Order, Disorder and Reorder and General Conference 2016



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Method-ism is order

I find your critique of conservatives who are seeking order intriguing because when Method-ism has been the most successful it was because there was a specific message about who God is and who we are combined with a specific set of practices that enabled people to live transformed lives centered in God 24/7 regardless of their circumstances. On a more personal note: I am a lifelong Methodist and my understandings of God and myself resembled your bowl of salad. These random bits and pieces of understanding left me muddling around in a very murky grey area. Just shy of my 60th birthday I stumbled into the Heidelberg Catechism and three very modern books about it. I finally found myself in the wide open space of God's amazing grace because my random and jumbled understanding of who God is and who I am finally had some order. I finally understood that we most definitely have a God worth worshiping! I wish the United Methodist Church had had enough order so that it could have taught me those things sooner!

Ella Pauline more than 5 years ago

Transformed lives?

I'm sorry, but if a life is to be truly "transformed," one must come to the realization that "order" is at best an illusion and at worse oppression. After all, Mussolini famously made the trains run on time. To know oneself and one's creator one must embrace the complexities and uncertainties of life, which are summarized so beautifully in the Spanish phrase "mi vida loca" (my crazy life). God does not judge us on the straightened state of our stacks of paper or the dustbunnies in our corners! It's curious how "success" can be measured from repression.

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago

It is not either/or

Thanks George, but to clarify, it is not that order or disorder are illusions or oppressive but only when we fixate on one of them to the detriment of the other. Order is important for so many reasons, but if we stay there then order becomes an idol. Likewise when we toss out order in favor of disorder then we create a scapegoat of order and miss the power and goodness it brings to the world. It is not either/or it is about including both and transcending to reorder (transfiguration and resurrection).


Jason Valendy more than 5 years ago

Excellent point


Thank you for your comments and sharing. I am sorry if this post came as a critique to order. I think order is needed. Rohr mentions that it is not possible to move through the process of transformation without some sort of order (he is a friar as you may know). Order is not the problem, but staying in the box of order keeps us limited as we are not able to include and transcend it to the next stage of formation. for many of us who grew up in a disordered world (I am one of them) then we would be attracted to order because we have already experienced disorder. However, and once again, it is not order or disorder that is the problem but only planting roots there that is very limiting on what God desires for us. God desires transfiguration and resurrection - both of which are neither order or disorder but reordered ways of being. I am delighted that you came into some "order" with Heidelberg, I experienced order in seminary. My prayer is that I can include the strengths of both both order and disorder while transcending them into the "box' of reorder.


Jason Valendy more than 5 years ago