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It is the view of many within the emerging movement that, in our post-modern cultural context, foundational Christian doctrines and practices are no longer assumed or relevant. – based on this realization that Hell wasn’t what they were told it was. The work of the church is not even formation alone. In the beginning it was a healthy questioning. Either way, once that pillar falls, it’s not very long before one of those other pillars also falls and what’s left isn’t much to hold on to. Orthodox content: "...that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The desire to ‘renegotiate’ doctrine and practice would quite rightly cause consternation in any serious religious community. They now endeavor to use the arts to facilitate individual spiritual expression.”, This is not limited to modern (or post-modern) arts, although they did pioneer the use of contemporary graphic and video media in their services, as ancient sacred arts are often incorporated into their worship, including icons, liturgical chant, incense and other traditional rituals, as well as less common but equally ancient practices such as prayer labyrinths. There is some necessary deconstruction, sure, and the Christian life can be full of doubt. Deconstruction and Reconstruction. This is proved by the massive popularity of, The approach towards liturgical creativity is both formal and informal, and could also involve more playful elements. Sure, there are instances when one's spiritual journey may lead them away from the faith altogether. According to the research of Ganiel and Marti, emergents “see themselves as rescuing core aspects of Christianity from the entanglement of modernity, bureaucracy, and right-wing politics. Many within the movement have adopted this term as a way of describing how they view their purpose and role within Christianity. Unsurprisingly, it is not long before the Church emphasizes the solemnity and de-emphasizes the everyday, and what once served as a central sign of Christ’s gift becomes a redefined version of the gift itself. Jn 17:3, As a sociological term, ‘deconstruction’ has been described as “a form of micro-politics in which actors establish competitive arenas in response to pressures for conformity.”, Marti and Ganiel go on to define the focus of this, in the emerging church context, as taking place in the personal religious lives of members of the movement, stating that “Emerging Christians create ongoing opportunities to push off religious pressures to comply with standard narratives.”. With this being the case, younger people are encouraged, or even expected, to assume leadership roles, or at least positions of responsibility within the community, and their input to the ‘conversation’ is appreciated. As Ganiel and Marti point out, “the sheer variety of practices within emerging congregations illustrates how Emerging Christians are eager to innovate based on older religious forms.”. These were: anti-institutionalism, ecumenism, youth leadership, experimentation and creativity, and ‘neutral religious space.’ We will explore these five points in order, using the statements of the researchers, to try and more fully understand the emerging concept of deconstruction, and its effects on contemporary Christianity. ... Deconstruction September 26, 2015 Emma Higgs. [Thanks, Pastor Bob]. Emergents emphasize these ‘relationships,’ or ‘network alliances,’ while trying their hardest to avoid close connections with major denominations or religious institutions. Because that book, and others like it, showed them that Church-As-We-Know-It was inspired by Pagan worship practices and modeled after a system of hierarchy and control; and looks nothing at all like what Jesus and the early Christians actually practiced for the first 300 years. For emergents, ‘church’ is something that needs to be changed, overhauled, and deconstructed. “Emerging Christians’ approach to issues ranging from salvation, sanctification, and eschatology – especially alongside a great concern for social justice – encourages a form of ecumenism that transcends many theological and ecclesial boundaries.” Many of these approaches are in reaction to the perceived rigidness and aggressiveness of mainstream and evangelical Protestantism, as we have mentioned above. The intent of this is to maintain ECM’s ‘shift’ from generation to generation, with the younger generations steering the community in the direction of their culture. Ganiel and Marti source this (again) in reaction against staid traditional Protestantism: “Many Emerging Christians lament that their previous, usually evangelical, traditions neglected artistic expression. As an ideal, it shares more with the Anabaptists of the radical Reformation than with more conservative, ‘magisterial’ Protestantism. This month’s issue of Credo magazine is about missions and the church. I’m sure there are many others who are in the same boat. Although the truth is that the age range is much broader than imagined, however young adults do constitute the majority of emergents. This is odd since one would assume that the foundation of the Christian faith would be “Christ“, but that’s not the case, unfortunately. Many of these attempts are from high Church officials, including Pope Francis. Which brings me the fourth pillar: Suffering in the World. And it’s not very hard to prove that the Bible is indeed filled with errors, mistakes, contradictions between prophets, discrepancies over details, and even misquoted Bible verses. Was it one of these six pillars, or something else? Among ‘Catho-mergents’ this would probably be exemplified by the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ that has generated a significant amount of controversy in the liturgical sphere. One of the most popular postmodernist tendencies within aesthetics is deconstruction. It is this incorporation of traditional rites and rituals with modern (and post-modern) elements which has given rise to the ‘Ancient-Future’ moniker put upon them. Whenever deconstruction finds a nutshell—a secure axiom or a pithy maxim—the very idea is to crack it open and disturb this tranquility. A much needed deconstruction inside American Christianity was shaking our nation and our churches…. I lost everything I ever thought I knew.” She had spent the last two years deconstructing and reconstructing a new set of convictions for her life.
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