Marks of the mainline?

The New York Times offers its take on the United Methodist Church’s doctrinal debate over sex.

Of all the article, I found the paper’s description of mainline Protestantism the most interesting:

In recent years, mainline Protestant denominations — which are different from evangelical Christian churches that read the Bible as literal truth and emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus — have one by one changed rules that had prohibited marriage and ordination of gays and lesbians.

Other than not evangelical, what are we in the eyes of the New York Times? Later in the article one of the paper’s sources, a United Methodist, might offer an answer:

“The United Methodist Church is a great bellwether of where opinions are going in the general society on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion,” said Mr. Miller, who will also lead the Northern California delegation to the conference. “Moving the United Methodist Church step by step, and removing these barriers, is a greater step in making the larger society more inclusive.”

The New York Times appears to say our hallmark as a church is that we are a microcosm of American society. Not to get all evangelical and biblical here, but is that what the Bible says we are supposed to be?


2 thoughts on “Marks of the mainline?

  1. Good observation.

    Bishop Willimon shares frequently in his talks that it bothers him less that people question whether a Mormon should be president than that no one questioned if a Methodist should be one.

    He wishes he’d hear people proclaim “but he’s a Methodist! (referring to George W. Bush); don’t they have strange ideas about (issues x, y and z)?”

    I agree. Methodism should mean something more than average, polite and normal.

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