Denny,

I am glad that you are not angry, I wasn't interested in getting into a debate about words, but it seemed in my readings of this thread that you were simply dismissing Kalled's comments without consideration (which definitely doesn't agree with the definitions of tripe or sophistry I know). If Kalled is wrong, and if all emergents everywhere are wrong then they need someone to lay out lovingly and biblically why they shouldn't accept certain people and certain actions into their services (just as you would if you were explaing it to a Charismatic or some of the extreme cases of "Low Church").

The point of quoting Gandhi was not to win an argument but to disply the attitude and the reception that Christians have gotten in this time. It is generally acknowledged that Jesus is good (though most people probably have no idea what Jesus taught) but so many people get turned off to the gospel because they see Christians who don't meet the needs of other Christians, let alone those in distress around us. There's also an economic difference between denominations, Baptist and Charismatic groups are reputed to have more poor and lower middle class people (the common man) while "High Church" denominations supposedly tend to reach mostly upper class persons, or at least thats what I've run into in my studies at university and which has been taught as fact. Now when the lost people around me at school see that we can't even be tolerant to reach people of our own ethnicity but of a different economic background, then how likely are they to think we're willing to reach out to people of other ethnicities or other traditions? I've encountered plenty of people who don't go to church and who don't want to go because of the witness of Christians in their actions. There plenty of lost people who know the Bible, who've read the Institutes (okay, a few less, but still there are people) and there are plenty who have been to church and seen preachers there and on TV and they aren't convinced because Christians aren't much on good works in public.

If laying out an argument was enough then we would have converted the world long ago. If using force was enough, the world would still be ruled by the Pope, but these are not. People (against all that is logical and wise) look at the life and adherents of everyday church going people in order to determine if there's validity and power to a faith. We have a faith which does not require any great sacrifices from us, only to die to self and live in Christ who has set us free and made us acceptable before God. If we as Christians would simply reach people with the means God has given us and with honesty about our struggles as Christians we (I believe) would have growth rates like these "cults" and "heresies" without changing a thing.

Brother Luke