Treating Our Amnesia



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Wesley would probalbly say we are nuts

Spend some serious time with Wesley's sermon, "The Catholic Spirit", especially the second half where he defines the person of the truly catholic spirit--it was an eye opener for me. The truth is when people joined themselves to Wesley they were joining themselves to a specific set of beliefs and understandings; Wesley was very protective when it came to want was taught to the early Methodist Societies. He also had a Priority #1 from which he never wavered: connecting individuals to God and then to each other in a life transforming relationship; the UMC has lost sight of the individual. Methodism came into existence because Wesley sat down with people who had heard Wesley preach who then came to him with the question "What does this mean for MY life?" As a person in the pew, I experienced the toxicity of the theological diversity currently swirling around The UMC. I learned a little bit about nothing in particular until I finally became so confused and broken, I took the drastic step of distancing myself from all things church. Eventually I stumbled into the Heidelberg Catechism and three very modern books about it. It was a group of Calvinists from the communion of saints past and present who showed me what all I did not understand about basic orthodox Christianity beginning with it has very little in common with modern fundamentalism--conservative or liberal/progressive. I was left wondering why nobody had never taught me these things before now! Over the last several years, I have spent a significant amount of time monitoring voices from within the UMC and found that the level of messiness, confusion and dysfunctionality exceeded my expectation of messiness, confusion and dysfunctionality that should be present in any organization that hopes to survive. Bottom line is, we have no faith in common and without that we are going to continue to teach a little bit about nothing in particular and continue to be working in opposition to each other and it is the person in the pew who wants to understand who God is and who they are that is going to come out on the short end of the deal. And that is what I hope GC2016 realizes and understands.

Ella Pauline more than 6 years ago