I haven’t written anything lately. Even though the Church Conferences for the congregations I serve is coming up November 20, Debbie and I needed a respite from all that’s happening. But this morning, I find myself prompted to write. Sometimes I just wish The Spirit wasn’t so pushy on me. Nonetheless, here I write. The recent Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, I should say “the results of that meeting”, reveals that there really is no room in the UMC for us traditionalists. My first “review” of this sad event can be found here.
At that event, 3 out of 3 newly elected Bishops are in favor of changing our Book of Discipline to redefine what is considered Christian Marriage. If that wasn’t enough proof for anyone that this alleged “big tent”, if it ever really existed, is getting smaller and smaller for Traditionalists, then you need to look at the 3 Resolutions that were passed. (Here’s an article about them) One was called “Leading With Integrity”. It calls for all persons who intend to leave the UMC to immediately remove themselves from any positions they hold within the UMC and refrain from any participation in our processes. I was taught, and always believed, that you are what you are until you ain’t! Centrists and Progressives want Traditionalists out even while they are still in in the UMC. And if these Centrists and Progressives want to talk about integrity, then why don’t they call out those who have no integrity–those who are in open violation of our Book of Discipline. AND The Bible! Seems they believe that my “sin” is not as bad as “your” sin. Thank you Ronnie Wicks for giving me this phrase! And the tent got smaller.
Then there’s that resolution by the “Queer Delegates” (don’t shame me–that’s how they identify themselves) called “Queer Delegates’ Call to Center Justice and Empowerment for LGBTQIA+ People in the UMC”. Amended from it’s original presentation, it calls for the UMC to remove the Biblical standard from our Discipline. In other words, they wanted the UMC to declare that homosexuality is no longer a sin, if it ever was a sin. Remember, it passed. And the tent keeps getting smaller.
And then the third resolution: “Resolution in Support of a U.S. Regional Conference”. This resolution wants to form a way for the U.S. to believe one thing, while the rest of the world is free to believe something different. It passed! Now tell me: How can one part of a church believe one thing and another part of the church believe the exact opposite be a “United” church? I think this alleged tent has collapsed!
I want to leave you with one other thought. According to Paragraph 2553, 33.1% of a local congregation can hold the 66.9% of the congregation captive to the UMC. Centrists and Progressives want us to remain UMC, by the illusion of The Big Tent. Come 2024, that Tent will vanish, like David Copperfield’s elephant. Think about that if you still believe there’s room for Traditionalists in the UMC. Did you hear that? My heart breaking for the church I’ve been in for 66 years.
(Writers editorial comment: I messed up my math. I was using Auburn math instead of Alabama math!)