Just this week a woman who was reluctant to come to a Methodist church because she had heard how theologically liberal the denomination has become . . . told me she decided Good Shepherd was the church for her when we lifted the bible up before the sermon.
It’s certainly not the first time I’ve heard that and I suspect it won’t be the last.
Now there are several reasons why we have that little pre-sermon ritual. And letting people know that we are an openly evangelical & bible-saturated Methodist church is chief among them.
It’s not because we worship the bible. We don’t.
It’s not because we’re a cult. We’re not.
It’s not because we insist everyone in the room interpret the entire canon of Scripture the same way. We can’t.
It’s because we worship the God to whom the bible points.
It’s because we’re part of that large, ancient stream of the church called orthodoxy which celebrates historic understandings of eternal salvation, human sexuality, and doctrinal integrity.
It’s because we really do believe that the words in this unique library are in some mysterious way God-breathed and we have the privilege of surrendering to its authority over our lives.
That’s why we lift it up. Because we’re that kind of Methodist church.