Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sign of the times
Alrighty! If you know me very well, you know that one of my favorite rant topics is church signs. Well imagine my delight when I saw this baby. A Methodist Church not far from my own and not much more than a stones throw away from where I live:
"One Destination, Many Paths."
What exactly does that mean?
Before I appear to be cannibalizing, I'll try and give these good folks the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps that means that God draws us to himself through different circumstances in our lives. Maybe they mean in the grand story of redemptive history that we all take different paths to reconciliation and redemption back to God. Maybe thats what they mean. Maybe someone thought it sounded vaguely wise/sagelike and intriguing enough to be noticed so they put it up there. Maybe whoever is in charge of changing the sign just flipped the page in their book of stuff to put on the church sign and they had all the letters so it worked. Shoot, its still better than "This church is prayer conditioned".
"One Destination, many paths." Universalist garbage. I would hope that this sign would upset the Muslim, the Jew, the Christian, the Hindu, the scientologist, the Mormon, and the whoever else all the same.
Why would you undermine your own existence so much? You're a CHURCH for God's sake! (literally!) Why would you say that it doesn't matter, because its all the same? What a self-defeating thing to say. Why not just put "Come join us for worship on Sunday. Or not. Whatever! Just do something." After all, many paths lead to the same destination.
What really kills me is that Methodism is so willy nilly that there's room for this line of thinking. I find it insulting that a church within my denomination would have this slogan representing their church. I'm not saying my church is perfect, but it is a Christian church. So here we have two United Methodist Churches. Are we really United at all if under different leadership there can be such a divergence of theology?
A famous John Wesley quote is: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity"
What could be more essential to a Church than agreement there's something particularly important and distinct about the Christian Church in the first place? Doesn't the church's worship of Jesus matter? Doesn't the church's foundation of Jesus Christ as its head matter?
Why would you ever want to be a part of something that by its own admission, doesn't matter?