In case you missed the first two posts of this series, here is a quick recap:
A Richard Rohr metaphor of three boxes - order, disorder and reorder. Conservatives tend to get stuck in order, while progressives tend to get stuck in disorder. The Christian life is to include and transcend the previous ways of being. The metaphor builds by implying the goal is to move away from order and disorder into the realm of reorder. And while the far right and left in the UMC may be stuck in their boxes, the rest of us are seeking the way of reorder. But what does reorder look like in the UMC?
So let's shift gears just a moment. Here is a quick little image outlining the difference between bipartisan and transpartisan:
First of all you may be familiar with the word, bipartisan but maybe not as much with transpartisan. From the Wiki:
Transpartisanship represents an emerging field in political thought distinct from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between “right” and “left,” resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether. Rather, transpartisanship acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond typical political dualities.
The UMC has a chance to reorder our denomination. We have a chance to reorder away from the bipartisanism of Order vs. Disorder. We have a chance to stop name calling and demonizing. We have a chance to reorder our denomination around Love rather than around the truth that individuals embrace.
We think that we cannot overcome the split between those trapped in the Order and those trapped in Disorder around the issue of homosexuality. We think this is the divisive issue of our day that will tear the church apart. I am not sure why we are allowing this issue to have so much power over us. We did not split over abortion. We did not split over the ordination of women. We did not split over Biblical inerrancy, alcohol, gambling, climate change, capital punishment, the use of war, divestment or divorce. When these issues present(ed) themselves we were able to reorder around something larger than the presenting issue. We reordered our Church around the Love of Christ.
Can General Conference 2016 get out of the boxes of order and disorder so that we can reorder the common ministry and mission we all share? Can conservatives step out of the box of order so to not be rigid and punitive? Can progressives step out of the box of disorder so to not be zero-sum in thought? Are we courageous enough to stay in dialogue and communion with those we disagree with? Can we be a denomination that liberates one another from the tyranny of order and disorder?
I do so pray.