Where is God in Jack Kale’s decision?

So, in a sense, I chose the mission and vision I was doing under appointment more than I chose to serve the whim of a bishop.

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via One pastor’s take on why he left the United Methodist Church – UMR.

My own issues with the UMC’s historic itinerancy system; however, I believe it is for the best and Jack Kale is perhaps one of the best examples of why this system needs to stay in place. The Church is not a cult of personality, nor is it based on the pastor. If the local church has only grown with the pastor, perhaps the quantity is not exactly the quality it should be.

In reading Kale’s interview, he never mentions God except to validate his pastoral calling. He never mentions the leading of the Spirit. And why should he? When has the Spirit of God ever commanded breaking oaths, destroying unity, and creating a cult of personality? The politics of the system is decried. So, instead of working to change it from whatever position he has entrusted to the Bishops, he has divorced himself of the small democracy and instead made himself king.

Jack Kale is the very reason we need the itinerancy system. Rather than change the system as Kale and others recommend, we need to rely upon the Spirit – as we say we do – when casting our fate into the hands of the Bishops who make these decisions. 

It would be difficult to state that this is a double standard. Why? Because Hamilton and Slaughter are in different conferences than Kale and others. Thus, they are under a different Bishop. 

If we are truly Spirit led, then we must have faith in that process and not go about changing a system that has kept the cult of personality out of the worldwide Methodism (generally) for 200 years.

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Post By Joel Watts (10,044 Posts)

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).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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4 thoughts on Where is God in Jack Kale’s decision?

  1. Beats inerrancy. Beats inheriting it from father to son, (Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggert, Billy Graham, et al) which implies business and megaprofits to me.
    Keeps a power clic from forming around a personality, with inner circle people, and everyone else outsiders. Most important, each new pastor can check the previous books, to make sure no one is cooking the financial books. Not that I wouldn’t trust a pastor. But ultimate power and no visibility leads to corruption. Just check Congress.

  2. Although I have no extraordinary insights into Jack Kale’s departure, I know these transitions are not completely unheard of. One minister I knew left a denominational pastorate to minister to single mothers at a time when divorce was still frowned upon merely because no one else was filling that need at the time. Another pastor left a promising career as member in good standing in what might best be described as the “country club clergy” to invest his time on this earth in serving the homeless. Again, this was at a time when no one was filling that need.
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    Meanwhile, when it comes to Jack Kale, a couple of websites offer some hints as to Kale’s reasoning. At:
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    http://www.christianpost.com/news/former-umc-pastor-to-open-florida-church-at-beach-bar-95386/
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    Kale was quoted as saying, “They [presumably the Bishop and denominational hierarchy] told me how good this [transfer] was going to be for my career and what kind of raise I was going to get. It was very corporate and institutional.”
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    Then, from:
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    http://unitedmethodistreporter.com/2014/01/23/one-pastors-take-left-united-methodist-church/
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    three reasons emerge for Kale’s departure. Without doing any great injustice to the original, they seem to be:
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    1. Tired of “serv[ing at] the whim of a bishop [in a denomination that] has lost its ability to adapt and move with the culture.”
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    2. Found UMC to be too political, rigid, and prestige oriented.
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    3. Time to move on after almost two decades in UMC.
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    Reflecting on the above,I cannot help but wonder what a promising career Jesus might have had in Jerusalem if he hadn’t started hanging out with the wrong crowd!

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