November 19, 2014

Some Perspective on UMC “Disobedience” Campaign

There has been a lot of turmoil lately in the United Methodist Church over some of our clergy rather vocally declaring that they will no longer follow the ordination vows that they chose to make to God and the rest of us in the denomination to uphold our biblical policies forbidding the conducting of “ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions.”

Amidst all of the heat and controversy, and beyond anything I or others have said or written about this, it is worth pausing, breathing, and taking a step back to see the bigger statistical picture.

According to the latest publicly available statistics of which I am aware of from the UMC’s General Council on Finance and Administration, there were 44,800 United Methodist clergy in the United States in 2012.

Of these 44,800 clergy, only 783 of them (over 40 percent of which are retired) have signed the widely-noted pledge to perform same-sex unions. This means less than two percent of all United Methodist clergy in the United States have even blusteringly talked about breaking their ordination vows, which is much easier to do than actually face charges for doing a publicity-stunt union. And this is before we even factor in the 10,845 United Methodist clergy in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Yes, there are serious issues of accountability, faithfulness, and truly compassionate Christian ministry for all people that need to be addressed, and which UMAction will continue addressing.

But in the meantime, 99 percent of United Methodist clergy should not think that a few high-profile antics make the 1-percenters larger or more impressive than they actually are.


9 Responses to Some Perspective on UMC “Disobedience” Campaign

  1. Pudentiana says:

    Oh, thank you Mr. Lomperis for providing us with the facts which are so often hidden. These retired clergy are the real advocates. They see themselves as crusaders for “rights” and “social justice”. They are not of the generation who are in awe of the holiness of God. The thirst of the truly spiritual for the Holy God Creator Redeemer will certainly lead believers to the Truth. The shoddy social gospel will always linger on the sidelines where man made gods dwell, but the power will always rest in the Throne, not the shoulda woulda coulda’s of the liberal mindset and self righteous posturing of the skewed visionary.

    • John S. says:

      The retired clergy may see themselves as crusaders but what they really see is “Can’t touch me”!

      • Kyle Cameron says:

        I agree. It is one thing to be openly defiant when you have nothing to lose but for those 44,000 other clergy speaking out and/or acting out may mean the loss of their beloved profession.

    • halehawk says:

      Please don’t lump THIS retired clergywoman in with this (dis)obedient group.

  2. Nick Porter says:

    A very vocal blasphemous minority.

  3. guest says:

    But that minority is the one that is making the most noise. The majority needs to make its voice just as loud or louder in order to drown out the voices of the others. We appear to be a Church that does not act on its beliefs because of the vocal minority.

  4. Linda says:

    I love the cartoon. That does seem to sum up these would-be “rebels” very well. They are much smaller than they think, and less deserving of attention.

  5. MatWeller says:

    I wonder what the percentage would be if we surveyed all UM clergy and asked “would you be willing to perform same sex unions if the book of discipline was changed to allow them?” and “should the Church continue its active, expensive campaign to deny same sex couples the civil right to have a union recognized by the law even if it meant that the Church would not have to modify its policy in any way?” I imagine it would tell a vastly different story.

    I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of gay couples couldn’t care less about the Church’s policy about ceremonies. They’d be happy if we just stopped pouring money into the government machine where it has no business anyway. Whether we do it or not is just a public relations gimmick. Keeping life partners from being able to leave things to each other in their wills and from being able to visit each other in the hospital when they are in need is a daily tragedy, and one that it is a travesty for us to support.

  6. MatWeller says:

    I wonder what the percentage would be if we surveyed all UM clergy and asked “would you be willing to perform same sex unions if the book of discipline was changed to allow them?” and “should the Church continue its active, expensive campaign to deny same sex couples the civil right to have a union recognized by the law even if it meant that the Church would not have to modify its policy in any way?” I imagine it would tell a vastly different story.

    I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of gay couples couldn’t care less about the Church’s policy about ceremonies. They’d be happy if we just stopped pouring money into the government machine where it has no business anyway. Whether we do it or not is just a public relations gimmick. Keeping life partners from being able to leave things to each other in their wills and from being able to visit each other in the hospital when they are in need is a daily tragedy, and one that it is a travesty for us to support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *