In The New World…
Note From Mackey: You may have seen this article, but it is an important part of our conversation. I place here this week for your consideration. You can read the original post here.
Let the redeemed say so
By Amory Peck
Editor’s note: Jim Winkler is on sabbatical. This column is written by Amory Peck, secretary of the Board of Directors of the General Board of Church & Society. She serves on the agency’s Human Welfare Work Area. A resident of Bellingham, Wash., Peck is lay leader of the United Methodist Pacific-Northwest Conference.
I confess: I’m on Facebook a couple of times a day. Sometimes there’s nothing of particular interest. But, most often it’s a treat. Those times I delight in hearing from my friends, enjoy the pictures that are posted, and appreciate all the links that I wouldn’t have discovered on my own.
I marvel at the mere thought of Facebook. I have friends from throughout the world. I can read notes posted by my U.S. friends as they travel. Most recently I’ve been following family members as they vacationed in Kiev, Ukraine.
Recently I’ve been reading more and more posts that have me a bit unsettled. Well meaning people have been asking me to click “like” if I agree “Jesus is my Lord, my Strength, and my SAVIOR!!” Or, “I live for Christ. He is my way, my light, my strength, and my savior :)” Or, “It’s impossible to describe how AMAZING Jesus Christ is. Can I get an AMEN?”
I admire those who are able to speak fearlessly about their faith. At the same time, I find myself fussing about all the phrases and slogans. Although I agree with them all, as far as they go, they feel incomplete to me.
I admire those who are able to speak fearlessly about their faith.
Facebook pointed me to an Aug. 29 CNN article, “More Teens Becoming ‘Fake’ Christians.” The article reviewed the work of author Kenda Creasy Dean, who believes that U.S. teens are taking on what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.”
That translates as “a watered-down faith that portrays God as a ‘divine therapist’ whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.” In her study, Dean found that many teenagers thought that God simply wanted them to feel good and do good.
It’s not surprising that teens, that people of all ages embrace that sense of a purely personal savior when a well-known radio personality is quoted on Fox News as saying: “Jesus Christ came for personal salvation. That’s it. That’s the Gospel.”
We, as United Methodists, know that the Gospel is much more than that. Our Doctrinal Heritage (The Book of Discipline 2008, ¶102) says, “Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbor, a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world.”
A review of our Social Principles and a reading of our Book of Resolutions is a clear affirmation of how we are living out that calling.
The General Board of Church & Society is charged with leading the church in that ministry. ¶1002 states that we are to “show the members of the Church and the society that the reconciliation that God effected through Christ involves personal, social and civic righteousness.”
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” exhorts Psalm 107. I give thanks for The United Methodist Church and for the General Board of Church & Society for its bold testimony to the world.
Now I just need to remember to give my testimony on Facebook.
“In The New World…” is a weekly column written by Mackey Yokem, northwest district superintendent. It appears on Mondays on the NWDist.org blog. Contact Yokem at email@example.com.