Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Coming Schism of the United Methodist Church

So all over the news they are talking about the United Methodist Church vote.  The vote allows Bishops to create a committee to review the possibility of allowing LGBT ministers.  The vote was extremely narrow... and its being talked about as if it is a huge victory for the liberals.  In reality its just kicking the can down the road.  The vote was 425 to 408...  so it was a 50/50 vote to even discuss the issue.  So again... half the Church delegates weren't even open to letting people research the possibility.  Also neither the bishops nor the committee they create will actually have any power at all.  All they can do is issue a report.  In order to actually change the church discipline there would have to be another vote at the conference just like this one.  Had that vote been taken yesterday it would look more like 500-300 against the change.

So on the one hand nothing has changed.  The church has voted to kick the can down the road yet again...  and the 45 year old fight will be at least 49 years old before it is settled.   Demographically this actually benefits the conservatives in the church, because the church in America (which is the base of the liberalism) is shrinking... but world wide its growing.  The growth is largely happening in Asia and Africa... and their attitudes on homosexuality are solid and concrete and immobile.  They are 100% against the rule change.

So why then, and I talking about schism?  If the conservatives have the votes to stop the change, as they have for 45 years, and demographic momentum is on their side why would schism even be a discussion?

Because it looks like the conservatives themselves are starting to embrace the idea.

There is an attitude change creeping in... that Schism wouldn't be the end of the world.  In fact... they are starting to suggest that its a good thing and may in fact be exactly what the Church needs. 

The UMC has been fighting this fight for 45 years... and a lot of folks are sick of talking about it.  Every 4 years this one topic dominates the Conference.  Many leaders are started to concede that the issue has basically put the Church on the sidelines....  rather than being in the fight to create disciples the Church has been in a tied up with monomaniacal single-issue malcontents.

Its become abundantly clear that the left cannot win... but it will never shut up.  So the only way to get the Church back in the game... is to be rid of them.  And to be rid of them... you need Schism.  Schism has started to look like bad-tasting medicine.  It isn't what you want, but it is what you need.

That is why I believe we will be seeing Schism in the coming years.  In fact... I suspect that will be one of the primary research matters the committee the Bishops create will discuss...  is how to legally untangle the Church so schism can take place.

I should point out that this is not the solution I would prefer.   If it were up to me... I would have the Conference take the vote on changing the issue right now.   And then I would take the list of all those delegates who voted in favor of the change, and kick them out of the Church.  But I suppose... the coming Schism is really just a more polite way of doing exactly that.

***UPDATE***

As usual we see the Mainstream Media has flubbed the story completely.  In reality what has happened is the has created a special conference to talk about all human sexuality issues in 2018/2019.  Abortion... Birth Control... all these issues will be on topic and discussed.  What this move did was clear the deck so the Conference could move on to actual business.  Also... no one is writing about the horrible scene the progressives have made... abusing procedure to disrupt the conference.   They certainly aren't winning any friends.  But they are desperate because the writing is on the wall.  They are a minority and it is becoming more and more clear that they always will be.

18 comments:

Susan said...

If this is your church Nate, I am deeply sorry that this situation still hasn't been dealt with properly. 49 years will indeed have been a long time to be still dealing with this issue when it comes up again.

God's word never changes, and for these activists to keep waiting, thinking that somehow it is going to after all this time, is just ridiculous.

I cannot remember the denomination in this Country, but I know that the African denominations were not afraid to schism themselves off the mother ship. Worldwide, Christianity is indeed much more conservative than it is in this Country. Even among the secular of Africa, there is serious opposition of homosexuality.

Nate said...

Gotta do an update to this. More info has come to light. Turns out the media has almost completely screwed up the story.

Res Ipsa said...

Nate,

In your view how many of the "liberals" share an emergent church mentality? I'm defining emergent church loosely, meaning basically anyone of the "seeker friendly" persuasion?

I had a conversation with a Presbyterian pastor about this same topic. In his church the liberals want the conservatives to back "modernism" because when they go off on their own they tend to dissolve. Their strategy is to get the conservatives to financially support them while moving further to the left.

CunningDove said...

The Methodists do need to address the abortion issue. I understand those who use birth control, but I would like to see the debate take place.

Susan said...

I wanted to make sure you saw my response to your great comment at Vox's about the Mormon Church being a custom built Delta Man machine. That is totally spot on. Those Deltas also have a streak of total weasel injected too.

Nate said...

CunningDove

The UMC passed two resolutions on abortion. The first committed the church to life from conception. The second pulled all church funding and association from an organization that was supposed to be providing healthcare to women but was actually an abortion provider.

The liberals are extremely angry.

So I figure we're doing something right.

Luke (alias "Lines With Chrome") said...

Don't the Methodists already have female "pastors"?

Nate said...

Yeah. UMC has had female pastors since 1972. The UMC does not accept homosexuals in any type of leadership position.

That is the big liberal complaint.

Susan said...

Is there even such a person as a straight female pastor? I have heard of plenty of the lesbian variety, but not really of the straight. Very good news on UMC's decision on abortion. Very nice.

IreneAthena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoosierHillbilly said...

Well, it is a battle that seemingly will always need to be fought. Though we sigh and shake our heads at the foolishness of the time, my grandfather would always chuckle when I'd moan. He was just a boy when the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy swept through the Presbyterians. He would say there is never an end to the assault upon the church and those who seek to change the Word to their wants instead of changing to the Lord's.

Keep fighting the good fight folks. Turn on "The Great Speckled Bird" and reflect upon how the Lord always keeps his remnant. I wish there was another way than Schism, but sometimes, it truly does seem best.

Susan said...

Well there are passages where the Lord, or one of the apostles/prophets does advise to cut off what is offending the rest of the body so it doesn't get infected too. Schism is simply a way of doing that.

WendyRaf said...

The liberals are extremely angry.

So I figure we're doing something right.


Yup. Fight the good fight.

cheddarman said...

Show tonight?

Cheddarman said...

Maybe this schism in the Methodist Church is part of the devil man agenda?

Stilicho said...

The UMC as presently organized was doomed from the moment it added "social justice" to its mission statement. All of this leftist "theology" is little more than gnosticism rearing its head again. If they are lucky, they will avoid the fate of the Cathars. I wouldn't bet on it though. They'll push things until Christians are left with no choice but to kill it with fire.

IreneAthena said...

1) Nate, when I comment on your blog, I sometimes feel that I'm crashing a party and everyone wishes I would go away. So, I deleted the ;TLDR comment I left on this thread, AND...here I go writing another comment...

2) I heard something hopeful about the debate about LGBT issues in the United Methodist Church from my pastor who attended General Conference. In conversations *some* of the liberals had with conservative Africans, they realized that it was asking a LOT of the African pastors to change to a liberal view. In the US, homosexuality is not illegal. In African nations, it is a criminal offense. Moreover, in Africa, homosexual acts are associated with witchcraft, whereas that association is not generally made in the U.S.

So, if schism happens, there is a chance that it at least might happen in a spirit of charity.

cheddarman said...

Show tonight?