am at the inclusive church conference - it runs over three days. as ever one of the best things about these things is meeting people. great to catch up with so many people... doug paggitt and mark scandrette and michael toy are over from the usa, thomas willer and friends from denmark, matt glock from france, people from poland, holland, australia etc... this morning kicked off with brian mclaren sharing 5 hunches about what makes us so exclusive in churches:
1. theology creates models of the universe that we then try and live in
2. protesting - when we protest we reinforce our 'purity'/'we are righter than thou...' so we end up practicing a shallow ecclesiology. tallskinny says if we were to make a spectrum from highest high church to lowest low church we need a deep ecclesiology that honours church in all of these forms
emerging church movement has a danger of just setting another strata out of protest rather than
getting beyond our exclusiveness and embracing a deep ecclesiology
3. very often our churches become purveyors of religious goods and services - akin to selling different types of donuts, competing to get the market share into our store. god loves the world in which he has a people who need to become everything they can be to express love to the world. this is radically different to church as a self centred enterprise. if we are not careful emerging church could be a different set of self centred people with different tastes.
4. we don't know the difference between acceptance and approval. we think the way to show disapproval is not to accept people - the new pharisees?!
5. we have become an enclave people who want to move up when the movement of the kingdom of god is down. (brian read at length from the fantastic article by wes white incarnational spirituality: taking downward mobility seriously )