Recently, I was involved in a misunderstanding with a person I used to attend church with. These sort of misunderstandings have been happening a lot more lately because my church has been labeled emergent. That’s fine. People are often guilty of relational laziness and need these sorts of labels rather than engage the people around them. Our church describes itself as missional because we’d rather be “being” the church than talking about it. Since I’m just as guilty of using labels as crutches as anyone else, I’ll describe my friend as a mainstream Evangelical with a fundamentalist streak.

This friend took umbrage with an article I wrote because, to his reading, I was losing sight of the “ontology of Christ”. Once I got wind that he had concerns, I called him. We talked about his concerns. To his absolute credit, he apologized to me and then, in an all too rare demonstration of what it means to follow Christ, he volunteered to go back and apologize to the people whom he had talked to about me.

One of my points to him was that I don’t have time for “ontology of Christ” debates. Honestly, whom am I going to have that conversation with? Other Christians who have spent too much time in church, around other Christians who’ve learned a lot. Which is fine, I’m called to love them, too. But that’s not where I spend a lot of my time.

Since this is mostly aimed at my Christian brethren, let me put this in jargon you’ll understand: I hang out with the “lost” (an ironic term, since my friends like Wrath James White, Harlequin, and Paul Puglisi know exactly where they are). Why? Because I don’t want to spend my days talking about whatever new doctrinal burr is up some people’s butts. A lot of the times those conversations boil down to one person who know everything talking to someone else who has everything figured out. They want to play who’s head is puffed up more or who has the biggest doctrinal penis. That’s a game I’m not interested in playing.

Of course these are unfair caricaturizations, but it sets up what I really want to talk about.


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