Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sick of Emergent/C

I just unsubscribed to the Emergent/C newsletter. Why? Because practically every single one is a plea for money. In today's newsletter, the James Mills compares Emergent to Open Source computer software. Then he uses this comparison to ask for money, 2% of my income to be exact.

Open Source is a great idea. However, people work on it for free. That is the point. If Emergent is a "conversation," then we all have to contribute--but not to a guiding body. We should contribute through our presence, voice and prayers. We should also contribute by buying books or paying conference fees. But I don't see any reason for this conversation to be managed by employees.

My concern is that Emergent is becoming a denomination. And that is the last thing this member of the conversation wants to see. And it is one of the things that makes me suspect of this movement.

Do I believe in giving my money to the Church? You bet. The local church, parachurch ministries, ministry to the poor. But to a conversation? Count me out.

Responses? Other ideas? Where am I wrong? What am I missing? I would love to hear what you all have to say.


Christian said...

Unfortunately, I think it is to late. I hear "emergent" mentioned and discussed as if it is a real denomination.

I am sure people will start leaving "emergent" churches to "talk" about how to do it differently.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole "conversation" is a cult. I think you all talk too much.

Matt Kelley said...

I'm not so sure that "emergent" is going to be a denomination in the traditional sense. I do, however, believe that it is becoming a more recognized group and that it has some identity decisions to work out in the next few years. They could become a group with a specific ideology, thus betraying the original purpose of the conversation. The worst thing they could do is develop an "emergent orthodoxy". I hope that won't happen and that the conversation will continue as is. Your criticisms are valid, Thomas, and I often delete the emails for that same reason. Maybe we should discuss money issues theologically at an upcoming cohort.

gavoweb said...

i just delete the emails when i don't have the time to read. so i haven't read all the donation emails.

John Plummer said...

I think this would be an excellent topic to discuss

Anonymous said...

If you have people on a "speakers circuit" and you have people paying hundreds of dollars to hear them speak, then the conversation has already become as one sided as a Baptist sermon.

There should be no "national movement" To keep it real, the conversation should always be local - neighbor to neighbor - not "expert" to "congregation."


Thomas+ said...

I got into a good discussion with Tony Jones via e-mail. I assume he read this post and was responding to it. He denied that Emergent will become a denomination. He also explained, in general but satisfactory terms, how Emergent uses the money it raises.