Is The Emergent Church Communist?

A Christian mutual fund company is including a session on the emergent church along with sessions on communism and fellow travelors at an upcoming conference.

What is called the “emergent church” or “emerging church” is a branch of Christianity that assigns kind attributes to the Bible’s Jesus character and downplays sin and hell.

The emergent church is not a denomination, but an approach to the faith used especially by stand alone mega churches with star power preachers.  It is popular, but there does not seem to be a movement toward a denomination.

Instead, main line denominations like Presbyterians, Methodist, Congregationalists and so on are gravitating toward this “sin lite” and “hell lite” approach.  The possibility that “sin lite” could become the protestant norm may alarm right wing Christian groups.

As I understand it, the Communist label comes about because it is a politcal movement without a religious component.  Because the emergent church does not focus on sin, it it considered not a legitimate branch of the Christian faith and not a religion either.  This peculiar reasoning puts it in the Communist camp.

The word “peculiar” is actually too polite a description.  A better term would be bizzare.  As someone pointed out, calling the emergent church communist is actually great material for Christian parody.

Sin and hell serve two different constituencies.  One are the Christians who eat it up and bring out the check books.  The other are people who laugh at the faith and the odd thinking it produces.

10 Responses

  1. Wanna B Sure

    Here again “conservative” pops up. Here again more in the vein of Fundamentalism.

    Here the author of the link seems to equate “communist” with the “Godless hordes”. Perhaps he should learn what communist means in the classical sense. There have been many “communistic” societies, both secular and religious, without the hint of state totalitarianism. The Hutterites are an example. I would propose a mutual fund is a form of communistic activity. (in the classical sense). After observing some of the attitudes and activities of atheists,/non believers, and anti theists, I suspect most of them would eventually rebel in a communist community. They by nature, have just too many important things to say.

    1. Wanna 1:27 “..a mutual fund is a form of communistic activity..”

      I had not thought of that, but you’re right. To some extent, it is joint ownership of assets and cooperation toward a common goal.

  2. Wanna B Sure

    PS; I see nothing communist about the emergent church. Neither classical or otherwise. Just more fundamentalist scare tactics. The fear of hell for them must be wearing off, and they need new material.

  3. Michael Ross

    Jon, You are as obsessed with sin as any hellfire and brimstone preacher I have ever heard. Of course sin and judgement are major topics of the Bible. Sin is what separates God from his creation. That is the bad news. The is good also:

    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

    ” mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)

    Hope that brightened your day.

    In keeping with the 50th anniversary of “I have a Dream “:

    MLK: “Whatever We Do, We Must Keep God in the Forefront”

    1. Michael 4:10 “Jon, you are as obsessed with sin as any hellfire and brinstone preacher I have ever heard.”

      In my view, it is the centerpiece of the faith. Without it, there is no forgiveness nor any frightened followers. I’m keeping company with some religious scholars such as the author of the best selling, Faith Is Not One who also sees sin as central.

      1. Henry

        Jon:“In my view, [hell] is the centerpiece of the faith. Without [hell], there is no forgiveness nor any frightened followers.”

        Jon believes that hell is the centerpiece of the faith. That is choosing defeat.

        I contend that Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the faith, providing forgiveness to the sinner.

        1. Wolfy32

          Exactly… Without sin, there’d be no need for Christ…

          It’s the chicken or the egg dilemma.. Do we need the concept of Sin for Christ to be important, or if Sin wasn’t the center of the faith, would Christ have had any religious importance… Would he simply have been an enigma of humanity?

          1. Henry

            I don’t see it as a chicken or egg dilemma. Christ eternal was around before the original sin. That He made sacrifice for redeeming us from our sins does not make Him unimportant if no sins had been committed. He still is Lord, no matter the human condition.

            Wolf:“Would he simply have been an enigma of humanity?”

            If so, that would be us defining Christ on our terms and condition. I would disagree with that approach. Rather, I would draw upon Exodus 3:14 for definition.

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