Harbinger of Change

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truth crushed to earth will rise again

Thanks for your analysis of the proceedings and defense of the loyal opposition, Cynthia. I know that our numbers in terms of votes are getting smaller but it is obvious to those outside of our walls that equality for all regardless of sexual orientation, is the new consensus in America and the democratic world. Even Africa will realize that one day, as right now, those in their region who fight for equality, already do.

Jeff Conn more than 5 years ago

majorities and minorities

In 2008, two-thirds of General Conference approved Amendment 1, the "all means all" amendment. Yet, when the time came for votes by the rank and file at annual conferences, 52% worldwide voted AGAINST the amendment. It only received 51% support within the USA which is far shy of 67%. Petitions to change 161 failed. In 2012, the petition failed in the legislative committee but it was still given privilege over petitions that actually passed committee. In fact, 73 calendar items didn't get a vote. 24 of those involved Disciplinary changes that were approved by their legislative committee. "Trust your committees" only counts when the result goes one way.

We are wasting a lot of time in order to provide gay non-celibate ordained clergy the opportunity to be open rather than admit that they have lied from the day they took their ordination vows. I know that some people believe this is the most important issue facing The UMC, but it obviously isn't for the vast majority of United Methodists.

Creed Pogue more than 5 years ago

Thank you

On the contrary, Tom, those of us who prize faithfulness to the entire witness of Scripture, myself included, know that witnessing to God's unconditional love may be considered factionalism by some, but faithfulness by many others.

I have made no claim on this website to any contrived "fair and balanced" perspective in my own writings. Just as you, as the executive director of Good News, write from your own viewpoint, I write from mine. I am gratified that so many conservative United Methodists have now found it advisable to reply to the posts on this website.

In a spirit of holy conferencing, I would remind you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a radically offensive message to those in power, because from Mary's Magnificat through Jesus' first proclamation of Isaiah to his ministry among the marginalized, the witness of scripture is that God is on the side of the outcasts. Therefore, those who side with the outcasts often find themselves on God's side as well.

If you'd care to write an article defending the conservative viewpoint on this matter, we'd be pleased to publish it.

Cynthia Astle more than 5 years ago

Holy Spirit Action?

Thank you for your comprehensive analysis, Cynthia.

I think your bias shows when you equate "large numbers of delegates, observers, and even some bishops wearing rainbow stoles" with a Holy Spirit action and "spiritual power." Those of us who prioritize faithfulness to Scripture would not see it that way. In fact, bishops who visibly "take sides" on the issue of homosexuality have forfeited their ability to be bishops of the whole church and become bishops of one of the "factions" you decry.

There has been widespread display of rainbow stoles in the Wisconsin Conference for 20 years. Far from bringing spiritual power, this has only brought deeper division, mistrust, animosity, and accelerated decline in membership and morale. The agenda for "full inclusion" has sapped our church of spiritual energy, siphoned off resources from discipleship and evangelism, and led to the communication of an uncertain message that has failed to reach people who are lost from God.

I see the 2012 General Conference as a harbinger of change in a more conservative, biblically-based direction for our church. We could benefit here in the U.S. from the boldness, passion, and vitality of the African church. We may have the material resources, but they certainly have the spiritual power that we lack.

My grounds for hope for our church is that the spiritual passion and vitality that characterized early Methodism and that pervades the African church today will spread to U.S. and European Methodism today. That passion and vitality will enable a Holy Spirit-empowered resurrection of our church!

Tom Lambrecht more than 5 years ago