Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Sticking with the UMC with Rev. Brian Jones

Sticking with the UMC with Rev. Brian Jones

December 1, 2022

On this podcast, I have often spoken with conservative leaders who are moving away from the United Methodist Church and to the Global Methodist Church (see my conversations with Keith Boyette, Jeff Greenway and Mike Lowry, and Rob Renfro). On today’s show I talk with a conservative pastor who has decided to stay with the UMC, Rev. Brian Jones.

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Welcome to the more to the story, Podcast and those of you who followed this podcast on a regular basis. You'll know that I have highlighted the significant changes that are coming in the United Methodist Church regularly. And so today we are going to get

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Andy Miller III: slightly different perspective than what I have shared in the past, and I think you'll appreciate it. So hang on here. I think you're going to really value this conversation. Now make sure, you know that this podcast is brought to you by Wesley Biblical Seminary.

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Andy Miller III: We are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we have people who are. We are training across the denominational spectrum, but particularly those that come in the pan westerly and movement. When I say that I mean United Methodists. Ah, Protestant Methodists, salvation, Nazarene premises all that, and non denominational groups, of course, and people from all kinds of traditions We would love for you to think about coming here, and

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Brian Jones: All right. I am bringing in my guest here. My friend, Reverend Brian Jones, serves as a pastor of the Gary, and I met this church. He is an elder from actually the Indiana Conference. And I need to say, before I let you say anything, Brian, you

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Brian Jones: our kind of like a big brother to me. I grew up as Big Brother, and so I need big brothers, and when I arrived at Asbury University, back in Ah nineteen, ninety eight, the last sponsor was there to greet me. Ryan was there, and Sarah Miller drew my name when I arrived there, and did. I had the privilege of having him on my hall, making sure that I did all the right things. So Brian, welcome to five

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Brian Jones: and and Reverend Dr. Andrew Miller, it is.

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Brian Jones: It is a joy to be with you. I you know I just got back from a youth retreat. I was one of the mentors there. I'd run confirmation where we help kids. I give them opportunity to accept crisis, Lord and Savior. So it just came off that, and i'm at home today in my Home Office, wearing my Muhammad Ali. Ah, Fraser sweatshirt my cubs hat because I don't want you to get the all hair off. My,

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Brian Jones: that had happened.

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Brian Jones: Oh, yeah, there it is! Wow, congratulations. It is. Yeah, so. And I have no vanity about it.

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Brian Jones: But okay, and

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Brian Jones: where I've learned over these coming years where I put the camera. It hits right here. It's lines. It's kind of hard if we ever disagree about anything I feel like I just have to submit, because, like certainly in a hallway wrestling that you would have won. But I just feel like I haven't given to you,

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Brian Jones: and that was the University of that bolt. Brian and I attended has this a process that they go through like a tradition where two seniors sponsor the freshman class. So Brian and they have to like, run. They have to get elected for that coveted position. And so Brian did that for my class, and i'll just have a shout out to all my fellow abiding classmates class of two thousand and two. You name the class.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, we did me and Sarah Joe.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, Sarah Joe Miller and

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Brian Jones: yeah got Golly, what a get. I mean, really one of the as I look back on my life. Yeah, And it's going to be one of the most um things that I am most thankful for most formative, for y'all were such wonderful like

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Brian Jones: I could have you all formed me so much more than I did, and you know, Sarah Joe, and that friendship that we've had for years. Those are yeah I missed. I hated that. I couldn't be there this summer for the

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Brian Jones: Oh, right for the twentieth because of ah family stuff. But yeah, yeah, it's good. Well, you'll probably maybe some some people might know you. Some of maybe our abiding. People are catching up with you right now, but maybe you just give people a short sketch

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of what happened after college like. So you went on a seminary, and then serving churches. After that just catch us up with where you are.

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Brian Jones: Yes, yes, see. So after as bearing um, and if we get into it later. I'll talk about my call as well, but I you know I met my wife at a Methodist church camp. We literally met each other.

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Brian Jones: I mean it sounds cheesy, but we literally met each other doing altered calls, and

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Brian Jones: there you go so like That's how we met, and um, you know she felt a real call to um to go to the Holy. She's a year older than me. So she felt a real call by the Holy Spirit to go to Duke, and I didn't have that at all. I did. I had No, I guess I always assumed i'd go to Asbury Seminary like just across the street. But you know we were getting married, and I wanted to,

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Brian Jones: and she just really felt that she was like I don't know why, but this is where God's calling me.

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Brian Jones: Yeah. And I said, I said, Well, yeah, So I went to Duke. But there were several other Asbury people who went. Josh Dipper, Rob Bassner, Matt. Slim.

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Brian Jones: Yeah. And then a whole kind of a crew, as very folks afterwards

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Brian Jones: kind of went to Duke, and I got my M. Div. There I worked for the Duke Youth Academy for Christian formation, which was a lily project which I loved. I was the assistant director there, and So I worked for Duke, but in a in a Christian capacity for a ministry which was awesome. Yeah, and it helped kids come to a deeper relationship of Christ, and so why Beth was finishing up her Phd: So she did her Nts:

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Brian Jones: Yeah. And then her Ph. D. And then she went on, And so I always figured her job is going to lead, because those jobs are always way harder to get them.

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Andy Miller III: Yes,

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Brian Jones: we can affirm this. Yes, and so she went to Huntington University, which is a small Evangelical Brethren college outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana. And so I was from Southern Indiana, and so I moved up to Northern India

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Brian Jones: and in Indiana and the Methodist Church, you know I met this church. Those were two separate come from a right, and so I went up there and started my ordination process and passed her to Small church

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Brian Jones: and learned a lot. I won't, go into all of that, but shout out to Christ's United Methodist Church, and literally cr it of Crist apostrophe as Christ,

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Brian Jones: just to make sure who it belongs to. Exactly. And and then Beth got the call to you Teach systematic theology at

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Brian Jones: at Wheaton College. Yeah. And so we moved to Wheaton. Um, where our fourth child was born, and I had a church Faith United Methodist Church in Lombard, which is just like ten minutes away, and they they were growing. And then we had Zeke, our youngest Hezekiah, and at that point

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Brian Jones: Beth was going through tenure. I was. The church was growing. But again, these are good things.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, but I was just like being, and I felt like the Holy Spirit is really calling me to take some time off. So I took about four years off all. Wow! He was in kindergarten. I um, and I stayed. I was the stay at home. Parent. There you go, for I took family leave.

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Brian Jones: We started going to a church called Gary Church, which is, which is kind of a downtown

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Brian Jones: big congregation in in Wheaton. Okay, and um. I had friends from div school who went there, and I loved the preaching there. It was like I grew up. Ah, ah! Ah! Tracy! Malone was the pastor. There she is now she's, and she is now Bishop.

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Brian Jones: Okay? Ah, in East Ohio. But um, you know I went there and ah! The new pastor came, and he said, Hey, Brian, I think you know, maybe. Have you ever thought about coming back in the ministry? And I said, Absolutely. Yes, I have. He's like well,

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Brian Jones: you know, I said, it's funny because I was gonna have that conversation with you. He was like, Well, would you like to be a my associate pastor? So I actually started going to the church.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, interesting with my family, and I didn't do anything because I didn't want to step on anybody's right. Sure. Ah, and other pastors. There's the only thing. I I taught Third grade Bible. Okay,

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Brian Jones: Yeah. And ah, that's when we give them their Bible. We teach them how to use it. And basic. And So then I I became on staff, and I taught confirmation. That first crew I ever did. That was my first. Those are my confirmation classes. They're all They're all in college now. It's their first now. So I had that crew all the way through in different things. When I was not a pastor

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Brian Jones: I was just a dad of the congregation then. Yeah, I was their pastor, and so I've It's been Ah, this is beginning my eighth year in Gary Church, and it's been just a joy. I I love that place. I love the congregation. I love my senior pastor and the staff. It has been a real blessing to me.

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Brian Jones: But yeah, I came to it a little bit weirdly. That yeah, most of it works in the Methodist Church in a lot of ways. It's more like an independent church where you start going there, and then you kind of get pulled up through the leadership, and you're one of the pastors. Sure, Sure, it was weird. But i'm very providential.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, And it's interesting, too, like I I had heard of your wife before I knew she was your wife. Mine?

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Brian Jones: Yeah.

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Brian Jones: Oh, yeah, it's kind of a fun, And I've never met her in person yet. You know, we've interacted a little bit online. But so that that's been fun, and just to know of the work she's doing. And the way you guys are working as a team to, you know, enable her scholarly work to happen, or we're on the back

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Brian Jones: train students. So now she's no longer a weed right right right? Yeah. She just moved to Northern Seminary, which is a Baptist seminary, and she loves it. I was gonna say other probably people in Jay who's a New Testament, Scott Mcnight.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, sure, Lynn Kohick. Those are all people at Northern. It's a great place. It's a smaller seminary, but I as much as she loved me, and it's Ah, I think it is nice for her to feel called to

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Brian Jones: teach pastors really has a desire to teach pastors. And oh, yeah, she's way more famous than me,

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Brian Jones: and which I love. Oh, yeah, no. It like most of the time I am Dr. Jones's husband, and or and that is never thing for me. I mean, she's.

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Brian Jones: She is smart and caring and Christ-like and thoughtful. So it is it is, and you know, just to be a part of her life and and be in ministry with her has just been a tremendous blessing. And so you've been able to do like she's. She was doing that full time, and then you took the four years off. And now, are you? You're part time, right? Yeah. Yeah. I've always taken part

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Brian Jones: part time. And the reason is a couple a couple reasons is one. I always wanted to be there to be at home with the kids when they come home from school like that was an important thing for me. It's by the way, it's important for Beth. It's not that. Yeah, I understand, has to teach classes like there's no you know. And so I always wanted to be there as long as I could, and that gives me that flexibility, and also in the

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Brian Jones: in the United Methodist world. I am on loan from northern road from Indiana

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Brian Jones: ride northern Illinois. So Indiana never really bothered, because, you know, as the church grew where I was, that in Indiana when I left. What they were going to need was a full time past um, and so um. But when I left Indiana was not like upset about it i'm one less mouth. They have to feed right

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Brian Jones: Northern Illinois, you know

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Brian Jones: they've been wonderful but they were like I I asked for a and the non full-time church for our own reasons, but also then I have way more options. Um. I've never had, and and they are not a mouth. They have to feed, because they need people to take part time jobs that that are the hard right. So I started off less than four. It's keep, adding up. I'm really about

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Brian Jones: sixty, three over four time. But my see, your pastor was like Brad says that, but he's really full time,

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Brian Jones: I sure, but there's not really a way to if you put your hours in, I'm sure that's what it would be. But I love it there. So

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Brian Jones: So yeah, So it is given me um, and the other thing is in the United States. If you're full time you're itinerant, which means they can move you at any point, even if you say I would rather really not.

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Brian Jones: So, not being full-time has allowed me to stay here near Beth's job, and with my kids school, and that's been a real real blessing.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, that's great. Oh, I love, I love getting caught up on that, I think, even though we've talked a few times over the last few years like to be able to get even. I'm learning things there. You know, we probably had a decade where we didn't talk at all.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, no communication. And that was at a time where I might have saw best book on sexuality. And then somebody told me later,

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Brian Jones: Oh, that's Brian what

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Brian Jones: it's like they're really passive.

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Brian Jones: So okay, now, you're we're in the part of what led to this was, I have had on Keith Boyet from Yeah. Now, at the Global Methodist shirt was a Dennis. Yeah. I've had Mark Tuli at Robert and fro, and soon, probably before this he comes out I'll have Jeff Greenway and Bishop Lowry talk about their book. So there's no doubt about the seminary where I work is. It is like we are aligned with those who are kind of, you know, coming into the global Message or so I mean, we still serve

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Brian Jones: will be serving nine Methodists. I'm positive of that going forward. So I I saw something that you posted, and it just brought a question in my mind. And so I want to get into talk about that like what's going on global methods, Church and the United Methodist Church and your decision to stay. But emails. We get there like

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Brian Jones: recognizing that you come at this as somebody who has been engaged in the challenges of the United Methodist Church since you were like eighteen years old. You were a delegate, right? I remember.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. So um,

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Brian Jones: yeah, just to go back a little bit. How I came that the church the church is my My father is a pastor.

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Brian Jones: Okay, and he's an elder. It was in the Southern Indiana Conference, and now the I mean the South Indiana Conference, and now the Indiana Conference.

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Brian Jones: And so when when we grew up they were mostly my parents have always felt a call to the poorest, and the of the oppressed right like they're They're very much when they went to Asbury. It's very much like the Jesus movement, right? Like, Yeah, sure, sure, right. And so they're very much in a lot of ways formed by that. And

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Brian Jones: so it was always to the poorest. And and you know that was my dad's family. That was my mother's family right like kind of in in Indiana,

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Brian Jones: especially when I was growing up. The poorest places are the rural places sure, And so I grew up in these little, You know I Methodist churches a lot of times more than one. Dad had one, and he was on a charge Right? Yes, and

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Brian Jones: but those are the places that taught me

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Brian Jones: to love the Scripture, to to know Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, to confess my sins, to follow Him, put him first. So those were those places, and so my dad was involved in the annual conference, so like in sixth grade, I was eleven years old the first time I went to annual conference.

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Brian Jones: Wow! And I was a delegate to annual conference and had a lot of

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yeah at eleven.

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Brian Jones: And this is not a normal thing for everybody outside of Methodist world is not eleven year olds. Don't do that very often. No, no, no! And so I was a delegate to a no conference, which is, you know, Indiana. And so all the methods got together, and you know for me

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Brian Jones: those

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Brian Jones: those systems were just affirming about, you know, making Christ, Lord, a Savior. And as I, as I got older I realized that not everybody in it in conference agrees with with me, and so, but I always felt that

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Brian Jones: the majority of the Methodists in the United Methodists in you know, Ah, South Indiana or Indiana generally, were more tended to be had. My experience. So my whole point was just to witness and allow more people

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Brian Jones: like me to be a part of the process.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, um. And so yeah, when I was a senior in high school. I was elected to general Conference, and I wasn't elected through like there's a general general in the unanimous church means globe.

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Brian Jones: Right? Good word. Yeah. So yeah. So, general, there's a general youth organization, and they get representatives because they're a part of this general board for the world, you know, the global, but not me. I was elected from Southern Indiana. I think I was the first youth ever elected, and so I got to, and I was, you know, an an evangelical kid. And

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Brian Jones: so those were those experiences of you know. You have to write out what you believe, how you how you think about things. And yeah, and I was pretty high up there, too, like on the I think I was third or fourth elected, which is really interesting. So I got to learn a lot, those those people who I went with

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Brian Jones: God bless them like they! So they were so helpful. But that is how I um, You know I was involved with the evangelical groups in Indiana, but then I became much more um in the world, and I was in all those rooms like the good news rooms, and those people probably didn't even remember me at all. But I was that quiet kid who was sitting there listening to all those discussions, because I don't think they knew what to do with me like I was like randomly

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Brian Jones: brought in with with. That's how I met our friend Rob Basner. I literally met Rob at general Conference, because his pastor was one of the big within the renewal movements.

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Brian Jones: And ah! Ah! Riley Case was his Reverend Reverend Dr. Riley Case, and that's how I met him, and he was my roommate, Josh's friend from Kokomo Indiana, and so from an early age. I was

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Brian Jones: in those rooms, not contributing much, but listening and seeing how things happened, and it was an education. I will say that it was an education.

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Brian Jones: So then, as you kind of make your way through like going through. As for university, then, Duke, and these are being a church, and being aware of conversations, and you know, and also via the the type of conversations Your wife is a part of in the Academy like you. You're like, you're connected to what's going on, and I don't know we don't really need going. I don't think we need to go through the history. I think people can go back and look at some of the other podcasts that we've had. Yeah to to talk about, like. You know how there's been successive

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Brian Jones: general conferences every four years, and

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Brian Jones: the statements that are in the discipline. The Rule Book, so to speak, of the United Methodist Church about marriage being between one man and one woman, and you know any homosexual behaviors outside the tradition, Christian tradition and practice. I'm not getting the exact right language here.

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Brian Jones: That's all been affirmed, and and you're glad for that. You're glad that the disciplines are right. I mean you are an orthodox person.

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Brian Jones: There's nothing that you would have heard, and the theology or Biblical interpretation side of that good news room which we're talking about, a group for those of those outside of Methodism. Yeah. But the political Action group within the life of the Church. We had Robert Mpro and I on a few few weeks ago. That's right surprise of that. So you You're you're aligned with that movement theologically.

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Brian Jones: Right?

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Brian Jones: Yeah. Yeah. And I've been in those groups. I will say that I was much more when I was younger, and that has nothing to do because I went to Northern Illinois.

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Brian Jones: Okay, right, like all of a sudden, even though i'm part of the Indiana Conference,

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Brian Jones: I can't be a leader in that caucus group there anymore,

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Brian Jones: because because because i'm not and and plus, we had great leaders

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Brian Jones: There's also a political reality, right? And Yes, there's a there. There was a Brian Jones not not really. There could never be no Brian Jones, but there were people who had grown up in that conference, right? And like,

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Brian Jones: Yeah, it's a whole nother social structure.

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Brian Jones: Yeah, yeah. And it would have been

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Brian Jones: I don't. How would I say it would have been bad form

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Brian Jones: right for me to, even because i'm in an extension ministries in Northern Illinois. It would have been bad for for me to try to be a part of the good news leadership, or I mean the and the confessing movement is what I Yeah, yeah, in Indiana. And that would have been a yeah, that. But we had great leaders in it like we had Greg Mcgarvey. We had

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Brian Jones: Bethan Cook. We had sure by the case we had all these wonderful that you know they didn't. They didn't need old Brian, you know. But John Lon Paris right Who?

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Brian Jones: They had a lot of good leaders that they didn't need me. But yeah, So so that is why I

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Brian Jones: once I moved to Indiana. I wasn't as involved in it, but I So when I went to annual conference. You know those are the people I knew those were the people I I went to the good news lunches right like those were. Yeah,

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Brian Jones: yeah, It's

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Brian Jones: so. So that's that's helpful. So like that might then be a surprise to folks. And this is why I wanted to have you on. It's like your intention, and this is a big question I know, like I don't have to. But, like your intention is not to leave the United Methods church, and honestly it's been.

00:25:28.060 --> 00:25:57.910
Brian Jones: Ah! And even though I ended up, did going, I did attend as very theological submarine after I was in university. I have many. Ah peers from my time there who are articulating similar things to you. Honestly, it's all been a surprise to me, because, as a Salvationist kind of looking from the outside in. I see this, and I think great you guys are finally free to, you know, become, you know what god's made you to be like, why not be let's? And and as people have articulated, there's a short window of time for people

00:25:57.920 --> 00:26:02.890
Brian Jones: to leave the Methodist Church, particularly churches, to leave. So yeah,

00:26:02.900 --> 00:26:05.030
Brian Jones: tell me. But like So, Brian, what's the deal?

00:26:05.040 --> 00:26:24.100
Brian Jones: Yeah, No, these it's a great question. Um. So I think i'm gonna have to back up. Just okay. Sorry. No, no, no, no, no, no. I think we have to back up to for people, maybe to understand why i'm coming from. Because I think a lot of people are asking really good questions like you would Right? Like, Why is this person

00:26:24.110 --> 00:26:29.290
Brian Jones: who's an evangelical? And who self-identifies that way?

00:26:29.300 --> 00:26:38.489
Brian Jones: Yeah. Um! Why would they be staying in the United States Church? So I think that's a good question, and partly i'm. I'm not going to try to answer for everybody else.

00:26:38.500 --> 00:26:49.260
Brian Jones: Yeah, that's right for me. But um, I I think it. I need to tell this story like I told you. I grew up in like in the United Methodist churches where I came to.

00:26:49.270 --> 00:27:02.320
Brian Jones: I love Scripture. It's where I came to know Christ as my my Lord and Savior right like to accept, forget for my sins, and to hear about the message of sanctification and holiness.

00:27:02.470 --> 00:27:21.789
Brian Jones: All right, I I will say that the probably the thing that has formed me a lot was like I told you right. I've been involved in the church. I got to be honest in Andy from my sophomore year in high school through my sophomore year in college, but probably the one

00:27:21.810 --> 00:27:27.310
Brian Jones: the worst for me spiritually in a lot of ways. I was

00:27:27.490 --> 00:27:44.910
Brian Jones: um. Those were tough times, and the times I don't always like to think about, because not because i'm embarrassed, but because I know I I hurt people like it. Was it it was equal parts mix of like spiritual arrogance, hypocritical living and self-loathing right like and

00:27:45.190 --> 00:27:46.770
Brian Jones: so

00:27:47.990 --> 00:27:51.670
Brian Jones: so I was not who I wanted

00:27:52.170 --> 00:28:10.669
Brian Jones: to be. I I hurt other people, and um, you know, hurt those who I loved um, and and when you know that you've hurt people, not only have you hurt them. But those hurts are probably going to last for the rest of their lives like you,

00:28:11.820 --> 00:28:14.289
Brian Jones: and there's and you can't get that back

00:28:14.300 --> 00:28:21.099
Brian Jones: right like like you can't. There's no making that up. And

00:28:21.210 --> 00:28:23.290
Brian Jones: I just uh

00:28:23.700 --> 00:28:28.989
Brian Jones: was I was not. I was not following Christ as I should,

00:28:29.000 --> 00:28:31.120
Brian Jones: and so

00:28:31.260 --> 00:28:33.310
Brian Jones: yet in that whole time

00:28:34.280 --> 00:28:38.800
Brian Jones: like there was Denai Methodist Church.

00:28:38.880 --> 00:28:56.690
Brian Jones: There was there was, you know, my friends at Asbury College. There were, there was Asbury College institution. There were. There were churches. I knew all these places in the midst of of knowing my struggles and where I was.

00:28:56.700 --> 00:28:59.029
Brian Jones: They were also faithful to me,

00:28:59.280 --> 00:29:01.589
Brian Jones: right when I was not being faithful, the

00:29:01.600 --> 00:29:05.120
Brian Jones: and most importantly, Christ was faithful to me.

00:29:05.260 --> 00:29:14.339
Brian Jones: When I was not being faithful. When I was in eighth grade I was, I was baptized, and I was confirmed, and I made promises

00:29:14.350 --> 00:29:30.620
Brian Jones: to to make Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I won't go through all the baptismal promises, but you know, like, and also to be a faithful and to be a faithful member of the Church. And I take those things extremely seriously like.

00:29:30.630 --> 00:29:38.630
Brian Jones: And part of it is from this experience, because I know that I was not living up to the covenant I made,

00:29:38.720 --> 00:29:49.039
Brian Jones: and but they were. They were faithful to me, even though there were things they didn't approve of. They were like Brian god's still here

00:29:49.050 --> 00:30:04.530
Brian Jones: god's searching for you. Um! We still see gifts and talents in you. Yeah, During that same time, which probably the first times I heard my calling Right? Wow! But but I also knew I wasn't living one like I should

00:30:04.540 --> 00:30:11.689
Brian Jones: you. My father was a pastor, and I didn't want to be a pastor, because my father was a pastor

00:30:11.700 --> 00:30:26.889
Brian Jones: right and then three. I was ah dating Beth, and she said she was living in the slums of Nairobi, and like she sent me these letters that was like, hey? I feel like God's calling. You meet a ministry at that point. She wasn't for sure what kind of ministry it was. Yet.

00:30:26.900 --> 00:30:40.799
Brian Jones: Yeah, I was like for me. I thought she met Pastor, and I was like well, if she's going to oh, i'm definitely not doing it so. There was a lot of things, but the church was still seeing things in me, and was being faithful when I wasn't.

00:30:41.360 --> 00:30:54.450
Brian Jones: I'm so thankful that and it wasn't always like they were like It's gonna be okay, Brian, It was. It was tough love, like. I especially think of those guys who I was in a small group with like

00:30:54.480 --> 00:31:10.489
Brian Jones: John Roberts, Josh West Freeman, like those were guys who um who saw me every week and prayed with me and called out a lot of things in my life and and plus my parents.

00:31:10.500 --> 00:31:34.280
Brian Jones: That was the other thing like my parents were never. And this is what I love about them. They, and probably why all of us is as Joan Siblings. We have a good relationship with church as a very as compared to most preachers kids, at least a lot of them as we met later, was, like our parents, treated us the same in private as we did in public, like there was no,

00:31:34.290 --> 00:31:46.870
Brian Jones: and they also didn't talk about church stuff, I mean, they talk about church. They didn't complain about people like, because there were some people who they did not get along with, but had real strong impacts in my faith,

00:31:46.880 --> 00:32:04.490
Brian Jones: and they didn't want to come between that. But my parents were the kind of people like I said he treated me the same as the public as in private, and we had a really close relationship. They knew all these things, and my parents were like. Listen, Brian, this is this is not what God's calling you to

00:32:04.500 --> 00:32:15.140
Brian Jones: right like, and so I don't want to make it sound like that. The church was in any way like soft peddling me like you know they. And so

00:32:15.770 --> 00:32:32.370
Brian Jones: when my sophomore year, I remember, like really struggling with God, saying, God, I want to live not just a life where I know that you have forgiven me of my sins. I want to live a life where

00:32:32.860 --> 00:32:41.810
Brian Jones: I am living like Christ, and that holiness message of the of the Methodist tradition of the Wesleyan tradition

00:32:42.120 --> 00:33:01.590
Brian Jones: really came over me, and by the grace of God I I felt like I was I I didn't have entire sanctification. I don't mean it like that, but things changed, and so when you met me I was a very different person than I had been just three or four years ago.

00:33:01.600 --> 00:33:20.189
Brian Jones: Sure and um! And so it it was, as I was going to be an Ra. As very college, and I I was just like, you know. So this idea of being faithful to somebody, even when they are not being faith

00:33:20.200 --> 00:33:26.589
Brian Jones: right right, and and being faithful to vows, even when somebody else isn't

00:33:26.600 --> 00:33:29.439
Brian Jones: really was a thing that formed me

00:33:29.570 --> 00:33:30.890
Brian Jones: importantly.

00:33:31.050 --> 00:33:33.610
Brian Jones: And so

00:33:33.840 --> 00:33:49.980
Brian Jones: my my vows I've made vows for for membership in the church, you know, at my confirmation, but also then I made ordination valves, and for me it's not something I can

00:33:51.400 --> 00:34:06.120
Brian Jones: give up on, because the Holy Spirit Hasn't let me. Um. I want to be very clear if and I've I've talked. We've talked about this before, but I just think it's important to say, like man people who

00:34:06.720 --> 00:34:19.599
Brian Jones: who are going to the Global Methodist Church, I am happy for them. I I feel like God is calling them that like this is not me being judgmental, i'm like i'm so superior because i'm holding to my vows that's

00:34:19.630 --> 00:34:24.490
Brian Jones: that's not what I'm saying. I'm just trying to tell you like where i'm coming from.

00:34:24.500 --> 00:34:26.979
Brian Jones: So so for me.

00:34:27.659 --> 00:34:46.929
Brian Jones: Um! It comes from this deep sense of of being, of being faithful and witnessing, so I remember, probably around two thousand. I was. I was talking to a friend from Indiana, and we were talking about the the church, and how things were going,

00:34:46.940 --> 00:34:51.760
Brian Jones: and I said I talked to him, and I said, You know, man, I think we're

00:34:51.780 --> 00:34:53.490
Brian Jones: I think we're going to win.

00:34:53.500 --> 00:35:10.040
Brian Jones: He missed the Evangelicals right. I was like. I think we're going to win this thing, and he was like I don't know he's like. I hope the church splits, and we just go our separate ways, and I was like I was like man. I think we're going to win. Why, you want to stay and win

00:35:10.050 --> 00:35:18.630
Brian Jones: afterwards. That night I couldn't sleep for a couple nights. I was like what's what's going on with me, and

00:35:18.950 --> 00:35:26.290
Brian Jones: I remember I didn't hear an audible voice. I never hear an audible voice of God never have, anyway. Maybe someday. But I never.

00:35:26.300 --> 00:35:36.620
Brian Jones: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that'd be great. I'll take it i'll take it. But I've never had that experience personally, but I did feel like God and my soul, Saint Brian.

00:35:37.970 --> 00:35:41.300
Brian Jones: The reason why you're feeling this way is because it's not about winning the

00:35:42.560 --> 00:35:44.490
Brian Jones: it's been about witnessing.

00:35:44.530 --> 00:35:49.539
Brian Jones: It's about witnessing to the Gospel. And

00:35:49.560 --> 00:35:53.119
Brian Jones: why do you care about winning? Because I sure don't,

00:35:53.980 --> 00:36:02.620
Brian Jones: and for and I was like, Gosh, darn it, that's right, like I got caught up

00:36:02.630 --> 00:36:20.259
Brian Jones: in this thing, and as you're not, you know you and I both sports fans. It's easy for us to get caught up with competition, you know. Yeah, my side wants to win. I want to win. And I got caught up in that, and I was just, and I was just like,

00:36:20.410 --> 00:36:26.760
Brian Jones: so it reminded me of how I was at the beginning. You know this was not about the

00:36:27.000 --> 00:36:31.690
Brian Jones: this was never about winning. This was about witnessing.

00:36:31.700 --> 00:36:41.790
Brian Jones: And so so so that is where that is where I am coming from when it comes to staying in the Nine Methodist Church. And yeah, yeah,

00:36:41.800 --> 00:37:04.809
Brian Jones: So this is this: I can summarize. That's great. So because of your extended and and forgive me for summarizing something, no summarize much time, but like So your experience of kind of not being close to the Lord, and being somebody who needed the vows directed, but to upheld in your direction kind of instilled in you this firm commitment that vows are significant in the church, particularly a group.

00:37:04.820 --> 00:37:29.989
Andy Miller III: Great experience you had growing up was something that you felt called to. And so, as you've done that now, and you've moved through this process, and even maintaining an orthodox theology and perspective of where the church should be realize It's not about winning or losing, but witnessing and like that, that's that, maybe like creating an either, or is a problem in this scenario. So here's Is that a good? Is that a fair?

00:37:30.000 --> 00:37:34.089
Brian Jones: Yeah. Oh, yeah. So that I think that's a fair way, very short, obviously not as A.

00:37:34.100 --> 00:37:48.950
Brian Jones: You didn't say you did a way Better job. Okay, But because no, I wanted to hear that. Actually, I think it'll help people. It helps me to to understand where you're coming from. So here's a question: Could the Methodist Church go far enough

00:37:49.030 --> 00:38:00.889
Brian Jones: to lead it to a place where they're not? They're being so unfaithful to what you signed up for what you vowed to. I don't know if that's the right way to describe it. Um, that that you would leave.

00:38:00.900 --> 00:38:02.959
Brian Jones: Yeah, how would that be?

00:38:04.580 --> 00:38:07.589
Brian Jones: So? I've I've thought about that.

00:38:07.600 --> 00:38:15.289
Brian Jones: I'm not i'm not quite for sure yet, Andy, I would. I wish I could tell you what it was. But yeah, I think

00:38:16.070 --> 00:38:22.680
Brian Jones: for me it would. So I I was actually part of this group that got that wanted

00:38:22.710 --> 00:38:36.589
Brian Jones: that wanted general Conference to pass Nicaea as as one of our the Council of Nicaea is one of our founding Ah! Of our doctrinal standards right?

00:38:37.490 --> 00:38:47.799
Brian Jones: And actually I think of it as being Catholic right because they came up in the fortys, fiftys and sixtys. This idea that Methodists Weren't greeted,

00:38:47.810 --> 00:39:08.740
Brian Jones: which really bothers me sure. Um, and it was just me like I, you know I went to do, and people who work wouldn't. I have identified themselves of Evangelicals like they were like. What's this like? Nicaea is a court right? Right? So I don't mean It's like I thought it was a way of

00:39:08.760 --> 00:39:10.620
Brian Jones: of allowing them

00:39:10.850 --> 00:39:28.630
Brian Jones: conversation and and and helping Unity. But I was surprised at the backlash we got for it like um, and how much people were against it, and they were like they're just going to use that as some kind of

00:39:28.640 --> 00:39:32.570
Brian Jones: they're just going to use Nica as some kind of

00:39:32.630 --> 00:39:46.689
Brian Jones: you know, cudgel to to hit people, and I was like man. That's exactly the opposite of how I was experiencing this, like I was thinking, Let's introduce Nicaea as a way to have good conversation, even though we disagree. And

00:39:46.800 --> 00:39:53.340
Brian Jones: so I would say anything where the method And here is the problem with the and i'm at this church, as I see it.

00:39:53.350 --> 00:39:53.890
Andy Miller III: Yeah,

00:39:53.900 --> 00:39:56.680
Brian Jones: the the Constitution cannot be changed.

00:39:57.700 --> 00:40:01.290
Brian Jones: It is almost impossible to change it.

00:40:01.300 --> 00:40:21.530
Brian Jones: But to constitute, like what John Wesley right? Those things can't be changed which I actually think is a problem, even though I want to upheld. I think that's a problem, because what people end up doing is they start using the same language, but they use they mean very different things where they use the right language, right? And

00:40:21.540 --> 00:40:23.810
Brian Jones: and so um,

00:40:24.240 --> 00:40:44.199
Brian Jones: you know, if it can't be changed it doesn't actually reflect what the people of the Church believe. So that's actually one of the problems I don't think people talk enough about that as Methodist. So it actually makes me putting a line in the sand actually harder, because because I could say like, Well,

00:40:44.210 --> 00:40:58.920
Brian Jones: you know it's when they, when they don't believe in the virgin birth, or they don't believe in the resurrection of the bodily resurrection. I sure, or they don't believe that that Jesus but but Andy. They're never going to change that, because they can't

00:40:59.200 --> 00:41:03.689
Brian Jones: right. And constitutionally constitutionally, they can't change that.

00:41:03.700 --> 00:41:05.979
Brian Jones: So? Um!

00:41:06.230 --> 00:41:11.809
Brian Jones: But I I guess for me is I don't know. Here's what I do know.

00:41:12.010 --> 00:41:16.389
Brian Jones: I can't leave the Nine Methodist Church without saying I tried

00:41:16.480 --> 00:41:29.790
Brian Jones: That's what I can't do for for me, but I think all those things I just named right. Jesus is in the way of salvation. Anything about the Trinity? Sure, He becomes explicit there

00:41:29.800 --> 00:41:39.690
Andy Miller III: isn't it. They're already so like. This is. One interesting thing is that in my experience with United Methodists I I came in with more positive i'm not in it. Actually

00:41:39.700 --> 00:41:47.740
Brian Jones: right, right came became an interact with you. You know my in-laws. Yeah, exactly South Georgia. And so I was very connected to me it's a beautiful witness of

00:41:47.750 --> 00:42:14.529
Brian Jones: of the same sort of theology that flows from the kind of the Asbury world I was a part of. Yeah. But then, as I got into other communities. Another region of the country. My my wife and I served in Texas and Georgia and Florida, and I realized well, not everybody's in resurrection, and I'm sitting at Smu Perkins and realize I'm the only person in the classroom who believes in the physical resurrection. So I have that that side of it, and then much less the fact. There's a I mean just

00:42:14.540 --> 00:42:36.290
Brian Jones: again, i'm not trying to strong arm the argument all but there's no no; for as being Bishop, there is. I I saw two weeks ago an article in the and from Western Pennsylvania of a kind of a polyamorous, not just kind of a polyamorous pastor who's hoping the Church will change It's all I don't know if it's in your conference, but somewhere in Illinois a drag party within the life of it.

00:42:36.300 --> 00:42:37.890
Brian Jones: That's in the logo

00:42:37.900 --> 00:42:39.390
Brian Jones: that's in down state,

00:42:39.400 --> 00:42:52.890
Brian Jones: as they would say that here, which I always think is kind of pejorative, because i'm always like well in Indiana I would have.

00:42:52.900 --> 00:42:57.390
Brian Jones: But this is a church, your part, I mean. Let me just push it. This is the church

00:42:57.400 --> 00:43:01.690
Andy Miller III: that you're ordained in, and they're allowing these things to happen.

00:43:01.700 --> 00:43:13.709
Brian Jones: Yeah. And then there's allowing people to have a Christology that's not consistent with the creeds. And so that I think that's where I come like I admire your bow.

00:43:13.720 --> 00:43:42.679
Brian Jones: Hi, my! And honestly like I can't what I might stand in the way of so amazing like God's not releasing me. Look! Ah, we'll go there. Preach the gospel, help people like. I hope so. But as you know your little brother, so to speak. Yeah, you know what to get out, Brian, like. I don't want you to have to go through this. Yeah, Yeah. So I think that's no I totally understand. And I understand where where a lot of people from the outside people who are on the left, and people who are on the right theologically

00:43:42.690 --> 00:43:48.290
Brian Jones: not talking politically. Right? Right? Right? Correct. Correct. Correct. Not right. Right?

00:43:48.300 --> 00:44:03.789
Brian Jones: Yeah. Because I actually I actually consider myself one of those people who's probably politically Orleans left, and but theologically leaned right, and I lean politically left because i'm theologically right, like interesting. Yeah, Yeah. But that's because i'm an old ho in this person

00:44:03.800 --> 00:44:10.689
Brian Jones: like That's how the whole it is. People were back, you know, one hundred and fifty years ago, but

00:44:11.410 --> 00:44:21.390
Brian Jones: you know but that that doesn't exist in America much anymore. However, but I think that's important to say. You know theological. There's something in there. Maybe we have another podcast about that. But

00:44:21.400 --> 00:44:30.060
Brian Jones: yeah, yeah, but those two groups, you know, you know. I think both of them look at

00:44:30.160 --> 00:44:52.389
Brian Jones: would look at me in some ways, and have consternation like what? What's? But I think there's a lot of people like me, and so, but I I totally understand where people ask you. You push away, brother.

00:44:52.400 --> 00:45:05.939
Brian Jones: It's also kind of a guess. It comes on rather or not. This is a a matter of Christian dogma. Yeah. And this that there's something about. And your wife's written about this, you know to a certain degree like about

00:45:06.050 --> 00:45:34.399
Andy Miller III: the reality of Genesis three, and the the role that the seed of of Adam would play, and the seed of David would play, and as they come to the place of the necessity of the eternal Logos being coming through a female like the distinction between male and female is so critical that I I worry about um. The

00:45:34.570 --> 00:45:39.190
Andy Miller III: I like to me. I'll say this is that this is a matter of orthodoxy,

00:45:39.200 --> 00:46:04.540
Andy Miller III: and i'm just curious like, Do you feel like it's at that place? Do you think that if we diverge on um human sexuality in all of this manifestation? So I mean you could say Lgbtq agenda and that kind of thing. And again, I hope people, every time I say it, I whenever I preach on the subject I go. This is not a gate. Our love for those who are struggling with any sort of any kind of challenges in this regard,

00:46:04.550 --> 00:46:19.750
Brian Jones: or our ability to welcome people and serve people who suffer in any sort of way, or are challenged by these, or maybe even just wondering intellectually where they are. So I like. I don't want that to be the message that's conveyed. So please hear me on that

00:46:20.010 --> 00:46:40.769
Brian Jones: at the same time there's an opportunity for us to say, like what the Church has always taught. And unfortunately this is like, I think this is the place where it's going to come down. Is this a matter of dogma, or is it your opinion? Yeah, no, that's a really good question. It's one I struggle with all the time like I really really do

00:46:40.850 --> 00:46:43.909
Brian Jones: for for me. Here's what I think is

00:46:43.920 --> 00:47:02.080
Brian Jones: dogma is, and here i'm going to sound extremely in. My Methodist is ha! The constant Is the Constitution right like what? John West, the articles of Religion from the Evangelical I'm Brethren Church, the Articles of of religion from the the Old.

00:47:02.090 --> 00:47:20.250
Brian Jones: Me see the message, Yeah, and and and for me would be Nicaea Calcedon. You know the Ecumenical councils, and you know those are Those are dumb.

00:47:20.640 --> 00:47:25.549
Brian Jones: So and I try to keep dog with small,

00:47:25.560 --> 00:47:54.609
Brian Jones: because I I realized that uh, sometimes we, as the Church, push things too far in. So so, for example, um and I totally respect our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. But uh and you know, and um I I've I've been listening a lot to uh, you know our old Asbury friend, Matt Swain, who I love. You know he has a wonderful Catholic ministry,

00:47:54.620 --> 00:48:07.490
Brian Jones: Radio Ministry. I've been listening to a lot of the merry dogmas that they've been doing, and as a Protestant, and also about the E grist right like. But I

00:48:07.750 --> 00:48:14.630
Brian Jones: There are some things that I think happened at Trent right. The Council of Trent, which I think

00:48:14.680 --> 00:48:22.689
Brian Jones: they were reacting to a certain thing in Protestantism and Weren't, always listening to what Protestants were saying,

00:48:22.700 --> 00:48:49.810
Brian Jones: and and and reacted in a way that I don't think is consistent with with with the previous one, so that that's why I mean I try to keep those things small. So those are The things that I think are are dogma. But there's also teachings of the Church, and how you live faithfully, and what the Church has talked. But um! I think you're getting to a point for for me, I think. Because Ah,

00:48:49.820 --> 00:48:58.859
Brian Jones: there's these I would say. There's probably three different groups within the United States. There's the Evangelicals kind of where where i'm from. Then there's kind of the Progressives.

00:48:58.880 --> 00:49:17.649
Brian Jones: I didn't even have this group that they could call themselves Centrist congratulations, and I will say that they will say things like Well, these these things are never going to change in the United States. I'm like

00:49:17.920 --> 00:49:27.829
Brian Jones: they they're pitched to the Evangelicals who are thinking about leaving to go to the global Athletes Church. They're like they're like things Aren't going to change. I'm: like. Yes, they will.

00:49:27.900 --> 00:49:36.390
Brian Jones: They undoubtedly will. And also they'll say things like you know we'll never

00:49:36.510 --> 00:49:39.649
Brian Jones: we'll never change these things, and i'm like that's

00:49:39.800 --> 00:49:50.189
Brian Jones: Ah, that's that's a false. That's a false bill, man like those that's not true like. Why are we separating? If you don't want things to change

00:49:50.200 --> 00:50:12.749
Brian Jones: like, And I think it's a real. I don't think they're trying to be dishonest per se. I I always try to read people on the absolute best like. However, um. I just don't think that's true. But the problem is like they'll They'll say things they'll say things like we believe Jesus is the way in the truth, and the life, and we believe in the body of the resurrection.

00:50:12.830 --> 00:50:16.389
Brian Jones: Andy. I have been an annual conference, I,

00:50:16.400 --> 00:50:19.859
Brian Jones: where there are people who I love,

00:50:19.920 --> 00:50:38.889
Brian Jones: who are on the same row as me, and they don't. I've listened to their sermons, and they have told me, person they don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and or they don't believe in the Trinity. They believe in process theology right,

00:50:38.900 --> 00:50:44.259
Brian Jones: or they don't they don't believe in penal substitution, right,

00:50:44.600 --> 00:50:55.289
Brian Jones: which is fine. I don't, I think atonement theories are atonement theories. I don't. However, I don't think you can get around Scripture where it says you know, for your

00:50:55.300 --> 00:51:05.490
Brian Jones: since right like they or they don't. I've heard a lot of times. People not believe in original sin right like I've heard this

00:51:05.500 --> 00:51:23.879
Brian Jones: like It's I didn't make this up. This is not um, and so I think probably my discernment. But again I will go back to the Constitution. The method, Andy, the Methodist Church can't. The United of the Church can't change the Constitution. So

00:51:23.890 --> 00:51:44.169
Brian Jones: so. So there's a problem there that where people may profess like, they say, Oh, yeah, we profess this, but then they don't actually live it out. And I think that's a huge problem. And so I think probably when it comes for me it will come down to the point where i'm like. You know what I don't think I can in all integrity

00:51:44.180 --> 00:51:48.690
Brian Jones: say that this is a place that believes those things anymore, right right?

00:51:48.700 --> 00:51:53.469
Brian Jones: And that. And this decision that I'm making is not one that I think i'm

00:51:53.480 --> 00:52:23.470
Brian Jones: like, i'm not saying that i'm going to keep this for the rest of my life, right? There's a lot of places where I felt really called like um. You know I, the Free Methodist church to me. Sounds like it really. Um has a lot. Oh, sure, sure, right? Like Yeah. Yeah. Also the Nazarene Um, the the ame. Ah, actually African Methodist Episcopal Church. That's a church. There's a strong one here. I've always loved how they, I think, a lot better than I see,

00:52:23.480 --> 00:52:26.339
Brian Jones: and our Methodists combine

00:52:26.670 --> 00:52:56.129
Brian Jones: combine personal salvation, and but also a collection. It's a social action and a robust idea of the the poor and the oppressed right. But very similar to this Salvation Army. Yeah, you know, I think those two within the kind of the Methodist siblings do the best in those ways. And and so those are definitely places where I feel that I could maybe go. Not not Salvation Army. That's more because of my sacramental theology.

00:52:56.140 --> 00:53:11.690
Brian Jones: Um! But those are places where I think I could go for God, maybe. Yeah. Well, that's great. I mean, I I I didn't want it, and I never thought that you were like I'm never going to change. I asked the question in a provocative way, because i'm trying to,

00:53:11.700 --> 00:53:30.010
Andy Miller III: and that's the type of piece that I think needs to be brought up, and and my fear for those who are sticking it out in the you know i'm at the church of those who come from Ah, classically orthodox theology is that I just feel like things are going to change fast, and

00:53:30.020 --> 00:53:56.419
Brian Jones: it may be maybe i'm wrong on that. But it seems like like, even here in Mississippi. I'm. Just. You know very much on the outskirts of what's going on with the politics and the you know I methods conference. There was a Conservative candidate who was nominated and pulled out, and there's no there's probably not going to be a Conservative. That's they're putting forward um so again. To be a bishop, that is. And yeah, I just feel like the the problem has been, and in the

00:53:56.430 --> 00:54:20.539
Andy Miller III: it's not just your it's not just the I Methodist Church, this isn't the savage family. This is my big complaint for the army right now. It's like we have a a great theology beyond the books, a great system in place. But if it's not going to be enforced, and you can come back to the Constitution, and I think that's the piece like this is all there. So if people are living outside the Constitution and not enforcing it, and that's just going to keep on going on the road, and then they're going to be explicitly

00:54:20.550 --> 00:54:23.690
Andy Miller III: changing the the discipline that's you.

00:54:23.700 --> 00:54:29.989
Brian Jones: That that's a scary situation for me, and I just want my friends. I just I don't want to see you go through that.

00:54:30.000 --> 00:54:31.590
Brian Jones: Yeah, let

00:54:31.600 --> 00:54:43.590
Brian Jones: Can I talk a couple of things about that, especially for a lot? No, no, especially for your listeners who aren't, you know you have a lot. I'm a Lister. But I have to.

00:54:43.600 --> 00:54:57.890
Brian Jones: Yeah, yeah. But for people who aren't Ini Methodists I understand that they may have some questions here. The unanimous church is put together. Very similarly. They are the first kind of us in the Baptist for the first evangelical American

00:54:58.080 --> 00:55:03.690
Brian Jones: denominator. Right? Yeah. So I mean, there's a reason why superman's a Methodist.

00:55:03.700 --> 00:55:14.090
Brian Jones: Hi! Ah, like he is kind of like the quintessential, you know. You know Middle America right? Right? It's like you. You

00:55:14.100 --> 00:55:25.199
Brian Jones: Yeah, right? Oh, no about I think we've got us quite Can't was much better than me, you know. So,

00:55:25.760 --> 00:55:27.160
Brian Jones: but it

00:55:27.170 --> 00:55:47.169
Brian Jones: so. It nears the the United States Government. So the General Conference is the Legislature right? It's all the conferences around the world get so many, and they're all they all sent to general Conference, and they are the only ones who speak

00:55:47.180 --> 00:55:48.229
Brian Jones: for

00:55:48.250 --> 00:56:01.129
Brian Jones: for the church. It's the diagonal conference right? And then you have the the Judicial Council, which is basically like the Supreme Court, right? Right? And the on constitutional issues they

00:56:01.140 --> 00:56:19.309
Brian Jones: they weigh in. And then you have, and then you have the executive branch, which are the general superintendents

00:56:19.320 --> 00:56:39.000
Brian Jones: Right? I so I still refer to them. Do you really? I refer to them. I try to refer to them as general superintendents for the most part, because that's what they are. Constitutional, like they aren't like bishops like the rest of the world where where they come up. With these during all general conference Bishops are quiet.

00:56:39.010 --> 00:56:49.290
Brian Jones: They can't speak unless they are presiding over the meeting right so they can't speak, so their job is to enforce the loss

00:56:49.300 --> 00:56:52.989
Brian Jones: right. Their job is not to make the loss,

00:56:53.000 --> 00:57:02.499
Brian Jones: so I think that maybe it helps people that's good. That's a good Yeah, Yeah. And so but as we know in our public,

00:57:02.720 --> 00:57:07.570
Brian Jones: it's very easy for the executive branch to take up more and more power,

00:57:07.580 --> 00:57:24.149
Brian Jones: and it's one of the great dangers of our system, I think. Ah! And it's also a great danger within the United Methodist Church. So right Now you have ah bishops who have

00:57:24.160 --> 00:57:30.740
Brian Jones: not been in enforcing things for quite a long time, and

00:57:30.750 --> 00:57:48.390
Brian Jones: in some ways I don't think that's so much of a problem if if we lived in a different system. If we lifted in an Episcopal system right like the the Anglican Church or the Episcopal Church or the the Lutherans to an extent, or the Catholics and Orthodox right like, where the bishops actually make some rules,

00:57:48.400 --> 00:57:54.060
Brian Jones: they haven't actually quite a bit of of leeway more than you would think,

00:57:54.110 --> 00:58:06.290
Brian Jones: but not in the Methodist Church. And so where I think that they're celebrating that right now that some Bishops aren't, and it's not just sexuality. It's not a whole bunch of sure. Sure, it's a presenting issue.

00:58:06.300 --> 00:58:11.050
Brian Jones: Yeah, sexuality. Yeah. So. But the problem with that is, Amy.

00:58:11.590 --> 00:58:16.789
Brian Jones: When when a group of people get used to that kind of power, they don't want to give it up,

00:58:17.230 --> 00:58:28.040
Brian Jones: and I think that that is going to be a particular problem for the post. You know Methodist Church is that they have a supercharged Episcopacy.

00:58:28.070 --> 00:58:39.990
Brian Jones: Um, that is used to a power, and has been celebrated by many for for not enforcing rules, and and to be fair to some of them.

00:58:40.000 --> 00:58:47.280
Brian Jones: Yeah, we kind of. I don't want to go too deep in the weeds here, but we kind of had this thing where it's like we're gonna call truce

00:58:47.290 --> 00:59:05.819
Brian Jones: until the next General Conference. Right, Let's not bring up charges against everybody. Everybody don't be doing these things also, everybody the other side. Let's not bring up charges. We're going to try to live into this until General conference means. The problem is, they haven't let us meet right, all right, and I've got some.

00:59:05.990 --> 00:59:18.649
Brian Jones: I think there were some political maneuverings there. I also um that they didn't want people to meet. And so, all of a sudden, this peace accord, which we called the Protocol

00:59:19.040 --> 00:59:26.509
Brian Jones: right, which was going to allow people to leave and kind of this very nice that has all fallen apart.

00:59:26.520 --> 00:59:40.270
Brian Jones: And so now we're under this place where there's a lot of distrust. There's a lot of hate and anger, and you have this Episcopacy that because General Conference has a good meeting,

00:59:40.280 --> 00:59:53.989
Brian Jones: the Episcopacy has grown more and more powerful. So that is why, what you're bringing up. When you were saying Bishops are just not doing what they're told. It's a it's a real real problem.

00:59:54.000 --> 01:00:03.390
Brian Jones: And so that's one of the things that actually makes me. I don't think I realized it was a problem when I made those vows

01:00:03.400 --> 01:00:20.500
Brian Jones: right. So my argument on the valves side, and you you! You have a great argument against it, and so I can't stand against it. But my argument is, they have not filled their vows for you. And and you said, Well, there was a time of my life where the same thing happened to me, So I get that. That's that's where I would be. Now let me just tell you that. Look, there's

01:00:20.510 --> 01:00:47.680
Brian Jones: I think, in my tradition. I don't know. I don't know where this would be for Nazarene world and that sort of thing like, for for instance, in the Nazarene world, one of the things is like some of their educational institutions have people who aren't, affirming the same things they believe particularly related to human sexuality. But there's movements that are trying to retain the orthodox positions of the Church. But in my tradition what's happening is that there's there's a whole host of people

01:00:47.690 --> 01:00:52.390
Brian Jones: who are will stay, no matter what I mean. It's just like the institution,

01:00:52.400 --> 01:01:12.889
Andy Miller III: and you're not as I don't, maybe maybe forgive me for presuming this. But there's people whose livelihoods are so dependent upon institution. They have to like that's their idea. They wouldn't be able survived without without without it existing. So to be able to say like to really put the pressure on to say, if we make this move, i'm out. Well, people can't

01:01:12.900 --> 01:01:25.940
Brian Jones: realistically do I? I think the Global Methodist Church is setting up a scenario for that to happen in a better way for people. But but still I think we're in this interesting moment where we have to think about

01:01:25.950 --> 01:01:46.890
Brian Jones: are what what is the nature of the val, or we would say covenant in the savage term. What's the nature of that? And it is there a point? And you've said there is like. Yeah, maybe it's just not on this issue, and maybe it's just a matter of um release on your your side, too like be able to know that God will release you. We only have a few more minutes. But no, no, no. I's up here.

01:01:46.900 --> 01:01:57.749
Brian Jones: Yeah, no, no, yeah, no, for me. It really is for me. That's not the as far as orthodoxy and dogma like you are saying that issue is not

01:01:58.040 --> 01:02:01.189
Brian Jones: I don't think it raises today. That's yeah,

01:02:01.200 --> 01:02:05.679
Brian Jones: Yeah, that's what i'm looking for. Yeah, yeah. However,

01:02:05.720 --> 01:02:09.579
Brian Jones: that doesn't. However, for me.

01:02:09.590 --> 01:02:30.789
Brian Jones: Um, Again I I would say, there's a lot of people who say, Well, you know he's probably going along in, and I listen to that podcast by Dr. Redfro. Right like where? He said he said, Well, i'm not mean to sound pejorative, and I was like That's something's going to come out for Jordan.

01:02:30.800 --> 01:02:47.489
Brian Jones: Ah, he said, you know, if they're really concerned as being, and I Methodists, you know, and and i'm just like and being their concerns for the Methodist Church. And sometimes I just want to say, brother, where is it easier? Being Evangel, like you're in the rich suburbs of Houston, Texas,

01:02:47.500 --> 01:02:56.990
Brian Jones: I mean being an evangelical There, that's easy like being my my whole life of being evangelical in northern Illinois, one of the most liberal conferences in the

01:02:57.000 --> 01:03:12.829
Brian Jones: in the in right. Right? Sure like that's different, and it's not about being in the charge of the library aid. He also said that because you're not going to win Well, it's never been about winning, and then he also said, Well, your ministry is going to be contentious. And Andy

01:03:12.840 --> 01:03:22.139
Brian Jones: there, Hasn't been a year of my life where ministry has been contentious, like the Gospels, contentious like having people,

01:03:22.290 --> 01:03:30.779
Brian Jones: you know, having people do this, but I do think there needs to be a split, and I do think that people need to be able to leave easily

01:03:30.790 --> 01:03:44.219
Brian Jones: like I don't. Why do you? Why do people want Evangelicals to stay? They're making it so hard for some of these evangelical churches to stay um, And it's needless, because they're going to be a burr under your saddle

01:03:44.230 --> 01:03:59.050
Brian Jones: for the next twenty years, right? So you might as well let him out. You might as well let him out, and and I respect all those people who are leaving. I don't think I think they're great, but for me I feel like that right now. I have,

01:03:59.060 --> 01:04:12.550
Brian Jones: like I've been reading a lot of Habakk, and I've been reading like ah reading about Athanaceous. I've always been interested in the Capitol fathers. And yeah and and anxious like those have always really um. But

01:04:12.910 --> 01:04:14.180
Brian Jones: you know

01:04:14.750 --> 01:04:30.299
Brian Jones: they were faithful even when even when they they weren't, and they weren't, and and God may call me out. But I want to say that i'm so thankful for the United Methodist Church and what it's been in my even if I eventually

01:04:30.310 --> 01:04:40.719
Brian Jones: right, sure that I am thankful that they brought me to a saving relationship. And there are people who I love

01:04:40.730 --> 01:04:51.080
Brian Jones: who have helped me grow in my faith do I disagree with, and and I have no problem with that. The congregation I am a part of right now is very purple.

01:04:51.090 --> 01:05:02.449
Brian Jones: It's, which is very much the midwest. It's a mix. You know me and my senior Pastor Don't, agree, but we are great friends, and

01:05:02.460 --> 01:05:23.839
Brian Jones: and I will miss those relationships if those things leave, but it also won't. Stop me from leaving eventually. But I think the hardest thing for me. Andy is, you know, my senior pastor. He believes in Jesus Christ. This is Lord and Savior, and wants people to know the Gospel. But if i'm working in a and a Church,

01:05:23.980 --> 01:05:42.150
Brian Jones: or i'm not for sure. That's the number one priority, and people don't believe in Scripture. They don't believe it's authoritative. They don't believe it's infallible they don't, you know. You know these are the things that I think that I will have to really reconsider. I just I can't.

01:05:42.430 --> 01:05:46.490
Brian Jones: I can't not at least try to be there. But

01:05:46.500 --> 01:06:13.390
Brian Jones: yeah, for for me and um. But I also think that I get from sometimes from my evangelical friends who leave the Global Methodist Church, and I think he was doing it gently, and so I try not, but, like you know, I rob what he was on. This podcast was doing it with a little bit of a steer right like. Ah, jeez, they're staying there, you know. They really just don't want to fight, man. I've been fighting my whole life like I've been fighting since sixth grade,

01:06:14.260 --> 01:06:26.770
Brian Jones: but it's like, Yeah. So I don't like, What What do you? What more do you want me to do like, Yeah, my whole existence has been that way. So yeah, um, But I I

01:06:26.780 --> 01:06:43.789
Brian Jones: This is. This is where I stand on a kid. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I love hearing this. I I mean, like I I so like ah glad to hear more the full story. Not just in yeah, in this like, you know, it's a good tweet, but it wasn't like we. We went back and forth a few times. I thought, this is this is a conversation,

01:06:43.800 --> 01:06:57.350
Andy Miller III: and it has been, you know, and a good hour and ten minutes or so, and i'm really thankful for the opportunity, I think, like where I land in generals. I do think of this as a matter of dogma, and I think what this then raises is that

01:06:57.910 --> 01:07:25.899
Andy Miller III: again? This is where we might just disagree is that your if your pastor feels differently, or she and Pastor feels differently on this matter, that that we might not be preaching the same gospel. If this is dogma, so that's that's part of where the distinction and and and and and I know that you agree. Ah, you agree with me on the nature of like how this live out. But that's the I think that that's the question that we're going to have to be more serious about. Not that you me Um, I know. At Wbs we're going to host a conference where we

01:07:25.910 --> 01:07:48.290
Brian Jones: take on that question, and we have Roman Catholics, Eastern orthodox um people from a variety of disciplines coming about around to answer that question rather not their rise to that level. Well, Brian, i'm going to have to cut us off because I asked to go. But any thanks so much. What is there? Is there more in the story of Ah, Brian Jones? I can only ask that questions or something else that you like to do beyond room for the cups.

01:07:48.300 --> 01:07:49.180
Brian Jones: Bye,

01:07:49.590 --> 01:07:52.490
it's It's shielded everybody from my

01:07:52.500 --> 01:08:17.659
Brian Jones: my boss. Late uh Yeah, yeah, I um. I love uh, I I love that. But that's one of the things I was. I was asking like, what a how i'm forty five now, like I've got twenty good years of mystery.

01:08:17.670 --> 01:08:46.859
Brian Jones: And so what do I want to do with it? And one of the things I've really thought about is, I want to learn. I want to be a black belt jujitsu where I grew up. Really. Yeah, Where I grew up in rural Indiana there was no wrestling. Yeah, or jujitsu, and there was a lot of fighting like I did have to learn how to fight, but but I won't get to all of that, but you know to be able to protect yourself in a in a way that also enable

01:08:46.870 --> 01:08:54.790
Brian Jones: disables your your opponent. But you're not killing them like you. You know you just put them asleep and then run away

01:08:54.800 --> 01:08:57.189
Brian Jones: like. So you're doing that.

01:08:57.200 --> 01:09:00.789
Brian Jones: No, yeah, I want to. This is this is what i'm going to do for the next year.

01:09:00.800 --> 01:09:01.589
Andy Miller III: I love it.

01:09:01.600 --> 01:09:15.279
Brian Jones: Take that out. And so these are the things i'm learning. And again, it's not for me because I want to beat people up. It's not that it's to be and be healthy, you know, I think, for all of us,

01:09:15.580 --> 01:09:33.770
Brian Jones: you know, was not the best for us, at least for me physically. So it's. It's getting in shape and and and learning some new skills. I think I I think I can still learn a lot in these next. I love it,

01:09:33.779 --> 01:09:46.660
Brian Jones: Brian. Thanks so much for coming on. It's great to connect with you here, and I I really appreciate the nature of a conversation in our friendship, and I'm. Looking forward to continue in it. It's it's a blessing, and thank you for your ministry.

Copyright ©2024 Andrew S. Miller III