In his final post on the UMC, Craig Groeschel says this…
“I think the United Methodist Church either needs to become united again or intentionally part ways.”
It’s certainly a controversial idea to encourage a split when sides cannot reconcile. When General Conference comes up every four years, it is the areas of contention that get all the publicity. Hot button issues such as homosexuality get pushed to the forefront when there are some many other important issues in the life of the UMC that need to be discussed. (Read more after the jump)
Part of the problem of Craig’s blog post is that he did not define what he meant by “liberal” and “evangelical.” I have my own ideas what he meant by that, but it’s possible that if you read his blog (or this blog) that you have your own definition of liberal or evangelical. While things may seem to be black and white- many times we see gray rather than clear cut distinctions. (Yes, that is a shout out to Adam Hamilton) While I grew up in a pretty conservative church- and I still consider myself theologically conservative and evangelical- the church I grew up in might think I’m a little liberal in some areas. We have to be careful tossing around labels.
So what about his blog post?
- It seems to me that as I talk with some of my UMC friends that there is a feeling that a split/fissure may happen somewhere in the near future. I am not sure that any side of a possible split should take preemptive measures. We should mourn our lack of unity in the church, and fight to find ways to preserve it as much as possible.
- That said, there are some issues that would cause me to question my place in the UMC. I believe that I am call to the UMC- but above all things I am called to Christ. I think that each of us has to take stock of what we believe to see if we can minister with integrity within the boundaries of our denomination (that goes for any denomination).
I grew up in the UMC and have seen the Church’s impact. It is my prayer that we will listen to God and find ways to reconcile and come together rather than turning away from one another.
What do you think of Groeschel’s idea that the church should split if it can’t agree? What does it mean to minister with theological integrity within the UMC? Should churches/pastors/congregations compromise theologically for the sake of “unity?”
Agree on what? Is the contemplated split over homosexuality? That won't solve anything.
I attended my first Annual Conference last year. I was actually impressed with the connection that I saw. To know what my home church had been doing for mission and to see it all come together was pretty amazing. To hear the Bishop from Liberia speak on the impact that our conference was making was eye opening. To hear the dean of the Africa University talk about growth they've had thanks to our conference and to have someone stand up and say “Let's do an offering for this University” was inspiring. There was also a lot of dull stuff too….BUT I did have a good first impression of how we are connected and how the UMC works