Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More about Glide

I'm still thinking about the church I attended in San Francisco. It's unusual for something to have such an impact on me as after all I've been a Christian since my teens and know all about God loving everyone. So even though it's digressing from our blog about family life, a bit more about Glide. After this I'll get back to posting about our family

Reading through their website I was struck by this introduction to one of the leaders
"Pastor Guest believes that religious institutions in their claim to represent God’s cause in the world are thereby obligated to reach out first and foremost to the victims of affluence, and then work with the same in the process of recovering their humanity." - rather harsh I though at first but then remembered Jesus words to the rich young ruler.

I've read a few reviews about the church (how funny to have a site where you can write a church review!) where the comments that made me think most were

"They acknowledged a variety of beliefs, including the lack of belief, and noted all were welcome there. My favorite part was when one woman announced at the end of a song, "God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it!""

"The point at which Reverend Williams said that we must leave even our theology in the empty tomb was the point at which I could have given my life to Jesus... "

"As for Williams' message -- it can be reduced to this: "I'm a sinner, and I'm OK. You're a sinner and you're OK". Not exactly ground-breaking stuff, and also pretty much useless. Personal empowerment isn't Williams' message. It's "if you're hungry (even if it's because of your own laziness or irresponsibility), our organization will take up the slack indefinitely. If you do bad things, a supernatural being will forgive you." Free food and free absolution are just as much enablers of learned helplessness as are crack or heroin."

"If Rev. Williams seeks to create a community church which welcomes all for who they are, that is fine. But to carry the illusion this is a Methodist Christian church teaching Biblical values is a sham."

"Glide does everything my church talked about doing. I think if God was walking among us today; he'd be attending this church."


Nick McGivney said...

It sounds fascinating, and from the bit you've said it sounds fascinating. So naturally it's going to cause consternation, but what great thought-provoked comments!

Nick McGivney said...

I guess I liked the word fascinating yesterday, huh?