Don’t Put Progressives in Boxes That Others Create

A Response to Chris Ritter's 'Traditional Compatiblists"

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"Open Hearts? Open Minds? Open Doors?

The United Methodist marketing slogan, “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.” appears to be ahead of the product and church discipline. The Reverend Dr. Gangler challenges us to think more openly to match the slogan. Unless "United" Methodists can find a way to truly welcome all, splits within the church will continue and more importantly the church will continue to alienate by closing its doors. The church either needs to truly welcome all regardless of differences or change it’s slogan.

Mark 79 days ago

A look at the bigger picture

Last week I tripped across an assessment of the different theological factions that are the United Methodist Church in America. I found it accurate in its portrayal of theological plurality as being THE PROBLEM within the denomination and believe in the hard truth stated in the final paragraph:


"However this important conversation continues, and it surely will continue, it must be informed by the very real possibility that the Liberal Protestant project exemplified by United Methodism was flawed from the start. Perhaps the very idea of theological pluralism was bound to self-destruct in time. These are the ominous questions now engaged. The truth and the church we love deserve from parties on all sides of these questions clear thinking, honest speaking, mutual respect—and much prayer and fasting."
https://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/06/002-united-methodists-at-the-end-of-the-mainline

Betsy 88 days ago

You just dismissed Scripture as the authority


"The neo-orthodox United Methodists, who retain this wording, state Scripture and church tradition are their authority."
"My authority is the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the interpretation of Scripture and the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit."

This is exactly the rhetoric that is causing UMC faithful to flee the pews in droves. Do you see your complete contradiction? The only interpretation we have is Scripture and yet you've just dismissed it. A UMC pastor just dismissed Scripture. I have two uncles and one cousin who graduated from Garrett Evangelical Seminary. It's safe to say I was born and raised United Methodist. I recently left for this exact reason: The UMC pastors and leaders don't recognize Scripture anymore.

Sarah 91 days ago

Do you keep your head covered?

...when you go outside, every single time, or inside, too, when you're not alone? I'm guessing "No." So, guess what, you deny scripture just like you said he did.

Scripture is a tool, not the fourth member of the Trinity. It is not what informs antigay prejudice. That is informed by disinformation, the need for scapegoats, and a sincere belief oneself is better than those for whom he or she has bigotries against.

George Nixon shuler 90 days ago

Sarah is not denying scripture

There is looking at individual verses--proof-texting--and there is looking at the Bible from an understanding of the overarching story the Bible tells: God created the earth and everything in it--including humans--and called it good; humanity rebelled and decided to take control of the situation creating all sorts of chaos that God never intended; out of his unfathomable love and mercy for his creation, God himself provided a way to make things right through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ who is fully God and fully human.


The two different perspectives will lead you to two totally different understandings.

Betsy 88 days ago

Wait a minute

Your conclusion does not follow your title. The right-wing simply wants license to oppress those they deem unworthy and use scripture to justify their oppression.

George Nixon Shuler 85 days ago

Right wing?

Could you please explain who you mean and define as "right wing"? I am not trying to be snarky with this question. All United Methodists I know are very liberal. Also, you mention "right wing extremists" in almost every post. Why? It seems as if every UM member I meet, my family included, seem to insult every person with whom they disagree. The "Open hearts, open minds, open doors" are apparently just words. It's not actually meant to be taken seriously by the members.

Sarah 82 days ago

Notable Quotes


Brian McLaren"All of us, especially people of faith, need to proclaim that white supremacy and white privilege and all other forms of racism and injustice must indeed be replaced with something better – the beloved community where all are welcome, all are safe, and all are free. White supremacist and Nazi dreams of apartheid must be replaced with a better dream – people of all tribes, races, creeds, and nations learning to live in peace, mutual respect, and neighborliness. Such a better world is possible, but only if we set our hearts on realizing the possibility."

– Brian McLaren, writing in "What I Saw in Charlottesville" on the Auburn Seminary website.


"The idea of racial (or most any other) supremacy is antithetical to that Gospel. We should remember that Jesus himself grasped for no superiority, no rank, but instead made himself a servant, giving himself in love. What we saw in Charlottesville was therefore a kind of anti-gospel, something that must be resisted, yes–but more, something that must be overcome."

– Dr. Craig Hill, dean of United Methodist-related Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, on Facebook.


"I heard growing up that the best way to expose a dirty glass is put a clean glass next to it. Faith leaders must stand up and show a dignified, nonviolent way. ... We’ve got to come off our pulpits and out of our cathedrals and save the soul of this nation."

– The Rev. Al Sharpton on his coming "Thousand Ministers March" for justice, interviewed by Adelle Banks of Religion News Service.

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