Behind the Veil

Traditionalists in Panic Mode as They Lobby the #UMC to Prioritize Protocol over Pandemic Relief

Hacking Christianity



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No Panic, it past time to move on

Covid or no covid:

."At the other end of the spectrum, progressive forms of Wesleyanism are equally frustrating to those who have developed a deep love for the ecumenical faith of the church catholic. Here, the chief problem has to do with an unwillingness on the part of episcopal and other denominational leaders to teach and uphold the historic faith of the church. In the worst cases, denominational leaders openly criticize or even reject vital aspects of ecumenical Christianity, including the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, any serious notion of sin and corresponding practice of repentance, and the importance of discipline and submission in the life of the church. They also fail to take seriously the ethical and moral content of the Christian tradition, most notably natural law. Some progressive Wesleyan leaders, such as those involved in the recent founding of the new Liberation Methodist Connexion denomination view “classical” or “consensual” Christianity as a source of evil and oppression rather than a means of deep healing, reconciliation to God and neighbor, and collective human flourishing. Some charge that, wittingly or not, the purveyors of classical Christianity across the centuries are among the chief architects of empire and systemic and structural evil in the world, including patriarchy, racism, ethnocentrism, and heteronormativity. Far from something to be loved and celebrated, canonical doctrines, materials, and practices at the heart of ecumenical Christianity need drastic revision, if not cancellation."

betsy 331 days ago

It does me good to read what you write

It increases my resolve to be done with this mess. I can guarantee that if the shoe was on the other foot--if it were progressives that were leaving because leadership decided to abide by the decisions made by General Conference--you would be doing the exact same thing!!!!!!! But then, in your eyes it would not only be acceptable but downright noble.Wake up and join the broken human race rather than trying to continually set yourself above it! I am not trying to be mean, I, like you am simply stating the truth as I see it and have experienced it within the UMC.

betsy 332 days ago

So what about Africa?

The right seems to be focused on leaving. But the unknown unknown is Africa. They appear to be increasingly uncomfortable with splitting the denomination. In addition, they seem to see the writing that a divided denomination means that places like the African continent which is massive will not have the financial support needed to keep their congregations that are growing healthy and financially viable.

There seems to be a realization that North America should go its own way regarding social issues specific to our context while leaving the continent alone regarding their issues. This makes sense since even here in the US we have regional differences. The evangelicals seem to be eager to move on but are holding out for financial support. They know that within the greater denomination here in the US they have lost the major cities in the West, North, and Northeast. So they want to peel away the SE into its own denomination and hope that smaller rural more conservative congregations go with them.

What's interesting about the US Citizens is that we are at heart consumers and follow politics as much as we do football here. It's becoming increasingly clearer that votes will go with the money. The evangelical wing has some larger congregations but together doesn't have the monetary heft nor the members to be more than a small regional communion long term. At the same time, it is clear that they are unwilling to yield any ground on social issues on principle and seem willing to sabotage the whole thing to force compliance but are running into increasing resistance from conferences across the US refusing to play along with their threats and witch hunts.

Fine, can we carve out a single traditional communion for them that remains tethered to pension and UMCOR and let them go their own way? We need peace. Abraham and Lott decided at a point to part ways and go in different directions. The question is who is going where?

Eric Pone 334 days ago

Protocol Fever

I wondered why so many people I encounter in the North Georgia Conference were so anxious to enact the Protocol through the GC (whenever it meets) and immediately thereafter by a special called annual conference. I had maintained the naive belief that all the disparate elements of the Protocol were moving forward together. Of course they were not. Most of the UMC had focused on getting through the pandemic as best we could. And during this time of world-wide plague, the African bishops had awakened to the danger that disunion posed for them. They have put forward a much more palpable proposal to divide the UMC into regional jurisdictions with the United States being one region. Each region would establish its rules similar to the way central conferences function today. In this structure, teh US UMC would very quickly change its rules to allow gay ordination and marriage. Once again, the US UMC would be restored to the place with Open doors, open hear5ts, and, most importantly, open minds. Anything other than this will turn away the next generation of potential Methodists who want nothing to do with hide bound orthopraxy or orthodoxy. Thank you, Rev. Smith, for alerting us to the dangers before us.

Lloyd E. Fleming 334 days ago

Bless your heart

Jeremy, you are one hate-filled dude. I wish you will find true happiness in the remnant of the UMC after the inevitable split occurs. Maybe then you won’t have to worry about what folks who believe in traditional marriage between a man and a women are doing with their spiritual journey and you can concentrate on ministering to a hollowed out Seattle and the few remaining secularist who still profess to be members of the what has become just another non-profit social agency known as the Pacific – Northwest Jurisdiction.

John 335 days ago

'The more things change the more they stay the same'

The first thing that came to mind as I read this article was the infamous line out of Vietnam; viz. "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" Only today it seems to be: "We want to destroy the denomination and save the assets for ourselves. We don't like bishops, we want to be a
local church led system but we want all of the positive ministry that the United Methodist Church has done for decades and we work to assure that the UMC will be rendered extinct. As Vince Lombardi said; 'Winning isn't the only thing, it's everything 'and we intend to WIN at all costs; the millions of innocent people caught in the middle are just 'collateral damage'" . In the final analysis; 'there are no winners, there will be only those who lose less at the time;. Maybe the line from Vietnam should be paraphrased; "We chose to destroy the church and give 'Christians' a black eye"? .

w.f. f meiklejohn 336 days ago


What he actually said was, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

John 334 days ago

Thanks, John

Thank you, John for the clarification. Reading such words as; "you are one hate-filled dude. "."hollowed out Seattle and the few remaining secularist who still profess to be members of the what has become just another non-profit social agency known as the Pacific – Northwest Jurisdiction": I feel a deep emptiness, or as our Native American brothers and sisters say in situations of profound loss; "my heart is on the ground". Seeing the horrifying images of divisiveness in .this country as well as the United Methodist denomination is vey painful. Perhaps, "walking a mile in the moccasins' of our siblings in Christ of the Pacific Northwest CONFERENCE of the Western JURISDICTION might temper our judgmentalism? We have been told to "Love our enemies, do good to those who hate you" Whether winning is everything or the only thing; may we remember the words of Pierre Coubertan, father of the modern Olympic movement: "The most important thing. . . is not winning but taking part". He did not say 'taking apart'! I extend to you my hand as I recall the words of John Wesley" "If your heart is with my heart, give me your hand".

w.f. meiklejohn 333 days ago

Problem is

We are not one heart about anything. We are a church divided and we are now led by leaders who refuse to abide by the decision making processes of the church. So exactly what is our future together. You do not know John Wesley very well. Spend some quality time with his sermon on the "Catholic Spirit". The first half justifies why there are multiple expressions of Christianity. The second half of the sermon defines who the person is who is truly of the catholic spirit--be prepared to have your mind blown. And yes, it will take some commitment to get through it and a dictionary will be required.

betsy 332 days ago

Thnks for the opportunity to learn and grow

I just read John Wesley's sermon: 'Catholic Spirit' and the thought the came to mind is the song title from the musical 'Oliver"': "Where is love?" To me, Wesley was very wise and did not say; "If you think exactly the same way I do, then I will be your friend" but asks us to show God's unconditional love to all we encounter. Section III verse 4 states, ( n please note I have taken the liberty of trying to be sensitive to gender in the following quote). "But while he/she) is steadily fixed in his(her) religious principles in what he (she)believes to be the truth as it is in Jesus; while he(she) firmly adheres to that worship of God which he (she)judges to be most acceptable in his (her)sight; and while he(she) is united by the tenderest and closest ties to one particular congregation, --his(her) heart is ENLARGED TOWARD ALL-(emphasis mine-wfm)mankind, those he(she) knows and those he(she) does not; he(she) embraces with strong and cordial affection neighbours and strangers, friends and enemies. This is catholic or universal love. AND HE(SHE) THAT HAS THAT (i.e. universal love)IS OF A CATHOLIC SPIRIT(emphasis mine-wfm). For love alone gives the title to this character: catholic love is a catholic spirit." May we walk arm-ion-arm even if we do not see eye-to-eye.

w.f. meiklejohn 330 days ago