Rules to Live By: 1) Do No Harm

Rules to Live By: 1) Do No Harm

We United Methodists have been through the wringer over the past few years. It has been a time when disagreements have come to a head and some folks have decided that we can no longer be in fellowship together. “They say” that it is about disagreements over how folks who identify as LGBTQIA+ are to be integrated into the fabric of our Methodist heritage. While that may be the presenting issue, it goes deeper than that. In my opinion, it has more to do with who has power and control than anything else. I say that because of who is driving the division not only among the United Methodists, but throughout the Mainline Protestant denominations. If you want to chat about that, I’ll be happy to set some time aside to do that one on one.

In this time of division and disaffiliation, I feel that it is important for us to look back at our heritage and remember who (and whose) we are. Thus a short term (3 weeks) series in this month of August based upon Wesley’s General Rules of the Methodist Societies. It is the foundation of reform movement that Wesley created for the Church of England in the Eighteenth Century. The rules are: 1) Do No Harm; 2) Do Good; and 3) Attend to the Ordinances of God (I refer to the third rule as “Participate in the Spiritual Disciplines). We will focus on the General Rules during the first 3 weeks of August. Hopefully, it will help to remind us all (or perhaps inform us in the first place) about our heritage. It is always good to know where you came from.