(Good News) United Methodist Rob Renfroe—Should We Agree To Disagree?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While appealing to some, this “compromise” is ultimately unhelpful. When a matter is pragmatic and little more, compromise can be the right option to take. Part of growing up is realizing that you can’t and don’t need to get your way all the time.

But when the issue is one of principle and when it involves the clear teaching of Scripture, we cannot take the easy way out and claim that we do not know what we believe without injuring our personal integrity and our corporate witness. And to be honest, everyone knows that removing the clear statement we currently have in the Discipline would not resolve the issue. It is only a first step by those whose ultimate intention is to change the church’s position. And that’s hardly a true compromise.

When the “agree-to-disagree compromise” was defeated in Fort Worth and the historic position of the church was reaffirmed, the charge against those who supported the church’s stance was, “You’re dishonest. We are of divided mind. Why won’t you even allow us to state that we differ?”

It’s a good question. And there’s a very good answer. We United Methodists are divided on practically every issue. But in none of our other statements on matters theological, moral, or cultural do we state that we have agreed to disagree.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodistSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:00 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/42813/



1. Stephen Noll wrote:

I wrote a piece fifteen years ago titled “No Compromise on Essentials” along the same line regarding the Episcopal Church. It started out with a limerick for compromisers:

There was a young lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from a ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

May 11, 7:26 am | [comment link]
2. Yebonoma wrote:

I hear that this song is being added to the new UMC hymnal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_FOQ7-P30  grin

May 11, 8:22 am | [comment link]
3. David Keller wrote:

#1—TEC is the model for how things can go terribly bad by agreeing to disagree.  When I first got involved in TEC politics we talked about engagement and conversation and living in tension. The charitible Christians in the crowd, charactized by pretty orthodox folks whose mamas raised them to have good manners, foolishly thought we would go on with on church lives as we always had, and a few nuts in New England and the west coast would do their crazy stuff and we would all go along to get along, just living in tension. Well, while we were involved in charitable conversion, Integrity stole our church.  All I can say is I hope the Methodists profit from our rather bad example, and continue to refuse to give in.

May 11, 11:22 am | [comment link]


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