Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part VII): Can We Receive Some Better Questions, Please?

This is the final article in this series on the Uniting Methodists document and the “local option” solution. The proposed solution to our conversations about same-sex marriage and ordination is to allow local churches to decide whether they will or will not perform same-sex marriages and allow the annual conferences to decide whether or not […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part VI): Is There a Divine Design to Marriage?

One of the areas where I find myself in agreement with the progressives is their exasperation that we, as a church, might be known as “those people who are opposed to homosexuality.” This is a valid point. We must be known for what we are for not what we are against. The progressive solution is […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part V): Are We Now Facing a New Gnosticism in the Church?

The purpose of this entry is to examine the sixth and final article of the Uniting Methodists “local option” document which focuses on Ordination. This article represents a dramatic, but largely unnoticed, shift in the 45-year debate going on in the United Methodist Church. The focus of the debate over the last twelve General Conferences […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part IV): Is Homosexual Practice Condemned in the New Testament?

We are finally prepared to examine the details of the most prominent “local option” proposal known as the Uniting Methodists Document.  The first three articles in this series focused on various foundational issues about the true nature of church unity and the primacy of Scripture in adjudicating conflicts, both explicitly stated in our Discipline, but […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part III): Experience, Scripture, and the Quadrilateral

This is the third installment in a series of reflections on the current crisis within the United Methodist church over human sexuality. According to the November 9th press release from the Council of Bishops, the “local option” is one of the three options currently under consideration to help resolve this debate. The local option would […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part II): The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture

This is the second installment in a series of reflections on the “local option” to resolve the current crisis in the United Methodist Church. The “local option” would remove all language related to human sexuality from the Discipline and allow local churches to make decisions regarding membership and pastoral leadership and permit annual conferences to […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part I)

One of the phrases which will become more and more prominent in the next few years within United Methodist churches will be the phrase “local option.” This is a proposed solution to the current crisis in the United Methodist church over same sex marriage. While there are several local option proposals, they all share the […]

The Reformation 500 Years Later: Three Lessons for Today

Today, October 31st, is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. There are countless celebrations taking place around the world. I thought I would dedicate space on my blog today to reflect on a few key lessons from the Reformation which might help us in our own struggles today. First, complaining about abuses in the […]

On the Need to Be Prophetically Irenic

The call to be irenic is an important and valuable one in today’s climate of divisive and destructive engages between people in an increasingly divided society. Saint Peter, for example, calls us to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, […]

New Room Conference: Four Defining Themes

New Room Conference refers to a “new space” where brothers and sisters from across the various expressions of our movement (Wesleyans, Free Methodists, United Methodists, Nazarene, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Salvation Army, Pentecostal, etc.) gather for ministry, equipping, and fellowship. Our fourth gathering was held in Franklin, Tennessee and brought together over 1,500 pastors and […]