Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wasting Our Time

There is a clergy alliance group in the biggest town closest to me, which fortunately I do not participate in.  But several of the Methodist ministers in that town do, and so I get to hear about their activities when we get together.

Last July there was a gay-pride parade in the town, the first ever, and this caused most of the members of the alliance to get very, very upset.  Since that time it appears that every meeting of the alliance has been spent talking about this event and what should be done.  At the last meeting they were working on a statement in opposition to this, as well as the president's recent remarks on gay-marriage, and that work still continues because they ran out of time.

As they were relaying this information to another Methodist minister who serves in another town, and therefore does not have to take part in this group and is as happy about that as I am, he said "that sounds like an enormous waste of time."  That had been exactly my thought as well, because what they decided to do once this statement is created is simply to read it to their congregations.

These are Southern Baptist, and Church of Christ, and Missouri Synod Lutherans, for the most part, so it's not like these congregations don't have any idea what the church's position is on this topic.  I strongly suspect that these ministers have also preached, and routinely, on the "dangers of the homosexual agenda."  So what exactly is this supposed to be accomplishing.

I know why they are upset, even though I disagree with them, but it seems to me they are totally missing the point of the gospel and wasting their time.  There are certainly major issues affecting their communities which a joint gathering of the clergy might actually try to do something about, things like poverty, jobs, education, race issues, homelessness, housing, hopelessness, drug use, things that actually impact real people in real lives, not imagined ones.

Everyone knows what they think, and their statements are not going to change anything.  We, and I do mean all of us, like to spend time tilting at the windmills, making bold, meaningless statements, wasting our time on these things, while the very reason that we are called to be church and to be disciples of Christ get pushed aside so that we can feel good that we have "done something" even if what we have done is to waste our time and the time of others and accomplished exactly nothing.

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