Methodist Bishop Willimon on General Conference 2012 and ‘church by committee’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

General Conference in Tampa made history as the most expensive ($1,500 per minute!), least productive, most fatuous assemblage in the history of Methodism. Sunday evening’s “A Celebration of Ministry” fiasco was a metaphor for our nearly two weeks at church expense: four hours of belabored supplication by the General Commission on Status and Role of Women, five Ethnic National Plans, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, United Methodist Men, Girl Scouts, Africa University and a number of other agencies I can’t remember. A subtheme of that long night: even though we can’t cite specific fruit, please don’t force us to change or to expend less on ourselves.

Even after suffering this abuse, General Conference succumbed to the agencies’ pleadings. In a post-GC blog, Mike Slaughter (who with Adam Hamilton eloquently—and futilely—warned GC that we must change or face certain death) told the truth: “Our denominational systems continue to resist change by protecting archaic structures. From our seminaries to boards and agencies, institutional preservation was a strong resistant influence throughout GC. Entrenched organizational bureaucracies resist accountability …”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:40 am

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1. Yebonoma wrote:

Seems some bishops have their knickers in a twist because the sheeple didn’t give them what they want.  I would sum the UMC’s problems up by paraphrasing Bill Clinton’s campaign slogan - “It’s the theology, stupid!”

May 22, 7:37 am | [comment link]
2. High_Church wrote:

I love Bishop Willimon, he has both a southern charm and direct manner of speaking.  He among the leading lights in the United Methodist Church and would that we’d have a few bishops like him in TEC or even the ACNA, both in his commitment to the centrality of Christ and and His cross and his academically rigorous and dynamic defense and advancement of historic Christianity. He’s definately one in the footsteps of Bishop Allison of South Carolina and like him, is one of the “bishops” who get any popular hearing outside their denominational ghettos.

May 23, 1:59 pm | [comment link]

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