Down the Rabbit Hole with the United Methodists

The So-Called-but-Not-Very-Traditional Plan (Unconstitutional Parts)



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Who asked for this special General Conference?

I guess we really have gone down the rabbit hole... The smarter, more educated more important people in our denomination called the question on homosexuality in the denomination. They did everything they could to get the answer they wanted. Now they complain about the answer they got.

Al B. more than 2 years ago

Split now before all the Good is lost

General Conference didn't go the way the progressives wanted, so they want to kick out traditionalists who want to stay true to the Methodist Discipline. We cannot support what we do not believe, nor would I ask the progressives to support what they do not believe. In our region of the country and community there are so many disparaging remarks being made about the Methodists. We have lost our credibility, the far left has decided to go the way of the world. So be it, but those of us who want to preserve the Biblical principles want to separate now. Please split before anyone or any other witness is destroyed. It is pointless to discuss staying together, the only discussions to be had now are how to separate. Please tell the bishops, the many many unnecessary boards, to stop wasting mission money to have "closed" meetings to enlighten the rest of us how to stay together. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN, they either need to lead the way or resign. The ineffectiveness of the last decades have cost us dearly.

Tracy more than 2 years ago

Falling down the hole

Perhaps you see this as falling into a rabbit hole because you never believed or accepted the Methodist way of life to begin with. If you joined those merrily ignoring God's moral standards and were told these would be overturned for Methodists you would be surprised. Try not to be so surprised for the rules haven't change. You might consider why Paul and Wesley warned of living in such fashion and the consequences faced by those who stray from the path.

Skipper more than 2 years ago

Grieving for our church

Dr. Miles, you say: "And as far as I can tell, all of us believe we are acting according to conscience and in loyalty to the people with whom we are in ministry."

I can assure you that while I love the people I am in ministry with, my loyalty is not to them. My loyalty is to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My congregation's loyalty is to Jesus, also. The idea that we should take a consensus to determine what the church should look like is ludicrous. Christianity is not grounded in consensus. It is grounded in surrendering ourselves and our collective wills to Jesus. When we cannot agree on the will of Jesus, we must part ways.

This is a sad time indeed for our church. You say you "will be back with new forms of disruption and disobedience." Have you stepped back to read your own words? How much more harm will we inflict on the world before the United Methodist Church is destroyed? Surely Jesus is weeping today. May we each repent of our pride today and weep with Him.

Sean more than 2 years ago

I totally agree with Sean

As one who follows Christ, I want to be sure to do what he says.

On the topic of homosexuality, he says very explicitly: " ____________________ ."

Tangentially, he does want us to love one another. Love, according to Peter, covers a multitude of sins.

JR more than 2 years ago

Jesus also did not say

When did Jesus say to those who follow him to ignore the scriptures, over which the Holy Spirit is engaged in the writing, reading, and hearing? Those scriptures DO have something to say about homosexuality. God doesn't contradict God.

John more than 2 years ago

The traditional plan is representative of Methodism

As John and Charles Wesley envisioned it. They were huge on accountability and clear theology and they had no problem booting people out. The idea of connectionalism was born because people chose to connect themselves to the Wesley's and their particular set of beliefs, theology and doctrine--which, by the way were well grounded in historic Christianity. John Wesley was extremely protective of what was preached in the societies under his supervision. And the stringent accountability carried over to America.

From the Doctrines and Disciplines of the Methodist Church in America in 1798:

"Quest. 3. How shall we prevent improper persons from insinuating themselves into the society?

"Answ. 1. Give tickets to none until they are recommended by a leader, with whom they have met at least six months on trial.

"Quest. 5. What shall we do with those members of society,
who wilfully and repeatedly neglect to meet their class?

"Answ. 1. Let the elder, deacon, or one of the preachers, visit them, whenever it is practicable, and explain to them the consequence if they continue to neglect, viz. Exclusion.

"2. If they do not amend, let him who has the charge of the circuit exclude them in the society; shewing that they are laid aside for a breach of our rules of discipline and not for immoral conduct."

betsy more than 2 years ago


Kinda kills that whole "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" thing, right?

The idea of an Open Table for communion would be gone too.

Of course, there's also the point that if the Elder/Deacon/Preacher is the gatekeeper here, liberal ones could choose to only admit liberal persons to their church. So this doesn't really get you to where you want to go, I think.

Anonymusing more than 2 years ago

Except that it's sound

Killing an advertising slogan from Madison Avenue doesn't really matter, unless it's important to say we that what we stand for is "Anything Goes." We have an Open Table in that we don't require baptism or membership to partake. Our Service of Word and Table I states that "Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another." We ask that those who desire to be part of the community of the church submit themselves to that authority of the church given it by Christ, that they submit to its teachings and discipline, and that they live in fellowship with one another. Willful disobedience is what invites exclusion from the community and, thus, coming to the table in an unworthy manner.

John more than 2 years ago

Poor, poor Bishops

The author goes to great lengths to bemoan how “unfair “ it is to force the Bishops to do the job they were appointed to do. If they had only done their jobs as they had swore an oath to do and uphold the BoD, then stricter measures wouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, many Bishops don’t believe any accountability is necessary. Thus, they have made it more difficult and costly for everyone. Unlike the author, I believe the proposed measures don’t go far enough. The UMC must make the measures and accountability so strict and the punishment of failing to abide by them so severe that 100% compliance will be maintained.

Steve more than 2 years ago


The sanitized, expurgated, purified, bowdlerized, and dystopian UMC will not *need* as large a supply of clergy candidates entering the probationary pool, given a pronounced shrinkage of available pulpits attached to full-time salaries. Thus the WCA crowd can afford to weed out, by trial or departure, all ‘practicing homosexuals’ and their allies.
Especially in view of the large and increasing percentage of liberal, LGBTQ, and LGBTQ-friendly seminarians and recent graduates among potential clergy. Not to mention the surplus of clergy who are leaving or will leave their appointments in shrinking UM and ecumenical posts beyond the local church and will now seek pulpits within their annual conferences.
So the WCA’s logic suggests setting a higher bar initially to ensure that ‘The Gay’ is eliminated from the get-go, since it’s so much harder to get rid of them after they’re ordained. And (God help us) elected to the episcopacy! You know, given their due process rights and all that.
The intent of this unconstitutional legislation has never been to get it enacted constitutionally as punitive new enforcement requirements.
Because that possibility sets up an untenable self-destruct mechanism within the system in the USA, as impossibly large numbers of church trials need to be scheduled for those clergy who won’t budge or comply with the new rules. It’s called ‘massive resistance.’
Bishop Scott J. Jones [in]famously promised 100 church trials for 100 infractions. Now he sees that threatened reality as an astonishingly expensive way to ‘downsize’ the clergy membership in his annual conference. Better to drive them out indirectly and cheaply.
At least he will get to keep his pension and perks in retirement.
It’s called a ‘gracious exit’, for lack of a more honest term. And it’s certainly cheaper than the cost of defrocking.
This polarizing and purifying megatrend is related to the inevitable ‘graying’—and eventual extinction—of the denomination as we’ve known it.
It’s been 21 years since the Rev. Jimmy Creech was acquitted by one vote in his first (and the first-ever) jury trial for conducting a ceremony that celebrated a ‘homosexual union.’ (He was defrocked in 1999 for committing the same offense.)
Jimmy is the first of thousands who will be laicized for disobedience or shoved out the side door by transferring their credentials. Or deterred from ordination, leaving behind only the purest of the pure.
Like Brer Fox maniacally grinding away on his axe and saying, “I got ‘im this time!”
But I imagine it’s Brer Lambrecht, Brer Dunnam, Brer Tooley, and Brer Renfroe with their axes to grind.
Given the racist context of Disney's ‘Song of the South’, it’s hard to ignore the racist roots of all the axe-grinding embedded in the Traditionalist Plan.
As Brer Bear would say, “I’m gonna knock his head clean off!”
They’ve given Brer Rabbit their best shot.
To misquote e.e. cummings,
“and what i want to know is how do you like your rabbit stew Mister Death”?

Wayne more than 2 years ago