Billy Abraham at the crossroads

Here is a copy of a talk that William J. Abraham gave to United Methodists behind the Methodist Crossroads initiative.

In the talk he assesses the local option offered by Adam Hamilton and Mike Slaughter and lays the foundation for a global Methodist church that might arise out of our current crisis.


5 thoughts on “Billy Abraham at the crossroads

  1. I am weary of people using the word “political” against those with whom they disagree, as if only one group was engaged in political behavior.

    1. I suppose. I find all parties in disputes such as this use words in similar ways. They either label themselves with words that put them in the party of light or they use labels for others that cast them among the party of darkness. Or they do both.

      I do find Abraham’s claim about not being a politician ironic sense he was engaged in a deeply political speech at a deeply political gathering. But I don’t find the word “politics” a bad one.

  2. I tweeted a link to Dr. Abraham’s paper and Wes Magruder replied, ” I find it a bit ridiculous to claim this moment in #umc history as 4th great turning point in church history #overstated” .

    My response is that it is true the UMC is a fairly insignificant church in terms of world Christianity and especially when one thinks of Christianity throughout time. However, our faith understands that great things begin as small little seeds.

    I find hope in Dr. Abraham’s (and GC2012’s) global vision for the faithful members of The United Methodist Church, and for the Wesleyan movement. Since I am retired, I am really not so concerned in the survival of this little experiment in Wesleyan Christianity American-style that we have in The United Methodist Church.

    If we pronounce the death of the UMC, we may actually spur the rebirth of the Wesleyan movement, as we reclaim an emphasis on holiness and accountability. I think we definitely need to “rethink church”, and Methodists in Nigeria, the Philippines, and Kenya may teach us how to become Methodist again.

    1. I don’t think Abraham’s point was that this was merely about the UMC. I think we’ve seen these exact same conversations and debates in every Christian communion. Magruder’s tweet seems off target to me.

      1. John is exactly right. Billy Abraham is calling attention to the larger context of the United Methodist Church crisis. This is a historic ecumenical crisis, not “parochial” (as he takes pains to underscore). The global Church has a big stake in this one. That’s what many have been slow to recognize, or perhaps deny for strategic reasons. Perhaps the side of tradition has been waiting for LEADERSHIP. Yes, it is fantastic that Billy Abraham stepped out from academic sequester to lead the fight; he’s not a popularizer like Adam Hamilton. But, as he says, this is one of those historic moments when “error has no rights”; the good fight has to be fought. This is NOT a small moment…and we are privileged to be called to account for it.

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