Tag: john wesley
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The Folly of Xians Voting with Their Wallets #WorldVision #Fail

Most of us are aware of the furor caused when the religious non-profit World Vision decided to allow the hiring of married, same-sex couples in their organization. As most of you also know, they reversed their decision two days later.

What you may not know are effects their decision had on their ministry.

Elizabeth Esther spent time speaking with Rich Stearns – World Vision president – about the contraversy. She writes beautifully about it here.

The bottom line? 10,000 children's sponsorships were cancelled. Not only that, but his employees were subjected to the anger of thousands of callers. Some people went as far as to call World Vision “agents of Satan.”

Really? Agents of Satan?

After reading Esther's article, I got to thinking about the relationship and coorelation between American political ideology and intra-religious, Christian ideology. I think many of us would agree that either side of the political, ideological spectrum is mirrored pretty heavily in the spectrum within Christianity.

In the political realm, it is common to hear talk of “voting with your wallet.” This is a phrase used when a company does something or supports someone with which you disagree. You, then, decide that the way to send them a message they'll understand, is to hit them where it really hurts – their bottom line. That's when you agree to – and have others follow suit – not buy their products or support them in other financial ways.

This financial strategy is successful in some cases. There's a good chance you've heard about Rush Limbaugh's sponsors dropping him after his dust-up with Sandra Fluke.

However, the situation with World Vision is a wholly other thing. 10,000 children lost their sponsorships because many Christians decided that the best way to send a message was to “vote with their wallets” and punish the organizations bottom line – which really did nothing but punish impoverished children across the globe.

It raises an interesting question: should Christians “vote with their wallets” in order to protect their sincerely held beliefs, no matter who is hurt in the process?

I think it is folly. I think it is borderline sinful, but I'm more willing to say it is folly.

In this situation, who are the real “agents of Satan?”

This is Esther's take – with whic I happen to agree on why “voting with your wallets” is not always a good thing:

I am a Catholic Christian and regardless of whether I agree or disagree with World Vision’s initial policy change, I have made commitments to three very precious and very REAL children. It is my DUTY to fulfill those commitments and not JUST because I’ve seen firsthand the incredible work World Vision has done in impoverished communities. It is my duty because I am a CHRISTIAN.

It speaks to something particularly Wesleyan. John Wesley spoke of something we Methodists like to call “social holiness.” Among other things, it includes the idea we have commonly come to refer to as “social justice.” It's outreach to the poor. It's accountability to the community, rather than just self. It's understanding that the faithful, Christian life is about more than just how I get to heaven.

My prayer is that there were very few Methodists who were calling to tell World Vision that they are “agents of Satan.” Not just because name-calling is not life-affirming, but because your sponsorship effects more than just someone in an office in Washington state.

I welcome your thoughts and criticisms.

 

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High Gun Ownership Rates Correlate to High Gun Deaths #thesearefacts #socialholiness

NAGR is a gun rights organization

The horrific gun massacre at the Washington Naval Yard has done farily little to reignite the gun control debate. This is not surprising, considering the state of the debate following things like #Aurora #Tuscon and #NewTown.

Those opposed to any sort of gun control are focusing on the wrong parts of the 2nd Amendment and the fact that media outlets identified the weapon incorrectly – missing the point again. Horrifically, and with continuing fatal consequences.

In the wake of the tragedy, The American Journal of Medicine has pushed ahead the publishing of a study about gun rates and gun deaths – and how high ownership rates directly correlate to high gun deaths.

The findings are unsurprising, but important.

Here's the most important excerpt:

“There was a significant correlation between guns per head per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths with Japan being on one end of the spectrum and the US being on the other. This argues against the notion of more guns translating into less crime. South Africa was the only outlier in that the observed firearms-related death rate was several times higher than expected from gun ownership.”

The only country which didn't line up with the results was South Africa. That's it.

Science proves it. Your common sense tells you it's true. Why can't we do anyting about this?

As a pastor, I feel it is my duty towards the Wesleyan idea of “Social Holiness” to speak out on this issue. The Christian cannot let this status quo remain. The Christian should be outspoken when common sense proves Biblical principles.

I hate people who bandy about terms that start with the word “biblical,” but this is actually true.

The goal of Christian involvement in this issue doens't have to be to support measures which remove all guns from the hand of civilians. However, each and every Christian should search their hearts for whether or not they should actually own one, let alone what they believe about the issue.

SERMON from 4-7-13: “The Duty of Constant Communion”

Luke 22.19 (CEB) After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” The Duty of Constant Communion What is a sacrament? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. Can anybody tell me what a sacrament

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Communion Should Be Observed Every Week: A Young Seminarian’s Thoughts

In case this seems a redundant theme for me to cover, you are right. I preached a sermon series on John Wesley last fall, and here's the transcript. I've felt convicted (a side-effect from my Church of God days) about the issue of communion ever since this sermon. According to Wesley, “…it is the duty

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SERMON from 11-25-12: John Wesley on The Big Decisions

John 3.27 John answered, No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.   John Wesley on The Big Decisions   In seminary, you learn tons of information that is useless outside of a theological and academic venue. In other words, it lacks real-world application. As a seminarian–the term used to describe

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SERMON from 11-18-12: John Wesley on Salvation

Ephesians 2.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.   John Wesley on Salvation   The same thing can happen whether you are enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate, having a holiday wassail–maybe enhanced with something from Mr. Jack

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SERMON from 11-11-12: John Wesley on Communion

Luke 22.19 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”   John Wesley on Communion   I wanted to start out our discussion of communion

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SERMON: Series Part 1 “John Wesley on The 2012 Election”

Mark 12.17 17 Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him. John Wesley on The 2012 Election We are beginning a four-week sermon series on John Wesley.  We are going to look at what

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“When The Church Has Nothing More To Say…”

With a circulation of just over 30,000, I’m sure The Christian Century should be read by many more people.  Yeah, it’s print – and print is dying – but still… In their October 31st, 2012 edition, an editorial column addresses the recent efforts of just less than 1,500 pastors to buck IRS regulations and engage in electoral

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SERMON from 10-14-12: ‘We Must Be The Change We Hope To See In The World’ (from the series ‘Bumper Sticker Theology’)

  James 1.22-25   22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they

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