I will take up NE Tarrant Tea Party President Julie McCarty’s invitation to “lighten up” (Feb. 21, “In Grapevine, a Tea Party leader says no to — Methodists?”) by holding out a couple of examples of a straitlaced Southern Baptist and “anything-goes” Methodist: Baptist Bill Clinton and Methodist George W. Bush.
As a lifelong Methodist, I welcome the derision of the Tea Party, and point out a familiar parable that Jesus told of a man with two sons. One left to live a life of “anything goes” until he ran out of funds. When he returned, the father welcomed him, while his elder son judged the younger harshly.
If McCarty is saying the judgment of the eldest son is better than the forgiveness of the father, perhaps she has a point: We Methodists just don’t understand what kind of god God is.
However, if the father in this story represents the kind of God Jesus knew, perhaps it is appropriate for McCarty to reconsider her avowal to never change her mind.