Unity Not Uniformity

March 2, 2019

 

"My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those

who will believe in me through their message, that all of
them may be one." 
- John 17:20-21

United Methodists are designed to be a democratic representative body.  Our governance is bottom up, not top down.  This was especially evident at The Special Session of General Conference (Feb 23-26) when the One Church Plan, which our Bishops endorsed was rejected.  By voting for the Traditional Plan, the delegates of General Conference reminded us all that we are not a religious dictatorship - where one person/one voice determines everything.  Rather, we are a body that is designed to reflect the will of the majority.  We are designed for discussion and debate over the most contentious issues of our day.

Another way to put this - our unity (as Christians, as United Methodists)
is not based on uniformity.

There is SPACE for those who AGREE with the current position of our denomination on homosexuality, same-sex marriage,
and the ordination of self-avowed and practicing homosexuals.  

At the same time, there is SPACE for those who DISAGREE with the current position of our denomination on homosexuality, same-sex marriage,
and the ordination of self-avowed and practicing homosexuals.

Just as it is ok for U.S. citizens to disagree (and voice disagreement) with the conclusions of any vote, IT IS OK for United Methodists to disagree (and voice disagreement) with the conclusions of the 2019 General Conference.

It is ok for us, as United Methodists, to say, "I am a United Methodist and I ASSENT with our denomination's position.  I stand with the majority position of our body."

It is ok for us, as United Methodists, to say, "I am a United Methodist and I DISSENT with our denomination's position.  I stand with the minority position of our body."

The Special Session of General Conference has gathered and voted.  The Traditionalist position is the official position of our denomination for now. 
The key is - "for now."  
There is room for differences of opinion in the body of Christ.

So, let's stay together.  Let's serve together.  Let's bear
witness to Jesus Christ together.
Unity is not uniformity.  It was never meant to be. 
If it was, no marriage would ever last.  The divorce rate would be 100%.

Even if you're clear that you cannot remain part of this congregation/denomination, I remind you - we are all part of one body in Christ.  Church/ denominational memberships may change, but we are part of one body and one team.  Church/ denominational "membership" does not diminish Christ's call for us to be ONE.

Pastor Caleb  

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