Schism in United Methodism: Is the Ground Level for Open Debate?

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Scripture is not univocal on many issues

The Bible on very few issues states just ONE point of view. For instance, there are many passages which oppose animal sacrifice and many which question it. Even on the afterlife, most of the Old Testament states that after death, everybody goes into a shadowy existence that is not eternal life. Ecclesiastes 9:5 states that the dead know nothing and 9:2 states this fate happens to all people. Most uses of the "soul" or nephesh in Hebrew and Psyche in Greek do not mean an IMMORTAL soul. Most of these usages say the soul is mortal, even in the New Testament. Paul is 1 Corinthians 15:44 says that a soulish (psyche) body is mortal but a spiritual body (pneumatikos) body is immortal. And with marriage, very few if any passages in the Bible say that marriage is "one man, one woman." Deuteronomy 21:15-17 is a prescriptive passage that assumes it is OK for a man to have two wives. Deuteronomy 17:17 doesn't say a King should have only one wife, but rather not many wives, but the reasoning is that one of the wives could turn the King astray from God, as some of Solomon's wives turned him astray from God. So the point being is that we can't just read ONE scripture and say that the Bible is CLEAR. We have to read all as many passages as we can on any given topic and most of the time, we won't discover just one point of view expressed on it. The Bible doesn't tell us just what to think, but rather it challenges us to think for ourselves.

Dan 3 days ago

Congregational Vote

This is the cornerstone of the issue. “ the debate should be allowed to cascade to the local church level. This will enable every member to participate and make an informed decision when such a time is called for.” We will be judged by our every action. Jesus is always asking, “Who do you say that I am?” Each Methodist should be required to vote “Lord,” or “not Lord.”

Eddie Jones 6 days ago

Congregational Vote

Transparency should have been more to each local Church long ago. Only Clergy, Delegates, etc. really know what is really happening in the Methodist Church. The local Church member does not know why they are Methodist.. I agree with Eddie Jones, Who are we going to serve? Will accountability be enforced?

Roger 3 days ago

Thank you for this!

I rejoice not only to see these points made with politeness and grace, but in this particular forum it's refreshing too see a different viewpoint from those usually published here. Thank you Rev. Nyagano and thanks to Insight!
For the record, I am a Traditionalist who has left the UMC, but I continue to watch it.... and I pray that grace and mutual good wishes will allow the different sides to finally part ways this year.

David Kingsworthy 7 days ago

Split? Heck no!!

It seems the author feels Bishops have significantly more power than they really do. If they were as powerful as he claims then a solution would have been mandated by now. This has not happened. The COB has consistently referred back to GC.

Should the UMC separate. No, and we certainly shouldn't give into the social and fiscal violence of the Global Methodist Church as a blood payment to allow them to have seed money.

Yet...

Clearly reform is needed. Our process for ordination is arduous to the point that few attempt it and instead accept LLP or other source of clerical appointment process.

We have underinvested in media, mainstream or social to tell our story to new people. And when we do tell our story it's confusing are we a piety movement, an evangelical movement, or charismatic movement? Because we aren't consistent in our mission we get distracted from the work or bringing Christ and instead are engaged in navel gazing in caucus groups.

So we need to reform, get on the same page, streamline the ordination process and aggressively become a presence in the public domain again.

Change yes break up no.

Eric 8 days ago