UMC Reform Requires a Competent Authority

UMC Reform Requires a Competent Authority

This article on the state of the church is unlike anything I have ever offered. I write essays based on observations. I usually speak either from ecclesiology, theology, or hermeneutics. The subject of this paper is polity, and the tone is more academic. Others can do this much better (and I hope someone will) because I am neither an academic nor a politician. I am a local pastor who has avoided these matters. While it is written as advocacy, it is intended for argument more than implementation.

I will be attending WCA October 7, not to be part of hijacking the agenda from those who have established this association for other purposes, but to see if there are renewal groups present who are committed to the painful process of actual reform. This article is a feeble attempt to put into words the concerns of some of us attending that conference or waiting at home for the results. Continue reading “UMC Reform Requires a Competent Authority”

No Painless Way Forward

No Painless Way Forward

It is a defense mechanism we hold in common—when we realize that the practical action demanded by our professed beliefs requires some pain—we look for an avenue which will justify inaction while assuaging our conscience. We are at the point in a controversy where many who spoke boldly at first are starting to realize there will be a cost for acting on their stated principles. They are already starting to turn, and we are hearing once again the old phrases, “give the bishops room,” “wait and see,” and “let the process work,” as though they’ve never been said before. I write this to hopefully strengthen some of us who have not yet yielded to this temptation and to encourage others of us who have sought shelter in false peace to return to our first passion. Continue reading “No Painless Way Forward”

America’s Most Ironic Holiday

Labor Day was established as tribute for the common worker and the struggle for fair treatment by management, finance, and government.

We celebrate it with a holiday where the only ones getting a day off are mid and upper level management, bankers, and government employees. So that these may enjoy their holiday, the common worker must still show up for work.

Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong

Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong

A more hopeful outlook on this matter can be found here. Read it. I want the author to be right. I fear the ones in whom he trusts are not as charitable as he is.

Most of us have a practice within our personal and professional relationships to always allow for the most charitable interpretation of an individual’s words and actions. When there is any doubt as to their intent—assume the best. Someone turns in a report with erroneous information. Is it a lie? Is it incompetence? Did they believe it to be true, but relied on a faulty source? Is it a transposition error that they aren’t even aware of? With no evidence to support any of these theories it is best to approach the situation with the most charitable of interpretations. However, if the individual has a long and uninterrupted history of presenting faulty information which always results in their personal gain, then it is reasonable to presume that the most charitable interpretation is the one most likely to be wrong. Continue reading “Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong”