Friday, December 31, 2010

Preaching the Word 1, Preaching Social Activism 0


In this article at the NYT, Sam Dolnick reports on the differences between two Methodist congregations who share a common building. You see, one congregation is dwindling while the other is soaring. Granted, there may be demographic changes involved, but the reporter nailed it when he describes the two ministers,
"Mr. Laporta, 55, hails from a church tradition of social action. He attends rallies for rent control and calls for immigration reform in his sermons. He says Mr. Peng ignores the plight of the illegal immigrants in his congregation.

Mr. Peng, 48, focuses more tightly on Scripture. 'The people need the Word,' he said. He contends that Mr. Laporta has left his members spiritually hungry. 'If the congregation needs to learn the policy, they can read the newspaper,' Mr. Peng said. 'That’s why their congregation doesn’t grow.'"

Read it here.

1 comment:

  1. It's fascinating that no amount of evidence seems sufficient to provide proof that it's the Word that changes lives and not platitudes about being "just" and "good." Given that Jeremiah says that if we seek Him, we will find Him, if we seek Him with all our heart," one can only conclude that preachers like Rev. Laporta feel that God must've left a whole lot out of the Bible and therefore feel compelled to, well, help.