Confessing what? Hypocrisy @ConfessingUMC

Last night, the Confessing Church within the UMC’s facebook outlet posted a nice picture.

confessing hypocrisy

Note, this is not a diatribe against the basic principles of the Confessing Church Within the UMC nor the membership as a whole. This is, instead, an attempt to point out their hypocrisy (at least on the facebook page which does not seem to be an official organ (although authorized) of the CCwUMC).

That was my response to their posting.

In turn, they said,

Methodist churches traditionally practice Open Communion, not Closed Communion.

To which I responded,

You mean United Methodist Churches. And yes, I am aware of that but as seeing you would regularly close the communion of fellowship to those who disagree with you regarding LGBT and the such, I find it ironic you would continue to promote an open Table, Chris.

Them:

Hi Joel, there are multiple admins on this page and I am not Chris. Methodist churches traditionally allow individuals from any denomination to partake in the Eucharist: http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5070513&ct=3352761 The official website of the UMC states “The table of Holy Communion is Christ’s table, not the table of The United Methodist Church or of the local congregation. The table is open to anyone who seeks to respond to Christ’s love and seeks to lead a new life of peace and love, as the invitation to the table says.”

At that point, I pointed out they weren’t responding to my points.

Let’s not forget – last week, they suggested I leave the UMC for somewhere else, thereby retracting the arm of fellowship. I am calling out their hypocrisy that while the Table (i.e., fellowship with Christ) is open, fellowship with other Christians are not. Surely, you can see the sheer hypocrisy of a group proclaiming an open table but a closed fellowship, right?

Look at it like this. The Table represents Christ. It is open to all of those who desire to seek communion with Christ. We as Christians are called to imitate Christ. Yet, many of these would see to disbar, excommunicate, and dismiss those who disagree over certain issues — such as the LGBT issue. If Christ is welcoming to all, and who we are supposedly imitating Christ are not, what does this say about us?

Therefore, I maintain the CCwUMC while confessing an Open Table confesses not Christ when they continuously seek to divide the fellowship.

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

2 thoughts on “Confessing what? Hypocrisy @ConfessingUMC”

  1. “We as Christians are called to imitate Christ” – We are indeed but this very argument can give way to an endless list of things Jesus did and that certain groups don’t, which includes but is not limited to the “Open Table”. To me the biggest problem of all, if I may, is phrases such as “called to imitate Christ” without qualifying the extent of such imitation. Should we die on the cross? Actually the ancients believed that we should. Has Christ, at least as reported, engaged in any sinful act, sexual or otherwise? Wherein should we be imitating Christ? One may excuse himself from accepting certain practices by repeating the same phrase others use to defend their practitioners’ inclusion in the Communion.
    Perhaps eliminating such hubris, in these lofty phrases will along with it eliminate hypocrisy.I’d rather be humble before God and accept my own misery and not shunning other miserable ones! But that is also hubris…

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