UMC Bishops Pose Five Questions to Judicial Council on Traditional Plan

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It is about time!

Bishops finally need to feel the strain of being at odds with the discipline that they vowed to uphold! This new to the UMC younger pastor gets it right:

"Here is what I want to communicate to the reader: This denomination needs to unite! We unite, as United Methodists, around the Book of Discipline. That is what sets us apart as a denomination. I have never seen a denomination completely disregard their defining document to the extent I have seen in my short stint as a United Methodist. “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

A relativistic, obey-it-if-you-like-it treatment of a denomination’s defining document leads to nothing but chaos. As someone who was reared Lutheran, was Roman Catholic, attended a Presbyterian seminary, was licensed with the Church of the Nazarene and ordained in a non-denominational setting, I have never seen such disregard toward a governing document, and such a lack of respect for the lawmaking body elected and charged to form that document. This is why we are in this position now.

This is my advice, for what it’s worth: United Methodists must decide who we are and begin to consistently uphold and enforce it. To do so is not unloving or ungracious, but orderly and consistent. The denomination went too long passively upholding its foundation of unity, and is now a hot mess.

My first impressions of The United Methodist Church: It is one dysfunctional family. But there is hope. God will have the victory! Praise be to God! His mercy endures forever! The gates of hell will not prevail against His Church! "
https://www.umnews.org/en/news/the-book-of-discipline-unites-us-as-a-church#.XRKbx1OyIYI.twitter

betsy 20 days ago

Two thoughts

"I have never seen such disregard toward a governing document, and such a lack of respect for the lawmaking body elected and charged to form that document. This is why we are in this position now."

This young pastor should try watching the US Government.

"This is my advice, for what it’s worth: United Methodists must decide who we are and begin to consistently uphold and enforce it. To do so is not unloving or ungracious, but orderly and consistent. The denomination went too long passively upholding its foundation of unity, and is now a hot mess."

I do agree with this, in general. There are a lot of problems, in specific. We're shaking that out now. The CoWF dropped the ball on the whole process, but now the cleanup is in the works.

And here's the question for your young pastor friend. If you don't like where the UMC ends up, what are you going to do? Are you going to follow the BoD, are you going to follow your conscience? And when those conflict, are you just going to leave and go to (yet another) denomination?

JR 17 days ago

Clarification?

Our bishops certainly comtinue to win prizes for their lack of integrity and sincerity. They need clarification? Really? They are promoting rule breaking right now and brag about it. And now they want more clarity on those rules that they already plan to not follow. Politicians all around; definitely not the successers to the disciples.

td 20 days ago

Five questions

Looks like our feckless bishops are desperately seeking loopholes. They created this mess and it is only going to get even more messy until we split.

kevin 21 days ago

A sure sign.

Surest sign they don't have enough delegates to win next year. They can't win legislatively so try the courts again after losing there twice already. If they thought they could win next year they would delay any actions until after gc2020.

Scott 21 days ago

"Win"?

There are no 'winners' in this festival of cavillers. We, regardless of whatever meaningless label we pin on ourselves or someone else, are losers. We have sacrificed any credibility we might have had, and we all bear the guilt. May God have mercy on everyone of us.

Wil Meiklejohn 21 days ago

Amen!

The hardest thing I had to wrap my head around was that it no longer means anything to simply say that I am a United Methodist; that does not mean squat anymore except never ending conflict and mayhem. And it is not going to get any better anytime soon.

betsy 20 days ago

Actually, it's brilliant

I thought that going back to the JC was pretty dumb, but the way it's approached here is really well played.

Some of the items (particularly #1) are necessary clarifications - but are presented in a way that addresses conflict with underlying principles.

And with enough votes, the underlying principles being contested here won't be able to be changed either. (You don't really want to do away with ex post facto or legality applying differently to people in the same class, that way leads to chaos)

This has the potential to invalidate almost all of the GC2019 items before they come effective 1/1/2020.

[I don't think any of this squabbling is good for the denomination, but I'm probably not going to be a methodist any longer anyway, so I can be a little more objective about all of this]

JR 21 days ago

Just curious

JR, where do you plan to land when you resign your membership in the UMC? Seems like there are plenty of other denominations that lean more liberal like you. I’m flummoxed about where I might end up, as I’m not aware of another orthodox Christian denomination that allows women and people of color to lead and be ordained if otherwise qualified.

John 20 days ago

Have you looked...

at Wesleyan-Holiness denominations like the Wesleyan Church, Free Methodists, or Nazarenes? All were begun by former Methodist Episcopal members (or ME, South) who took holiness teachings seriously and felt the older Methodist bodies were becoming worldly. They ordain women (and did so long before the UMC predecessors got around to it), and have persons of color. Assemblies of God also ordains both groups if you lean Pentecostal. I'll hang in to see where GC2020 takes us... and whether there's any discussion between WCA and the holiness groups about doing something new and large.

John too 20 days ago

Hi John

I've already notified my church that I'm out. They are still trying to figure out how to respond to the Traditionalist Plan, as the congregation has a mixed set of views.

I'm currently trying out other churches. There are a plethora in my area: PCUSA, ELCA, Methodist/Reconciling, Episcopalian, and non-denominational. I've been to a couple so far, but I'm not rushing into anything. I was HEAVILY involved previously, and I'm not going to dive in anywhere right away. I figure this summer lets me sample many options, and hopefully come September I can compare my top 2 or 3 to see what works. That also gives a little more time to see what's going on with the Methodist/Reconciling option.

I would guess that you are going to find a hard time with the orthodox/women conflict. People (men) of color are probably less of an issue, I'm thinking Baptist off the top of my head - you might find non-denominationals that fit as well.

Good luck!

JR 20 days ago

The press release is the sure sign?

Scott, this action item was there before the Annual Conference season, something like May 5th. But yes the release might be telling. Now very polarizing ordinations, late May /June. Bishop accountability legislation got shelved due to "ran out of time". Are we ready to quit fighting yet?

Erika Creech 21 days ago

Bishops

These are the luzers who have been leading the UMC luzing since 1970. The leaders of Montgomery Ward, Sears, KMart, Rambler, Edsel, etc deserve more respect

Richard F Hicks 21 days ago

The COB

The UMC COB remind me of those Pharisees and Sadducees who were always nit picking Jesus till they killed him. The current crop making up the COB will be the death of the Methodist movement in this country.

John 21 days ago

The Methodist movement is alive and well

Even in America. It is just a question of whether or not the UMC will be part of it or will it join the rest of the mainline denominations in being the purveyor of a Christianity that is specifically tailored for 21st century America.

betsy 20 days ago

UMC Clergy, Bishops and Marriage

Where has members of the UMC been since 1976? Have they been holding their ears saying, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you?" In 1976 it has been known that being LBGTQAI is a matter of one's birth, and NOT a choice. The UCC Churches believe this to be true as well as the UMCs that are in Non-Conformity. In fact, there are 12 such conferences, with more to come!

Carla Skidmore 19 days ago

Known by whom?

What scientific discipline had a new understanding in 1976? Genetics? Psychology? Neurology? None of those did. None do today. There's simply no peer-reviewed study that indicates that sexual orientation is fixed at birth.

John 18 days ago

Things are not simple

Human behavior is complicated and there well be a combination of factors that determine sexual orientation. Some have published physical differences between groups based on relative finger lengths, direction of hair whorls, and structure of the brain. These can all be found online and most date after 1976.

Let's consider another preference---favorite color. Most people have one and the reason for favoring one over another is usually unclear. Your favorite color may change over time, but you cannot decide that I like red today and will like blue tomorrow.

David 18 days ago

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