A more hopeful outlook on this matter can be found here. Read it. I want the author to be right. I fear the ones in whom he trusts are not as charitable as he is.
Most of us have a practice within our personal and professional relationships to always allow for the most charitable interpretation of an individual’s words and actions. When there is any doubt as to their intent—assume the best. Someone turns in a report with erroneous information. Is it a lie? Is it incompetence? Did they believe it to be true, but relied on a faulty source? Is it a transposition error that they aren’t even aware of? With no evidence to support any of these theories it is best to approach the situation with the most charitable of interpretations. However, if the individual has a long and uninterrupted history of presenting faulty information which always results in their personal gain, then it is reasonable to presume that the most charitable interpretation is the one most likely to be wrong. Continue reading “Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong” →
The Church attempts vainly to interject itself as a relevant participant in the solution, but too many of those who are in a position to speak for her have already corrupted her witness. Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have refused any correction by the church who now seek to tell others what they must do because the church says so? Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have devised clever schemes to discount the plain sense of scripture who now wish to tell them what scripture plainly calls them to do? Our Bishops, boards, and agencies have left themselves woeful unprepared to meet a challenge such as this. They can offer only disparate statements rooted in ad hoc opinions from a people who are not of one mind. It is tragic because I know how sincerely they hurt for the people. I believe they greatly desire to bring the healing. I suspect that some of them remember the way. But, they will no more be permitted to bring that message than David could be permitted to build the temple. Yet, God has not left us without hope. There is a balm, but it must come from the pews and pulpits.
Return. Return to the Church. Return to the Eucharist. Return to the living God truly present. Return in silence, and learn to love. Welcome all those who are returning.
(Original post is here)
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O Lord, have mercy if you please
The irony of this wonderfully composed Eucharistic hymn is that the pastor leading it has no intention of doing either (falling on their knees or facing liturgical east). An equally great irony is that it was introduced into our hymnal the same year that our Book of Worship instructed us to stop doing these things. Perhaps, if the words were changed to fit our actions, “As I stand on my feet to praise the ones with whom I eat,” then it would add more import to the next clause: “O Lord, have mercy…” Continue reading “Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action” →
Lexicon of United Methodist Council of Bishops Including Terms Used in “A Way Forward”
or: If Ambrose Bierce Were a United Methodist Continue reading “Bishops’ Dictionary” →
Here in South Carolina there are four seminaries that account for just shy of 100% of our pastors. Two seminaries make up the greater part of that number. Each seminary has an accent. Within the first minute of a sermon I can usually determine which seminary produced that preacher. But, a homiletic malfeasance seems so increasingly prevalent regardless of divinity school affiliation that I am wondering if I have become too sensitive, or if somebody is actually teaching this. The method involves finding a point on which the text is silent, imagining what could fill that silence, and then preaching from one’s imagination.
Two high profile cases: Continue reading “Please, Stay in the Text” →
In Acts 15 we hear of the church in Antioch being accused by representatives of the church in Judea of getting so much wrong that they could not be saved. “Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them.” The Greek is considerably stronger. It works out to something like, “standing together and seeking to understand each other…they did not!” These people did not want to be around each other and had no desire to come to an agreement. They were in each other’s face. Yet, the beauty in it, the holiness of the moment is how they chose to proceed: “Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders.” Continue reading “Schism, or Church Growth?” →
United Methodist Discipline: That which is compatible with the will of one having power to enact it. The Council of Bishops will seek to avoid further complaints, trials and harm while we uphold the United Methodist Discipline. (The CoB Dictionary, 2016)
Local churches and local pastors have been familiar with this definition for some time. A new District Superintendent is appointed and the local church again finds itself confronted with a list of things they must do because the Discipline requires it. Why were they not required by the Discipline before? Because it was a different DS. The Northern Illinois Conference Board of Ordained Ministry recently joined several others in ordaining persons whom the General Conference has specifically barred from ordination. It is Continue reading “From Discipline to Despotism” →