The Odd Persistence of Ritter's Two-Class Methodism



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Time to get real

After following the most recent General Conference with dismay and a heavy heart, I realized that the UMC is already in schism--they just have not been willing to own up to it yet. The long-awaited Bishops' proposal(s), regardless of outcome, are not an answer and will only prolong the agony. We are split on this issue, and the argument is taking up so much energy and time that could be spent on being Jesus' disciples and solving the real problems of this world. Just admit defeat and take the steps needed to go forward.

Susanna Ruhe more than 3 years ago

An understanding that has been lost

Endorsing theological plurality that that results in contradictions is not a Wesleyan understanding of how the church should function! Just how effective can any organization be when it starts contradicting itself and becomes a house divided against itself? Just maybe that is what has been fueling 50 years of consistent numerical decline.

betsy more than 3 years ago

It is hopeless and non-negotiable. This debate is senseless.

We have activist Rev. Ritter who presents various plans, each similar to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic… And, we have a most progressive activist, Rev. Smith, who challenges which class of service everyone’s deck chair will be in...
Meanwhile, the bishops have boldly decided to present all three Way Forward plans in February. Nobody appears to have considered available market history on what those plans would produce, or what other alternatives might be more viable…
1. Presbyterians split over the last few years over the same issue. There are now essentially two separate Presbyterian denominations. But, without an amicable plan, there are also law suits hard feelings.
2. Lutherans have been in several denominations forever. The largest, Evangelical, is more progressive and welcomes homosexual management and marriage, the Missouri Synod is traditional, conservative. Both exist just fine separately.
3. Episcopalians completely surrendered to the progressives and are still closing churches, paying lawyers…
It does not seem that these realities entered into the thinking of the select group or Rev. Smith or Rev. Ritter… Or, that of the bishops who charged the Way Forward, advised them and encouraged them to find the workable way…
Let this old un-credentialed-pewster humbly offer the fair and common sense plan: In the words of Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way”. Progressives want control of their doctrine and their destiny. Let them go and take the churches that want to go, go. And, let we who want our traditional Methodist Church, take our churches in our direction. Honestly, progressives are never going to accept anything less than full inclusion. And, many traditionalists, if I am any example, will never attend or support a church with gay clergy or bishop or gay marriage ceremonies – not to mention general differences on 2nd amendment and other issues. These two sides are incompatible with non-negotiable positions.
Reorganize conferences and churches by their choice via electronics, not by geography. As with Presbyterians and Lutherans, build completely separate Methodist organizations and management, using the core “Methodist” name with new identifiers.

Have no overlap of management or finances. ACCEPT THE INEVITABLE, for goodness sake, negotiate a fair plan and let’s move on. Please!

Reese more than 3 years ago