Journeys To Affirmation 01: Laboring in the Vineyard – Christian Article

Series Introduction: Last year a large number of former students and professors of Asbury Theological Seminary signed a letter urging Asbury leadership to repent of their treatment of LGBTQ+ students and the ways in which Asbury has supported the discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ+ people in the United Methodist Church. Alongside that effort, a group of former students/professors are now sharing their stories of how they have individually journeyed to the affirmation of LGBTQ+ people. Each week during the next couple…

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The Wesleyan Covenant Association: How did we get here? – Christian Article

The seeds for the Wesleyan Covenant Association have been growing for a long time. It’s important to trace the efforts which have led to its creation of a new Wesleyan denomination. Rev. Charles Keysor 1966: One Against the Many The WCA consistently uses narratives of institutional oppression, “one against the many” and rallying language of minority status. This is a throwback to its origins in the 1960s. Rev. Charles Keysor was the originator of the Good News Magazine and eventual…

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Wesleyan Accountability is broken come January 1. Here’s how to fix it. – Christian Article

The Traditional Plan breaks 200 years of Wesleyan Accountability—unsure what is “traditional” about it! But there’s active hope to restore Wesleyan Accountability to The United Methodist Church. Wesley’s accountability Accountability was part and parcel to early Methodism. Originally, accountability for John Wesley was a small group that you confessed your sins to and that held you accountable to fixing them, face to face. The penalties for a lack of accountability were dealt with by John Wesley himself. Dr. Kevin Watson,…

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Will the General Church advocate for Big Boat Methodism or Scuttle the Fleet? – Christian Article

One of the defining features of United Methodism is threatened in the current crop of division, schism, and dissolution plans. Will the General Church fight back? Mahayana Methodism A friend of mine refuses to call United Methodism a “Big Tent,” a common moniker often derided by Traditionalists as meaning The UMC stretches so wide it actually stands for nothing. Rather, my friend calls Methodism “Mahayana” or “Big Boat” Protestantism. We are a diverse church in a big boat together, sailing…

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United Methodism in a Fuddling Dilemma – Christian Article

A Fuddling Cup When I visit museums, if you pardon the pun, my eyes glaze over when we reach the ceramics exhibits. I’m not as enchanted by bowls or plates as much as sculptures and wall art. I tend to saunter through such exhibits with barely a glance. But walking through a European art exhibit at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, I was immediately drawn to this 1639 earthenware from London called a “Fuddling Cup.” I thought it…

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The winding road ahead for United Methodism – Christian Article

Creative Commons 0 License Petitions In. Now What? Another milestone has passed for The United Methodist Church. Petitions to change the Book of Discipline, our book of doctrine and polity, were due September 18th. Done and done! That means that the most legitimate, well-crafted ideas will be in the pre-published ADCA come February for consideration by the May 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. These petitions will be translated and interpreted in the four UMC languages, and so these petitions will…

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Enduring the Long Winter of #UMC Discontent

Between Epiphany and General Conference, there isn’t much else to do but fight. Don’t let it happen. Winter is coming already here After the liturgical day of Epiphany, we enter Ordinary Time: eight Sundays until Lent begins. In the assigned Scriptures from the Lectionary, this is a time of reading stories about Jesus. But in the world of United Methodism, this is just a time for fighting. We’ve been somewhat good up until now. There was Advent and Christmas to…

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The Biblical Definition of Marriage? [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by a previous contributor Rev. Brady Whitton  (see articles here and here). Take a read for a helpful contribution to the General Conference 2019 debate.  === The Biblical Definition of Marriage? By Rev. Brady S. Whitton As the Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church draws near (St. Louis, February 23-26), I’ve talked with many United Methodists who are on the fence about the practice of same-gender marriage. What I…

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As Go The Mormons, So Go The Methodists?

The 2018 breakup of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“Mormons” or “LDS Church”) with the Boy Scouts of America (“Scouts USA”) ends a 100-year relationship and serves as an example of two faith-based American institutions reaching the breaking point of irreconcilable differences. Is this breakup a portent for the United Methodist Church in 2019? The Straw and the Camel’s Back Noah Feldman, writing about the LDS Church/Scouts USA breakup for Bloomberg on May 13th 2018, notes…

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United Methodism shouldn’t be a Big Tent? History says otherwise.

People like to say that United Methodism shouldn’t become a big tent church with a variety of beliefs under its roof. But we already are that big tent, and we wouldn’t be who we are without our diversity of traditions. Here they are and why they matter to our talk of “unity in diversity” now heading into the 2019 General Conference. Click to enlarge Navigating the Four Streams under One Methodist Bridge The graphic above shows the four distinct historical traditions…

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Is United Methodism a Complementarian church?

One of the United Methodist News‘ series is “Many Voices, One Faith” a series “designed to put the voices of the church in conversation with one another and build an understanding of what it means to be United Methodist today.” You can read the commentaries here. As of this writing, its latest entry is by the Rev. Paul Stallsworth, the executive director of LifeWatch, a pro-life advocacy organization focused on The United Methodist Church. Stallsworth’s article makes a startling claim to this…

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