When a friend of mine was invited to a retirement party, he responded, “Sorry, can’t make it. I am going to be climbing a mountain in Kenya. Besides, I prefer to live in the future, not the past.” There is nothing inherently wrong with retirement parties, but my friend has a point. Living in the future should take preference over living in the past. That is the advice I want to give my fellow United Methodists who limped away from a General Conference dominated by acrimonious debate over the status of gays and lesbians in the denomination.
The United Methodist Church has made a sharp turn to the political and theological right, and it appears that it will continue to move in that direction. This particular battle is over, at least for the moment. The liberal dominance in United Methodism, the denomination that helped end the war in Vietnam and bring a halt to racial segregation in the church, has ended.