The Crisis Facing the United Methodist Church

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 20 August 2003 0 Comments
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How can I help other people have the experience of a living relationship with God?"


Helping other people to have a religious experience is tricky. In the name of God, many have tried to impose their view of religion on others as a missionary or evangelical tactic. Imposing religion on another even when done for the best of motives strikes me as hostile. The Gospel of Jesus can never be communicated through hostility.

The only loving way to spread one's faithis to live it out with selflessness, love, grace and integrity. To talk about one's faith when not asked about it, is to be insensitive. To try to convert someone to your religious convictions is to assume your superiority and their inadequacy. It is certainly not to love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus is quoted as having said "By this will people know that you are my disciples, that you love one another."

John Shelby Spong





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