My Church is in tatters. By that I mean, the United Methodist Church. Those of you who are (or were) fellow Methodists understand what I'm saying. Those of you who are not may know something of our plight, but may not understand the complexity of what's happened/happening/likely to happen.
I'm not sure I do, entirely.
What I do know for true is this: Since the day I became a United Methodist as a teenager, my Church has been my safe place. When anything - everything - in my life was going to hell on a trolley, I could always turn to my Church for guidance and grace. I have always been able to find my way back to the heart of my faith - and to a relationship with my God and with the people around me - through the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
These four components have been the framework I've used any time I've needed to find my plumb line or my way home. The upheaval that is taking place in my Church right this minute seems to me to have its root in the abandonment of this Quadrilateral by many who have a much different vision for our future than do I.
And we are now clearly at a crossroads. Each United Methodist you know is having a struggle right now, no matter where they fall on the spectrum of the issues facing us. We all hold our local churches dear, and nobody wants to walk away from communities that have been part of their lives.
I'm not going anywhere; not yet. Using the Quadrilateral as my guide, I have come to realize and embrace that throughout time, God has always moved His people from one place to another, all the while knowing full well that they were filled with uncertainty. He's walked His people out of gardens, over flooded earth, through deserts and seas, out of the bellies of beasts, up sorrowful ways, and into the blinding light of transformation.
The crisis we are facing right now is not one brought about by evil people. It's a matter, I believe, of their deeply held belief that God has ever been content to leave us where we were.
He is a mover, and a shaker, and in these uncertain times I find myself exhilarated by the notion that He is not done with us yet.