Believe What? Everyone Welcome. (Everyone?) This is the first in a series of February sermons focusing on what we believe. Christianity struggled from the starting line with regard to what is necessary – circumcision, dietary laws, synagogue traditions. “Salvation” – is it something I do, or something I receive by faith? (See Acts 16:30-31.)
As the church grew, so did its diversity of faith. People responded in different ways to the question of the identity and ministry of Jesus. With this diversity came also the fear that the very core of the faith might be lost, or so clouded and confused as to be indiscernible. Friedrich Schleiermacher defined “heresy” as “that which preserved the appearance of Christianity, but contradicted its essence.” (See II Timothy 3:5.)
What is the “essence” of our Christian religion? Speaking of “starting lines”, think back to the Book of Genesis. Is there anything God created without saying it was “good”? We begin with radical inclusion as “necessary” if we are going to be followers of Jesus and faithful in ministry in our community. What do we believe? We believe that whoever you are, wherever you are from, whatever your background – you are welcome here. And we all know that it’s one thing to say we believe that; it’s quite another thing to make it so.
Today’s Sermon: Everyone Welcome. (Everyone?)
Anyway – Martina McBride
I Shall Not Want – Audrey Assad
Our Theological Task (United Methodist Church)