Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
March 8th, 2017 by Joel Watts

dear current #UMC pastors

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song! – The Church’s One Foundation

It is a near given that most of you will be the leading the congregation you currently serve through the aftermath of the specially-called General Conference in 2019.

Think about that.

This is a time for you to prepare yourselves for what will be a separation of many. It is already happening, piecemeal. Where are you in Jesus? Are you upholding your vows — publicly and privately? Are you keeping discipline so that you can properly hear the voice of Jesus as He calls you to do this or that?

Have you examined yourself, to see what decision you might make — to stay, to go, to fight, to flight, to pray?

There are a lot of liars out there… a lot of negative reactions that will only hurt members. The best you can do is to always tell only the truth. Not the truth as you see it, want to see it, or want it to be. Rather, the truth as presented.

I am doing my best to remain associated with my local UMC congregation. Because of the pastor and the congregation. I am a Wesleyan. And I want the best for the People Called Methodists, so I am trying to pray for the better end.

The separation will come. It has in many instances. It is fueled by those who have no basis in ancient Christianity, no real sense of God, and those who would sacrifice Jesus simply for blog hits.

Friends, support your pastors where you can. Support one another. While we may not be in the same denomination after 2019, perhaps we can still consider each other in the same Church.

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).


2 Responses to “dear current #UMC pastors”
  1. Randy Myers says

    One great comfort I take is that United Methodism is not THE Church. I spent an hour today with a young Greek Orthodox priest in a nearby city. We found we had a whole lot in common theologically. Their whole emphasis, everything they do right down to the tones for the hymns, chants and prayers is aimed toward sanctification. It was interesting when I said theosis, he would say back sanctification.
    It’s my prayer that something will emerge from this trial we’re going that will reclaim the ancient doctrine of the Church for the sake of the world. Better, that we may be reclaimed for it.
    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  2. An Episcopalians take on the UM’s Way Forward Commission from the perspective of been there, done that, here’s where it got us.


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