We talked about denotation vs. connotation today in English class. It brought my last post to mind. Then I read this post, and it reminded me of this vision statement from the Dismantling Racism Task force of the United Methodist Church’s North Texas Conference (these thought trains can be dangerous):
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the people of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church seek to fulfill the word of God by committing to the full participation of people of all racial identities including their gifts, their worldviews and their cultures.
I actually had an opportunity to talk to one of the authors of the statement. I asked him if he really thought it was a good idea to fully include someone with Hitler’s worldview. His response: “Well, that’s not what we meant.” Well, that is what it says. Or what about a Muslim worldview. And does full participation mean they can be pastors. Without defining terms, this statement is at best unscriptural and at worst a statement of universalism.
And what does Pete mean when he says,
[Jesus] would…include anybody who came up to him.
I have read Pete’s blog long enough to know what I think he means by that, and it’s not what I think the North Texas Conference means. I have been around the Methodist Church long enough to know I really didn’t buy it when I was told,
That’s not what we meant.
I know that I fail to define terms as well, and now this reminds me to work hard to be clear.