The Economist reports on the June 23-26 Wild Goose Festival that "explicitly pitched its appeal to artists and musicians, nonconformists, post-Christians, non-Christians, disaffected evangelicals and a liberal evangelical subset known as the 'emergent' church." Held in eastern North Carolina a couple weeks ago, here's the Economist's description...
Instead of Bible studies, there were labyrinth walks. Instead of praise-and-worship music, there was hymn-singing in a beer garden and a bluegrass liturgy presided over by a tattooed female Lutheran minister (Nadia Bolz-Weber). Visitors were greeted with buckets of water in which to baptise themselves, and tubs of mud to remind them that “dust thou art”... Visitors could learn from Tom Prasada-Rao, a singer, how to chant “Om” and “Hallelujah Hare Krishna”, or hear Paul Fromberg, a pastor from San Francisco, talking about his 2005 wedding to another man. “God is changing the church through the bodies of gay men,” Mr Fromberg told a packed session on human sexuality. Also under discussion was “religious multiple belonging”—in other words, belonging to a clutch of different faiths at once.
Several disillusioned evangelical leaders attended. One was Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Bakker of the defunct-Praise-the-Lord-TV-network fame, who gave meandering talks on growing up fundamentalist. Frank Schaeffer, who has made a career out of criticising his evangelical parents Francis and Edith Schaeffer, called the Bible “Bronze-Age mythology” and confessed he had a “conflicted ambivalence” about abortion.
Look at the speaker list and it's apparent Wild Goose leaves Burning Man in the dust. Tony Campolo and his son, Bart. Andrew Webb. The late Mike Yaconelli's son, Mark (I'm so sad to see my friend'a son go in this direction). Jim Wallis. Brian McLaren. Lynne Hybels (she says she "started Willow Creek with her husband, Bill"). Then there's that perpetual train wreck screeching as he piles up on top of himself, Franky Schaeffer. And of course, Nadia Bolz-Weber showing lots of skin. Ed Dobson still trying to do penance for his past. Then there's Anthony Smith who describes himself as "the resident emerging theologian of an Emergent Village cohort... and a co-host of another emergent cohort." You get the picture. Also, for those needing a clue, two other headliners are named Phyliss Tickle and David Dark.
I'm sobered at how many of these speakers I've met, personally. Their roots are Evangelical and now they're apostate and leading our family and friends down the road to Hell. Remember the Apostle Paul's warnings to the Ephesian elders found in Acts 20.
(TB, w/thanks to Kamilla)