In the immortal words of Randy Quaid’s character in the movie Independence Day, “I’m back!” Yes I am back in the blogosphere! I guess it is because I have felt a need to put thought to computer screen regarding things that are happening in the UM world (that and Matt is bugging the h-e-double hockey sticks out of me!)
I was watching a show awhile back regarding guys who take expensive sports cars and then supe them up for the German Autobahn. These cars can do over 200miles per hour. But what is important for these cars is the condition of the autobahn itself. In order to allow cars to travel at such a high rate of speed, the Autobahn authorities take care pride and care in maintaining the road system. If there is any crack, chipping or holes they don’t come along and patch with temporary asphalt. They actually cut it out and pour a new section of 2 foot thick concrete. They don’t try temporary fixes, they do major work to ensure safety for those who are moving at the speed of…well a high performance sports car!
The story is of course an allegory for our denomination. There are things that are going on regarding potential constitutional amendments and changes that frankly sound like temporary moves in order to obtain a hidden agenda. I hope not, but after careful investigation and reading it is hard not to be more than skeptical about the reasoning behind such a proposal. Frankly, considering the fact that our general church across the United States has major cracks that need to be addressed, this subtle end around toward liberal inclusiveness is causing us to focus on the wrong things. Now, this is just my humble opinion and I hope that you will investigate the issues for yourself and make up your own mind after weighing and considering all the information. But as a member of a Wesleyan Renewal group of clergy, I wonder how Mr. Wesley or his mother would respond to the focus of our church or dare I say the lack of focus on souls by our church.
Now follow this up with a story out of Wichita, KS from a couple of months ago. A United Methodist pastor gave up his credentials and his appointment to start a new non-denominational church. He felt a need to defect from the system based upon his opinion that he was not supported by his annual conference or other United Methodist pastors in Wichita. Actually this is another story I would encourage you to research more and of course make up your own mind on, but what does it say about the church in general when we have talented pastors of growing churches who defect or simply leave the covenant clergy system we have?
I pray that God intervenes in hearts and minds and creates in us as a denomination, annual conferences, and local churches a burning passion for the lost, hurting, and God-seeking of our communities! I don’t think the gospel writer of Matthew said “go and fulfill your agenda!! But give us a chance and we may even re-write the words of Jesus. (That last sentence is simple tongue and cheek!)