Monday, August 20, 2007
A friend sent me a link to a series of posters parodying the Emergent Church Movement. This was the second time I had seen the site, and it reinforced a concern I initially felt. Most of the posters poked fun at some legitimate concerns raised over the movement, but I believe several strayed beyond the discussions with the movement and attacked individuals drawn to the Emergent Church.
Stereotypically, many young adults standing on society’s fringes are drawn to an Emergent Church, while few traditional, Reformed churches are having measurable success reaching out to those with tattoos and piercings. Rather than begrudge the Emergent Church’s success, we should rejoice that these individuals have found a place within the kingdom. Further, since some significant concerns surrounding this movement, we must mourn for those whose growth is hindered because of these weaknesses. What we must never be guilty of doing is alienating these individuals by our biases. They have enough to struggle with in finding a place in the predominantly white, middle-class environment of a Reformed church; they should never struggle against our cultural prejudices. It would never be acceptable to satire a Pentecostal church by belittling the predominant minority makeup of those communions, or to mock a mission church because those drawn to it make not have showered or shaved in several days; how is appropriate here?
I will not judge whether satire has a place within serious theological discussion, but this type of ad hominem attacks never has a place.