Okay- I recognize that I tend to defend the Emerging Church a lot... as well as critique the status quo in American Evangelicalism. I do so for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that while flawed, the emerging church is important. It represents an important voice in the never-ending conversation of how we contextualize the Gospel and live faithfully as followers of Jesus in our day and age... questions which others, among them some prominent Southern Baptists seem to be actively resisting.
I maintain that in a more free-form movement like the emerging church, I can actively disagree with my fellow emerging brothers and sisters, not necessarily buy everything they say, and yet still claim a seat at the "emerging table."
It seems to me that when you talk about things like denominations or political parties, however, the freedom to do something like that is fairly restricted, if not absolutely gone.
In other words, how does one continue, day after day, week after week, year after year continue to belong to any group which stands for the opposite of what one stands for? For example, I ceased to be a Republican (I'm now a "no party affiliation) when I realized that "close-but-no-cigar" doesn't cut it when belonging to official groups with written out platforms, when those platforms and rules and regulations negate what you believe and stand for. Whether it's because of a lack of real, substantive concern for the poor or a lack of real substantive concern for the unborn, I can't in good conscience belong to any party right now...
How is it that you can belong to a Convention who wouldn't allow Jesus Himself into leadership?
And how long will you give it? When does that official party line mean that you can no longer belong to the "party"?
I ask in all seriousness... this would be a matter of conscience for me.
ht: joe carter