Chapel Without a Cross?

I’m not a Methodist, so I don’t claim to understand how their system of colleges works, but this does seem odd: Claremont School of Theology contemplates removing the cross from its chapel:

… As part of this “hospitality,” Claremont has chosen to share its own chapel with the Jains, Buddhists, and Muslims. But it is challenging for leaders in these non-Christian religions to conduct their services in a space prominently featuring a cross, which represents a gospel which they reject. So the seminary is now considering ostensibly how to accommodate non-Christian sensitivities. The Claremont official claimed that perhaps “the best way to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and take up our cross may be to take down the cross” from the seminary chapel, lest it violate Claremont’s bedrock commitment to religious pluralism.

Note: the article quoted is not (and does not pretend to be) a neutral perspective. For all I know, that site ( is a bunch of cranks. Lord knows the mainline denominations have their critics, perhaps as many within as without.

Still, Claremont has responded:

When this discussion is reduced to “taking down the cross,” it misses the point. The Christian cross is and will continue to be a part of CST’s worship space; but the goal is to be able to easily rearrange the space for use by other traditions.

To me, that sounds like the cross will come down, at least when the facility is being used by adherents of other religions. I suppose that could be hospitality. Paul preached in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. On the other hand, he did so because he didn’t want to compete in the synagogue with those who spoke against the Way.

Homosexuality and Preachers

Last week the United Methodist General Conference rejected two motions that would have relaxed the church’s teaching about homosexuality. One of the results was a decision not to vote on related motions. From the Washington Post:

The UMC’s policy remains that ministers cannot marry same-sex couples and churches cannot host same-sex weddings. Clergy in same-sex relationships are likewise banned. … About 1,200 United Methodists clergy have agreed to break church rules and marry same-sex couples, surveys show young Christians favor expanding gay rights and other mainline Protestant denominations have adopted gay-friendly policies in recent years.

But what’s with that last part?

Can clergy disobey the teaching of the church?

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