General Conference 2016: Political Correctness vs. Godly Action
I returned from General Conference and Portland Saturday night. Since then I have been bombarded with questions from Christ Church members about my experience. My friends among them noted my generally negative attitude in my postings while gone those 12 days. In case you have not followed the UM News Service or others who blogged (Rev. Andy Adams, Rev. Chris Ritter, Rev. Roger Ross, Rev. Sara Isbel) about the events of General Conference, may I offer some explanation of why I found the experience so frustrating?
First, my type A personality wanted to be in on the action, not sitting alongside watching it. Of course, I used the time productively meeting others and discussing the legislation with them as well as tracking the actions on various legislative pieces. But I longed for the opportunity to sit at the table and, on occasion, express my opinion.
Second, after a week of legislative committee work on all things before the conference (most notably the question of human sexuality) the big issues did not get resolved on the floor of the General Conference. The issue of human sexuality, particularly whether or not United Methodists would ordain GBLTI or marry same sex couples was not resolved. The Council of Bishops will establish a commission to study the issue that has been before us for over 44 years and yet is unresolved.
Finally, the discussions at Annual Conference on the various legislative matters had little to do with the Great Commission (Matthew 28) despite that being our GC theme: “Therefore Go!” I expected us to deal with a multitude of issues that had little to do with our mission but I did not expect to have essentially NO legislation that directly contributes to that mission.
I apologize for the rant; I promise to write later in the week about all the positives I experienced, particularly the wonderful people I met and had the pleasure of meeting.