The Betrayal of Good News: How a 2004 Blueprint Created the #GC2019 Endgame



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Over 40 years of conversation

Traditional UM members have observed and endured this conversation about human sexuality at GCs for the last 40 years with Progressives. It appears that the Progressives refuse to take no as an answer regarding changing the BOD. It is not Traditional Methodist that are bringing this fight and it is failure of our leadership that a likely potential result of from GC 2019 will involve winners and losers. So somehow this author is offended and outraged that Taditionalists would together seek common cause and plan for GC outcomes that they cannot and will not agree with. Remember Progressives are seeking changes to the BOD that we believe will destroy the UMC not Traditionalists.

Ed more than 2 years ago

Show your work

You say, " Progressives are seeking changes to the BOD that we believe will destroy the UMC." Let's hear how that is. That is an assertion devoid of evidence. If you can't explain exactly how, your rhetoric is revealed as the pitiful huffing and puffing that it is.

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago


The true betrayal comes from those progressives who swore to uphold the discipline and doctrine of The UMC and then did exactly the opposite. Their flagrant violations have brought us here. Let us hope that the upcoming GC finds a way to end the squabbling.

Kevin more than 2 years ago


Here's evidence that the "reform coalition" betrayed their vows of loyalty to the UMC by planning it's destruction. and you want to accuse progressives of betrayal? They set about a course to confound the ministry of the church for want of their own power even while taking salaries from the UMC and making (apparently false) pledges. They choose to create rules they know people will not abide, so that they can blame the violators. They are like arsonists who criticize the victims trying to escape their fire. Don't be a tool, Kevin, they have been playing you, and the LGBTQ people, and the denomination for years. Your pointing the finger they want they would hope makes you complicit.

Kevin more than 2 years ago

Purify the Church

The original document is in line with similar movements across all mainline denominations. Their goal is to "purify" the church by ridding it of all but the most orthodox adherents. Then once done to evangelize the "Heathen" to the new Christianity. (or by their interpretation the original intent). If past history is to be followed the renewal movements tend to break off into smaller denominations and the larger liberal movements move on. This is a new strategy to simply destroy everything in an attempt to force everyone to adhere and go along. A solid political strategy and follows Paul's strategy for ridding the early Church of the Jerusalem church. But it is less than above board and I question if its very Christian at all. I am not going to stop being a Moderate because or going to Church or voicing my opinions on the discrimination.

eric pone more than 2 years ago

Can you be more clear?

You seem a bit muddled. The "Heathen" are whom? Non-churched? Those who are more liberal? Those who have no commitment to the authority of the Bible?
And especially: "destroy everything in an attempt to force everyone to adhere and go along" --- meaning what? If everything is destroyed then what is there to adhere to? What to "go along" with?
Where did you learn of Paul's "strategy for ridding the early church of the Jerusalem church"? A well-kept secret from my PhD studies in NT.
Ah, well. I can learn something new every day ...

Charles Dillman more than 2 years ago

Maybe its all for the best

This document shows how marginalized these conservative members used to be. I find it hard to accept that this issue (not officially sanctioning gay wedding ceremonies and not allowing LGBT pastors to share their sexual identity publicly) was the one that was so important that we needed to separate. But the legalization of marriage made our compromise less workable. Before legalization, our compromise didn't cost an LGBT member anything. Now it does.

In some ways I wish we had been given more time. The Western Conference made a decision that the UMC needed to make a decision now. And in reality, I just don't think we would have ever gotten to approval, so maybe that was a good decision on their part. We are already at acceptance. So the progressives in our church were being asked to now give something up with no real promise that we would ever move.

It's time to start voting. In the general conference and then come back to our annual conferences and decide what the majorities can live with. Methodist's love committees, but at some point, even the committee has to make decisions. This is a tough one, but I really understand both sides views on it. Personally, the way forward that is most consistent with Methodism is for us to break up into individual conferences and then see which conferences feel that they are in agreement. Just like we did it before, there's just more uncertainty regarding where each conference will go.

Anonymous more than 2 years ago

How to get respect

Respect the beliefs of those who disagree with you. And with your blatant disobedience, you have not shown one smidgen of respect to those who disagree with you. In short, I do not find your beliefs troublesome; but your scorched earth tactics are very troublesome and is a type of Christianity I do not want any part of.

betsy more than 2 years ago

The progressives have an end game

Why shouldn't traditionalists? Problem is the two end games have opposing objectives. Progressives want to implement a new and improved sexuality ethic. Traditionalists are fine with the historic one. Where the progressives underestimate traditionalists is that we are as committed to our beliefs as you are to yours and do not feel called to quietly step aside. Just as progressives have escalated their push to change the church to your way of thinking with blatant disobedience, Traditionalists have escalated their response. So exactly how is this supposed to play out any differently than it is? You push for something different, the response is a clear and consistent "No". So you push harder. The response becomes a harder "No". Guess what, this is what happens when two strongly held conflicting and contradictory beliefs try to occupy the same space. Face the reality that Progressives are not going to convince Traditionalists to embrace their way of thinking then just maybe we can start having some rational discussion about the best way forward for everybody. What is going on now is not working and it is killing the church that everybody claims to love. And overall, Traditionalists understand that better than Progressives who are so upside down in your "cause" that you cannot grasp the bigger picture.

betsy more than 2 years ago


Every time I think Jeremy can't possibly stoop any lower, he surprises me by wallowing even deeper in the mud. He's the UMC equivalent of InfoWars.

First, read the Good News document for yourself to see how badly Jeremy has chosen to misrepresent it. The document is a discussion piece on options following the events of GC2004 and is framed around the various conflicts and options for the future of the UMC discussed in Lyle Schaller's 2004 Abingdon Press book, The Ice Cube is Melting. (By the way, Lyle Schaller was a church consultant widely respected across the theological spectrum and across denominations.) I can only imagine the level of either hatred or disdain for theological conservatives that could drive someone to try to frame this 9-page Good News document as a nefarious Machiavellian smoking gun "15 year" "blueprint". Don't take my word for it, read it and/or Schaler's book for yourself.

Paul W. more than 2 years ago

Did YOU Read the Document

Following your recommendation I went and read the document. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. This document basically says that the Church is hopelessly broken and needs a new wineskin. The document is a defined plan to bypass the connection to create a new church that doesn't reflect even Wesley's original intent based on his writings. It gives the Southern Megachurches rough shod over the balance of the congregation. You really ought to read that document. It basically says that we need to leave Wesley behind and create a fundamentalist community of churches.

eric pone more than 2 years ago

The religious equivalent...

...of a real estate flipper, a telemarketer, an ambulance chasing litigator, and Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazard. In other words, a five-ply phony more crooked than the tailpipe of a Cadillac, that's what " a church consultant widely respected across the theological spectrum and across denominations" is.

Right-wing activism has had its day. The Granddaddies of the far-right fundamentalists of today were badasses but this bunch can't shoot straight, leaving evidence of their Machiavellian tendencies lying around like this.

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago

Of course, of course

That "five-ply phony" representative of "the far-right fundamentalists" was a product of that notoriously backwater institution known as Garret Theological Seminary and later director of the Center for Parish Development at the same institution. He also had over 40 books published by that bastion of fundamentalist screeds, Abingdon Press. What could he possibly have said of any relevance to United Methodists?

John more than 2 years ago

Thank goodness

I am very pleased that the church leaders in The Good News movement had the foresight to see how the lawlessness of some in the “Progressive “ wing -their open defiance of the clearly stated positions adopted by General Conference and in our Book of Discipline- would lead many of the rank and file, certainly the overwhelming majority in the larger conferences, to want to either ensure all of the BOD be enforced with accountability and dissenters offered a chance to worship their way in another denomination or leave the UMC and form our own Wesleyan denomination. I have no desire to pay any portion of an apportionment to a denomination that accepts and winks at such open defiance and lawlessness on the party of its clergy and bishops and celebrates the killing of innocent babies while going apoplectic over the execution of heinous murderers. I know in your mind that makes me a Metho-Fascist, but I can no longer care what you and others like you think of those of use who support the modified Traditionalst plan and the advocacy of the WCA, Good News, the Confessing Movement, IRD or other similar groups. Good luck on your faith journey. I wish you well. Just please quit with the feigned outrage that the rest of us don’t see the Truth in your way and prefer to go our own way.

John more than 2 years ago