Tuesday, December 26, 2006


It occurs to me, so much recently, the need for the tribal in postmodern culture and interactions, and therefore a must in Christianity. This need seems to be true despite varied personalities, and dispositions. One doesn’t merely need a tribe because one is gregarious and outgoing.

Tribe is meant here as Dictionary.com describes it in the 8th, but more like the 9th definition.
8. a class or set of persons, esp. one with strong common traits or interests.
9. a large family.

Whether persons possess introverted or extroverted qualities, the need for tribal-style belonging is incredibly strong. Social interactions are increasingly dependent on this cultural binding, like a kind of glue in the fabric of new societal norms. It’s “the café factor” if you will. The pub, the water hole, the hub, of cultural life. But not merely to be a commons area, but in fact, a “home”. In my observations, family or tribal elements are qualities of emergent-like groups springing up around the country, and within subgroups in certain mainline churches.

It’s important to realize what “needing a tribe” means. It is not merely an association, or fraternal tendency. The need for tribal belonging is what a generation babysat by the television, shuffled from parent to parent, and picking up and moving every few years in modern society, craves. They crave family as it is intended to be, for humans existing as relational creatures. I contend it is crucial for spiritual maturity, and even belief. More than any other recent era, the need to belong before one believes is a prevailing experiential phenomenon.

If our bodies of Believers cannot or do not make tribal belonging available to outsiders, they will end up in a generation or two, as part of the history of Christendom. The history that involves an imploded city on a hill that became only an incestuous (if you will) fortress against any outside it’s wall. These will cease to be desirable to the spiritually thirsty. Those who offer tribe, then, offer life. The life is perhaps then, family life.

More on what trbial belonging is coming soon...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Emerging Christmas Traditions?

This year retails stores will see a boost in sales. Folks will purchase many gifts for the season. PlayStation 3 game systems will sell for over a grand, but how are we doing as Christians at Christmas? Are emergent Christians, and other authentic Christians, making a dent in any social causes, local, national, or international? Do Christian even give a crap? Or do we just care about what finds it way under our trees- The lovely blood diamond jewelry, or the kitchen appliance we don’t really need. Or, are we thinking about if the kids are getting what they asked Santa for?

It’s really sort of sickening that we are consumed by stuff, and our many resources are used to get more stuff, when people down, in Darfur, for instance, are dying in the worst genocide since the Rwanda ordeal.

Where are the Christians in these things? Are they all shopping? Does George Clooney have to do this “dirty work” for us? There’s nothing like gratuitous excess to get some bah humbug out of me at this time of year. I’m not saying gifts are bad. I’m just saying, when will enough be enough. When as Christians we can start caring about the hurting and dying people out there, more than the self-righteous movie stars seem to care about them? The “least of these” don’t even get a second thought, as we scarf down cookies, tear open gifts, and conduct our shopping marathons for Jesus’ birthday. Yuck.

If you’ve helped the poor or hurting this season, drop a comment and tell us about this kind of MEANINGFUL holiday tradition, I’d love to hear about it. If you haven’t, why on earth not?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pa satellite broadcasts

Hope Community E.C. Church, Fogelsville, invites you to share in the following CCN.tv satellite broadcasts:

Tuesday, December 5, 7:30-8:30 p.m., “Non Commercial Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” with Donald Miller, author of “Blue Like Jazz” – this broadcast examines the ways commercial culture affects Christian spirituality
Thursday, December 7, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, “Off-Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders” (Dr. Earl Creps, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary director of Doctor of Ministry program shows how God reshapes the interior world to form a missional heart (pastors and ministry leaders should attend)
a very special broadcast, part of a once a month series, Thursday, December 7, 7:30-8:30 pm, “Beyond the Cosmos: Origin of the Universe”, with Dr. Hugh Ross, as he shows how discoveries in extra-dimensional realities support some of the Bible’s paradoxes, i.e., how God can listen to all our prayers at the same time, how can God be both singular and plural, and how can God foreknow and yet grant free will.

church site: www.wearehopechurch.org
phone 610-285-6967

Pastors are invited, and for appropriate broadcasts, so are lay participants from area church to share in these broadcasts freely. If you know you are coming, please give us an idea, so we can “turn the lights on and have the coffee ready.” For further detail about the broadcasts, check the CNN.tv website for further information about the broadcast schedule.