Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Truth Sets Them Free to Leave, Apparently

The weekly United Methodist News paper, The United Methodist Reporter, has a page 1 story (which you can find online here) entitled "Q&A: Don't Confuse Political Power, Kingdom of God". It is an interview with Greg Boyd, pastor of a megachurch in St. Paul. Wrestling with the political dimension of the Christian faith and what it means in the United States today led Rev. Boyd to insist that the United States is not a "Christian nation", and that to do so destroys the uniqueness and revolutionary power of the Gospel. One thousand of the 5,000 members left.

Boyd, however, remains unapologetic, as it should be.

This is hardly news, although I am sure it might sound surprising to many. Back in 1993, shortly after giving the benediction(? invocation? now I can't remember!) at Pres. Clinton's first inauguration, Billy Graham gave an interview in which he said that one his biggest regrets was his own confusion of the Gospel and what he called "Americanism". He no longer was as confused, and the last years of his public ministry were spent insisting that the social dimension of the Gospel was about care for the poor, the oppressed, service in love to others, and a broader social vision than protecting fetuses and protecting society from gays. Indeed, Graham's message was much broader and liberal, in the conventional sense of the term, than his son and anointed successor's, Franklin. In today's ADHD media culture, however, this is not just not news, but ancient history, and irrelevant to our current situation.

In any event, I encourage you to read the interview, and discover what real preaching means, and the threat such preaching poses to our self-possession and sense of security. We need more Rev. Boyd's in this world.

Virtual Tin Cup

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