Monday, January 15, 2007

More than a nice thought?

Here's a thought-provoking and hopefully inspiring quote from the Methodist blogosphere...

"I have also felt very strongly the last several years that the liberal/conservative fight is not going to get us anywhere, and that it is off target. It is a fight over the world that is ending, the modern world and its delineations, not a fight for the place we are going."
- Michelle Hargrave, UM blogger from Minnesota

I agree, and hope that Michelle is correct; the problem is this: how do we stop this fight, solve the impasse, and allow healing? Both sides are so divided...passionately divided...over issues of covenantal faithfulness and sex. I don't think I'm smart enough to come up with the answer.

As we vote this June for those who will represent us at General Conference in 2008, should we be looking for answers? Or should we be looking for grace-filled hearts which are not too affected by political agendas, on the right or on the left?


wes said...

Unfortunatly I don't think that there is any way to put this divide to bed. With the fall of Neo-orthodoxy the divide is just ever increasing. Personally I think that until we have some type of unified theology that allows us to rejoice in our differences I don't think we'll move on. I do however think that an Evanglical outlook does have the potential to provide this, the only problem is that Evangelical language has been commendeared by fundamentalist theology. It's difficult to say what will happen but like you my prayers go out for the UM people in 2008.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

One problem is that we are united doctrinally, and our ordained pastors have all taken vows to uphold our doctrine. The issue of sex is not dealt with in our standards.

Now, we also take vows to uphold the Discipline, and some on both sides of the sex issue have failed to do so, in my view.

I'd like to see the Left commit to abiding by the intent of General Conference, which some have failed to do, and I'd like to see the Right find new "safe" ways to discuss the issue without resorting to fundy tactics, which can be at best non-Wesleyan and at worst mean.

I agree that the fundys have stolen and distorted evangelical language, and we need to reclaim that for the Church. No question.

wes said...

I agree with you on the issues of sexuality but I'm not as convinced that we are united doctrinally. Granted this maybe stemming from my relative inexperience with the United Methodist Church as a large church body. I also agree that the tactics that each groups apply tends to further confound the attempts for honest discussion. I would love to see people get past many of these issues but unfortunately I don't think our current society will enable us as a body to safely do so.