Zimbabwe Delegate Refutes 'Harvest of Thorns'



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Simon’s thoughts

Simon, thank you for posting such a refreshing and introspective piece about the African delegates’ point of view and beliefs.

Chris Stockard more than 2 years ago

Then Africa can pay for their own

I completely agree that the writer this gentleman is referring to is probably more liberal. But he has a right to have his opinion expressed without being attacked. Neither writer brought any empirical facts to the table. None. The facts on the ground in the US is clear that the Traditional camp only controls 37% of the GC delegates and a fraction of Clergy 15%. These are facts. That is what we are lacking from the African context right now. If Simon Mafunda is the majority voice we may be at a place where the majority of the US Church can't walk the same path. But I don't know because we don't have facts beyond what GC decided. And that is all we have right now. And for many Lay and most clergy where we are at is not a good place and not a place where they want to be.
I fear this fight is over and we are just deciding how to divide the baby at this point. But being an Easter person I know that God tends to show up when the night is darkest.

eric more than 2 years ago

Lack of substance

It is helpful to note that Simon hasn’t addressed any of the concerns Lloyd raised in His article. Suffice to say that this article is more about the individual rather than the content. Few things that I wish Simon expanded more on.
1. Who among the progressives threatened cutting funds for ministry in Africa if OCP didn’t pass?
2. It is wrong to say that time wasn’t enough to address the problems in the Traditional Plan as it was a traditionalist who asked to end debate and vote.
3. He talks about like-minded people working together, can he expand more on the nature of the relationship between conservatives in USA and Africa and say it is not colonial when it only goes one way. Is it not enough an insult that only white American males teach and tell African delegates what and how to vote?
4. As a lay leader, how does he see his role and spiritually when the church rejects other people created in the image of God? Is that African, Wesleyan?

A lot can be said and I hope Simon takes time to read comments and may be moved to respond, addressing the content and not individuals.

Albert more than 2 years ago

Not quite accurate

It was the bishops who told the Commission on a Way Forward to stop work on the Traditional Plan and concentrate on the One Church Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan. Only at the last minute was the Commission redirected by the bishops to go back to work on the Traditional Plan, which is why it was in such rough shape at the beginning of the special General Conference.

John more than 2 years ago

Like was stated in the article

Traditionalists do not reject anybody, we reject certain behaviors. Our understanding of sexuality is grounded in 200+years of Judeo-Christian understanding that has stood right up until the sexual revolution of the 1960's. So no, we are not in a rush to abandon our beliefs. Once again General Conference has spoken and once again progressives do not like the answer--so what else is new?

And I do not believe that anybody is coaching the Africans to do or say anything. Based on everything they have written and I have read about them, as people fully made in the image of God, they are very capable of speaking their own mind.

The mistake progressives keep making is assuming all traditionalists are ignorant and uneducated--something we most definitely are not! We simply disagree with your understandings and many of us respect your right to disagree with ours. Unfortunately, just like progressives have their hard nosed fundamentalists, so do traditionalists. What is needed from everybody is to acknowledge the reality that when it comes to sexuality, we will never be able to think alike and we need to start focusing all our energy on figuring out how to create space so everybody can live out their beliefs as they see fit.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Thank you!!

Thank you Betsy for your reply!! Traditionalist in general do not hate or reject oh btw people but rather the behaviour. Just as we do not hate adulterers or prostitutes but rather the behaviour. Is this so difficult to understand? Then so-called progressives arrogantly decide we are ignorant and they are the illuminated group!! Fundamentalism of the left is just as cruel and stubborn as fundamentalism on the right!!

Eriberto Soto more than 2 years ago

We are at a standoff because...

What progressives consider outdated and irrelevant to the current situation, traditionalists see as being timeless and absolutely relevant to the current situation. There is absolutely no way to live into that much tension.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Thank you

Thank you for speaking up and giving your testimony on this issue.

Virginia more than 2 years ago

The poison I mentioned

I was happy when I saw there was a rebuttal to my article "Africa's Great Betrayal: A Harvest of Thorns," but all I read was personal attacks and being called names. Half of this article is the same as I read on the WCA article – same words, same point, same personal attacks.

There are several issues regarding process and behaviors that I raised in my article, but none of them are addressed by Mr. Mafunda besides the pension issue, which was also raised in a WCA article by Walter Fenton.

My article is clear that I am addressing the relationship of the Reform and Renewal Coalition with a few WCA council members who have been used as a misinformation machine.

I also addressed the insincerity and neocolonial relationships being developed, along with the divisions these actions caused. So far, who is leaving the UMC using the exit plan that was sold to African delegates as kicking out homosexuals from the denomination? It's not the homosexuals!

If the issues raised in my article can be addressed, then we can have a healthy debate. I will not focus on the personal attacks. I was never raised that way. As an Black African son of the soil, my mother taught me “Ubuntu” (the ideal of community and cooperation) not to attack individuals, but to discuss issues.

Lloyd more than 2 years ago