Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 20th, 2016 by Joel Watts

3 High Points of #UMCGC

I am reserving most comments until later, but I want to highlight 3 areas of legislation I find pleasing.

The first is Petition 60033, which establishes an ecclesiology:

Since its authorization in 2008 (Book of Discipline, ¶ 1907-1912), the Committee on Faith and Order has been working in various ways to deepen our denominational reflection on ecclesiology. Under our auspices, Dr. Russell Richey drew upon statements from our Book of Discipline and added additional materials from our United Methodist heritage to help us see what we already affirm about the nature and mission of the church, a document available on-line at (here)

We continue to work with United Methodist theologians from across the world on a basic catechetical resource for use in our churches.

One of the centerpieces of our work this quadrennium has been the development of a constructive statement on ecclesiology, entitled Wonder, Love and Praise. The time has come for this document to be offered to the entire United Methodist Church for its study. The aim of this period of study is twofold, namely, to stimulate and aid theological reflection throughout the church on the identity and mission of The United Methodist Church, within the larger context of the whole church; and to elicit constructive critique of the document itself that might lead to its improvement.

Petition 60884 should discourage teachers from using authors like Beth Moore:

…be it resolved, that the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church encourages the local church to provide women’s ministry programs that fit the unique needs of the women in the church and are consistent with our values, theology, and social principles of The United Methodist Church.

Finally, 60837 orders The United Methodist Church to withdraw from support of RCRC,

The 2016 General Conference instructs the General Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women to withdraw immediately from membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).

I find the UMC position on choice admirable and reasons we can discuss, but our inclusion in RCRC was detrimental to that position. It’s like support the 2nd amendment and then joining the NRA. One is rational, the other is not.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. 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).

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