We Should Welcome the UMC's Inevitable Fracture for Missional Reasons

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Racism not mission

It was racism not mission what drove Methodism in North America for the next 100 years regarding African Americans.

Nora C 21 days ago

problems

Let's start with the biggest problem that is on the surface and that is the false narrative that includes the fact that we are commanded to follow His teachings. We in the church know that Jesus was pursuing His Father's larger mission to brings us all back to him. The false hood here is that God would allow ANYONE to remain in sin. the UMC as well as other denominations are headed for eternal trouble.
2 Timothy 4:3-4: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
The sin of engaging in homosexual activity is just that a sin. Just like that of the adultery, pedophilia. Stop teaching that God accepts that. HE DOES NOT!
Galatians 5:19-21: When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Know your scripture. Those that teach falsehoods are doomed to the same.
James 3:1-2: Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
You are on a slippery slope. Stop with the lies to your self and those you are leading.
We are not called as his people to conform to the world, we are to transform it. Not with what suits the world but with truth. God did not ask me to be progressive or conservative. He ask me to be obedient.

Gena 23 days ago

Agreement

Thanks. Well written and to the point.

Ted McMurry 22 days ago

spiritual attack on the Church

Most of this is a spiritual attack on the church. No matter the resolution of this General Conference.the spiritual forces of the enemy will redirect the attack to the remaining church.

Tim Ryerson 23 days ago

Some Major Leaps

The author leaps to a conclusion that some major breakups are going to occur regardless of what decisions are made at the General Conference. The fact is that the general populous, including United Methodist members, have been dealing with these issues for quite a while, having little choice but to allow other bodies, universities, governments, institutions and businesses to make these decisions for them. Yet people continue to frequent these entities and abide by their decisions, regardless of how they feel personally about the issues. Regardless of the overall direction, the break-aways will be few and far between, the exceptions to the rule. Opinions on sexuality will remain intensely personal, and privately held in the vast majority of instances.

Staying Put 23 days ago

The Fracture Was 25 Years Ago

The Fracture was long ago. This is about picking up the pieces and doing something constructive with them. Those who acknowledge Methodist ways on same-sex relationships and those who do not accept Methodist ways can never "get along." Time for peace at last!

Skipper 25 days ago

The Catholic Spirit of Wesley

John Wesley's Catholic spirit was something to be commended. It is also seen in the spirit of his early companion George Whitefield, whose funeral Wesley preached despite Whitefield's staunch Calvinism. There is a limit, however, in how far one may go in a catholic spirit - one is bound by the clear teaching of Scripture. Should one be forced to choose between his beloved church and the Word of God, that person has no choice but to be break whatever fellowship he holds dear that he may follow the Savior. Anything beyond Scripture is the imagination of men, including begin inclusive of sinful sexual behavior when the Scriptures clearly forbid it (1 Corinthians 5). Any conservative watching the events unfold in the UMC needs to keep that in mind.

Jeff Dollar 27 days ago

Regardless of the outcome

One thing people keep forgetting is that this is not a conflict over "issues." This is a conflict over PEOPLE. And no matter what decisions are made at GC 2019 or how the UMC splinters (and I agree it will splinter), there will be LGBTQ+ people in every old and every new branch. They will be in the choir and in Sunday School. They will be teens in the youth group and kids in the children's ministry. Because people don't choose to be gay. And they won't disappear just because you've resolved your "issues"

John 27 days ago

Thank you

This is a very informative article and one that all should read. Few realize how much race and gender have shaped the UMC. On an opposing website, one commentator mentioned that female ordination was a "hot button issue." One would think that had been resolved, but it seems we may yet see reversals of existing policy as was the case with Roe v. Wade. While there is no obvious connection, I find that women and gays tend to be treated somewhat the same.

David H. Fox 27 days ago

A Wesleyan understanding of the catholic spirit

Allows for agreeing to disagree but at a distance from each other. Methodism came into existence because John Wesley left the Fetter Lane Society and set up a different society in The Foundry; the reason was theological disagreements that do not run near as deep as the ones that beset The UMC today.

betsy 28 days ago

fracture missional

This is a realistic and refreshing assessment. As the great theologian Dolly Parton said, "A bird and a fish can fall in love, but where they gonna live?" The mutual affirmation of center-left and center-right expressions of Wesleyan Christianity as related but distinct Kingdom movements can release us from the bad karma that has condemned each generations of General Conference delegates to bickering and squandered energy on one issue. The wisdom of biology that "the goal of every healthy cell is to become two cells," can be reflected in the Body of Christ through a spiritual and systemic 'mitosis' rooted in our own history that Jack clearly identifies. Vegas bookies are confident that passing the OCP will lead to schism as hundreds of thousands to upwards of 2-3 million walk or just drop out. Passing the MTP will lead to many fewer formal defections but massive and high visibility defiance and renewed disobedience of what some feel is enforced injustice. The CCP, so hopeful in theory, currently calls for the church to labor to enforce it as long as Jacob labored to gain Rachel, and without the same sort of love that, for Jacob, made 7 years seem like a day. To some every day would seem like seven years. If the delegates agreed the time has come to divide our Kingdom forces to flank the Evil One out of his enjoyment at seeing us persistently brawl, the witness for Christ would multiply. That can only happen if, at GC19, you hear the sound of numerous 'rice bowls' shattering. Pray for such sounds...

Bob 29 days ago

What about Regional Denominations?

I see the church breaking up into regional denominations along jurisdiction lines. There will be drop offs. For example I don't see the Dakotas staying within the Minnesota Conference. Then again I don't see the Minnesota conference staying together either. For me I will be looking for a racially progressive congregation who has a strong local mission. The sexuality issue for me will weigh heavily as I don't see Jesus speaking to this issue directly. I just hope the breakups happen quickly after this conference. Lord knows we don't need the cost of a GC 2021 weighing down the local church. I am concerned that with the US falling apart the greater churches abroad will have to find their own way forward. Africa specifically could suffer as the US turns inward. The SE US doesn't have the capability to carry the burden alone but I don't see progressive denominations focusing their efforts there once the splits happen in February.

eric pone 29 days ago

Jesus did speak...

Jesus did in fact speak to this issue directly. In Matthew 19, He provides the definition of marriage and the human sexual relationship. Much like bank employees learn to spot counterfeit currency by studying the real, we can draw from Christ's description of the real that anything else is counterfeit. Indeed, the only two options He describes are the heterosexual marriage relationship and abstinence; the latter described in the "eunuchs" section of the chapter.

Geoff Roark 27 days ago

Wrong

A commentary on Bronze Age culture says nothing about marriages of today. In those days, women were property to be disposed of by their owner, their father. We no longer permit that. We are no longer bound by anything else as humankind continues to evolve. Moreover the accuracy of the quote is doubtful. Your comment is equivalent to hearing on the news, "the police are seeking three Black males.." and concluding, "Hey! I saw those guys standing outside the 7-11!"

George Nixon Shuler 26 days ago

jack jackson

Brother George, the Bronze Age Leviticus reminds us to 'not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.' It tells us to harvest a field once, leaving what remains for the poor to glean and thus protect their dignity. It gives us our clearest biblical perspective on treating the immigrant-stranger-sojourner who is not of our tribe and nation. And Jesus went full court Bronze Age when he added to the SHEMA a second part from Leviticus 19, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' And the church through the centuries in its magisterium function has offered the perspective on teasing out aspects of the ritual code from the holiness code and moral law, captured in our own Articles of Religion (especially #5 & #6). So you are right to warn against a static and uncritical approach to scripture but sweeping dismissals are best avoided.

Bob 25 days ago

Thank you

Thank you for making that so clear. So many people point to the Old Testament and to Paul for definitions of sexual sin and somehow find a way to invalidate those statements. They forget (perhaps conveniently) that Christ Himself makes this distinction for us.

Anthony 26 days ago

What type of fracture?

I see us fracturing into annual conferences. It seems the author thinks that churches will be allowed to leave. You can leave as a conference or an individual. Regardless, all the plans push this down to the annual conference to decide. Even in the dissolution plan, the annual conference will have to make a decision.

Anonymous 29 days ago


Notable Quotes   


     "Fundamentalist Christians have moved the theological needle so far to the right that the Gospel is said by them to be a 'progressive agenda.' It's not – it's the Gospel. We must keep preaching Jesus' message of the Kingdom of God (over against the kingdoms of this world) rooted in love (not legalism) and aimed toward reconciliation (not division). The Pharisees alleged Jesus' message was a 'liberal agenda.' It wasn't – it was the Gospel."

– The Rev. Dr. Steve Harper in a Facebook post.

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