So the question is ... are Methodism's problems a result of losing sight of the spiritual in pursuit of funding, programs, social contact, Sunday School based on best-seller books, and being sort of a religious country club? Are we so lost in trying to force our own interpretations of the Bible on each other that we fail to bring the lost home to Christ?
Have our Sunday Schools lost sight of the type of Bible study that Wesley's "Bible-Moths" would approve of? Scripture was the most important part of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, not just an equal quarter of the whole.
Andrew Thompson, author of the Gen-X Rising blog, says, "Let's decide: Are we Methodists or not?" He takes a good poke at churches that seem so ashamed to be United Methodists that they leave that part out of their publicized church name. Either be Methodists or don't, but don't be half-hearted Methodists, he seems to say.
Andrew suggests that it is a good and fruitful thing to follow Wesley:
- Shun religious pretension
- Practice rigorous discipleship
- Actively pursue the way of salvation
- Tirelessly carry the gospel to the lost and the poor
So ... how are you and your church doing? Are you truly Methodists?
The United Methodist Reporter site has picked up several other Gen-X Rising articles in 2007:
- Churches that matter offer true community
- Young church leaders plan grassroots event
- Giving up our right to choose for Lent
- Growing out of a 'country-club commitment'
As a side note, Gen-X Rising is now linked in the "Methodist, Other blogs" section of this blog.