Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Follow up on "Fire and Nice"

Just one more thought on the article "Fire and Nice" from Christianity today that I recommended in my previous posting.

"Woodland Hills lost 1,000 people paying the price to become a more multiethnic church," says Efrem Smith, a friend of Boyd's and pastor of the new Sanctuary Covenant Church in north Minneapolis. "Greg preached a sermon series called 'The Cross or the Sword' that purposely downsized his church so they could become what they truly want to be."

I want to point out that this is a misleading statement, and if Efrem Smith is buying Boyd's sales job on this, then that lowers my previously high view of Efrem Smith. Simply stated the 1000+ people who walked out on Greg Boyd (many while he was preaching) was over his very soft stance on abortion. It wasn't over his refusal to preach the "Republican" gospel or anything else. I suspect if you dig through Boyd's and Woodland Hill's web sites (Boyd admits it here), the letters he/they wrote following that week are still likely online. It is disappointing that Boyd has chosen to frame this in a political way, and is apparently doing a good sales job of that to his friends. Abortion transcends politics. It is aberrant and abhorrent. It is not God's plan.

What I am not saying is that Boyd (or any pastor) needs to buy in hook-line-sinker with a political party. I can honestly say I've been both a registered Democrat and Republican. And I don't like either option. I am not a one issue voter, but on this issue it comes pretty close. And Boyd is unwilling to say that, irregardless of party affiliation. And that is why he lost the better part of a megachurch's worth of attendance. So they could "purposely downsize" their church? That's abusurd.

Now you may ask, why do I care? I care because before that Sunday my wife attended Woodland Hills for 7 years.

1 comment:

Diane M. Roth said...

you know, I know plenty of Christians who would disagree with you politically on abortion. I believe they are Christians anyway. They would say they are not pro abortion, but do not agree with the political solution of outlawing it.

I think your wife taking a stand on something she feels strongly about is wonderful.

I don't know enough otherwise about Woodland to make a judgment. Although in this mega-worshiping world, I'm curious when a pastor is willing to lose worshipers.