By Chuck Griffin
I’m sure some of you have seen where a small group of United Methodist bishops recently labeled a Wesleyan Covenant Association outreach effort as having “marks of colonialism.” The WCA wants to help overseas General Conference delegates get their Covid-19 vaccines so they will be able to travel to the United States for the repeatedly delayed UM General Conference, scheduled for Aug. 29 through Sept. 6 of this year.
The folks at the Global WCA don’t need me to defend them. They did a fine job of that on their own.
As someone who has worked with language for years, including as a journalist and as a public relations executive, I do want to voice my disgust with the efforts of liberals to push their agenda by starting conversations with what amount to slurs. Here’s my main takeaway when I see such a tactic: The people using such language have no interest in finding a middle ground—they simply are waving an emotional flag to keep their audience’s eyes off their real intent.
My best guess is these institutionally bound bishops want to keep General Conference from ever happening. They know that if the current stalemate continues long enough, the liberal wing of the church can continue to drain the conservative wing financially until dry, keeping these bishops employed in the process.
Once again, we have an excellent argument for why we need to launch the Global Methodist Church as a scriptural, traditional Methodist denomination, preserving what Methodism has always been about.
Folks, contrary to the way we’ve been depicted, theological conservatives have tolerated the histrionics of theological liberals for decades. I suspect that tolerance is what opened the door to this mess we now find ourselves in.
What can we do? It’s simple. First, get better at rolling our eyes and saying some version of, “Really, that’s where you’re going?” Then ignore the liberals and do the kingdom work that needs to be done.