I was doing some "blog surfing" yesterday and came across a blog (and a post from that blog) that very much intrigued me. I've included the link below so you can read it if you so desire.
I found the post very thought-provoking. It also had a lot of truth in it. Sure, it's a little one-sided and I disagreed with parts of it (or saw it from another perspective), but I found myself agreeing with a lot of it.
I am currently committed to remaining in the United Methodist Church and in the ordination process. The denomination would have to do something really major for me to leave. The UMC is my theological home; where I feel most comfortable. I am also very committed to remaining in the local church in some sort of role. However, I am fully aware of the many major flaws in both my denomination and in the local church (regardless of denomination). There are many times when I get so frustrated and angry with either or both of the above institutions and the people in them. That's why I found myself agreeing with some of what John said. I've been hurt by the church, also. However, I still stick with the UMC/local church because I believe in God's redeeming power working through individuals and groups. No one and nothing is beyond God's redemption, but it takes faithful and receptive individuals for that redemption to occur. Simply put, I feel called to be one of those agents of God's redemption, even if I have to wait until heaven to see the fruits of my labor. Is it painful? Yes. May I change my mind later (and leave the denomination and local church altogether? Possibly, although I hope not. Is it worth the pain and frustration? Yes, and that's why I'll keep working for and praying for redemption and transformation. The day when I say, "it's not worth it" is the day that I'll turn in my credentials and start a house church. However, I sincerely hope that day never arrives.