compiled by Sandy Simpson. 12/08
There be Treasures #10. (1) Unitary thinking, the highest level of understanding reality, opens us up to a wider sensory realm and mystical dimension of the divine; it also heals the divisions that separate us from one another and life’s highest values. 2. Wholeness unites, not eliminates, opposites, bringing them into dynamic balance—the coming together of earth and water, air and fire, through the merger of the Antaean sensibility (Antaeus the hugger of the ground, from which came his strength) with the Herculean sensibility (Hercules the master of air and fire, who defeated Antaeus by lifting him off the ground.) 70 3. The discovery of the euphoric state of wholeness will prove to be the highest form of ecstasis. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 250)
Spirituality refers first of all to the universal gift of aliveness that exists within all religions and outside of religions. It breathes out the air that “inspires.” Those who have been in-spired with aliveness by the kiss of God will “con-spire” to kiss others into coming alive to the spiritual dimensions of existence. “In-spire” means to breathe in. “Con-spire” means to breathe together. “Conspiracy” enters by the same door as “spirituality.” A world gagging on smog and smut needs a breath of fresh air. The New Light movement begins as a fresh air conspiracy of “aliveness.” But it is more than that. Spiritual consciousness can be something greater than aesthetics or aliveness. The Bible tells us that the human species has been twice kissed by the divine. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 253)
As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another.86 (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 38)
Postmodern culture is hungry for the intimacy of psychospiritual transformations. It wants a “reenchantment of nature.” It’s aware of its ecstasy deprivation. It wants to know God “by heart.” It wants to light an inner fire, the circulating force of divine energies flowing in and flowing out. The primal scream of postmodern spirituality is for primal experiences of God. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 56)
Through the synergy of the divine-human exchange of energies, an unbelievable field of healing and transforming energy is rounded up and released in the universe. Humans are constructed out of mutually attracting energy particles with positive and negative charges. Negative or neutral charges too often dominate human contacts. Positive charges in the church are about as rare as “strange matter”--positively charged lumps of quarks know as “quarknuggets”--is in the quantum world. “Consciousness is catching,” psychologist/medical scholar/professor Frances E. Vaughan reminds us. Destructive, negative, constricting states of consciousness are caught as readily as creative, positive, expanding states of consciousness. All energy states are contagious. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 62)
A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.53 Light is the common thread that ties together near-death experiences as they occur in various cultures. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 146)
LEONARD SWEET (Author of Quantum Spirituality and Emerging Church leader) Sweet calls this the Theory of Everything. This theory not only says that all creation is connected but that it is all inhabited with Divinity (God). (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, comment by Tim Wirth, http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html) Sweet got some of ideas and title of his book from Richard Hartnett, H.W., M. who is a nationally known Teacher and Psychic. His extensive training includes Sufism, Buddhism, Native American Spirituality, Jungian Symbology and Gurdjieff's Fourth Way. You can read about his teaching on Quantum Spirituality at http://www.mrsdenver.org/Quantum_Spirituality.html
"So far the church has refused to dip its toe into postmodern culture. A quantum spirituality challenges the church to bear its past and to dare its future by sticking its big TOE into the time and place of the present.... Then, and only then, will the church not appear to be in a timecapsule, sealed against new developments. Then, and only then, will a New Light movement of 'world-making' faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning of these words, some of the last words poet/activist/contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton uttered: "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 10)
Quoted by Sweet in Quantum Spirituality: Rabbi/theologian/storyteller Lawrence Kushner makes an intriguing contrast between the Jewish and Christian traditions precisely at this point in The River of Light Spirituality;Judaism, and the Evolution of Consciousness (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981).For Christianity, the central problem is how God could have become person. How spirit could transform itself into matter. Word become flesh. Consciousness become protoplasm. The direction is from the top down. For Judaism, on the other hand, the problem is how humanity could possibly attain to God’s word and intention. How matter could raise itself to spirit. How simple desert souls could hear the word. Human substance attain consciousness. The intention is “to permeate matter and raise it to spirit.” The direction is from the bottom up. Perhaps the two traditions, one moving down, the other moving up, are destined to meet in the divinity of humanity. (82) (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 191)
God has already given to the church, in all its diversity, a complete Theory of Everything, a unifying principle that binds things together. The church’s big TOE was formulated in the Bible’s smallest encapsulation of What It All Means: John 1:14. The Fourth Gospel elaborates the exchange as it extends an invitation to the quest and quandary of the quantum explored in this book.
The Word [the depth dimension of Logos which physicists call energy,
ancients called fire and theologians call metanoi] ...
became Flesh [the height dimension of Pathos which physicists call matter,
ancients called land and theologians call koinonia]...
and dwelt among us [the breadth dimension of Ethos which physicists call
space, ancients called wind and theologians call diakonia] ...
and we beheld his [God’s] glory [the fourth dimension of Theos which
physicists call space-time, ancients called sea and theologians call basileia].
This tetrad is the church’s big TOE, the closest the Bible ever comes to formulating a simple, compact description of how the universe works (i.e., a Grand Unified Theory). John 1:14 presentsfour eddies of experiencing God, comprising a single stream. All four dimensions--the experience of God in Christ and self, the experience of God in community and creation, the experience of God in social justice and compassion, the experience of God in the transpersonal and transcendent--while distinct, are interacting states rather than chronological or sequential stages. They demonstrate a remarkable unity, interpenetrating and mutually reinforcing one another 10. . . as in life, so in the rather artificial partitions of this book.38 (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 9)
God claims everything one is. God claims every rationality. God claims every sensibility. Quantum spirituality is more than a structure of the intellect; it is more than a structure of emotion; it is more than a structure of human being. It is most importantly a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience.28 (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 53)
"CHANGE OR BE CHANGED — In the old ecology of nature, change was seen as abnormal. In the new ecology of nature, change is life’s natural, normative state.... What works today won’t work tomorrow.... The wonder is that churches are not in more disarray. ... They are standing pat, opting to uphold the status quo rather than undergo the upheaval." … "Postmodern culture is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die." (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Zondervan, 1999), p. 74-75)
"So far the church has refused to dip its toe into postmodern culture. A quantum spirituality challenges the church to bear its past and to dare its future by sticking its big TOE into the time and place of the present.... Then, and only then, will the church not appear to be in a timecapsule, sealed against new developments. Then, and only then, will a New Light movement of 'world-making' faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning of these words, some of the last words poet/activist/contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton uttered: "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 10)
"According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to inform means 'to give form to, put into form and shape.' The purpose of the church is to give form to, to put into form and shape, the energymatter known as Jesus Christ. New Light leaders, therefore, are in-formational connectors helping the body of Christ to become an in-formed church, an in-formational community." … "New Light leadership helps patches of information become cloaks of knowledge. Information brokering is central to creating community in postmodern culture, not to mention achieving synergic states of group consciousness. Association of Theological Schools president/divinity school dean Jim L. Waits, in his address at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, calls for clergy to move from their 'learned ministry' model to a '“knowledgeable ministry' model. 'Knowledge ministry' helps information become 'alive in the consciousness,' as Einstein put it...." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 120-121)
"Christbody communities must come to be seen as thermodynamic units in which the rules of the conservation and degradation of energy apply. Some preachers almost unwittingly do an energy analysis of a congregation, assessing the energy charge of a room, pinpointing the energy flow, and drawing strength from those hot spots from which energy emanates most powerfully...."Reluctance to see communities of faith as information-processing systems and the refusal to assist people in exploring and critiquing the unexamined metaphors by which they live helps explain why oldline communities are in such a state of entropic decline and disarray. Yet entropies of information produce variety within a species as well as new species themselves. The second law of thermodynamics states that energymatter decomposes and, what is more, that the more entropy grows, the less the amount of usable energy. Since the total amount of energy and mass in the universe cannot change, the entropic consequence of the second law is known as evolution. … "A major New Light undertaking is the designing of newstream communities that can be 'in connection' and 'in-formation' with the spirit of Christ. Christ will be embodied for the postmodern church in information." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 121)
The following are five gross premises of embodiment... that build anew the body of Christ for the postmodern era -- being “in connection” and “in-formation” with: (1) other Christians, (2) all creation, (3) one’s ancestors and ancestral memories, (4) other faiths, (5) technology....( "With Other Christians:) The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “in-formation” with other Christians.... The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness. No congregation or denomination can go it alone in being the body of Christ.... To be “in connection” and “in-formation” is to be related to other Christians and the shared culture of all Christians and to grow a set of organic relationships and coalitions around a common love for God "Communities have souls, not just individuals. The modern era downplayed a biblical doctrine of salvation that had this communal dimension. In contrast, the New Light movement is concerned about the salvation of ensouled communities as well as individual souls, and the salvation of community souls relating synergistically to one another. ... The power of community is the energy of between: The synergizing of synergies in which “one [shall] chase a thousand, and two [shall] put ten thousand to flight” (Deut. 32:30).... (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 122)
"Pantheism is 'the belief or theory that God and the universe are identical' panentheism is 'the belief that the Being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in Him, but... that His Being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the Universe.”
"New Light spirituality does more than settle for the created order, as many forms of New Age pantheism do. But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 123-124)
"Fourth, New Light embodiment means to be 'in connection' and 'information' with other faiths. To be in-formation means to know each other’s songs almost as well as one knows them oneself, and to enlarge the community to include those whose conceptions of God differ from ours in form. To be in connection means to be able to sing, not only selected stanzas, but all the verses" … "One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. A globalization of evangelism 'in connection' with others, and a globally 'in-formed' gospel, is capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim--people from other so called 'new' religious traditions ('new' only to us)--without assumption of superiority and power."(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 129-130)
"Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word 'ecstatic.'" (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 93)
The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people "in-phase" with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 147)
New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 48)
A surprisingly central feature of all the world's religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed's light-filled cave, Moses' burning bush, Paul's blinding light, Fox's "inner light," Krishna's Lord of Light, Bohme's light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus' fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini's fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on." (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 235)
“1. Get in touch with your lungs by closing your eyes. Visualize in your mind a tennis court” 8.“Hold your Bible and breathe meditatively. The breathtaking, nay, breathgiving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span: Part of your body right now was once actually, literally part of the body of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Esther, David, Abigail, Moses, Ruth, Matthew, Mary, Like, Martha, John, Priscilla, Paul... and Jesus. 9. Keep breathing quietly while holding your Bible. You have within you not just the powers of goodness resident in the great spiritual leaders like Moses, Jesus, Muhammed, Lao Tzu You also have within you the forces of evil and destruction.” Resident in each breath you take is the body of angels like Joan of Arc and devils like Gilles de Rais, Genghis Khan, Judas Iscariot, Herod, Hitler, Stalin and all the other destructive spirits throughout history” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.300-301)
“In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76)
“Austrian/American physicist Wolfgang Pauli perceived, are the traceable connections that exist between ourselves and others or objects, and the underlying holism of the uni-verse. Transcendent state of consciousness” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.234)
“If the church is to become a synergic space, it must first be Christianized. It must meet the ABCDE involutions of the “X Factor.” The ABCDE rule for synergic Christbody inter-connections and in-formation is as follows: Alterity, Bonding, Critical Mass, Dirt, Euphonics. The ABCDE involutions, when placed in a biblical framework, represent evolutionary steps to higher spirituality and the ecclesiastics of synergy”. The church must provide postmoderns with an alterity of rituals by which they can turn and tune to one another and feel connected to the cosmos. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 137).
“Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76). (Experience before doctrine leads to false experience, never to sound doctrine. – Sandy Simpson)
David Spangler who Sweet favorably quotes also speaks of Lucifer as: “The true light of this great being can only be recognized when one's own eyes can see with the light of the Christ, the light of the inner sun. Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into the New Age, which is the age of man's wholeness, each of us is brought to that point which I term the Luciferic Initiation, the particular doorway through which the individual must pass if he is to come fully into the presence of his light and his wholeness. Lucifer comes to give us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it, then he is free and we are free, that is the Luciferic Initiation. It is one that many people now, and in the days ahead, will be facing, for it is an initiation into the New Age. (David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; p. 45)
ALAN JONES (Author of Reimagining Christianity) "The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it" (Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity, p. 132).
"I am no longer interested, in the first instance, in what a person believes. Most of the time it’s so much clutter in the brain.... I wouldn't trust an inch many people who profess a belief in God. Others who do not or who doubt have won my trust. I want to know if joy, curiosity struggle, and compassion bubble up in a person’s life. I’m interested in being fully alive. There is no objective authority...." Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), pages 79, 83.)
Dan Kimball adds, “Our faith also includes kingdom living, part of which is the responsibility to fight locally and globally for social justice on behalf of the poor and needy. Our example is Jesus, who spent His time among the lepers, the poor and the needy.” (Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), p. 224.)
My wife and I spent an hour in the labyrinth and found ourselves calmed and refreshed, our perspective uniquely restored . We made our own prayer path after the convention—we knew we couldn’t keep this experience to ourselves. A few months later we featured a labyrinth as part of Graceland’s annual art event at Santa Cruz Bible Church. Graceland artists recreated the labyrinth with a kit we purchased (The Prayer Path, Group Publishing), transforming one of the church’s multipurpose rooms into a medieval prayer sanctuary. The team hung art on the walls, draped fabric, and lit candles all around the room to create a visual sense of sacred space. (Commentary of Dan Kimball’s Article “A-maze-ing Prayer: The Labyrinth Offers Ancient Meditation For Today’s Hurried Souls by Jane Whiting
BRIAN MCLAREN (Emerging Church leader): "Jesus seems to say, 'The kingdom of God doesn’t need to wait until something else happens. No, it is available and among you now.... Invite people of all nations, races, classes, and religions to participate in this network of dynamic, interactive relationships with God and all God’s creation!" ... the kingdom of God will be radically, scandalously inclusive. As we’ve seen, Jesus enjoys table fellowship with prostitutes and drunks.... He affirms and responds to the faith of Gentiles—Romans and Syrophonecians and Samaritans." (Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could change everything (Nashville: Thomas Nelson's W Publishing Group, 1006), page 74 & 94).)
“Universalism is not as bankrupt of biblical support as some suggest,” (Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, ( San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), pp. 103 (cf. pp. 182-183)
But without question McLaren does hold to the doctrine of inclusivism which teaches that while salvation has been made possible by Jesus Christ, it is not necessary to know who Jesus is or the precise nature of what He has done. (Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, ( San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), pp. 103 (cf. pp. 182-183)
"It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts,"… "Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place his truth in others too? ... The gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity" (p. 194). (Brian McLaren, An Emergent Manifesto, Baker Books, referenced http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html)
In the second foreword to Dan Kimball's book about the Emergent church Brian McLaren writes “Our understandings of the gospel constantly change as we engage in mission in our complex dynamic world, as we discover that the gospel has a rich kalaidoscope of meaning to offer, yielding unexplored layers of depth, revealing uncounted facets of insight and relevance. No doubt as we look back and see ways in which our modern understandings of the gospel were limited or flawed”
if there are thousands of John Calvins out there.... what if God decided to
make a lot of them gay?"
––Brian McLaren, Lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary, Nov. 2005
don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be
'saved'?.... I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we
have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy."
––Brian McLaren, The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today, 2004
is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the
creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 162
Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a
welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat”
--Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p.254
must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making
adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances
to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist,
Hindu, or Jewish contexts."
---Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260
"[T]his is one of the huge problems with the traditional understanding of hell, because if the Cross is in line with Jesus' teaching, then I won't say the only and I certainly won't say ... or even the primary or a primary meaning of the Cross ... is that the Kingdom of God doesn't come like the kingdoms of this world by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes thru suffering and willing voluntary sacrifice right? But in an ironic way the doctrine of hell basically says no, that's not really true. At the end God get's his way thru coercion and violence and intimidation and uh domination just like every other kingdom does. The Cross isn't the center then, the Cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God." Brian McLaren speaking, From the Interview
midst of the Purpose Driven craze and an apparently sleeping church, Brian
McLaren has endorsed a book that calls the doctrine of the Cross a vile
(p. 168, Reimagining Christianity - Alan Jones)
That book? None other than Alan Jones' new book, Reimagining Christianity. Alan Jones is an interspiritualist and mystic. Take a look at the Living Spiritual Teachers Project, of which Jones is involved. This group of about twenty-five includes Zen and Buddhist monks, New Agers and even Marianne Williamson and her Course in Miracles. (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/brianmclaren.htm)
"[H]e (Brian McLaren)concludes that the emerging church must be "monastic"—centered on training disciples who practice, rather than just believe, the faith.... He cites Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, as key mentors for the emerging church" (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/brianmclaren.htm)
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have more in common than many people realize because they all share a primal narrative, and they all flow from a common sacred fountainhead: a single figure, at once famous and mysterious, a Middle Eastern man named Abraham of Ur. … We can date Abraham’s birth to about 2000 BC, in modern-day Iraq, near present-day Nasarif. Like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad—and like us—Abraham was was raised in a pluralistic, polytheistic world. During his lifetime, he lived side by side with others who honored many different gods and praticed many different religions. … And during his lifetime, Abraham—like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad—had an encounter with God that distinguished him from his contemporaries and propelled him into a mission, introducing a new way of life that changed the world… How appropriate that the three Abrahamic religions begin with a journey into the unknown. (McLaren, Finding Our Way Again, pgs. 22, 23, emphasis mine)
• Its postmillennial view of the kingdom (e.g. pp.80-81).
• Its lack of concern for spiritual conversion—the true gospel (pp. 35-37, 49, 100).
• Egalitarianism (pp. 42,175-188).
• Rejection of original sin/sin nature (p. 43).
• Inclusivism (pp. 44, 49-50; 190-198).
• Rejection of sola fide (pp. 82, 159; 194-195).
• Rejection of sola scriptura (pp. 154-156).
• The inability to understand God due to our subjectivity (p. 156).
• Orthoparadoxy—chapter 17.
(An Emergent Manifesto of Hope by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones)
In the clip from October 22, 2007, Pagitt denied that there is a place of eternal conscious torment for persons who die apart from faith in Jesus Christ. (Doug Pagitt, on "The Paul Edwards Program," WLQV Detroit, 10/22/07)
The phrase ‘the Second Coming of Christ’ never actually appears in the Bible. Whether or not the doctrine to which the phrase refers deserves rethinking, a popular abuse of it certainly needs to be named and rejected. (McLaren, Everything Must Change, Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), pg. 144.)
And yet, all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am. (”Aha!” my critics will laugh derisively, “I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!”) … In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Tony Jones, Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: How I Went from There to Here, Online source, bold theirs)
RM: You mentioned earlier that you have lesbian pastors and conservative absolutists. It seems that it would create a tension point when it comes to endorsing that person’s view or platform.
TJ: If you believe that Christianity is–at its very heart–a tension-filled, dialectical endeavor, you have less problems with these tension-filled relationships with believers. Christianity is paradoxical. Life comes out of death. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. We haven’t yet found that there’s anything that justifies us breaking fellowship with somebody else who loves and is trying to follow Jesus. (On file at AM, emphasis mine) (Relevant Magazine, on file at Apprising Ministries)
“In these biblical narratives God is constantly present in places where no one would logically expect God’s future to emerge and yet it does over and over. There is nothing in these stories about getting the wrong people off the bus and the right people on to accomplish great ends and become the best organization in the world. This God who calls us is always calling the wrong people onto a bus that isn’t expected to arrive.” (Missional Leader, A. Roxburgh, Pg 18, http://www.backyardmissionary.com/)
Alan Roxburgh was up next. He addressed the question of the conference, “What is a missional leader?” And then he gave us his standard responses: “I don’t know,” “Does it matter?” “Who cares?” Why do we want a definition so desperately? Because we are moderns. Definitions are modern constructs. The need to define the missional church and missional leadership is a modern need to define, name, control and plan. So, if I do what I’m not supposed to do (create a definition), the best I could say is, “a missional leader is one who can change as the world changes around him/her.” (http://timneufeld.blogs.com/occasio/2007/06/index.html)
Roxburgh quotes from Surfing the Edge of Chaos, that in times of discontinuous change "equilibrium is death." (Alan Roxburgh, The Sky Is Falling !?!, http://www.nextreformation.com/wp-admin/reviews/falling.htm)
THE CHURCH.S EXPERIENCE is shifting from a stable and secure world toward
a huge, open-ended question. If one word characterizes people’s experiences of this, it is uncertainty. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 24)
Peter Drucker, one of the most distinguished thinkers of the 20th Century, declares that we have already entered the next century in terms of the depth and breadth of change happening in the world. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 11)
Another metaphor is a tapestry woven from a wide number of diverse strands forming our Christendom world. For quite some time that amazing tapestry has been unraveling, until it now lies threadbare, like tattered threads on the cultural floor. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 21)
Yes, we (the Church) are going through a dying experience, but we do not go alone. … What do we share in particular with them? We have lost our place. We share the loss of our traditions and institutions. We share the pressure to lose faith in God to those gods of the surrounding culture. … There is clarity in overwhelming ambiguity. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 160)
(NOTE: I agree with Roxburgh’s emphasis on local churches as opposed to mega-church. The problem is that his ideas of restructuring of churches that involve mystical and New Age ideas are mostly being accepted and taught to mega-churches. Local churches are more likely to continue as they have been in the continuing, not emerging, biblical agenda of the Church. Case in point: Roxburgh’s “Forgotten Ways” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren, both proponents of New Are mysticism, Universalism, pantheism and other occult ideas in the churches.)