Post-modern government?

I’ve started following where I read this fascinating insight:

One of the characteristics of post-modernity is that everything is in flux, and the old certainties (and enmities) of the past no longer make sense. 

The rise of the emerging church is only one manifestation of that, and is a key reason why some people dislike it so much, because it is (on the old paradigm) eclectic and illogical. 

Viewed from this angle, the coalition of ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ in government looks like a version of the same thing – emerging government, perhaps? 

Just like the emerging church, it will be loved and hated in equal measure.  Those who still prefer the old certainties and tribal identities will be especially cynical.  Which should mean that no emergent Christians will be among them, but you never know.  Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

That blog post arrived in my RSS reader just as I was drawing a blank in a Google search for UK churches who are successfully building an “eclectic and illogical” range of congregations within a single church.  By which, I mean a single church committed to common values but which is able to express its worship in multiple congregations having a diversity of styles.  That is not the same as having different kinds of service offered to, or imposed upon, a single congregation.  I am still reminded of the challenging words from Leonard Sweet and worship leader Andy Flannagan:

Leonard Sweet: There is a new standard of excellence: the quality of the participation, not the quality of the performance.”

Andy Flannagan: “Worship that is sung is very prescriptive. It leaves very little room for interaction, participation and individual creativity. I often ask people, ‘How do you know where your people are at if all you ever do is tell them what to sing?’ That’s what we do with our words on screens. It’s like karaoke. God desires our expressions of worship to be honest, heartfelt and of-the-moment, rather than us only relying on someone else’s words and experience, even though that is also an essential discipline.”

Of course, very many people like their worship to be prescriptive and others just dread it!  But that’s the point of emergent church.  Both are valid expressions – but who knows how to develop it and then hold it all together! ‘Tis a journey which we now appear to share with our new government.

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