We had a visiting minister this morning. I had never heard him preach before and I was impressed. He reminded us that our job, our Great Commission was not to make conversions, not to increase church membership, but to make disciples. His translation of the words recorded in Matthew was “Go, and as you are going, make disciples”. It makes so much sense. He also reminded us that we are each responsible for our own spiritual growth. And he pointed out that the church had bible study groups to which members could go to help themselves to grow spiritually. What a refreshing change. In eight years that is the first time that I have heard bible study groups mentioned from the front of the church. It will be interesting to see what his churches’ growth statistics look like.
Afterwards,over coffee came the conversations and the downer. the church has drafted a resource on cohabitation, in consultation with Young Methodists, the same people ‘many of whom’ think that pre-marital sexual relations and cohabitation are both right and sensible as they ignore traditional teaching on sex and marriage, which is not currently available so far as I know. I did e-mail the secretary of the Faith and Order Committee to ask whether I could have a copy when it is published but I have heard nothing from him. There is mention of a resource on marriage,called Re:SPECT but I cannot find that on the church website either.
I ended up wondering if this is a church,or a ‘Synagogue of Satan’.
Contrast this with the information on marriagesavers.org, the organisation set up in the USA by on Mike McManus, not to be confused with the British wrestler of the same name, and his wife Harriet, who work with churches and other religious organisations to reduce divorce among the citizens of the USA. There are no ends of books and other resources which tell us God’s requirement for a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, written from the time of Genesis all the way through time until our present day.