A current Presbyterian and former United Methodist reflects on the conversation started by Rachel Held Evans over Millennials. The writer observes that everything Evans says Millennials want is offered by the UMC already:
When I read the CNN piece it hit me: Evans is saying nothing particularly provocative nor even progressive; she simply represents a standard UMC critique of conservative evangelicalism. Given Evans’ presuppositions, I am not certain she could list a single objection to what the UMC believes and practices. For the record, I have nothing against the UMC, but I do find it odd if Millennials, who are leaving evangelicalism and passionately seeking the kind of church Evans describes, don’t join a mainline denomination like the United Methodist Church. The UMC embodies everything Evans says Millennials want.
The UMC is outside of the culture wars. It has no conflicts with science and faith andclearly teaches what they are for instead of against. The UMC is a place where LGBTfriends are welcomed. Moreover, if anyone knows anything about Wesleyanism, you know that Methodists have a deep emphasis on personal holiness and social action. Again, the Jesus that Evans wants to find is waiting for her and her followers in the UMC.
This leads the writer to conclude that Evans’ thesis must be wrong. If Millennials actually wanted what Evans describes, he argues, they’d be flocking to the UMC in droves.