There are a few posts I have been meaning to link to.
Steve Rankin at Rankin File discusses what he learned during this year’s Presidential election. Rankin candidly discusses what he learned from election night about racism and the amazing breakthrough of an African American, Barack Obama, being elected to the office of President of the United States.
Shayne Raynor at the Wesley Report writes about United Methodist Churches that do not label themselves as United Methodist. Raynor explores whether United Methodists should be bothered by churches like Granger Community Church which effectively hide their United Methodist affiliation. (As a cool bonus, I learned that Starbucks owns Seattle’s Best… you learn something new every day.)
Steve Manskar and Steve Rankin both help focus our attention during this season of Advent. Manskar at Accountable Discipleship writes that Advent is not Christmas-lite. Rankin lists a few Christmas pet peeves. The one that has particularly stuck with me is the reminder that Christmas should not just be viewed cyclically – as a yearly celebration of Jesus’ birth. Instead of looking backwards to Jesus’ birth, Advent should be a time of looking forward to the “future and full coming kingdom of God.”
Gary Holdeman said:
Thanks for the Raynor report about Granger Community Church. I agree with Granger re: the labels and their attempt to reach a broader audience.
However, I would add that my understanding of Granger Community Church is that it is more than merely the “UM name” that is missing. I asked for a copy of their Membership Classes which are modeled after Saddleback. I was amazed to find that they did not baptize infants and that some of their additional practices does not reflect Wesleyan theological understanding. They have basically taken Saddleback’s membership classes (which I used but adapted in my last church) and did not adapt the calvinistic theology at all. Their evangelistic success is undeniable and I rejoice at it. However, I am sad that they have chosen to abandon much of Wesleyan theology and practice. (p.s. I would love to be proven wrong!)
Kevin Watson said:
Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts about Raynor’s report. I did not realize there was so much more to Granger’s story. I appreciate you pointing to some of the issues that go deeper than whether a church advertises their affiliation with the United Methodist Church. I would be interested to learn more, but it strikes me that there is a big difference between not promoting a name (i.e. “The United Methodist”) and actively practicing a theology which is in disharmony with the denomination you are affiliated with. You point to some deeper issues that I was not aware of.
Thank you for taking the time to contribute to the discussion.