After 40+ years in the United Methodist ministry, two things have become clear.
If we’re ever going to resolve our significant differences, we’re going to have to have the honesty to admit that none of us knows what we’re talking about. Each of us sees things only through a very narrow lens. Our genes, ancestry, experiences and age all color how we perceive life. None of us is an objective purveyor of the truth.
Honesty involves asking hard questions and not settling for soft answers. You are unique, and what you discover should feel right and make sense to you. Those answers come from expanding where you look.
Humility directs this search. The guidance we seek may very well come from people who don’t think or believe like us. They expand our vision. Together, we will gain a broader perspective on life, as well as gain companions on our journey through it.
The turmoil in churches over human sexuality is the litmus test for these two virtues. In the current battle lines being drawn in United Methodism over LGBTQ inclusion, there are those who advocate breaking apart the denomination. This seems to convey a judgment of those who disagree with them as people to be avoided instead of people with whom to be in community.
My blogs on this site will have these two too-often-forgotten Christian qualities as their themes, either directly or indirectly. “Have We Forgotten Who We Are?“ is a good example. They also serve as the foundation for my Addressing Atheism: Is Authentic Faith Possible?
Our only hope for uniting ourselves as a church, not to mention nation, is being serious about living a life grounded in honesty and humility.
It starts with each of us daring to walk this path.