Friday, April 25, 2008

Cartoon about General Conference

Ok, so maybe it wasn't originally about General Conference, but it certainly speaks to the attitude of the church today. (Click image to enlarge)

Holy Conferencing = No Winners or Losers

A quote by Bishop Huie:
"In much of the Western world, results are measured in terms of winners and losers," said Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, who leads the Houston Area and is president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, according to the United Methodist News Service. "Holy Conferencing does not work that way. It focuses on discerning where God is leading us. It focuses on prayer, rational and respectful conversation, and a belief that with God, all things are possible."

I love the idea of holy conferencing! Its sounds amazing that we would all respectfully and calmly state our differing opinions and then through divine guidance come to the dare I say winning solution.

However at some point this great idea of holy conferencing breaks down. At some point someone's interpretation/opinion is incorrect and they must stand down. Will they though? At some point one side or the other must admit defeat and be the loser!

Ultimately we "win" by accepting Jesus as our Savior and with Christ have VICTORY and will live with him in eternity. Those who do not, scripture says, will be cast to the outer darkness.

Clearly our Lord says in Matthew 12:30,"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."

We must pick a side! There is a winner and a victor and His name is JESUS!

Church or Charity?

I understand. Malaria is a bad thing. Each year 515 million people get malaria and 1.3 million die. It's bad. We need to do something about it. As a church we should be concerned. But should it be our top concern? It seems like ever time I look at anything from the United Methodist church there is something about "Nothing but nets." I know this is a great program, but it's almost as if this is all that our international mission is about - buying $10 nets. Shouldn't we be giving them something more?
To put in perspective, roughly 66% of the 6.6 billion people of the world do not claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That's 4.4 billion people who are dying without faith in Jesus Christ. A 200 member church giving $10 a month could probably support a missionary to share the gospel to these who are destined for eternity without God.
The question comes down to this - Are we a church or are we a charity? Sure, we are to "do all the good that we can," but we must realize that the greatest good is to share Christ. Christ calls us to a greater mission than just handing out mosquito nets, we are called to make disciples. That's the mission of a church. Otherwise, we're just on our way to becoming an offshoot of the United Way.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quotes from John Wesley

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”

“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can”

“When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.”

“My ground is the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.”

“The best of it is, God is with us.”

“I look on all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation”

“The Church recruited people who had been starched and ironed before they were washed.”