Friday, February 29, 2008

What Outsiders Think About the UMC

Here is an interesting video. It's from the PBS roundtable show Mental Engineering. The panel discusses a recent UMC "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" commercial and what they think the UMC is trying to communicate through it.

[YouTube Link] HT: Gavin Richardson

10 comments:

John Wilks said...

They had a 5:57 second discussion of our 30 second commercial, and in neither our add nor their discussion did the teachings of Jesus and the concept of following Him come into play.

And that tells me all I need to know about the failure of this whole expensive campaign- and in a broader sense, the problem with our denomination at the moment.

Brett said...

I saw this on Gavin's blog earlier this morning. I agree with Gavin that these people are not as smart as they seem to think they are.

The Ironic Catholic said...

"The Pope is a rhythm Methodist"? WTH?

I hesitate to jump in, since I'm an interloper, but I will anyway: the inclusivity is lovely, but where's God?

Eric Helms said...

I don't like the assumption that social justice is at odds with evangelical Christianity.

In naming famous methodists, they pick a few of the most controversial, unrepresentative methodists which highlights our extremes rather than celebrating the miracle that these extremes remain united.

I agree that the purpose of the ad is branding the church as welcoming and that the ads are ambiguous as to the meaning of open minds and multiple paths--which may reflect our diversity as a church rather than the triumph of one wing over the other.

In any case it does seem the ads reveal that we are not really sure who we are as a Church. It may be telling that when the Body of Christ attempts to brand itself, somehow Christ is not mentioned.

Worship Leader Ron said...

I love this television show. I get off work around midnight and this runs on my local PBS station. I am a baptist and interloper, but I think whomever this Gavin fellow is is right. They have many panelists from week to week and they all, to a person, think much too highly of themselves and their skills. This show is a wonderful real-world display of postmodernism. I love it, but I rarely agree with it.

Worship Leader Ron said...

by "postmodernism," i'm meaning specifically, postmodern critical theory as it pertains to literature.

John said...

Ron wrote:

I am a baptist and interloper, but I think whomever this Gavin fellow is is right. They have many panelists from week to week and they all, to a person, think much too highly of themselves and their skills.

Yeah, who do they think the are, bloggers?!

John said...

Ironic Catholic wrote:

I hesitate to jump in, since I'm an interloper, but I will anyway: the inclusivity is lovely, but where's God?

That, IC, is the problem.

gavin richardson said...

i think within this thread i have been called "right" more times than in the past 10 years. how affirming! &:~D

Andrew C. Thompson said...

The folks on the panel are media types, not pastors or theologians. But it is still disappointing that a viewing and subsequent panel discussion about what should essentially be an evangelism effort by the church is so non-theological in nature. I agree with other commentators that it says an awful lot about the Igniting Ministry ad campaign in general. I do not know a lot about the guidance that the 2000 and 2004 General Conferences gave to UMCOM about how to direct the campaign, but it was obviously open-ended. "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" is cited constantly by people in and out of the church as "our position" and that is a true shame. It is a phrase that desperately begs for content. And the content usually implied by people that invoke it is bad theology.