The church doesn’t know how to talk about issues! The United Methodist Church can’t even agree to disagree! Will the denomination be divided over the gay thing?Egad! Sensation!
The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is supposed to be the the way we work together as a denomination to understand how Scripture guides the church today. It’s also a Liturgical Calendar that should be hanging on your wall right now–click here to order one before they run out! <end shameless commercial> We look at the Tradition of the Church on an issue, and then use Reason and Experience to discern how the Spirit is at work now. My critique is that quadrennial General Conference, which defines our denomination and draws the lines for what we can and can’t do, should be the place most shaped by this mode of discernment.
Should be, but isn’t.
Randomly elected delegates meeting for a few days every four years just can’t process the slow work that is being done by careful and thoughtful groups in the mean time. Decisions have to be made quickly. Votes are taken without a majority of people really understanding the nuance and theology of what’s at stake. And so people try to elect delegates that share their conservative or liberal views, hoping that politics will somehow shift the odds ever in their favor.
In Marvel’s Fantastic Four series, The Human Torch retrieves the only weapon that the planet-eating Galactus fears…a handheld device called the Ultimate Nullifier, which can destroy a solar system in a millisecond. Ultimately, I think the only thing that gives us a handle on the brokenness of church systems is a larger perspective…
…Denominationalism was never God’s solution for the church. Splitting isn’t the answer, but neither is clinging to Methodist polity at all costs. I think our Wesleyan theology is far more valuable than our antiquated and so-called ‘connection.’
I’m 100% open to your charitable feedback done in a catholic spirit. This is not the end of the series, so hang in to see just where we go!