2019 UMC General Conference

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United Methodist General Conference

February 23, 2019

LGBTQI Delegates: “Shut Down” United Methodist General Conference before Traditional Plan Considered

A group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) delegates to the United Methodist General Conference made clear Friday evening that they will not allow the denomination’s governing body to move forward if it becomes apparent that increased clergy accountability measures are poised to pass.

Asked if one of three plans submitted by the church’s Commission on a Way Forward (CoWF), known as the Traditional plan, could pass, The Rev. Dr. Alex da Silva Souto declared “we’ll shut it down.”

Souto, Senior Pastor at New Milford United Methodist Church in Connecticut, spoke February 22 on a panel of LGBTQI delegates to General Conference titled “Conversation at the Crossroads”.

Several panelists voiced support for a progressive option known as “The Simple Plan” while some grudgingly offered support to a CoWF-proposed plan backed by a wider group of progressives, known as the “One Church Plan” as an interim measure. Panelists indicated that disruptive actions were a possibility as the conference began legislative work on Sunday.

“Nothing is off the table at this point,” noted Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference Delegate Jen Ilho, expressing concerns the OCP could be “co-opted” by unfriendly amendments.

As for a modified version of the Traditional Plan, Ilho assessed it as “Frankly Dreadful” while another delegate dubbed it “Evil”.

New York Annual Conference Delegate Dorothee Benz called for a “refusal to be complicit in unjust structures.”

“We are going to own our own agency in this and refuse complicity,” Benz declared of the legislative process, which several panelists dismissed as “unjust structures.” Instead, Benz called on those gathered in the standing-room-only Holiday Inn conference room to go about “creating a different reality. That is what has gotten us to this point and what will bring us home.”

The panel, which was convened by the Queer Clergy Caucus, insisted that the Simple Plan was not a radical plan, and that it and the OCP had been mischaracterized and misunderstood.

“They [central conference delegates] have been told that a vote for the One Church Plan or the Simple Plan is a vote for homosexuality, and that is not true,” asserted New York Annual Conference delegate Karen Prudente. “Missionaries really pounded in a colonial mentality that we [persons of Asian ancestry] then spread throughout the world.”

Panelists were also clear about those who opposed their proposals. While acknowledging that some in the UMC held traditionalist views that they were working through, “I think there are a bunch of evil folks in the church who are into the pain thing,” assessed Dr. Randall Miller.

Asked about the Wesleyan Covenant Association, which advocates for a version of the Traditional Plan, Benz was dismissive: “If they want to leave, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

“I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about them leaving,” Miller added.  The former Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) executive advocates forming a commission that will “charge a high price” for those traditionalists who may seek to leave the denomination. “You’re not going to leave us with all the bills.”

“Some friends genuinely grieve that we cannot all be together, I’m no longer one of them,” Miller announced. “There is no evidence that the WCA is leaving. God, let us savor the fact that we are in control of one teeny tiny thing: the trust clause.”

“That’s the key. We have to be solidly behind stopping any sort of gracious exit, because that’s the only reason some of those folks haven’t left,” asserted Ilho. “Let there be no exit plan beyond what is currently in the discipline, or, make it as difficult as possible so that they don’t leave and leave their debts behind.”

“These are the same people who think the kids in the cages on the border are just fine,” Benz accused, calling for an intersectional approach across issues.

Down the hallway, other members of the broader Love Your Neighbor Coalition of progressive caucus groups held a connected event for international delegates featuring a bible study and dinner with an Illinois pastor originally from Kenya.

The event, titled “Stronger Together” was billed as an opportunity for United Methodists from both the Central Conferences and the United States “see how we are already working together to advance justice and peace on a global basis.”

The study was led by the Rev. Grace Imathiu, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church of Evanston, Illinois. A group of mostly U.S. delegates and volunteers gathered at the front of the Holiday Inn ballroom, which, unlike the Queer Clergy panel’s smaller capacity conference room, was three-quarters empty. The ballroom would later mostly fill for the celebration dinner, and then again empty as delegates departed before the conclusion of the program.

Imathiu based her scripture study upon Matthew Chapter 28 verses 16-20, in which Jesus instructs the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations.”

Imathiu interpreted Christ’s instruction as applying to not just language or ethnicity, but also to the “LGBTQI nation”. Unity, Imathiu asserted, means holding people to account for sins including tribalism, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

“I am a recovering homophobe,” Imathiu confessed. “Making disciples means getting your hands dirty.”

Baptism of those “called LGBT+” “has not been honored,” Imathiu protested. “We have been refusing to get into the 21st Century.”


152 Responses to LGBTQI Delegates: “Shut Down” United Methodist General Conference before Traditional Plan Considered

  1. Pat Burney says:

    The LGBTQI Delegates making these statements just proved they are for destroying the Methodist church as founded by John Wesley. These false prophets have no regard for what the Bible says. Their own personal agenda is more important than the teachings of Jesus and what our creator, God, said about their behavior. Bible believing delegates have to fight for our church. The LGBTQI Delegates’ threats are proof there is not place for those supporting the Traditional plan for the Methodist church. Either way the church will split.

    • Craig Stonebraker says:

      I wish to let you know that as a conservative United Methodist I see the Traditional Plan as what it is…doing nothing. This can no longer be our stand as a church. I believe that we are better off just following Jesus commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. Simple and to the point. We are all children of God, so let God decide if we are wayward children and let us do good works here on earth.

      • binkyxz3 says:

        So you are open to changes to the Book of Discipline? What changes do you advocate?

        • Steve Laney says:

          I believe in a democracy. Anything decided at the general conference should be voted on by the entire membership of the UMC. Majority rules. Just like we vote on Election Day we should be allowed a vote rather than delegating my vote out to 24 people I do not know. If it means the end of the church then that is as important issue as we will ever see. It’s not right for a small minority of people to make demands upon this church that can lead to an end to the church as we know it with no voice from the masses. That’s not how a democracy works and this church should not operate that way as well.

          • Gigi says:

            We do not live in a democracy, sir. We live in a representative republic. The delegates to our general conference are chosen to represent us.

      • Reid says:

        Loving an individual does not necessarily mean you have to agree with their views or actions. Sadly, our society’s prevailing mindset is that the two are mutually exclusive. Jesus spoke the message of love for all but I don’t think that he also meant acceptance of all things.

      • Blake says:

        Craig let me say this the Bible has no Grey area it’s pure black and white. Homosexuality is asin no matter how we look at it. I love everyone even those who chose this path but I refuse to go against the principles of the Bible because it hurts peoples feelings. I WILL NOT as a pastor marry a gay couple for this reason and not one person in this world can make me. If the LGBTQI want to have this stance go ahead and start their own conference but forcing others to go against the beliefs that have stood for hundreds of years within the Methodist conference is wrong on their part. If they don’t like the laws the Methodist uphold its ans easy solution don’t be Methodist. But the Methodist need to stand on the principles that the Bible upholds

          • Fran says:

            Amen and Amen!

          • Steve Armstrong says:

            You are terribly wrong about one thing, it is not a path chosen but ingrained part of one’s DNA. You are not gay and you do not understand. This being said I do not agree with the “One Church Plan.” I feel it is a terrible situation created by the “disciplines” that allow a group of people to simply send a minister to a congregation based more on salary than how they fit with a particular congregation. Churches should be free to choose those that fill the pulpit.

        • Jimmie says:

          Blake, are you also for women not being allowed to speak in church, another of the “abominations” that are prohibited in the Bible?
          How do you feel about a BLT sandwich?
          I’m not trying to be flippant, just genuinely curious as to your answers.

    • Patricia Dickson says:

      These folks that represent the LGBT movement should be escorted out of the meeting and the church. They should have formed their own, unique denomination. They knew what the Book of Discipline stated about human sexuality and marriage.

    • Walter Pryor says:

      All through the history of the Christian Church, we have had to make tough choices. The choices usually come to following God and the Bible or conforming to the World.
      We feel heartbreak for the individuals who are trapped in these terribly addictive habits. But this is not about them, it is about God and God’s holiness and glory.
      I am so thankful I did not fall into homosexuality when it was presented to me during lustful sex.
      Praise God!

    • Russ Wise says:

      I agree wholeheartedly! Sad day . . .

    • Joe says:

      Jeffrey, you diminish God with such a narrow view based upon a doctrine of coercion, eternal damnation, and by not recognizing the cosmic Christ.

    • Stewart Caldwell says:

      Those who disavow God’s Word disavow God. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins. To declare that this or that sin is no longer a sin is declaring that His death on the cross was not necessary. For me, my sins are too great, and can only be resolved by a Holy God who offered His own Son for my life. No man can stand in the presence of His Holiness with sin in their heart. Our only way forward is to repent of our sins and fall on our knees in Holy submission to Him.

  2. Palamas says:

    Not only are these people incapable of attributing anything but bad motives to those who disagree with them, but it’s obvious they’ve decided to go full Episcopalian, with all the hatefulness and greed that that implies.

    • Justin Alexander says:

      I’m not Methodist but I want to say one thing. Those who are commenting here…bless you. I’m glad you are standing up for the Bible and the church! I’ll be praying for the conference and for you all.

      Best,

      Justin

  3. Randy Burbank says:

    What happened to love? What happened to open hearts and open minds? Am I the only one who sees their hypocrisy?

    • Wendy Windham says:

      What happened to the Word of God? Now am a traditionalist. I am tired of being held hostage by the minority because “they” want changes. The Word of God never changes. Our bylaws should not change on the whims of popular “society” values. I believe Jesus warned us about these doctrines. Careful where you tread in the leadership and core beliefs of the United Methodist Church.

    • binkyxz3 says:

      Jesus loved the harlot that he saved from being stoned, but his admonition to her was “go forth and sin no more.”

    • Leslie Matz says:

      Agree, Randy!

    • Jim says:

      What happened to living the scripture as written? Why is it we have to be politically correct, why can’t people accept God’s word as written. In Revelations does it not say, (paraphrasing) Do not change one word as it is written?

    • Cheryl says:

      Honestly, that’s all I can see!! I went to service at United Methodist church yesterday and the whole sermon was about not judging others…!?!?? Now I see that’s all they do….

    • Tom says:

      Unconditional acceptance of sin is not “love” – in fact, it’s the opposite.

      As far as “open hearts, open minds, open doors”, that is a marketing slogan, not a theological statement. Let’s not treat it as such.

    • Tom says:

      What about it?

      John 7:24 – Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

  4. Conan says:

    Speaking as a very small voice and in a prayerful manner, I pray that Our Conferees not lose sight that we are directly tied to a clear interpretation of God’s word as expressed in the written word of our faith.
    The issue at hand is NOT loving our brothers & sisters and being thankful for their presence, but rather by whom we are guided / lead in the faith!
    There can be NO agenda, No influence, No personal desire, that may be the flavor of the moment or some revelation of self interpretation of the written word.
    A leader in our faith outside of Man & Woman in the same relationship as that of Adam & Eve would be self destructive!
    Finally I pray that this issue in context of our worlds many troubles does not fracture our family of faith in God and Jesus Christ. I have to wonder how the Apostle Paul would have dealt with this deviation from Gods plan!

    • C. Hanson says:

      Paul admonished that ministers were to have had one wife (spouse.) Should we remove all divorced and remarried ministers, as well? Time change, and the Church has changed with it. I’m not gay, but homosexuality occurs in many species. Did God make a mistake, or was Man’s interpretation influence by social mores of a very old time?

      • Tom says:

        “Paul admonished that ministers were to have had one wife (spouse.) Should we remove all divorced and remarried ministers, as well?”

        Infidelity is an acceptable reason for divorce as stated
        in the Bible. But for other reasons? Yes, we should remove them.

        “Time change, and the Church has changed with it.”

        However, God’s word does not.

        “I’m not gay, but homosexuality occurs in many species.”

        Some animals also kill their mates after copulation. Should we accept that as well?

  5. Conan Miller says:

    Speaking as a very small voice and in a prayerful manner, I pray that Our Conferees not lose sight that we are directly tied to a clear interpretation of God’s word as expressed in the written word of our faith.
    The issue at hand is NOT loving our brothers & sisters and being thankful for their presence, but rather by whom we are guided / lead in the faith!
    There can be NO agenda, No influence, No personal desire, that may be the flavor of the moment or some revelation of self interpretation of the written word.
    A leader in our faith outside of Man & Woman in the same relationship as that of Adam & Eve would be self destructive!
    Finally I pray that this issue in context of our worlds many troubles does not fracture our family of faith in God and Jesus Christ. I have to wonder how the Apostle Paul would have dealt with this deviation from Gods plan!

  6. Pete Paulsen says:

    Do not cave in to the Animalistic lifestyle and do not allow those confused people to stand in the pulpit or in front of our children and grandchildren as examples and try to teach family values. Read the scriptures and stand strong on the book of Discipline. Do not let the warped LBGT distort the truth.

    • Cheryl says:

      What happened to “do not judge others?”

      • Sarah says:

        Within the Body of believers we ARE to judge. The warning in Matt. 7 simply states that we will be judged by the same standards (which should be biblical standards). 1 Corinthians 5 is clear that it is not a good thing to tolerate immoral people in the church—foremost for their own soul—it’s not “loving” to encourage another in what the Bible says is abomination or sin. Why would a Christian denomination even be considering voting to affirm the sins of Romans 1 as part of their beliefs? Does this not mock the sacrificial death and glorious redeeming resurrection of Jesus our Messiah and pervert His message of Godly Love (not erotic love) for mankind? Praying, praying, praying…

      • Tom says:

        What about it?

        John 7:24 – Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

  7. Gary Derby says:

    I say if the homosexuals want to interfere and NOT abide by the Bible, let them have the United Methodist Denomination and all the bills that are attached. I guarantee that once the rubber hits the road “So will they.”

    • binkyxz3 says:

      I was taught to defend my good name. The traditionalists should not surrender the UMC name . If they walked away, a wealthy devil worshiper like George Soros would cover the debt and thereby own it.

  8. Mark Roberts says:

    Security needs to be ready to escort, by force if necessary, these idiots off of the conference floor and into a jail cell. After reading this article, I will be happy to help with this.
    Mark Roberts

  9. William says:

    We are looking in through the gates of Hades, and it sure is ugly. Jesus told us that those gates will not prevail against his church. Will we continue being a branch of his church or see it pass on through those gates?

  10. Wendell Williams says:

    I see myself as an Ordained Elder who is theologically rooted in traditional Wesleyan theology. I love the triune God of our ancestors and I love others as Christ calls us to love all humankind. What I read in the article above is not humble sacrificial love but arragent self centered love. Come Holy Spirit and open hearts and minds that we may understand the deep deep love of Christ for a sin sick world.

  11. Nikolaus says:

    The comment by Dorothee Benz (don’t let the door hit you on the way out) tells you all you need to know about those people.

    • Michael H says:

      I agree, Nikolaus! Additional comments cited in this article, i.e., “We’ll shut it down”, “Missionaries really pounded in a colonial mentality”, “You’re not going to leave us with all the bills” all reveal the true intent of so-called progressives. These people want to preserve their politically “”correct” views and nothing more. They want Book of Discipline language regarding “exit plans” expressly adhered to while they toss out fundamental Biblical principles regarding human sexuality. Wow-there’s nothing like Christian tolerance being redefined by the most intolerant minority of “united” Methodists in attendance at GC.

      • Cam Conover says:

        Agreed!

      • Wendy Windham says:

        It is their way or the highway. That is not the spirit of Jesus and His love. I did not like the comment of the gentleman who said something to the effect of make it a high price for the traditionalists to leave. They aren’t going to leave us with the bills. Who said we are the ones who need to leave? Why is it always assumed the traditionalists in everything are the ones to give up and leave? I feel a very in-your-face attitude and I do not care for it .

    • TOm says:

      She’s a piece of work. Her Twitter account is full of the most vile, hateful garbage you could imagine.

      Someone with her stature in the UMC – but on the opposite side of the argument – would get run out on a rail if they made those sort of comments towards those on the left.

  12. Sarah Brown says:

    Stick with God’s Word or the church will loose God’s authority. Our word means so little; His Word stands forever.

  13. David says:

    Listen! I’ve lived through this in the ELCA. There is no gracious exit and there is no compromise with these people. If you will not comply, they will try to destroy you. All promises of tolerance are hollow.

  14. Scott says:

    If they think we are going to let them shut down the vote and then expect us to pay their bills they are sorely mistaken. Not paying appointments will be step one. Trampling our right and expecting us to pay for their gay bishops and progressive agencies is not happening.

  15. Edward says:

    There is no LGBTQI nation! show me the proof that none of them have ever felt any attraction to the opposite sex? They claim this so called nation as a way of setting themselves as a minority or group of peoples that can be discriminated against. They are simply people with Gay tendencies, nothing special and should not be treated as special! Time for the church to stand strong in doctrine and refuse to cave to the pressures of outside destructive forces.

  16. It’s scortched earth if they don’t get their way. Name calling is the least of the tactics.

  17. td says:

    If true, this is disgusting.

  18. Stuart Sherman says:

    “You’re not going to leave us with all the bills.”
    Pray tell, who has been subsidizing Bishops’ salaries for the Western Jurisdiction? The only reason this group wants to keep Traditionalists is because of our giving.

  19. Kerry Layne Bond says:

    I think it’s interesting that two major religious denominations are meeting the same week to discuss similar topics. The Roman Catholic Church is meeting in Vatican City. The other meeting is in St. Louis, Missouri. The outcome of both meetings will probably determine their futures.

  20. Dennis Mock says:

    God is Love, and Love is God: let us move onto full acceptance of All……..

    • Ben Krause says:

      Love the sinner hate the sin

    • Cheryl says:

      AMEN!!!!!!

    • Brett says:

      Actually, “love” in this sentence is a qualitative predicate nominative in the verses you cite: “Ο θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν (1 Jn. 4:8 also 4:16 BGT). See Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 1996, pg. 264: “God is love – The meaning here is certainly not controvertible: “love is God.” The idea of a qualitative “agape” is that God’s essence or nature is love, or that he has the quality of love. Thus love is an attribute, not an identification of God.” See also Fredrick Long, Koine Greek Grammar, 2015, pg. 91.

  21. Mike says:

    Indeed; their true colors are showing. It’s all about money, sex and power (remember the book with that title by Richard Foster?).

    They only want traditionalists to stay because they know who is paying the bills. So who is calling who “evil” here?

  22. Mela says:

    …20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’…
    And this is why those who enter the Kingdom are called the remnant – those who adhere to the Word of God, not popular culture and public consensus.

  23. Marty says:

    If the one church plan is passed or the Book of discipline will be ignored, I will be out front of the mass exitus of the Methodist Church!
    Like Dr Billy Graham said,”that if God doesn’t judge the inequities of the United States, he does Sodom and Gamorha an apology !

  24. Jay says:

    Bless their hearts! I’m looking for Jesus and I don’t see him in this article.

  25. Rich says:

    I’m just wondering why the Luke lectionary reading had to be tomorrow during all of this?

  26. Dana says:

    The true church, the traditional church which follows Gods word, needs to take a firmer stand it’s time to put a stop to this evil satanic group

  27. Margaret Ann Patton says:

    Chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus form part of the Holiness code and list prohibited forms of intercourse, including the following verses:

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Chapter 18 verse 22[1]
    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Chapter 20 verse 13[2]. Also the BIBLE says that man should marry woman, NOT MAN MARRY MAN OR WOMAN MARRY WOMAN. IF GOD HAD WANTED THAT TO HAPPEN HE WOULD HAVE MADE TWO MEN AND TWO WOMEN AND PUT IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN. AND TOO HE WOULD NOT HAVE SAID TO GO FORTH AND MULIPLY, IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED.

  28. Charlotte says:

    By their fruit you will know them.

  29. E. B. Beasley says:

    Instead of changing either our hearts or our minds, comments such as those in this story prove the very worst of what we have heard about our homosexual brothers and sisters leading this charge (not necessarily those in the pews!): this is all about power and pride and ego, not about grace or gospel. They would rather tear down The Church than have it survive in any image other than their own.

    I could not help but think of the wisdom of Solmon when confronted by two mothers claiming the same child. One was willing to let the baby die if she could not have it while the other was willing to give up the baby rather than see it harmed. Solomon knew the heart of the true mother would not let the child be harmed and gave the baby to her.

    Maybe, even without all of the theological discussions this story tells us what should happen at Genetal Conference.

    • Kim drake says:

      This was very well said and I couldn’t agree more. This isn’t my church or their church It is God’s church. And if we do not obey God’s law, as a Jesus came to fulfill it, then it will surely die. I love all people, but I love my God more and will obey His word.

  30. Donald says:

    If the “shut it down” conduct of the LGBQTI / Progressives comes as a shock, you haven’t been paying attention to how these corrupting angels have always worked through history and in their most recent conduct in both the denominations and in our nation.

  31. Ellie says:

    It’s becoming more & more apparent that a denominational split will occur, no matter which way the vote goes. After seeing similar outcomes from the Episcopalians & Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Mennonites, and the Baptists, I’m beginning to think that we ought to consider leaving organized churches altogether, and returning to the days of home fellowship again.

    Father, forgive us all. We know not what we do.

    • T.J. says:

      I think you are right. Better home study than wild deviation to satisfy the whim of culture.
      We should peacefully, but quickly, let the progressives do their thing somewhere else. Better to shrink.

    • Loren Golden says:

      “I’m beginning to think that we ought to consider leaving organized churches altogether, and returning to the days of home fellowship again.”
       
      Essentially that is what you have with non-denominational churches, growth in which has been fueled for the past half century by millions of Christians leaving mainline Protestant denominations, such that today there are more American Protestants in non-denominational churches than all Protestant denominations in American combined.
       
      And yet this has not solved the problem, for so many of these non-denominational churches have become theologically shallow, have come to disbelieve Scriptural injunctions against sexual immorality, and are grappling with these same issues.  The only differences are that there is no denominational integrity at stake, and there is no denominational support for independent congregations with these issues.
       
      So, as lucrative as your proposal sounds, it will not solve the problem.
       
      Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come, and put an end to this madness that has gripped Your Church!

    • Ben Krause says:

      I agree. The Bishops or mostly corrupted. Also, read Jude

  32. Sundar says:

    It grieves me to see how militant we are becoming to get our points across. God created us all equal whatever sexual orientation we prefer. Not one of God’s creation is superior to another. That is grievous to the creator. Let us show the world the power of Christ’s resurrection and embrace each other and go build the kingdom of God where all are welcome. My prayers are with all of you who are genuinely struggling to do the right thing. God ‘s guide and lead your deliberations.

  33. Michael says:

    Never a stronger example of why the Traditional Plan is so badly needed!

  34. Andrew Hughes says:

    God help us repent and hold to tradition, scripture, and God’s only plan for men, women and procreation.

  35. Tremaine Oatman says:

    By their fruits shall they be known. I see nothing Christian in these comments.

  36. Jeremy says:

    So, forcing your “progressive” views on everyone in the UMC is just? We love you all, as Jesus does, but the principles he laid out have to be sustained and upheld.

  37. Scott Fogleman says:

    Destroying the church was/is the ultimate goal. Always has been, always will be.

    It’s heartbreaking to see the masks slip and confirm my suspicions but at least we know who and what we are dealing with.

  38. Deb says:

    Why is this up for debate? It has been 2000+ years of God’s Word, the Bible states don’t add or take away from the word. Who has the authority to change it… no one. God has NOT changed or moved, He is our constant… the world has changed! Tradition is important in these evil times. God bless us!

  39. Irene says:

    Why are we having to bow down to a Minority group that can join many other churches that accept what they are trying too force the UMC into this Minorities way of thinking!! I guess I do have to go along with the comments its because of money.

  40. John Peacher says:

    LGBTQ is ready to make love to satan himself. They are demonic beings trying to invade and destroy what God has established since creation.

  41. Paul Dabney says:

    These comments are largely informed by bigotry, homophobia and transphobia. Expect your membership to continue shrinking if you keep building walls instead of bridges! Remember that Leviticus also condemns shellfish and mixed fabrics as abominations.

    • Michael Moore says:

      “Remember that Leviticus also condemns shellfish and mixed fabrics as abominations.” This was part of the ceremonial law that only applied to the nation of Israel, whereas the prohibition against sodomy reappears in the New Testament, and is part of the universal law applying to all of mankind. After all, Paul used two different words for homosexuals as he listed several classes of sinners that would not enter the kingdom of heaven. Nowhere in the Word of God is any approval whatsoever expressed for the kind of behavior promoted by the homosexual crowd. The sentiments expressed by the group that wants to shut down the way of the majority in this situation are proof of the lack of Christian morality among these people. They no longer express any tolerance at all for those who do not accept their claim to be part of the Kingdom of God.

  42. Paul Dabney says:

    The Methodist Church that I have seen do more good than any other… feeding the poor, giving them clothing, giving shelter to the homeless, and helping them get back to work (what Christ actually commanded) is also among the gayest of churches: Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco.

    • Reynolds says:

      They are not Christians. They set up a separate account to hide money from UMC. The traditional plan would allow them to leave with their building. The traditionalists are the only ones showing grace in St Louis

      • Paul Dabney says:

        The Glide Foundation is not a separate account to hide money from the church. It is a foundation that serves their ministries to do exactly what Christ instructed his people to do. You are condemning them, but I’m highly doubtful that you do as much as them for the least of these.

        • Reynolds says:

          I am not condemning them. They are not a Christian church. They should be able to go and worship whatever they want.

        • Michael Moore says:

          If they are not trying to win these people to Christ, then they are not serving Christ, no matter how many meals they serve. God cannot use any person or “church” that shows by their disobedience that they are not actually His people. No church that affirms what God calls “abomination” is in fact a Christian church. It rather is any example of “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away.” This “church” should have been kicked out of the UMC a long time ago.

        • Lawrence says:

          Even UMC progressive Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño,one of the most progressive bishops in he UMC, had to pull UMC ministers out from Glide because it has rejected the essential tenants of the Christian faith.

          From United Methodist News (UMN): [Bishop] Carcaño also said in her letter that the “great majority” of those attending Glide’s services were from non-Christian faiths or were atheists or agnostics, and that the services themselves “lack the fundamentals of Christian worship.”The bishop added: “We seek to be in good and loving relationship with persons of other faiths and beliefs, and those who claim no faith. However, this should never cause us to lose our own faith.”

          https://www.umnews.org/en/news/conference-bishop-sue-for-control-of-glide

        • Erin Wilhite says:

          You say, Paul, “You are condemning them, but I’m highly doubtful that you do as much as them for the least of these.” Although you are “highly doubtful,” I invite you to become certain (that you are mistaken) by viewing our giving statements (public documents.)

          No, you are siding with those in leadership who are saying things like this: “I think there are a bunch of evil folks in the church who are into the pain thing,” assessed Dr. Randall Miller. {and this} “These are the same people who think the kids in the cages on the border are just fine,” Benz accused. This sort of divisive rhetoric is clear evidence that these people are not acting on Christian values.

  43. Where does the Bible (God’ revelatlion to people also described as the ‘Indestructible Book’) promote the LGBT lifestyle? Nowhere. Where does it condemn homosexuality as an unnatural, immoral, and destructive lifestyle? From cover to cover. In Corinthians it offers hope to all sinners, including the homosexual stating, “And such were some of you.” I would recommend a missionary to the homosexual community to anyone seeking help. Stephen Bennett was delivered from homosexuality about 30 years ago and now has a wonderful family and offers the love of Christ out of Connecticut.

  44. John Brown says:

    Matthew 6:24 says: “You cannot serve two masters, you will end up loving one and hating the other.” I realize that this is not the exact wording, but, the message is clear, we cannot serve political correctness and the LORD JESUS. I am that honoring gay marriage is even being considered in the Church, no matter what denomination is considering the matter. We can love everyone but not accept their behavior when it’s clearly spoken against in the Bible, in Leviticus.

    I pray that this conference remembers these things as they vote this week and votes against supporting gay marriage AMEN!

  45. Kevin says:

    Global jurisdiction needs to act to censure the western jurisdiction.

  46. Michael Smith says:

    Not very Christian remarks. “let the door hit them on the way out”. Our church is being destroyed over what sin should be classified as a blessing from God.
    I’ve been a Methodists all my life and this breaks my heart.

  47. This is just a sample of a group that wants to change your book of discipline and your Bible to be lgbtqia compliant! The Traditional Plan is your only protection from their agenda, not Gods agenda!

  48. Karishma says:

    Church is supposed to be neutral territory, where both the sinner and pure at heart come together at one place to worship God and leave all their differences behind. A place where each one is a child of God, where each one is equal in the eyes of God and where each one is taught that love does not dishonor others and love keeps no record of wrongs. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES and always PERSEVERES.
    A church that believes in building bridges and discriminating within the church is indirectly showing that they’re okay with all kinds of discrimination outside the church, including racism. This kind of belief system scares me.

  49. Kevin Kurtz says:

    We are to have open discussion unless that discussion doesn’t fit the agenda. The militant conduct is very revealing. Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-12.

  50. Paul D says:

    There is sin and hypocrisy on all sides of this debate. The word of God must stand, but the greatest danger to the church in this debate is not that we might disregard the passages in Leviticus and Romans, but that we forget that Jesus is the only hope for all of us in our sin. Jesus’ promise to each of us is that if we give up possessions, family, or spouses for his sake, we will receive a hundred times as much in return, is the truth (the gospel) that must be proclaimed. (Matthew 19:29) If the only gospel we have is that sexual fulfillment, wherever it be found, is the hope for human emptiness and brokenness, we have no hope to offer at all. Jesus loves all, and he is uniquely sufficient to satisfy the deepest longings of every heart. Affirming a false hope is neither loving nor Christian.

  51. Bryant Boydstun says:

    So the wolves have thrown off their sheep’s clothing right off the bat. Way to prove your opponents were right and why any compromise with you is a joke. And all that claiming to be in the name of Jesus.

  52. Marsha Tarbert says:

    I will pray that you do not lose your Church. The LGBT people took over the Episcopal Church. We no longer have Ministers, we have Atheists in Robes.

    • Marsha, what you have written is sad, but it is true. You have courage even to write it. I have many friends in the UMC . They have loved that connection. Now they feel like they are being driven out by the “progressives.” The leftists stole that word too.

  53. G. Mason says:

    This is so painful to listen too as a Methodist outside the UMC. I would also be concerned at the way scripture is being used, please remember Paul also said the greedy and those who are slanders will not inherit the kingdom of God, judging by that it seems a lot of us are on bother.

  54. Tony says:

    Matthew 5:32; yet we have no issue allowing divorced people in the UMC. Alternatively, Jesus never once spoke against homosexuality. The Old Testament included many laws given to God’s chosen people to survive and multiply. Once Jesus came and died a new Covenant was created. Heaven was open to all people. Love God with all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. That is the most important.

  55. C. Hanson says:

    I genuinely believe that most delegates and members of the UMC want what they believe God wants. However, both sides need to remember that to have one’s own view respected, one needs to respect the other’s view, as well. Not to agree with it, but to make a genuine effort to understand how they come across that viewpoint. Many tiny churches with mostly older members probably support the Traditional Plan. Many of them won’t be here in 20 years. That this is even happening is major progress. The UMC has come through many disagreements. Agreeing to disagree is the Methodist way.

  56. Lea says:

    I think the worst part is the separation it is causing between the church and some members that may have family or friends that are gay, lesbian, etc. We know that is not what God expects but controversy may be putting some members on the defense. It’s the case of you can criticize your family member but an outsider better not. I just want to know if the radical fringe feels Sodom and Gomorrah should be taken out of the Bible. Was it a mistake?

  57. Common Sense says:

    Sounds like they’re using a lot of communist buzzwords. “unjust structures”? Really? That’s total communist talk. Why did they join the Church if they don’t like what the Church teaches? Do they even believe in Christ or are they infiltrators simply trying to destroy the Church. I can tell what they are by their actions. Traditionalists are expected to change their beliefs and continuously bend to the will of the leftists , but clearly the leftists have not the spirit of brotherhood in them when they deride those of traditional views as “evil”. In fact it is readily apparently who the “evil” ones are.

  58. Nancy Likes says:

    Could someone clarify the intent of our current doctrine. It is my interpretation that those practicing homosexuality should not be in positions of leadership in the church. I take that as teachers, worship leaders, youth leaders, etc. Our pastor says that the current doctrine only applies to those wanting to serve as pastors or be candidates for ministry.

  59. Ken Crow says:

    UMC. I highly suggest following God’s teachings not political correctness. All sinners should repent of their sins and come to Christ. Professing sinners should not be allowed to join the church. Church membership should offered to repentant sinners. Bishops and pastors that are professing sinners and teach that sin is acceptable should be removed from the church.

  60. Dean Haywood says:

    My heart weeps for the ‘Church’ that our Lord established, Loved and is coming back to receive. I am not a member of the Methodist Church, but I have been attending for almost a year now and I’m am waiting for this to be decided. In fact, I have not turned in my pledge for next year yet. If this goes the way I think it will, I am gone.

  61. dr. david c.cassel says:

    For those who expressed a desire to get back to the early first-century church, I would suggest that you study the writings of the early church fathers, who actually began the earliest church’s worship, and then left a thorough written record of how these early churches operated. Check out their writings to get an accurate view of what the liturgy, hymnody, polity, and organization actually looked like. Study it carefully, and then look around and find a church today that still reflects that early church, in every significant detail. You will be surprised

  62. The Book of Discipline is for Disciples, not converts.

    King Josiah found The Book of the Law after over a decade of Darkness.

    The Law brings us to Christ (the Anointing) according to Paul .

    Can anyone name a homosexual, lesbian minstry in UMC where an abundance of miracles, signs, and wonders follows the clergy or laity?

    My 22 year observation as a Methodist, from a charismatic background, is that the homosexual/lesbian agenda has gained strength from three main places. 1. Bishops train clergy to ignore the Discipline and to do “what is right in their own eyes”. 2.Homosexual/lesbians learned that control of the local church via charge confernece offices results in district and conference influence. 3. Make weak-minded Methodists have who never read the first 50 pages of the Discipline feel unwelcome and bullied into leaving fellowship.

    My local church in Ocean City New Jersey had me arrested twice and jailed for trespassing without due process according to the Discipline and state and federal law and Constitution guarantees. bishop ds pastor trustees judge all refuse to honor the Book of Discipline and state and federal law. Thank the Lord the wheat and tares on this issue at hand has fully grown and we can separate truth from lies.

  63. Scott Bouldrey says:

    I’m sorry, but you have manufactured this “news.” Why? Bearing false witness is a sin. I have numerous friends present at the conference and reporting daily. None of this happened. As a matter of fact, the order of preference for consideration was decided today and the Traditional Plan came out AHEAD of the One Church plan (meaning it will be discussed and considered BEFORE the other).

    Titus 3:10

  64. Sean Barnett says:

    I was raised a Methodist. Either we believe the word of God and adhere to it or we are not Christians in any real sense. We cannot say we are following Christ and disregard clear teaching against homosexuality. If the conference votes for anything other than the traditional plan, then the Methodist church shall be a church in name only after that, and the death of a great institution will have occurred. Jesus said. If you love me, keep my commandments. Very telling with their concerns about Money and power and utter disregard for the Bible.

  65. Ned says:

    God’s word is clear in both the old & new testaments. We do not hate the sinner / just the sin. As Jesus said : Your suns are forgiven – go and sin no more.

  66. Dr. Jim Eoff says:

    We are at a sad point in our beloved denomination when 2/3 of our bishops (who voted in secret) support leaving the inspired scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman; and ordination of homosexuals. I pray the Holy Spirit will convict these “leaders” of the vows that they took to uphold the doctrine and discipline of the church, and of Solomon’s words that it would be better not to vow than to make a vow and break it; You so called “leaders” who are calling for unity, will destroy our denomination, and will find huge numbers leaving what we call Methodism. I am a 6th generation Methodist and am grieved more over the leadership position that unity if more important than the truth of Scripture. The prophets suggest leaders who have mishandle truth will be held to account for their actions; I sincerely hope the Holy Spirit will anoint the delegates and lead them to the truth of God’s Word and what John Wesley established as our core theology. If the one-church unity plan succeeds, I will guarantee you that Methodism as we know will dwindle to an insignificant number within this decade. Your call to unity will cause more than half the members to leave the church quickly and what’s left will fade away into the dust bin of broken pottery – Jer, 19

  67. Anne McGlamry says:

    As a lifelong Methodist, I am heartbroken by the hatred and judgment exhibited in these comments. Surely, this cannot be the beloved community Jesus sought to establish with his church.

  68. Fred Ayers says:

    These “progressives” could have started their own denomination if they disagreed with the UMC Book of Discipline. But liberalism never does that: It is a parasite that can’t live on its own; it can only survive by attaching itself to a healthy host and feeding off it until it kills it.

  69. Mike says:

    When you join most progressive neighborhoods by buying in you accept the homeowners association covenant. Just because you think it doesn’t serve your needs it should not change for just you. You might consider molding to it’s rules for a better you and neighborhood. Good fences make great neighbors.

  70. William says:

    Jesus accepted all sinners and commanded them to repent. He did not accept the sin nor the culture of sin. Never confuse the individual with the culture. You can embrace and help guide the person without embracing the sin or the culture of the group.

  71. Mary Spurgeon says:

    It concerns me that many of the posts on this string appear to be made by people who worship the Bible, instead of offering their devotion to God, the BIG God. The God who sees the picture that is so big that we can’t possibly conceive of it. The God whose will, purpose and motivating force is unconditional love. Who, like a “love and logic” parent, says you are free to make the mistakes you feel you need to make, free to try and fail, free to hurt others even, though that is not advised or approved of. Still, this is the God who always welcomes you home, no matter what you may have done, no matter if you are immature, and not yet fully developed (Who is?) and loves all of creation, as God created it.

    This is the God, who signals us with discomfort when we are presented with the opportunity to accept and learn about someone who seems different from us. The discomfort means, “It’s time to grow!”. It is your time to grow in love; to open your mind and heart, to learn about people who are different from us in any and every way, to overcome one’s fears of the OTHER, whoever that may OTHER may be.

    Yes, the LGTBQ group does sound angry. They have been very hurt, hurt unto death for some, by churches that worship a small god, (in the form of an old book that deserves to be taken seriously, but not literally). That is the question that is before the UM Church today. Which “God” shall it follow?

    For all of the considerable good that the UM Church has done in the world, in its history and in present days, the way of Jesus is not to do harm. So, shall the UM Church remain a Big Tent, including all, and allowing everyone to continue to talk about these issues on which there are differing views, without insisting that it do harm?

    The votes of the delegates will give us the answer. May they be wise.

  72. George Murphy says:

    I think gays should be accepted but pedophiles should NOT be accepted, There should be questioning of ministerial candidates on this basis and decisions should be individualized, What kind of LBG ,,,, IS EACH MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE … THOSE WHO PREY ON CHILDREN SHOULD BE BANNED,

  73. Sam says:

    Why are records of the names of those who voted in favor of anything hidden? They had the power to vote yes to each proposal. They had the power to impact an entire denomination (and create a trend to do so in others) as has happened in others. Apparently to some, ‘love one another’ means divide and destroy, but do so in secret. In secret should not be a Methodist practice.
    .It appears that LBGTQIHJDTS, or whatever the new tag, are not the only ones with hiding position of attack of the church. As usual of late, the bishopric have placed themselves in a position of power over members and get to decide by 51% that the bible is incorrect. If I wanted to destroy a religion I would join the religion and become a bishop.
    An aside; why is it ok to openly attack sinful members (all of us are) who are against sinfulness, but not ok to even oppose sinful members who are ok with sinfulness? Seems like a double standard; if I am allowed to say that.

  74. William Young says:

    There weren’t any LBGT groups when our great church was founded. Leave it alone! Go start your own church and enjoy your lifestyle there. Stay away from me, my family, and the children whose minds you seek to sway with your errant interpretation of the scriptures.

  75. Scott Fisher says:

    Does anyone really understand the concept of sovereignty? The sovereign GOD is not open to your interpretation.
    The sovereign GOD is not subject to the fancies of man.
    The sovereign GOD does not give two hoots in a handbasket about what the younger, or older generations think about Him. The sovereign GOD has been putting up with erroneous human understanding and self-serving interpretations of his word and will since he created us.
    If you think what I am saying applies to the side opposing you, you are wrong.
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” (Job 38:4).
    Every last one needs to get on their faces and repent, or quit pretending that they serve GOD and admit that it is themselves they hold most high.

  76. John says:

    This whole situation is just so terribly sad. The hate. So much hate from both “sides” – this ain’t Christianity that I know of.

    The extremes are just so bad now. I thought I could hang in here through this but honestly the whole specter of it is teaching me more about this denomination than I really wanted to learn.

    We should be delivering on the OCP here, a middle way which appreciates the hearts and minds of all when they work to help those around us who need help, but instead it is a battle between two extremes.

    If this went Simple Plan I would have stayed. If it goes One Church Plan I’ll be able to hang in because the church I go to is slightly conservative like me, but we accept our LGBTQ family members as friends. If we see the Traditional Plan land… Well I don’t know then.

  77. Bill the Sinner says:

    Is homosexuality a sin or is it not?
    Honestly, I don’t know. And I’m not smart enough to figure it out. All I have is what I’ve been taught and what has been believed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. If it is not sinful, then we have been lied to for hundreds of years. If it is sinful, then changing the rules would mean that we are about to be lied to. And, quite honestly, I don’t trust 800- and-some bishops to simply take a vote on it. If we have concerns that homosexuality may not be sinful, then we should be having the best of the best of the living biblical scholars tearing apart history to figure out at what point things went wrong. IF they have gone wrong. We should not simply “take a vote because it feels good.” Because changing the answer here could have potentially devastating consequences.
    Imagine if we accept homosexuality as not a sin, and it is. Telling somebody that they need not seek repentance because “it’s OK” would be a sin in and of itself. Like telling a woman who had an elective abortion that she did the right thing. Approving a sin is a sin. Women who have had abortions, men who have cheated on their wives, homosexuals (IF it is a sin), and people who swear should be invited to church and loved on. I have never been to a church that has chased any sinner away. And that’s what loving them is all about. That’s what the open hearts and open minds and open doors thing is. We’re not going to sugarcoat it, you’re a sinner. But we love you. And us sinners are going to keep sinning. The adulterer may cheat again. Homosexuals aren’t going to stop being gay (IF it is a sin). And I’m probably going to say another bad word. But we have the blood of Jesus. And we depend on it. I know I depend on it, And I would not be part of ANY church that chased ANYBODY away for being a sinner. THIS is what the “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors” thing is all about. There is nothing about “Making It Feel Good” in our motto. Sometimes it hurts to be corrected. Sometimes it’s necessary.

    And sometimes, humanity is wrong. And, maybe the our church has been wrong. Or maybe it will be wrong in the future. I don’t know.
    And neither do any of you. And that’s OK. Because we are not God, we are not Jesus, and we are not perfect. Let’s just love each other and move on.

    What I find ridiculous is that I see very little constructive ecumenical work going on in the conference. What I do see is one group of people rigidly taking a traditional stance, and another group of people who want to change the rules because it “feels good” and “it’s the politically correct thing to do.” I think that it’s ridiculous that the middle ground below has not been proposed. Or even thought of, apparently. IF homosexuality is a sin, and continues to be, then there is only ONE Christian solution here. 1) We cannot celebrate homosexual marriages. But we still love them and invite them to church. 2) We allow gay pastors to be ordained and to find an accepting church. Because pastors are sinful like the rest of us. My favorite pastor could cuss the wallpaper off a wall. Another favorite pastor of mine is divorced. We would not be celebrating the sin of homosexuality (IF it is a sin). We would be accepting a fellow sinner to lead us, like we do anyway. This proposal looks like a compromise. But it is not. It would be the Christian thing to do.

    • Tim Furry says:

      WHAT BILL SAID. ^^^ I’m a lay person, I don’t have time to learn Biblical languages, etc., but I do expect my bishops and on down to fully devote to this type of study to guide the rest of us. If it IS sin, why are bishops saying it isn’t? If it ISN’T sin, why has it been taught for so long? There’s a real disconnect there, one that doesn’t promote trust from my pew.

  78. john fair says:

    love is not license – doesn’t give you the right to any behavior you choose.
    acceptance is not approval – often confused
    forgiveness is not compromise – the goal of salvation is transformation. sin carries a price tag

  79. Joe Gobadrovich says:

    This is sickening. One person on here replied, ‘Show them (LGBTQ delegates) the door and into a jail cell?’ Was this a Trump rally, or Klan meeting or Christian conference? More of the same that has sickened our world: hate and anger. Shameful.

  80. Dawn says:

    Jeffrey, I am so grateful for this article, and the timeliness in which you published. Nobody was exposing the hateful back-room machinations to such a wide audience, until you piped up. Thanks.

  81. Bob Land says:

    Is everything achieved at GC 2019 perfect? No. Is there no room for improvement? Of course not. There is always room for improvement, but what our evangelical, orthodox delegates did achieve is remarkable. Thanks to all of you! The improvements you have broought to us are HUGE, and this is especially true regarding our conference boards of ordained ministry. I have served on my (Indiana) Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for ten years, and I have served on the Executive Committee for four years, and I can say with full confidence that GC 2019 has given us vastly better tools with which to do our work. Thank you!

  82. Dr. Todd says:

    Wow! Their arrogance certainly didn’t age well. Will they accept the same attitudes from the “traditionalists” now that the fight is over?

  83. andrew weaver says:

    The division that this issue has caused cannot set well with anyone who cares about the Church. And I certainly have mixed feelings about the outcome of this debate. However, one of those feelings is a degree of pride that the conference did not blindly follow the popular culture as so many desired it to do. I have a feeling that the majority of delegates from the US opposed the Traditional Plan, whereas the delegates from other countries favored it. Thus, the final tally doesn’t reflect the majority of delegates from US churches. But the fact that the worldwide delegates did not let the US members bully them into voting against the TP, and that they did not bow to the popular sentiment in the US and Europe reflects a certain courageous stance against that which they find repugnant to Christian and Wesleyan theology. A word of caution to the left-leaning faction in the Church- if you cannot accept the views and beliefs of others, you cannot logically expect them to accept yours.

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