Food for Thought-Confessions of A Bad United Methodist

 

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1. I say yes to Jesus as the primary means of accessing God’s story. I say no to the Book of Discipline as repository of divinely inspired doctrine.

2. I do not believe Jesus is about doctrine. He’s about telling God’s story. How does God’s story interact with our own? Methodists have become obsessed with doctrine and discipline. Our lives are built on a text we call the “Book of Discipline”.   Even an armchair Freudian would wonder:  are we sadomasochists or followers of Jesus?

3. Our system for appointing and assigning clergy was designed for pre-industrial, segregated, slave holding America. If Andrew Jackson or James K. Polk are suddenly re-elected, we have the right system for selecting clergy.

4. We have allowed the creation of a 1% class among denominational executives whose wealth, privilege, and position isolate them from the 99% of United Methodists working to tell Jesus’ story.

5. I confess that sin exists in human hearts. I also confess that sin exists in the political and economic structures which hold our hearts captive. I confess it’s far too easy for us to talk about the sin of the human heart and much more difficult to talk about the political and economic sin to which we sacrifice our strangely warmed hearts.

6. I say yes to forgiving in ways that our current definition of God says, “no, this is unforgivable”.

7. I believe common sense is a better guide to the future than anything large church pastors with Abingdon publishing contracts repeatedly tell Methodism.

8. I confess, when I hear, “we have an app for that”, my mind shuts down and I think “who doesn’t?” Your fascination with technology bores me.

9. I believe that we are made in God’s image. Socialists, women, people of color, children, migrants, homosexuals, Republicans, men, atheists, Democrats, and even United Methodists are made in God’s image. Whether we wear t-shirts for Christ, listen to K-Love, go to church, or read Karl Marx, we are all made in God’s image.

10. I believe we better be certain when we speak for God. I sure hope we’re right. If we’re wrong, one way or another, there will be hell to pay.

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