Monday Morning Insights

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    Ten Signs You Might Be Emergent

    Michael Wittmer (author of Heaven Is a Place on Earth) gives the following 10 signs you might be Emergent.

    10. If you have never read Left Behind, never said The Prayer of Jabez, and never led the 40 Days of Purpose

    9. If you think you saw a megachurch on VH1's I Love the 80s

    8. If you wouldn't be surprised to find Gandhi in heaven, but would be floored to find Jerry Fallwell
    7. If in a debate with Jack Van Impe you'd likely argue that the bear is America and the AntiChrist is Pat Robertson
    6. If your preacher just cussed and it seemed appropriate
    5. If you honored your pastor with a box of fine cigars and beers on the house
    4. If your cool hair resembles a midwestern Ryan Seacrest and if you have no hair and still look cool, you just might be a leader of Emergent
    3. If you use the word "groove" as a verb and don't sound like a dork
    2. If you purchase church supplies from a Buddhist bookstore
    1. If your favorite Carson is Johnny
    Have any others to share?
    Have a great weekend!

    It’s Friday… time to lighten up a little (although I’m sure some amongst us probably won’t!).  This comes from the Nashville Cohort… the top ten signs you might be ‘emergent’…


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    1. Kent on Wed, December 28, 2005

      Bernie Said: I think by definition, wine is fermented. Where does this scripture say or imply it is not fermented???

      Bernie look at at Strongs Bible Concordance.

      Example of many; Proverbs 3:10 “So shall thy barns be filled with plenty snd thy presses shall burst out with new wine”. this “new wine” is #8492 in Strongs. Fresh Grape Juice (as just squeezed out; ny impl. rarely fermented wine: new, sweet wine.

      You also said: “Abstaining could cause a stumble… into legalism. I’d say to watch both extremes,,, indulgence and abstinence”.


      Bernie, come on… Telling someone they’re in sin because they have a drink might make them stumble, But abstaining from alcohol will NEVER make someone stumble. Yet drinking often will make one stumble.  So by knowing that Abstaining will NEVER make someone stumble, and being a good chance to make one stumble by drinking, it is clearly a selfish choice to make to drink.  It is simply a thinking of our selves only.


    2. bernie dehler on Wed, December 28, 2005

      Kent, about “new wine” and strong’s, see this link:

      Sure looks to me like fermented.  Look at the Hebrew Lexicon there.

      Jesus dind’t make “new wine” from water.  The best wine is aged.  The wine he made was better than that which was served and humanly made.  Therefore, I think, Jesus made “old wine” from water.  Sounds like you may have an issue with the works of Jesus…?

    3. Kent on Thu, December 29, 2005

      Bernie, the “Strongs” definition of new wine is “wine, fresh or new wine, must, freshly pressed wine”.  Freshly pressed wine is not fermented. 

      You said: Jesus dind’t make “new wine” from water. The best wine is aged.  You seem to made a dogmatic statement there based on oppinion.

      On the other hand Proverbs 31 is clearly “Black & White” Proverbs 31:4   It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

      Proverbs 31:5   Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

      Proverbs 31:6   Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

      Proverbs 31:7   Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.


      “Clearly” alcohol is damaging to judgement, proverbs 31 says it, and even studies have shown it.  So, why partake in something that is going to cause one to stumble and is damaging to judgement?   Because of our own selfishness wanting a “buzz”.


    4. Peter Hamm on Fri, December 30, 2005

      Oh, my goodness! I don’t believe that someone is still arguing over the whole water-into-wine thing. You guys are SO not emergent. )laugh a little guys, that was the point.)

      One thing though, Strong’s Definitions of words are maybe the WORST source to quote for this argument. They are merely approximate glosses, and they are often shaped through the lens of a particular theology. Look at the Greek (use a decent resource like BDAG or something), there is NO way to conclude, merely from the text, that Jesus changed water into grape juice at Cana. Sorry, but it was wine.

      And drunkenness is also a sin! so is gluttony.


    5. Kent on Fri, December 30, 2005

      Peter said: There is NO way to conclude, merely from the text, that Jesus changed water into grape juice at Cana. Sorry, but it was wine. 

      No one ever “concluded” that Jesus changed the water into grape juice. Yet you are “conluding” that it was fermented wine, and there is NO way you can conclude that, sorry.

      If it was fermented, it is clear that back then it was diluted, with far less alcohol content than today. 

      John Macauthur has written a lot on the subject as well, “As a beverage, wine was always thought of as a mixed drink in Greek culture. The ratio of water might have varied but only barbarians drank it unmixed. Stein cites patristic writings that show the early church served mixed wine.

      c) The present

      Beer has approximately 4% alcohol, wine 9-11%, brandy 15- 20%, and hard liquor 40-50% (80-100 proof). So, unmixed wine in biblical times measured at approximately 9-11%. Mixed wine, at a 3:1 ratio, would therefore be between 2.25- to-2.75%. By today’s standards, a drink has to exceed 3.2% to be considered an alcoholic beverage. The wine they consumed was either completely non-alcoholic or sub- alcoholic by today’s standards. To become drunk with wine in those days you would have to drink all day. That is why the Bible commands elders in the church not to be addicted to much wine (1 Tim. 3:3). With such a low alcoholic content, you would have to purpose to become drunk.


      So, is drinking wine today the same as in Bible times? No”.

      One thing is very clear, there is no reason why one has to drink alcohol today except to please his own flesh with a “buzz”.  There is little or no concern for others, yet I can hear everyone screaming, it is “My Liberty”.  hmmm, liberty to serve the flesh?


    6. Peter Hamm on Fri, December 30, 2005


      You are very correct about the differences in the way that wine was consumed in ancient times vs. today. And the OT and NT are both CLEAR in their condemnation of drunkenness. Your point is well made.

      However, armed with the text and common sense, you can absolutely conclude that the wine at Cana was fermented. Very easily, with none of what I once heard called on this forum “hermeneutical gymnastics.” It was the end of a wedding celebration, for goodness sake! Sorry, but I’m pretty convinced that the only way to conclude it was not-fermented is to come to the text with a strong bias, which in my experience is usually arrived at by faulty understanding of the Bible’s overall message on the use or abuse of alcohol. And please, don’t lets start quoting Scriptures at each other, not because quoting Scripture is bad, on the contrary, but we all know you can quote parts of Scripture to say anything you want it to say. Besides, we’re off point, both for the post and this whole blog.

      And I think your last statement overstates things somewhat. A glass of wine with a good meal… both serve each other in our appreciation of God’s gifts to us. And you don’t have to become drunk or even get a “buzz” to appreciate it. But we must use great caution, I agree, since this is such an abused thing. BTW, I’ve heard from several doctors that 1 - 3 glasses of wine has great health benefits, but once you exceed that… all bets are off.


      I think it’s perhaps your real concern that all these “emergent” types are abusing their freedom in Christ in areas like this, and I think you’re absolutely right to address that. The whole cussing thing is a greater example than drinking, because, after all, you can make the argument from Scripture pretty convincingly that Alcohol is not always wrong. You can’t do the same with cussing, can you.


    7. Kent on Fri, January 06, 2006

      You might be emergent if all the songs in your church are about you and the way that you “feel”.  And even if they happen to be about Jesus, they’re all about the way “you feel” about him.

    8. Bernie Dehler on Fri, January 06, 2006

      Kent said:

      “One thing is very clear, there is no reason why one has to drink alcohol today except to please his own flesh with a “buzz”. There is little or no concern for others, yet I can hear everyone screaming, it is “My Liberty”. hmmm, liberty to serve the flesh?”

      What’s so terrible about a “buzz?”  Does the bible condemn it? It’s a far cry from being drunk.  Not everything of the flesh that feels good is evil.  Nothing wrong with sex, as long as it’s in the marriage relationship.  Nothing wrong with appropriate laughter, and it feels great for the flesh.  Yet some, in the name of religion and God, will condemn those, too.  Best to be an unhappy hermit in the desert?

    9. Kent on Mon, January 16, 2006

      Bernie said: What’s so terrible about a “buzz?” Does the bible condemn it? It’s a far cry from being drunk.

      Are you serious? A buzz on alcohol is intoxication. The affects of it even at a “buzz” have diminshed your abilities and reasoning.  Again, the wine at Jesus time was drastically reduced in it’s alcohol content, which would take drinking all day to get a buzz.  The only reason one would voluntarily drink alcohol under normal circumstances today is out of selfishness.

    10. Dave on Mon, January 23, 2006

      You might NOT be emergent if you have to prove your point, and not just gently and graciously share your viewpoint and your journey…

    11. Aaron on Mon, January 23, 2006

      So, where’s the love?

      As I read through this I am disgusted to call myself a Christian.  We can throw Scriptures at each other and get royally pissed, but we can’t love each other.  The post started out kind of funny, and then it turned ugly as one after another of us decided to vent our personal dislikes (kind of like the comment about angry blogs to people we don’t even know).  It seems as though there’s alot of confusion over Emergent and instead of trying to understand it, we’d rather hang on what someone’s told us about how bad they are.

      Jesus was all about love, but from the comments here, I’m pretty sure alot of us have forgotten it.


    12. D.R. Randle on Thu, January 26, 2006

      After reading the comments, one thing is for sure—there is a huge gap between those who are emerging and those who are not.  It seems obvious to me that there is little communication going on between the two sides.  And while many commentors want to suggest that it is the traditionalists who don’t understand the emergents, I think it definately goes both ways.  Both have to admit that they must learn from one another.

      Todd, honestly man, this blog post was probably a bad idea.  It celebrates the differences of emergents by subtling mocking the traditionalists and continues by suggesting that one group is cooler than another.  There was little hope from the outset that it would be taken well by the traditionalists, leading to the subsequent array of dueling comments.  Maybe a bit more discernment next time.

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      With respect, Regis.

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