Monday, March 19, 2007

Renewal or Ruin?

I found out about "Renewal or Ruin?" -- a documentary exploring the influence of the IRD (Institute on Religion and Democracy) on the United Methodist Church through Jim Naughton's post today over at Daily Episcopalian. Now, before the deluge of "this is yet another conspiracy theorist from apostate heretic revisionist land" comments begin, check out the "CV" of the guy who produced the video:

I have often described myself as an evangelical Christian (although such labels fail to package and define God's truth and grace): I believe in the Holy Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, his atoning death and bodily resurrection. I am against abortion. I believe that no person is without sin, and therefore to bar one person from full inclusion in the life of the church, but not another, is wrong. I believe that marriage is between one woman and one man and is a vow made before God for a lifetime. I feel that Christianity exists to change us, to mold us into holy persons; we do not exist to change Christianity to fit our own personal views and whims.

Some find it odd, therefore, that I have produced a video that scrutinizes an organization that claims to defend the very doctrinal standards that define my life as a Christian. I am alarmed less by the IRD's doctrinal positions than I am their tactics and intentions.

The stated agenda of the IRD involves tearing at the basic fabric of the United Methodist Church at every level. Through their millions of dollars (most of which are given from outside the UMC), they are able to drive a wedge of doubt and suspicion into our churches and conferences, seemingly for political or financial gain. It is not my intent to critique the IRD's beliefs and the doctrines it claims to advocate, but its tactics in doing so. The integrity of the church will not be strengthened when a self-appointed group of mostly non-United Methodists follows a strategy of "divide and conquer."

Sounds to me like he's onto something here ... so check out the site for info on the video ... click here for a site that includes a link a video trailer ... and continue to pray for our own Episcopal bishops as they take counsel with each other (and the Holy Spirit!) to lead this church of ours toward renewal on God's agenda rather than the ruin on the IRD's!


Unknown said...

I'm never quite sure where to contact bloggers to invite them to visit my site
Sr Joan, from whom you get your title, will visit Christchurch NZ soon & I'm really looking forward to that.
I hope you will link to my site & let me know so I link back.

Blessed Lent

W said...

IRD's proposed agenda for the UMC is here (the article's link doesn't work):