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Saturday Stuff

I have to thank Michael for turning me on to Bishop Will Willimon’s podcast.  I had not listened to one in some time, but I drove around in my truck for a little while this afternoon and listened to a couple of the more recent ones.  He really takes the “5 Keys to a Better _________” sermon to the woodshed and compares modern evangelical preaching like Rick Warren’s to the 19th century liberal preaching.  “5 Keys to a Better__________” means you don’t have to deal with the peskiness of what Jesus is preaching and calling us to.  I reckon we’ll never hear a sermon on the 3 Best Ways to Take Up Your Cross and Die.  Listening to Willimon makes me happy to be a United Methodist pastor.

Speaking of ways to take up your cross and follow Jesus Justin suggested this week that if the United Methodist Church were really serious about advertising Jesus’ call to follow him in this world, our advertising campaign wouldn’t be the current “Open Hearts…” that is seen everywhere but maybe “Narrow is the Way that leads to everlasting life.”  Before noses get tweaked, I’m not talking about narrow-mindedness but the extremely narrow, difficult, precipice traversing, and perilous path that is following Jesus.  That’s just if we’re honest, though.

One final thought, and this might be a post for a later time, but there is quite a bit your average pew sitting evangelical could learn from the gay groups within the UMC.  They don’t get their way every four years yet they keep showing up with hope instead of leaving.  How many evangelicals, when they don’t get their way in church, take their bottoms to a pew in another church that will soothe their egos for a time before moving on to another one?  (I’m thinking about this a lot since our church is facing a decision that is going to run off a few people no matter which way we decide and that is really sad.)

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