Splitting the Church Is Just 'Tacky'

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Missing the point

I think some readers are missing the bishop's point. "Tacky" can mean "distasteful", "crass", "dowdy", "shoddy", "cheaply vulgar", "gaudy". Splitting the UMC along theological boundaries would be distasteful because it's antithetical to God's mission of unity among his children. It would be crass because the issue has been so blown out of proportion that it would leave us looking like oafs. It would be dowdy because it would leave a huge mess, a mess which will undoubtedly hinder our mission...need I write on?

The bishop didn't say that the issue was trivial. Indeed, the issue of human sexuality is important--if for no other reason than a lot of people are concerned about it. If the bishop thought it were trivial, I doubt he'd write an article about it.

It is unfortunate that so many people feel so strongly, that this singular issue can make or break the church. We need to move forward with humility and grace. I personally have not chosen a "side", because I find many compelling arguments both "for" and "against". In my opinion, both "sides" are speaking truth to a strong degree, and then are riddled with misunderstandings, anxiety, ego, and political agendas.

It would be tacky for us to divide into two camps over this issue, not because it wouldn't be significant, but because the reason behind it is not truly and authentically the mission of Christ for our church. We will not collapse because people are celebrating monogamy with people of the same sex. We will not collapse because we don't do wedding ceremonies for people who want to get married. And I have news for you, that regardless of what is publicly stated and represented, statistically there must have been thousands of pastors in the United Methodist Church up to this point that were practicing some form of homosexuality while presiding in the pulpit. Pastors are human beings with flaws; regardless of what we say and swear that we will uphold, we sometimes still rebel against it. In fact, I've never met a pastor without a sin in his or her life that he or she staunchly defended.

God did not call us to be tacky. We are not called to be distasteful in our treatment of others, shoddy in our love of others, cheaply vulgar towards those who disagree with us, etc. We need to act like the mature disciples of Jesus Christ that we are, or at least admit openly that we all have a long way to go. Thanks, bishop, for highlighting the real issue, and avoiding extremism in your post. I pray that we may all follow his example, in allowing for error--on both sides--not because we support error, but because we love more deeply.

Eric Little 33 days ago

We will collapse/split

We will collapse/split because the leadership of the UMC has become spineless and ineffective. They lack credibility. They have repeatedly tried to lead us down a secular/progressive path. Yet, the majority of UMC members want to stay the course with no changes to the BOD, but implementation of discipline when the BOD is ignored/broken. They (We) want a more traditional worship, based on evangelism and missions, and one that is Bible centric, not people or social centric.

There is no commonality between how I want to worship and how Progressives want to worship. I cannot continue to support the UMC in its current state. We must ditch all progressive measures, not just the BOD language on homosexuality. We need to ditch positions on the whole social justice agenda (global warming, illegal immigration, capital punishment, etc). The ineffective UMC leadership is Tacky. They have only themselves to blame for the upcoming split of the UMC.

Your loving brother in Christ,
Steve

Steve 32 days ago

“Tacky”? I never hear that word among men I know… It’s a silly word…

As the father of daughters, I was often accused of “tacky” about my mixture of stripes and patterns in my attire. Because some of my haberdashery was from Wal-Mart (a result of having three daughters), I often heard “tacky” and worse.
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My Drill Instructor in boot camp used many adjectives, but never used that one. Neither did my bosses and colleagues in industrial marketing, as I remember. Their descriptions were stronger and much more detailed. The other old men I play golf with now have had many comments on my shots, but never once used “tacky”...
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By your headlining an opine with ”tacky” shows a silly disregard for a very serious situation. It grossly trivializes the battle between we who stand by the standards of centuries, as exemplified in our BOD, as well as, societies around the world, verses those who would move us all to the “modern” church of “what’s happening now”. We believe “traditional” is not “tacky”, it is, in its whole, a foundation of our Faith. We carry a personal mandate to live by traditional values.
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Let me submit real words for your future offerings: non-negotiable, committed, irreconcilable, mutually exclusive, doomed-as-is, stalwart, faithful, determined...

Reese 34 days ago

Oaths aren’t made to be broken

Bishop Carder,

First, thank you for your service to the UMC. Like you, I am a lifetime member of the UMC, for over 60 years. I was married in the UMC, my daughter is an elder in the UMC, but unlike you, I was taught for the last 60 years that the Bible is the word of God for the people of God. Sound familiar?

I also understand that for more than the last 60 years there has been a Book of Discipline to guide the UMC. Up until the last 5or so years, clergy have respected and generally upheld the BOD, which they made an oath to uphold as part of their ordination. Then, some clergy began ignoring the BOD and violating their oaths which they made before God. Yet our Bishops and Judicial Council did not hold these clergy responsible, nor provide the DISCIPLINE they had sworn to uphold.

How can I respect any UMC clergy, leader,etc who does not keep their word? How can I respect any clergy, church leader who reads the same Bible as I and cannot understand that homosexuality is a sin and not something to be celebrated? No, the UMC leadership has broken with the laity. The UMC leadership has guided us down a social justice agenda that is secular and not Christian. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Traditionalists such as myself can no longer respect nor abide by our ineffective UMC leadership. We must pass the Traditional Plan and weed out the Progressive leadership, or break completely with the UMC. What you call”Tacky”, I call the only means of survival.

Your loving brother in Christ,
Steve

Steve 36 days ago

Better to be tacky than a hypocrite

Dear Bishop Carder. If you're able to joyously be a part of a denomination in which Church leadership defies its BOD as set forth by its General Conference time and time again, then I'm happy for you. I guess Luther was tacky for breaking from the Roman Catholic Church. I guess the Weslyan movement was tacky for breaking away from the Anglican/Episcopalian movement. Or just maybe those folks were following their consciences on the Word of God. I can handle being thought of as tacky. I hope, however, I'm not thought of as squishy or lukewarm in my faith in His Word. Good luck to you on your faith journey. I hope you will some day wish those who believe as I do good luck in ours.

John 36 days ago

But, Steve, Man

How can your faction survive, when your position is based entirely on prejudice and legalism? Seems a sure-fire long march to oblivion.

George Nixon Shuler 36 days ago

A risk worth taking

We're willing for you to go your way if you'd be willing to let us go in the way we believe God wants us to go. Neither of us knows which way may lead to oblivion -- only God knows. We can only go the route we God has set forth for us.

John 35 days ago

If Jesus is with me,

Who can be against me?

George,

First of all, we Traditionalists are not a “faction”. GC has repeatedly rejected plans similar to the One Plan and there is no reason to think it won’t be voted down at GC19. Similarly for the Correctional Plan. Thus, the Traditional Plan will be the only one to get a majority vote. Traditionalists will be the face of the New UMC, after defrocking a slew of Progressives. So,referring to we Traditionalists as a faction minimizes us. Of course, you already knew that didn’t you?

I also take issue with your portrayal of Traditionalists as legalistic. We only intend to administer DISCIPLINEin a fair and consistent manner in accordance with the BOD. For those that have remained true to their oath to uphold the BOD, there should be no worries. If they have violated the BOD, then Discipline is warranted and deserved. There is nothing legalistic about that.

As to being prejudicial, again you are wrong. All will be welcome to worship under the New UMC. What will be different for all is that the New UMC will abandon the secular social justice agenda and instead provide an evangelical and missions focused worship service centered on Biblical teaching. Nothing prejudicialabout that.

No, the New UMC has a bright future to look forward to. For if Jesus is with us, who can stand against us. Sorry to burst your bubble of wishing the worst for us, but we will be just fine. Especially after all the Progressives are weeded out.

Your loving brother in Christ,
Steve

Steve 35 days ago

reply to george

George our "faction" will survive through the blessing of the Holy Spirit for remaining faithful to the inspired word of the Living God. If that doesn't convince you then take a little time to research the figures for the mainline denominations that have embraced gay ordination and marriage. By their own reported numbers they are dwindling quickly. Their membership losses are far and above those of the UMC. Ask yourself this question? Why is the Western Jurisdiction so small even though it embraces the changes that it wants for the rest of the denomination. Why haven't people flocked to it since there is no penalty for disobeying the BOD.

Scott 33 days ago

Thank you!!

Thank you for your respectful response to the bishop. Truth and love must go together!!

Eriberto 35 days ago

Tacky

Well said. What must be done must be done.

Kevin 34 days ago

Amen

Amen

Paul Rairdem 33 days ago

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