Dissolution is No Solution

Part 1



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Salt and light

Jesus ordered us to be salt. Salt is only useful when it melts - when it dissolves.

Jesus ordered us to be light. The oil must burn down to empty order to provide light. The wick and wax must burn down to nothing to provide light.

"If you care about your life, you will lose it."

Thank you

Richard F Hicks more than 1 year ago

salt and light

Salt is useful when it dissolves but through evaporation can be recovered and used again.
The oil, wax, and wick burn down to nothing, but the light comes in the burning not after it's over. The oil, wax and wick can be extinguished and then can be re-lit to provide more light until they are used up. It's significant that the first thing created was light and God said; "THAT'S GOOD!" 'In Him there is no darkness at all'.

w.f. meiklejohn more than 1 year ago


I respect Stan. His reverent treatment of his mentor Hinson was sincere. Stan here misses the main point. The US UMC has way too many churches that have dropped over 33% attendance in 7 years; too many with a 20% attendance to member ratio. An 80% no-show rate would shut any school, hospital or assembly line. A military unit at 20% active strength is called “decimated.” Too many churches have those stats, and not because of a single pastor or a single issue. An honest-to-God new expression birthed with vision from the profoundly dysfunctional status quo is vital. The Indy and J-B offerings are good faith. A church where Stan is free to bring active LGBTQIA+ clergy on staff will not grow for that reason, anymore than a church that would never do so somehow will grow for its refusal. As for dividing the money and stuff? I refer you to George Carlin’s routine on “stuff”...and fill in the word ‘church’ where needed...

Bob more than 1 year ago

This was an interesting read

Especially since I had just read this article-- "United Methodism: Upper grade Clergy". https://peopleneedjesus.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/united-methodism-upper-grade-clergy-by-riley-case.pdf It documents the divide between the elite leaders and the grassroots that has been going on for a long time! It justifies my own experience of leadership does not care who is in the pews as along as somebody is in the pews supporting the churches pre-determined and orchestrated ministries. It justifies my sense that during the Way Forward process leadership had all the answers and expect laity to be mindless drones ready to do their bidding. Rev. Copeland sounds very much like an upper grade clergy. Let me know when the UMC is ready for laity who are capable of thinking out things--I just might be interested in getting involved in such a church.

betsy more than 1 year ago

Good analysis, hopeless conclusion

By any perspective, it appears that the UMC will continue a dreary and opaque battle over marginal differences in perspective regarding sexual orientation well into the next several years. In my opinion the fragmentation into "Progressive", "Centrist, "Traditional", etc. factions is the point where it is prudent to leave an organization, rather than be subjected continuously to the hideous boredom of the resulting conflicts over shekels and dirt. Sure the UMC is capable of great good, but so is a well run Kiwanis Club, with a lot more laughter, joy and comradery to boot. I believe a lot of congregants without a dog in the fight over who does sex acceptable to the Creator will soon figure out that the emotional, spiritual, and organizational landscape of the UMC is not going to get better for some time. The question of why would an average congregant stay involved with this mess and not seek out better environs to worship in has not been answered by anyone.

Robert W. Ives more than 1 year ago

I'll give it a go

There happens to be a large number of 'pew potatoes' out there - folks who are planted in their particular church, don't care about the outcome, and are just going to keep on keepin' on.

If I were to hazard a guess, it would be that they are the majority of the American UMC laity.

They go to their particular church because it's THEIR church. They've been going there for however long, and they'll weather a bad pastor or difficult congregant. At most, they might write a letter to the DS or Bishop about the situation. They don't get what the problem is with all of this 'nonsense'. They might agree with the Traditionalist view, but not because it really matters to them - it's just the way it is. By the same token, if Bob and Tom who sit over on the other side of the church (and have done so for the last 7 years) wanted to get married, most of these folks wouldn't see anything really wrong with that either.

But most of the 'pew potatoes' aren't the ones deeply involved. They don't run the committees, they don't engage heavily in the Sunday school program or the missions work, they just kind of roll along.

Those folks that are 'involved' - those are the ones who are invested in the outcome. Those are the ones who are fighting for their view of their church, their denomination. And they are the ones who are going to leave (one way or another) as this settles out. And that's going to weaken churches. Some small number of churches in some areas will be strengthened, as the 'active talent' moves towards them. The pew potatoes will eventually die off or join some other church as their home church becomes slowly nonfunctional.

If I were to hazard a guess, across the next decade we'll see a massive shift in membership. There will be fewer small churches (perhaps consolidation), a couple of moderately big ones, and both sides of the theological divide will blame the other for the drop in overall count.

JR more than 1 year ago