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Emerging Morality

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In some of our earlier posts, we've highlighted the ethical disconnect demonstrated by some within the emerging church. A secular writer doing an article on the Emerging Church movement and postmodern Christianity summed up the character of the movement this way: "What makes a postmodern ministry so easy to embrace is that it doesn't demonize youth culture--Marilyn Manson, 'South Park,' or gangsta rap, for example--like traditional fundamentalists. Postmodern congregants aren't challenged to reject the outside world" (Lori Leibovich, "Generation: A Look Inside Fundamentalism's Answer to MTV: The Postmodern Church," 77).

It's not really that surprising, then, to learn that more and more voices within the emerging movement are suggesting that evangelicals should back away from confronting western culture over moral evils like abortion and homosexuality. Tony Campolo, for example, explained to a reporter why he wrote his book Speaking My Mind :

My purpose in writing the book was to communicate loud and clear that I felt that evangelical Christianity had been hijacked. When did it become anti-feminist? When did evangelical Christianity become anti-gay? When did it become supportive of capital punishment? Pro-war? When did it become so negative towards other religious groups?

Nor is it surprising that Brian McLaren says he is not sure "what we should think about homosexuality." He called for a five-year moratorium on making any pronouncements about whether homosexuality is a sin or not. "In five years, if we have clarity, we'll speak" he said. "If not, we'll set another five years for ongoing reflection."

In an effort to appeal to postmodern culture, some within the emerging church have shied away from confronting even the most blatant evils that mark contemporary American society.