The Central Texas Conference opened tonight with a worship service at the First United Methodist Church of Hurst. Bishop Woodie White preached from Philippians 2:1-11.
The gist of the message was this: claim the Name. There is power in the Name. Do not be ashamed of the Name. The Name is that of Jesus, of course.
I appreciated the Bishop’s point that Christians ought not be ashamed of the name of Jesus. He called us to be good citizens in an increasingly pluralistic society, but to do so without ditching the name of Jesus in the name of inclusion.
“I expect a Buddhist to be about Buddha. I expect a Hindu to be a good Hindu. We likewise ought to be good Christians. Don’t be ashamed of the name.”
While I am skeptical that merely using the name Jesus will reunify and refocus the energies of The United Methodist Church as much as is needed, this is a welcome call to the church. Let’s get back to the name.