Radical Hospitality in a Small-Town Church

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Ah, Smithville....

Its' plethora of fine old houses made it the filming location that was sine qua non around the time of the sweet middle age romance with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr., "Hope Floats.' I'm from down the road a piece in Gonzales, both of which have become markets for hipsters - what used to be called yuppies - seeking a good real estate deal in an illusion of a simpler place and time. I appreciate the comments. I've often found small town Methodists among the most thoughtful and welcoming, but the action on Sunday Morning's always out on the bypass in a metal building in The Church of What's Happening Now, which claims to believe The Bible is to be taken literally, except of course for [warining: sarcasm ahead] obvious metaphors like "Love thy neighbor." [/sarcasm] There, the success gospel is the law of the land and if you're not rich it's your own dang fault. Hatred of women who have abortions and LGBTs is urged every Sunday from the pulpit, while the greed and complacency of suburban emptiness and white flight from the cities is never mentioned.

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago

Notable Quotes


Brian McLaren"All of us, especially people of faith, need to proclaim that white supremacy and white privilege and all other forms of racism and injustice must indeed be replaced with something better – the beloved community where all are welcome, all are safe, and all are free. White supremacist and Nazi dreams of apartheid must be replaced with a better dream – people of all tribes, races, creeds, and nations learning to live in peace, mutual respect, and neighborliness. Such a better world is possible, but only if we set our hearts on realizing the possibility."

– Brian McLaren, writing in "What I Saw in Charlottesville" on the Auburn Seminary website.


"The idea of racial (or most any other) supremacy is antithetical to that Gospel. We should remember that Jesus himself grasped for no superiority, no rank, but instead made himself a servant, giving himself in love. What we saw in Charlottesville was therefore a kind of anti-gospel, something that must be resisted, yes–but more, something that must be overcome."

– Dr. Craig Hill, dean of United Methodist-related Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, on Facebook.

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