Some of my mucking about in the ChurchQuake stuff brought me to this talk by Peter Storey, who you may have heard of as a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa as part of the South African Methodist Church. The talk is to the Florida chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action.
His talk theorizes that Sept. 11 damaged the nerve and will of the church in the United States. “The church held the nation’s hand, but the politicians made up the nation’s mind.”
He talks about the church’s “balance of payments” problem with the culture around it.
He offers an interpretation of John Wesley that I’m not sure holds up entirely, but it is quite an interesting portrait and argument.
He argues that if our church insists on locating itself with the comfortable and the middle class, we cannot be surprised if we cease to have a prophetic voice.
He says the church is only the church when it is engaging the world. All the rest is just preparation.
I am going to
steal borrow his line about church and lunch hour at some point in the near future.
He talks about several interesting things in interesting ways.
He ends by arguing the church should spend a year wrestling with these four issues:
1) Wealth, poverty, and the gospel
2) Violence, non-violence, war, and peace
3) The issue of flag and altar
4) Inclusion and exclusion (or what is the meaning of the word “all.”)