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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Methodism My Home

What are you proud of in your religious heritage?  In what ways has it been a handicap? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1504).

With Christ as its center, the Methodist church is the best adjudicator of core paradox that I know of--the central paradox being the commands of Christ vis-à-vis the freedoms of Christ.  Isn't such the central challenge of any religion--to apply rules of precedent without staunching the requirements of necessary freedom and maneuverability to responsibly meet faithfully uncharted situations?  Seriously grappling with this challenge has helped sustain an ambiance of humility within the work and mission of Methodism. It is significant that Methodism is not a creedal church (  Litmus tests of theological correctness are not indulged in; rather the mystery of faith is generously employed--while we travel this pilgrim journey, only God is the final judge of the human heart. All (members and non-members alike) are invited to the communion rail; for it is not about what we have done for Christ, but what he has done for us.

The handicap of this approach is that the church can be criticized for being vacuous--with not Jesus but nihilism at its core.  This charge never bothers me. As a life-long member of the church, I have utmost assurance that Christian humility and egotistic humanism are miles apart and such distance is made apparent by the regular study of Scripture and the steady witness of believers.

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