It is Annual Conference Season in United Methodism. Pretty sure #UMC has been lit UP for a few weeks now.
In case you missed the brouhaha last week, someone planning worship in one of our Annual Conference’s worship services substituted “Creator” for “Father” in the use of one of our historic creeds.
I don’t want to debate this decision here. There was more than enough of that last week.
Which is my concern. The cacophony of concern raised immediately and the volume of vehemence across the connection sadly supports the contention of some that we are not a united United Methodist Church.
This will be no surprise, but the American part of the United Methodist Church at least, seems eager and looking for something to display outrage about.
This time it’s a word change in a creed. Last time it was one pastor’s reflections on the doctrine of the Trinity. Or was the last time one Bishop’s statement in support of current Disciplinary language.
It’s so hard to keep all our outrages in order!
Actually, it might be easier for me to keep all these outrages in order if doing so was of value to me. But it’s not.
I don’t have the energy to commit to cataloging outrages – either mine or someone else’s; much less all of them.
Maybe I am missing the point. Maybe the ONE thing that unites The United Methodist Church is our willingness, our eagerness to be outraged about something, anything.
If that’s true, it is really hard for me to see Jesus in that; in us. In addition to our hunger for outrage, we all agree that Jesus meant it when he said
“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” -John 13:34-35
So my compatibilist and non-compatibilist, my tradition and progressive sisters and brothers, can we do this in love?
If your first answer is any form of “I will if they will,” you’re missing the point.