Thursday, September 15, 2005

United Methodist Church and Religious Pluralism?


UMC Diversity
Originally uploaded by Phil Steiger.
I caught this commercial while watching the news last night, and I was a little shocked. To see the commercial, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “I Believe” ad. My wife comes from a Methodist background, and this ad made her stomach turn.

I say a little shocked because I am not overwhelmingly shocked that the United Methodist Church seems to be selling out as an orthodox denomination, but I was a little shocked that this particular ad was so pluralist and relativist.

On one level I know it “plays well” to have a line in an ad describing your church that goes like this: “I am in no position to judge other people,” but is it right? Of course it isn’t. And this isn’t the kind of thing Christ spoke of in Matthew 7. Given the rest of the ad, it is raw relativistic pluralism about religion and the pursuit of God.

Has the UMC as a denomination gone over the edge of orthodoxy to an official position of religious pluralism? Have they given up on any kind of Christocentric particularism? Is Wesley weeping in heaven?