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Denim, Demons and Denominations

 

In addition to the convergence movement in Protestantism there is also the “emergent church movement” which seeks to break all ties with denominationalism and conventional church structures in favor of a post modern, non dogmatic, socially involved and relevant Christian lifestyle. This free ranging movement cuts across all boundaries and crops up in community churches, house churches and core communities. The “converging church” (as far as I can make out) are conventional congregations and pastors who are picking up some of the points of the “emergent church” folks to re-vitalize their congregations.

In the mix are also the “nones”–Christian believers of the younger generation who have no real denominational loyalties. For years the Protestants have said, “It doesn’t really matter what church you go to as long as you love Jesus.” Their kids have taken that to heart and shop around for whatever church suits them. The problem with this creed (and this is off topic) is that the next  logical step is “It doesn’t really matter if you go to church or not–what is really important is how much you love Jesus.”

Non denominationalism is the growth point in Protestantism and this means an every widening rash of do-it-yourself churches started up in retail spaces, old supermarkets and warehouses. These do it yourself churches will be the logical outgrowth of Protestantism which is “Every man with his Bible and every man a pope.”  When this happens an increasing number of these congregations and their pastors will slip into all sorts of weirdness, extremism, sectarianism, ideologies, cults and heresies.

Is there any chance for unity? I have small hopes that the Ordinariate may be a bridge for a good number of convergence movement Christians–and as Evangelical Protestants discover church history, the liturgy and real Catholicism that the Ordinariate may fulfill a missionary/ecumenical function.

But that would be to assume that a good number of those on the convergence path really value church unity, really value the Catholic tradition and really want to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

The question then arises, if that is what they want why don’t they just join the Catholic Church and get it over with?