Video: Bishop Scott Jones on the UMC’s Way Forward, Part 1

on November 28, 2018

In a series of brief videos, Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church explains the situation the denomination finds itself in, clarifies the essentials of the different main plans that will come before the February 2019 General Conference, and gives his opinion on how they will affect the church. We at IRD/UMAction are very grateful for Bishop Jones’s leadership and clear, succinct summaries of the decisions now facing the denomination.

We commend these videos to all United Methodists and other interested persons, and encourage you to share them with others.


Decisive Turn: Bishop Scott Jones says come February at the special General Conference, the UMC will arrive at a fork in the road, and the adoption of the One Church Plan chooses a path that represents a long-term, and likely permanent “decisive turn” that clearly leads to the destination of “prohibitions against all forms of discrimination” against LGBTQ practices and lifestyles, which “will eventually require clergy and congregations to conform to this new standard” throughout the UMC. He explains that adopting the One Church Plan “will not end the conflicts of the last four decades, but move them to local churches and annual conferences.” The main other road would amount to maintaining the basic outlines of “our current compromise” as a denomination, in which LGBT persons are welcomed into membership and participation in ministry, but we have rules requiring clergy to keep parts of their behavior within the boundaries of traditional Christian sexual morality.



Traditional Plan: Bishop Jones says real community that works together requires accountability to agreed-upon rules and common trust in the Discipline. The Traditional Plan, though imperfect, offers a solution to keep all United Methodist leaders, bishops included, accountable to the church’s standards.



Connectional Conference: In this video, Bishop Jones explains how the UMC’s system of connectionalism has protected jurisdictions from interference as they have gone in different directions on human sexuality. The Connectional Conference Plan envisions a new form of unity with three branches, each with their own approach to the issue, but there is currently very little energy and support behind this plan.

  1. Comment by Tim Tinsley on November 30, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Dear Bishop Jones

    My wife and I have been listening to the current issues you are speaking of and have tried to get think what this means for us. We have concluded that there is one main rule book, The Bible, and we should follow that and stay the course on how the UMC currently conducts its business in this area. To those who would have it change to allow LGBTQ persons to occupy positions of leadership, we say they should be the ones to leave the church and if they decide to do that, then fine. Accordingly, we pray that the vote will be to keep things as they are. Thank you.

  2. Comment by Jim Franklin on November 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    If it is not Biblical it is not a Christian organization because it is no longer a Church/Bride of Christ.

  3. Comment by Andy Dillad on November 30, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    It appears to me that the “One Church” plan is the only plan which ensures that all Methodist churches would continue to pay their apportionments. Would that be a major reason the bishops are recommending that course of action? Surely not….

  4. Comment by Richard Judkins on November 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    This is one of the most useful discussions of what we as an entire
    Church (UMC) are facing in February. I believe with all my heart that
    local pastors have been told by their DS and Bishop to refrain from discussing
    this especially since the COB are recommended the one church plan.
    Their plan to rip the discipline to shreds is so far from being biblical.
    Looks like the Pharisees are in charge of the church house again, and are planning on changing “right” to “wrong” in everything we have been taught for centuries. And they expect churches to continue apportionments to continue
    Such fine leadership? Not in my lifetime and not in our church! And yes, you have my permission to republish this!

  5. Comment by David Gingrich on December 1, 2018 at 8:32 am

    This is as much about money as it is about religion and politics. If the Left had any integrity, they would have left the UMC and its Discipline a long time ago. But they don’t want to give up salaries and funding and assets. Thus, we have arrived at this point.

  6. Comment by Frank Brown on December 1, 2018 at 9:58 pm


  7. Comment by John Smith on December 3, 2018 at 6:37 am

    While money is a problem cannot the same be said about the conservative side? Why don’t they leave? And to tar all the progressives with the same brush may make you feel good but doesn’t address or attempt to solve any of the problems. “Why should I waste time and energy engaging with a bunch of hell bound money grubbers?” doesn’t seem to be the best way to find an answer.

    Finally many of the progressives are sincere. They believe the UMC to be in error and wish to correct an institution they love. Should they then, just turn their backs on it, leaving it to decay until it is dead and rotting? Is that the message of the conservative wing of the UMC to those that love or are loved? You’ve failed, you’re flawed, you won’t listen to me, so suffer the consequences, its on your head, I’m outta here!!

  8. Comment by Sandy517 on December 2, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Any plan other than the traditional plan will have the church in the courts. You cannot have different branches of the church believing one thing and another branch something else. If it’s a sin, it’s a sin in the entire church and that is exactly what the courts will rule!

  9. Comment by John Smith on December 7, 2018 at 7:21 am

    What court? The US judiciary will not touch it.

  10. Comment by Brian Adams on December 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Progressives who say they love the UMC as an institution are missing two points: 1) they love an institution, not a church built around, proclaimed, sustained by particular beliefs and values; 2)to demand such change as they want means they are changing the institution. Look around, the UMC is the last viable mainline, the others are imploding. Which is why many progressives didn’t leave to join one of those. With this and resultant changes, the UMC will implode at an accelerated rate and will soon be unviable.

  11. Comment by John Smith on December 6, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I’m not so sure the UMC qualifies as viable. It is already imploding, thus the whole called general conference, etc. The numbers aren’t too good either. As for change and tradition, remember the UMC is relatively young being formed in 1968. And if you check its history, change is the main constant. From a creation of the methodists, to being controlled by Wesley as a branch of the Church of England, to a separate denomination, to a proslavery group to adding and dropping holiness groups to being a social engineering temperance group, and on and on.

  12. Comment by James Piersall on December 7, 2018 at 12:34 am

    LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND>>LUST TURNS YOUR HEAD AROUND>>>GAY IS LUST…A perverted behavior Wake up Progressives ur Wrong

  13. Comment by Carol Tatum on December 7, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    It’s simple. The Bible is gospel. Homosexually and gay marriage is condemned. THAT IS CLEAR over and over again in the Bible. Therefore, The Book Of Discipline and the UMC needs to reflect the Bible or it will be bending to culturalism and orthodox Methodists will leave the church in droves. Yes, gays are welcome in our church – only God can judge – but God’s righteous Word must be honored above ALL, in The Book Of Discipline in the church and in our lives and behavior. The Traditional Plan is the only possible plan. Those who cannot follow God’s Word should form their own denomination and all should mutually agree to peacefully disagree and recognize this deeply fundamental difference will never, ever genuinely and righteously become one.

  14. Comment by Duane Close on December 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    . I would like to quote a recent article from Answers in Genesis that defines my belief:

    Can we know Jesus’ view on gay marriage, or are we just left with our own personal beliefs on what Jesus might think? Well, Scripture tells us that it is “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), and that Jesus is God (e.g., John 1:1); therefore the Word of God is the Word of Christ. And what does Scripture say?

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

    When Jesus as the God-man was asked about marriage (Matthew 19 and Mark 10), he referred to his Word as recorded in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–6)

    The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of God, wrote,
    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26–27) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.
    (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)

    Marriage has very clearly been defined in Scripture as between one man and one woman for life, and sexual actions outside of that, thus homosexual behavior, is categorized as sinful. If there was any doubt on Jesus’ views, he defined marriage for us according to Genesis during his earthly ministry, as stated above!

    So, yes, we can point to Scriptures to find what Jesus’ view on gay “marriage” would be! Jesus referred to Scripture authoritatively, quoted himself therein, and chastised those who were testing him for not getting their answer from Scripture! The LGBTQ community cannot point to any Scriptures to support their view because there aren’t any—but there are verses that say the exact opposite. Instead of allowing their opinion to rule over God’s Word, the LGBTQ community and others who claim to follow Christ need to allow God’s Word to be the authority.

    Really, the debate raging in many churches about gay “marriage” is no different from the creation/evolution issue. It’s an issue of authority. Who will be our authority? Will we allow God and his perfect Word to be our authority, or will we lift our own opinions (or the opinions of our culture) over God’s Word, making ourselves the authority? Ultimately the disagreement isn’t about marriage, abortion, evolution, racism, or the age of the earth—it’s about authority. Those in the church who are embracing gay “marriage” (as well as evolution and millions of years) only do so because Scripture sadly is not their final authority.
    We cannot be blown here and there by the ever-changing ideas of man (Ephesians 4:14). We need to have our feet planted firmly in God’s Word while we graciously and compassionately reach out to a lost world with the gospel message that brings everlasting hope.

  15. Comment by Matt Thomas on January 9, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Interesting! It is probably safe to say at this point that others dont hold to the authority of scripture like many of you do. Most of us know the texts quoted above and can readily quote them when the need arises. Leftist or progressives like the scriptures as well as many but dont interpret them in the same way many of you would. To quote scripture, is pretty much a failed strategy. The authority of Paul on issues of morality is pretty much a non starter for leftists. I have found progressives care deeply about scripture but would look at it through a much different lens than many. Jesus is silent on the issue because either it wasn’t an issue of the time or Israelites understood it to be inappropriate behavior and not need of mention is the gospels. Paul, of course, dealt with it with his best understanding of ancient scripture and the heart of Jesus. Jesus reinforced the marriage covenant found in Genesis. Scripture, while being important revelation, isn’t the only revelation of who God is. God is a bit more comprehensive than what you find in scripture. If the Christian church would have spent as much time building a more robust doctrine of Creation as they did building the authority of scripture we may not be at such an impass. Appealing to scripture alone to people who have been trained in higher biblical criticism doesn’t work well if at all. Many of ascribe to the authority of scripture as the highest revelation. In theology, Jesus is the special revelation and highest authority. Admittedly, none of you would say Peter or Paul is more authoritative than Jesus would you? The truth is i dont need scripture and neither do you to tell me homosexuality is not a part of the divine order of things. It absolute folly. Anyone, given enough scissors, can dismantle the nature and authority of scripture. Creation, on the other hand, is another opponent to contend with. The folly of homosexuality is it has a 1 generation shelf life. There isn’t a perpetuation of the specie. It’s wholly unsustainable and non reproducible. The translation of that is the hosts genetic material dont get passed on. They will never experience, “one flesh.” The more curious questions for me are the ones centered around identity. The culture we live in is very fragile and not really concerned with life-long learning. Homosexuality is just a sign of our increasing fragility.

  16. Comment by Bartolomeu Sapalo on January 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Dear Bishop Jones.

    Sorrifully, I am not quite sure when Di Di we get so distracted to the point that these “brothers and sisters” assaulted our beloved church to the point of holding the most privileged positions (Bishops, Secretaries and Decision makers). I am sure it is an issue that they studied all along… I also can feel that they did it purposefully to enter into our UMC and destroy.

    For those who love this church UMC, we need urgently to do some historical investigation, work secret investigators to descover…

    I am going to support the “TRADITIONAL PLAN.

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