The Evangelism of a Thousand Clergy Trials



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A United Church under the word of God

Will the LGBTQ crowd give more money in the church? Will membership swell? Will the moral character of the church as set by God increase? The split has occured. You have people already favoring inclusiveness over what our bible says. Has anyone applied Wesley's quadraladric logic? (1) Scripture, (2) tradition, (3) reason, and (4) experience. (1) There is no support for either the One Church or variance of it. There is clear biblical text against the condoning of homsexual and out of wedlock sex. (2) Tradition supports the value of one man and one woman to populate the church and raise children in the faith. (3) Reason says that embracing and celebrating one major tenent of our scripture is unlikely to stop at that breech but be pried wider. (4) Any organization that chooses to become untethered to one doctrine loses its identity and efficacy. Experience shows that Churches that break down their doctrinal unity become less in many sectors.

Brian more than 2 years ago

Here is an accurate assessment

With a realistic solution; The American United Methodist Church has been in a numerical nose dive for 50 years. We either sink the American United Methodist Church with our constant infighting or we get real and say enough is enough and go our separate ways:

betsy more than 2 years ago

How did Methodist stray so far

I am a many generation Methodist my question is, were my Great Grandfathers that were circuit riding ministers in the Methodist churches wrong in their belief. The word of God is the same today as in their day, as this decision has been let get this far about inclusion etc. Do the Bishops think we have the right to call all that these predecessors of our denomination stood for were wrong. Our church has never told those of the LGBTQ to leave or that they were not welcome to come to our church services, but to stand by and let them think it is alright and that heaven can be theirs while in sin, this will be on our heads as a church. Would we stand by and watch as someone is murdered in front of us, yet say that is ok, yes you can go to heaven even though you just committed a sin. We love all those that come to worship and ask for grace, we have many groups that meet that are trying to change their lives to get right with God as many state it at these meetings. Some help keep these events going in volunteering after they have felt that full grace in their lives of forgiveness. Knowing that difference in their walk is what we have helped provide, and that is what anyone that wants to walk that narrow road, as Jesus called it, to follow him to get to heaven. God loves us all and we all sin in our lives, but Jesus said we had to follow the laws that were laid down for all in the old testament. Matt 12, Jesus states what marriage is, between one man and one woman, ( also stated in Mark). This is what my Great grandfathers taught those that taught me so I would know what sin was, surely 200 years of that teaching isn't wrong, or I certainly won't have the reunion in heaven someday I think it will be. My prayers have been to see God put the Methodist on the road to glory for all that want to call this denomination home, to remember what those that went before us taught us the way we must walk to be disciples.

Lisa Hefner more than 2 years ago

What is the future of any organization

When there is absolutely no agreement as to what the problem is. Progressives say the problem is not allowing gays to be united in the rite of Holy Matrimony. Traditionalists say the problem is that gays have been united by the rite of Holy Matrimony. Making the LGBTQ population the sticking point is the wrong battle and not worth dividing over. The differences in the underlying theology that makes the LGBTQ population the sticking point is worth dividing over and has been since the reformation. And based on what has happened with every other mainline protestant denomination, it will ultimately be the traditionalists who will be forced out because most of the leadership who would have to carry out the traditionalists mandates are progressives. And this very same progressive leadership has been blowing smoke on the General Conference mandate re sexuality since this mess began in 1972. I think the odds are the UMC will "go progressive" and discover what every other mainline protestant denomination has discovered: there is no crowd of progressives waiting outside the door to rush to compensate for the traditionalist exodus. That is why the WCA has been proactive--they believe in learning from the experiences of others.

betsy more than 2 years ago

And all the while

People have not been choosing to be United Methodists and have not been for 50 years. And for all the good a strong Methodist/United Methodist Church presence was for my life growing up, I am beginning to question the helpfulness of a denomination that has not a single collective what it believes about anything--including why God specifically created us male and female.

" I think our decline and disunity are intrinsically linked. A mainline religious tradition whether it be Episcopal, UCC, Lutheran, Presbyterian or United Methodist that in disunity, discord, discontinuity and disharmony will certainly not be attractive to searching people. No one wants more “dis” in their lives."

Nothing is going to fix the UMC unless it can find some common theological ground. Everybody claims God, Jesus, the Bible and John Wesley and comes up with completely different understandings of who God is, who we are, and what God intended for us in this life. It was only after the church left me so lost, confused and broken that I wandered off that I finally found some clear teaching that helped me to make sense of God, myself and my broken life; teaching that is pushing me to live beyond my broken and confused life. Thankfully I have discovered clear Wesleyan thinking in a younger generation. The only thing wrong with historic/classical Christianity of the Wesleyan/Methodist persuasion is that The Methodist/United Methodist Church wandered away from it as its exclusive teaching decades ago. What it needs to do is reclaim some basic theology it does not even know it has lost. The United Methodist Church is the prodigal child that has squandered its inheritance of the doctrine and spirit with which it began and exceeded John Wesley's worst fear that it would just become the form of religion without any power to create a space that allows God to transform individual lives, enabling them to live a life centered in God 24/7 regardless of their circumstances including faith tradition that has become so broken and lost it cannot even acknowledge it is broken and lost. Nobody can fix a problem unless they are capable of naming it.

betsy more than 2 years ago

What if

What if the Pastors are put on trial and few are convicted? There is no obligation to convict. We don't have kangaroo courts in the denomination. For conservatives to push force the liberal conferences hands they would need to force the Bishop to defrock and that is against our constitution. The traditional plan modified or not only keeps the status quo going as they don't have the power to force conferences out. I just don't see the rationale behind this legislation. But hey if people want to spend money go right ahead. I am thinking they fully expect this result. WCA is expecting to leave either way and they have created the perfect situation to do so. It really pains me that a small group has torn the denomination apart to assuage their discrimination.

Eric Pone more than 2 years ago

It will be interesting to see if you are right.

I don’t think the “rigorously anti-gay bill” will pass. As long as it doesn’t have the votes, then the proposal will become more generous. If it appears to be about to pass, then additional demands will be made. But if one is a conservative, why take on reforming other conferences that don’t want to be reformed? If you have the votes to leave (and there are several conferences that are acting like they have the votes) isn’t that the easier route? 1,000 church trials doesn’t sound fun. It will take a complete capitulation on Morgan and the like to pass the traditional plan. That’s not in the cards. Connectional Table is going to decide what else needs to be cut to make budget. I wish my perspective wasn’t so gloomy.

Anonymous more than 2 years ago

Please Keep Writing, Rev Guyton! You prove and underscore my metaphor:

"The cancer of liberalism has metastasized in the UMC". But, I must ask if you have studied the membership scores, and more importantly, the money donations at both the western conference since they named a lesbian bishop. And, have you studied the Episcopal church since they did they same thing? Polyester washed in hot water doesn't shrink faster! But, as you point out, in less than two decades, all of us old white baby boomers will be gone. You will even be able to decorate the gay pride parade float in your church parking lot!

Reese more than 2 years ago