Glexit Approacheth

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A little Methodist/Wesleyan history

Methodism under the supervision of John Wesley came into existence because he left the Fetter Lane Society and set up his own society at the Foundry. The theological differences that pushed him to take this action were not nearly as severe as the ones currently running rampant in the UMC.

In one of his sermons, Wesley defined schism as "love growing cold". My own personal experience and observation cruising the internet is that quite a few progressives have very little love for traditionalists. During the Way forward process, many in leadership ignored the traditionalist voice that was speaking very clearly as to what they could live with. Some leadership actually said the traditionalist understanding was regressive. Furthermore, when I would simply state my understandings in response to some article, the response by progressives demeaned me as a person and assigned characteristics to me that did not fit at all. Rational discussion was impossible. Furthermore, when General Conference did not produce the answer progressives wanted, it was not unusual for the blowback to contain the word "evil". Sometimes it was UMC pastors who were speaking. I was stunned that such harsh verbiage had been allowed to develop. And yes, at times traditionalists have been guilty of harshness toward progressives.

Love has most definitely grown cold in the United Methodist Church.

"Are you persuaded you see more clearly than me? It is not unlikely that you may. then treat me as you would desire to be treated yourself upon a change of circumstances. Point me out a better way than I have yet known. Show me it is so by plain proof of Scripture. And if I linger in the path I have been accustomed to tread and therefore am unwilling to leave it, labor with me as I am able to bear." (John Wesley).

"All is lost in conferencing if we do not remember to keep love as the goal". (Scott Kisker, "Mainline of Methodist?")

betsy 67 days ago

Generational Changes

Each generation must figure out its faith for itself, following the examples left for them, but not repeating them. This, of course, leads to the inevitable change that many of us decry. The new spin-off denomination may very well get away with not saying "gay" for a generation or so, but when the infants they baptize the next few years become teenagers, some of them (10 to 15 percent by the latest studies) are going to begin to identify with at least one of the letters LGBTQIA+, and then the battle to say gay in the new denomination will begin yet again. Hopefully by that time the UMC will have moved on to a more loving, caring, and accepting way of dealing with diversity.

Kirk Tutterow 70 days ago

How we differ

I believe there are indisputable truths within Christianity, one of them being sexual relationships and thus marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. Another indisputable truth is that humanity pushes back on the fact that God is God and we are not! For each generation, Christianity is always about God's ongoing story of salvation and redemption of the people he created. It is ongoing because humanity constantly lose sight of what it means to be the truly human person God created us to be and start forging our own understandings. The Old Testament documents how many times the Israelites wander from following God's ways. We are no different! A more current example is the United Methodist Church who long ago wandered from what it means to be truly Methodist, starting with embracing the historic traditions and understandings of the church. Another indisputable truth is that we do not get to form Christianity. Rather it is the historic and traditional understandings about who God is and who we are forms us! Make no mistake, John Wesley did not come up with a Christianity suitable for his time and place; he reclaimed it!

betsy 67 days ago

Except when it comes to sexuality...

You are not correcting the previous generation's "mistake", you are contradicting 2000 plus years of Judeo-Christian thinking and understanding!

betsy 67 days ago

What I learned by reading John Wesley

Neither The United Methodist Church nor its predecessor, the Methodist Church, have been truly Methodist for generations. Since I am a multi-generational Methodist, I own 5 older disciplines from the Methodist Episcopal Church. The oldest one from 1894 contains a plea from church leadership for the church to stop abandoning the things that made the Methodist Episcopal Church uniquely Methodist. My sense is that Methodism will always be wandering into the next iteration of itself; it has no other choice because it does not have a clear enough historical understanding of itself to do otherwise. In short, Methodism has surpassed John Wesley's fear that it would become the form of religion without the power--it no longer has a coherent understanding of what it means to be truly and uniquely Methodist. And make no mistake, Methodism as it came into being under John Wesley was firmly rooted in the historical/traditional understandings of the church. Wesley did not reinvent Christianity for his time and place, he reclaimed it.

betsy 71 days ago