Beyond Scapegoating

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Scapegoating

Maybe he should read again what he wrote. It is full of double minded contradictions.

“When we view the other side as misguided, we imagine shortcomings about them that may or may not be true. This serves to make us feel better about ourselves, giving us the illusion that we have a corner on the truth.”
But as we read on he clearly shows that he does view the other side as misguided.
“We will have to have open, non-defensive conversations with those with whom we disagree”
We have been having these discussions for years and what has come of them? Nothing but polarization. Disagreement is not the problem but disobedience is. There is little point having a conversation with people who are determined to go their own way no matter what the group decides.
“If they hold their views with the same integrity with which I try to hold mine, why should I judge them? As long as LGBTQ+ rights are secured, and as long as there is liberty within Methodism, should they not be free to believe as they believe?”
He is willing to allow people to believe as they wish but not willing to allow them to act upon those beliefs by prohibiting same sex marriage. That is not liberty.
“Is it too idealistic to think that people from opposing sides might temporarily suspend their judgments? That they might try to understand why their opponents arrive at different conclusions?
The reality is that none of us can have the final word on any complex social issue.”

He clearly does judge the other side. And then he goes on to have the final word by saying this:
“The future expression of Methodism, without question, must affirm inclusivity. It must endorse the rights of pastors and congregations to perform/allow same-sex marriages and for annual conferences to remove sexual orientation as a qualifier for ordination.”
Please spare us and let the votes fall where they may.

Kevin 12 days ago

The problem...

is right here: "He is willing to allow people to believe as they wish but not willing to allow them to act upon those beliefs by prohibiting same sex marriage. That is not liberty." But if they are able to exclude others, their perfidy is in seeking their own liberty by denying others theirs.

If you don't believe in same sex marriages, don't get one. Problem solved.

George Nixon Shuler 8 days ago

Where you miss the point

Many traditionalists understand the commitment progressives have towards their viewpoint. That is why--even now--the traditionalists are calling for a separation so everybody can be free to live out their beliefs as they see fit! Many traditionalists, including myself will not be part of a denomination that endorses the progressive sexuality ethic. That has been clearly stated time and time again. And yet leadership trotted out the One Church Plan and bet their leadership on it passing.

Furthermore, for the record, I was not on board with how traditionalists approached General Conference thinking they could legislate an end to this mess when progressives--including much of denominational leadership--has been ignoring General Conference on this issue for decades. Given the history of General Conference on this issue, I also do not understand how progressives thought the One Church Plan was going to be passed. Bottom line is neither side is truly listening to nor understanding each other and never will because when it comes to the underlying beliefs that form our understanding of sexuality and even the church, we are miles and miles apart. And because of that sexuality is not the only presenting issue we will find ourselves at a standoff over.

Also, I read the article you referred to that described the Centrist Wesleyan. And if that is your understanding of what it means to be a Wesleyan then please feel free to live it out but let me live out my understanding which is completely different from yours. There is no church capable of holding the diversity of theology that the United Methodist Church is trying to contain all in the name of unity!

betsy 14 days ago

Hi Betsy

I know we've tangled over various points. I'm honestly curious here - you say "I read the article you referred to that described the Centrist Wesleyan. And if that is your understanding of what it means to be a Wesleyan then please feel free to live it out but let me live out my understanding which is completely different from yours."


Here's the list:
We believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior
We believe that scripture is inspired by God
We believe that the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, reason and experience helps us to make the Bible relevant to our daily lives
We believe in a Big Tent Church that allows room for progressives, centrists and traditionalists.
We believe that we can live and worship and work with one another despite our differences.
We believe that the grace of God is sufficient and is available to all
We believe that we are called to love one another, even in the midst of our disagreements
We believe that we are called to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ and in making disciples that we can transform the world
We rejoice in reconciliation
We believe that though we cannot all think alike that we can all love alike
We believe that diversity in our churches is a gift from God and strengthens our church
We believe in Wesley’s first General Rule to “Do No Harm”

Can you point out to where your view of Methodism doesn't fit in this list?
I get that you fall under the 'Traditionalist Incompatibilist' category, but I'd like to understand better which of the above you reject, and what other items you would add.

Thanks

JR 14 days ago

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