The United Methodist Church has finally caught up with the book of Genesis.
That’s how one member of my church described the news that the UM constitution has been amended to proclaim that “men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God.”
News of the amendment passing was announced recently after voting in annual conferences was completed earlier this year.
The measure got 92% of the vote. (You wonder about those 8%.)
Another version of the measure was approved last year, but it was ruled invalid because the ballot language accidentally included a paragraph that hadn’t been approved by General Conference
That’s the way the church works – methodically. Ploddingly.
Forever we in the churches are in the last car on the train of social action. Seems to me we ought to be in the engine that pulls the train. But no. “Traditionalists” always want to uphold the status quo, and the status quo is always stacked for the privileged few and against everybody else.
For the record, here’s the new language in the United Methodist Constitution:
“As the Holy Scripture reveals, both men and women are made in the image of God and, therefore, men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God.
The United Methodist Church acknowledges the long history of discrimination against women and girls.
The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large.
The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the cause of women’s and girl’s equality and well-being.”
You can see why such language might cause a flap, don’t you? It’s one thing to say that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. It’s another to say that they are equal in the eyes of the church. But saying that the church will work for change in society? Yikes!
Oh, the mention of Genesis. In my church, we’ve been reading the opening chapters of Genesis in worship over the last couple months. You may recall that Genesis says God created humans, male and female, in the image and likeness of God.
Kindly ignore the doodling of “complementarians,” who maintain that men rule and women drool. Genesis says we’re all made in God’s likeness, and we ought to be treated that way.
Radical stuff. No wonder it’s “controversial.” Don’t you wish God were driving the train?