Over the past year I've often found myself thinking about the emerging church and an element of moral restraint within its ranks. That's certainly not to say that the lack of such restraint is unique to the emerging church -- not at all. But as institutional church structures have undergone the work of deconstruction, it seems to have bred a new-found freedom that has rejected legalism and embraced self-indulgance. Alan Hartung receently blogged about this and the wisdom he gained from Todd Hunter:
Todd pointed out that within the evangelical church structure, I had external forces causing me to modify my behavior. With the structure removed, those external forces no longer served to restrain me. But the answer is not to get the structure back. Now, Todd pointed out, I needed to truly be transformed rather than rely on the rules, written and unwritten, of evangelicalism. The goal is to become the type of person who does the right thing naturally, rather than someone who only acts good when the structure is in place.
Have you noticed or thought about this phenomenon? What's your 'read' on the whole thing? I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.