Friday, February 17, 2006

Emergent - Crossing the borders

I was interested to read today how the whole concept of 'emergent' (that we need to respond to a fast paced global community in a complimentary yet apologetic way - ever pressing forward the mission of God) has crossed into modern Judaism. It seems that young (and older) Jews have recognised that there is a problem.

That problem being that synagogues , and I guess church operate in the way they did 50 years ago (kind of like a virtual History Channel) and not as they operated 2000 years ago (well at least not churches, I find it hard to imagine the people of Ephesus gathered in rows to hear one man speak for 40 mins once a week)

I wonder where this is headed, is this a general awakening throughout the world. Is the same thing happening within Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, everything is changing - what will keep Christianity distinctive? Will it all eventually merge into one stream of global faith?

Some quotes and links follow

The Jewish Journal...When Rabbi Sharon Brous leads a worship service, Jews dance and sing and pray — and talk politics. Her Los Angeles-based Ikar is not a traditional congregation but rather, as she describes it, a “spiritual community” of “modern, progressive Jews” who “boldly reclaim the essence of our tradition” by engaging in soulful worship and social justice...more

Ikar Website...We believe that serious, passionate, and authentic engagement with Torah is an enduring response to the deepest cry of the human heart. We believe that prayer and learning in a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community, can be soulful, inspiring, and profoundly impactful. We believe that matters of the spirit are intimately linked to matters of the world, and that the Jewish community has a distinct responsibility to participate in social justice and tikkun, healing...more

Synagogue 3000...Sacred communities are those where relationships with God and with each other define everything the synagogue does; where ritual is engaging; where Torah suffuses all we do; where social justice is a moral imperative; and where membership is about welcoming and engaging both the committed and the unaffiliated. We wish to change the conversation about meaningful Jewish life in our time....more

Rabbi Blog...Something Emerging: I just came back from a unique gathering of rabbis, educators, artists, musicians, and spiritual leaders from around the country. There were the rainbow of Jews from Orthodox to renewal but also representatives from a community I had never met: The Emergent Christian community...more


jonny said...

interesting stuff... makes sense if the cultural shift we all believe is taking place really is...

Anonymous said...

The reason for the desire and need for change in the Synagogues is not purely because the times have changed and there is a need for a cultural shift. This need has always been there. It is ages old. The congregations there have the same need as Churches which follow their routines and traditions but are lacking in the Spirit. If it is just lip service and not from the heart, then there is an emptiness there that needs to be fulfilled. People desire peace in their hearts. They crave for GOD. Many Jews who go to Synagogue crave a closeness with GOD so of course, when a new thing comes along, they will think perhaps this will fulfll that need. I know, because I have been there.
It is wonderful that there is a move to more freedom of prayer and singing in the Synagogues, but may there also be more Scripture read and through that a revelation of who GOD is so that they may become fulfilled Jews. And for those who are in Churches where GOD is not welcomed, may they have a move of the Holy Spirit and be overwhelmed by GOD's love for them.
I think it is all very easy to get caught up with this whole Emergent trend. Yes, "this is the way to go, we've got to keep up with the times. This will reach the people, this is what we need." But let's not forget that ALL we need is MESSIAH. All we need is Unity in HIM. To love one another as He first loved us. All we need is to worship HIM in Spirit and in truth. Lets not worship a trendy way of worshipping and meeting and become so caught up in it we think we are on some kind of Heavenward Holy roller coaster.

Anonymous said...

Being a religious Jew has always been about having a way to live. Worship being a part of daily life. Discussing the Scriptures and reading and learning. Caring for the sick, the poor and widows. Showing hospitality, teaching our children the Scriptures daily, this is the way it should be and for many, hasn't changed from this no matter what age we are in. Why look for some new way of life and worship when you find Messiah Yeshua? Yes, life now has a "reason d'etre", but we got to live somehow, and so why make new rules if the old ones are Scriptural?

Dave said...

Not sure if both anon's are the same, but from a church point of view it is quite simple...if you are making external changes just to find Yeshua then the motive is misplaced...if you find Yeshua and He calls you to make changes then bingo bongo, you've found Him.

It is the same today as it was at Pentecost, without the life of the Spirit blowing through a community, it becomes a religious social club, regardless of how holy and regardless of what heritage we have, only the Spirit brings life.

Thanks for your comments, these are indeed interesting days


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