Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Methodist Bishops Urge Surrender in Afghanistan
Institute on Religion & Democracy IRD, Mark Tooley, FrontPage ^ | 25 November 2009 | Mark Tooley of the IRD

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, America’s 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 it’s 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 God’s 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 Hussein’s mass murders or epic torture prisons, much less what even greater horrors might have prevailed to Iraqis had the U.S. withdrawn precipitously.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 Afghanistan’s 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 Protestantism’s 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, Methodism’s 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 Methodism’s 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 policeman’s 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 bishop’s 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 1960’s erased most remnants of traditional Christian Just War teaching among the United Methodists. Some Just War language was restored to the church’s official teaching in 2000, just in time for 9-11. But despite this prescient revival, and the pleas of Virginia’s 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 Iraq’s 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 Left’s 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; bishops; methodist; umc
Note the historical movement of Methodist episcopacy political opinion. Tooley says the "dwindling flock no longer seriously heeds their political posturing." I say the dwindling flock trends a bit conservative, but these conservatives are largely ignorant of their membership in and support for what is now an apostate political advocacy organization. The flock also trends toward the mushy lukewarm theological middle.

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.

1 posted on 11/27/2009 4:55:35 AM PST by mbarker12474
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

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.


2 posted on 11/27/2009 5:00:21 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Socialism is hip until somebody loses a paycheck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474
In 1980, I discovered that the UMC is not a church at all. It is an ultra, left-wing political party which has fooled most of its members into believing that it is a church.

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.

3 posted on 11/27/2009 5:01:48 AM PST by Rum Tum Tugger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

John and Charles Wesley would denounce and disown this bunch of poseurs.


4 posted on 11/27/2009 5:07:54 AM PST by RoadTest (Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rum Tum Tugger

“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.


5 posted on 11/27/2009 5:09:25 AM PST by RoadTest (Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

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.


6 posted on 11/27/2009 5:12:13 AM PST by pepsionice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reagan_fanatic

I suggest the “bishops” go there personally to arrange the terms.


7 posted on 11/27/2009 5:16:03 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: pepsionice
I don’t want to dump on the church...

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.

8 posted on 11/27/2009 5:37:50 AM PST by IbJensen (America being militarily and economically strong isn't enough: We must be morally strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474
MY family have been Methodist for generations... we are no longer Methodists... but we are and have always been Christians. NOTHING will ever change that. We cannot in good faith, give money to evil people and their evil organization.

LLS

9 posted on 11/27/2009 5:57:25 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (hussama will never be my president... NEVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

“They are lukewarm, and in serious jeopardy of being vomited out of Christ’s mouth. “

Amen!
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.


10 posted on 11/27/2009 6:01:20 AM PST by vanilla swirl (Maranatha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rum Tum Tugger

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.


11 posted on 11/27/2009 6:03:00 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: reagan_fanatic

Yep, the Methodist Church tossed out the Gospel several years back...


12 posted on 11/27/2009 6:14:42 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

Did they also make a statement about merging with the Unitarian Church? It’s bound to happen sooner or later.


13 posted on 11/27/2009 6:15:10 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rum Tum Tugger
There were other options, and jumping from the Untied Methodists to a more traditional "form" really didn't get you what you want.

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.

14 posted on 11/27/2009 6:52:03 AM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: LibLieSlayer

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).


15 posted on 11/27/2009 6:52:36 AM PST by originalbuckeye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

There is only one word that applies to Afstan, Victory.


16 posted on 11/27/2009 6:58:23 AM PST by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mbarker12474

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.


17 posted on 11/27/2009 8:55:29 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Ali Obama and the 40 Czars.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: originalbuckeye
Mine was in the 60’s and it was all about Christ and his teachings... but no more... so I hit the door. I wish I could fine a Church not steeped in politics and agendas... and not filled with left-wing anti-GOD types... but there are none.

LLS

18 posted on 11/28/2009 4:54:19 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (hussama will never be my president... NEVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: LibLieSlayer

We left the ELCA for the LCMS and have not been sorry for one minute.


19 posted on 11/28/2009 3:59:42 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma (Al Franken--the face of the third-party voters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Conservativegreatgrandma

Freepmail me some info if you have access to any and have the time. Thanks.

LLS


20 posted on 11/29/2009 5:25:19 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (hussama will never be my president... NEVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: LibLieSlayer

“MY family have been Methodist for generations... we are no longer Methodists... but we are and have always been Christians. NOTHING will ever change that. We cannot in good faith, give money to evil people and their evil organization.”

I left the UMC in the ‘60s because of this, I still have lots of family that are Methodists and most are oblivious to all this. They won’t believe me when I tell them about this stuff.


21 posted on 11/29/2009 6:18:53 AM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: antisocial

It was the same with my family until I started pointing out all of the anti-AMERICAN, anti-GOD decisions being made by that den of marxist satanists. Eventually the TRUTH matters. Some get it sooner that others... but all “get it” in the end.

LLS


22 posted on 11/29/2009 6:37:26 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (hussama will never be my president... NEVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson