How do you know that what you believe is true? Don't call me a pig and walk away. I would like some real conversation.
I wrote this two years ago before I gave up my work as a United Methodist minister. In view the the General Conference meeting next month, I decided to reprint it. I did not leave over the issues regarding inclusion of the LGBTQ. Rather, I left because my thoughts evolved to the level of atheism and so I could not stay. Although I no longer believe in God, I still believe in the people of the UMC. I know they are capable of doing what is right. Please, my friends, do what it is right and good.
This is what I’m thinking before the General Conference of the United Methodist Church:
It’s about right and wrong. It’s about good and evil.
It’s not about the decline of the church nor its financial welfare.
If we must choose between goodness and the preservation of an institution, even if it’s the church, then choose goodness.
When all the anger, shouting, abuse, scripture hurling, threatening, fear mongering, hateful confusion is swept aside, I want it to be clear that I said this:
Anything less than love, respect, dignity, and full recognition of rights for the LGBTQ community is wrong.
Like me he was a high mileage minister....
The first time I met him, he stood before me, trembling. I asked what was wrong and he said, “Well… you see… I just tried to kill myself… but my gun wouldn’t work….”
She acknowledged that her time was short but insisted that she would not be dying on Christmas Day....
No one has challenged me to fisticuffs, pistols, or dueling Bibles. However, they really don’t know what to say when I tell them I'm an atheist.
“David, what happened to you? Did we do something to cause you to fall away?”
I was hoping I could have my own thoughts, express my views, and even debate them strenuously, yet stay friends. Is that possible? I still love these people and would never reject them. In fact, I’m still here for them.
I say that even with the best intentions, there’s a great deal of manipulation happening in church camps. Tell me I'm wrong... that these elements are not in church camps....
I later apologized for my anger but every week when I had to see that guy in church, I had to resist the urge to grab him by the lapels, pin him to the wall, and express my feelings.