10 Minutes after Progressives Are Exiled from the UMC



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Peace Unity AND . . .

Those remaining would return to peace and unity. Departing Progressives would be free to join a group they agree with. They too would enjoy peace and unity, and a high degree of sexual freedom. But there is a problem that follows along. Rev. John Stott summed it up. "We need to be in harmony with God's Plan of Created Order: "There can be no liberation from God's norms; True 'liberation' is found only in accepting them."

Skipper Anding more than 5 years ago

What are you willing to do to stop the exile?

If it truly comes to pass that progressives are invited to leave, it will most certainly not be because of your beliefs re LGBTQ, it will be because of your failure to work within the system. If beliefs were the problem, you would have been invited to leave shortly after you started petitioning General Conference on behalf of homosexuals. It is disobedience by progressives that is the problem, not your beliefs. In your disobedience, progressives have set themselves up as being first. Jesus spoke very plainly about those desiring to be "first". So, what can you do to keep the UMC together; the ball is in the progressives court because you are the ones that keep pressing the sexuality question, insisting you are right and everybody else is wrong. Your questions do not scare or trouble me, but your tactics do! John Wesley had some pointed questions when it came to promoting peace within the church:

How dreadful and how innumerable are the contests which have arisen about religion! And not only among the children of this world, among those who knew not what true religion was; but even among the children of God, those who had experienced ‘the kingdom of God within them’, who had tasted of ‘righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’. How many in all ages, instead of joining together against the common enemy, have turned their weapons against each other, and so not only wasted their precious time but hurt one another’s spirits, weakened each other’s hands, and so hindered the great work of their common Master! How many of the weak have hereby been offended! How many of the ‘lame turned out of the way’! How many sinners confirmed in their disregard for all religion, and their contempt of those that profess it! And how many of ‘the excellent ones upon earth’ have been constrained to ‘weep in secret places’!
What would every lover of God and his neighbor do, what would he not suffer, to remedy this sore evil? To remove contention from the children of God? To restore or preserve peace among them? What but a good conscience would he think too dear to part with in order to promote this valuable end? And suppose we cannot make ‘these wars cease to all the world’, suppose we cannot reconcile all the children of God to each other; however, let each do what he can, let him contribute if it be but two mites toward it. Happy are they who are able in any degree to promote peace and goodwill among men’! Especially among good men; among those that are all listed under the banner of ‘the Prince of Peace’; and are therefore peculiarly engaged, ‘as much as lies in them, to live peaceably with all men’. John Wesley, “The Lord Our Righteousness”

Betsy more than 5 years ago

The Fallacy Conservatives Hold

I follow a conservative Facebook page for Conservative Methodists. This group includes a large number of Pastors. The first fallacy they ascribe to is that we need to be "Bible Believing" (because they know we progressives aren't), and fundamental because that's the only path to growth. They cite the surveys showing attendance growing only in the more conservatives churches/denominations.

In fact, today, they are not wrong, but demographics make that a losing long-term strategy. As the mainline protestant denominations have struggled with the social and societal changes, young people have left the church altogether. The pie has shrunk. As these mainline denominations slowly begin to shift and become more welcoming, conservatives/fundamentalists leave to go to more conservative denominations/congregations. So, certainly, those congregations are increasing while more progressive denominations and congregations struggle to re-capture those young people already pushed away.

We have to be honest that the majority of those migrating to the more conservative congregations tend to be on the older end of the age spectrum. Those conservative congregations will likely not be backfilled with young people looking for congregations that exclude their friends and family members. So yes, for now, they have a larger piece of the smaller pie, demographics and the natural cycles of life make that a losing strategy.

While that idea seems to indicate they value size, I also consistently hear the argument, (even made in a speech by Bishop Michael Lowry) that they would prefer a smaller church that is more fundamentalist. (http://deep.mastersfamily.org/2016-05/mirror-dimly-response-series-bishop-michael-lowry-part-1/) They truly have a scorched earth attitude towards this issue, and I fear there is no escaping a division.

John Masters more than 5 years ago

I appreciate the optimism

Things might indeed come to pass as you predict they will come to pass. It's not unlikely. However, you don't go on to what will happen two months later and after that. Those prejudiced against LGBTs will not give up, even as their numbers dwindle down to a precious few. Then they will become like the Vietnam War General who said, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Inevitably, they will become like the Prohibitionists were after their evil experiment failed and was repealed, an irrelevant gaggle of eccentrics. (And the UMC is overdue to apologize for our support of that ridiculous misuse of political power.)

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago