Convicted Humility

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Convicted Humility

By Bishop Ken Carter

One of the core concepts in the final report of the Commission on a Way Forward is “convicted humility” (Daily Christian Advocate, p. 127).  This concept is found in the Theological Framework for all three plans, and was a collaboration of members of the Committee on Faith and Order (Bishop Scott Jones and Professors Sondra Wheeler of Wesley Seminary and Edgardo Colon-Emeric of Duke Divinity School) and the Commission on a Way Forward (Bishops Gregory Palmer and Ken Carter).  Our conversation was guided by Greg Jones of Duke Divinity School and the statement was later affirmed by the commission.

A convicted humility is deeply scriptural.  Jesus matured in wisdom and in years, and in favor with God and people (Luke 2. 52).  Now I know partially, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13. 12, but when I see God face to face I will know completely.

Why is this important?  We are simply all on a journey in loving God and our neighbor, and none of us has arrived.  We are all on a similar path of knowing God, and knowing the mind of God (Romans 11. 34), and knowing our brother or sister or enemy.

I have not arrived at complete maturity or knowledge.  I am not there yet.  I believe God still has something (many things) to teach me.

Why is this important now?  A convicted humility gives us a way of living with conscience, amidst others who see matters of faith and worship and justice differently.  We call this the church, the body of Christ, which is both one and diverse (1Corinthians 12-14).

At our best, we hold deep convictions.  And at our best, we hold them with humility.  The One Church Plan seeks to form its members as disciples who can learn the practice of convicted humility, together.

The peace of the Lord,

+Ken Carter
Resident Bishop, Florida Conference
President, Council of Bishops
United Methodist Church