Bishop Trimble on Being United Methodist While Refuting Misinformation-Part 1
Bishop Julius C. Trimble is the Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church.
Bishop Trimble has the personal mission to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential. It is his commitment to his personal mission that led Bishop Trimble to create the “To Be Encouraged” Podcast along with co-host Rev.Dr. Brad MIller.
Bishop Trimble says, “I am compelled by Jesus to share with you an encouraging word or two about Jesus, theology, the Bible, the pandemic, the environment, racism, voting rights, human sexuality, and the state of the United Methodist Church.”
To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble is to be published weekly and is available at www.tobeencouraged.com and all the podcast directories.
Hello again good people and welcome to the to be encouraged podcast with Bishop Julius see trouble bringing an encouraging word to an often discouraged world. Fish with treble is here to bring us some good words to hear today. And today, among them, things that he has held in his mind is is the topic of misinformation. So big trouble. Welcome to your podcast. And you some things are on your mind today.Bishop Julius Trimble:
Yes, I just like to say Thanks, Brad. It's good to be in conversation with you. It's a it's a beautiful day here in Central Indiana. And I hope that wherever people are today that they are experiencing peace, we know there's not peace everywhere in the world. So we certainly want to continue to pray for peace in places where there's an absence of peace. And we just want people to know that life may be tough sometimes. But God is still in the caring business, and still wants us to pay attention to being compassionate. I just want to say a word or two about being United Methodist, you know, I celebrate being United Methodist. I'm Christian first. But I was raised in the Methodist tradition. And now I'm now 40 years of ordination. And we talked about this before this is my 40th year of ordination was ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church while I was in seminary, it Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. So I'm celebrating 40 years of ministry this year. And I think about all of the people along the way who have encouraged me, in my walk, and my Christian walk, and people who've encouraged me in the United Methodist Church, I'm privileged to serve as a bishop, and United Methodist Church. And now, in my seventh year, my seventh year in the Indiana conference, one of the things that we have a responsibility for as bishops, is what's called the teaching role. And that is to remind people, that we are not only followers of Jesus Christ, but we also are ambassadors of hope, instruments of God's grace. And we also, as children of the west of these the children of the Wesley, we believe in what we call the practical theology. So we not only worship God on Sundays, but we believe that our worship of faithful God should result in a faithful response as we care for people, particularly people who are marginalized, that people were heard of is Matthew. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, If I was hungry, did you feed me if I was naked, that you bring me clothing, I was in prison that you visit me, if I was ill, that you bring comfort to me. And it is our expectation, and my expectation that we were united methodist will live up to our highest potential as followers of Jesus Christ. On recent recent weeks, have we just been getting some misinformation? Some of our churches, you know, heard that well, maybe, maybe some United Methodist don't believe in the resurrection. I mean, I can't believe that that's actually being said, or we don't believeBrad Miller:
it's astounding where this stuff comes from does isn't a dish of some of this. IBishop Julius Trimble:
don't know where some of the sources of this are. We don't believe in the Bible. And of course, the Bible is, is the primary. As we say, to everybody being ordained, it has everything that is necessary for salvation. And we believe that the Bible is is the word of God, the living Word of God. And it requires us to apply it to today's life. But we also believe in the Trinity, we believe in God and three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe God saves us, but also restores us and restores and, and brings healing to all of creation. But God doesn't just save us for the sake of being saved. God saves us for the, for the, for the purpose of doing doing all the good that we can and all the places that we can.Brad Miller:
Sounds kind of Wesleyan to that little bit there, doesn't it? Yeah. And so on this process here, this misinformation, does seep into our local churches sometimes and does seep into kind of the conversation as a whole. And how is this all because call it a kind of a corruption of our way. People thought, how's it impacting of our churches? And how can clergy and laity speak against it and still be kind Give us some insight here.Bishop Julius Trimble:
Well, I think it may be impacting some of our churches or some of our churches that may be in the process of discerning whether they want to continue to be United Methodist, if you're if you're given information that really the United Methodists have drifted away from, from the historic church that you you're familiar with, that we're no longer committed to the central doctrines of, of our faith. Somehow we were were recreated a new way a new pathway that does not include adherence to our Book of Discipline, or does not include the emphasis upon grace for all people, or somehow we've, we've abandoned our commitment to mission, both locally and globally, then I can see how persons might question whether they want it to remain in in a denomination that it's somehow abandoned its primary mission. And that's nothing could be further from the truth. So I think most churches that have fully engaged in being missional, and doing ministry in their local places, you know, caring for the members of the congregation, and also caring for their communities, to the best of their ability, find themselves excited about mission and opportunity. We see that in response not only to just disasters, or things that happen, but ways in which we've continued to try to be adaptive during the two to three years of a pandemic. So we're reaching people now on different platforms. We're also continuing to respond to people who are in the greatest need and our communities. And in the Indiana conference, we emphasize connecting with children making children important and children matter most. And we've continued to support ministries that allow churches to do new things and their communities while they continue with some of their long standing traditions.Brad Miller:
Want to go with you and it just a couple of couple different tracks here on this whole area of misinformation? I'm intrigued by it because I think it's just a part of our culture right now. I've been watching some, some reports about how the news media does things in our, in our world and how there's, you know, different ways it's used and abused. Do you think, go with me here for a minute, Tara? Misha, do you think that the perhaps there is an element of the evil one at work and a kind of a spiritual warfare type of thing, too. So this information as a way to divide the church and so that we keep away from doing the mission and the work to really save souls? You think there's anything to that?Bishop Julius Trimble:
I think the I think you were absolutely hit the nail on the head. I had a friend, a friend of mine, who's who's pastoring, the Baptist Church in Chicago. He told me, he said, Julius, you know, you're making this overcomplicated. You said even some of the things that you see on the news and some of the discord you see in the body politic, which is drifted over into the church is in fact that every part of our every part of our society, peoples are adamant about protecting their Second Amendment rights of bearing arms or their First Amendment rights of saying anything they want to say, even if it might do harm, by exercising their freedom of speech. He said, This is really nothing that we should be surprised about, because Jesus talks about it in the Gospel of John. So So Jesus said, Jesus said that the thief comes, only to steal and kill and destroy, I came that you may have life and have it abundantly. So the thief in the enemy, the devil, if you will, a has an agenda. And that agenda, that agenda is to take you away from both your focus of love for God, love for Jesus, love for neighbor, and somehow to create this notion that we all have to have enemies. And those enemies have to be our focus, as opposed to our mission and our mission of being transmitters of God's love, ambassadors of God's hope. And as conveners of God's mission.