehemiah's example. It's less about "ignoring" certain blogs -- as if we've got our noses in the air or our knickers in a knot -- and more about not getting distracted from what God is calling us to.

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