by

February 15, 2013

Do you like this?

The following is an entry in the “Holding the UMC Hostage” series regarding a manifesto that encourages discontented laity in our largest churches to defund the work of the global United Methodist Church. Read the full series: 01 – The Setting | 02 – The Blueprint | 03 – The Effects | 04 – The Conclusion

“By combining several smaller gifts into a larger amount, we can effect change across the world. Individual churches can minister to a small area; however, as a connectional church, we can do big things, all in the name of Jesus Christ.” – UMCgiving.org

“Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” – James 3:16

Previously in this series we’ve examined (a) the history of churches that withhold their church tithes (“Apportionments”) and (b) the rationale and proposal of a blueprint for churches to do this same thing today.

Has this been done before?

In reality, Langford is only articulating what other churches and perhaps conferences operate under already. The truth is that this theory has been put into practice in many different places, with disturbing reasons. For example:

  1. A few years back, the Southwest Texas Annual Conference had a large church that objected to spending any money on campus ministries and redirected those apportionment funds to another line item.
  2. About five years ago, a large Oklahoma congregation objected to spending any money on the “Interdenominational Cooperation Fund” (their primary objection was to the National/World Council of Churches, I suspect) and instead overpaid on some other apportionments. I don’t know if that is their current practice.
  3. Some churches contest paying the ethnic causes funds because their congregations do not reflect that racial diversity and they don’t see the benefit “to them” of it. I know of one District Superintendent who would bring a $20bill to every rural charge conference (sad but true, folks!), that had paid 99%, and when it would be obvious that the congregation was not going to pay the $17 Black Church fund line item, he would hand them a $20 bill in an envelope designated to that fund. Boom!

So while this is not an original idea, it is the first to come with some instructions and a rabble-rousing call for defunding without accountability to the effects.

Advantages: Possibly higher tithes paid!

Some people whom I spoke with about this type of Apportionment said it could actually be a good thing:

  1. For churches opposed to General Church initiatives and who cannot see the good things done because of resentment towards the GBCS and UMW and GBGM, such a proposal gives them the opportunity to pay apportionments because they believe their money isn’t going towards those entities. Shifting payments allows pastors to encourage churches to pay the full apportionment by promising that their money won’t go to those bastions of homo-liberal agendas General Agencies. As one conference leader said:

by

February 15, 2013

CONTEMPLATION

FOR LENT

How can we discern God's will for the future of The United Methodist Church? Through United Methodist Insight, leaders and influencers gain a broad vision of the news and views that are shaping the global denomination. Your financial support helps prepare United Methodist leaders for 21st century challenges of faith. Click on the donate button above for online giving. Or make checks payable to St. Stephen UMC and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150. Thank you!

Sign up for the weekly compilation of UM Insight original content and articles from multiple sources of interest to the future of The United Methodist Church.
Teasers
  • Court Decisions

    UMC Trial Courts Have Options

    United Methodist "jurors" have many more options available to them than "not guilty" or "revoke credentials" in a pastor's church trial, writes the Rev. Jerry Eckert.

  • Dallas Wedding

    Supervisory Response Under Way for Rev. McElvaney

    Dallas Area Bishop Michael McKee has confirmed that a "supervisory response" is under way in the complaint against the Rev. Bill McElvaney for officiating at the religious wedding of a gay couple.

  • Washington Mudslide

    United Methodists Ready to Assist After Washington Mudslide

    The Pacific Northwest Conference's emergency response team stands poised to help a devastated community recovery from a massive mudslide, once critical rescue-and-recovery efforts conclude over the widespread and still dangerous debris field.

Built with Metro Publisher™