Crowdfunding disobedience (part the first)

edwin-louis-cole-author-obedience-is-an-act-of-faith-disobedience-isTRIGGER WARNING: THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE TERRIBLY FEEL GOOD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I am a big fan of civil disobedience as a form of bringing light to unjust laws and as a form of protest in modern society. In fact, I think that a certain amount of peaceful disobedience is necessary for any sort of democracy (representative republic included) to function properly. Let me be as clear as I possibly can here, the church is not a democracy. I understand that there is voting on issues at the GC level and there is a bureaucracy involved, but it is not a democracy.

It is a monarchy with Christ as it’s head. Each time that we treat the church as a democracy of some sort, we cheapen both the church and Christ. We should properly understand that at our GC, the voting that takes place is not intended to be a strictly human interpretation, but rather the process that has been set aside for the Holy Spirit to move and work. If we treat it as strictly human, then we deny the ability of the Spirit to move.

[tweetthis]It is a monarchy with Christ as it’s head. [/tweetthis]

This is not to say that there is not a human aspect, of course there is. It is however to say that the Spirit is bigger than that and we need to trust it to be. Like wise, when we take actions that disobey the will of Christ as expressed by our GC through the movement of the Holy Spirit, we disobey Christ. This is not to say that we do not retain our personal beliefs, or even that we should not work to bring the changes that we feel called to bring, but it does mean that we do not blatantly and intentionally violate the will of the Holy Spirit as expressed by the GC. So we (finally) come to the point…

This is where the event is trying to raise funds. This is where you can find event information  and this is the FaceBook page of said event. To some of the specifics of this. It is not news that the United Methodist church teaches that sex between two people of the same gender is sin.

From ¶ 304.3 Qualifications for Ordination

The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. 

It is not news that ceremonies that celebrate same sex unions are not to be performed by our pastors or in our churches.

From ¶ 341.6 

Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.

It is not news that money given to the church is not to be used for advocating for same sex issues. From ¶ 613 

The shall have authority and responsibility to …. ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends

and from ¶ 806.9 

shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The United Methodist Church ‘not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends’

These events either, in the case of celebrating the unions in churches by pastors, blatantly violate the beliefs of the church, but also potentially violate the stewardship of the church’s finances (San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church (SLOUMC) will act as the financial agent for the event and all funds collected will be handled by SLOUMC. from the crowd source site.). These things are of course chargeable offenses in the UMC.

Not that I expect this is going to matter, but I am going to try anyway. This is not at all about how I, you, or anyone else feels about same sex marriage or homosexuality in general. In fact, this is not about you or I at all. It is about something so much larger than you,  I, or really and church or group of people. It is about faith. It is about the faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to move in those who represent us so that His will can be done. It is about faith that when we disagree with the decision, we have the faith to continue forward in obedience even though we do not agree. It is about faith in that disagreement that the promise that all things work toward good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God’s purpose is not disobedience, but rather a call to obedience. It is about faith that even if we do not understand His will or understand why those things we perceive as wrong are allowed to exist and continue, that His will has been discerned. When we act out of disobedience to the church, we act not in faith of God but in faith of ourselves. We act not as a humble servant, but as a prideful  master. Not a s a part of the body, but as the entirety of it. Not as a member of the church universal, but as an individual who puts their beliefs above the belief of the church.

[tweetthis]God’s purpose is not disobedience, but rather a call to obedience.[/tweetthis]

We don’t need calves of gold, carved trees to Asherah, altars to Baal or statues of Molech because we have made ourselves the idol. We have forced everything, even the church of Jesus Christ dedicated to the worship of God the Father, even the power of the Holy Spirit, to have meaning and act only in our time and our place. We have decided that we are correct and that nothing can change it. We have made ourselves the ultimate authority of God and rejected the authority of His church. We have said that our own wisdom is greater than the wisdom of the church and that our own understanding of God is somehow more correct than the understandings of the church. We have conformed the church, Christ, and even God Himself to our image instead of being conformed to the image of the same. We have claimed the Spirit speaks to us while all the while denying that it has spoken through the church. We are an arrogant and prideful people destined only for a fall. We have stolen the crown of Christ’s majesty and kingship and dared to put it on our own head. Another tried that once, and it ended poorly.

You can find the Part II here.

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5 Replies to “Crowdfunding disobedience (part the first)”

  1. Oh, and by the way, this same argument absolutely demolishes the notion of the United States being founded as a Christian nation. This becomes especially true when one considers the violence inherent in the American Revolution!

  2. Other issues or concerns aside for a moment, is having San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church channel the money really a violation of the BOD? It looks the authority of GFCA to enforce said policies extends only down the annual conference level. Not sure why this is, but I didn’t see any reference to individual congregations or charges.

    1. I am not certain if it is or not and tried to make clear that it could be but that I was not certain. IF not technically a violation, it does violate the spirit and intent. My understanding is that yes, the GFCA is to enforce it, and this is just another example of a failure of leadership of the UMC.

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