Bishop Mike Lowry, resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, delivered the opening keynote address for the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 2018 Global Gathering held at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia, on Saturday, November 3. We are pleased to release a video of Bishop Lowry’s message.
Bishop Lowry set the tone for the Gathering’s “Unashamed” theme. He based his message on Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is God’s own power for salvation to all who have faith in God, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
“We gather this day at the city gate – at the intersection of Christ and culture,” Lowry proclaimed. “We are unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t be ashamed of the testimony about the Lord or of us his prisoners. Instead share the suffering for the Good News depending together on God’s power.”
Bishop Lowry observed, “The days of casual Christianity are over. . . . The appropriate response to our confession [of Jesus as Savior and Lord] is not abject surrender to the hedonistically saturated civil society we live in, but rather to be transformers of culture.”
“We have steadily sacrificed a Wesleyan commitment to sanctification for purposes of cultural acceptance and the result has been that we’ve been steadily marginalized by that same culture,” Lowry feared. He asked, “Is it not past time to declare that the day of cultural accommodation is over?”
Bishop Lowry challenged the more than 2,500 present at Mt. Bethel and 105 simulcast sites to stand for Christ “out of a deeper love and a higher loyalty, instead of leaning casually on the stone pillars of fuzzy indifference disguised as tolerance.”
You can watch and download the entirety of Bishop Lowry’s opening message below.