Another View of UMC Integrity



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UMC Integrity

The integrity of the Methodist Church/Movement is not found in obedience to rules and regulations. Rather, it is found in faithfully lliving by Wesley's 3 General Rules, do no harm, do all the good you can and stay in love with God. Sadly, the Traditional Plan disobey's rule number one, having done enormous harm to countless individuals and to the institution itself. There is a time to obey rules, and a time to disobey rules. For me, staying in love with God means disobedience to harmful rules.

Robert Granger more than 2 years ago


this is the disagreement isn't it? One group thinks that sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and woman is sinful and the other doesn't. The rules you mention as being harmful are based on the traditional christian teachings about marriage and sexual behavior: teachings which were passed down from the apostolic age to ours and have been consistently reaffirmed by the only body authorized in the UMC to make this decision. I respectfully submit that the case for harm can also be made from the opinion opposite to yours.

There is a point at which to live in integrity as UMC clergy is to uphold the vows and commitments that they have made or to resign because they cannot uphold those vows. I realize that this is painful since so many clergy have been led to believe that the rules will eventually be changed so that they don't have to make this choice. It most certainly is a tragic situation filled with much grief.

td more than 2 years ago

Depends upon perspective

From my perspective Traditionalists are totally fulfilling Wesley’s 3 general rules. By keeping pastors who are not following God’s word out of the pulpit we are preventing the harm they do to parishioners leading them on an unGodly path.

I am so tired of progressives thinking they have the moral high ground. Fact is it is the progressives who are failing to follow God’s Word, leading others down a secular social justice agenda disguised as Christian, and breaking the oaths they made before God. So, if there is any harm being done, it sits squarely on the progressives’ shoulders

Do no harm starts at your front door.

Steve more than 2 years ago

Not Wesley's Rules

Wesley's rules, per his sermon "Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, Discourse the Fifth," were Do no harm, Do good, and Attend the ordinances of God. You may be thinking of Reuben Job's modern re-interpretation of those rules. While it's true that attending God's ordinances is a means by which we are better enabled to stay in love of God, a failure to stay focused on attending and jumping straight to "loving God" means we may try to love God in ways that are counter to God's ordinances. I'll stick with Wesley's reasoning.

Wesley also placed high priority to obedience to the rules... why do you think he bothered to delineate his General Rules in the first place? Disobedience (even failing to attend meetings) could easily cost you membership in the Methodist societies.

Perhaps I'm being very thick-headed, but I need help in understanding exactly how providing the church more tools to enforce its own doctrine harms itself.

John more than 2 years ago

UMC structure

Our UMC structure is built upon the covenant relationship we have with each other. We pledge to support The UMC. Once that covenant is broken the structure comes crashing down. The Progressives have broken the covenant. Our Methodist connectional system cannot be sustained without trust and there is no more trust.

Kevin more than 2 years ago

A more realistic perspective

"It is time to lay aside any denial. Time to quit imaging the denomination as we know it somehow salvageable. Time to quit being tolerant of being together in ways that continue to inflict pain in a multitude of directions. Time to quit playing chicken to see if the other side will leave. “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t…”
As with fifteen years ago, I identify with the progressive end of the United Methodist Church, but I write as someone who represents no one but myself. While I am pleased that so many voices have arisen that speak loudly in support of our LGBTQIA+ members, I am dismayed that so many of those same voices continue to call for patience and for working within the system that is dead. The time for patience has long passed. It is time to organize and strategize on our side of the divide and work together with those on the other side of the divide to formalize the divide once and for all. There is no way forward for the United Methodist Church that is not a way out of the United Methodist Church.
We must split."

betsy more than 2 years ago

Bishop Webb names the big problem

We are confusing Christian unity--which is our call to love each and every person regardless of belief or church affiliation--and denominational unity--which is a particular church with a particular set of beliefs. We well be able to find Christian unity when we are no longer trying to occupy the same space.

betsy more than 2 years ago

The only reason our polity is dysfunctional

The people who refuse to abide by the will of the only thing we currently have that is designated to speak for the church as a whole. Scripturally, I liken General Conference to the dice that the apostles rolled when choosing the successor for Judas--they did not continue rolling the dice until the "correct answer" came up; they rolled the dice, accepted the answer and moved on.

betsy more than 2 years ago


"delegate was called out by another for saying we should “drown all the gays” to solve our problem)."

Where is there any proof this actually happened? Someone said so? I heard the speaker make the claim but she offered no supporting proof. How do we know this really happened? Quoting unsubstantiated comments puts your whole article into question. It would appear you have lost your "integrity".

Joe Smutts more than 2 years ago


I believe the "offended" delegate couldn't hear Jesus speaking. As I understand the incident, the first delegate referenced Jesus' remarks in Matthew 18 and Luke 17 that "it would be better to have a millstone tied around one's neck and thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble." Jesus wasn't calling for anyone literally to be drowned, nor (as I best understand it) was the first delegate--the point being made was that allowing or causing stumbling has serious consequences; hence the hyperbole. It's funny where biblical literalism can rear its head.

John more than 2 years ago

The reference about drowning gays

"I’m convinced that one of the problems is that progressives and centrists do not understand what motivates those who voted for the Traditional Plan at GC. Indiana Delegation members have had lengthy, difficult and even painful conversations about our positions and why we can or cannot support certain things. The Commission on a Way Forward did this well. I wish that people throughout the church had done the same.

"Case in point: Dorothee Benz of New York went to the microphone and said that a delegate from Pennsylvania had said gay people should be drowned. That is not what she said–although I’m sure it is what she heard. The delegate from Pennsylvania quoted Scripture:
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6, NLT
The Pennsylvania delegate was saying it would be better for us to be drowned in the sea than vote for the One Church Plan (OCP). We are setting the official teaching of the denomination. One day we have to stand in front of God one day and be held accountable for our actions.
United Methodists who support the church’s historic position on marriage believe that changing the definition of marriage would be wrong. They believe God would hold them accountable for such actions because if we endorse the OCP we are teaching people false teaching."

And the context and explanation given explains why the thought proposed in this article will never work; the traditionalist understanding is tied to what we truly believe how God intends for us to live. And a huge part of that belief is a trust of 2000 years of Christianity because we do not trust our own inclinations and experiences and feelings. Furthermore, God's intent is a goal to be pursued by the grace of God as expressed in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. And yes, sometimes we stumble, but by the grace of God we will repent, and try again to live the life he intended us to live. So no, we do not condemn gays, nor or we homophobic and bigoted, we just truly do not believe they are living the best life possible. And they are free to disagree with us and we will continue to work and live next door to them, have them as relatives and treat them with love, respect and care. But we will not say that when it comes to what God intends for them they are on the right track.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Thanks, Betty

Thanks for speaking up. Reason is certainly disintegrating in our conferencing. But traditional witnesses to the truth must continue to endure for Jesus' sake. You have shown great courage and magnanimity.

Gary Bebop more than 2 years ago