News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Evans should think through his support for movement

To The Daily: James Evans offers an optimistic view of the “Emergent Church” (April 28), a movement within Christianity. The Rev. Evans serves us well by informing his reading public about this latest trend in “doing church.”

The Rev. Evans gives the appearance of quoting Scott Mc-
Knight. Actually, the quote he attributes to McKnight is from Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger. What the Rev. Evans fails to mention is that McKnight goes on to write a balanced critique of the movement, pointing out its contributions, but also highlighting its dangers.

The Rev. Evans approves of the “all-inclusive” nature of emerging churches, noting their “high tolerance for people of other faiths.” If he means that Christians should be kind and respectful toward those with whom they disagree, I agree. But is the church really to be “all-inclusive”? Is that really the teaching of Jesus? Certainly, none should be excluded from God’s church because of race, gender or social class. But does this mean the church should not expect its members to believe and behave according to standards that Jesus himself maintained?

Suppose a known racist, whose “faith” supported his prejudice, sought membership where the Rev. Evans is pastor. Would he be given a leadership position or allowed to freely promote racism? I am confident he would be confronted and told that in order to be received into full fellowship he must change his mind. If so, the Rev. Evans would apparently not be very “emerging,” but he would be doing his duty as a pastor.

As to the Rev. Evans’ baffling conclusion (Jesus is the founder of liberalism) I could write much more. Suffice it to say that when Jesus walked the Earth, he managed to enrage both conservatives and liberals.

Steve Bateman

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