Eddie Gibbs (Emerging Churches) provides the insight that the "emerging church" seeks to end the dualism between sacred and secular so that all of life becomes sacred. Some of what I read in Gibbs' book seems to hang on to the concept of church-as-a-service in which the worship service becomes more connected to the arts, creation, and natural beauty--thus bringing the sacred and secular together within the "church service" context. However, I also see that Gibbs describes a focus on living authentic Christian lives "out there" within our culture.
Again, as with the last post, I don't want to get into a discussion about the whole "emerging church" thing, I'm simply looking for the themes that I see God stirring in all of His people and moving us toward. In this case, the theme is that many of us are seeking to live our lives, our whole lives, connected to the Source. We desire to see Christ's presence incarnated through us in every situation we are in. We want to see our communities infiltrated with Christ's presence by the way He is living through us.
Everywhere we go, we are His church, His Body, His life with skin on. We are on holy ground everywhere that we are because He is with us, in us, and working through us. In this way, there is no sacred verses secular because our whole lives, even as we are out in the cultures we live within, are organically connected to His kingdom life.
Therefore my focus is on how to bring the reality of the sacred into my everyday life and culture and world. I believe that this is at the heart of what it is to emerge from churchianity into a living, lifestyle of Christianity.
The Lord spoke to Jim Montgomery, from DAWN Ministries, these words: "See to it that I, the Lord, truly become incarnate... in every small group of people on earth." Jim suggests that what God wants to do is communicate His wonderful message of the Kingdom in a totally contextualized way in every small group of people. This happens as born again believers exercise the gifts of the Spirit and function as the body of Christ out in the context of their world and culture. In this way "Jesus Christ becomes incarnate in all his beauty, compassion, power and message in the midst..."
This, for me, is the heart of eliminating sacred/secular split. Wherever we go as believers, God is present because we are incarnating His presence. The form of church gathering that we use is simply a support system, an important community-family context, OUT OF WHICH we live incarnationally in the world.
Now, having said all that, I want to confess my shortcomings. I am still very much wrestling with what this looks like. Most of us were trained that, in order to "serve Christ" in the world meant that we had to give our testimony or share a gospel tract once a day. This is NOT contextualized incarnational living.
Then, as we wrestle with what this means, we become servants to those around us. We do not say much about our faith because we don't want to "do it the old way" so we quietly "share our faith" with our deeds. Somehow, this also seems to come short of living incarnationally when compared to the powerful impact that Christ had on those around Him.
So... this post is open-ended. It's meant to be a discussion-starter. I believe my heart is the same as every person who is reading this. We long to see an entire region saturated with the presence of Christ so that, as Montgomery said, His "beauty, compassion, power, and message" touches every person. We do not want to "do" church we want to be HIS people.
Do we have ANY idea what this looks like or where we begin?