“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.