I met up with a friend this evening who I had not seen for a couple of years. We met at a conference in Holland at which I was leading worship a few years ago. He is a lovely guy with a deep and passionate faith and a restless, driven energy.
It was great to see him again- to hear of his news from Ireland and work in Finland. And so sit in front of a fire with a glass or two of Whisky.
It came to me again how much or paths have taken different directions.
When I met him he was a Charismatic Catholic and I was attending a Baptist Church. He left Catholicism and moved into a Charismatic Evangelical church, and now is in a small house church. His theology is firmly towards Spirit inspiration of the Holy Word of God.
As for me, well I meet with friends in a house, get involved with other things via an arts group and seek wider fellowship with people who have found a place within the ’emerging church’ discussion.
My friend and I, as we have done previously, soon got into deep discussion. Sometimes this conversation verged on argument, but not really- although it was passionate and heart felt. Another friend bowed out early and went home, and Michaela kept out of our way too…
The point of conflict was about the usual things around emerging church- the totemic issue of homosexuality, the way we understand and read the Bible and the issue of ‘Demonic deception’ that began in the roots of the emerging church movement. He had read a book that spelled out the dangerous errors present within and underneath the EC. We could not go into detail, as Michaela was giving him a lift home, and called time at 1 AM.
Is there any point in these conversations? Neither of us was likely to make any major shifts in thinking.
I suppose you could say that they have the effect of rehearsing the arguments, testing the core assumptions and developing a deeper understanding.
But I think they may be also energy sapping and distracting. The EC has not got it all sorted- but then, who has?
Meanwhile, there is the real stuff to get on with- the living and loving and the serving and greeting of old friends.