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Andrew Yang and The UMC’s Political Parties

This past week, it was Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, who was all over the news.

His new book, Forward, is coming out soon. But, perhaps more importantly, he has been talking about a new political party by the same name.

Such a party has a platform already of six “key principles.” They do not have to be listed here – the point is that they are trying to address the problems of the (two-party duopolistic) status quo.

Focusing on the Future

To be clear, I was not a Yang supporter. I am more of an Alexandria Ocasio Cortez-type of citizen.

But, what Yang brings up, and the reason why he gets the attention of so many people, is the desire to take us into the future.

Why?

Well, that’s because so many of us recognize just how far behind we are, as a country and otherwise, on so many things. The delay causes anxiety and the dysfunction brings about despair.

This brings up, then, something just as important in ministry: do the political parties inside denominations prepare us for the future?

Political Parties in Denominations

I have not been a member of every Christian denomination, but I bet that all of them have political parties. There certainly are a few in The United Methodist Church.

Some have names and others do not; some have platforms and others do not. They all seem to have a genuine theological conviction, in one way or another.

But, in certain ways, they help keep the status quo in place, especially for those who are not necessarily a member of such a party.

Some things that are a part of the “status quo” might be:

  • an either/or take on socio-political-theological frameworks
  • a continual need to explain to leaders about all things digital
  • lifting up organ music, stained glass, and pews to an almost divine status
  • seeing the entity known as a “congregation” as the standard and central means of discipleship and ministry
  • expecting the denomination to support the local church, but not following its directions
  • the dominance of people, programs, and policies centered around a white, educated, middle-class, and suburban, American experience

The list goes on – the point is that there are so many things about which there is so much potential to make progress.

And, that’s why, to whichever denomination we might belong, there must be a movement for the future.