Politics Magazine

What Would Be The Penalty For “Going Rogue”?…or Congregational Polity 101 Pt.5

Posted on the 12 September 2012 by Eastofmidnight

Over at Material Sojourn first comes this:

I don’t want to take away the power of the congregation to choose their leadership, including their minister, DRE, ect. I don’t want everyone to be in lock-step.

Yet a couple of lines later says:

I just want to make sure that they are all still being UU at their core.

And in the next post says:

What I am talking about, in the bigger sense, is abuse of the Polity system by rogue congregations as much as rogue ministers.

As I have said before, I have many problems with this type of thinking. You can read my previous posts in this thread to see why. But for this post, I’m going to go in a different direction.

Here’s a scenario:

East Podunk UU Church wants to ordain JerMichael Finley. JerMichael has been involved with the congregation for a number of years, has an M.Div. (or its equivalent), but wasn’t particularly interested in going through the fellowshipping process at that point in time. After a congregational meeting, East Podunk formally calls JerMichael Finley. After a few months, East Podunk ordains JerMichael.

Now if Thomas over at Material Sojourn had his way and there were codified ordaination standards, both JerMichael and East Podunk would both be considered to have “gone rogue” because they went outside the system. Here’s the question…what would be the penalty to East Podunk and JerMichael for going rogue?

Why is it that if the church in East Podunk were Baptist or Church of Christ or some Pentecostal denomination, nobody would be concerned that the East Podunk congregation ordained somebody? Why is it UUs who are trying to restrict who can spread the gospel?

As someone who sees some major class issues in the current MFC process, I want more people who can’t afford to go through the process to become ordained UU ministers. Codifying ordaination standards will just increase the class differential and make it that much harder for those who can’t afford to go through the process to be able to share their gifts. I don’t want that. Do you?

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