Skip to comments.United Methodist Future in Jeopardy, Say 400 UMC Clergy
Posted on 09/17/2011 7:09:35 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Hundreds of United Methodist clergy are expressing deep concerns over a pledge made by a large group of fellow ministers to marry same-sex couples. They argue that if the pledge is carried through, the future of the denomination is in jeopardy.
"We do not know how many, if any, marriages or 'holy unions' of same-sex couples will be performed by UM clergy in the near future," reads a letter, currently signed by more than 400 pastors, to the Council of Bishops. "But we do know the destructive effects that will result in our local churches and throughout the denomination if such services are performed by UM pastors."
The concerned clergy are referring to a pledge that some 900 ministers have endorsed in support of same-sex civil unions. By signing the pledge, they agreed to defy the denomination's ban on blessing same-sex unions.
The United Methodist Church holds the position that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching and that homosexual unions "shall not be conducted by our ministers" or in UMC churches.
While the denomination has debated the issue of homosexuality for decades, the growing number of clergy willing to disobey church laws and marry gay and lesbian couples has many in the church concerned.
"For forty years we United Methodists have listened to each other, respected each other and have engaged in holy conferencing on the important issues of same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality," concerned clergy say in the letter.
"Though the discussions and resultant protests have not always been pleasant, there has been the assurance that we would respect the decisions of General Conference and live by the covenant that holds us together."
The United Methodist Church's General Conference meets every four years. In its most recent meeting in 2008, delegates voted to maintain the church's policy prohibiting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of partnered homosexuals.
But with hundreds now signing on to a pledge to defy the decisions of the denomination's highest governing body, many clergy say this could prove destructive to the unity of the church.
"Honestly, we fear that many of our people will decide that if The United Methodist Church will not live by the covenant that holds us together, it will be time for them to find another church," they state in the letter to bishops.
"The positive ministries of transformational discipleship that we are attempting to build are threatened by this group of defiant clergy."
A website, faithfulumc.com, was launched to collect more signatures from both clergy and laity. According to the website, a total of 1,266 individuals have so far endorsed the letter of concern.
They are urging the Council of Bishops not to allow the "defiant minority" to undermine the witness and unity of their denomination.
"We must see our leaders act with integrity to uphold and support the Discipline as they promised in their ordination and consecration to ministry. We ourselves must act with courage and faithfulness to uphold our commitment to Scripture, The United Methodist Church, and the Wesleyan way."
Mike Adams write a good editorial a few years back about this very topic:
The local church I was raised in seemed pretty conservative for a time, but the headquarters ran off the rails early on with support for leftist movements around the world. The Methodists have not swallowed the poison pill(gay acceptance) but it sounds like they are moving quickly in that direction. If they do, they will become much smaller rather quickly. Gays destroy churches.
I am Methodist born and raised. I love the Wesleyan doctrine and adhere to its principles of reason and faith. That being said, the liberal Social Princples are very Marxist and I certainly don’t agree with them.
Principles of reason and faith - no longer the issue for the headline grabbers, its all about the homosexuals behaviour now, in all denominations, unfortunately.
Their apostasy is not right in nature, nor in the spiritual world.
The path to Hell seems lined with Clergy....
Would Jesus want sin and perversion promoted in His Name?
Jesus taught love but not for sin........
I suspect that is going to be the end result x
***Hundreds of United Methodist clergy are expressing deep concerns over a pledge made by a large group of fellow ministers to marry same-sex couples.****
If John and Charles Wesley could see what the church they began has devolved into!
If they preached their old sermons again they would be cast out!
I left in the 80s when I came of age after the pastor spent the sermon trying to take guns away from everyone. That was the final straw for me. A friend in the Border Patrol left long ago when his pastor spent the sermon trying to let illegals into the country.
The further away from Gospel truth this church goes, the more it will wither and die.
We cannot be voting on ‘what is our truth this year’ because Truth does not change.
“I left in the 80s when I came of age after the pastor spent the sermon trying to take guns away from everyone. That was the final straw for me.”
Exactly what was his scriptural reasoning for this?
This is a good article:
“What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control?” by Larry Pratt
I don’t envy you your position. May God bless you and keep you on his path, difficult though it may be, and may he give you the strength to carry on in His ways.
To be fair, Wesley did not preach a separate denomination from the Anglican Church.
Thank you for your prayers, Cronos. You are correct. The Wesleys never left the Anglican Church themselves, and did not intend for the American Methodists to do so either. Methodism was a movement within Anglicanism rather than a separate church. We would view it something like the charismatic movement within different denominations today.
The Revolutionary War, however, became a great divide between England and the American colonies, and that led to Methodism viewing itself as a new church due to a lack of contact with the Anglicans.
Though I’m retarded (retired!) I fully agree. I came to the UMC over 35 years ago from another denomination. One of the reasons I made the change was the openness; however, if they ever reach the point they are so “open minded they act like their brains have fallen out, I will be gone - split or another denomination...
Hi Vern. How’s wife and fishing buddy?
Could someone tell me more on the UM liberal leanings?
What is their stance on abortion?
http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1732 says that:
Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy. In continuity with past Christian teaching, we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures.