Retaliators or Reconcilers?

We were all shocked to learn of the massacre of 49 persons in New Zealand, in two Mosques, during Friday prayers.  Thirty-nine others are in the hospital, eleven in critical condition. Then, again, such massacres have become common; so common that over time they shock us less and less.  In fact, we live in a world regularly rocked, savaged, by absolutely horrible and violent things that people do to others.  Sadly, often the violence runs rampant in the name of religion; and always because the perpetrators assume a superiority over others. Whether based on religious, political, racial, or cultural grounds, the perpetrators assume they are above others, justified in hating others, and willing to strike against and kill the others.   …

On Convincing … the World?

The ancient people of God no less than the first Christians lived their lives in a pluralistic world.  In fact, it is only recently that we have come to a place, where after generations of having it “our way” more or less, in a kind of Western, modern, Judeo-Christian  ghetto (from a more global perspective), that it strikes us as odd and challenging to live in and deal with the dynamics of a multi-cultural, pluralistic world.  Much of what strikes us as so strange and profoundly challenging was expected and normal for the historic people of God.  I’m referring to such things as the presence and relative vitality of several spiritual thought and life systems which people around us consider …

A PEOPLE POISED TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The 21st century world—what challenges and opportunities there are for a people of good news! I am convinced of three things I want to share with you:                                                                              First, our 21st century world desperately needs the good news of Jesus Christ; Second, the Methodist/Wesleyan movement is ideally suited to respond to the world’s need in a way that can transform persons, families, nations and world. Third, as at the beginning of Methodism, Spirit led and anointed use of AVAILABLE “means” or “strategies” will …

STILL … a freedom people?

This week the Free Methodist Church celebrates its 158th birthday.  That we are still alive prompts us to celebrate.  That we remain on mission with Jesus does as well.  And that our mission with Jesus still bears fruit around the world, through an extended family in nearly 200 world areas strikes me as miraculous.  Of course, it is not our doing, but our walking and working together in the ongoing company of the Living Lord Jesus who loves all peoples and places. I am often asked what the difference is between Free Methodists and other Methodists.  I have a speech prepared for such occasions, but it rarely seems appropriate or even possible to make the full presentation in most situations.  …

WHY WE MUST REFUSE TO BE ANGRY

  We live in an angry world, both inside and outside of the church.  Everywhere you look or listen people seethe and smolder over the many things that displease them.  Church people rage against the culture, of course.  But also against each other whose differing views of the culture and how to respond to its non-Christian values and practices cause bitter divisions.  Out in the world, away from the church, it is the same story.  Political and social divides cut across every segment of the population and every sphere of endeavor. In view of that context, let me tell you why I am refusing to be angry.  First, though, I admit that I am sometimes a little, and sometimes more …