Thursday, January 07, 2010

An Obituary for the Emerging Church

The Emerging Church, A Controversial movement inspiring many the past 10 years, Dies at 21

MINNEAPOLIS — The Emerging Church, the controversial Christian movement that inspired many to plant churches, leave behind their faith and question authority, died in her sleep Thursday following a short illness. She was 21 (according to some sources).

The cause was cardiac arrest, according to spokesperson Steve Knight. According to police, foul play and suicide have not been ruled out at this time. According to person of interest, Andrew Jones, she was ready to die and beyond any life-saving treatment.

Mrs. Church was the “reason for the failure of many church institutions and the paved the road to Hell with good intentions”, according to critic Ken Silva. While she has many enemies in established and institutional churches, many of whom were distant relatives, according to supporters, Mrs. Church was instrumental in the advent of many advances in the Christian church, including facial hair, tattoos, fair trade coffee, candles, couches in sanctuaries, distortion pedals, Rated R movie discussions, clove cigarettes and cigars, beer and use of Macs, as well as the advancement of women’s issues, conversations about sexuality, environmentalism, anti-foundationalism, social justice and the demise of the Republican party's stranglehold on young Christians.

However, according to Post-Emergent spokesperson Rick Bennett, these advancements never included taste in film and music, with Mrs. Church always thinking Coldplay, and anything that sounded like it was 70’s soft rock was edgy, “I think she was drawn to anything with nebulous spirituality that sounded kinda like the worship music she grew up on, plus she was enamored with overblown pabulum like LOST, Heroes and 24 or pseudo-philosophy like the Matrix. Give me a break, she couldn’t tell Truffaut from Fellini.”

Controversies on Gay Marriage and the ordination of Homosexuals caused many stresses in her life, leading to a downturn in her health.

Mrs. Church, who began her career as at a gathering of young white, mostly American and predominately male church leaders in New Mexico in 1998, had been recently spending time in Africa with friend Brian McLaren, attempting to apologize for Colonialism. She was also attempting to gather women and people of color in an attempt to reconcile her past to her vision for the future of the church.

She is survived by her parents, the Seeker Church, and Sojourners; her paternal grandmother, the former Deconstructionism, now Postmodernity; her maternal grandmother, French Nihilism and her paternal great-grandparents, the Social Gospel and Fundamentalism. Her paternal grandfather, the Jesus Movement died months before her birth. Her paternal grandmother, Evangelicalism died in 2009. She is also survived by sister House Church movement and brother New Monastacism. She is also survived by two sons, Presbymergent and Something-in-Europe People Say is Relevant; and 10 grandchildren (that won’t scare your grandparents), along with ex-husbands Mark Driscoll and the Origins Movement.

Emerging Church was born on January 1, 1989, in New Zealand. Her family moved, when she was a child, to the United States. She traveled much, taking up residence in Dallas, TX, Pasadena, CA, Spencerville, MD and the Minneapolis area. Her father, the child of California’s Jesus Movement lived primarily in the Chicago suburbs, while her mother lived in Washington, DC with boyfriend the Democratic Party. Her parents have since reconciled.

Mrs. Church’s growing frustration with her father’s church and grandparent’s theology started her on a journey that ultimately led to her death. “I will change Christianity if it kills me in the process,” she was famous for saying, long before she spent summers camping with Fundamentalists in the woods, hoping to understand their fascination with propositional statements and rules.

“Personally, I think one of those danged Fundamentalists attacked her and ate her when she wasn’t looking,” says friend Karen Ward of Seattle. “You should look at Andrew Jones and make sure he has no bottles of sleeping pills in his possession,” says Mike Morrell of Atlanta. Josh Brown, Ryan Sharpe and Becky Garrison told me that they thought she was already dead.

Not surprisingly, in today’s celebrity culture, some of her friends and followers have set up vigils protesting the news of her death. Close personal friend, Tony Jones tells anyone still listening; “now I don’t want to get all Tupac, or Elvis on anyone, but she isn’t dead. Her demise is a ploy by her enemies to destroy her credibility and the credibility of those who work on her behalf. She is alive and well, but probably being held hostage by John Piper. I have sources that tell me she was last seen in downtown Minneapolis near Bethlehem Church, in a blizzard I am sure Piper will say was caused by her friends, the Gays. I am sure the body they have is a double found at a local morgue.” As of now, he is the spokesman for what could be a large contingent of possible conspiracy theorists demanding more answers. Some have called this group Emergent Truthers.

Mrs. Church’s influence will be debated for years to come. Details of her death have not yet been released. Funeral arrangements are in the planning stages.

33 comments:

the holly said...

one of your best, rick. one of your best.

Adam Gonnerman said...

I'm probably just slow, but where you wrote "fraternal" (meaning through a sibling) don't you mean "maternal" (through the mother)?

Otherwise, good stuff.

Jason Coker said...

Excellent. Spot on.

Mak said...

EXCELLENT so funny.

Jason Clark said...

Great take on it all :-)

Jennifer said...

I brought 2 Pools from http://masterpiece-pools.com/
& they are awesome, not only I am doing my Therapy but they also are good for the whole family.
With a two year repair or replace warranty*

Thanks,
Jenny
http://masterpiece-pools.com/

Bill Samuel said...

Did Mrs. Church drown in one of those pools?

Moff said...

THANK YOU, RICK. This is a much needed post (or series of posts, I just read the first two, which are also HILARIOUS). :^)

annalisa said...

Absolutely fabulous!! I love reading your posts!! Soooo sharing the link.

Andrew jones said...

There has been a lot if these posts this week but this one is the elvis of posts. Very cool

Scot McKnight said...

Hey, I want to have coffee with you some day. My son just moved to Tampa (Safety Harbor). E-mail me if you can. (smcknight@northpark.edu)

Mike Clawson said...

hmmm, what was it that Mark Twain said about reports of his demise?

multisitechurch said...

That's freakin funny. Good stuff!

ron cole said...

Well, Jesus did give us the power to raise the dead. Nice to see some humour in the midst of it all.

Rogier Bos said...

Yeah - but in the words of Mark Twain: rumors of her demise are greatly exagerated. Or perhaps the Emergent Church, like Elvis, will go on living forever, appearing now here, then there!

Steve K. said...

It's Thursday ... but Saturday's coming!

Mike Clawson said...

I guess I'll have to start telling the two or three folks who contact me every week about starting new emergent cohorts "sorry, didn't you hear? the emerging church is dead."

Bets said...

very good.

g13 said...

the emerging church is dead? please describe the scene. i've heard rumors she dropped on the Village Green.

Lisa said...

I just found your blog, and this is absolutely hilarious! I have visited 2 emergent churches before - 1 in Waco and 1 in Houston. Your post was incredibly witty, absolutely excellent! Four thumbs up!!!

bramboniusinenglish said...

So, If I can understand almost all of this, does that mean that I'm an insider? even though Mrs. E.C. has never really showed up in my country (Belgium)

this is hilarious...

Rick said...

thanks for all the support.

I will tell all of you that still think she is alive and the rumors of her demise are premature to remember,

It must be true. I read it on the Internet!

If you are looking for a song that inspires you that the Emerging Church is not dead, I turn you to the Eagles' classic Hotel California.

"We stabbed it with out steely knives, but we just couldn't kill the beast!"

Adam- I made the appropriate copy changes due to your advice. My wife is a copy editor, but was too busy to look over my drivel yesterday.

Mike Morrell said...

Wow - I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Thanks Rick.

eyesofhope said...

This was much-needed and timely after the week we have just spent in the blogosphere. You have a gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

nearemmaus said...

This is very creative and hilarious!

Jeremy V. said...

Too good and too funny!

Catherine said...

I must politely disagree. Mrs. Emerging Church was strangled to death at a very young age, and her murderer stole her identity at that time and has been continuing on as her all this time. The person who died in her sleep is none other than this same impostor, and Good Riddance. As for now long passed death of the true Emerging Church, I still mourn her passing.

I was surprised and shocked to hear of Evangelicalism's death in 2009, however. Please provide more details!

melora said...

John Bunyan would be proud! Having been blissfully unaware of Mrs. Emerging Church(living way up here in the boonies of northern Canada)I can't say I miss her. However, we have been put on notification to watch out for her relatives. But I really liked Evangelicalism-are you sure he's dead?

Russ Gunsalus said...

The triumph of satire over style over substance. Well done, well said, we'll see.

Rod said...

Hey, Rick. Am I imagining things or did the Vineyard become a multi-national corporation after John's un-timely death? I don't think Paul thought of himself as a CEO. And why does every denomenation or church movement move their headquarters to Texas? And this idea of passing the torch of leadership to the next generation- of twenty-somethings- who don't know their "asses from a hat" about much of anything? What's up with that? Even Timothy was probably in his late thirties before the reigns of leadership were put into his hands. I miss "the main and the plain" of John Wimber and the man.

Agape,

Rhemarodaw

Peter said...

I believe it is very important for believers to understand the difference between the labels Emergent Church and Emerging Church before declaring one dead, as I believe that the obituary only addresses one of the above.

If you care to read more...

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't she be Ms Church ?

Anonymous said...

How about you read Philippians 2. Then maybe your time wouldn't be so concerned with being worried about an emergent church.