#GC2019: God Don’t Like Ugly

cross-and-flame-color-1058x1818The question that a lot of people have right now is, “How do we move on?” For people who support the traditional interpretation of scriptures related to human sexuality, the mood seems to be like that of a “win.” For our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, the level of sadness and hurt is palpable. Many who are gay or who support including LGBTQ persons in ordained ministry and allowing UM clergy to perform their weddings would consider General Conference 2019 to a “loss.”

I would make this submission: There were no winners, only losers.

With few exceptions, I watched almost every moment on the live stream. I felt that I should witness as much of this pivotal time in the church as possible. I was sorry that I made that decision for a lot of reasons but one of the biggest regrets I have is witnessing the amount of ugly from so many people. Where I come from, we have a saying: “God don’t like ugly.”

I highly doubt he liked the shenanigans that took place in Saint Louis.

Especially on the final day, much of what I witnessed made my skin crawl. One scene, in particular, was a lay delegate quoting scripture very much out of context. Ok, proof-texting is common so I was not too shocked that this was happening. But when she quoted Matthew 18:5-6, it was revealed that many took this as implying that LGBTQ persons should be drowned. Whether this was her intent or not – and I pray it wasn’t – this was ugly and poor use of scripture.

God don’t like ugly.

I’m afraid things only got worse from there. I saw traditionalists implying the worst about progressives and vice-versa. I saw accusations of unethical behavior happening on the floor. I saw tempers getting the best of people, Need I go on? It was all ugly.

God don’t like ugly.

I hope that, regardless of how we feel about the outcome, we can all agree that a lot of harm was done. One of the most significant bits of harm was done to our witness for Christ. Some will argue that God was honored with the adoption of the Traditional Plan. Some will argue that God was not honored. One thing I can tell you for certain is that God was not honored in how everyone treated one another.

As God’s people, we have to do better.

On Sunday, I preached out of Luke 6; the title of the sermon was “Love Your Enemies, Even the Ones You Don’t Agree With.” The title might be a bit of a misnomer, however, in that part of my argument was “is someone you disagree with really your enemy or do we just like to think they are?” I would say such a person is not.

Regardless of how you feel, you are entitled to grieve, lament, or celebrate as you are led. But, please, remember that every single person you ever lay eyes on, talk to, or encounter on Twitter is of infinite sacred worth, even if you disagree with that person about anything or lots of things. We are commanded by scripture to treat one another the way we want to be treated.

Let’s start doing it. That’s how we move forward, because “God don’t like ugly.”

6 Replies to “#GC2019: God Don’t Like Ugly”

  1. After seeing how the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church USA began withering more rapidly than other denominations after they were taken over by progressives, I felt there was truth in what the late Richard John Neuhaus said, in another context: “Where orthodoxy is made optional, it will sooner or later be proscribed.”

    1. Brother, I’m not sure you really understand my point. I’m not arguing for a change in our position. Instead, I’m decrying the level of hatred I witnessed from the people of the UMC. I appreciate your thoughts but I really believe you may have received something that I did not convey.

  2. Thank you for finally pointing to the “drowning speech.” When Dr. Benz came and said that I said to myself, she is lying. So while I don’t think she is lying I think she, and anyone else who thought that delegate was advocating for drowning, are delusional and twisting words in order to make a disgusting and slanderous argument against the lay delegate. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Brother, I’m not supporting the lay delegate’s speech. In fact, I was quite disgusted one I realized the harm it caused. It’s not a good look. We should be more mindful of our words and the consequences of them.

      1. Oh I agree that it wasn’t a good use of Scripture. But the response was more disgusting than the out of context Scripture. It was extremely clear the point the delegate was making and it was nothing like what Benz and crew tried to disgustingly twist it to be.

      2. In fact, Dr. Benz was out of line almost every time she took the mic the last few hours and honestly should have been escorted out for her behavior.

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