An Open Letter to the Delegates to the 15th General Conference of The United Methodist Church:



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This adresses structural integrity

When our problem is a lack of theological integrity and thus spiritual. Below are the very valid questions I have about The One Church Plan that addresses the theological problems underlying our current impasse on sexuality, something the Traditionalists Plan does not address because it is also a structural fix that does not address the underlying spiritual problems. How do you keep any organization together when there are absolutely no longer any core beliefs about who we are and what it is we need to be doing together? And as these questions also point out, the very way we function is also now being challenged.

"The One Church Plan feels like a shotgun wedding when what is really needed is for both sides to walk away. The recent history of the TEC, ELCA, and the PCUSA on this same question suggests that the best way to avoid either a scorched-earth campaign or a slow death with a steady stream of churches departing is to agree to separate amicably.
As Billy Abraham points out in his call for a “Mexit,” the divisions run much deeper than gay marriage and ordination of practicing homosexuals. There are divisions over the interpretation and authority of Scripture, the status of the Book of Discipline and the authority of the General Conference, and the mission of the church. When you cannot even agree on these fundamentals, it’s time to part ways. How could the General Conference continue to define doctrine for a church that no longer agrees on core theological principles? How can you maintain connectionalism when some believe the General Conference’s pronouncements need no longer be considered binding? How could there be a consistent theology of marriage and sexuality one way or the other?"

betsy more than 2 years ago

Better Together!

It was powerful to work with Kalaba Chali on this piece. I learned so much and was reminded that we as United Methodists are better together! (And in case you are wondering, we have another piece in the works where we mention our mothers! )

Rebekah Miles more than 2 years ago

Thank you

Thank you for this important article

Karen Munson more than 2 years ago

Traditional Plan

Everything I read here just convinced me that the Traditional Plan is what we need. It is the feckless leadership of our bishops that brought us to this point and now some strong medicine is needed. I do not look forward to a modern version of the Inquisition. That would be distasteful. Hence the exit plan.

Kevin more than 2 years ago

What is your solution?

You suggest a litany of issues and problems you foresee if the Modified Traditional plan passes but offer no solutions to the problem that Bishops (in some areas) completely disregard our Denomination’s stated rules as set forth in our BOD. Do you just expect us to keep financially supporting Church leadership that thumbs its nose at our rules and procedures as guided by General Conference after General Conference? Do you seriously believe Methodists who sincerely believe in the traditional Scriptural understanding of acceptable sexual relations are going to continue paying apportionments which in part go to support those very ministers and Bishops who openly promote as acceptable a lifestyle that many believe is not consistent with God’s will? Won’t that be disastrous for the denomination if all those people decide to walk away, leave the denomination for another option or simply quit paying apportionments? Then the other side will start hollering how we are not following the BOD or being faithful to the UMC. You can’t have it both ways. I understand it’s going to be painful either way for one side or the other, but a decision needs to be made so we can get on with our faith journey.

John more than 2 years ago

Key Points: Not Traditional; Won't Work; Will Make Things Even Worse

John, I agree that we are in a mess with no easy way out. Chali and I have tried emphasize 1) that many of the legal provisions of the traditional plans are not traditional but radical in a United Methodist context. 2) That even if it passes, it won't work to solve the challenges you are pointing out. 3) That it will likely make things much worse, including increased ecclesial disobedience and protest, more trials, more bitterness and rancor, and all of it much, much more public. It never occurred to me until after I talked with Kalaba Chali, how totally US/American the traditional plan is. I have a hard time imagining that our brothers and sisters in the Central Conferences would have put together a plan that would end up creating more trials, more rancor, and more public, bitter conflict about sexuality. Thanks for your comments.

Rebekah Miles more than 2 years ago

Thanks for your response

But I still can’t for the life of me understand how the so-called One Church Plan is the solution to our lack of adherence to the Book of Discipline. Are you willing to risk losing the bulk of members in the Southeastern Jurisdiction and South Central Jurisdiction, not to mention a sizable proportion of African churches, essentially gutting the majority of the Denomination’s membership and givers, to placate those who crossed their fingers when they took oaths before God and His people to be obedient? It may not be traditional to require denominational accountability, but haven’t we come to that because Bishops and District Superintendents in some areas were willing to turn a blind eye towards willful disobedience to rules they expect the laity to accept and follow? Yes if the Modified Traditional Plan passes, there will likely be some ugly trials and negative publicity, but only because those who force the issue don’t have dignity and honor of standing by their beliefs and resigning to continue their faith journey with a different group or forming their own. We are not a United Methodist Church and never will be so long as this charade is allowed to continue unabated. It’s alright not to be united. God is bigger than any human denomination, including the UMC. I don’t expect to change your position, and believe you to be sincere, but your arguments against the Traditionalist position, I suspect, are not going to change any minds on the right way forward for which people who think as I do are going to advocate, as your arguments in your article still offer no solutions to the problem as we see existing with this denomination’s leadership.

John more than 2 years ago

An open letter

Thank you for sharing this article.

I think it what we need to write another bible which will be used in our church.

If you continue using this same bible, then the is of homosexuality is not bible teaching.

Since I joined the UMC, I did not find a biblical teaching proposing the practice of homosexuality.

Do we want to teach God how we should live, or do we want to apply what God wants us to do?

According to me, One church plan, asks UMC to officialize the practice of homosexuality.

If the one plan is adopted, church will be burned at Charli's village.

You should not change the position to God because you are living in the USA.

Our bishops brought us where we are now.

The churylow was broken many times by our brother in the USA.

The church refuses homosexuality, but there was many gay marriages in the US without those people being punished.

If our bishops we're trying to keep the good news of God, they would punish the practice and we would not have need to hold a special general conference.

If we are where we are now, it is because of our leaders who decided not to punish those who went out of the church regulation.

The Bible says, two people should not walk together of they do not agree each other.

The one church plan is forcing us to walk together while we do not agree.

Is that what you want?

In my country the law of the country doesn't allow the practice. If I accept it here, where am I going to practice it?

Can we now agree not to use the bible?

Do we now have another God?
On my mother tango, there is nothing translation word to homosexuality.

It is like complicating our lives.

It is good this time to finish this debate of homosexuality. Let choose the plan that finishes this matter once.

It is not good to come back again with another general conference on this matter.

We love our brother practicing homosexuality, but we do not like that practice which is prohibited by the bible.

As long as we use this same bible, we will not approve the same sex marriage.
I hope you understand.

Andre more than 2 years ago

Notable Quotes 

"When one’s power, authority, or position is derived from demarcating and defending orthodoxy, then singling out more heretics is always necessary. The status one holds depends on maintaining loyalties and passing purity tests."

– Baptist pastor Brian Kaylor, "The Tragedy of Russell Moore" in Religion & Politics.


"The choice before every theologian and church leader is clear: either the tradition of the church tells us who we are, or we read the Scriptures in light of who we understand ourselves to be."

– Robert A. Hunt, Perkins School of Theology, in a Facebook post on Catholic bishops proposing to deny communion to President Joe Biden over his support for legal abortion.

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