“Rethinking Church” is costing Methodists $20 million

Posted: May 8, 2009 in Above the Fold, Denominational Fun, Keep it real, Testify
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“Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.”

Sounds like the moniker for a fluffy suburban city, but alas, it’s been the rallying cry for the uber-controversial, bible-throttling, scripture-twisting United Methodist Church.

Ah, so sweet.

What church again? IJS.

What church again? IJS.

And now, the prelates of the Church are willing to hurl $20 million in the direction of the second phase of the national PR and marketing campaign, “Rethink Church.”

(Special masonry shout out to the great Sam Hodges for the tip on this story)

Personally, anytime you have to encourage people to “rethink” anything Jesus is involved in, odds are people are more behind it than Christ.

The UMC is after a younger demo, you know folk who don’t mind the high mass as long as hedonism is a big player in the pulpit. And they are willing to throw truckloads (well, actually VW Beetle trunkloads) of cash in their direction.

“We aim to reach young adults who are not familiar with church, who are concerned about the world in which we live, who want to make their lives more meaningful, and who have a deep yearning to connect with God and with a community of support,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “We also hope to reach people inside the church who will reassess what it means to be people of faith.”

That’s sweet, but that lukewarm pablum isn’t changing lives… it’s only populating churches. I’m thankful – I guess – for the “if-you-are-in-the-house-you-are-bound-to-get-some-on-you” theory, but it’s not gum, herpes or the Swine Flu.

This is the Holy Spirit UMC folks, and last time I checked, Jesus ain’t coming inside unless that door is opened from the inside.

According to Barna on behalf of United Methodist Communications, research found that 66 percent of young adults surveyed were searching for meaning and purpose in their lives and 62 percent considered themselves “spiritual.”

Well, of course they do, as they attend raves, get second-hand highs and mug on anything with a heartbeat. I know. I was there and unless someone has the temerity to bow up and witness, I would have still been there… lost, confused but still “spiritual.”

This is a world full of folk who have “No Soliciting” signs hanging on the door of their hearts. And by embracing their convoluted beliefs, peer pressure mentality and inclusive theology, you aren’t leading them down a primrose path.

Instead, you may as well be walking barefoot over a bed of coals because the path the UMC is considering a voyage is lined with roses… and all its thorny bushes. Hope you don’t get the lost stuck. It’s their soul on your hands.

  1. Bob O'Keef says:

    The United Methodist Church needs help, but it is not the Church described by the author! As a UMC pastor, I have led over 2000 persons to Christ. And I am not the only pastor who has been active in building up the Body of Christ. God is preparing the Church for the great revival that is on the way.

  2. Mike says:

    The Bible is the number one offender of folks feelings. Regardless of what other people do or say if a person hungers and thirst after righteousness Jesus will step in and slake that thirst. However, as long as we continue down the path of making things brief and easy, and as long as we’re going to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are relevant to our culture then the decline will grow increasingly slippery and precipitous. God is doing a “new thing” BUT the Bible remains as unchanged as the eternal God who created this universe.

  3. John says:

    “Where two gather in my name I am there.”

    No one wants to gather with the judgemental on sunday.

    • hiscrivener says:

      Regretfully, the judgmental gather in churches everywhere, every Sunday. Regardless, Church doesn’t need “rethinking”… some pastors on the other hand… IJS.

  4. docdeer says:

    Reaching this culture is going to take more than marketing campaigns and catchy phrases. As you point out, we need to engage the culture in which we live with the hope of Christ. That means at some point, we need to be willing to bring Him up in the conversation. Tragically, too many churches are not willing to do this. We are too content to sit inside the walls of our buildings and hope that the curious will just magically pop in. May we all be willing to take Jesus and the love, hope, and forgiveness He offers to a world (and a culture) that is trapped and dying in it’s sin.

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