Only those of you who have spent time in the liturgical churches will get the full effect of this. Nonetheless, the rest of you should try and imagine this as chanted, if you can. In the lesson for the day, we review the good things about the emerging church, before I kick them again tomorrow. I will also note the reflexive objections that many of us will have, and then the congregation will respond to resolve the issue.
Cantor 1: The emerging church has fascinating worship alternatives, sitting in cafes, showing videos, reusing ancient liturgies, integrating new music that isn’t soft rock, discussion sermons, and cool lighting effects.
Cantor 2: It is irritating that they think they’re the first ones to do this, rather than the logical extension of what the American church has been doing for two hundred years
Cantor 1: They use forms indigenous to the culture in worship rather than slavishly accepting the methods of their grandfathers.
Cantor 2: What do they think bluegrass gospel, church camp, folk and jazz mass, circuit riding, spirituals, camp meetings, Jesus Freaks, seeker churches, all those ethnic festivals, and Bible movies were, chopped liver? We’ve been adapting for decades.
People: Yeah, so?
Cantor 1: You thought you were so original, too.
Cantor 2: I find it irritating.
People: Get over it.
Cantor 1: The emerging church stresses the community and the communion, making both more visible to the culture around them.
Cantor 2: They incorporate lots of the surrounding culture, deceiving themselves that it’s what Jesus wants.
People: And also did you.
Cantor 1: They have resolved to be the visible presence of Christ, to be generous, and to serve those around them.
Cantor 2: Let me know how that works out over 20 years.
People: O pipe down
Cantor 1: They have ripped the Gospel free from its acquired attachments to patriotism, conservative politics, and being a Good Girl.
Cantor 2: They have reattached it to internationalism, environmentalism, and 60’s liberal clichés.
People: Now you know what it’s like.
Cantor 1: They believe Christian practice should trump doctrinal disagreement.
Cantor 2: They’ll end up heretics
Cantor 1: You’re anal-retentive.
Cantor 2: They’re anal-expulsive.
Cantor 1: Lord, have mercy.
Cantor 2: Lord, have mercy.
People: Christ, have mercy.