Unity. That is the catchphrase that is the most meaningless one I’ve heard in a long time. Seriously, there is no definition of unity given beyond securing apportionment dollars for the church hierarchy.
Since the General Conference, several conferences and jurisdictions have passed resolutions of “non-conformity.” One jurisdiction has blatantly violated the Book of Discipline by electing an avowed homosexual as bishop. Well, 88 delegates.
In one breath, progressives celebrate these decisions as “unity” while demanding that their separate actions not actually matter to the global church.
Let me be clear before you proceed. I am not a fan of Rev. Franklin Graham, but readily acknowledge that his organization does a lot of good. His belief system is not Wesleyan and I would argue that if it was taught from a UMC pulpit, it would violate our doctrinal standards.
In comes a recent decision by several United Methodist congregations to attend and promote a Franklin Graham event. All over Facebook, and the muck and mire that is (left-) UM social media, progressives are whining that our social principles are being violated, that we need to bring charges, and that the Book of Discipline should be adhered to. In fact, some have gone so far as to suggest that Graham is outside our doctrinal standards which should prevent UMC congregations from supporting him.
Friends, this is the height of spiritual blindness. They can suggest that the Book of Discipline is little more than a good suggestion when it comes to doing what they want and then turn around and bemoan the fact that UMCers aren’t following it because they attend and promote a Graham rally.
If only someone cared about the BoD all the time maybe they would have an argument, but they don’t. Suddenly, unity now means adherence to the standards and doctrines of The United Methodist Church (of which Graham teeters on the outside right). Of course, electing someone who mocks St. Paul, denies Christian Tradition, and stands apart from the qualifications mandated by the BoD… well… screw the BoD then…
This is the current state of the UMC. You have bullies on the extreme Left who demand the vast majority of the Global Church bow to them in everything. Since the covenant is broken, there is no longer a demand that UMC congregations remain Wesleyan in doctrine and practice.
By the way, does anyone find it hilarious that we are seeking a new hymnal that remains true to Wesleyan theology all the while official organs are telling us that there is no official Wesleyan theology?
The absence of legal or moral reigns upon congregations is now here. I say make the most of it. Support Beth Moore, Driscoll, or Graham. Or the UCC, the UU, or paganism. If Unity is nothing more than combining money to do good works through UMCOR and to ensure the church hierarchy has a paycheck, then that is what we have now.
If we had a BoD that worked, then I would suspect there would be grounds for prohibiting congregations from participating in this sort of endeavor. Of course, some of us have been arguing this for a while – that what is good for the bully is good for the bullied. Now, we are starting to see that come about.