February 28

Written by Bill Grandi on February 28th, 2019

My title for this devotion is American Christianity: Savior? or Dreamer?

I am not a political person. I’m also not an “America is all-great & all-perfect” person either. While I am extremely grateful to live in America and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy, you will not find me with a “religious patriotism” banner. I don’t believe we were ever a so-called “Christian nation.” Many of our early fathers were Deists and Humanists in their life approach. Some will go so far as to say  they were no respecter of persons (hence slavery). Those are not my concern, at least today. My concern in the American church.

People talk as though the American church is “all that and more.” They act/teach/preach/YouTube, etc as though the American church is the savior of the world. Seriously? Have they looked at how flawed and divided it is? Have they seen how powerless against evil it has become? Oh sure, there are churches standing firm and there are spots of orthodoxy. But have they seen how weak the church has become in stemming the tide of evil?

Case in point: the United Methodists. This week they had a special session to decide the direction they would go in the LGBTQ+ debate. It’s easy to me. The Bible is clear as to its stand. They, thankfully, voted down the initiative of inclusion into ministry and marriage. Know who saved their butts? Not the American version of UMC. No. It was the African segment. They are far more conservative, and homosexuality is still seen as a sin. I’m not a UM by any stretch (and this is a perfect example of why I am not a member of any denomination), but I’m grateful for those African bishops, pastors, leaders and others who held to the Scripture, along with their American counterparts. They were not swayed by politics or public opinion. I have some blogging friends who are UM. My heart goes out to them because the end result will not be a pretty sight. There will be a split and the new schism will be an all-inclusive, watered-down wing calling themselves something like UMP (United Methodist Progressives). Yes, I made that up. Division is never funny but when biblical truth is in question, sometimes it is necessary.

But thank you to the African UM who stood their ground! Sort of gives new meaning to American Christianity: Savior? or Dreamer?

“Father, only You are the Savior. No church body. No brand of Christianity. No patriotic alignment. No cultural submission. Help us to stop touting the American Christianity brand and start pushing You. Help us to MYNGA (Make Your Name Great Again).”

*This devotion was inspired by Stone #40 in Randall Arthur’s book, 46 Stones.


11 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    Bill, Dick and I were so thankful for the African United Methodists who staunchly voted with Scripture. One of my favorite quotes from the proceedings was, “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error.”

    • Bill Grandi says:

      My heart went out to you and Dick as I watched what happened. I knew you were agonizing over it. I love that quote Pam because it sums up what I was trying to say as well.

  2. Glynn says:

    There’s a winnowing of the church (universal) going on, and has been for some time. It’s as if we’re being prepared for something momentous, and we better make sure we know what we must believe.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree completely with you Glynn. We better make sure we know what we believe or we will be in a world of hurt.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Truth is truth, it should not require a vote.

  4. “Make Your Name Great Again” – I LOVE this, Bill! And yes, I’m one of the UMC folks who has been doing lots of praying about the convention the past several weeks. A split is immanent, I do believe, but I, too, am grateful that the African United Methodists stood up for what is true regarding Scripture. The American church has become poisoned by the secular influences of the day, and that breaks my heart. May God heal us all and turn our hearts to Him.
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. That just came to me as I journaled. 🙂 I was thinking of you and Danny as well through all of this. You are right about the American church being poisoned. I hope truth will be upheld.

  5. floyd samons says:

    It’s sad that it has come to this in our society, but in the church? Or what people call the church? Glad for the small victory, but sad that it came to this.