Four, Three, Two, One

Four Words, Three Rules, Two Standards, One Grace



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Four Words

The four words are only mischievous and immoral if they are incorrect. If they are indeed a true statement, it would be cruel and mischievous to hide that truth from those who are seeking to know the truth.

Adam Borsay more than 2 years ago

It is no surprise that we are at an impasse

We have all been filling in the blanks of what it means to be a United Methodist for so long we are all working from completely different perspectives about everything.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Ok. That is your perspective

Here is mine: General Conference did not just up and decide to do "mischief". This issue was initiated by a group of people who submitted a question about same gender relationships to General Conference and, as the only thing designated to speak for the whole church it responded with the truth: the practice of same gender sex is indeed contrary to 2000+ years of Judeo-Christian teaching and understanding. The ongoing problem has been that there are those that disagree with that answer and have now decided they do not have to live within that decision.

And as for the claim that the decision by General Conference damaged of the three General Rules of Methodism, I agree with this take on what the United Methodist Church has reduced Wesley's General Rules to:

"Turning the 'General Rules' into a slogan strips away the actual discipline found in the rules, which distorts the document itself and the understanding of Methodism found therein.

The slogan is alluring because it gives the impression that we all know what it means. 'Do no harm.' 'Do good.' 'Stay in love with God.' Who wants to argue with 'Do no harm'? But, what does it mean?

“'Do no harm' is a meaningless pious platitude unless you define what harm is. Which, of course, is exactly what John Wesley and the first Methodists did in the 'General Rules.'

"I highly encourage you to read the original document for yourself. (It is about the same length as this post!) Notice that it is describing a common way of life that is defined in some detail and is not merely a list of vague aspirational statements. And it concludes by stating that those who do not abide by it will 'have no more place among us.'

In short, there was nothing vague about John Wesley's Methodism. It was chock full of details and accountability. Based on this paper, it is obvious that many in the American United Methodist Church is not even aware that it is living out a very shallow and non-descript version of Methodism. The reason for the lack of awareness is because it took a long slow drift to get to this point.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Watch all of the Lovers Lane videos!

Kudos to the organizers of the recent Lovers Lane UMC “invitation only, closed” event. The fact that published all the presentations on their umscholar page says a lot about their transparency. I hope that not only “4,3,2,1” gets a view but that all of the presentations will be viewed by uminsight readers. Carve some precious time out of your schedule and please watch them all. Thank you Lovers Lane UMC for showing the Global UMC the current theology of the faculty of American UM seminaries.

Mark Castleberry more than 2 years ago