firstname.lastname@example.org it's unusual to start a blog with an email address. But when you switch off and get indignant, it's best you know where to send your moaning to, because i will not be entering into a public slanging match over this blog. It will probably cost me my place a s a local preacher, either by request or the fact at this point in time im a gnats testicle from chucking it in (and that is after sleeping on it for an evening, and praying about it for a large part of yesterday). I'm not going to name and shame people, thats not why this is being done. This is being written for a number of reasons and they are rambling so forgive me for that. Just do not expect me to apologise for what is said.
Yesterday on the UK Methodist facebook page a poster of David Cameron was posted with the word "Bastard" and "scum" in the titler aimed at Mr Cameron. The poster of it has tried to justify why it was done etc, and the usual suspects on all sides have waded in with "pearls of wisdom". The fact is that wether we like it or not David Cameron is a human being and should be respected as such. More importantly we are taught within the pages of the Bible to pray for those who lead us, not just if we like them but to pray for them, heck we are even taught to pray for our enemies, so there is no excuse for the poster being put up on a forum that claims to represent Methodism in the UK.
But here is where my gripe really starts and if i get a little annoyed angry or passionate deal with it.
For the last 6 months i have been working very slowly with a guy who wanted to accept Jesus as his saviour ( i know some of you don't like the terms i will use but, deal with it) he was on the verge of making that leap of faith into the arms of God, until yesterday that is. He was a man of violence, a fighter, a nasty bit of work. He scares me and i class him as a friend, we have spent many days and hours discussing why he should follow Jesus, foolishly i said methodism works it gets a balance and enables growth. Yesterday thanks to a dumb post being put on the UK Methodist FB page, he has now decided we are no different than the world, we are no different than fundamentalist right wing nutjobs in the USA and worse still that if that is what church is about he want nothing to do with the structure or the God of the Christians. Needless to say i'm heartbroken about this, i could not careless about him being a Methodist or not, but getting saved and right with God is paramount, this is very likjley not going to happen in this case now.
Yesterday for me methodism reached the gutter, nastiness, hate filled words filled the page. People were ungracious to each other and in all honesty despicable towards each other. A group of people who claim to accept Christ should actually claim Christ and not pay lip service to him or the cause.
The usual suspects will rationalise it in their minds, they will make excuses about it, some will not give a stuff about what was said or how it has affected my friend or me. The usual pat answers will be trotted out "We are a broad church" etc etc etc, yes thats true, but broad church or not the attitude of Christ should shine through in all we do. We are told we die to ourselves and live for Christ and in Christ, we put on the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ.
This will probably cost me my Local preacher status like i have already said, not because they want rid of me but because i am seriously thinking of chucking it all in, and i'm sorry to say that may also include Methodism. I'm not looking for a perfect community. But i'm looking for people with integrity, those people that when a forum is public, when it can be viewed by anybody. Will take a step back look at it without ego or malice and not post stupid things that pull people down, or turn people away from Christ.
If you think this is tough in speech, you should be glad i have slept on it. It will possibly fall on deaf ears, and people will go on their merry way. If you want to really moan My chair of district is the brilliant Pete Pillinger give him a bell. My minister is the equally brilliant Mark Gilborson do likewise if you feel the need to do so.
Finally i'm not a member of the UK Methodist group, but for those reading this who are could you share it on that page. People need to know their actions and words have an effect wether it's positive or negative.
Andy Richardson 15 August 2012.