The first night of Annual Conference (when we had a youth service) some folks (not youth) were passing out buttons. The buttons featured the United Methodist marketing slogan, â€œOpen Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,â€ but added an additional line: â€œâ€¦ No Exceptions.â€
I donâ€™t think they really mean it.
Do they really think itâ€™s a good thing in all circumstances to have our hearts, minds, and doors open? I sure donâ€™t.
It gets mighty hot in East Texas in the summer time. Not just hot, humid, too. In this climate air conditioning is a great blessing. In some parts of the country you can get by without air conditioning, but itâ€™s tough here.
The downside of air conditioning is that it costs money. My wife said that our electric bill went up $50 last month because of the heat. Since we like both air conditioning and saving money, we try to insulate our house. We also try to keep the doors closed. While itâ€™d be nice to be able to afford air conditioning the out doors, itâ€™s not only really expensive; itâ€™s also not very effective.
But maybe thatâ€™s not an exception for the Button People. Or maybe theyâ€™re only talking about church doors. Unfortunately, I find an exception there also.
Last summer an arsonist found a way into our youth building â€“ and did what arsonists do. The building was a complete loss. Since many in the church had poured themselves into the renovation of the building over the previous couple of years, many hearts were broken. While the arsonist likely entered by breaking a window, weâ€™ve not felt very welcoming toward other practitioners of the crime. We try to be pretty careful to not only keep our doors closed, but also locked, when no one is around.
But maybe the Button People donâ€™t have a church building to protect, so thatâ€™s not an exception for them. I still have trouble believing they keep their hearts, minds and doors open to everything all the time. Minds open to atheism? Hearts open to hate and revenge? I doubt they would claim that. Of course, I donâ€™t know the Button People personally, but Iâ€™m more inclined to attribute weak logic than poor character to them in this case.