Emerging as just another color of the rainbow

I had a conversation with someone yesterday who said that Emergents are just another color of the rainbow. In other words, you have Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, emergents, etc… and they are all just trying to figure out how to faithfully follow Jesus. Different yes… not having everything figured out, but all adding a flavor to this thing we call Christianity. Emerging church is new, yes, but in the grand scheme of history, there is nothing all that new about it. The danger, he said, is when they feel like they need to change the rainbow. I agreed to an extent… but as I think about it, it raises too many questions to agree.

How do we explain that there are emergents already in every color of the rainbow? These folks are trying to remain true to many of the things that they hold valuable within their color | denomination yet rethink some things as they learn and grow from other colors. If they are found within every color of the rainbow, they can’t be a totally new color.

Maybe the analogy just doesn’t work. Maybe we don’t see the other colors as valid as our own… Maybe we don’t see the rainbow as a whole. Maybe we just see it as separate colors and not as a rainbow. Maybe emergents are trying to get at the view of the rainbow for what it is and excepting the reality that we have made it more than it really is. Maybe it’s not about the rainbow. I don’t know.

I as an Emergent Christian am not trying to change Christianity… but at the same time I exist in the reality that Christianity is changing… or I should say that our world is changing and Christianity, while changing much slower, is changing too. We are in a dynamic time where we can be part of that change, not resistant to it. I see it this way:

God is up to something… always
Present in a world that is changing… growing,
We long to be a part of what he’s doing
The growth of his kingdom
So we grow, change, learn
Paying attention
And in that we change as well.

The Rainbow changes because we understand the rainbow differently. It’s not about the colors, they all exist in the same rainbow. When it all comes down to it, all the colors are made of the same material… there is nothing different about any of them. And ultimately, perhaps, emergent is creating a place where all can come and be rainbows. In the words of Bob Marley from Sun is Shining

When the mornin gather the rainbow, yeah, yeah
Want you to know, Im a rainbow too
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, yall, can you, can you, can you understand?

2 thoughts on “Emerging as just another color of the rainbow

  1. Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly, why oh why can’t I.

    It is not about the rainbow. The rainbow is. It is about what is beyond the current rainbow that we are striving for and longing for. We cannot just be about adding another color to the rainbow. We need to be looking beyond the rainbow for the newness that God is doing and follow that. There will still be a rainbow, it just won’t matter in the same way when there is a new place to be beyond, over the rainbow.


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