My Dear Centrists Friends

For 47 years, we Methodists have “held the line”: marching in place, as God’s world spins away from us.  We linger again- in a critical moment. Will the Methodist church stand in place, trudge backwards, or risk progress?  

The Cross came as an outside the box move. The Incarnation, Golden Rule, Reformation, Methodist Class Meeting, dining with sinners, turning over tables, embracing lepers, forgiving sinners, including uncircumcised people, rejecting slavery, ordaining women, and setting up worship screens all tore at traditional theological packages.  

Does Love risk it all or play it safe? Traditionalists always denounce spiritual innovation.  Is it a love of rules or the ease of simpler answers that keeps the church drinking older wine?  Love ferments change. Love pushes the edges. Love shakes bindings and opens doors. Love can handle uncertainty. Love risks marriage, children, and church potlucks!  Love foments change. Love breaks the once trusted rules. Seeing the horrors of american slavery Love rejected Titus 2:9. Hearing Phoebe Palmer preach Love re-imaged 2 Timothy 2.  Loves stretches the boundaries and make room for All. Our imperfect knowledge will one day end.  Lost in wonder, love and praise- all sermonizing will cease.  But right now- Love endures all things. Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love fearlessly risks it all. Love steps into uncertainty!  Love will never fail!

With my deepest fondness and love, as one who stood to the far right of center,

Paul R Purdue

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