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#GC78: Bp Dan Martins to Youth – get off my lawn!!!

#GC78: Bp Dan Martins to Youth – get off my lawn!!!

Yesterday, the Official Youth Presence were introduced to the House of Bishops and two members addressed the bishops briefly.

Here is what Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas tweeted.


But this is what Bishop Dan Martins of Springfield tweeted.

Not surprisingly, Bp Martins’ tweet did not elicit much support…

And a lot of negative feedback such as…

Bp Martins has since apologized.  Well, not really, but he definitely was sorry that everyone was angry and misunderstood what he was trying to say.

Surely someone as capable and intelligent as Dan Martins should have sense enough to expect such an ungracious and unkind comment would prove hurtful and damaging.  It is, frankly, shocking that a bishop of this church would have a heart so hardened as to casually utter such an un-constructive and mean-spirited comment.


posted by Jon White


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Stephen Mills

It seems to me that the fundamental misperception of Bp. Martins is that there is a clear line of demarcation between Jesus and a “progressive agenda”. When we advocate for increasing food stamps are we advancing a progressive agenda or heeding Jesus command to feed the hungry? When we want health care for all are we advancing a progressive agenda or heeding Jesus admonition to heal the sick. When we advocate for equal rights for all are we following a progressive agenda or are we continuing Jesus ministry to the oppressed, the outcasts and the marginalized? It seems to me that Jesus is the progressive agenda and Bp Martins would
better serve the church by following Him.

Anand Gnanadesikan

Two points Stephen,

1. There is a difference between having progressive goals (lifting folks out of poverty) and supporting progressive means (expanding food stamps) for reaching those goals. Sometimes a poorly designed intervention can make things worse (i.e. by raising effective marginal rates on additional income above 100%).

2. If policy is really where its at, we take it seriously and become policy wonks, rather than playing at policy and playing at church.

I would note that both of these critiques apply equally to conservatives and liberals.

June Butler

So, in the end, does whether we are true followers of Jesus depend upon how many times we say “Jesus” or “Jesus is Lord”?

‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’

Anand Gnanadesikan

Conor McCarson is an example to us all.

I do think Bp. Martens has a point about the “othering” of youth and the tendency of those on the left to check boxes rather than confront institutional sin. It’s much easier to vote for a black bishop than it is to move outside of one’s gated community. It’s easier to have a youth Sunday once a year than to be involved in kids lives on a consistent basis.

But it seems to me it’s unfair to put this on the youth. I’m reminded of Clemenceau’s statement. “My son is 22 years old. If he had not become a Communist at 22, I would have disowned him. If he is still a Communist at 30, I will do it then.”

Elizabeth Kaeton

Here’s how that blog post by “the Yoot” ends:

And when it comes down to it, this is not an issue of social media, the youth presence, or tweeting bishops. This entire fiasco has centered me on what I love about this Church: that all people on all walks of life can come together and share their stories and expect to be heard with love and empathy. Next time you see a tweet that may be construed as offensive or risqué, take a deep breath before responding. Remind yourself of the radical love that Jesus Christ showed to the Pharisees, tax collectors, and even those who put the nails into his hands. As a body, we are called to respond to situations with a sense of Christian love and compassion. It is hard. It is the hardest thing I do. But maybe fiascos like this won’t happen if we take that deep breath and pray.

Jonathan Chesney
C. Salmon

The author of that post should be an example to some of the adult commenters here: he didn’t leap immediately to the worst possible conclusions, but instead responded calmly, thoughtfully, and with an open heart and mind. A very impressive young man, indeed.

Dave Thomas

If possible, I would like to see GC pass a resolution of censure concerning Bishop Martin’s inexcusable and inflammatory comments. He disrespected the youth of the church who care enough to go to GC, and is now unwilling to offer a sincere apology.

While his comments were insulting to the GC youth group, it also offers some troubling insight to what life may be like in his diocese. I hope he welcomes all youth back home, and not just the ones who agree with his views.

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