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CLUB 444: “I Refuse to Believe”

August 13, 2022

Brennan Hurley is an articulate young colleague who has graciously given me permission to share his statement with you here —

I’m staying in the United Methodist Church.

Here are some things I continue to firmly believe in:

1. Forgiveness of sins through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. God’s unconditional love for the world.

3. The Bible is the ultimate authority for Christians and should be interpreted through the lenses of tradition, reason, and experience.

4. Whenever two or three are gathered, Jesus is present, but we’re going to eventually butt heads because we’re human beings.

5. Splitting to form a “better” church will inevitably lead to more splitting in the future over something else.

6. We need to have more consistent application of the discipline and more grace to envelop our life together as we apply it.

There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there about the UMC.

Yes, the extreme 5% on either end of the theological spectrum is going to make a lot of noise, but no UM pastor I know is on a left wing crusade to create a church where anything goes and where we never talk about sin. I know a lot of UM pastors, and I literally have never heard that.

Yes, the GMC is going to do its thing, and I’m going to grieve every time a church leaves because I know it hurts the heart of God for the body of Christ to be mutilated in this way.

But please, if you read something about the UMC going off the deep end, check your sources. I refuse to believe that all of the people going to the GMC are right wing bigots. In the same way, I refuse to believe that those who are choosing to stay are going to suddenly abandon the Bible and the creeds.

In the paraphrased words of St. Paul, if we’re out here in the public square talking about our competing theologies and bashing each other without a spirit of love, then we’re no more pleasing to the ear of God than a five year old who has just discovered how to use crash cymbals.

Let’s do better, and let’s do better together.

— As always, I look forward to hearing from you. And so….

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