Skip to comments.Methodist Bishops Urge Surrender in Afghanistan
Posted on 11/27/2009 4:55:34 AM PST by mbarker12474
Methodist Bishops Urge Surrender in Afghanistan Mark Tooley November 25, 2009
The following article originally appeared on the Front Page Magazine website, and is reproduced with permission.
Nearly half of the bishops of the United Methodist Church, Americas third largest (though declining) denomination, are demanding that the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan by next year.
We believe there is no path to military victory in Afghanistan, harrumphed the bishops in their November letter to President Obama. But its not clear that these bishops ever wanted a victory in Afghanistan. After 9-11, the Council of Bishops declined to condemn al Qaeda or the Taliban, preferring only to seek solidarity with victimized peoples throughout the world and to intone that that violence in all of its forms and expressions is contrary to Gods purpose for the world. In other words, there were no necessarily great moral distinction between Osama bin Laden and those U.S. led military forces that sought his capture.
The bishops also have denounced U.S. military actions 4 times in Iraq while never expressing any special concern about Saddam Husseins mass murders or epic torture prisons, much less what even greater horrors might have prevailed to Iraqis had the U.S. withdrawn precipitously. With Iraq now relatively subdued, the bishops are now aiming their outrage at any U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
We are deeply concerned about the escalating war in Afghanistan, they bewailed, though they were never publicly concerned about Taliban tyranny or Afghanistans sinister role as a nest for international terror by al Qaeda. Urging Obama to set a timetable for the withdrawal of all coalition forces by the end of 2010, the bishops lamented the war in Afghanistan has no end in sight, as they cited U.S., coalition and Afghan casualty figures.
The bishops promised that their vision is a world in which people live together in peace and with mutual respect. Of course, they do not outline how such peace and mutual respect will arise in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. We believe that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities, they banally proclaimed, seemingly indifferent to the consequence of their recommendation, preferring instead the satisfaction of their own moral preening.
We wanted to get this to Obama before he made his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan, explained retired Bishop Marshall L. Meadors, who drafted the Afghanistan decree. I have struggled with the war in Iraq, he said. I held public prayer services when the 3,000th and 4,000th soldier was killed in Iraq. For left-leaning religionists, concern and political empathy have replaced thoughtful public witness.
Many of these bishops pretend that their church is pacifist, and they insisted that their denomination believes war is incompatible with the teachings of Christ. But The United Methodist Church also acknowledges that many Christians believe that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may regretfully be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny and genocide. Actually many should say vast majority, as the pacifist tradition among Methodists and among Christians globally has always been small. Methodist founder John Wesley once offered to help raise troops for his King in case of a French invasion of Britain.
But in the early 20th century, much of Mainline Protestantisms academic and social elites in America surrendered to pacifism, which only accelerated after World War, and which even Nazi and Japanese militarist aggression did not dissuade. In 1940, Methodisms governing General Conference adopted a pacifist stance, even as Europe and Asia were being overrun by darkness, saying The Methodist Church will not officially support, endorse or participate in war. After Pearl Harbor, the bishops tried to compensate for that stance by insisting, In this crisis, as in all previous crises in our history, the Methodists of America will support our President and our nation.
Even at Methodisms 1944 General Conference, church elites proposed a continued pacifist stance, while 1 million American Methodists were serving in the armed forces. Its primary spokesman explained that we do not think that a Christian Church should pray for a military victory because the God of the Christian Church is the God of all mankind.
The head of the Methodist Publishing House who later became a bishop, Nolan Harmon, responded to the pacifists by noting: We have spent more time in calling attention to the plight of the 600 Methodist conscientious objectors than we have to three times that many Methodist boys, dead and buried under crosses on battlefields in the far-flung corners of the earth. Harmon also insisted: The ultimate control of moral evil in this world must be by force. He later explained in his memoir 40 years later: If we do want to stop crime, or on the world stage, to stop Hitler or evil dictator, it will take force to do it, declaring that in principle, the policemans club and the ICBM warhead are no different.
A minority report among the Methodist delegates in 1944 just barely prevailed by asserting: We are well within the Christian position when we assert the necessity of the use of military forces to resist an aggression which would overthrow every right which is held sacred by civilized men. In 1952, the Methodist bishops supported U.S. resistance to, in one bishops words, the Russian-planned and dictated invasion of Korea, with that bishop, Bromley Oxnam, further declaring that a Christian must courageously resolve that mankind shall not be engulfed in materialism nor shackled by tyranny, as the Christian is called upon to live dangerously in the spirit of Jesus and in loyalty to the principles symbolized by the cross.
Predictably, the 1960s erased most remnants of traditional Christian Just War teaching among the United Methodists. Some Just War language was restored to the churchs official teaching in 2000, just in time for 9-11. But despite this prescient revival, and the pleas of Virginias Methodist bishop, who had personally visited the Pentagon right after the terror strike, the bishops opted for milquetoast pacifism and working towards alleviating the root causes of poverty and the other social conditions that are exploited by terrorists.
The repeated Methodist denunciations of Iraqs liberation from Saddam Hussein never expressed any concern about human rights or a just regime in Iraq; they focused exclusively on condemning the U.S. as the seeming only source of injustice and violence in otherwise peaceable Iraq. The Religious Lefts brand of pacifism is typically only concerned about restraining U.S. military efforts and does not usually quibble with aggression or oppression by tyrants, even when genocidal.
Equating justice with reflexive anti-Americanism is old hat for the Religious Left, including many modern American Methodist bishops, who, unlike their more robust predecessors of 60 years, preside over a dwindling flock that no longer seriously heeds their political posturing.
The flock does not ignore the posturing of the radical denomination, the flock is instead oblivious to this posturing, and deliberately, consciously, wants to remain that way.
The UMC doesn't incorage scripture reading, the clergy preaches very little from scripture, and the flock relies on its own reasoning, rather than God's word, for its understanding of truth. They are lukewarm, and in serious jeopardy of being vomited out of Christ's mouth.
False prophets and ignorant, self-serving fools who have strayed so far from the gospel of Jesus Christ and the God of Abraham that it is difficult to see how they could ever find their way back.
However, its members should share much of the blame because most members think the UMC is a social club.
In any event, as soon as I realized what the UMC really is, I left it and became a Roman Catholic just as fast as I could. I like a church that doesn't take a vote every four years to see what it should believe today.
John and Charles Wesley would denounce and disown this bunch of poseurs.
“as soon as I realized what the UMC really is, I left it and became a Roman Catholic just as fast as I could.z”
Out of the frying pan into the fire.
My cousin ended up getting recruited (mostly for her liberal beliefs and persuasion) to be a minister for the UMC. She got a complete tuition deal and was fully accredited by these guys.
Her background in Biblical studies? Barely worth noting. They tend to do a lot of philosophical debates and work closely on social issues mostly. If you look at the typical membership now...it’s entirely middle and lower-class families...those on the borderline of poverty. You almost get the impression of a recruitment wing for some liberal group.
I don’t want to dump on the church...but they aren’t exactly being honest in their words or actions.
I suggest the “bishops” go there personally to arrange the terms.
It's becoming plain to see that the UMC has morphed into a dump.
Instead of concentrating on saving souls and preaching the Gospel the UMC, like a few other pseudo-Christian denominations have decided to move away from their original mission and muddle things up worse than the current communist administration.
I predict a further exodus from the UMC.
“They are lukewarm, and in serious jeopardy of being vomited out of Christ’s mouth. “
I was raised in the Methodist church and don’t have a problem with the theology but you are right. The leadership have become apostate, the sheeple in the pews are so stupid and passive they will follow anybody. This is true mostly in the northern Methodist churches. I think there is a remnant in the south that are still followers of Christ.
Welcome to the Catholic Church, friend. Glad to have you. But don’t put down your dukes yet. The battle is joined: the fight goes on.
Yep, the Methodist Church tossed out the Gospel several years back...
Did they also make a statement about merging with the Unitarian Church? It’s bound to happen sooner or later.
Better to have become an ecumenical missionary in the bush somewhere. Be good for your soul.
On the other hand, mealy-mouthed preachers droning on delivering mealy-mouthed sermons has been the UMC standard for more than a century.
I've attended such services ~ but outside of the religious part they're great in supporting Boy Scout troops, etc. Think of it as a social club with tax exempt meeting rooms of just the sizes needed for your groups.
BTW, the UMC is second only to the Christian Church (DOC) in the percentage of ex-Catholic members ~ so this goes both ways.
Mine, too. I stopped going to the UMC after my pastor blamed 9/11 on World Hunger. He also said ‘we must redistribute the wealth so that everyone has enough’. Socialism from the pulpit. I tried other denominations but my Methodism has been so ingrained that it’s difficult to listen to another’s teachings. Maybe someday I’ll find a good fit. I miss the Methodist Church of my youth (the 50’s).
There is only one word that applies to Afstan, Victory.
These people are nuts, however, since Obama won’t let our troops return fire, we should get them out of there as fast as possible and just switch to carpet bombing from 70,000 feet.
We left the ELCA for the LCMS and have not been sorry for one minute.
Freepmail me some info if you have access to any and have the time. Thanks.