The Danger of Unasked Questions

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We do not agree.

It is clear that we do not agree on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Some of us believe that converting people of other faiths to Christ is not even a worthy goal. The majority of the UMC (I think) still believes this is the most important and most worthy goal. If we can't agree on this, we are certainly not a "United" Methodist Chruch, whatever we call ourselves. Nor are we likely to end the frustration that is being expressed.

It is clear from the votes at General Conference that the UMC is moving to the right on many issues, including Biblical authority, sexual morality, and homosexual practice. With the addition of the growing African members, the growth in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, and the decline in the Western and Northeastern Jurisdictions, that is the direction of the chruch. That direction will not change in this generation. United Methodism grew by a million members last year, but guess where.

If we are ever be a "United" Methodist Church, we all have some important questions to ask ourselves.

Mike Childs more than 3 years ago

Making Apostles

I was a disciple in Sunday school. And, given our understanding of educqation as being a life lonbg endeavor, I am still a disciple.

But I had to enter the adult world. And, thanks to some wonderful Sunday School teachers and leaders at Wesley Foundation when I got to college, I realized that I also needed to be an apostle.

There's a huge difference.

Whether or not I had a lot of gifts and graces, Jesus called me to use them as a means of showing God's love. Transforming the world would take care of itself because that was God's job. Mine was to be His/Her missionary wherever I was.

I've tried to do that by helping in the church because the local church is where fellow disciples and apostles met regularly to upbuild one another. I tried to be a good worker in my various part-time and summer jobs while I was in school. I tried to be a good neighbor. I tried to help on mission projects set up by the church. I tried to do that as a student. Then I got to try it in my vocation, which happened to be as a pastor in the United Metrhodist Church. I've tried to do it by working with other churches's pastors, by leading teaching confirmands and giving them mission opportunities, by setting up local church ministries to the city's hospital, county jail, etc., by helping pastrors and laity in trouble with the denomination's administrative and judicial, and by using legislative and judicial options open to an individual to help move our denomination in directions I thought consistent with a Christian apostle's mission.

In retirement, I have had to focus declining energies and gifts, but I hope you see me hanging in there for a few more years.

Making disciples is not aiming high enough. Making apostles,turning loose God's people to be missionaries where they are and where God takes them, would be a better description of what the church actually does when it follows the Spirit.

Jerry Eckert more than 3 years ago

UMC changes

I see this transformation setting into all the denominations of our Protestant faith and it is unsettling. However, the Lord Jesus Christ is not into denominations. The world has fallen asleep and lulled into deception by the anti christ spirit and Jehovah Father will not stand by and see His word flattened and watered down. elect and true bride of Christ will know His voice and follow his Ways no matter what the world is doing. I believe we will continue to see the denominations fall apart under the gise of becoming united in one. The world is setting the stage for satan and his regime to set up the war against the saints and our Lord Jesus Christ. But we know who wins! Come Lord Jesus quickly. My husband and myself have removed our membership from the UMC and will not follow these vipers into the pit.

Brenda Barnett more than 3 years ago

Transform the world

Making disciples for the transformation of the world sounds good and seems fine for a faith-based institution. It still smacks of triumphalism and places the priority on making disciples. We live in a multi-religious contemporary world. The hope of converting the whole world to one's faith tradition is misplaced.The urgency is on transformation of the world. This can only come about not by having more disciples in one's own faith community but working together with people of other faith and non-religious faith in the work of transforming society and the world and to live in harmomy with all of God's good creation.

Yap Kim Hao more than 3 years ago

Notable Quotes

"Where the [Pew Research Center] data shows five million fewer Protestants, three million fewer Catholics, and nineteen million more “nones” who do not identity with any religion, I see Sarah the bartender who isn’t allowed to love Jesus because she loves women, Sam who adores the new Pope but hates the things the church has done in the name of Jesus, and David the minister who just can’t believe in hell."
– Reba Riley, writing in Time magazine.


I just think it's important for them to know what it does to someone who is a Christian and who is Methodist when something like this happens. It does hurt your ability to have faith for awhile."
-- Kelly Bardier, who along with her partner Jaci Pfeiffer were dismissed from an Orlando-area United Methodist daycare center because of their relationship, after reaching a settlement with the Florida Conference that will require church and daycare center employees to meet with pro-LGBT church groups.


“To [Millennials], ‘religion’ means ‘Republican,’ ‘intolerant,’ and ‘homophobic,'” wrote Putnam and Campbell in Foreign Affairs. “Since those traits do not represent their views, they do not see themselves—or wish to be seen by their peers—as religious.” - See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2015/05/13/evangelicals-claims-of-conservative-supremacy-are-overstated-and-misread-americas-religious-landscape/#sthash.P7az5pTO.dpuf

"Both Jesus and Francis did not let the old get in the way of the new, but like all religious geniuses, revealed what the old was saying all along. I find much wisdom in what the contemporary faith seeker Christian Wiman writes: 'Faith itself sometimes needs to be stripped of its social and historical encrustations and returned to its first, churchless incarnation in the human heart.' "
– Noted spiritual guide and author Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, in his May 21 daily meditation.