GC2019: Sleepless, Grieving Night At The Conservative Takeover

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Takeover?

Before 1972 no one dared suggest a person could live in sexual perversion and still be a Christian. When that happened, guidelines were added by the United Methodist Church to clarify this is outside Christian teaching. God's rules are there to help us. If you follow them, things will go much better. You will show respect for God and God will cover you with His protection.

Skipper 49 days ago

The main error...

is that the group "taking over" are not "conservative" at all. They are extreme far-right radicals, funded by far right megadonors they keep secret. The Neofascist IRD (Institute for Religion and Democracy) is a satrapy of the far right financed primarily by Roman Catholic extremists to disrupt the Mainline Protestant bodies. This has nothing to do with any interpretation of scripture per se, just with raw naked power. The right wing never acts in good faith. This is the last gasp of the dying forces of theocracy and fascism, just like the staff of the current executive branch in Washington, D.C. It's all sound and fury signifying nothing. The clowns behind this cannot even get their own children to validate their bigotry. So it goes.

A "conservative" is by definition opposed to power for its own sake. Conservatism hasn't existed for the last fifty years except among people called "liberals." This bunch has not one iota of it.

George Nixon Shuler 52 days ago

No conservative takeover

There has been no “conservative takeover” of the UMC. Traditional believers are simply unwilling due to matters of conscience from giving the denomination away for the sake of current cultural trends without putting up a fight.

John 52 days ago

The U.S. majority is moderate

In the U.S., moderate and more liberal believers are in the majority. As a moderate, I am appalled that the conservatives have seemingly taken over our denomination. They are in the minority in our country. If the Traditional Plan is approved, I believe a majority of U.S. congregations will leave the United Methodist Church. But maybe it's better to have a new denomination that is solidly open and caring unencumbered by the conservatives.

Sally M Williams 52 days ago

Where do you live

I’m not trying to argue with you Ms. Williams but am really curious about where you live. You do realize most people in the largest jurisdictions in the U.S. (Southeastern and South Central) and the African dominated Central Conference lean towards the Traditional viewpoint. What statistics and research can you cite which supports your argument that moderate and more liberal believers are in the majority in the United States? And in the long run, does it really matter since we are a Global Denomination with brothers and sisters in Africa, the Philippines, Easter Europe and Russia. Do they not count despite their under representation at General Conference?

John 52 days ago

This whole thing is ridiculous...

Is homosexuality a sin or is it not?
Honestly, I don't know. And I'm not smart enough to figure it out. All I have is what I've been taught and what has been believed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. If it is not sinful, then we have been lied to for hundreds of years. If it is sinful, then changing the rules would mean that we are about to be lied to. And, quite honestly, I don't trust 800- and-some bishops to simply take a vote on it. If we have concerns that homosexuality may not be sinful, then we should be having the best of the best of the living biblical scholars tearing apart history to figure out at what point things went wrong. IF they have gone wrong. We should not simply "take a vote because it feels good." Because changing the answer here could have potentially devastating consequences.
Imagine if we accept homosexuality as not a sin, and it is. Telling somebody that they need not seek repentance because "it's OK" would be a sin in and of itself. Like telling a woman who had an elective abortion that she did the right thing. Approving a sin is a sin. Women who have had abortions, men who have cheated on their wives, homosexuals (IF it is a sin), and people who swear should be invited to church and loved on. I have never been to a church that has chased any sinner away. And that's what loving them is all about. That's what the open hearts and open minds and open doors thing is. We're not going to sugarcoat it, you're a sinner. But we love you. And us sinners are going to keep sinning. The adulterer may cheat again. Homosexuals aren't going to stop being gay (IF it is a sin). And I'm probably going to say another bad word. But we have the blood of Jesus. And we depend on it. And I would not be part of a church that chased ANYBODY away for being a sinner. THIS is what the "Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors" thing is all about. There is nothing about "Making It Feel Good" in our motto. Sometimes it hurts to be corrected.

I see very little constructive ecumenical work going on in the conference. What I do see is people rigidly taking a traditional stance, and people who want to change the rules because it "feels good" and "it's the politically correct thing to do." I think that it's ridiculous that the middle ground below has not been proposed. Or even thought of, apparently. IF homosexuality is a sin, and continues to be, then there is only ONE Christian solution here. 1) We cannot celebrate homosexual marriages. But we still love them and invite them to church. 2) We allow gay pastors to be ordained and to find an accepting church. Because pastors are sinful like the rest of us. My favorite pastor could cuss the wallpaper off a wall. We would not be celebrating the sin of homosexuality (IF it is a sin). We would be accepting a fellow sinner to lead us, like we do anyway. This proposal looks like a compromise. But it is not. It would be the Christian thing to do.

Bill the sinner. 53 days ago

Grieving with you

Thank you so much for being able to pull these thoughts and observations together and post them. Methodist ministry is pretty much my "family tradition." I am so upset to see the church my father and grandfather served to be in this sad state of affairs. I will continue to be Methodist, but not United Methodist.

Julia 53 days ago

You are behind the times

"The big deal is what we now face: an exceedingly divided church." This is where we have been since 1972. We are not a cohesive organization working from a core of shared beliefs/understandings/values we are a chaotic, disjointed mess! We would be facing the exact same divisive scenario if the One Church Plan had passed. There is no more going forward together.


betsy 53 days ago

comment

While I understand that the author is greatly upset, both by the events unfolding at General Conference and by the far less than perfect reporting conditions, I am disturbed by some of the content of this posting. I'll mention three. First is the misnomer of using the term "Conservative Takeover". Conservatives are not taking over, they are simply trying to "conserve" traditional teaching that the Church has held for centuries. Second is describing those opposing same-sex partnerships with the phrase "underlying hatred and horror". I realize there probably are some who would fit this description, but I would venture that most would not. Opposing something does not equal "hatred and horror". The third concern is the demeaning reference to the Reverend Maxie Dunnam, a highly respected UM pastor and educator whose books and other writings have helped so many over the years, and who courageously stood against racism in 1960's Mississippi, as a "crock" seemingly because he has a different interpretation of Bible teaching. I pray peace for the author and for all involved in the GC, whatever their position and whatever the outcome.

Ric 53 days ago

The bigger picture

This whole mess is a failed experiment in one church trying to embrace multiple theologies and understandings of who we are and how we function. Even though I am a traditionalist, my unknowing participation in this botched experiment has cost me dearly and this "win" does not guarantee what my future with the church will be. I am already estranged from my longtime local church because of strictly local issues; learning that the denomination is drowning in theological plurality has only exacerbated the situation, making my future with the church even less of a certainty.

betsy 53 days ago

This has been decades in the making

This is not a conservative takeover--we never left, we just learned to quietly live with the newer liberal progressive leadership right up until it resulted in institutional chaos created by progressive disobedience. We did not draw the line at sexuality, making it the do or die issue for the church progressives did. And when progressives upped their ante, so did conservatives.

betsy 53 days ago