Sometimes it sucks to stay
So the Traditionalists not only won the floor votes this week but added teeth. Christians that supported LGBT Christians were not welcomed. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Humbleness was left at home. So you are not welcomed at home anymore what do you do?
Well you leave! It is time for Centrists and Liberals to admit the obvious. The UMC has become yet another generic triumphalist, conservative evangelical movement. And that is Okay! It really is. We now know that there is no middle way. (We knew this 20 years ago but hey…we are hard headed) So we need to leave.
Conservatives want to maintain the control over assets. I say we follow the AME founders and just leave. Leave them with the empty buildings, and pension liabilities. Just leave.
Now the founders of the AME went on to found a denomination of 2 million. Who is to say that we can do the same?
But how do we avoid the issues that plagued us this past weekend?
Make the new denomination a US centered organization.
We hitched our wagons to people who did not match our values. It doesn’t work in any other system so why would we think that the UMC would be different? The greatest potential for converts is right here in the USA so we need to bring our value premise of a God who is open to all and has an open table to the people in the US. There will be panic among the conservatives as they see the coffers for their missions leak but we can’t be concerned with that.
We need from the offset to ensure that we don’t find new ways of discriminating against people. So our founding documents must be carefully crafted. And we need to ensure that hate isn’t codified in the beginning.
Finally, we can’t let the remaining UMC rope us into a co-parenting role. Don’t be surprised if they try to “share” the burdens of pension, healthcare and seminaries over seas. When we break it should be a clean break. We move on.
Look this fight has gone on for 50 years! Enough! Let us hug, celebrate what we had and move on in different directions. Praising God and moving on from glory to glory.