In-Sight: Amicable Separation?



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I am impressed

You are one of the few who get it. We may be on opposite sides of the sexuality debate but you are dead right in your assessment of any type of schism--internally or externally--will be anything but clear cut. Locally, it will pit church member against church member. I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen to the local United Methodist Church. I have witnessed the melt down of a Lutheran Church over the sexuality issue; it did not feel like anybody "came out on top". It was the pro-minority contingent that found themselves on the outside and who, several years later, are still trying to gain traction within in the community--a fellow ECLA church who avoided a meltdown refused to have anything to do with them so they formed a new ECLA church. When the new church proposed a community wide Easter Sunrise service, the discussion within the local UMC became very contentious because of a desire by some not to be found “guilty by association”. The new church is learning what the local PFLAG chapter knows so well--people are not ready for what they are promoting; there are very good reasons the PFLAG meetings are held in secret. Change can be mandated but only the grace of God can change how people view each other. As far as I am concerned, General Conference coming up with the exact same answer 11 times over 40 years is extremely significant. If God does not speak and work through our processes, then how is he going to speak to us as a denomination? My hope is the UMC stays together and keep the argument at the denominational level

Orter T. more than 7 years ago

I'm not impressed

I appreciate your position as not 100% in either faction, but the present stasis is not desirable and change is needed. You do not in this post describe how you would envision a UMC other than as it is now. Perhaps this will be forthcoming. I suppose it is not unlike the U.S.'s division over slavery some 150 years ago, but how that could have been solved other than as it was except to permit Southern secession is also an elusive proposition. Personally I would prefer changing the BOD to permit same sex marriage and LGB clergy, and then letting those who object vote with their feet by transferring their memberships to other Non-UMC churches. Unfortunately, unlike the Episcopals, the United Church of Christ, etc., we are faced with a tenacious faction of fundamentalists who while some sort of amiable schism would permit them to continue to deny equality to LGBs (I excluded T's because we have at least one transman UMC pastor who is known to be trans). I believe they are not satisfied with being able to deny equality in their own caucus but instead wish to impose their will on everyone. I am not fully committed to a split but I'm seeing few alternatives. Offer one, and let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. My hesitation is based on concern for kids victimized by heterosexism, but we don't cede support for them by the creation of two church bodies. I agree it's a conundrum, but, show us the money (meaning "spit it out" - say what you propose other than the continuing stalemate).

George Nixon Shuler more than 7 years ago