More discussion needed
These issues are so complex that the 45 minutes of discussion couldn't hope to do justice to these topics. I believe that we have to continue dialogue on these decisions, if nothing else, to formulate a plan to create change in the church and our world as a whole. The biggest issue that I had with our discussion was its very linear and philosophical nature. While we ranted about changing the rules that are on the “books”, did anyone mention how we start changing hearts and minds? I know it’s just not that simple. Even if the judicial council decision were overturned tomorrow, the much more difficult work of reconciliation and healing will still have to be done. There are deep divisions within our church and within all of our congregations that need to be addressed. There are also deep divisions within my own theology and understanding of God’s plan that need to be addressed. You see, while I completely agree with Dean Samuel’s assessment of our church’s “modern relevance” to teenagers and young adults, her take on the Beth Stroud case and mine do not agree. The inclusiveness that we desire has to embrace the people that have polar opposite opinions to our own. Jesus calls us to love the privileged, the marginalized, the oppressed, the oppressor, the homosexual, and the homophobic all at the same time. We don’t get a say in how God hands out grace. All we can do is live out the grace filled life that aspires to the very Wesleyan concept of Christian Perfection. All of us need repentance. So where do we go from here? There is so much more to talk about here than I can fit in this tiny blog, but let’s continue the conversation as a community and see where it takes us. I know the view will be worth the climb. Shalom.