March 25, 2017

May 19, 2016

U.S. Methodists Preparing for Leap Over the Cliff

Following in the now well-established tradition of self-destruction, the Methodist Church readies its strategy as it prepares to jump off the cliff.  .

The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, which outlines church regulations, is explicit in noting that marriage is confined to one man and one woman. The official church rules on matrimony read, “We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman,” with pastors falling under strict guidelines.

“While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world,” the rules read. “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”

Does that wording seem hard to understand to you?  We can strip it down further and take out the inbetween words and commas.  We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman.  Not much wiggle room there but in true pointy hat fashion, the Council of Bishops has voted to FORM A COMMITTEE to discuss the issue.

We mere pewsitters who have lived through the Anglican Wars can intrepret that bishop speak for you poor unsuspecting Methodists.  They are going to punt the ball into the middle of the court where they can pander to both sides of the debate.  Two years will give them time to fully cover their butts while the rebel clergy take matters into their own hands and make it a fait accompli.  These poor bishopy souls will play the victim as they stand before their bewildered membership and state they could not undo what was done and felt it was best to just move into this century. 

Meyer, pastor of Edgerton United Methodist Church in Edgerton, Kansas, told the congregation, “At last I am choosing to serve in that role with full authenticity and as my genuine self — as a woman who loves and shares my life with another woman.”

And last year, the Rev. Michael Tupper of Parchment United Methodist Church in Parchment, Michigan, was reportedly involved in a wedding ceremony last year for the Rev. Benjamin Hutchinson, a gay pastor.

Any bets?

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I remember a story about one of the old Greek Stoic philosophers who was asked by a wealthy man whether he should do some public, degrading thing for a large sum of money someone had offered.  “Yes,” the philosopher answered immediately.  Taken aback at the certainty and speed of the response, the rich man asked why.

“Because you have considered it.”

[1] Posted by Jeffersonian on 5-19-2016 at 06:11 PM · [top]

Don’t feel sorry for the “poor bishopy souls.”  They know exactly what they are doing.  They are ravenous wolves among the sheep and will have no excuse when they stand before God to give account.  I was a member of the UMC for many hears and headed my share of church committees so I got to see all the bureaucratic wrangling up close and personal.  Most UMC clergy and many of the bishops are not even Christian anymore (I use full assent to the Nicene Creed as my standard).

They may not be able to overcome the rising percentage of African General Conference delegates who hold to a traditional, orthodox view of sexuality and Biblical standards.  If they cannot get enough votes to change the Book of Discipline, then there are two alternatives.  One is to split up the UMC into national conferences that each have their own Book of Discipline, forming, in effect, a quasi-communion of national churches.  We all how well this works for the Anglican Communion.  Alternative two is that they cannot get enough votes to affect the change they want so they will keep the dialog going ad nauseam while estopping any consequences for clergy violating the current Book of Discipline.  This may be the preferred route since it lets them keep all the assets (the UMC has historically stronger trust clauses than TEC and other mainline denominations) and drive off the orthodox so they de facto get the result they want without ever putting it to a vote.

[2] Posted by Daniel on 5-20-2016 at 09:44 AM · [top]

On the other hand, the Methodists voted (61%) to require all UM boards and groups to disassociate from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and voted (74%) to delete a previous resolution commending the work of that group.  Good for them!

[3] Posted by Katherine on 5-20-2016 at 06:15 PM · [top]

The make up of the Bishops’ committee will tell us which way this is going to go.

[4] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 5-21-2016 at 09:56 AM · [top]

They don’t even have the honesty or the guts to cut to the chase. Everyone knows exactly what the decision will be. One would think they must know that the Lord knows what they’re up to.

[5] Posted by Nellie on 5-21-2016 at 09:09 PM · [top]

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