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Methodist Stand Against Gays Leaves Denomination Divided---Formal Split

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demdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:57 AM
Original message
Methodist Stand Against Gays Leaves Denomination Divided---Formal Split
Methodist Stand Against Gays Leaves Denomination Divided; Conservatives Propose Formal Split


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Conservatives in the United Methodist Church proposed splitting the denomination Thursday, the latest sign of decades of disagreement over homosexuality that continued at a national meeting this week.
The Rev. William Hinson, president of the Confessing Movement for conservative Methodists, said evangelicals were just beginning to explore the idea and that no break was imminent in the 8.3 million-member church.

But he said he and others were convinced that no compromise could be found after yet another bitter General Conference debate over what the Bible says about gay sex.

"We can't bridge that divide," said Hinson, former pastor of First United Methodist Church of Houston.

http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAGDCHYWTD.html
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freetobegay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. Let them Split!
Pretty soon we are going to have so many splits No church will have a big backing & thats good IMO>
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. They split once already over slavery
Wesleyans were the ones who supported slavery, the Methodists remained staunch abolitionists.
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booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why does it matter so goddamn much?
They're hinging the integrity of their denomination on what consenting adults do behind closed doors??? Meanwhile, there are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, we have a madman running the country, a man-made Armageddon complete with horsemen and anti-Christ is this close, so much work to do out there for the Methodists... y'know, all that stuff Jesus commanded his followers to do. But instead, they spend 24 hours a day stewing, fuming, fretting, wondering, arguing about what God wants consenting adults to do in private to demonstrate love for each other. HOLY SHIT. And people wonder why I left the Methodist church when I was 20 years old? Best decision I ever made!
:puke: :puke:

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Wright Patman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think
it'd be interesting to ask any of the Christians who are for the Iraqi debacle which of the two groups depicted in the Abu Ghraib photos more resemble the First Century Christians and which resemble the Romans.

Would they even "get it" that the Iraqis are the "least of these" Christ spoke of when he said "even as you do it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."
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booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Well said
It just baffles me that anyone with an ounce of spirituality would allow himself to become bogged down fighting about doctrine, while millions of people are starving, naked, getting their homes bombed, countries illegally invaded, losing limbs to cluster bombs, etc. etc. The world is in flames; what good does it do a single human being to fight over doctrine? Who gives a good damn what "verse 7" means when our country has been taken over by evil, greedy, murdering bastards? Who cares how two consenting people caress/kiss/screw each other, for cryin out loud? Good God! It reminds me of the Republicans spending $75 million dollars to find out whether Bill kissed Monica's left breast or right breast first.

(Excuse me while I go bash my head against my basement wall.)


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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. "no break was imminent in the 8.3 million-member church"
I don't know about that. At one Methodist church here we had both ministers resign and form a fundy church. Naturally the religion reporter around here didn't dig into the story and ask why this happend.
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. That's why the Confessing Movement of the UMC started
Edited on Thu May-06-04 02:00 PM by DesertedRose
I believe, to initiate a split.

Confessing Movement = Conservative

And there are "Confessing Movements" in other denominations as well.

http://www.confessingumc.org /

"We commend the following principles for delegates to the General Conference to consider in the continuing debate over sexuality:

On the principle of continuity and congruity of precedent with our previous decisions on sexuality, we urge the General Conference of 1996 to continue to hold fast to the Disciplinary language and balance of the five points indicated above.
Classic Christian teaching grounds sexual behavior and marriage in the creation story. Therefore, to "bless" committed same-sex unions as if they were valid holy matrimony would be a departure from the biblical understanding of marriage. Such liaisons must not receive the Church's blessing. This should be clearly set forth in our Discipline.

Our Discipline should strongly affirm for all persons (laity and clergy) the church's standard of sexual morality: "fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness."

Not all Methodists are of this opinion:

"The Rev. Troy Plummer, executive director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which advocates for gay and lesbian Methodists, rejected the idea. He accused evangelicals of plotting to harm the church.

"It disturbs me," he said. "We can still be a family together."


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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Confessing Movement Presbyterians too
I didn't know the Methodists had this problem as well.

I sometimes wish we would split because there is true difference in approach to theology between conservatives and liberals.

I go to not a fundamentalist but a mainline Presby church, and I chafe even at that. :shrug:
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Wow.
I had not heard of this confessing movement at all. But some of us ELCA Lutherans are not the most enlightened to this sort of thing.
I do know our former minister here seemed out of place in this sect with so many sermons laced with konservative code words and red meat for the rwingers. Even had a recruiting night for the local Promise Keepers.
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Waverley_Hills_Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Id be suprised with ECLA having a connection with PK.....
They dont seem that fundy, more reasonable....

The thing that gets me was that the "Confessing Church" was the name of the Lutheran opposition to the Nazis in Germany...
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. The ELCA isn't fundy as a whole.
It's just that there are individual preachers here and there who would seem to fit better in a more conservative sect. Our former minister here seemed to be more at home outside the Lutheran church than in it. The last straw with me was giving money to Focus on the Family.
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. article/report found at the UMC website
perhaps they should consider modifying the Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors. message ... perhaps to something like ... well, sort of or some of us sometimes ...




PITTSBURGH (UMNS) Debates and votes over organizational structure and the budget implications of mission programs dominated the May 5 agenda of the United Methodist General Conference.

The morality of church pastors also was considered in a late action May 4.

By a vote of 455-445, delegates to the denominations top legislative body amended Paragraph 2702 in the Book of Discipline to clarify language and give bishops, pastors and diaconal ministers a list of offenses that could result in a trial.

Offenses that will be chargeable, according to the new paragraph, are: a) immorality, including, but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not being faithful in a heterosexual marriage; b) practices declared by the United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including, but not limited to, being a self-avowed practicing homosexual, or conducting ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions, or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies.

~snip~

http://www.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=17&mid=4564
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. slowly, very very slowly
liberal christians are beginning to realize there can be no bridge with conservative, fundy christians.
conservative christians aren't christian and there in lies the problem.
someone here recommended a deconstruction of the bible and compiling a new bible with new writings added as scripture -- i have to agree. it's time.
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bmbmd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Exactly.
Edited on Thu May-06-04 03:04 PM by bmbmd
As a United Methodist, I welcome a split. It's time we removed the stumbling block. Reconcilers to the left, confessors to the right. I wouldn't go so far as to say those on the right are not Christian-they are following their own understanding. I believe that they are wrong, but then again, they believe that I am.
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WVhill Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. The Bible as compiled
is just that, a compilation. The early Church went through a lot of controversies. The creation of the Roman Catholic Church under the purview of the Roman emperors led to a standardization of the Church. Likewise decisons were made on what to include in the Bible and what to scrap. It's only recently that we have gained an insight into what early Christianity was like.

The recently discovered Book of Thomas points to the possibility of a very different Christianity. Unfortunately religion was seen as a way of controlling the masses not long after Christ's death. Within two hundred years after his death, it changed and even with the Reformation there was no return to early Christianity.
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duvinnie Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Im just starting
to get into that area now. reading a book called
God: A Biography. It looks at the OT as literature
and how it offers a different understanding of the
nature of God than the rigid, timeless image many carry.
its mindblowing...
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
13. They don't have any choice as long as they're literalists
and they belive the Bible was written in English (ie. the King James version) by the inspired hand of God.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
17. Priorities for staunch conservatives are *really* screwed up, imho. (nt)
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:36 PM by w4rma
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Waverley_Hills_Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
18. I dont like them using the term "Confessing Movement"...
...it harkens back to the "Confessing Church", which was a movement of German Lutherans opposed to the Nazis and the alignment of official Lutheranism with the Nazis.

By hijacking this term these conservatives are casting themselves as some sort of oppressed religous minority, and implying that the mainstream "liberal" churchmembers who are sympathetic to gays & lesbians are somehow akin the the Lutherans who supported the Nazis!

Heres the real Confessing Church:
http://www.bartleby.com/65/co/ConfessiCh.html

Know your history and dont be decieved by this right wing movement that is twisting accepted historical labels.

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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
19. Open minds, open hearts, open door to boot your ass out,
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:54 PM by Neshanic
As a recently ex-Methodist, the latest possiblity of the "Book of Really Bad Things", is the manifestation of the RW infiltrating the Methodist hierarchy. I hope they do split. Then the "Confessors" can wear their red inquisition frocks and merge with the Fundy/Baptists that they emulate.
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