Reactions to Oliveto Ruling Run from Rebuke to Rejoicing

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Open doors, etc

Was never an official stance of the church, it was simply a publicity phrase coined by the communications branch. However there is truth to it from the perspective that collectively the church believes nothing in particular.. As far as I am concerned, The UMC needs to change its name to The Unintelligible Church. And I intentionally left out the word "Methodist" because it ceased being truly Methodist when Bishops decided that keeping all the theological balls in play was the best way to insure the survival of the denomination in America. Well, we are witnessing how well that thinking has worked: The church is at a breaking point over sexuality--the presenting issue of a significant theological chasm--and we are quickly approaching 50 years of uninterrupted numerical decline that has the potential to make us disappear and which just may be accelerating. And as far as loosening our stance on sexuality expecting a sudden influx of people, get your head out of the sand and check out what happened to The Episcopal Church, The Presbyterian (USA) Church, and the United Church of Christ who all took that path: they only succeeded in accelerating their numerical decline! Now compare that to the growth of The Wesleyan Church who never varied in their understanding of sexuality and marriage. And let us not ignore that in America, the Western Jurisdiction is setting the pace of numerical decline of the American branch of the denomination.

Betsy 172 days ago

These arguments about numbers are unconvincing

Comparing the UMC to the Wesleyan Church is like comparing a blueberry to a watermelon. The Wesleyan Church is so small that large percentage growth is insignificant - one plus one is still two in reality, not 500. The role of church in society is changing. You cannot blame the Methodist position on human sexuality for UMC membership decline because alone among the Mainlines, the UMC initiated heterosexist language in the 1970s and a caucus of political Religious Right operatives recruited African allies with cash and cell phones to keep the regrettable language. I married a Southern Baptist in 1979 and the Pastor coveted the tithes of a husband and wife dentist who kept telling him they were going to leave the UMC over this issue but they never did. The fact is most people are not obsessed with others' personal lives like the American Taliban is.

George Nixon Shuler 166 days ago

Open Doors, etc..

Well said. Although... the pro-gay lean may enable the church to keep its non-profit status long after the noncompromising churches lose theirs.

Michael Shugart 118 days ago

Judicial Council Bishop ruling

As a lawyer and elder in the UMC, I am appalled by the extremely narrow rules of interpretation and construction adopted over the years by the Judicial Council. These alone assure gridlock and loss of relevance in the contemporary cultures where we serve Christ. They assure that the Pharisees win every time.
But when it comes to our perspectives on LGBTQIA folks we are really showing our true colors. The hermeneutics used to obtain biblical authority for our position are the same hermenuetics that were used to justify slavery, segreation, exclusion of women, racism, colonialism and exploitation of peoples down through our history. My challenge to those who applaud the oppression of LGBT folks is to show that their hermenuetical approach would not also justify the rest of the sins that we have supported in the US methodist movement for the past 250+ years. If you can do that in all intellectual honesty and truth, then the judicial council's decision can stand. Otherwise, those of us who took vows to uphold the Gospel cannot support that decision or the institutional structures that perpetuate its toxic logic.

Rev. RALPH W HOWE, esq. 172 days ago

Judicial council bishop ruling

Remember, Jesus also told the woman, "Go and sin no more." Repentance is a word that is underused today, I think. God is merciful, but also just. He calls us to repent, meaning, stop doing that sin and bring your cares and needs to Me. I am as or more sinful than a homosexual and God calls us both to repentance. In the last days, good is called bad and bad is called good.

Michael Shugart 118 days ago