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2168: 12 Reports About the Church 150 Years Forward

2 years ago written by

Spoiler alert: I can’t predict what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow, so my speculations about what the Free Methodist Church will look like 150 years from now are pure fiction. But I proclaim them here with confidence, since none of us will be around in 150 years to observe how wrong I was.

1. Nobody wears jet packs to church anymore. The environmental damage was off the charts; plus the coatracks couldn’t hold the weight. Many jet packs were converted into backyard barbecue units but some were modified as baptismal warmers.

2. Local churches all follow the modified lectionary with services that last exactly 25 minutes. Our churches are primarily financed by the renting of Eccle-Loungers (reclining, foot-massaging pods) to prominent community individuals. The Eccle-Loungers are strategically placed at the back of the church so rich people don’t have to mingle with the poor who are relegated to sit in La-Z-Boys at the front of the church. Yes, the poor are still with us.

3. The denominational newsmagazine, Light ’N Up, won best hologram missionary in the interstellar division. Its multimedia documentary, “Life at the Speed of Light,” featured the story of B.T.-3PO, the bot responsible for converting both Alexa and Siri.

4. The church finally changed its name to Free Church because people tired of explaining the difference between Free Methodists, United Methodists and Disunited Methodists.

5. To what had previously been thought of as the three key elements of church — In, Out and Up (discipleship, evangelism and worship) — there is now a better understanding that the key elements really are In, Out, Up, Down (creation care) and Sideways (time-travel ministries).

6. After churches were outlawed in the Western world in the mid-2000s (ostensibly to protect believers from the anti-dogma posses), they re-emerged from the underground about the turn of the century (2106 to be exact) — propelled by their message of hope in the aftermath of the mass-suicide holidays of the “Dead-Enders” anarchist party.

7. Ever since everyone has had access to all knowledge via the Brain Thoroughfare project, no one disputes the reality of Jesus’ resurrection anymore. But it hasn’t made a difference to most people. It turns out that their resistance wasn’t ever about whether it was true or not; it was about trusting Jesus for the future. And nobody has invented a trust machine yet.

8. After the experiment with plebiscite rule (where every church decision was made by daily votes of all church attendees through their ITDs — Implanted Transmission Devices), the church moved to matrix-selection of the most representative Free Methodist member and gave her the authority to make every church decision. Currently the Most Representative Free Churcher is Lakisha McMillan-López.

9. Some will ask: Why is this article written in English when the official language of the church has long been Spanish? Porque hay mucha gente que no quiere reconocer que la rama Latina es la rama que crece.

10. The recent sesquicentennial memorial statuettes of Bishops Thomas, Kendall and Roller were recalled by denomination headquarters in Lakeland, Florida, when it was discovered the three bishops have been cryo-frozen and are even now being thawed out to run for re-election.

11. The monthly meeting of the College of Free Church Bishops has been expanded to include the bishop of the new Arriba superconference, composed of the Mexican states of California, Arizona, Utah and British Columbia (Colombia Británica). Since the offices of superintendent and bishop were blended in the year 2025, each of the 10 bishops oversees a superconference made up of three to five states/provinces.

12. Reports have recently surfaced of a renegade Free Church movement (called the Really Free Church) where people actually try to learn from the stories of the Bible in small groups of believers who live lives of radical obedience and sacrifice. Apparently, some of these renegades purport to care for each other, pray for each other, work together for social change, sing the stories of truth, give exchange-units from their own accounts, and stick together no matter what comes.

Actually, I think I’ll have oatmeal tomorrow. Let’s see if that prediction comes true! One out of 12 would be nice.

Bishop David Roller served for 17 years as a Free Methodist missionary in Mexico and then for 10 years as Latin America area director for Free Methodist World Missions. He was first elected a bishop in 2007.

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[Bishops] · L + L November 2018 · Magazine