Watch for the Closing Doors

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There is much that has become distorted

when it comes to Wesley and early Methodism. For me, on of the biggest misconceptions is that Methodism did NOT come into existence to address social justice issues; it came into existence because Wesley wanted to introduce individuals to the transforming presence of God in their lives and wanted to support each of them in living a life centered in God each and every day of their lives; it required a holiness of heart as well as holiness of life. In fact, Wesley did not set out to transform the church or the culture at all; he set out in the pursuit of living a holy life centered in God and that led him to unexpected places. He stressed the social aspect of the Christian life, but he never downplayed the individual aspect. The only gray area that exists for the UMC at this point in time is to reclaim her Wesleyan message and method which will bring a proper balance to the social and individual aspects of being transformed into the person God created each of us to be.

Orter T. more than 2 years ago

Setting the record straight

I am a lifelong Methodist who is trying to remain one from the cradle to the grave. I am totally against "A Way Forward" and I think closing the doors of GC2016 is the best idea I have heard in a long time.

You obviously have not checked Methodist Crossroads website for the number of local church people who have signed on in support of what that group is saying; which includes opposition to"'A Way Forward". If you want to see this denomination self-destruct, then just push this argument down to the local level.

As for closing the doors at GC2016, for me it is about trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in the process from the election of the delegates to their gathering to make decisions on behalf of the church. If you think closing the doors is non-Wesleyan, then you do not know our history; early Methodism under Wesley himself was never truly democratic even tough he instituted the concept of having conferences. Early Methodism here in America was never truly democratic as long as Asbury held the reins.

The basic problem with the UMC is there is no consensus as to what it means to be a Christian. The reason people are talking past each other is that they are coming from totally different understandings of Christianity. Having recently immersed myself in basic orthodox Christianity--which is NOT the same as modern fundamentalism--and Wesleyan Christianity, I can say neither has had a strong presence in the UMC for a very long time. From what I have read and based on my experience, I see the basic problem being the two parts of Wesleyan Christianity have become disconnected. Wesley held the social and individual aspects of Christianity in proper tension; in the current time they have become disconnected: progressives are strong on the social justice aspect whereas conservatives lean more towards the transformation of individual lives. Reality is it is not an either or proposition, it is both and true Wesleyan Christianity holds both in a reasonable balance

Orter T more than 2 years ago

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