What's Wrong with the 'Traditionalist' Plan - A Partial List



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my frustration with the way forward processs

Is that they keep addressing the presenting issue and not the root cause: competing theologies trying to occupy the same denomination. Until everybody agrees that that is a problem--especially Bishops--then nothing is really going to change. The group of essays in the latest Circuit Rider indicates that Bishops are still not ready to name the real problem.

The other thing that frustrates me about this situation is that everybody--including Bishops--tout GC2019 as "settling the debate" as the only body able to speak for the whole church. Nobody ever talks about that since 1972, every General Conference has "settled the debate" re sexuality and we are still in full blown schism. Contrary to what some claim, the legislative process is working the problem is people who are not willing to abide by the decisions of General Conference. What will be different on the other side of GC2019?

If the One Church Plan somehow gets past GC2019, then I am done because it will official make the United Methodist Church one of competing theologies. How the church currently operates--Bishops trying to keep all the theological balls in play-- has not slowed the 50 years of uninterrupted numerical decline. Based on what has occurred with other Mainline denominations, making theological plurality the official MO is not going to reverse the numerical decline, but will accelerate it.

The United Methodist Church is so lost and broken, I find myself seriously doubting that there is a way forward especially when it come to reclaiming its traditional theology.

betsy more than 1 year ago

The core problem in the UMC

The origin of the homosexuality problem in the UMC is simply one more conflict of science with theology. Scientific knowledge is continually increasing, and religious knowledge is largely fixed. It takes time for a denomination to abandon its religious Bible-based beliefs on a topic and to adopt the findings of science: that sexual orientation is determined by an epigenetic layer on top of the person's DNA; that sexual orientation not chosen; that it is fixed; it is determined before birth; it is beyond a person's control. So one can expect an interval of time during which the membership is divided in its belief about homosexuality. The "One Church" option recognizes this division.

The real problem with the UMC is that the new generation of young adults are the first in which most know one or more members of the LGBT community, and learn directly from them what homosexuality is all about. Many in this generation are disenchanted by the UMC because of its negative attitude towards the LGBT community. That, in turn, causes a more rapid loss in membership as young adults don't want to be associated with anti-LGBT discrimination. See: http://www.religioustolerance.org/epigenetics-cause-homosexuality-before-birth.htm

Bruce Robinson more than 1 year ago

The BOD isn't written in stone

If one looks at older editions of the Book of Discipline, a number of changes are apparent. In the 19th century, there were provisions against card playing, dancing, and drinking alcohol. This last prohibition was in direct conflict with scripture, but never mind. Female clergy were verboten with some scriptural backing now ignored. In my own lifetime, the subjects of birth control, abortion, and homosexuality did not appear unlike today. The UMC like other main line denominations is tending to become more conservative as the so-called "liberals" decline due to their diminished birthrates or drift into secularism. I see no stopping this trend and those who are adverse to it need to start thinking about their continuance in the church.

David more than 1 year ago


Since when did determining (by a panel of your peers) whether you have broken the rules become an inquisition. If you want to see an example of strong armed tactics designed to silence dissent, you need only to look at the complaint against Jeff Sessions. Give me a break and use some common sense instead of hyperbolic language and character assassination. This is why the laity is so disgusted with us.

Scott more than 1 year ago

Traditionalist plan

This plan gets to the core of the problem; Our bishops' refusal to uphold the doctrine and discipline of The UMC. It does not criminalize anyone since it only applies to our covenant organization. Something has to be done with oath breakers. Without accountability the denomination will collapse into chaos. Every point the author made makes me like this plan even more.

Kevin more than 1 year ago

Please, Could We Get A LEGAL OPINION on PRECEDENT here?

Surely, there is a fair legal scholar who reads these posts who would give us an opinion on how PRECEDENT would be relevant to the UMC decision on which plan. I’m no lawyer, but from the business law courses in college to simply watching law issues in real life, seems to me that “precedent” is at the core of our legal system.
So, because our UMC Judicial Council has allowed, or taken no action against, countless cases of homosexual clergy and even supported a lesbian bishop with an “in good standing” declaration, not to mention ignoring so many same-sex wedding celebrations, could the same UMC now remove employees (pastors and bishops) under new traditionalist rules?
Precedent definition: A court decision that is cited as an example or analogy to resolve similar QUESTIONS OF LAW in later cases.
The Anglo-American common-law tradition is built on the doctrine of Stare Decisis , ("stand by decided matters"), which directs a court to look to past decisions for guidance on how to decide a case before it. This means that the legal rules applied to a prior case with facts similar to those of the case now before a court should be applied to resolve the legal dispute.
My guess is that for the UMC to start removing long-term employees now, based on new rules, its going to invite lawsuits. I’m not gay, but if I were a gay UMC pastor for several years, but now fired for no reason except that I was gay, my lawyer would be in touch!
This issue offers proof that our denomination must split in order to let a new traditional church begin with solid, unambiguous rules that will be enforced EVERY time. I note that while the "traditionalist" plan seems - to this traditionalist - unfair to some current employees, the "One Church" plan is unfair to a traditionalist like me. I can not be a part of any denomination which promotes or blesses or includes leadership or celebrations of lifestyles with which I do not agree.

Reese more than 1 year ago

The usage of the sneering term "lifestyle"

...betrays the hatred in the heart of the user of the term.

George Nixon Shuler more than 1 year ago

Notable Quotes   

     “If you want to change the trajectory of the way things are going, you have to nip hatred in the bud. Every child is a potential hater but is also a potential lover. You have to make sure you cultivate that potential love that they have within them.”

     –Rabbi Levi Greenberg of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, a branch of Hasidism. 



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