There is something to be said about dialogue. But dialogue is a two-way street, right?
If “religion” is supposed to be a reality that concerns everyone, and if God makes the same demands on every person, must it not be the case, then, that every person has direct access to God? Must there not be, then, a full, “equal opportunity”, and must not the same certainty be available to everyone? But it will, perhaps, be clear from our approach to the question that it is unanswerable. God’s dialogue with us occurs only through our dialogue with one another. The variety of religious gifts that divides men into “prophets” and hearers compels them to speak to and for one another. The goal of the early Augustine, “God and the soul—nothing else”, is not realizable; it is also not Christian. In the last analysis, religion consists, not in the solitary way of the mystic, but in the community of proclaiming and hearing. Our conversation with God and our conversation with one another require and condition one another. Because it can never be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, the mystery of God is, perhaps, from the beginning, the most compelling challenge to men to engage in the dialogue which, however obstructed and disturbed it may be, allows the “Logos” to resound, the true word from which all words come and which all words are constantly trying to express. But there is still no genuine dialogue when people speak only about something. Their conversation attains its proper character when they no longer seek to express something but rather themselves, when dialogue becomes communication. But when that occurs, when people bring themselves into the conversation, then the conversation is, in one way or another, a conversation about God, who has been, from the dawn of history, the real subject of controversy among men.
See: Introduction to Christianity, pp. 60–61
I’m not going to get involved with UMC politics anymore — namely because I withdrew my membership last Monday — however, I will continue to gently remind people that sometimes, things are just for show — a little bit of social engineering rather than the Gospel goes a long way, I guess.