I find it deeply disturbing that The United Methodist Church is considering forming new denominations defined by such ambiguous secular ideological labels as “Progressive,” “Traditional,” and “Centrist.”
The Christian gospel will not fit neatly into any label, any more than God can be fully captured in any creed.
And, people are more complex than can be categorized on the basis of single issues. Identifying people in accordance with ideological labels reduces them to a category less than a child of God who bears the divine image.
When we think we have boxed God within the confines of our thoughts and experiences, we may be sure we have the wrong god! And, when mystery has been removed from any Christian doctrine, “good news” has become bad news.
Forming a denomination designated explicitly for “progressives,” “traditionalists,” “centrists,” “conservatives,” or “liberals” is to intensify and broaden practices of exclusion, evasion, and division.
Structural changes are needed and new forms of Methodism will emerge. But ambiguous secular political ideological labels fall sinfully short of the firm foundation on which the church is built!