More pissed off Methodists

Timothy Kincaid

June 30th, 2011

When I wrote about the United Methodists who are up in arms in Minnesota over marriage equality, some readers thought I was mocking them. This is the farthest from the truth: I respect and admire them.

But truly, Methodists tend to be a steady bunch. Very nice people, but just not all that excitable.

But every once in a while an issue comes along that fires them up and gets them agitating for change. And when they do, change happens. Which is why I am delighted that the United Methodist marriage movement is spreading. (Although, yes, I’m amused as well.)

Inspired by the Minneapolis letter, Methodists in New England are signing on to their own letter of defiance, declaring that they too will “offer the grace of the church’s blessing to any prepared couple desiring Christian marriage.” And they got a lot more support than expected. (Portland Press Herald)

“We used the exact same statement they used in Minnesota, and we invited like-minded colleagues to sign with us” during the conference, he said.

He hoped for 12 people to stand with them. Fifty signed the statement on the first day.

That number grew to 90 by the end of the conference, and it now stands at 123, about one in nine clergy members in the New England Conference.

Now it may not seem that one in nine is significant enough to represent drastic change. But this is one in nine willing to sign a letter of defiance, expressing intent to violate the rules of the church, declaring that this issue is one of such importance that unity and formality fall secondary. In other words, this is ten percent of the church that is pissed off, fired up, and ready to love their opposition into submission.

And never ever underestimate the power of a pissed off Methodist.

Ben in Atlanta

June 30th, 2011

My favorite Methodist isn’t pissed, he’s awesome. His name is Ralph Marston. He writes The Daily Motivator:

http://www.greatday.com

TampaZeke

July 1st, 2011

I’ve always been curious as to what the Methodist insignia is; and curious that more people don’t seem to be curious about a symbol that seems to be a burning cross. Maybe it’s just because I’m a Mississippian, but burning crosses don’t have positive connotations for me.

Paul

July 1st, 2011

TampaZeke, we call it the Cross and Flame. The flame represents the Holy Spirit as depicted in the Pentecost story that opens the book of Acts.

All these renegade and pissed of Methodist pastors makes me hopeful that during the General Conference held next April and May (in Tampa) we’ll finally get rid of the phrase “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” which allows all kinds of denominational discrimination.

Dale

July 1st, 2011

Do Methodists follow a book that glorifies genocide,lays down rules for slavery, and encourages sexism and homophobia?

Paul

July 1st, 2011

Actually, Methodists follow a book that stresses loving everyone, service to the poor (as in helping them out of poverty), empowerment through education, and building community. Alas, it is made up of humans influenced by history and popular culture so we don’t always get it right.

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