Emergent Confusion | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

[TBC: The Reverend Matt Tittle contributes to a blog hosted by the Houston Chronicle. Tittle is minister of a Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church near Houston. It is instructive to note how warmly Tittle writes of “Emergent Church” leaders and notes that their goals are his.]

“A couple of weeks ago, I preached a sermon titled, “Left Behind...Again!” in which I said that religious liberals needed to take a lesson from and even join forces with the emergent church movement and new evangelicals, because these groups were doing amazing work on issues of human rights, poverty, environmental justice, etc.

“We liberals are mostly sitting around talking about justice, but doing very little. In essence, I said that the emergents and evangelicals were now preaching our centuries old liberal message and actually practicing it! We liberals are about to be left behind...

“I actually played a little trick on my congregation by reading some very progressive [i.e. liberal] quotes, implying that they came from Unitarian Universalist sources (and they sounded like they did), but never actually said “Unitarian Universalist.” Then I broke the news that the quotes had come from the 2005 Emergent Church Conference, and from Rev. Brian McClaren, and from Rev. Jim Wallis.

“I then told them the story of Rick Warren and Saddleback Church's social justice efforts. I think they got the message, because it caused quite a stir....One group in my congregation sat down with me this week to make a list of local congregations (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) to approach for collaborative efforts!”