Recently was observing various churches and organizations talking about their roots or threads and it got me thinking about the beautiful organism that is Mercy Church.
Our Roots/Threads are many and come together in a great tapestry or tree.
Obviously the early Christian & Missionary Alliance is huge for us. The Alliance was the pentecostal movement before the Denominations of the Vineyard (old-style), Assemblies of God ‘P’ pentecostals, Foursquare, Open Bible, etc.. This includes themes of:
4-fold Gospel: Jesus is the Center, the rest must bring us around to Jesus.
Charismatic/pentecostal: present work of the Holy Spirit in empowering for mission and living like Jesus. Multicultural – the Alliance values actaully looking like the Kingdom too!
Eastern Orthodoxy: There is another way from the legal/reformation views of the cross, holy spirit, and living faith in creating culture. There is good experiential theology in the Eastern Church that affirms spirit-filled theology of the non-reformation renewalists. We have not done enough diving here yet.
Anabaptist: The Sermon on the Mount is not meant to simply reveal our brokenness – it actually contains Jesus’ teaching of Kingdom Ethics by teaching triads that build/transform the law by the power of the Holy Spirit in the believing community to transforming initiatives (Gushee, Stassen) of Kingdom of God living.
Evangelical: For us this comes out of Anabaptist, Renewalist views of God. We are this in a non-fundamentalist way (read Stanley Grenz’s Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era or ANYTHING by the late Stanely Grenz!). Sharing Jesus must be done in a non-coersive but yet winsome way. The Great Commission cannot be jettisoned because some have been violent or abusive. We don’t throw out all relationships just because some people get it very wrong.
Freewill/Arminian: Basically all of the groups above tend to fall into this category because they all affirm that God is love (self-revealed and not some weird dualistic moral-monster), creates out of love, risks evil for the greater accomplishment of loving relationships. And that we have a limited but real role to play in this world – and certainly our choices.