Skip to comments.Pro-Homosexual United Methodists Urged to Exit Denomination Graciously
Posted on 10/19/2004 8:34:40 AM PDT by xzins
Pro-Homosexual United Methodists Urged to Exit Denomination Graciously
By Jim Brown and Jody Brown October 18, 2004
(AgapePress) - Pro-homosexual members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) are being asked to make a "gracious exit" from the denomination.
The United Methodist Action Committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is calling for the "peaceful departure" of Methodist clergy who cannot abide by the church's standards on marriage and sex. Same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy sexually active outside of traditional marriage are officially barred by the denomination.
In a statement approved earlier this month, the Committee observes that the 11-million-member UMC "has made its decision on the issues of marriage and homosexuality. We recommend allowing a gracious exit for those who cannot or will not accept the essential beliefs on which the UMC is founded. The UMC should adopt a fair plan to permit their voluntary, peaceful departure, taking with them their local church property (if the congregation votes to leave) and pension rights."
The statement continues: "Let us cease dead-end dialogue on whether to change the United Methodist Church stand on homosexuality. Instead, we must increase United Methodist ministries for persons struggling with all kinds of sexual sin, including homosexual behavior -- offering healing and transformation through Jesus Christ."
Mark Tooley Mark Tooley, director of the IRD UM Action Committee, says his group issued the statement following talk among conservatives about a possible amicable separation.
"Too often that's been interpreted to mean that the denomination would just be split 50-50 or 60-40 when, in fact, I think much more appropriately a gracious exit would entail a minority of clergy, primarily on the West Coast and the upper Midwest and Northeast who are involved in pro-homosexuality causes," he says.
Tooley explains that the issue of homosexuality has been the primary issue dividing the denomination for the past 30 years. "We have no illusions that once again at the next General Conference in 2008 we will be vigorously fighting over the issue of homosexuality," the IRD official concedes, "but I think there are some signs of fatigue on the other side and perhaps some awareness that demographically time is not on their side."
Delegates to the UMC's 2004 General Conference strongly reaffirmed the denomination's official teaching is that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching." The Conference took similar stands prohibiting same-sex unions and ordination of clergy who are sexually active outside of heterosexual marriage.
Tooley also notes parts of the UMC that support homosexuality are experiencing the fastest declines in membership. According to an IRD press release, United Methodism has been declining in the United States for four decades, especially in the more liberal regions. At the same time, it was growing slightly in the U.S. South and "growing strongly" outside the U.S.
The liberal Methodist caucus group "Church Within a Church" met in Chicago over the weekend and discussed the possibility of a formal separation within United Methodism. In a statement adopted in September 2002, that group accuses the UMC of a "sin of exclusion" that "manifests itself as white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, economic privilege and other privileges through imperialism, domination, arrogance and violence."
I don't know why...but that is just too funny.
Privilege through imperialism. It should be on a bumper sticker LOL.
Since the goal of these people is to take over societal institutions in order to normalize sin, they will not leave.
Well this is a good development. The large denominations should take note..you can't rewrite the doctrine of the Christian Church to suit your beliefs but must adjust your beliefs to conform to Christ and His Church.
I read the "imperialism" thing and nearly gagged.
And all I had to drink at the time was cold coffee....2 bleaghhhs in a row!
The problem is that these folks are leaches. Similar to the non-procreative nature of homosexuality, the pro-homosexual religionists do not grow.
They feed off of those who do grow.
Mark Tooley is a member of my local church.
Sounds like pyschobabble. So many big words, they must know what they are talking about.
There is no church without that which has been handed down from Christ via the Apostles.
We believe in Him through their word.
They rejected homosexuality.
You are so lucky.
Thank him from many of us for his courage.
That's the problem with evil. Once it has infested and taken root in these organizations, any attempt to oust them will be portrayed as those of extreme right-wingers. Should they split, with the true Methodists forming anew, they will be branded as extremists who have broken away from the "real" Methodist church.
I'm fairly sure it might be, but I don't think they mean what I mean, nor what Martin Luther meant.
Apostolic must include 2 things:
1. First, in the lineage of Apostolic Spiritual Truth.
2. Second, but less important, is in the lineage of apostolic ordination.
Perhaps conservative Methodists saw what's happening to ECUSA and decided to take preemptive action.
I may be incorrect, but it seems that the denominations that ordain women are having homosexuality problems while the denominations that don't ordain women don't have these problems.
My point exactly...
Mainline denominations that ordain women are having homosexuality problems while others that ordain women do not.
Assembly of God, Nazarene, Free Methodist, Church of God, etc. do not have a problem.
I think the problem is actually that mainline denominations aligned themselves with secular, cultural liberalism.
We're in the process of building a new church building. I hope to invite him to speak in the future. He would be an excellent fit for our area.
The Orthodox Christian Church?
Real Christians are used to being branded, and abused.
It doesn't matter, they are trying to please God, not win a popularity contest.
I can only speak for free methodism - we ordain women, but hold the following position on homosexuality
19. HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR A/342. Homosexual behavior, as all sexual deviation, is a perversion of God's created order (Genesis 1-3). The sanctity of marriage and the family is to be preserved against all manner of immoral conduct (Exodus 22:16-17; Deuteronomy 22:23-28; Leviticus 20:10-16), thus the Free Methodist Church does not recognize the legitimacy or participation in the practice of same-sex marriage.
Homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God as clearly stated in Scripture (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:8-10).
Persons with homosexual inclinations are accountable to God for their behavior (Romans 14:12).
The forgiving and delivering grace of God in Christ is all-sufficient for the homosexual (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 7:25; Luke 4:18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). The church has a personal and corporate responsibility to be God's instrument of healing, restoring love to the homosexual seeking recovery of Christian conduct and life-style (2 Corinthians 2:7-8).
The church opposes legislation which makes homosexual conduct or life-style legitimate.
aside, my wife is Seminary trained (Mdiv / BSW) and was just ordained in May
I think that it's Roman Catholic, a church that does not ordain women and has "homosexuality problems."
The Orthodox Church seem not to have these problems because if someone in the ministry is found out to be doing some of that, they are removed from the ministry, defrocked, and aren't allowed back in, not put away somewhere to hide them. Only after that are they given counseling, but even after repentance they are not allowed into the ministry again.
What a proper way to handle the issue. Now if only the Catholic Church could (would) follow suit. ;O)
There is a movement afoot for a separation.
"We recommend allowing a gracious exit for those who cannot or will not accept the essential beliefs on which the UMC is founded. The UMC should adopt a fair plan to permit their voluntary, peaceful departure, taking with them their local church property (if the congregation votes to leave) and pension rights."
If only we'd had some likeminded leadership in the Episcopal Church. We wouldn't be seeing the demise of ECUSA right now.
BINGO! Unfortunately, most people don't recognize the nexus between the feminization of our clergy (and that includes the feminization of a whole lot of men, too) and the normalization of homosexuality.
"I think that it's Roman Catholic, a church that does not ordain women and has "homosexuality problems."
Ah...but here's the thing...homosexuals have INFILTRATED the Roman Catholic Church while they've been allowed to boldly & quite openly mince through the doors of the other denominations. I think there's a very big difference between the two situations.
And, by the way, don't let anybody feed you that line that this is a "pedophilia" problem and not a "homosexual" problem. If it were a pedophilia problem in the RC Church, you'd be seeing at least equal numbers of girls and boys having been molested. Make no mistake about it...it is a homosexual issue.
I have been aware for awhile of the diffiulties of of mainline Protestant denominations in regard to ordaining gays and the general liberalization of their churches. But it is part and parcel of Protestantism ---when there is a disagreement, a split occurs. I'm not saying that Protestants don't try to dialogue or mend fences, but at the end of the day one does what one has to do...and if that involves another denomination forming so be it. I was raised a Catholic, and I am waiting for the day when there is a big fat old split of the American RC Church from the boys in Rome. Psychologically it will be extremely traumatic for catholics. The bishops are pretty much in denial that this could ever occur mainly because they have their money on RC's not being able to deal with the fall out of starting a new denomination. We catholics are a weird lot. While we might bitch and moan about a host of problems, but we'd sooner be passive and just not bother with participating in a parish (congregation) but still regard ourselves as culturally catholic (maybe go to church at Christmas & Easter). Personally I really think many RC's are extremely ticked off at the Church, but the anger or dissatisfaction hasn't reached that level yet. Even with the priest molestation scandal, you had this big flurry of anger, but now there's no continued big stink. Alot of people now feel the Church has lost much of it's moral standing...and in good Catholic tradition most of these folks have boogied down the road of apathy. I would say that a large percentage of RC clergy are gay...even though the bishops are doing their fair share of fly swatting on this issue as far as who they let in to seminaries. Unfortunately the bishops' inane diatribe was to lump pedophiles and consenting adult gay priests together. RC's tend to turn a blind eye if father is queer and has a boy friend, but get rightfully get angry if the object of his fancy is a 14 year old. Many conservative Catholics will probably hate this post, but I am calling it as I see it.
You are certainly correct in that there are a wide number of Protestant denominations. The different groups formed for a wide variety of reasons. One of the major things I have found many Catholics and Orthodox to miss is the Protestant understanding of unity. Protestants do not really define Christian unity as institutional or organizational unity (i.e. one ecclesiastical beaurocracy ultimately headed by one man or a council of men). Rather, Protestants stress a spiritual unity or a unity of purpose. This is what enables evangelical minded Protestants from Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Methodist, etc backgrounds to come together and hold a Billy Graham Crusade, staff an InterVarsity chapter or attend a Christian rock concert. If we look beyond synods, confessions, diocesan boundaries and pension funds, we see two real Protestant denominations: those that proclaim the Great Commission (Assemblies of God, PCA, Anglican Network, Southern Baptist Convention, etc. ) and those that think Gene Robinson is marvelous (ECUSA, UCC, ELCA, PCUSA).
Yes, and they were right. Of course not right if physical coercion is meant, but right if one means that one is not entitled to call oneself Catholic and yet demand that the Catholic Church change its beliefs to suit you. Nobody is forced in our society to belong to any religion. If you don't like the religion you're in, go join another one.
There is a tension here. Positions held by religious institutions do change and those changes are often motivated by people within the institution who believe that current positions are not right. In the history of the Catholic Church, for example, the teachings of Aristotle were once held to be heresy, then adopted as the preferred philisophy, and then partially tossed. Those changes were motivated by those in the Church who pressed for change.
How appropriate. I hope Mr. Tooley, et al, lends them "afoot" (as in a good swift kick) out the door.
BTW, just where is this "sin of exclusion" discussed in Scripture? I must've missed that one.
Martin Luther agreed with that statement completely. It may be what the Catholic Church said to Luther but it is also what Luther said to the Catholic Church. The disagreement then was not about whether the church depends on what has been handed down through the apostles, it was about what exactly the apostles had handed down.
Nobody today is seriously claiming that the apostles handed down support for gay marriage. The disagreement in the formerly mainline churches is in one way more fundamental than the Reformation dispute. The issue today is whether the church is dependent on what it has received from the apostles, or whether elite groups can generate faith and morals from their own enlightened feelings.
Whatever you think about homosexuality, it is a matter of simple fact that the latter position is not Christianity as historically understood. The traditional Methodists in this story are just asking for honesty.
Positions held by religious institutions do change and those changes are often motivated by people within the institution who believe that current positions are not right.
The question now is: do these motivations come out of the Truth? True Christianity believes the Truth as set out by God comes from His revelation as set out by His Word -the Bible - and nothing else (and Tradition doesn't apply here - it is Methodist church that we are talking about). Much of Christendom believes the Truth on this matter could be anything from modern psychology, human rights, to universal brotherhood of men etc.
If people believe the current positions are not right, it is legitimate to ask "According to what?". If the basis is not set out from God Himself why should we bother listening to these people?
There is organic development of doctrine that may flesh out some details or specific implications of the apostolic doctrine on faith and morals, but there is no reversal of the core beliefs of the deposit of the faith.
I do see a sin of inclusion at the Lord's Supper.
Unbelievers should not be included, nor those out of fellowship with the Lord.
Their influence is anything but good so there is only one alternative.