“At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.” —from a letter in the Works of John Wesley
Maybe this is why the UMC is so inclined toward indecisiveness and agreeableness. While doing a study on the Social Principles with my youth group, Jim (my awesome youth director’s awesome husband) would ask us what the Church said on whatever issue we were discussing. Lots of No’s, lots of Yes’s and then every time there was one “The church says, ‘we don’t like it…but we love you anyway.'”
That was me.
Often the Church gives us a strong, unwavering “We don’t really know.” as the answer to the issues of the world. I’m very indecisive, have very malleable opinions, and I don’t really hate anybody, no matter what they do. That’s why I’m a fan of being a United Methodist (not to mention connectionalism, which is an entirely different kind of magic to me).
But when I recently got into an argument on whether or not dogs went to Heaven. I had a strong, unwaivering, “I know this one! Dogs go to heaven. So do flowers!”
And when they asked me, “Why would God let dogs go to Heaven?” I just said, “Because he loves them. Why wouldn’t he let dogs go to Heaven?”
Here is the UMC’s stance on dogs going to Heaven. Typical.
I eventually came to the conclusion that, even if dogs don’t go to Heaven, why would you try to say that they didn’t. Because the way I see it, the only benefit from convincing someone that dogs don’t go to Heaven is that you’re right and they’re wrong. And that’s really great for you, but you haven’t done anything for God.
Odds are, if you don’t think dogs go to Heaven, it’s not that important to you, but you could be making a big impact on the faith of someone else by arguing against it. Whether we like it or not, God didn’t give us life so we could argue.
There are some people who you will miss the chance to love and minister with if you deny them little things like dogs going to Heaven.
So why would you?
“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” —from a sermon in the Works of John Wesley
Additionally, church sign debates are hilarious. Check out this one.