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The future of the United Methodist Church is at stake (Heresies-R-Us)
The Methodist Thinker ^ | 16 July 10 | Riley Case

Posted on 07/21/2010 10:07:54 PM PDT by xzins

The following commentary is by Riley B. Case, associate executive director of the Confessing Movement Within the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Riley B. Case

Dr. Case served many years as a pastor and district superintendent in the UMC’s North Indiana Conference (now the Indiana Conference). He has been a delegate to five UM General Conferences. (Links below have been added by MethodistThinker.com.) — Ed.


I was speaking with a fellow pastor several years ago and inquired whether he and his church might be interested in Good News magazine. He replied “no” because people in his congregation were upset enough with the denomination as it was without hearing more stuff.

He went on to explain that the denominational papers were bad enough even with their institutional spin. If his people got the real news they would be tempted to “jump ship.”

In this pastor’s mind it was better to keep the people in the dark than that they should be informed about what the church was really doing. I thought of that conversation several weeks ago when the following stories broke:

1) Southern California’s Claremont School of Theology.

This UM seminary is now “multi-faith” — meaning they are bringing on board Muslim professors to train Muslim imams (clergy) and Jewish professors to train rabbis. Soon they will train Hindus and Buddhists.

Claremont president Jerry D. Campbell

United Methodist apportionment monies support this endeavor to the tune of about $1 million a year.

In a world of great poverty, in a world crying out for preachers to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, in a denomination short of funds, our tithes and offerings are being used to promote the idea that all religions are various roads to the same god.

The president of the Claremont School of Theology, Dr. Jerry D. Campbell, told the United Methodist Reporter that Christians who seek to evangelize persons of other faiths to accept Jesus Christ have “an incorrect perception of what it means to follow Jesus.”

2) ‘Sex and the Church: An Ordained Single Woman and the [Book of] Discipline.’

This article, part of a series on human sexuality appearing in the Faith in Action electronic newsletter sponsored by the UM General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), essentially argues that the church’s standard on sexuality — “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in marriage” — needs to be changed.

Sexual intercourse outside of marriage can be loving and fulfilling and should not be considered sinful, even for clergy. (In August, 2009, a Unitarian minister was given space by GBCS to make a somewhat similar argument.)

Other articles in the series have argued that abstinence programs don’t work, abortion is OK, and teenagers need to be instructed in maturity for the timing of sexual encounters.

Missing are any articles written from the perspective of the traditional and Biblical view of marriage and human sexuality.

Missing too for the last 38 years (since 1972 when the board was founded) are any articles or statements in defense of the Biblical (and United Methodist) stance that “the practice of homosexuality [is] incompatible with Christian teaching” (¶161F, The Book of Discipline—2008).

3) The church’s support and lobbying for a partisan health-care plan that narrowly passed the U.S. Congress.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly thanked the UMC for advocating for a plan that had only one-party support, it took many United Methodists by surprise. How did we get lined up on only one side of a partisan issue? Those who have been around the inside workings of the church were not so surprised.

Spkr. Pelosi at Glide UMC—San Francisco

It used to be different. Many years ago the church’s moral and social stances came from the people. There were no general agencies to pontificate that the use of alcohol was sin or the slavery was against the will of God. These views grew out of the convictions of the people responding to Biblical preaching.

Today social stances are decreed from the top down. General agencies, such as the General Board of Church and Society, are staffed by some of the most liberal persons in the denomination. These persons write General Conference legislation out of their own biases. This legislation is pushed through the General Conference, often without debate, and placed in the 1084-page Book of Resolutions.

Then the same staff members who wrote the legislation quote the Book of Resolutions, “represent” the “church’s stand” on numbers of controversial issues, and argue before lawmakers that this is the considered United Methodist position. Obviously, the system is flawed.

Perhaps as never before there is a fundamental divide between the corporate leadership of the United Methodist Church and its people. In addition, the corporate leadership is either unwilling or unable to recognize the seriousness of this problem and relate it to the membership and financial crisis presently facing the church.

The Claremont situation should be considered as exhibit #1 illustrating our problems.

That a denomination that claims to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Book of Discipline ¶121), that speaks of its mission as “making disciples of Jesus Christ” (¶120), that operates with doctrinal standards in the Wesleyan tradition, that historically has been in large part responsible for defining the word “evangelical” in American church life — that such a denomination should continue to pour money into an institution that operates with a philosophy that undermines all that United Methodism has been about is indefensible.

Claremont-provided photo (via UMNS)

Claremont operates without regard to United Methodist history and doctrine. It has declared itself to be going in a different direction from the church. This is fine, but this means there should be disaffiliation.

Let the school raise money from sources in the Middle East (as it has spoken of doing). But why should bishops urge local churches to cut back staff and program to “pay apportionments” when those apportionments are used as “bail out” money to prop up sick seminaries.

Furthermore, MEF (Ministerial Education Fund) monies should support students (who now graduate with huge debts), not institutions. If the fund supports seminaries, it should support seminaries overseas where the UMC is growing and not be restricted only to seminaries in the U.S.

Are these matters even being debated? The Council of Bishops is quiet; the General Board of Higher Education and the Ministry is quiet; the other UM seminaries are hesitant to criticize another seminary lest they too should come under criticism.

Is there hope? At the moment the only hope seems to be the Call to Action Steering Team, which will be making recommendations with the goal of reforming and renewing the UMC.

The church is investing a great deal of energy and trust in this committee. Will the committee rise to the challenge? Will the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops be willing to support any of the controversial recommendations? Or will the corporate culture, which is invested in institutions and in a defective church structure that simply is not working, be too much to overcome?

The future of the United Methodist Church is at stake.

evangelical-and-methodistIn addition to his role as associate executive director of the Confessing Movement, Riley B. Case serves as a member of the Good News board of directors and as president of the board of the Kokomo (Ind.) Rescue Mission.

Dr. Case is a graduate of Taylor University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He earned a graduate degree from Northwestern University and holds an honorary degree from Taylor University.

His books include Evangelical and Methodist: A Popular History (Abingdon) and Understanding Our United Methodist Hymnal (Wipf and Stock).



TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: heresy; idolatry; methodism; methodist; religiousleft; theology; umc

1 posted on 07/21/2010 10:07:57 PM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins

Not-so-closeted gas have worked themselves in many Methodist positions of authority, and are just looking for the right time to take the entire denomination over.


2 posted on 07/21/2010 10:25:56 PM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Fido969

gas=gays


3 posted on 07/21/2010 10:26:49 PM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: xzins

**This UM seminary is now “multi-faith” — meaning they are bringing on board Muslim professors to train Muslim imams (clergy) and Jewish professors to train rabbis. Soon they will train Hindus and Buddhists.**

Huh? Shaking my head here.


4 posted on 07/21/2010 10:31:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg; wagglebee
It is exactly what it sounds like. Our denomination supports this seminary (one of our major seminaries) to the tune of a lot of money, all of it coming from offering plates around the denomination, a portion of which is paid to the denomination for various ministries, among them being seminaries.

This seminary has decided to be “inclusive” and also train Muslims and Buddhists NOT as Christians but as worshipers of Allah and Buddha. Appalling idolatry I'd say.

5 posted on 07/21/2010 10:39:19 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: ntnychik

For reference.


6 posted on 07/21/2010 10:40:12 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: ntnychik

For reference.


7 posted on 07/21/2010 10:40:26 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: xzins

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. Isaiah 4:1

There are a number of denominations today that want to be called by the name of Christ, but they don’t wish to acknowledge the authority of the Bible and instead prefer their own doctrines.


8 posted on 07/21/2010 10:47:03 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

can’t argue with that

the proper response for the people is to withhold all funding to the denomination, and, if their local church is scripturally & doctrinally healthy, to continue to fund it. If they wish to give at any higher level it should go directly to those causes; I’m not even sure I’d send them through denominational channels.


9 posted on 07/21/2010 10:51:01 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: opus86; AppyPappy; Revelation 911; Corin Stormhands

ping


10 posted on 07/21/2010 10:55:30 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins; blue-duncan; P-Marlowe
The hard truth is that when churches teach that Christ died to pay for the sins of all men it follows that seminary doors will open to Buddhists and muslims and wiccans.

Because if it is true that Christ has paid the price for their sins, then why not? They are merely approaching God from a different angle, but their sins have been forgiven and they're just as justified as one who believes in Jesus Christ alone as their Lord, King and Savior.

11 posted on 07/21/2010 11:32:20 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Because if it is true that Christ has paid the price for their sins, then why not?

True. I see your logic. Albeit, the conservatives in those mainline denominations would say that you leave out the crucial steps of repentance and faith in Jesus.

I, however, have come to think as you do.....that God opens the heart to faith. Logically, no other way to account for it.

I am looking for another denomination that will fully accept my ordination, be in the historic Christian tradition, not be beset by even a hint of these problems, and believe in salvation by grace through faith. I'm open to everything from A to Z, from Evangelical Congregational to Free Methodist to Orthodox.

12 posted on 07/21/2010 11:47:56 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins
I am looking for another denomination that will fully accept my ordination, be in the historic Christian tradition, not be beset by even a hint of these problems

I am afraid that you are going to have some trouble with that last condition!

13 posted on 07/22/2010 12:05:31 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: xzins

Gave up on the UMC back in 1985 after the Walker Railey scandal ... by their fruit you shall know them.


14 posted on 07/22/2010 12:06:05 AM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: xzins
I am looking for another denomination that will fully accept my ordination, be in the historic Christian tradition, not be beset by even a hint of these problems, and believe in salvation by grace through faith.

You know, you could just start up your own Bible church. Calvary Chapel began as a little country church on the edge of town.

15 posted on 07/22/2010 12:37:48 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe

someone ordained Chuck Smith....who was it?

I assume he goes back through a line of ordained ones.

One of my problems with the Mormon church is that Joseph Smith pulled his ordination out of a hat.

There is no church that isn’t connected to another...a plant, a sent “ordained” person, something that connects to the historic lineage.


16 posted on 07/22/2010 12:50:17 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: iowamark
....not be beset by even a hint of these problems

My focus was on the word "these"....meaning the ones mentioned above (plus: gay ordination, appointment, etc.; abortion;)

17 posted on 07/22/2010 12:52:29 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: bmwcyle

ping


18 posted on 07/22/2010 1:42:03 AM PDT by theKid51
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To: xzins

My wife regularly attends a UMC here in Michigan. I used to attend regularly, but have always been a little put off by some of its doctrines (infant baptism, for one).

having now read what the denomination is doing, I’m glad I hardly ever dropped a dime in the offering plate.

I may have to ask the pastor why the church remains affiliated with such a denomination that holds such views.


19 posted on 07/22/2010 2:00:50 AM PDT by Stingray (Stand for the truth or you'll fall for anything.)
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To: xzins

I have a friend, a former Methodist minister, now a member of our congregation, who tells me that there are pockets of that church where redemption through Christ is still preached.


20 posted on 07/22/2010 3:20:18 AM PDT by Upbeat
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To: xzins

We send missionaries to all corners of the earth to witness to the lost yet we abandon local churches full of them.


21 posted on 07/22/2010 4:42:12 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: xzins; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg
May God bless you in that quest and lead you to a denomination and church where the Word is held in proper esteem and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is embraced.

Part of the problem seems to be churches that have a fear of irrelevance in the culture, and the irony is that in seeking to become relevant they succeed in making themselves ultimately irrelevant (heard a great discussion on this the other day).

The sad fact is though that liberalism in all its many forms (political, social, theological) has succeeded in making huge inroads into all facets of American culture. It's an "end justifies the means" ideology, so it bends and breaks the rules to accomplish its goals. I don't know at this point what the solution is for reversing that trend.

22 posted on 07/22/2010 5:04:15 AM PDT by Frumanchu (God's justice does not demand second chances)
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To: xzins
someone ordained Chuck Smith....who was it? I assume he goes back through a line of ordained ones. One of my problems with the Mormon church is that Joseph Smith pulled his ordination out of a hat. There is no church that isn’t connected to another...a plant, a sent “ordained” person, something that connects to the historic lineage.

Smith graduated from LIFE Bible College and was ordained as a pastor for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. In the late '50s Smith was the campaign manager and worship director for healing evangelist Paul Cain. After being a pastor for a different denomination, he left his denomination to pastor a non-denominational church plant in Corona, California and eventually moved to a church called Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California in December 1965. It was the only church on Church Street in Costa Mesa. The church had been planted by Pastor Floyd Nelson as a ministry to shut-in's begun with a small group of people in a mobile home park populated mainly by senior citizens in 1962.[citation needed] From there they moved to a Girl Scout building and eventually to Church Street which is where the church was meeting when Chuck Smith was hired as the "pulpit pastor."

Aren't you already "ordained" as a Methodist minister? Do you not have other "ordained" members of your church who would be willing to "plant" a new church as a breakaway from your current "denomination" into a "non-denominational" church.

X, you aren't starting a new religion. You can carry the Methodist Ordination and the Methodist book of Discipline into your church. You are not breaking away from the Methodist religion. You are simply separating yourself from the current apostates. Wesley broke away from the Anglican church. He certainly didn't start a "cult", but the UMC is quickly becoming one.

If you think you need the presence of an ordained Bishop to continue the book of discipline, is there not a Bishop in your area who is as fed up with the UMC as you?

BTW I suspect that Calvary Chapel would recognize your ordination. If there is not a Calvary Chapel in your area, I'm sure they would not mind planting one as long as you are willing to abide by their doctrinal rules. At any rate the fact is that you are an ordained minister and as such you have as much authority to preach the gospel as anyone else.

You are not starting a new religion. You are simply preserving the old one. Just grab your bible, your book of common prayer and your book of discipline and open the doors to a new church. It would still be Methodist, just not tied to the current apostate branch.

Is there another branch of Methodism that is not circling the drain? Would they be willing to recognize your congregation?

23 posted on 07/22/2010 6:12:45 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: xzins

pingage for later


24 posted on 07/22/2010 6:30:45 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I only read the Constitution for the Articles.)
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To: theKid51; Apple Blossom; BabyBMW

ping


25 posted on 07/22/2010 6:41:17 AM PDT by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: xzins

Sorry to see this...Although...I suppose the more the UMC slides the easier it will be for you to find another body in which to minister.


26 posted on 07/22/2010 8:08:19 AM PDT by opus86
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To: P-Marlowe; xzins
Is there another branch of Methodism that is not circling the drain?

We have Free Methodist and Wesleyan churches in Indy that appear to be doing well...In fact I think the Wesleyan Church HQ is here...Don't know much about them.

27 posted on 07/22/2010 8:09:50 AM PDT by opus86
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To: P-Marlowe; Frumanchu; Gamecock; wagglebee

I figured Smith was part of a Christian lineage; otherwise I seriously doubt he’d have had such a real annointing. So far as Methodistic groups there are some that exist: Free, Wesleyan, Nazarene, Evangelical Methodist, Evangelical Congregational, United Brethren, etc. And while I appreciate their better results than in our denomination, there are many that are into tightly wrapped legalisms about hair, wedding bands, clothing, etc. I wouldn’t want to be disruptive in any new group, so I’d be cautious about going to one that would have difficulty with my freedom in Christ.

Incidentally, Wesley never left the Anglican church. The methodist societies were a small group movement within the Anglican church. The Revolutionary war removed almost all Anglican priests from the colonies, and Wesley responded to their inability to receive the sacraments by ordaining a bishop for them. And the rest is history. As a separate body Methodism is really an American phenomenon.

I’ve always liked Calvary Chapel...you know that. And it certainly is high on my list. I’m also from a bit of a liturgical tradition, so there are some things in that tradition valuable to me.

God will guide. I’ve been impressed with gamecock’s description of his UPC, but I’m simply not that kind of determinative, so I’d again be a distraction.

Independent Methodist....I believe in being part of a connection just as the churches were in the New Testament. That’s one of the strengths of the Calvary Chapel movement.

Bottom line as I think back over this that I’ve written is that I’m still in the trying to figure this out mode. Pray for direction for our hurting churches and pastors.

I looked at the ACNA (Anglican Church of N. America) but, while they are very conservative and a rejection of the Episcopal Church, they still hope to be tied to Canterbury some day, and Canterbury is badly broken. They wouldn’t accept my ordination anyway: same for Catholic, Orthodox, Byzantine, etc.


28 posted on 07/22/2010 9:22:26 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins; Frumanchu; blue-duncan; P-Marlowe
I am looking for another denomination that will fully accept my ordination, be in the historic Christian tradition, not be beset by even a hint of these problems, and believe in salvation by grace through faith. I'm open to everything from A to Z, from Evangelical Congregational to Free Methodist to Orthodox.

All churches, every single one, will have a "hint of these problems." No church is perfect.

But life is way too short to spend it arguing about such fundamentals as the sins of homosexuality and a works-based salvation. There are many PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES IN AMERICA sprouting up all over the place.

And the UNITED REFORMED CHURCHES IN NORTH AMERICA might be a good place to look, also.

Trust that God will guide your steps. He will plant you where He wants you to continue to grow.

29 posted on 07/22/2010 10:52:05 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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