Skip to comments.United Methodist Church affirms homosexuality ‘incompatible with Christian teaching’
Posted on 05/05/2012 3:26:01 PM PDT by fwdude
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The national leadership, and many of the Bishops, in the United Methodis Chruch are more liberal than the majority of the laity. I’m Methodist, a member of a traditional conservative congregation, and there is still a majority of us traditional Christians in the UMC. So, changing the position on homosexuality was always an uphill battle for the liberals.
But the real reason these liberal proposals were rejected is because of changing demographics. The United Methodist Church is a global church, not merely an American church. The chuech is growing rapidly in Africa and Asia, where the congregations are very traditional, very conservative. The church is more liberal in America, where the membership is declining.
About 40% of the voting representatives at our General Conference - the only organization with authority to speak on theological issues for the church - is from the conservative African churches. This percentage will grow in the coming years. In about 20 years, the average Methodist will look a lot less like a middle-aged white man in Indiana, and a lot more like a black woman in Nigeria.
This General Conference - held every four years - was the last best chance for the liberals. They failed, and will not have another chance. Demographics will make them irrelevant.
I do agree that the African and Asian conferences are saving us for now. But the story is similar over in the Anglican Communion--where the Africans are much more biblical.
I resemble that remark about middle-aged Indiana white man--except that I am now a transplant here in goofy Northern Virginia.
Back in 1999, my senior pastor in Fort Wayne predicted that the church would split at the 2000 General Conference. Obviously he was wrong.
Though the margins were comfortable, the fact that so many are ready to let evil completely overcome a major denomination is horrific. And it's believed that much of the opposition vote was from overseas, mostly Africa, where true Christian understanding hasn't been sullied like it has here in North America.
The good news is that the African churches wield considerable influence in the General Conference, and their influence will only continue to grow over the next four years as they expand and flourish.
And, of course, the UMC gets four years of peace until the next showdown.
The other good news is that just that--the UMC has the well organized and well financed Good News movement to fight the gaysbian agenda, as well as the backing of the Institute of Religion and Democracy (IRD).
For reasons that I have never been able to uncover, the IRD paid little attention to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which unfortunately operates VERY independently of its African Counterparts.
So, for at least another four years, you have escaped our fate
C S*A) Ping!
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The last UMC “Book of Resolutions” read like a DNC authored anti-GWB political screed. They proposed boycotting The Mt Olive Pickle Company and Taco Bell as well as espousing a very, very strong open border stance.
I’m not satisfied with their more recent discussions about “social justice” either...
Yes, there will now be 4 years of relative peace, until the next General Conference...but not entirely peaceful. Individual clergy and Bishops and Annual Conferences will continue ro push against our traditional Christian positions, and we’ll have to depend on the Judicial Council to play whack-a-mole with these liberals. The good news is that the Judicial Council HAS been standing guard for us, and the even better news is that African representation has been added to the Judicial Council.
The liberals really are fighting a rear guard action, and losing ground. This may yet end in a split in the church, but I don’t think so.
Are you Methodist?
Color me shocked as well; I thought the UMC was one of the more liberal denominations.
Fortunately the LCMS seems to be holding very firm on this issue.
It is most interesting where this corruption comes from. namely the north(IE: Baltimore/Washington Conference). The vipers nest of corruption. Sick too that they called the proposal to effectively abolish church’s biblical position on sexuality “the compromise”.
That is basically the whole nut shell and yet these worms managed to get it defined as “the compromise”. Sounds like the left has got their hands of corruption in at the top levels of the United Methodist Church.
Unfortunately, many Americans believe the above about the United Methodist Church. I speak as one of its fully ordained elders (ministers) with seminary degree, ordination, career as a military chaplain, and years in the local parish.
Now for the truth.
1. Conservatives in the UMC won a HUGE victory a few years back when they hoodwinked a then-trending-liberal denomination into changing the way delegates were sent to this every-4-year church business meeting. They pushed through a requirement that delegates be chosen proportionate to the number of members in a geographic region rather than trying to balance representation by different geographic regions. This resulted in GROWING regions sending more delegates. Christian churches that GROW are very disproportionately evangelical and not liberal. The result was that votes were taken away from the northeast, the west coast, and the great lakes. More votes were awarded to the south, the southwest, and to the overseas membership in Africa, Asia, and S America. ALL of those had a much, much higher proportion of evangelicals. (Interestingly, the liberals tried to undo this 4 years ago by changing the denomination from a world body into a group of national bodies each responsible for their own rules. That failed miserably, but it was a "stealth" move they thought, and they tried to sell it as allowing overseas churches NOT to be "colonized" by "imperial American churches." After gagging a bit on the rhetoric, it was overwhelmingly voted down.
2. The UMC has NEVER supported homosexuality, homosexual pastors, and homosexual marriage. Our book of rules has been quite clear on that. Where does the impression arise that they do support it? Because Northeast, Pacific, and Great Lakes regions are full of gay sympathizers, and they are very vocal and DO still have some important positions in the church media, the church agencies, and in church colleges and seminaries. With a meeting only once every 4 years for only 2 weeks, things move slowly in the UMC, so changing structures to allow changes in those positions has NOT been the priority. The priority has been on preserving our rules and gain proportional voting.
For those interested, and many aren't because they simply prefer to bash Methodism, our position is that "homosexuality is INCOMPATIBLE with Christian teaching", that "self-avowed homosexuals" will not be ordained, that homosexual marriages will NOT take place in our churches.
3. Trials in our church: FWIW, think of the US system of rights given to defendants in our courts, and you have the Methodist judicial system almost to a T. Now try to convict someone under that system when rules of evidence are virtually the same. A part of me appreciates that protection, because it's the way I would be treated if someone charged me with something, but it also means that those who are vociferous on the streets clam up in the courts. Just a thought: how do you PROVE someone is a homosexual? Unless they're willing to stand proudly and affirm it, then you're looking for videotape that doesn't exist.
This response is already too long, but consider it a primer on the state of the war that's been waged for decades now in the UMC. Evangelicals are slowly, slowly winning one, but that generally isn't recognized.
As a former ELCA (now LCMC) Lutheran one of my lesser criticisms of my former judicatory was that national assemblies were held every two years...might have served a purpose in the the ELCA's infant years, but no longer.
The short cycle fueled a perception (which became reality) that "change is inevitable" because you can revote in just two years.
Fortunately after 2013 the national assemblies will be at three year intervals; unfortunately, change done only as a cost-cutting measure, not for ecclesiological reasons.
Miracles still happen.
I gave up on the UMC with the Elian Gonzalez episode. Obamacare put the final nail in the coffin.
The UMC is lost - except for the African congregations.
Nancy Pelosi must be deeply saddened
You point out that more frequent meetings could be a curse instead of a blessing, and your experience proves your words to be true. Thanks for another view on this.
I’m getting close to retirement age now, and I’ve fought this my entire ministry, so resolving things quickly becomes more important the older I get. Selfish reason, of course: I simply want to be around to see it.
But, you’re right. Best to let things chug along, and I’ll let Jesus fill me in on changes after I leave here to be there.
read post #49
What about that minister who admitted she is a lesbian and basically just got a wrist slap? She should have been defrocked. IIRC, she admitted her lesbianism. Yet, AFAIK, she is still a minister in the UMC.
I have struggled for years about whether to leave the UMC or not. I have left. I am now a Baptist. It is amazing to me how little my soul was being fed in the UMC until I found a church that actually believes and practices soul-filling sermons, Sunday Schools, etc. I couldn't tell you the last time I heard my UMC minister actually preach the Gospel from the pulpit. THAT is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in too many UMC congregations around the country. Yet, we hear entirely too much 'social justice' bs. This is the undoing of the UMC.
I have no problem with your leaving, iceskater. Many have made your same decision for similar reasons, and I wish them well.
You realize about the minister with the wrist slap that she was in a liberal conference with a liberal bishop, and that it was inevitable that they’d try to find a way around the teaching of our church.
I’m wracking my brain, but I can’t recall anyplace where we spelled out the penalties, so that boils down to bishop’s discretion. We tried to implement an over-bishop this business meeting, but it was shot down. (I considered it dangerous if the wrong bishop got the job, but the right one and things would hit the fan.)
while another said humans did not know enough about human sexuality to prefer one lifestyle over another.
That was a 'wicked smaht' thing to do!
Thanks. You and I have conversed several times over the last few years about my leaving the UMC. I appreciate your thoughtful responses. After a couple of years of difficult times (death, divorce, injury, job issues to name a few), I spent a lot of time trying different churches. When I first went to my current church, it was like water on a parched and arid land. So, it was the right decision for me.
I understand that the episode with the lesbian minister was in a more liberal conference. Still....to not remove her from ministry when her behavior admittedly goes against the Book of Discipline makes a sham of the entire Book of Discipline.
Maybe the influence of the African conferences will drag the American UMC back where it ought to be. Or the American UMC will die and the conferences elsewhere in the world will flourish. Time will tell.