Monday, August 14, 2006

I found this quote from John Wesley at Eric Berry's blog. If only we had listened. Have mercy on us Jesus!

"Let all preaching-houses be built plain and decent; but not more expensive than is absolutely unavoidable: Otherwise the necessity of raising money will make rich men necessary to us. But if so, we must be dependent upon them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewell to the Methodist discipline, if not doctrine too."

14 comments:

Mike Rayson said...

Absolutely.

I am appalled at many of the churches I visit. Normally, I just swallow it, and get on with the job at hand. Some of the houses of worship in this country are WAY WAY WAY over the top.

While we're at it, how can we get the US flag out of sancturies - or in the very least not in the chancel. We are servants of Christ, not servants of the United States of America.

Being a Christian has nought to do with being a good American, just like being a good American has nought to do with being a Christian.

Just my 2c worth as a foreigner!

kara said...

I don't understand the problem with the flag but I've always just accepted it and not given it too much thought. I'm proud to be an American where I can worship God without fear of persecution. Isn't that one of the main reasons we left the British rule? The flag reminds me that others were not born with the same privileges. Am I missing something?

Jason Woolever said...

hey kara,
you may be missing the fact that mike rayson is an Aussie!! From the outside looking in, patriotism and Christianity may look less compatible. I don't know.

Jason Woolever said...

Mike, I wonder how our church buildings would be different if we would ask WWWD? (What would Wesley do?) before we built. I know that every church that builds a big building immediately becomes concerned about getting new members with cash to pay the bills.

I think this even prevents us from focusing on ministry to the poor, the wounded, the marginalized. They don't have the cash we need!

thinking about debt free said...

I've been thinking a lot about becoming debt free in my personal life and I wonder if this applies to churches. When we buy more than we have money for we become enslaved to the product. (for a church that would mean upkeep and payments). In my life to remove debt would free me up to use more money in service. Its sometimes hard to justify offering above and beyond my tithes to missions when I am paying interest on my car loan. If the church existed simply enough to avoid debt wouldn't it then be available to use in more ministries? Think how many more people would be served with the savings from not having a half empty, beautiful sanctuary. I find it really hard to simplify my life, and yet I have all of this useless clutter. Its tough to go against the habits we learn from society.

Mike Rayson said...

Let me clarify my thinking a little for you - although I am aware that this is not really the forum to do so.

Yes Jason - I believe that patriotism and Christianity ARE incompatible. They do not belong in the same category. One is allegiance to God, the other allegiance to man. Now that's not to say that patriotism is not a good thing - not at all. But its is always and ever a secondary thing. Sadly, way too many people I have met here in the US have it as their primary focus, and from their springs their faith. Not the other way around.

Kara - please don't think I am dissing the US flag. Far far from it. It should be flown proudly. I just believe it does not ever belong in a house of worship. For it confuses the worship of God with the worship of the 'god of the land'. Read Josh 24 - Choose this day whom you will serve...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. It also has an injunction there to NOT worship the god of land which was occupied at the time.

Out of all the countries around the world where I preach and minister the gospel, it is only the USA that flies its own flag in church sancturies. For me, it is an offence to see the 'foreign' flag of the USA (foreign for it does not belong in God's house as an item of worship) given the same honour and due accord as the cross of Christ.

Pax.. Mike

Jason Woolever said...

You know, I really don't believe there could ever be a "Christian" nation. The only to protect a nation from other power-hungry nations would be to use non-Christian methods, such as bombs and wars, etc. Jesus is the turn the other cheek guy. We'd get smoked with the first wack of the enemy if we followed his teaching.

Really separation of church and state is the only thing that allows us to experience the political freedom we do. If the state and the church were connected in a truly Christian way, it would last only one battle, we'd surrender to the enemy, and it would be over.

kara said...

Mike - Thanks for your perspective. It makes me wonder how many other things I don't notice by taking my surroundings for granted. I need to be more observant.

Anonymous said...

All,

I think the national flag of the country the church resides in is a appropriate when their is a Christian flag displayed.

We've come along way from the state run Church of England. And churchmen will not create a theocracy on earth.

But the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes again will make a new heaven and new earth, and His Kingdom will have no end. Then we will not worry about flags, borders, and even hot and ready pizza.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Not much is taught about the Christian flag. Here's a URL for a quick review.

http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/chrflag.html

The first pledge to the Christian flag was written by Methodist pastor Lynn Harold Hough in 1908.

"I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One brotherhood, uniting all mankind, in service and love."


1) Give to God what is God.

2) Give to Ceasar what is Ceasars.

3) Give $5 of Ceasar's money and get a hot and ready pizza at Little Ceasar's Pizza or CiCi's Pizza,

John Flores
Friso, Texas

Mike the unfortunate foreigner! said...

I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands....

Yuck!!

I pledge allegiance to the Saviour! Never to a church, a denomination, a pizza or a bleeding flag!

Sorry - can't agree with you John. (but if you want to share that pizza...)

There's has been a little undercurrent of 'we hate the british' here. As someone who has preached in many state run Church of Englands, many are about hte business of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they sure aren't trying to create a theocracy on earth!

j-methodist said...

Jason,
I am not sure if I agree with your statement that a "Christian nation" would only last one battle. I think that it would take A LOT of faith filled people who were agreed to depend soley on God and not on their own might. (which would be difficult even among the top 100 pious people in history), but needless to say, I believe that if there ever was a community of faith existing soley by faith in God, God would protect them in miraculous and everyday ways. In fact I think that he wants us to depend on him and not our national government. Look at how many battles in the Old Testament God fought for his people.

Jason Woolever said...

You know, that's a great point. There's this verse in Proverbs that says, "When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies to be at peace with them." A whole nation of devout praying people might be protected by God's army, even if they had none of their own.

Anonymous said...

Mike the Aussie,

Sure we share pizza. What do Aussies put on their pizza?

Americans tend to be the sterotypical "ugly American" who is ignorant of world history, only knows the American political viewpoint, believes 100% of what is taught in our schools, told my the American media.. I could go on ad nauseum.

I think many Americans wheter they realize or not are caught up in what is called "the American dream". This may have it roots in Manifest Destiny, White Man's Burden, Pax Americana, Hollywood and all those rationalizations for Americans to be ... well Americans.

9/11 brought fear and humility to the American homeland. The world became a little smaller and scarier.

May the Peace of Christ be will all the bloggers,

John Flores
Friso, Texas

Anonymous said...

Mike the Aussie,

Sure we share pizza. What do Aussies put on their pizza?

Americans tend to be the sterotypical "ugly American" who is ignorant of world history, only knows the American political viewpoint, believes 100% of what is taught in our schools, told my the American media.. I could go on ad nauseum.

I think many Americans wheter they realize or not are caught up in what is called "the American dream". This may have it roots in Manifest Destiny, White Man's Burden, Pax Americana, Hollywood and all those rationalizations for Americans to be ... well Americans.

9/11 brought fear and humility to the American homeland. The world became a little smaller and scarier.

May the Peace of Christ be will all the bloggers,

John Flores
Friso, Texas