(This could be two essays. While I am comfortable with the first part being reproduced as a stand alone document, I would not want the remainder distributed without the first.)Continue reading “Where I Am Going and Why I Am Leaving”
(Many UMs will be attracted to this essay because of the upcoming announcement about General Conference. I will speak to that at the end of the piece, but I am weary of commenting on corruption in the UMC and enjoy being immersed in a life of faith and hope and charity.)Continue reading “Spring Is Coming. Let’s Plant a Church!”
Before we move to specific reforms in Eucharistic practice, we must devote more words than I would like to an elephant in the room. United Methodist worship takes place in an environment of open Communion. Open Communion relieves the pastor and congregation of certain burdens, but it also brings additional burdens. A rite that is used before listeners who are barely familiar with the Christian faith, if at all, needs to be a clearer guide, more precise, and more catechetical–not less. Many denominations practice open communion, but in United Methodist practice the term is too often synonymous with indiscriminate Communion.Continue reading “The Burden of Open Communion: Rescuing the Eucharist from the United Methodist Church, Final Part”
“We have failed to be an obedient church…”
I agree. In as much as we have accepted the ecumenical rites and have promulgated them among our congregations, we have failed to be an obedient Church.Continue reading “We Have Failed To Be An Obedient Church: Part 3 of Rescuing the Eucharist”
“Christ our Lord invites to his table…”
No. He does not.
Christ does not invite. He calls. He commands. There is no common sense of the word by which we may say that any person of the Trinity “invites.” God does not invite, and that is a good thing.Continue reading “Rescuing the Eucharist from the UMC: Part 2 The Invitaion”
From my childhood I remember the story of a counterfeiter who went undetected for years—not because his bills looked so authentic but because he found a way to make them look very old. He noticed that when people receive a new bill they examine it closely, but if the bill looks old—like it has been accepted by many people before—they barely glance at it. The same is true with ideas. If a concept looks new, then we study it carefully. If it sounds like it has been around a while and used by many others, then we accept it and pass it along.Continue reading “Rescuing the Eucharist from the United Methodist Church: Part I”
I want a principle within
of watchful, godly fear,
a sensibility of sin,
a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel
of pride or wrong desire,
to catch the wandering of my will,
and quench the kindling fire.
From thee that I no more may stray,
no more thy goodness grieve,
grant me the filial awe, I pray,
the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
awake my soul when sin is nigh,
and keep it still awake.
Original Title: A Tender Conscience Author: Charles Wesley (1749)Continue reading “Follow the (Con)Science”
The transitional Book of Doctrine and Discipline for the Global Methodist Church retains the office of bishop, albeit in a form dissimilar to what United Methodists have known. Keeping the office in any form is a genuine concern for many, and for good cause. I understand how two generations of United Methodist clergy who have known only corrupt and incompetent bishops would want to be rid of the office altogether.Continue reading “A Brief Defense of Authentic Bishops”