Monday Afternoon At GC2019: The UMC Has Just Died

Monday Afternoon At GC2019: The UMC Has Just Died February 25, 2019

The delegates have spoken and the UMC has just died: gays are irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable.


the umc just died


I can barely write about this. The delegates have been debating the inclusive One Church Plan, one three minute speech after another, since about 1:15 pm. Each side makes points that they feel are definitive.

Nowever, as I see tight, tight votes on what are simple corrections and not substantive changes passing by one vote or not passing by a tie, I am aware of how fully we are split.

It is my current understanding that the traditional plan, clearly out of compliance with the church constitution because Maxie Dunnam showed up with 35 pages of amendments for it (ruled out of order because they must be translated first) is being referred to the Judicial Council for consideration. In the meantime, however, it did pass the legislative committee and will be discussed and voted on tomorrow.

Let me digress here just to remind everyone that the 864-person legislative committee (minus the 31 people who were unable to obtain their proper visas) will be the exact same 864 people, minus 31, who will be voting at the plenary session tomorrow.

And numbers are not adding up. 864 minus 31 is 833. Yet, 808 or 807 has been the vote count recently. What are the rest of these people doing anyway? Do they have something better to do than hold the future of the UMC in their hands?

At this time, I, who hate Twitter with every once of my being, have been reduced to checking it frantically every few minutes to see if anyone knows anything new. Worse, I am actually Tweeting myself (should you want to follow those unprofound moments, I’m at @christythomas).

I’ve been predicting this for some time: we are going to implode. In fact, after the 2012 GC, when everything substantial accomplished there was later invalidated by the Judicial Council who were doing nothing less than actually doing their jobs, I said that we’d have to blow it up and start over to ever do anything because our very structure makes substantive movement impossible.

I so wish I could get down on the floor with the delegates. Things are tense up here in the press box, and I wonder how folks down there are doing. Time is terribly short. We adjourn at 6:30 pm today and there are still 19 legislative items to get through. And, of course, just as I was writing about the time pressure, the One Church Plan, meticulously planned and worked out by the Commission on the Way Forward, officially died in committee.

And so The United Methodist Church just died.

Currently, there is a plea on the floor to consider the Simple Plan (a motion has been filed to not deal with any of the rest of the legislation). That’s the easiest and, frankly, the most logical plan of all because all it does it take out discriminatory language from the Book of Discipline. But it will never pass. The delegates have spoken and the UMC is dead: gays are irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable.

I’m about to throw up.

Oh, one other thing: the conference organizers put all of us in the press in a death trap. We are on the sixth floor of the Dome in St. Louis. There is one working elevator, and they will only let six people in it at the time. I demanded to find out about stairs and when I did, I discovered that, yes, we could access a set of stairs but they end on the third level which is currently locked down and unlit. In other words, if there should be a fire, the press are toast. And I mean that literally.

Just p****** me off.

May God help us all.


Photo credit: screen shot from the live feed at GC2019 by Christy Thomas

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nathan Rolofson

    Christy, what’s next for LGBTQ Methodists after this GC? There are 973 communities that are a part of RMN. Could that be the basis for a new Methodist denomination? (For comparison, the Reformed Church in America has 877 congregations.) Or do LGBTQ Methodists join an existing denomination?

    • Guthrum

      Look at the ELCA, Episcopal Church US, and Presbyterian Church USA. Those mainline denominations are in major decline, losing millions of members and thousands of churches over the last ten years. New church organizations such as the PCA and LCMC are growing. These hold to the Bible as the authority.
      “Sola scriptura”

      • Dhammarato

        Reading the same old books is sure to lead to the same results, the Mega Churches will also pass away. May Christianity die out before they all get another chance to vote. For Christianity, voting is the worst sin of all, now you are Caesar. You are all a Trumped up Caesar. what a mes Christians make when they vote.

        • BertB

          Amen to that.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    I thank God that I am not responsible for any decisions made at this conference or any other. It boggles my mind that any group of people think that they are qualified to make such decisions. I think this is a good example of why I don’t do well with traditional, organized religion. The only thing that is relevant is God’s Living Word, His Son Jesus. Everything else is window dressing.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Christy, why would you be so addicted to the life and the workings of the United Methodist Church ?
    Even its name is now dishonest.
    Don’t waste your time.
    That old time religion is obviously not suited to the way that you think and the way that you feel.
    Continue with whatever work that suits you.

  • Reese

    The UMC has been dying for about a half century and you know it. Arrogant bishops like the ones who have you and other press people isolated on the 6th floor in St. Louis, who spent maybe a million bucks on the way forward charade globe trotting hand-picked minions who met in closed meetings, side-tracked priorities like the global warming baloney, and all the pomp and circumstance of self-important people, these have helped diminished loyalty to the UMC. Of course, a major negative is that the Methodist Church was a down-home, rather conservative house of worship. But management contracted the cancer of liberalism. Had the rules of centuries, committed to writing 50 years ago, been followed, the UMC would not be so sick today. Non-denominational mega-churches preach the Bible, but generally do not include social, political, non-religious comment. They have little direction from liberals in New York or Washington or other bastion of liberal logic. They are hometown, All-American and conservative. They are blooming while UMC nears rigor mortis.

    • Tacitus

      “cancer of liberalism”
      Yeah, no biased opinion there…

    • James Hucke

      Fundamentalist churches aren’t affected in the same manner because they are ok with the things (not treating gays as equals) that Mainline, especially Progressive, Christians find unacceptable. I do believe it is the politically motivated “religious right” that is off putting to many Christians (outside of the uber-Conservative ones. Your comment sounds extremely political and anti-intellectual (global warming “baloney”???) Scientists, climatologists, and meteorologists almost universally agree that global warming is real. (2nd graders understand that too). I am glad to belong to a diverse, big tent church where we respect a wide variety of opinions and political differences. In Christian love and sincerity, I want others to understand Christians practice loving their neighbor, their enemy, and can absolutely embrace science and intellectualism.

      • Reese

        Most of those “scientists” who “believe” in the global warming hoax are PhDs whose only real purpose in life is securing government grants. To get a government grant, they must believe and write what the government wants. Now their new poster child, AOC, is really stirring that pot. 2nd graders believe whatever they are told and will double down if cookies are involved. Do you remember seeing those truth-telling emails in Europe a few years back? Google Phil Jones climate scientist, leaked emails.

        • James Hucke

          and what purpose is there to deny climate change? Paid off by big oil- fossil fuel companies. Science can change when new information is revealed- it may not be perfect- but we should believe the best explanation based on all the available factual information we have at the time. I don’t think its a “liberal” or “conservative” issue. As a Christian, I’ve long wondered why our religion doesn’t make caring for our beautiful Creation God has entrusted us with is not a bigger issue.

          • BertB

            It seems odd that more Christians aren’t pushing back against the deniers. But those same people voted for Chief Denier Trump.

        • customartist

          You are really full of it.

        • BertB

          It’s the pseudo scientists who take big bucks from the fossil fuel industry who are the ones you believe, Reese.

    • Diana Sinclair

      The conservative church culture you are cheering for is why I left the church as a young adult and eventually sought other religious paths later in life. It is also why so many young people are put off by Christianity in general. So you can talk about “the cancer of liberalism” all you want, but it is clinging to outdated medieval dogma that is killing churches. The “nones” are already in the majority. Strict, rigid “conservative” religious practices are why.

      • Reese

        I’ll keep my dogma and you can find the dogma that is the “cat’s meow” for you. (Texas metaphor). Go in peace.

    • customartist

      “Liberal, liberal, liberal…”

  • Dan

    I’m very confused. Even if the traditional plan passes, doesn’t this just leave the UMC where it is now? I thought the Judicial Council ruled the “enforcement” provisions on bishops and clergy were unconstitutional. Won’t this have the effect of having things continue as before; e.g., Northwest Jurisdiction nominates another person like bishop Oliveto, that person is confirmed, the traditionalists have a hissy fit, but the bishop still is seated? Likewise, when clergy do things like performing same sex weddings, can’t sympathetic bishops just hear any complaints and then reach a confidential “just” resolution that says what the offending pastor has done is deeply hurtful to the homophobes in that annual conference? Sure, LGBTQ+ clergy and laity are not outright affirmed, but then neither are they denied the reality to be pastors, marry same sex couples, etc.

    • Reese

      Exactly, Dan. The traditional plan is a band-aid on a heart-attack. The current status quo will continue, and the membership exit will accelerate. WCA will draw more churches and individuals like me will tear up their pledge card and find another church. The next budget, now at 20% lower, will soon be half.

      • customartist

        Surely money cannot guide belief?

  • Liz

    My thoughts are that there are no gods. No deities. And the sooner humankind figures this out, the sooner they’ll stop giving bigots so much power over the lives and happiness of others. So don’t wait for “god” to fix things. He’s not coming.

    • James Hucke

      We are all entitled to our personal beliefs regarding philosophical questions (is there a Higher Power, an afterlife, etc.) I can’t imagine not believing in God- but completely respect those who do not (and think they can be very nice people). Many doubt God due to the poor behavior of other humans who are religious. (I’ve noticed people who are extremely vocal atheists often were treated poorly/pushed out of their churches and communities- which I find very disturbing. The fact the many use religion incorrectly as a tool to oppress to me is not a logical argument to make against the possibility of a Creator. (As a Christian, I believe we are called to follow Christ, not other Christians). My faith, as a lifelong Methodist, makes me more sensitive to social justice. However, realistically, people are emotional beings and Christians acting unkind, hateful, hypocritical are the reason many have turned away from organized religion (that part makes sense) and even God.

      • Liz

        Oh, you are certainly entitled to your own personal beliefs; but that doesn’t mean your beliefs are not above scrutiny, or even criticism. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to believe in deities. People’s behavior notwithstanding, good or bad, does NOT determine if a god exists. You simply cannot provide ANY good, or solid, reality based evidence — than your feelings — for claiming deities and other supernatural entities exist. But man’s social evolution and interactions with others have given us values, ethics, and morals — for which we need NO guidance and conditioning from books of primitive men’s superstitions. There is absolutely NO reason to keep doing that. What is disturbing, is asking some primitive Joe from 2,000 years ago, how he felt about slaves, women’s rights, and gay relationships. That’s what’s disturbing.

        • James Hucke

          I will agree that any belief is not above scrutiny/criticism (including atheism). I much prefer to mutually respect each others’ beliefs but it is good to challenge and questions all beliefs. I would consider both worldviews (Theism and Atheism) and determine what is more logical to believe. Did our Universe, which according to science had a clear beginning, have a primary cause? I believe yes. With all of the precise living conditions to exist, dependent on other laws of order, is there an Intelligent Designer or did it just happen randomly? I believe it is more likely to be a Creator. This is very over-simplified but I believe logically God makes more sense than an uncaused Universe. Historical evidence confirms events in the Bible. Reason itself, the fact that we ask these questions are reason for me to believe. I’m not pushing my beliefs on you. Please realize that not all Christians think the same way. The more I read the Bible and grow in my Faith- the more I question the “fundamentalist religious right”. Jesus never said anything about homosexuals. Jesus was radical for 1st Century Jewish society to include women. For these reasons, I believe mankind (kingdoms, people in power) used / twisted His words to suppress people. I don’t have all the answers, and I’m far from perfect, but my Christian faith journey has made me care more about social issues, women’s rights, gays rights, race relations, and helping the poor.

          • Liz

            You had me at ‘what is more logical,’ and there the argument ends. There is absolutely NOTHING logical about believing in a paranormal deity making everything. There is NOTHING science, or reality/fact based, about that. It ends all questions, and beliefs an emotional platitude in order to not look for the answers. Enough said.

          • James Hucke

            So you really have no reply or reason to give for why atheism makes more sense. For the record, my church encourages questions- that is how we grow. Atheists often say their position is more logical, scientific- but I’ve never heard one explain why they think that. Science doesn’t/can’t answer all of life’s questions. Purpose, morals, values, is there a Higher Power, an afterlife. That is where philosophy comes in. Think of religion as part of philosophy.

          • Liz

            Oh, I have plenty. But I have absolutely NO interest in debating the matter with you. I am not here to convince people like you of anything. You’ve already convinced yourself enough to believe an elaborate tale without absolutely NO evidence. If you can’t seem to get your brain enough off of your lazy couch, to actually research any of that stuff in earnest, that’s your own problem, and not mine. I’m not here to pry you out of your superstitions.

          • James Hucke

            Fair enough- but YOU ARE HERE! I was going to ask you this before- and now I really am curious- why atheists would come to a religious forum if they don’t believe. I would think if I wasn’t religious I would never go to a religious page – it really makes me wonder why

          • Liz

            Gosh. I don’t think there’s anything more irritating than religious people thinking non-religious people have to secretly believe, or some tripe, because they get concerned about the insane crap religious people do, and seriously keep an eye on it. This is a story about a religion agreeing that LGBTQ are awful, sinful people. THIS affects our society. THIS IS BAD. And it will inevitably add to the plethora of jerks in office trying to take away people’s rights — and to make them feel as less in society. We keep an eye on these things because we care about the welfare of PEOPLE — not religion. F religion.

          • James Hucke

            OK- just always curious. I see anti-religion people who spend so much time on Christian sites and always wondered why. Many of my church friends are disappointed that UMC isn’t moving forward- but it doesn’t really change anything. LGBTQ still can’t be clergy or be married in a UMC church (not that people think “they are awful”). The Conservative position is that LGBTQ shouldn’t be teaching as clergy. The issue from people I know (more Progressive) is that they don’t have the same rights in church. Also, UMC differs in different areas. Urban vs. rural/ Liberal vs. Conservative. Also, consider the church is growing in Africa- which is way more Conservative than the U.S.- even to the point where homosexuality is illegal in some countries.

          • Liz

            I definitely see it as disheartening, and hurtful for society, and for the hearts, minds, and self-worth of LGBTQ people everywhere. It is a blow to people who wanted to move the conversation forward, for sure. We should NOT, not now or ever, rely on the Bible for lessons on Biology and human sexuality — much less to judge folks as lacking in rights, or ability to teach others.

          • James Hucke

            I agree with you that we shouldn’t base laws on any religion or Holy book. (individual denominations have a right to decide their own policies but I understand why you feel it’s disheartening). With all of the different religions and beliefs, there is no way you could base laws on one’s interpretation. Even in Christianity, you have Catholics and Protestants- all the Protestant denominations, even within the same denomination and congregation people have differing beliefs. Progressives tend to put more value on a person’s actions (Fundamentalists emphasize someone having the same beliefs). To me one’s actions (which can be kind, forgiving, generosity, putting others first- values Christians, and other religions, deem important) is a better measure than someone having the exact same beliefs (could be from their parents, heritage, geography). Even from a Biblical perspective.

          • Liz

            Yes. Every denomination does, indeed, have a right to decide their own policies. And that doesn’t mean those policies are by default, very Christian. Back in the day, the same bad policies were applied to blacks. And it was simply washed away as Biblical perspective. We no longer argue that the Earth is flat and sits on four pillars — neither should we let the Bible decide issues of biology, or to discriminate on others because of our obtuse ignorance of biology.

          • customartist

            Yes, the UMC Church DOES INDEED think this. They proved it today. And what about all of the Other sinners? THEY can be clergy. Your whole rationale is crap.

          • James Hucke

            53% of those who voted to represent UMC voted to continue with the same policies. 47% did not. Consider, many come from extremely Conservative African nations (where homosexuality is illegal). All UMC members do not think the same way. Many of those in the 53% believe LGBT should be welcomed and treated with kindness and respect (but shouldn’t be clergy). Many people I know do not agree with this decision (including myself). It’s fine to criticize religion and things you think churches do that are wrong. To be fair, let’s talk about all the good as well. Methodists are constantly doing disaster relief efforts, feeding the hungry, the homeless, etc. Overall, the world is a far more positive place due to religion. I can’t think of much good atheism has done for the world- but I can think of tremendous bad (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot) Communism with forced atheism has done more destruction in the last 100 years than religion has done in human history. Be fair – and talk about the good and well as the bad.

          • customartist

            Broad statements there. The actions of Stalin et al are anomalies, and not reflective of Atheists generally. Please do not assign this to all of them. atheists do good out of the kindness of their hearts, not because some ghost coerces them to do so. I think this is the best reason. The Catholic Church may do a thousand “good deeds” but they are all wiped away by the hiding of child molestation. Churches who condemn LGBT people are similarly guilty. Damage is done, and intentionally so.

          • James Hucke

            Yes, it is a broad statement- so are your statements regarding the UMC and Christians in general. While I consider myself a Progressive on most social issues- I’m more Conservative when it comes to the anti-religion trolls who spend much of their time bashing something they don’t understand. I think the anti-theists take advantage of the kind nature of Progressive Christians. Go talk trash on the Evangelical page and let me know how it works out for you. It ruins the experience of going to positive and encouraging Christian sites and having the same, tired, insults and lame arguments. I don’t know what religion believes in ghosts- but I know Christians don’t. We are saved by Faith, not good works, but we want to do good works filled by the Holy Spirit. At least learn about what you are trying to bash.

          • customartist

            AMEN Liz!

          • Dhammarato

            We come in peace, we come to share, we come in good old fashioned “Christian” love for the sinners who are each one confused about the nature of their own private sin filled hell. Its a Christian fantasy hell that is the American Church today. Poor old Christians, I pat you on the head to give you comfort while your churches empty and your religion is burning to the ground. We come to say wakey-wakey. Wake up to smell the mess, the crap American Christianity has wrought. Wake up and smell the trump. And UMC it is all your fault, please die off as the author wants. And stop voting, that’s your worst sin.

          • Guthrum

            May I be so bold here as to make a suggestion. There is a church organization (not a denomination) that is made up of various churches that are welcoming and strive to be open. This is a loose organization that is flat when it comes to administration, with no heavy, top down bureaucracy.
            It is the Acts 29 network.
            Give it a look and look at their story. A new kind of church.

          • customartist

            James, Atheists come here because your religious beliefs inflict psychological pain on (especially younger) folks in society. You religion does this. And it is sinister. There.

          • Liz

            Also — NOT knowing the answer’s to some of science questions, or not understanding how the universe works, does NOT mean the default answer is magic, guy. lol That’s like when aborigines thought evil gods made hurricanes — and we now all know better.

          • Dhammarato

            If you follow only the facts, forgetting what feels right, ignoring tradition, ignoring what old books say, and what Trump thumping preachers say. and just follow the facts they show there is no god. nada, zip, zero, empty, not one fact to place your misguided faith in. Americans need to have faith in there own developing wisdom and give this old fashioned sin filled god thingy a long long rest.

          • James Hucke

            So, why don’t you enlighten us on all these facts you have that prove there is no God? The intelligent, scientific, position is that no one can prove, or disprove God. There are many logical and scientific arguments that make a case for a Creator. I have yet to hear an atheist make a case against one. I do believe people should be tolerant and excepting of others’ beliefs. The atheist who thinks they are smarter, more logical, then everyone else, who calls religious people “dumb” I find to be annoying and pseudo intellectual- but I also think they can be the result of unkind, intolerant Christians.

          • customartist

            Are you “accepting” of those who believe in and worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster (while avoiding taxation)?

          • Kate Johnson

            Yawn. Facts……LOL! People would have said the same about radio waves at one time. Guess you’re not much for theoretical physics or you wouldn’t be so fast at ruling things out. Such arrogance only makes you look foolish.

          • customartist

            Believers think of themselves as superior, hence the topic of the original article here. They are not. If they were, then I might reconsider my status of Atheism.

            Atheists do right because of their own motivation. No “god” necessary.

          • Kate Johnson

            Yawn.

          • jaystriggle

            Jesus did speak to the gay issue when He said, “you have heard it from the beginning, that God has made them Male and Female and the two shall become one flesh”… evidence of God’s intentions are revealed in creation.. We are a complimentary sex, not opposite sex. we complete each other in sexual union to become one again… We were one as in Adam and Eve was taken from his side, the two shall become one again.. pretty easy and basic stuff here.. really !!

          • Dhammarato

            If it is so easy and basic, why do ALL Christians fail so miserably. If there were a God, he would hate all Christians for there gullibility and there inability to behave. . He would love wisdom and hate your racism, bigotry, sexual beliefs ans most of all God would hate Trump voters for there foolishness.

          • Kate Johnson

            Really, you’ve met ALL Christians? Because this one didn’t vote for Trump (I literally sat Shiva for a week and cried every day), loves science, particularly astrophysics, is an absolute advocate and champion for all of the LGBTQ community and anyone else who’s on the outside looking into our vacant culture. I so want to be intolerant of the intolerant, but then how am I different? Whenever we try to judge people as a group, it makes us look stupid, because it’s not that simple.

          • customartist

            I don’t believe that most folks’ religion is the authentic rationale for not liking gays. It is to the contrary their personal disgust, and then they turn and point finger toward some religion for validation, and this is the more accurate chronology.

          • Kate Johnson

            Yep.

          • Kate Johnson

            Except that’s not and has never been actually true. Homosexuality exists in nature. Every culture in history has described homosexuality and transgendered people. Navajo’s had four genders. In our current reality, 1 out of every 1200 children born in the US have indeterminate genitalia. Autopsies and FMRI scans have shown transgendered people literally have the brain of the opposite sex. I thought Methodists believed in science, my mistake. Whatever your interpretation of scripture might suggest to you, your little binary fantasy is just that, a fantasy. The Bible, inspired work that it is, was speaking to a specific audience at a specific time. We know epileptic seizures aren’t demon possession now too, or do you not believe that either? The thing is, I’ve never for a single minute believed that this was ever about God, or the Bible. It’s pretty obvious it’s about the fact that people like you are uncomfortable around these people and you don’t like being uncomfortable. You just use God as an excuse to not have to deal with a reality you don’t like and people that you don’t understand. Just so you know, you guys aren’t really fooling anyone with all your weaponized bible verses, and it sure pollutes your witness. Its like a living example of the parable about the servant that owed his master all this money, was forgiven by his master, then went out and threw the person who owed him money into jail.

          • jekylldoc

            But he had a right to jail the one who owed him money! That’s what the love of God is all about, don’t you know? Being right!

          • James Hucke

            No- that is not condemning homosexuality. You are merely inferring. Gay marriage wasn’t even a thing during Biblical times. Yes, men leave their mothers and join a wife to procreate. The amount of time fundamentalists spend on gay bashing is ridiculous. There are a few verses (from Paul, Leviticus) condemning homosexuality- yet there are over 2,000 warning against greed- why not spend more time on that? There are divorced Pastors- the Bible addresses that too.

          • Carl Longren

            Again, very well stated!

          • Richard Rush

            So, who created the Creator? Another Creator? And please don’t evade the question by using the tired cliche claiming that your creator is eternal and therefore has always existed.

          • James Hucke

            That is not a “tired” argument” not is it “evading the question”. It is logic. By definition, God exists outside of the time and space that He created. It is extremely difficult for our human brains to comprehend that type of linear thinking of eternity- but logically, the God who lives outside of space and time would not require another Creator. Otherwise you just get an infinite regression of creators that never ends.

          • Richard Rush

            Essentially, your reply is just another way of presenting the “tired cliche” that I referred to. But, here’s the thing . . .

            Humans are obviously simple organisms compared to a god who must be infinitely more intelligent, skilled, and powerful to have created the universe. An old question that people seem to spend little time contemplating is: Where did God come from? A common answer is: God is eternal, and thus has always existed. And then they quickly change the subject or end the conversation. All the answers I’ve heard seem to be designed to avoid any serious consideration of the question.

            You can assert that God just suddenly appeared, or “always existed,” but there is not a single shred of evidence for that (and Bible verses are irrelevant). Therefore, if God didn’t just suddenly appear, he must have developed via evolution.

            If you are unable to believe that life on earth could have developed via evolution, how can you possibly believe that an infinitely more intelligent, skilled, and powerful God suddenly appeared from nowhere or through a form of evolution?

          • James Hucke

            I think the question “Who made God” is a tired cliche’ skeptics say- but…your comment was something I have never heard anyone say (God developed via evolution). I believe in Theistic Evolution (not all Christians are creationists- you know). I believe evolution is the best explanation of explaining how life developed on Earth. There is nothing in the Bible that makes me think evolution in any way conflicts with Christianity. It can be God’s tool of Creation- my God is big enough to have used evolution. I’ll have to think about the evolution of God concept- I don’t think that fits into the belief of a Creator/Higher Power if the Higher Power needed to evolve. Perhaps we are still creating (as opposed to a creation in the beginning and that was it). Perhaps we play a part in the creation now.
            Does this mean you do believe in a Higher Power- or at least open to the possibility? While I have no issue with evolution as a Christian- I see abiogenesis (life from non-life) as an issue for the non-believer. According to science, life cannot come from non-life. Evolution explains how life progressed- it doesn’t answer how it began. It was a Priest, Father/Dr. Georges Le’Maitre’ who came up with Big Bang Theory- and the Catholic church accepted it since it aligns with Genesis 1…in the beginning. I am a big believer in Christians accepting science.

          • BertB

            It is definitely logical, because it is the only possible answer to RR’s question. That doesn’t mean that it is correct. It doesn’t prove…or even provide any evidence that any deity exists. But it is the only way to answer that question.

      • customartist

        I fully believe in the teachings of Jesus, while equally as vehemently not believing in gods, deities or ghosts.

        • Kate Johnson

          You can tell a tree by it’s fruit, not it’s bumper sticker.

        • MurphsLaw

          You are aware that Jesus said he was God, and as a God will forgive the sins you commit against another?
          You do know Jesus wasn’t iffy about this, about coming down from Heaven, and being Resurrected? yes?

          • customartist

            I understand that this is your belief. It’s not mine.

      • Carl Longren

        Very well written!

    • Kate Johnson

      Religion and politics are nothing but a mirror reflecting what we are. Get rid of all thoughts of “god” and we’d have another excuse to hate and exclude each other by lunch. Your post actually reveals how much of their divisive spirit you share.

  • andrewlohr

    “Irredeemably”? Wrong from Mrs Clinton and wrong in church. Since Calvary is the cure, the disease is pretty bad (sin, which we all have.) But since Christ arose, emptying his tomb, and raises the dead-in-sin, emptying the courts and jails (and bars and whorehouses) in some jurisdictions where triune Jehovah sends mighty revival, no sinner is beyond repentance, no sinner is irredeemable.

  • wacourson

    After today’s votes by the General Convention, Bishop Karen Oliveto gave a beautiful talk, asserting the fact that God is not done with her, or with us.

    I quite agree that God is not done with any of us. God’s love is like a dog’s love – it just goes on and on, no matter what, and God never gives up.

    Let us however, not confuse God with the United Methodist Church. God is not the UMC, and the UMC is most assuredly not God.

    What the United Methodist Church is, is an assemblage of human beings, limited and limiting, in many ways deeply flawed, seeking to understand who God is and what God wants of us.

    When a human institution like the UMC becomes an impediment to that understanding, rather than an instrument for promoting it, perhaps the time has come to shake the dust off our shoes and move on.

    I became a Methodist Christian through reading the works of John Wesley and kindred spirits. I have never been associated with any Methodist body, neither the UMC nor any of the smaller churches in the Wesleyan tradition, and I do not plan on it. I can be a Methodist and a Christian without being a card-carrying member of the UMC and so can you.

    Perhaps the time is come for us to shake the dust off of our shoes and create something new for ourselves, and people like ourselves, and generations yet unborn.

    Is this not what John Wesley did – granted, more or less unwittingly – when he confronted a sterile, religious establishment of his day?

    The reality is this: they have told us we cannot be in their Church unless we become people other than who and what we are. They have told us we cannot be their Church.

    Perhaps now is a fitting time to discuss building a Church of our own: Methodist, apostolic, catholic, welcoming and affirming. Appropriate time to stop putting “new wine in old skins.”

    Please, along with your fellow welcoming, affirming and reconciling Methodists, consider this – and God bless you!

    • Kate Johnson

      I think you are correct. You can’t put new wine in old wineskins. Let them cling to their traditions as their pews empty out. A new more authentic and inclusive body will rise from it’s ashes.

    • Wade Miller

      I love “God’s love is like a dog’s love – it just goes on and on, no matter what, and God never gives up.” Beautifully written! And so true. Every time I see a sign that has “God Hates….” I think, really? I don’t think that’s how God works.

      Also, you speak the absolute truth that God is not the UMC. The UMC tries to deliver their ideas of God’s word, which means the UMC can get it right and wrong from time to time. None of us know yet people continue to claim that they know God’s ideas. I just giggle.

  • Deborah Shirin Thuja

    This is very sad news being as it reflcts a total refusal to progress in line with 21st century knowledge; gay people work as nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, bus drivers etc., will the members of UMC be making sure their children’s teacher, nurse or surgeon is not ‘irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable’? Did gay people create nuclear weapons? Are they responsible for the vast majority of crimes in this world and pollution of our planet? It seems to me, the people who are ‘irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable’ are all ofthe people who claim to love God and who have failed to collectively address the ongoing ignorance of basic human rights for i.e. Earth’s children and who instead, have focused attention on an already, heavily oppressed and vulnerable social group. It appears Jesus was absolutely correct; “They will strain at a gnat to swallow a camel”.

  • Adam

    I’m a classic “Spiritual But Not Religious” person but I grew up in the Methodist Church and am proud of my upbringing and enjoyed that church so I do still care about its fate. I would love to know how many of the delegates voting against this resolution were from overseas. I read on CNN that the majority of the “No” votes were from Africa-based churches. I could see a schism emerge between the American church and those abroad. Thoughts?

    • customartist

      My Pastor friend told me weeks ago that if it were up to the American contingent, this would be a done deal, and that yes, it is the African group tipping the scales on this particular issue.

      • Courted by the Southern Baptist wing.

        • customartist

          I’m sure, but they are all over. Homosexuality has been made a particular point of contention in Africa from American Evangelical Preachers who’ve traveled there for years stoking hate. How Christian. It’s a well known fact. *See: Rick Warren.

      • Ivan T. Errible

        I thought “progressives” wanted to ‘celebrate diversity’?

        • customartist

          There is a gradiation from progressive to conservative, and on many differing topics. One can want inclusivity for their own group, but then reject of be apathetic toward the next.

          • Ivan T. Errible

            You amaze me; next thing you’ll be telling me is that the Unitarians and Quakers are virtually all White and middle/upper middle class!

  • Dhammarato

    American Christians including those in UMC are all the proof needed that there is no god. And if there were he would reject all Christians in America for there collective sins of racism bigotry hypocrisy, sexual abuse and worst of all God hates Christians for voting for Trump.

    • James Hucke

      Logically, some Christians who are unkind does not prove there is no God. It proves humans are fallible (some even misuse religion to do bad things). God hates no one (though I don’t think He cares for those thinking trump “is chosen by God”. Those are just misguided people who are using Christianity for political power.

    • Ivan T. Errible

      Thank you for your prophetic ministry!/sarcasm

  • Rick Clair

    How I would love to know what John & Charles think of the church they worked so hard to nurture. While wholly and completely heartbroken, I’m hardly suprised. This has been brewing for about twenty years, with what I thought were clear dividing lines between the Northeast, Western, and Southern UM conferences at odds. “In the United Methodist Church, we celebrate open communion, where all are welcome at the Table.” Well, apparently not everyone…

    • Reese

      Excuse me. Can you offer exact dates and locations where homosexuals were banned from taking communion? I don’t believe you, so prove me wrong. I will verify and post your information.

      • Rick Clair

        I’m not talking about only communion, but the table we all gather around as Christians and UM’s. I was sidetracked before finishing my train of thought. Please forgive me.

        • Reese

          I knew that. Like all liberals, you parse some example to prove some liberal point. I’ll forgive you, but because you are a liberal, you will commit the same sin before lunch tomorrow.

          • John Purssey

            Temper, Temper!

          • Kate Johnson

            Wow. What a great example of why people are leaving the church in droves. It’s been poisoned by politics, and there’s so little there that bears even the tiniest resemblance to Jesus. Dried up, stale, pious, loveless, judgmental. Who would see God in that?

          • Jason Evans

            Reese, you need to take a hard look at whether or not you are actually a Christian.

          • Reese

            Oh? Was it I who told the lie or the liberal? I think I’m in line with those who do not want to now model our denomination after Sodom and Gomorrah.

          • Melody Richardson

            Flagged as hate speech.

          • James

            Read Ezekiel’s description of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Chief among them was mistreating fellow humans in various ways. Please choose to do as Jesus taught – love your neighbor as yourself, including your neighbor whom God created gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or intersex.

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus created no one lgbtq.
            Mankinds sin accomplished that all on their own.

          • Wade Miller

            How does that work? I’ve heard this before but I’m uncertain of how mankind’s sin makes people gay? Serious question.

          • D.M.S.

            It’s the curse of more and more rampant sin.
            Was HIV here 200+ years ago.
            How about cancer was it here 300+ years ago. I see small pox is making a return to our society.
            Probably with in a few short years another disease will come out that our science can’t cure.
            Along with all the abnormalities occurring in births in the last few decades.

            For every action we get a reaction.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Sin is more powerful in creation than Jesus now?

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus still did ‘ NOT ‘ create anyone lgbtq.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            No God claims to have created anyone at all.

          • D.M.S.

            lolololololololololol.

            God/Jesus created the entire universe and all life forms on it, in it,flying around it. Every life form, including Mountains, land mass, oceans.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Except no God says that at all.

          • D.M.S.

            On another forum ( Transparent Expedition) you tell everyone that you don’t really believe in ‘ GOD’ .
            And you call the Bible ‘ Terror Pages ‘.
            But here it’s alright to make people think that you do.
            Sooner or later our ‘ LIES ‘ catch up with us.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            It’s your mythology.

          • D.M.S.

            And evolution is your mythology.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Evolution is a field of science unlike anything “supernatural”.

          • D.M.S.

            Evolution is supernatural. Evolution is make believe, like Grimm’s fairytales.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            We didn’t get evolution from a book. We got evolution from studying the planet and its many lifeforms.

          • D.M.S.

            Never happened, evolution is the study of nothing.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Your opinion doesn’t erase the decades of scientific work evolution has to show for itself. I’m done with your next nuh-uh. Neither of us have chosen to study science relevant to evolutionary theory, so it’s out of our hands either way.

          • D.M.S.

            Oh really and you tell people on other forums like the
            ‘ Friendly Atheist ‘ that you ‘ Hate ‘ GOD/JESUS.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Yeah, never said that.

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus has stated in scripture that there are consequences to sinning.
            But then a hater of God/Jesus as you are wouldn’t know of such things.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Consequences like Jesus becoming impotent?

          • D.M.S.

            That would be called abstaining, in Christian terms.

          • Max

            Reese: Self-righteous stinking troll.

          • Jason Evans

            Since the time of mincing words is over, I shall be plain. It is pretty easy to ascertain from your reply just now that you, like so many other conservatives, are indeed a horrible and vile human being. Your Christianity is fake.

            Stop playing at it and actually get converted. The church is not your club and you were not given leave to treat your fellow human beings like garbage and claim God is directing you to do it.

          • Melody Richardson

            How Christian of you. Like all conservatives, you are a bigot. (See what I did there?)

    • Dan

      Rick, you’ve pointed out a real problem with the UMC regarding communion. Open communion, or communion of the unbaptized as it is properly termed, is something that would be anathema to the early church. Besides the fact that such people receiving communion have no idea of what they’re doing, they are also potentially eating and drinking condemnation on themselves. Unless the UMC has gone the “we’re having a picnic with Jesus” route that makes it just a memorial of the last supper, then communion of the unbaptized is just another hipster, seeker sensitive innovation that moves the UMC more away from historic Christianity. I am certain, by the way, that John and Charles would be horrified at the idea of communing the unbaptized.

  • Ian Richter

    The Uniting Church in Australia ( Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist} which was formed in 1977 is heading down the same tragic path.

    • Reese

      Not really relevant, but a loud “G’Day” to Oz from this ol’ Texan who has enjoyed his business trips there back when. “good onya, mate!”

      • Ian Richter

        Higreat to hear from you
        Ian R

    • John Purssey

      The UCA is actually slowly progressing down the right path as the 15 Assembly has shown.

  • soter phile

    you said: The delegates have spoken and the UMC is dead: gays are irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable.

    This sort of melodramatic (purposeful?) misrepresentation is part of the problem.
    I’m not in the UMC, but this point is a major problem for America right now:

    Disagreeing with you does not mean I hate you.

    It is precisely a father’s love for his son that leads him to hate the alcoholism destroying his son.
    That settled opposition is not hate for his son but love, no matter how the son perceives it at the time.

    Labeling that as hate is either a refusal to hear or an attempt to purposefully silence those with whom you disagree.
    Either way, it puts an end to all genuine dialogue.

    • Tiny J

      So what you’re saying is…you hate gay people?

      • soter phile

        So what you’re saying is… everyone has to agree with you or they are haters?

        • Tiny J

          Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that’s no excuse for hate speech.

          • soter phile

            Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

            “I disagree & here’s why” is civil dialogue, not hate speech.
            Failure to know the difference is self-discrediting.

            And purposefully mislabeling it in order to silence those with whom you disagree…
            well, that’s not exactly love speech either, is it?

    • swbarnes2

      Comparing being gay to alcoholism is hateful.

      Millions of gay people can testify through their own experiences and own lives how being gay isn’t harmful to them. But for all your crying about listening, this is not something you will ever consent to listen to.

      • soter phile

        you said: Comparing being gay to alcoholism is hateful.

        You are demonstrating my point – though apparently unintentionally. That comparison is accurate for all who believe both are biblically sinful. It is an attempt to silence (and a refusal to hear) to claim that even stating one’s position is now inherently hateful.

        Pejorative labeling has become a means of silencing those with whom one disagrees rather than engaging in substantive dialogue.

        you said: …testify through their own experiences …being gay isn’t harmful to them.

        again, you are exhibiting your perceived locus of authority (i.e., experience) – as opposed to those with whom you disagree (e.g., those who see Scripture as more authoritative than experience).

        merely saying “they don’t think it’s harmful when they do it” ironically invites the comparison of addiction – another instance of often perceived happiness while doing something others understand to be self-destructive.

        Note well: you don’t have to agree to comprehend why they hold that position with integrity.

        • swbarnes2

          That comparison is accurate for all who believe both are biblically sinful.

          Then you are explicitly saying that the Bible is wrong with regards to what the world actually looks like. Because people with brains and hearts can see that healthy gay people are not addicts or substance abusers.

          The idea that a kid growing up with a loving gay parent is comparable to a kid growing up with an addict is sick. But your religion and your morality force you to think that. Your religion is like an ice pick that you stab into the part of your brain that allows you to feel empathy. There’s metaphorical blood and gore running down your head and shoulder right now, and you keep on stabbing, and insisting that what you are doing is great.

          But keep on stabbing. Make it as clear as you possibly can what being your kind of Christian requires. Your “authenticity” is edifying.

          again, you are exhibiting your perceived locus of authority (i.e., experience) – as opposed to those with whom you disagree (e.g., those who see Scripture as more authoritative than experience).

          So you are okay living your live in misery because some other scripture says you should?

          But sure, this helps. It helps to have it explicitly laid out that out that you think that people’s feelings are garbage compared to what a book says. That if your book gets empirical facts incorrect, the empirical facts are garbage.

          Keep saying that loudly.

          merely saying “they don’t think it’s harmful when they do it” ironically invites the comparison of addiction – another instance of often perceived happiness while doing something others understand to be self-destructive.

          Here’s another chance to be authentic. Find a site where children of addicts tell their stories, and tell them all that their childhoods were perfectly fine, they only perceived that they were miserable.

          With Christ behind you you have nothing to fear. So go be authentic.

          • soter phile

            Jesus said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (Jn.8:34)
            EVERYONE is a spiritual addict of some sort. That’s why all need a Savior.
            For every Christian, that’s step 1: admitting our need.

            Likewise, every family has spiritual issues to work through.
            That’s not stabbing others with an ice pick. That’s the stumbling block of the cross.
            Or do we think Christ died unnecessarily?

            And that is precisely what is inauthentic about such generic spirituality.
            One of Jesus’ primary themes was repentance.
            So why is a call to personal repentance almost entirely lacking in mainline churches?

            ‘The one thing we need is to know our need.’
            Saying humanity is not sick denies the empirical evidence – and everything the Bible says.

  • jekylldoc

    Well, sounds like time to mourn, except there is so much business to attend to about properties and laws and pensions and all that. So sorry for the loss to the UMC members, and in a sense to all of us.

  • I. P. Nichols

    Since when did the UMC decide that the Old Testament book Leviticus should take precedent over the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.? I am not a Jew so the Old Testament is basically history to me since I don’t support snake handling, stoning, slavery, not eating pork or subjugation of women-it’s all in there. So cherry pick and choose is not my religion, it may yours or theirs…….but not what my Savior Jesus Christ teaches. This will lead to Closed doors, Closed hearts, Closed Minds….disgusting turn of events.

    • Daniel G. Johnson

      First, I am pro LGBTIQ .

      But, you are using anti-Jewish tropes. Stop it. Interpretation of the OT texts you allude to are pluralist, certainly among Jews. And Jews do not count the OT as a monolith. And Torah is not constrained to the OT. Judaism has no closed canon. And Judaism has no central theological authority. Most American Jews are pro LGBTIQ. So, include also your own closed mind in continuance of using Jews and Judaism as foils in debates wherein they are not causing problems. The problem is CHRISTIAN misinterpretation of textual traditions and misuse of textual traditions.

      • Eserafina42

        Thank you. The liberal strains of Judaism (Reform and Reconstructionist) have been ordaining gays for 30 years – less in the case of the other groups, but still, as far as I know all of them are accepted. The Conservative movement (actually moderates since they’re between Orthodox and Reform) have done it since 2007. Also, i”n 2007 Rabbi Toba Spitzer became the first openly lesbian or gay person chosen to head a rabbinical association in the United States when she was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association at the group’s annual convention, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.” (WIkipedia).

        Also, the justification for snake handling (for Mr. or Ms. Nichols) comes from Mark 16:17–18, which, last I checked, was in the New Testament.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I’ll just quote Henry Kissinger commenting on the Iran/Iraq war: “What a shame that both sides can’t lose!”

    • BertB

      Good one!

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    This is not surprising. The Methodist church is historically slow to change and slower to adopt those changes. I suspect this is the result of Trumpists in the council voting politics rather than religion. Remember though, that since we have freedom of belief, one may leave the Methodist church for a more sensible and Christian denomination. This isn’t the first time that the Methodist church has attempted suicide…maybe one of these days they’ll be successful.

    • BertB

      Just about all churches are historically slow to change. The Catholic Church is notorious in that respect. On this issue and many others…like maybe it’s time they should consider the self-destructive effects of celibacy.

  • HamburgerHelperAgain

    Statistics on the results indicate that many of the votes against the change came from the growing conservative constituency in Africa. You cant avoid the need to understand the global church – much of which is conservative in the global south.

    • Robert Conner

      Let’s hear it for the witchcraft contingent from “the global south,” the modern voice of the UMC! Didn’t someone much loved by evangelical voters recently call them “shithole countries”? Hmmmm.

      • HamburgerHelperAgain

        Calm down. I’m just stating the facts in the matter as documented in other news sources. Plus I’m not too sure what you know what I mean by the “Global South”

        • Robert Conner

          All calm here on the Western Front, thank you very much. Well aware of what “global south” means. Also aware of the human rights abuses in the global south and the various reasons millions are trying desperately to escape from those countries. Typical, however, that conservative Christians are looking to the “shithole countries” for moral guidance. Speaks volumes.

    • Wade Miller

      You make a fair point about understanding the global church. Perhaps the UMC needs to have better education for the global churches.

  • Barrie Beaumont

    I dont consider your emotional words are in any way helpful.

    Tom Wright (NT Wright) is considered by many to be the foremost New Testament scholar in the world today. In a recent online lecture on Romans he raised a question that had been put to him by some of his students. It was a question on what the Bible says through Paul on same gender sex and marriage. He answered that the Bible is explicit on the matter. It is what the Bible says and that is what matters.

    You cannot avoid it, destucture or restructure the word of God to accommodate others.

    • AntithiChrist

      We all get that anti gay bigotry was alive and well during the Paul years. During the Bronze Age. So popular were the ideas that women were chattel and that given the correct sacrifice or donation, leprosy could be cured by a priest or a holy magician.

      Seems like Paul could have quoted the guy in charge, Jesus, on this topic, since Paul and Jesus were such close buds.

      What was it, btw, that Jesus said about same sex relationships? Can’t seem to find one word from Jesus on this.

      • Wade Miller

        AntithiChrist, I see you’ve received no answer to the question you put forth. Nice job.

    • Wade Miller

      But don’t people destructure or restructure the word of God all the time? I think of the recent upset about the church that Chris Pratt attends in LA. He got a pass for his divorce from his pastors but gays are bad. I think about the YouTubers Girl, Defined who espouse the ideals that women are lesser beings than men and should not work but be mothers and yet those two women have written a couple of books and make a ton of money off their YouTube channel (you know, effectively doing the things that they tell other women NOT to do).

      We can’t avoid the restructuring the word of God but we can remember that every single person has their own ideas about what God actually meant. When you start living the Bible word for word, down to every law (or the one law Jesus swept all the other laws away with) let me know. How is it working for you?

  • Thela Ginjeet

    Sorry, but the author’s hyperbole is really uncalled for and doesn’t help at all…plus it completely misrepresents the “traditionalist” theological position, but that’s what happens when you assign motive to those you don’t take the care to listen carefully to.

    Here is a more level-headed and reasonable discourse on the subject of homosexuality and sexual ethics in Evangelical circles if you’re interested.

    https://mereorthodoxy.com/christian-homosexuality-evangelical-sexual-ethic/

  • Pastor Marcos

    You say the UMC is dead. I say they just showed signs of life after a couple decades of being comatose.

  • AntithiChrist

    When things are as bad as they appear to be, one could always branch off and start a new religion. I hear it’s been done before.

    I’d suggest a startup religion with fewer governing bodies, and far fewer bigots.

    Or simply be a secular humanist. On this topic at least, your angst appears to dovetail with everyday humanist frustrations with churches in general.

    Something to think about.

  • DuckyShades

    First dominoe to fall. Any religion that continues to espouse rhetoric implying that gays are hell bound for their sexuality will fade just as those who believed the Earth was the center of the universe. The greatest irony of all is the whole premise rests on Paul’s Christianity. Not God’s unconditional love. Sexuality? Sounds like a condition to me.

    • Anita the Researcher

      and on Judgement Day Ducky, you’ll have to answer for your views.

      • Melody Richardson

        Shut up, bigot.

      • Robert Conner

        LBJ used to say, “Never tell a man to go to hell unless you can send him there.”

        Your empty bluster just reveals your inner ugliness. You really should get a (real) life.

      • DuckyShades

        I’m a striaght male…so you’re saying I will be answering for gays? Lol. Grow up bigot. Take a look in the mirror and spot the whitewashed Pharisee.

    • Wade Miller

      Ducky, I was just thinking about the patriarchal rhetoric. I would like to see religions fall because of the inequality of all peoples. When are we going to see religions that espouse patriarchy fall to the wayside? I keep seeing more and more of those group grow. I’ve left my last two churches because of the whole women are bad, women must submit, women aren’t as good as men thing.

      • DuckyShades

        I’ve seen both egalitarian and complementarian work. The problem is complementarian is based ultimately on a very strict one-dimensional interpretation of Genesis 1. And then once the Bible, and Paul’s cultural exposition on the topic, is held up as the absolute infallible authority, well then it is the only right way because it is the “ways of God,” and if you think otherwise you need to check your heart for pride and repent of your desire to control. The train runs off the tracks very quickly, and women feel shamed.

  • Robert Conner

    Bronze Age folklore meets the world informed by rationality.
    Bronze Age folklore looses credibility.
    Weeping and gnashing of teeth ensues as Bronze Age folklore continues to fade.

    Whatever happened to the clear biblical injunction regarding slaves? Or have good Bible-loving Christians forgotten about these “inspired” words: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Eph. 6:5, NiV) Looks to me like today’s human traffickers get a pass from the Apostle Paul. Maybe we should ask that Big Christian Authority on everything, N.T. Wright.

    BTW, it’s March 2, 2019 and Jesus still hasn’t Come Back. What’s up with that?

    • Anita the Researcher

      You’ll find out one day. Your time will come . . . .

      • Robert Conner

        Oh, Anita. I am soooooooooooo scared. No, really, is that the best you’ve got?

        • BertB

          Yeh…they also say that Jesus will be back any day now, and that will be the End-of-the-World. They have been saying it for almost two thousand years. One of the dates that was predicted happened to be my birthday a few years ago.It also was the end of the Mayan calendar, and the religious freaks were sure this was no coincidence. This was gonna be the real thing. How’s that for a spectacular way to celebrate a birthday? We had an End-of-the-World/Birthday party. I told everybody that the final moment would happen at precisely 9:00 PM because that’s when it would have been midnight for the Mayans. I conspired with my son-in-law. We synchronized our watches, and he sneaked outside and pulled the main breaker on the house at exactly 9:00 PM. And then, I asked everyone to open a spiritual channel to the Mayan gods, and ask them to save us. So we all sat in darkness for one minute, and then the lights came back on. I thanked them for their efforts, and assured them that they had saved us all. It was great fun.

          • You’re just lucky that there were no Aztecs in the room!

          • BertB

            Nah, the Aztecs were johnny-come-lately compared to the Mayans.
            We had a big wall clock with a sweep second hand…battery powered, but it was synced to the WWV time standard. I held it up in the middle of the room where everyone could see the second hand, and when it hit exactly 9:00:00, the lights went out. An old friend, who happens to be an engineer asked me afterwards, “How the Hell did you do that?” I explained: My son-in-law’s wristwatch was also synced to the same time standard.
            https://www.nist.gov/pml/time-and-frequency-division/radio-stations/wwv

          • I take it was early in the evening, Bert. If you had held off until they wuz all likkered up, you’d be a god!

          • BertB

            Well, it was nine o’clock. I had to fake it…because nobody was gonna hang around until midnight.
            So I told them that nine was equivalent to midnight when the Mayan apocalypse would happen.

          • Old, white guys–most successful conmen on earth! {;>)

          • BertB

            I do my best to maintain our reputation. :>)

          • I just can’t con people–at least not the ones I’d want to.

          • BertB

            I’m not very good at it either. Of course, in this case, everybody knew it was all in fun.

          • There was a story I heard, years ago, about a chinese diplomat who during a power outage requested that everyone in the room raise their hands over their heads.

            When they did the power was restored.

            His comment to the assemblage was, “Many hands make light work!”.

      • KKKristStained LOVE is too often stained red, dearie.

        Bye. Blocked..

  • Anita the Researcher

    The UMC, thank God has voted using Bible Doctrine. They know the Bible is against this ‘new church deal’ of homosexuality in the pulpit and approval of members being homosexual. They are not against gays coming to the services but they are against them coming to the services and trying to cram their agenda down the throats of the UM who live by the Bible Doctrine.

    • HamburgerHelperAgain

      Oh how nice a Breitbart troll. (Just look at its commentary history)

    • Wade Miller

      What exactly is the gay agenda? I’ve not been sent my pamphlets yet by the Gay Home Office so I’m a little behind on things.

      I don’t think gay pastors are the problem. The problem lies in any one person trying to cram their own agendas down anyone’s throats. My former pastor told me that his wife didn’t want to have kids. So he prayed her into having them. He asked me when I was having kids. I told him never. My husband and I didn’t want them. But he said he would pray for us. He didn’t listen to us. He had one idea of what was “right” and we should follow him into that. He didn’t ask why we didn’t want kids, just just believed his way was the only right way.

      We all know that not everyone is cut to be parents. There are some of us enlightened enough to acknowledge it and give thanks that God gave us that insight.

      • BertB

        The “gay agenda” is that they want to be treated like everyone else. How dare they! The Bible says they are bad people!
        And you are too if you don’t want kids. What’s wrong with you? /s
        Saying that he will pray for you is a form of coercion. And it is definitely trying to force his agenda down your throat. But of course, that’s okay because…you know…the Bible says so.

  • Michael Barr

    One does not have to be a fan of homosexuality to know in one’s heart that they are not worse sinners than myself or others. Yet this is exactly what the language in the Book of Discipline means. It is a heart-breaking decision to endorse it, to not even nuance it, because the message it sends is that gays cannot be Christians and that the church should not tolerate people who believe that gays deserve respect – at least for the sake of their conscience. They will stand or fall before God, as each of us. Yet this decision presumes to judge their conscience, to judge their heart based on nothing Biblical like the Wesleyan question of “what are their fruits?” but solely on appearance. They appear to want to live with someone of the same gender and that is sin. This is the message of the UMC traditional vote to the world – don’t bother us about the love of God – we have the Law of Leviticus and the ethical instruction for 1st century Palestine of Paul. To break the mission and unity of the body of Christ – and to treat all the good missional work of the UMC as if it were nothing compared to the issue of gender – is short-sighted, as well as devastating. It is the same prayer as the publican – ‘thank God that I was born straight and am therefore not as bad…” etc…

  • HamburgerHelperAgain

    Many conservative bishops and leaders outside the U.S. opposed this change. The best thing to do next time is to have the vote restricted to those within the U.S. and have it as a policy change only for U.S churches within the UMC.

    It might take a while for the other churches outside to catch up.

  • keepitreal

    Can the UMC also please ban obesity? Some of the most judgemental obese “good Christian women” are also obvious gluttons. I’ve observed these obese church gossips malign the LGBT community. Is that What Jesus Would Do or is that what obese pharisees do? In an effort to curb the sin of gluttony, please ban all church potlucks and the sugar laden heart-attack-for-the-Lord desserts.

  • Jon Xavier

    No, it lives. If it followed other mainline denominations , it would be allowing the blind to lead the blind. Better to let the dying demominations bury their own dead. Indeed, the only denominations that are really thriving in any large number are those that are faithful to scripture and to their God. And, that is how the Methodist denomination began, by denying the liberal nonsense of the Church of England, and contiuning it’s dogmatic pursuit of holiness and scriptues fidelity whether or not the world liked it. So, maybe many claiming to be Methodist really should not be.

    And unlike their liberal counterparts in other denominations, our orthodox believers have allowed the liberal parts of this denomination to keep their buildings if they want to leave. That’s real love and compassion, not the pretend kind so common in our culture and among liberals who are slow to fund even things they claim to believe in.

    • Michael Barr

      Jon, what you say reminds me of John 16.2 – as Jesus said, “they will make you outcasts from the synagogue, and the time will come when everyone who kills you will think that he is offering service to God.” – Those you support have made abundantly clear that salvation is not through Christ alone but is through Christ AND being straight. That is what you call orthodoxy? And you call ‘love and compassion’ driving people out and making clear to those who would come to Christ that actually, it is not so simple. One cannot just repent and believe…

  • Guthrum

    No, the UMC did not die, and will not die. Some of the new denominations formed from older denominations are doing well: LCMC, NALC, and PCA.

  • kenofken

    Denominations come and go and fracture and consolidate.

    Fortunately we are becoming a post-Christian society and the secular nation we were always meant to be.

    Whether any sect or cult condones or not is utterly irrelevant beyond those who subject themselves to it.

    • BertB

      I hope you are right, but our progress toward a post-Christian society is slow, and the Religious Right is fighting it tooth-and-nail.
      In the end, I think we will win, but it may not be in my lifetime…sadly. I would like to live long enough to see it.

      • kenofken

        We have won. They’re just fighting a nasty and futile campaign of field burning and well poisoning in retreat. They’re just lashing out against Obergefell in any petty way they can.

        • BertB

          Okay, I think you are right, but don’t underestimate them. The election of Trump shows that they are still a potent political force.

          • kenofken

            Quite right. They are desperate and in a blind rage these days.

          • BertB

            Everybody is in a blind rage, including me. I am 82 years old, and this the worst political polarization I have seen in my life.
            Even if we win next year, and get the Senate and the White House back, and hang on to the House, it is unlikely that we will have a filibuster-proof Senate. And the SCOTUS will block everything that they can. The rest of the judiciary is pretty well packed with right wingers too. It’s gonna be a tough slog to enact any worthwhile reforms…or even undo the damage that has been done by Trump and his gang.

        • Max

          Yes!

  • Jon Xavier

    “I’m delighted that liberal theologians do their best to do what Pio Nono said shouldn’t be done – try to accommodate Christianity to modern science, modern culture, and democratic society. If I were a fundamentalist Christian, I’d be appalled by the wishy-washiness of [the liberal] version of the Christian faith. But since I am a non-believer who is frightened of the barbarity of many fundamentalist Christians (e.g. their homophobia), I welcome theological liberalism. Maybe liberal theologians will eventually produce a version of Christianity so wishy-washy that nobody will be interested in being a Christian anymore. If so, something will have been lost, but probably more will have been gained.”
    – Philosopher Richard Rorty

    • Max

      So much hostility between the two “opposing sides.” If you’re an atheist, just chill out, Jon. I can’t believe that so many folks become invested in this argument. LET IT GO. Your blood pressure will drop and you’ll live longer.

  • It’s the liberal denominations that are withering, those which are frantically trying to stay aloft by jettisoning all their founding principles, those which have decided to become the World’s missionaries to the Church, succumbing to CurrentYear-ism, five minutes behind the times and huffing & puffing to catch up. A disinterested observer may well conclude that their positions are objectively “correct”–but no one can conclude that they are a winning hand.