Monday, January 25, 2010

Reaching Postmoderns

Probably the biggest reason for the success of the Emergent movement is its reaching out to the younger generation. In general the North American church has been doing a poor job in some instances in sharing the love of Christ. Many of the 20 to 30 year olds have a bad taste in their mouth for what they perceive as a stagnant and judgemental Church. The two topics that commonly surface deal with homosexuality and churches that are too fundamentalist.

It is true that a large portion of young postmoderns are completely turned off with the present status of many North American churches. It is also true that the Emergent movement has been doing a good job of reaching out to those who feel disengaged from the message of Christ. The problem, however, comes in the form of a question: At what expense are we to reach out to others and just how much of the post modern message should the Church adopt? If the Church is reaching out at the expense of truth, then the end result of conversion is a moot point, for how can one really know who or what they are following? Truth is absolute and it absolutely cannot be compromised. What I find disturbing within the Emergent movement is this aspect of backing away from truth so as not to offend others.

Reaching the postmodern generation with the good news is a difficult task these days. More and more of the younger generation are becoming skeptical because of how the previous generation has failed to empathise with the young. The problem, as I see it, is one of relations as opposed to watering down the truth of Christianity. Many times Jesus made statements that were very divisive to the people of his day. He did this, because truth is important. Truth has life and death implications. So, truth should never be thrown under the bus at the expense of trying to find common ground. I will say that many in the Church are extremely judgmental and this has not only left a bad mark on the Church, but has driven away scores of individuals.

The Emergent movement will always have an appeal because of the approach, but it will fail in bringing individuals to Christ if the true message of Christ is minimized. John 1:14 states that Jesus came full of "grace and truth." All individuals who wear the name of Christ need to bear this in mind.