1. Rondel Boyd
    March 26, 2019 @ 1:17 pm

    It is odd that our Bishops appointed The Way Forward Committee, called the special conference, watched the process unfold, and now unwilling to accept the out come. They also ask that the whole church pray for God’s will to be found. Seems they have no understanding as to how God answers prayer. Now many of the church leaders, “Bishop’s” Are leading protest all over the land. What a great witness, and they are people who have made vowels to uphold the BO. Like a child who doesn’t get their way. Thank The Good Lord, we have a goodly number of Bishops who are past that stage in life. If this few are to act like children, then one would think we should treat them like children. No we just need to keep praying for them that they would help us to do our best to help the church change the world, rather than the other way around.


    • Rebekah Simon-Peter
      March 28, 2019 @ 3:38 pm

      Even though I suspect you and I may see the process differently, Rondel, I appreciate your weighing in.


  2. Stephen Pudinski
    March 26, 2019 @ 2:30 pm

    I stand for loving my God with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength and loving my neighbor as myself. My God will judge me if I am wrong.


    • Rebekah Simon-Peter
      March 28, 2019 @ 3:36 pm

      It’s really good practice to state what we are FOR, Stephen! This will definitely get you ready for casting a vision and aligning others to it.


  3. Effie McAvoy
    March 27, 2019 @ 2:01 pm

    Just one question:When the Central Jurisdiction was formed in the 1930’s to separate white folk and black folk was there a “wrong” or a “right”? I ask because harm was done then and it is being done now. It seems in the UMC someone always must be excluded from the whole of the body…why is that?


    • Rebekah Simon-Peter
      March 28, 2019 @ 3:24 pm

      Effie, I have given a lot of thought to “why someone always must be excluded from the whole of the body.” I write about it extensively in “The Jew Named Jesus.” Bottom line is this: I think Christianity is founded in a false dichotomy of a “good Christian Jesus” who stood against “bad faithless Jews.” Thus in order to stand “with Jesus” Christians believe they have to stand “against” someone else. That’s a deadly proposition.

      From The Jew Named Jesus, page 95:
      “Left unchecked, these negative us versus them dynamics will continue to play out: Jesus stood against Pharisees, or Sadducees, or high priests, or scribes, or religious leaders, or the Temple, or moneychangers or righteous people, or people who lived by the Sabbath or purity laws. Therefore in order to stand with Jesus, I, too, must stand against someone else. That by necessity creates enemies. We have rehearsed that all the way to the Holocaust. In our rush to stand with Jesus we have set ourselves against such a wide variety of people that we Christians have isolated ourselves. Who’s left to either stand with us or against us? No doubt our increasingly open society with a growing ethnic plurality will continue to identify new people who are not yet ‘in.’ In the meantime, the religion of love has become rigid and exclusionary. Could this be why church rolls are shrinking while ‘alumni of the church’ are growing in numbers?”

      This tendency to make others wrong or to identify enemies in the name of Jesus is why I am such a proponent of emotional intelligence, of not demonizing the other, etc. Too much standing against others takes us to a place that kills the body and the soul.
      Now does that mean I think the Traditional Plan best expressed how I understand Christ’s love? No, I don’t. At the same time standing against those who voted for it only makes more enemies. Doing it in the name of Jesus doesn’t get me where I want and need to go. It creates less love, not more. Been there, done that.
      Rather than either/or, I advocate a third way. I believe that Jesus–rather than being a good Christian God/guy who stood against bad faithless Jews–is better understood as a passionate Jew who stood WITH and FOR his people–in the best of the Jewish prophetic spirit.Seeing Jesus in this way empowers his followers to stand WITH and FOR ALL people. This is what I advocate.
      As I said in the article: articulate what you are FOR, not what you are AGAINST.
      Hope this helps explain my thinking.


  4. Nancy Peters
    March 27, 2019 @ 7:59 pm

    I love your “finding oranges wanting because they are lousy apples.” Yes, I find the GC decision for the Traditional Plan distressing, even incomprehensible. However, I know a few things for sure: 1) I often don’t understand how God uses human actions for His own intents, but He does. 2) I’m not God so I don’t have to make or understand His actions. 3) Not being God, I not only don’t have to be the judge, I’m instructed not to be. 4) Will this divide the church, or will God use it to multiply the church? I vote for multiplication, not division.


    • Rebekah Simon-Peter
      March 28, 2019 @ 3:35 pm

      Thanks for weighing in, Nancy. I appreciate your thought process. I think there may be some of both–division and then multiplication.


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