Wednesday, December 10, 2008

About the Changes to My Blog

I've changed the name and forms of my blog to reflect the different mental space I now occupy. The name "The Zeray Gazette" is a reference to the Richard Adams novel Shardik. The header image is "The Dream", a painting by Henri Rousseau. And the Hayek quotation reflects my desire, now that my worldview is in great flux, to resist cognitive dissonance and honestly face the new information entering into my life.

I have learned that the United Methodist Church, and the Church in general, is not what I thought that it was. But if the Bishop thinks that I'm going to be a good little soldier, keep my mouth shut, and participate in his coverup, he's in for a nasty surprise.

34 comments:

A united method said...

Blessings on your journey!

I think if we saw things how they really are (as God does) our heads would explode from disbelief.

the reverend mommy said...

Prayers for your journey. May it lead to a fruitful place in your life.

JD said...

I hope you are not disillusioned with God and only the "church." It bothers me that Christians turn from Christ because the "church" does something that offends them. They then look to non-Christian things to fill the void. Their understanding of the relationship between the "church" and Christ is warped. It will take individuals like those that read this blog, and you, to share our stories and keep the focus on Christ and understand that the "church" is flawed, not Christ.

PAX
JD

Divers and Sundry said...

I got a kick out of your last sentence. Bishops have things to learn and a need to grow just like the rest of us. Maybe you can provide him with a challenge and an opportunity. I hear bishops like providing those things for their pastors, and turn about is fair play. ;)

Matt said...

Will there still be zombies?

Royluxomburg said...

Tell us more! I want to hear about your journey.

The Ironic Catholic said...

See--three days! Where's my money?

Peace this season, John.

greg. said...

flux, while usually somewhat uncomfortable and unsettling, isn't all that bad a place to be. i hope you find peace in the midst of the journey. and that you keep making me laugh.

grace|peace,
greg.

trekkerjay said...

As always... I will keep you in prayer.

John Wilks said...

Not to be a selfish weasel, but does this make the "John the Methodist" moniker up for grabs?

All joking aside, may God guide your next steps. You have my prayers and I will remain a loyal reader. I confess I am very curious about where you will go next.

Jim said...

Godspeed and God be with you.

Art said...

Hey, can I be the new JTM???

Michael said...

Are you planning a hostile takeover?? It's what it sounds like to me!!!!!!!!

DannyG said...

Maybe you should auction of the title of "John-the-Methodist" on e-bay.

truevyne said...

Is this a zombie issue?

Seriously though. I'd like to see you blog through your thoughts and experiences if it can be done protecting your dignity and the dignity of others. You're a deep thinker, John. I've told you already how much I appreciate your writing.

paul said...

um... did I miss something?

the reverend mommy said...

Excellent idea for some quick cash, that.

Kansas Bob said...

I don't like the banner John.

Anonymous said...

John:

Shocked, stunned, etc. I hope and pray that all is well. I'm a lay person in the UMC and found your blog as a nice comfort zone as I felt out of sync a few years back with the church and my personal opinions and beliefs. I remain a work in progress and hope to continue to enjoy your offerings.
Godspeed

Best,
Joseph

Anonymous said...

John:

Shocked, stunned, etc. I hope and pray that all is well. I'm a lay person in the UMC and found your blog as a nice comfort zone as I felt out of sync a few years back with the church and my personal opinions and beliefs. I remain a work in progress and hope to continue to enjoy your offerings.
Godspeed

Best,
Joseph

sleepwriter said...

Just remember that your relationship with Christ is a personal one and is not contingent upon the UMC, the Bishop, or anyone.

God bless you on your journey and don't let any man rob you of your faith.

Thanks for your blog. I have it linked on mine.

John said...

Any reason in particular, Kansas Bob?

johnmeunier said...

John:

I hope that some day you can explain in more detail your travails with the church.

RERC said...

John, I'm an infrequent poster, but have regularly read your blog for a long time.

I grew up Methodist and was once a candidate for UM ordination but a series of bad experiences at the conference level really disheartened me.

In no particular order, these were a dysfunctional conference committee I was on as a layperson, a very bad pastor vs congregation "war" in the church I was in just as I began candidacy (which our conference's "help" made worse), and a horrible 18-month experience with our DS and other conference staff and as part of a team attempting to plant a church as part of our conference's church growth strategy.

After that last experience (7 years ago) I decided to take a sabbatical from the UMC. I have since completed seminary, been ordained, and found meaningful ministry in a non-denominational church. I have been amazed at the amount of good ministry that can be done in this setting, and I have not experienced any of the hierarchical frustrations I did in the UMC. (Of course, this setting is not perfect either, but I have chosen what it is that I must live with.)

I miss the UMC terribly, still have love and concern for my denomination and hope to return some day. But if I do, I will choose a local church wisely and concentrate my ministry only at the local level.

Not knowing your experiences John, I don't know if this is helpful. With perspective, I know my frustration always has been more with the UMC episcopal bureaucracy than with other aspects of the UMC, such as theology.

I can tell you there is life outside the UMC. I will always pray for her renewal. I have stayed sane by remembering Christ is who I worship and serve. He's the one not to give up on.

Anonymous said...

This is all so very typical of "John the Methodist". I have been reading these blogs for several months, and find them really disturbing. Am I correct in assuming that "John the Methodist" is a Pastor? I would hope not considering the content. I, personally, find it strange that all these other bloggers, i.e., Christians, Pastors, Lay leaders, etc, could entertain these blogs and rants and raves of John the Methodist. Stop and think.......... there must be a reason for all this anger and hositlity that John's blogs reak of. I for one, am glad he doesn't know me, because I would hate to be the bearer of John's wrath when he falls off the cliff. I can foresee it happening from the contents of all these blogs.

the reverend mommy said...

I will say that John is NOT a unstable personality (I know John and love him like a brother.)

This is just one step along his journey to perfection (in good Wesleyan terms.) Disillusionment is not a unknown thing, among pastors or seminary students. In fact, it might be seen as a natural step for some. Others may never have to venture there -- others may spend years there. Each person's journey is their own. Each person's relationship with Jesus, the son of the Living God is unique.

I am cognizant of some of John's angst -- and his anger is a very understandable and natural reaction. There is more here than most are aware.

John, where ever you go and what ever you do, you have my respect, my love, my support and my prayers.

John Wilks said...

To the unamed soul who posted commenjt #25:

I've been reading this blog for years and yes, there are moments when raw emotion flashes. But I won't condemn the man for being honest. To the contrary, I enjoy his provocative style even when I don't agree with him.

You sound so certain and even gleeful that John will "fall of the cliff." How judgemental! How angry! How ironic that your comment is loaded full of the very sort of negativity for which you rail against John.

If you are really so concerned about his state of mind, then stopping judgeing him and start praying for him. But if you wish to sit in the seat of judgement, beware: the standard you use will be used unto you.

Me, I'll stick with grace. I hope you will do likewise.

larry said...

John,

It has been amazing to watch Christ at work in your life, to see how you have changed over the last 14 years (can it really have been so long now?) I appreciate your blog so much for making me think and laugh - the content here is an obvious extension of your God-given personality. If it is not to a certain anonymous commenter's taste, so be it - I doubt he or she posseses the maturity to be challenged intellectually or spiritually. We pray that the Lord guides your next steps in discovering His will.

The Thief said...

Hey, John,
I've had my share of problems with the UMC and am still a part of it because I truly believe that this is where God wants me. As a friend and as someone who read your very good material for your Ordination and as someone who was passed over the first round for Ordination (because of a misunderstanding on my part), I invite you: If you want to chat, rant, vent, etc. you have my e-mail.

David said...

So many good and helpful thoughts, already shared. I add my prayers and my support for your journey

BruceA said...

Coverup?

John said...

Thank you for your support, all. It means a lot to me.

And Anonymous -- or should I say, Sam (yes, I've always known that it's been you) -- if you tell lies about me, then they won't make it out of comment moderation.

Go find someone else to screw with. You'll now find that you can no longer intimidate me.

I tell ya, folks, it's amazing how much emotional manipulation infects the Church. I'm just glad that, like iocaine power, I've gradually developed an immunity to it over the years.

Paul Martin said...

Obviously I don't know what's going on. But I wish you well John in your future journey.

the reverend mommy said...

Oooo....iocaine powder.

Remember -- Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Or was that Never get involved in a land war in Asia?