Unpopular Opinions for August 26th, 2017

1. What good is a 20 minute sermon on loving one’s neighbor (or other specifics of Jesus’ teachings) when many in our congregations have spent Monday to Friday as disciples of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity learning a vocabulary of fear and reasons to despise others?

2. After hours of daily radio broadcasts plus television with Tucker Carlson in the evening, how can the church of Jesus Christ present a different way to look at reality when so many people attend the Church of Fox News (and its offshoots)? Jesus, preachers, and mainline Christianity can’t do it.  We’ve lost this battle.

3. A Christian worldview contrasts from a Sean, Rush, Tucker, Fox News, or Breitbart worldview. A Christian worldview is incompatible with most of the dominant American consumerist culture.

4. Here’s the answer to the first question; it does no good. If our sermons don’t echo sentiments or reinforce ideas in line with what millions of people are hearing from their weekday Sunday School lessons from Rush or Sean, people will leave our churches and take their money.  It’s already happening. It goes by other names (opposition homosexual clergy and gay marriage) but this is what we’re witnessing. Jesus following isn’t a popularity contest.  We can’t argue with people who are convinced they’ll be waving to us from Heaven on our way to Hell.

5. Will those who remain in our churches do the hard work of preaching the Good News or just complain about their neighbors? I’m not certain. Jesus was willing to die. Memes are far easier to post.

6.  Love is hard.  We can love harder.  Be a living sermon.

Richard Lowell Bryant

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Unpopular Opinions of the Day

1. I am convinced, after last night, that 1/3 of the country could easily kill another 1/3 of the country while the remaining 1/3 watches silently.

2. I am also persuaded the 1/3 doing the killing would have no moral or ethical problem with genocide if they believed it was sanctioned in the name of the Judeo-Christian God.

3. I am concerned.

4. At this rate, it doesn’t matter what the United Methodist Church does about human sexuality at the special General Conference of the regular General Conference. We won’t have to worry about the church splitting; one third of us might be dead. The remnant, meeting somewhere in secret, will put together a working group on post-genocidal America. We might expect a report in 2024.

5. The silent 1/3 thinks I’m joking.