In Concert May 24 at 7pm
Michael Allen Harrison
Michael Allen Harrison has a long-standing reputation as a prominent piano voice in the Portland and Jazz world. The church is blessed to have Mr. Harrison in concert as part of 100th anniversary celebration. Included in the program is Mr. Harrison's original composition "Portland Rose". Jennifer O'Leary, vocalist, will join him on this piece. A free will offering will be received at intermission.
Rummage Sale May 31 and June 1 - see our events page.
Music from the Great Hollywood Musicals June 2 at 3pm - see our concert page
March 28, 2012
As the saying goes, “To be perfectly honest,” I am amazed at the reaction people are having to our sign board, “God prefers kind atheists to hateful Christians.
For much, perhaps most of the church, God’s love is determined by our beliefs. In other words, if we complete the “list” of God’s “required beliefs” then God will love us. Or so the argument goes. This means that we can control whether or not God loves us. As strange as it may sound, I believe in “Amazing Grace”: A love that has no requirements. It is like the love of a mother for her newborn.
The sign hits at the very core of much of what is happening in Christianity today: Are we loved by God because we have the right beliefs, or are we loved, period. And what does God want from us? We can listen to the prophet, “What does the Lord require? To do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8)
What’s all the fuss about? That God prefers kindness over hate? I would think that’s a given. Isn’t that the meaning of one of the most often quoted parables: the Good Samaritan? As far as Jesus’ crowd was concerned Samaritans were atheists. What was Jesus meaning? Did the Samaritan convert to the “right beliefs.” Not according to the story. As a matter of fact, it was the teachers of law, those with “right beliefs” who didn’t get it; who “passed by.”
It is my hope from our little sign board in Portland, Oregon that perhaps some good discussion will take place among those of all faiths and no faiths. It is my hope in this world that treasures violence over gentleness, the love of power over the power of love, that we might behave a bit more kindly toward one another. God knows, the Christian church these days is taking a beating and needs to have some good publicity.
May you be blessed with insights of love,
Pastor, Rose City Park United Methodist Church