Changing the Methodist Narrative




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Defend Christianity

The Methodist Church need to talk more about these controversal topics....the Bible is very clear about the Christian way.....we need to stand as Christians and defend Christianity.....Don't just sit on the sidelines and say you do not want to cause a hassel by speaking out for what is right..defend your faith! If you are a true Christian you will speak up for what is right as the Bible says..When are we going to wake up? Look at the number of young people attending our churches.....they want answers to these questions that my minister would not touch.....Look at some of the growing churches....they are teaching and preaching from the Bible and answering some of these questions with scriptures to back up their answers!

Dianne Humphrey more than 9 years ago

Reframing the Wesley Narrative

While we are changing our Methodist narrative, we also need to change and expand our Wesley narrative, as well. Historians are now saying that John Wesley and his Methodist movement was one that changed the historical path of Great Britain, by bringing the common folks into political and social power during the industrial revolution. Of all European nations, Great Britain was the only one to go through the industrial revolution without a complete revolt against governmental bodies, without civil wars, and without an overthrow of ruling monarchs. As a result, Britain was able both to expand its empire and give up much of its empire in the United States, and become the major world power of the 19th century.
This was far different from what we hear from some today: that the church should eschew secular politics, rather that we should seek to "evangelize" in a particular cultural style, without regard to the faith style of those who do the "evangelizing" and without respect for the indigenous cultural style of those whom we are seeking to evangelize.
Even E. Stanley Jones, the great Methodist Evangelist whom no one ever called "liberal," in his "Christ of the Indian Road," said that Christ has to be proclaimed in the language and culture of those whom we are seeking to tell the good news and to bring them to Christ. We seem to have forgotten that good word from one of our great "Evangelicals."
In many ways, clinging to the way we have done things in the past, while comfortable for those of us who are in the church, makes it harder for our word to be heard in a pluralistic society where there is a wide (but certainly not deep) awareness of the variety of religious traditions from across the world.
The church is not "dying." Rather, as has happened numerous times in our past, Methodism is going through a transformation to be able to function in the world with which we must live "in" but not "of." The breakaway of the Methodist Protestant Church was a major disruption of early Methodism in the U.S., but it led to full inclusion of laity in decision-making. The split of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844 was an event that revolved less around theology than cultural differences in the U.S. The Pentecostal movement was one that led to the beginning of a number of "daughter" denominations where the main issue was the cultural style of worship and belief. The growth of our missionary work went through a change that emphasized allowing the missionaries to become support persons while having the spiritual leadership coming from the indigenous peoples, while damned by the conservatives 20 to 40 years ago, is what has led to the remarkable growth of the church outside the U.S.
We need, in our own time, to allow ourselves to explore other changes that will lead the church in a new direction. Or, to quote Mark Twain, "Oh compassionate missionaries, come home, and convert these Christians!"

Tom Griffith more than 9 years ago

"Church" and What God Wants.

You are right..."The tragedy is that so many of our churches are NOT bringing blessing, favor and dignity to people in our communities." Example: when a few decades ago we made policy which denies full membership to gay men and lesbians....When we defrocked those gay men and lesbians who were already ordained and refused to acknowledge the calls of gay men and lesbians who are being called to ministry and denied them ordination!!!!!!! We have lost, and continue to loose, many members because of that stance.
Yes, I know that some members have announced that they would leave and take their pledge money with them if The UMC fully welcomed LGBT people.....but they are rejecting the INCLUSIVE GOD, INCLUSIVE JESUS, INCLUSIVE HOLY SPIRIT in saying that.
God Is Not Dead!!! Jesus told us that He would Leave Holy Spirit to teach us things He did not have time to teach us in those few short years walking among us. Are we listening!!!!!!!!!??????????
You mentioned the "religious right......" They wrongly condemn God's LGBT sons and daughters! They are NOT "RIGHT or CORRECT" in their reading of scripture...old or new. For starters, they fail to see that the problem at Lot's house was inhospitality...any sex that would have taken place would have been GANG RAPE, not anything having to do with homosexuality which, by definition, is a person loving someone of the same gender (sex). Incidentally, some hetero-
sexual men practice annal sex on their wives or girlfriends, as any pastor, or counselor or psychiatrist can tell you. What does the "religious right" say about that?
Our prayer time must be less talking to God, and more listening.
Yes, "We must try to figure out where God is moving...and rush to catch up. If the old form of "church" dies behind us, then it's OK. Because there will always be a people of God, and there will always be a God sending, loving, blessing."

Elsie Gauley Vega more than 9 years ago