The Church of Illusion: Framing the Schism Spectacle

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Same smoke and mirrors

Thank you for a reasonable, rational piece on the schism uproar. I have heard talk of schism used as a fake threat for too long, the equivalent of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It often precedes a vote at a conference.

Scott Endress more than 3 years ago

Assertion is never evidence

I agree, no urgency toward schism has been articulated regarding anything of sustance. Assertion that urgency exists provides no evidence of same. Political maneuvering of this sort should not be reacted to with fear or appeasement. Let the leaders of these megachurches take responsibility for their actions and respond accordingly. As always in church relationships, they are free as individuals to leave, but not free to leave while taking UMC assets with them. Call yourselves whatever you wish as long as you do not engage in trademark violations. Vote with your feet and congregate in abandoned 7-11s if so inclined. Buy used pulpits at auctions. But no other terms for such a schism should be considered.

George Nixon Shuler more than 3 years ago

Excellent Commentary

Jeremy, you have nailed it: the combination of money, non-connectional appointments and anonymity has turned into a manipulative force that, if these were politics, would be more clearly recognized for what it is: a grab for power by any means. And there is not one thing scriptural or Wesleyan by such a stance.

Christy Thomas more than 3 years 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.

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