Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What the Presidential Election Should Teach the United Methodist Church: Part II

Eric Folkerth states that the UMC is a center-right church. My rebuttal is simple: Take any current editions of the Interpreter, the Reporter, or any publication of the United Methodist Women and look at our stands. From gun control, to immigration, to healthcare, our stands are not in any way center-right. Our social positions look and have looked more like the Democratic Party for decades. But that is not the point. The point is that a church-renewal strategy based on American politics is the wrong model and would yield strange results. For example, the 2012 election would suggest that we need to spend about 80% of our efforts on Iowa and Ohio. What kind of mission strategy would that be. Besides, Jesus is not running for president. He is already King of Creation; and that is not up for a vote.

1 comment:

Daniel McLain Hixon said...

It seems a bit like comparing apples and oranges comparing the UMC to American political processes because (though there are some structural similarities) the differences are enormous (for one thing, people decide whether to join the church, while everyone in the country has to live with our political system whether they want to or not).

I do believe we are a center-right church but we have left-leaning leaders. Studies have shown that the majority of United Methodists in the USA (obviously this doesnt apply in other countries) are Republicans. The CHURCH is center-right while the clergy and the laity who are engaged in writing statements and curriculum have been a bit more center-left (in the USA spectrum; again what is considered 'conservative' or 'liberal' may vary greatly in other countries; what does 'gun control' mean to an African Methodist who has seen heavily armed militias raiding his village?).