I find it admirable when people are willing to stand behind their convictions. It’s not necessary that I agree with those convictions. I might even think those convictions are stupid. But I do admire the principled fortitude which says, “This is what I believe, and I’m going to act accordingly.”
Our denomination has had a continuing debate about alcohol. We are currently a total abstention church–if you have even one sip of wine at a family gathering, you can’t be a United Brethren member. I don’t agree with that stand–it goes well beyond what the Bible requires. But there are people who do believe strongly in that stand, and both their words and their actions undergird it. If we change the stand, the true believers will leave. I can respect that.
My alma mater, Huntington College, has been engaged in a debate for the past several years over a professor who is a leading proponent of a controversial doctrine called Open Theism. The faculty strongly supports him. I hear of threats, by some, to leave if this professor is forced out. They believe so strongly in academic freedom and other issues surrounding this controversy, that they couldn’t in good conscience stay at Huntington College if this professor is axed. Well, the Board of Trustees took action to release this professor. Will those faculty members follow through? I will respect those who do, indeed, leave. They are standing behind their words and convictions. I admire that. For others–well, I guess it wasn’t such a big deal, after all. Just words.
Our denomination is looking at doing away with the regional conference structure we have used since 1810 (when we first had multiple conferences). This is a big deal. And I’ve discovered a huge disconnect between what some people have said, and how they are now acting.Leave a comment