Centering the United Methodist Church on Christ

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Our church and our culture are divided. Same-sex marriage, gender identity, pornography, abortion, cohabitation, divorce. These and other “culture war” issues pose a challenge to Christians about how to understand and articulate biblical Christian values in a...

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What is Religious Freedom?

Freedom of religion is often called the “first freedom” because it is the first provision mentioned in the United States Bill of Rights. Many scholars believe all the other freedoms depend upon the foundation of religious freedom to establish and perpetuate the values...

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Does Regionalization Replace Separation?

There are two proposals that would change United Methodism by creating different regional versions in the various geographical areas of the church: Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and the U.S. One proposal is from the Connectional Table and the other is from a group...

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A Fresh Start

Sometimes in life, there is no substitute for a fresh start. That is what the newly announced Global Methodist Church (GMC) offers. Texas experienced near-record freezing temperatures a couple weeks ago. As a native of Wisconsin, I’m used to the cold, but the plants...

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General Conference Postponed Again

On Thursday, the Commission on the General Conference announced that the 2020 General Conference, postponed once until August 29, 2021, has now been postponed again until August 29, 2022. At the same time, the Council of Bishops announced it is calling a special...

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Approaching Separation: A Rejoinder to Adam Hamilton

I recently expounded the primary reasons I see for separation taking place in The United Methodist Church. That article drew the response of the Rev. Adam Hamilton, who felt that my characterization of centrist and progressive understandings was not an accurate...

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The Case for a Virtual General Conference, Part 2

In last week’s Perspective, I outlined why an in-person General Conference in 2021 is unlikely to occur as scheduled. The virulence of the Coronavirus pandemic and the slow rollout of vaccines to the global population make a return of international travel unlikely...

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The Case for a Virtual General Conference, Part 1

There is much anxiety about whether and how a General Conference will meet in 2021. General Conference was originally scheduled for May 2020, but was postponed to August 29 through September 7, 2021, due to pandemic travel and meeting restrictions. Now the Commission...

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Primary Reasons for Separation

As we approach a possible separation in The United Methodist Church this year, one of the important questions to answer is, “Why should we separate?” There are many reasons for the conflict in our church that have led us to this point. Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton...

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Finishing Well

It may seem out of place to talk about finishing well when the year has just begun. The senior pastor at the church I attend just announced his planned retirement. He is the founding pastor of this church and has served well for over 43 years (all at this one...

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