'Just Resolution' or Just Bullshit?

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I agree that the sexuality issue is not truly the biggest problem with the United Methodist Church. Based on my life long experience of more than a few decades, the sexuality argument is a distraction from the deeper spiritual issues the church needs to be addressing. The biggest reason this issue has become divisive is because some extremely vocal liberal/progressives will not be satisfied until they have a mandate from the church that legitimizes their particular view point and forces their conscience-driven viewpoint on those who have an equally conscience-driven opposite view point. Bottom line the two sides are coming from two completely understandings as to what Christianity is about and what the church's role in society is and what sex is truly about--we are talking apples and oranges to each other. Karen Booth posted 4 good articles on this problem in her blog at goodnewsmag.org.

Orter T. more than 2 years ago

Love the part

about the "Emperor Has no Clothes". When I first started monitoring what exactly was going on within the UMC beginning with GC2012, I had the exact same impression

Orter T. more than 2 years ago

Interesting take

But it reminds me of the old lawyer's advice to a young colleague: "When the facts are against you, argue the law. When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts and the law are against you, attack the other side."

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago

Let Me Put Words to the Bullshit

As one who has worked hard as Counsel for the Church, as Counsel for the Respondent, and as Advocate for many who have been accused of ineffectiveness---and succeeded in all but one case of developing TRUE Just Resolutions that were subject-specific, tailored to the honor of the church and the dignity of the Respondent---I agree with Rev. McIntyre: many of the "Just Resolutions" that he described are bullshit.
They are bullshit because we have become so legalistic as a Church that we have forgotten how to finesse situations that are more about church politics than about church doctrine. In many ways, this forgetfulness is the major failure of our polity.
Let me put words to this bullshit: there is a widespread division of opinion in The United Methodist Church regarding same-sex marriage. This division is further exacerbated by the fact that slowly, one by one, more and more of the states in the U.S. now legally recognize same-sex marriage. As pastors, we are called upon to minister to the needs of people in our congregations, and believe that building strong families is the best way we can build a Christ-like society. What happens when a two persons of the same gender in our churches want to be able to acknowledge, publicly, both their love and their desire to be building a strong family in a Christ-like manner? Particularly, what happens in a church when a pastor who knows this couple, and who wants to respond to their needs in exactly the same way s/he would respond to a heterosexual couple, is asked to perform such a wedding (the pastorally correct thing) when so doing puts his/her ordination and job at risk?
An added overlay to this that in some Annual Conferences, the majority of the clergy, if not of the conference itself, has no problem with gay clergy or with same-sex marriage. In others, the idea of same-sex marriage (or gay clergy) is anathema, based on their honest interpretation of the Scriptures.
The final overlay is that we want to consider ourselves a world-wide, international church. The growing part of the UMC is outside of the U.S. Particularly in Africa, where both polygamy and non-mongamous sex have been part of the surrounding secular culture, the Church needs to hold up heterosexual marriage and monogamous sex as a way of building health and wholeness in the culture in which they minister. To say that same-sex marriage is allowed undermines their ministry.
Yes, all of this is a reality---but we only know how to solve our problems with Disciplinary laws and with Roberts' Rules of Order, where the desire of the Holy Spirit is discerned with a "50% + 1" vote of the General Conference.
Rather than trusting each other to deal responsibly with the needs of our own congregations, and in our own areas of service, (which would be finessing our laws but make sense) we approach this either legally, or with bullshit.
Come on, folks, there are better ways to be a church!

Rev. Tom Griffith more than 2 years ago

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