I was recently asked if I would consider Centerpoint part of the Emergent Church Movement. My short answer to this question was yes but I also included a rather lengthy definition of what the word emergent means to me and how it fits into Centerpoint.
The word e-mer-gent is an adjective used to describe something that is “coming into being” or something which already exists but is “becoming more prominent”. The root word of e-mer-gent is e-mer-ge-re better known to us e-mer-ge and to e-mer-ge simply means to “come into view”.
The original point of the emergent church as I understand it was to bring issues and topics into view that were deeply spiritual, yet issues which many churches had ignored or taken the same stance on for a long period of time. Rather than simply stating a “generic” solution or approach to such hot button cultural issues such as homosexuality, environmentalism, and social justice the emergent church looked to dialogue and start a discussion about these areas challenging people to question their beliefs and view them from a Christian perspective.
The emerging part of this movement was to emphasize the need for churches and Christians alike to challenge popular opinion and separate biblical truth from religious tradition and/or opinion. Sometimes that meant one may end up at the same place they started but many times it may lead to a new, truly biblical perspective of the Christian faith.
Unfortunately, as with many movements, some of the Emergent Movements most prominent leaders have been challenged for their occasional heretical views on issues such as eternity and salvation. Although I feel some of the leaders may have lost focus this should not discount a large group of people who still look to engage culture and faith in a new and exciting way by bringing issues of faith back into prominence.
Based on the original definition of what it means to be emergent Centerpoint is at heart an Emerging Church. We will find creative ways to discuss cultural issues and topics and connect these areas to our faith in the same way Jesus did throughout His time here on earth. By doing this we hope the love and peace of Christ will “come into view” for a culture desperately in need of a hope only Jesus can offer.