Unpopular Opinions for August 24th, 2017

1. What are so many of our small and rural United Methodist churches but statues (built about the same number of years ago as many of the Confederate statues causing so much controversy) and monuments?  We are a culture in love with monuments.

2. Just so you’re clear on my opinion.  I am saying:  Many United Methodist Churches are statues; statues with four walls and a steeple, staffed by human beings with graduate degrees.

3. Like the publicly displayed Confederate statues (those on public lands), our statue-churches are rarely visited and it’s only when there is a threat of removal do people become emotional about their family or historical connections to the church (or statue-whatever the case may be).

4. Most days, people could care less about the church (or statue) and what it stands for. People aren’t morally invested in the religious symbolism we represent. It’s our practicality which matters most. What happens when you threaten to remove the church’s presence from a community? In the case of the church, the first question is, “Who will do the weddings and funerals?” Not, “Who will preach the Good News of Jesus Christ?”

5.  We’ve allowed our buildings to become statues when they should have been temporary shelters.  This is our fault.

Richard Bryant

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