Today's post has nothing to do with my lack of interest in motor cross, but it is a suggested theme for some Jesus Junk I was re-introduced to through my friend Dan.
I spent the past week at the 2007 Fellowship of Christian Assmeblies International Conference at Church for All Nations in Tacoma, WA. Not the coolest conference you could go to, but a breath of fresh air into my spirit. The theme was Live a Legacy, Leave a Legacy... and I am so thankful for the history, and legacy, and traditions, that have brought me to the place I am. I was moved by Bishop Joseph Garlington's message from the Emmaus road ( a re occuring theme in my devotinal life as well as a major launch point for the BLC retreat I did around Easter). "Dance with the one who brung you" was his application point. I get so tired of christians being wierd...especially petecostals. Like who thinks it's a good idea to print "tongue phrases" on a white t and then sale them for $50!?! I get just as fed up with the guys on TV that claim Jesus wants everybody to be healthy and wealthy. Casey Treat and Bishop Garlington, speakers at the conference, I'm sure are friends with those guys, but I did appreciate their balanced perspective and approach, at least at this conference. Somehow I left this conference realizing these weird people are my brothers and sisters, some of them are spiritual fathers and mothers, and for that...I'm happy to be connected to these weirdos!
I remember sitting in a room with Brian Mc Laren and hearing him say something to the effect of "there is nothing wrong with charasmatics, they're just like 4th graders". Like "they have a good foundation they just haven't learned the 6th grade curriculum yet." I know it wasn't his intention, but I strangely felt he was saying he was better than me. I have found heart harmony with Mc Laren and other emerging authors like Tony Jones and Len Sweet. I've been capivated by the writings of folks like Mc Manus, Bell, Nouwen, Willard. I have found friendship and grace among those in the "emerging conversations", and I have yet to meet someone who is really for moral realivitism. Many of my friends have found wholeness, peace and rest in more orthodox mainline churches. I look at the freedom, resources, and tools available to church planters in other traditions, and all of these things lead me to ask the question... "Why am I serving in the church I grew up in?" Perhaps I should not only jump ship, but like Cortez... burn the ships so I don't ever go back.
And then I spend this week at this conference. There were alot of other young people there. Granted, most of them are related to someone on the national board, but there were alot of other young people there. There was a diversity of races at these meetings. Workshops were directed at politics, cultural events, and some were specificaly focused to youth workers. Issues such as race, justice, and the excessiveness of word faith teaching were at least addressed, albeit much differently than I would have liked to seen. These are good signs. It seems like this old white gentleman's club is at least looking for a different horse than the dead one they are riding. I feel hopeful that this purposefully unorganized and non authoritive organization is moving through some exciting changes. I am hopeful that this fellowship of automous churches would begin working together to plant many new autonomous churches. I am hopefully that there will be enough grace extended to emerging thinkers like myself that the "young fellowship ministers" don't feel compelled to become Baptists or Vineyarders or Presbyters. Maybe I'll start a new group... "The Reformed FCA" or "FCA village" or maybe some cool name like "FOUTH WAVE". Maybe not. For now I am content to dance with the one who brung me. This sometimes confused "post-charasmatic" is hopeful. I am thankful to recieve a legacy of purity, faithfulness, and mystery. And I am committed to leaving a similair legacy that leaves more room for inclusion, education, diversity, disciplines, and mystery.
I think I'm going to download that old Petra song... "Dance with the one you know who got you there, Dance - with the one who brung ya, Don't change hats. You know which one you wear!" Does anyone still have the "Unseen Power" cassette?