It’s been a trying day for progressive United Methodists. Once again, we watch General Conference and wait and pray for God’s grace to be reflected more fully in our Book of Discipline. Votes continue to show the fear of the progressive “agenda” on many issues. Talk of splitting the denomination once again flutters by, but we all love our church very much, and I doubt those thoughts will coalesce into action.
The sharpness of the division showed itself today, two days before debate begins on the legislation that addresses full inclusion for our LGBT brothers and sisters. An amendment to the preamble for our Social Principles was voted on. It was two sentences, reading something like, “We recognize that God’s grace is for all people. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” Simple. Scriptural.
It passed. 51% for, 49% against. While I am happy it passed, I am flabbergasted that 49% of our delegates would vote against such a theologically sound, Biblically-based statement! There is so much fear about an “agenda” that voting, much like in DC, is along party lines without thought or discernment or reason.
The wounds of Christ must be torn open and bleeding tonight. His Body is torn apart by the fear and ugliness in the United Methodist Church. And my heart breaks for this church I love and the LGBT members of it who are hurt over and over again by it. I pray for the Holy Spirit to move in a powerful way for the next three days, and bring healing and hope and reconciliation.