Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Watch this Video on the IRD

Thanks to Faith in Public Life for this. You can watch the 25 minute documentary on the IRD, Renewal or Ruin below. If you are in a mainline church, you should order it to show it to your congregation. I encourage you to take 25 minutes and watch the video. You might want to embed it on your site, too.

"Renewal or Ruin?" from Steven D. Martin on Vimeo.

This is from Faith in Public Life:

Since its beginning in 1982, the Institute on Religion and Democracy has continuously undermined the United Methodist Church and other mainline Protestant denominations by attacking the character of church leaders. This organization, funded by some of the world's most powerful foundations, undermines the witness of the church by fueling controversy to its own benefit.

"Renewal or Ruin?" looks into the IRD's claim that it exists to renew the spiritual life of the church. Researchers, church leaders, and others talk about their findings and experiences with this Washington, DC organization that foments dissention in the body of Christ.

Included on the DVD are:

  • "Renewal or Ruin?", a 25-minute video designed to introduce the viewer to the tactics and intent of the IRD
  • "An Example," a story by Bishop Kenneth Carder about his encounters with the IRD
  • PDFs of articles by top researchers, available for distribution to your class for deeper study
  • An interview with Steven Martin, the program's producer
This program features:
  • Randall Balmer - Bishop Kenneth Carder
  • Frederick Clarkson - Jim Naughton
  • Bishop Beverly Shamana
  • Andrew Weaver - Jim Winkler
DVD's can be purchased here, at

For illustration, the Presbyterian Action staff member of the IRD is Jim Berkley. On his latest post, Doesn't Faith Matter? he does a classic IRD style slam on our denomination by inferring that the denomination is not concerned about "faith" but is purely "secular" as witnessed in its hiring of Martha Clark, the new general counsel for the PC(USA).

The message of Berkley/IRD is that the PC(USA) is not spiritual. The effect of his slam is to paint our denomination in bad light. Create dissent where none exists.

In the video, you will hear that the IRD never has a positive word about the Methodist church. You won't hear Berkley offer a positive word about the PC(USA). Read his posts. Judge for yourself. Remember it is not about Jim Berkley. It is about his employer.