Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
October 7th, 2016 by Joel Watts

Another reason to not trust the Council of Bishops

cross-flameI mean as a whole. Individually, some — a few — are admirable and should we split, I would want to join their denomination.

In the latest announcement on the Commission on “A Way Forward,” what the Laity see is not an equal representation, but rather, a stacking of the deck. Less than 1/3 of the members are to be laity. There will be 8 bishops and 13 non-episcopal elders. That is 21 clergy and 8 laity.

That is hardly the makeup of General Conference… and hardly the makeup of who finances this operation.

You know… the finances that include the 145000K a year for Bishops’ salaries.

Also, let’s not forget that there are 3 moderates — THREE MORE BISHOPS.

The UMC’s news service picked up the story and there is a link to the petition. I signed.

I noticed that the episcopal office holder of the Dakotas-Minnesota annual conference, as he has in other areas, said a lot, but much of it doesn’t ring true.

For instance, he comments “the nominating process is in the early stages.” Early stages? Previous reports indicate there are two stages left — and this a month or two late. The nominees have to agree and the COB has to vote on the final list.

He also attempts to guilt the concerned with a few other gaslights.

Honestly… Ough is the one who accused the WCA of schism… and the one who let Sprague off the hook… not saying there is a connection…

Look… we have trust issues in the UMC.

Those trust issues begin and end with the Council of Bishops.

Perhaps the Laity should do a few things:

  • withhold money from the episcopal fund
  • set up their own commission

This is our denomination.

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).

Comments

3 Responses to “Another reason to not trust the Council of Bishops”
  1. Makeup of the commission doesn’t concern me much since I believe it was never meant to be anything but a delaying tactic. Give the pews the false sense that their concerns are being addressed while allowing continued non-compliance to go unchecked (We don’t want to interfere with the work of the commissions). There were proposals to deal with this left on the table at GC2026. Another conference could be called to finish that work without a commission.

  2. Just let the commission be appointed, do its work–in the end, it has to all play out on the floor of General Conference. This is not the first commission to be appointed to address the sexuality question–I don’t remember if there were two or three previous commissions since sometime in the 1980’s. Although all the previous commissions recommended changing the stance, every GC stood its ground on this issue and, as time has passed has strengthened its stance.

    As a lifelong Methodist/United Methodist, I don’t want a laity commission on the sexuality question but rather one that asks the question of why, after a period of over 40 years when the GC has consistently come up with the same answer re sexuality that is in line with historical Christianity as well as a huge swath of modern Christianity, we are still arguing this point and on the verge of schism. I recently read that one reason the church has become unintelligible to the rest of the world is because the church has become unintelligible to itself. What a spot on description of the American branch of The United Methodist Church: completely and totally unintelligible to anybody! And lets add the almost 50 years of consistent numerical decline to the agenda!

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