This post will be about the commitments of the emergent church as outlined in the book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones. Appendix A: in the book carries the title above. This list seems in a nutshell to fairly characterize the emergent movement as it now stands in the U.S. Here is a list of commitments from that text:
1. COMMITMENT TO GOD IN THE WAY OF JESUS — We are committed to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. In the words of Jesus, we seek to live by the Great Commandment: loving God and loving our neighbors-including those who might be considered “the least of these” or enemies. We understand the gospel to be centered in Jesus and his message of the Kingdom of God, a message offering reconciliation with God, humanity, creation, and self.
2. COMMITMENT TO THE CHURCH IN ALL ITS FORMS — We are committed to honor and serve the church in all its forms- Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Anabaptist. We practice “deep ecclesiology”-rather than favoring some forms of the church and critiquing or rejecting others, we see that every form of the church has both weaknesses and strengths, both liabilities and potential. We believe the rampant injustice and sin in our world requires the sincere, collaborative, and whole-hearted response of all Christians in all denominations, from the most historic and hierarchical, through the mid-range of local and congregational churches, to the most spontaneous and informal expressions. We affirm both the value of strengthening, renewing, and transitioning existing churches and organizations, and the need for planting, resourcing, and coaching new ones of many kinds.
3. COMMITMENT TO GOD’S WORLD — We practice our faith missionally-that is, we do not isolate ourselves from this world, but rather, we follow Christ into the world. We seek to fulfill the mission of God in our generations, and then to pass the baton faithfully to the next generations as well. We believe the church exists for the benefit and blessing of the world at large; we seek therefore not to be blessed to the exclusion of everyone else, but rather for the benefit of everyone else. We see the earth and all it contains as God’s beloved creation, and so we join God in seeking its good, its healing, and its blessing.
4. COMMITMENT TO ONE ANOTHER — In order to strengthen our shared faith and resolve, and in order to encourage and learn from one another in our diversity through respectful, sacred conversation, we value time and interaction with other friends who share this rule and its practices. We identify ourselves as members of this growing, global, generative, and non-exclusive friendship. We welcome others into this friendship as well. We bring whatever resources we can to enrich this shared faith and resolve.
I am very much aligned with these four commitments of the emergent church. If only the church of Christ as a whole would get down from their individual pedestals and align with them we might be able to make a big change in this world.