June 30, 2018

Politics as Heresy

In some American church circles, incorrect political stances have become “heresy,” religiously inflaming already polarized national debates. In the latest example, some headlines claim Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ denomination, the United Methodist Church, is possibly excommunicating him. Why? for defending the administration’s evolving border policy.

In reality, several hundred clergy (out of 44,000 in the U.S.) and some lay people from the church’s most liberal regions have filed a very publicized complaint against Sessions with his pastors. Theoretically it could lead to a church trial and membership termination. But in fact, non-clergy are almost never prosecuted, much less ousted from the church. Almost no one has been ousted from the church for disagreeing with United Methodism’s many left-leaning political stances.

(Read rest of article here.)


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7 Responses to Politics as Heresy

  1. Nevil Speer says:

    While “almost no one” has been officially ousted from the UMC because of left-leaning political stances, there is a slow drift away from the church. Why? Because left-leaning politics has seemingly become as the priority in the church. At times, it seems as we’re being groomed by GBCS, and many in the pulpit, to lean left politically – else we’re not worthy for the Kingdom. And for many of them, at this point, it wouldn’t matter what the Trump Administration did, the GBCS would oppose it. They’re seemingly more interested in winning a political battle versus making a difference for Christ. As a good friend of mine has remarked, because of this situation, “The Power has left the building.”

    • Doug McGee says:

      We just left our UMC Church due to a liberal Pastor who put her politics above the Bible, in our Ohio Church. For 18 years my wife and I led Adult and Child Sunday School classes, but with tears in our eyes, we left Brothers and Sisters we loved, because we would not follow the liberal politics of our Pastor. … The good news is that we still meet those wonderful people on a personal basis, but we won’t place ourselves under the authority of a Pastor who insists that we teach Bible classes that twist the truth of the Bible as the Abingdon Press publications that she insisted we use, did so blantantly. Her husband even said that John Wesley was not a Methodist, because I started to use Wesley’s “Notes on the Bible.” … Nothing the radical liberals do anymore surprises me. Thankfully, they all are not like these radicals are.

      • Jim says:

        Doug,
        You and your wife made the right decision- don’t look back. My wife and I did the same last October- UMC has left it’s first love – the lamp stand has been removed.

  2. Bruce Alan Willis says:

    As John Wesley said “I do not fear the people called will cease to exist in America or England but exist as a dead sect having the form of religion without the power, unless they hold true to the orthodoxy with which they started”. I know this is not completely accurate quote but you get the idea.
    Hence I give you the majority of the current beauracracy.
    So many bishops are in my opinion completely out of touch with the laity in the pees. Hence their one church recommendation for 2019 g.c.
    Sad day when the UMC gathers to do nothing more than vote on whether to affirm sim in God’s house.
    I wonder how Mr. Wesley would feel about this.

  3. Donald says:

    I was amazed at how many clergy I know were stunned the morning after DJT’s election. They had already pretty well written their sermons and were now stuck with nothing to say.
    This was across the board in the Legacy denominations. They’ve continued to express what amounts to hatred toward him, and his administration, from the pulpit. No wonder they are all competing to see who will be the last one to turn out the lights.

  4. Mark Flynn says:

    There seem to be a good many people from the Western Jurisdiction who are unwilling to hold their own bishops accountable for violating our covenant in carrying out their official duties in the church (such as ordaining ministers and consecrating other bishops), but are nonetheless eager to bring charges against a United Methodist layperson from another part of the country for his political positions. There is something wrong with this picture.

  5. Sam says:

    I find it odd any perceived movement to the “left” within the church is blamed on some sinister outside force that opposes what’s good (traditional). If I have any overly liberal views, especially in the realm of theology, I squarely blame the UMC, Inc. I’ve been a Methodist my entire life. And in that entire life, I can probably count on one hand the number of times the words the following words have been uttered during “church”: race, sex, sexuality, immigration, taxes, etc. Did the UMC expect me to put on blinders and earplugs when encountering the rest of God’s creation, the part of creation outside Sunday morning service and pot luck dinners? Is at all surprising that my ideas differ from the tightly controlled, cloistered views…the ideas whispered among the academics, the seminaries and theological elite…the ideas not entrusted to simpletons like me in the pews? Even now, the UMC is tackling the sexuality issue with administration ideas vs sermons and discussion. We do not get ideas and concepts from the bishops….we get conversations about how they are having good conversations. Am I upset with the current affairs of the UMC….you bet! But to blame this on “liberals” and ignore the bean-counting, protectionism and a “numbers over substance” attitude that is our current club seems a bit short-sighted and arrogant.

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