Reader Responds: Where I Am Right Now #UMC

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You progressives make the story too personal! It isn’t personal, it is cultural and it can be fixed!

On occasion in my life, I tried the Baptist church, but it never felt right. I like to enjoy various alcohol beverages and it just does not sit well with most Baptist folks. It was not their fault or mine, I felt no “hate”, it was just a difference in attitude that was non-negotiable.
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Evidently, the Baptist hierarchy recognized the problem with many like me and addressed it in a unique way. My wife and I now attend something called “The All-Around Cowboy Church”, a sponsored off-shoot of the Baptist church. The same basic philosophies, but a much less formal service, lots of toe-tappin’, heart-touchin’ music -a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll, a message with more meat in it than a bar-b-q joint - and beer drinkers are welcome. A church for beer-drinkin’ Baptists? You bet! And, does it ever work: our local Cowboy Church, which did not exist nine years ago, averages nearly 400 every Sunday. Many former Methodists and others like the format and the freedom that the traditional Baptist Church did not allow.
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The Baptist management recognized the disconnect and found a way to serve all: They did not try to force traditionals to accept lifestyles in their leadership that they found outside their beliefs. Nor, did they demand that those who are a little rowdy to dial it back. Baptists sponsored a new denomination with a new name to reach out to those who felt unwelcome or chastised. And, as a result, memberships are increasing at both.
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Lutherans and Presbyterians handled the homosexual disconnect by simply splitting the existing denominations. Episcopalians chose to force their traditionals to accept homosexual lifestyles as a normal part of clergy and weddings and is now facing extinction in many places. Methodist management arrogantly and foolishly has ignored the disconnect for too long, and now is faced with the Episcopal scenario. Traditionals won the vote, but the church is in revolution. Brilliant!
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“One Church” was a stupid plan because it forced traditionals to associate under the same name as the homosexuals. Who would know what kind of Methodist Church they would visit, or if it could change with the next vote, or if the conference could change in two years, or what the church logo would be next… This would be like the Baptist church allowing local option on beer drinking under the Baptist name!
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Progressives, like this writer I challenge, take this too personally. It is not personal, it is great differences on the cultural issues of morality. “Queer” is used often to represent what many of us remain convinced is not acceptable and this will not change. So, why not saddle up and team up, just as the Baptists’ drinkers and non-drinkers did, and grow the church rather than topple it?

Reese 99 days ago

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