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

“Mission work around the world, whether it be a new university in Africa or bicycles for Cuban pastors, is the work of “the connection,” as opposed to the work of a single congregation.” – UMC.org

“Theologically understood, connectionalism is an expression of ecclesiology and mission.” – Bishop Kenneth L. Carder

The previous posts focused on (a) what is the history of churches that withhold apportionments (b) what is different about this proposal (c) what are the advantages and collateral damages associated with this proposal. We even had Andy Langford himself write a response. This conclusion does not incorporate any of Andy’s comments into it as I wrote it previously and decided to let it stand alone.

What is this really about?

Make no mistake: I don’t believe that Langford is focusing on smaller churches that don’t pay their full apportionment anyway. He is focusing on the big guys, the megachurches and large churches that pay large sums into these funds (apportionments are calculated based on membership and budget and the overall general, conference, and district budgets) and he is offering the laity of those churches a proposed method to defund the General Church without accountability to anyone. Given that many large churches run hot on issues and emotional on populist arguments, it is easy to see how a dozen or so articulate laity could defund these funds rather easily.

Several times in the document, Langford singles out two issues (other than a “lack of making disciples”) as being reasons for denying a church tithe to the general boards.

First, Langford suggests that all is not equal in United Methodism as the church outside the USA reaps all the benefits without paying much:

It is time for congregations within the United States to follow the example of United Methodist congregations outside the United States (over 42% of all United Methodists) who only pay general church apportionments to the Episcopal Fund and none to the other six general church funds.  In 2011, 99% of all monies that supported the general church came from the United States.

Langford is not alone in this frustration. During General Conference, while debating a church structure that would give more votes to the Central Conferences, Rev. Adam Hamilton asked the same thing while a particular internet-connected blogger was sitting in the room

by

February 15, 2013

Comments (1)

Comment Feed

Holding the UMC Hostage

I'm amazed and disappointed that Rev. Andy Langford's proposal and Rev. Jeremy Smith response deal with only one-half of the United Methodist mission statement in the Discipline: "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. " The general boards that seem to be in disfavor, Church and Society, Global Ministries, and United Methodist Women, are the very ones that are working in behalf of us United Methodists for the transformation of the world in ways that move toward achieving "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Howard W. Hallman more than 1 years ago

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™