Episode #245: Will Willimon: Separation Sadness

Jason Micheli —  January 24, 2020 — 1 Comment

“Separation is tragic because we thereby shut out some of our most challenging interlocutors.  When the IRD (in those rare moments when they talk theologically) tells me that I am soft on scripture, they are right.  Who among my progressive buddies is going to challenge my biblical interpretation?  (And who is the IRD going to have fun kicking around once I’m gone and they are hunkered down with their boringly homogeneous buddies in Good News and the WCA?)  

Go ahead. Get your church all cleaned up. Have everyone swear to your cherished ideology. What are you going to do about Jesus? Our Lord refuses to keep reaching out and bringing in the ‘wrong’ people making my church more complicated than I would like it to be. Just wait until the progressive UMC pastor discovers that she’s got folks in her congregation who are just as sexist, racist, and homophobic as the people who walked out? Cure them of their homophobia; next Sunday Jesus will demand that you work on their greed.

If I know anything about Jesus, he’ll show up at the inaugural Sunday of the doctrinally-sound, Bible-believing. WCA-approved congregation with the nicest same-sex couple and their two children. Then what?”

Friend of the podcast and mentor in mayhem, Bishop Will Willimon joins Jason and Teer to talk about the most recent divorce proposal in the UMC, the Protocol for Reconciliation through Grace— a proposal that manages both to sound like a creepy measure in a dystopian science fiction novel (“protocol”) and like a sad euphemism for a break-up.

To read more about the protocol: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/diverse-leaders-group-offers-separation-plan

Willimon’s piece, “Separation Sadness,” will be available soon at Ministry Matters.


Jason Micheli


One response to Episode #245: Will Willimon: Separation Sadness

  1. This was a very interesting interview. The interview with the Bishop made it a little more clearer to me at least as to why the church is splitting at this time. Very insightful. As a person of color it made me aware that people should believe in the power of conversion. It made me ask the question what would the church look like if we all thought the same? I’ve been black a long time and I have seen conversion. I wondered if that Bishop saw any conversion in that racist church? I’m not sure if any of this though convinced me that there isn’t a need for a split. Some people have to be given over to there unwillingness to change their minds about others. Sometimes in our Christian history it seems like anyways that God does a do over. Maybe this is just one of those times. Ang maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. lol. Blessings

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