Each day this week we will feature a story about a SWTX Conference Reconciling United Methodist to take us through Annual Conference, which begins this Thursday, June 6 in Corpus Christi, Texas. These stories will also be featured at our SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team table. We invite you to stop by and visit with us!
Al Lindsey is a lay member of Saint John’s UMC, Austin, TX. Here are his words:
My name is Al Lindsey. I am a Family Doctor and have been practicing medicine in Austin for almost 34 years. I am also a native Texan and a lifelong Methodist, having been christened by my Great-grandfather Nash. He was a retired circuit-riding Methodist Minister from the Rockwall, Texas area.
I am proud of my heritage. However, I am not nearly as proud to be a Methodist as I wish. My understanding of Jesus’ Way is based on the Good Samaritan story, and Matthew 25, where we are reminded to treat everyone, even (or especially) those living at the edge of society, with kindess and love. For me that means everyone is included in the Kingdom of God. But, for the last 41 years, our Book of Discipline/Social Principles has contained a blasphemous and anti-Christian statement, and I am ashamed and sickened by it. I propose that it replaced with language more reflective of Christ’s teachings: “The exclusion of any child of God, for any reason, from any fellowship, community, or institution, is incompatible with Christian teaching.” A change like this cannot come too soon, in my opinion.
This would make the United Methodist Church fully inclusive, and I believe Jesus, and God and the Holy Spirit are calling so to be.