2019 UMC General Conference

20 ARTICLES IN THIS TOPIC


Adam Hamilton

March 7, 2019

Adam Hamilton: “I’d Rather Not Have a Divorce”

The traditionalist outcome of last week’s specially-called United Methodist General Conference has forced liberal clergy and lay leaders within the denomination to consider what’s next. For The Rev. Adam Hamilton, the future for theologically-liberal Methodists is uncertain at this point.

Hamilton is the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the denomination’s largest U.S. congregation. On Sunday evening, Hamilton hosted a town hall meeting to address the future of his four-campus megachurch and the broader UMC. The gathering attracted 1,300 attendees and over 6,000 online viewers, according to Hamilton’s Twitter feed.

Hamilton began the town hall meeting with a brief explanation of Methodism and the ongoing tensions related to sexual morality. “We’ve been fighting about this for a long time,” he said before generally defining the One Church Plan and expressing his support. (The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s UMAction program has provided substantial analysis of the One Church Plan here.)

“For the most conservative wing of the church, they came out from the beginning and said ‘this is unacceptable to us and so we are not going to compromise,’” Hamilton asserted before claiming conservative Methodists requested a way out or so-called gracious exit. “As a church, we didn’t provide a gracious exit up front. We said let’s work through this first and then we can talk about what happens in the divorce. But let’s try not to get divorced first.”

The One Church Plan was the best solution to the long-standing conflict over sexual ethics, according to Hamilton. The One Church Plan “aimed at making room for everybody,” he claimed, while confessing his interpretation of the Traditional Plan was one “aimed at pushing people out who weren’t with us.” He added that it now feels like thousands of Methodist churches are being forced out of their own denomination with hurtful language.

Adding to this, Hamilton referred to a “group” that “allied allies in particular in the developing world” and “made the case that this was not going to be good for their churches if they chose to support this One Church Plan.” I assume the group to which he referred is the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA), a coalition of clergy, laity, and churches that support traditional Wesleyan teachings.

Later on, Hamilton mentioned the WCA by name and expressed some appreciation for their ministry, but added: “I feel like they just took over my denomination.”

“It’s okay for it to be our denomination,” he clarified. “I don’t want it to be my denomination. I want it to be theirs too. But you just made it even harder for people and, more than that, you once more said things to people that hurt them.”

Perhaps Hamilton was also referring to the WCA too when he later said, “Kudos to them for outmaneuvering us, those of us who were [with] the One Church Plan” and that “they figured out the politics and they did it really well.”

“What do we do now,” asked Hamilton. “I’ll tell you there are Bishops who are having these conversations. There are, I think, thousands of churches who are saying we can’t continue to do this. So what do we do?”

Hamilton briefly outlined three proposals for what he thinks the next steps should be. He said the first option is to “put pressure on the system” and suggested using funding as leverage if necessary.

*UPDATE: After thinking over Hamilton’s comments and further discussion with IRD’s UMAction Director John Lomperis, I’d like to add a thought about his “pressure on the system” option. It sounds as if Hamilton is encouraging theologically-liberal churches to use money as a lever, which would impact poorer, non-white, non-American churches and communities. If Hamilton’s church used “money as a lever,” then they could potentially withhold $2.5 million in annual offerings. So was Hamilton suggesting that (richer, mainly white, liberal) American United Methodists use their superior wealth to punish (poorer, mostly non-white) non-Western United Methodists for daring to think, speak and vote differently than Hamilton wishes they would? During the town hall meeting, Hamilton said, “I am asking ‘Where are the missions dollars going that are going towards communities and or agencies or mission groups that voted to push us out of the church?’” He added, “Because why would we want to continue to fund groups that are voting to push us out of the church?”

The second option he offered is for reconsideration of the Connectional Conference Plan (CCP), which, as I understand it, would essentially replace the denomination’s current geographical jurisdictions with “connectional conferences.” This option would allow churches to choose a non-geographic conference with which they best identified, whether they be progressive, conservative, or centrist. Finally, and only as a last resort, Hamilton suggested the start of a new United Methodist Church.

“I would rather change the system from within,” he declared. But should there be no change, Hamilton declared, “I am not going to be a pastor in a church that treats gay and lesbian people this way,” to which he received a resounding applause.

Much of the discussion then shifted to Hamilton’s attempt to undermine the Bible as the authoritative Word of God in order to justify his affirmation of same-sex marriage. He cleverly noted the Bible’s description of slavery, polygamy, and violence as a reason to reconsider Biblical authority on marriage as between a man and a woman. But the Bible’s description of history and cultural context is not necessarily prescription for Christian living, as numerous scholars have noted before.

Hamilton’s reasoning for wanting to change the Book of Discipline’s language is, he said, “because I think the rules are based on a reading of the text that is not reflective of the heart and character of God.”

“So where do we go?” asked Hamilton once more, circling back to the main point of the meeting. “I’m not anxious to leave. But in the end, if nothing happens, I’m going to say we are not going to do this and make it more and more restrictive year after year. And that’s where I’m at right now.”

“I’d rather not have a divorce,” Hamilton stated. However, if it comes down to feeling like there is no room for the theologically-liberal side in the UMC then, he said, “I think we were pushed out of the church and we didn’t want to leave.”

Video of Hamilton’s town hall meeting can be watched on Vimeo, here. I encourage you all to take an hour to watch it in its entirety.

**Update: Another additional thought is regarding an odd comment regarding “gracious exits.” During his address, Hamilton said, “What the more conservative side, because they thought they were leaving, what they had worked to get passed was a ‘gracious exit,’ which if I understand—I’m not sure what got left in and what got voted unconstitutional–but if I understand it, what’s currently allowed is the payment of one year’s apportionments and you take your property with you.” Is Hamilton pinning the exit plan idea solely on traditionalists? UMAction Director John Lomperis has previously noted, “there was consensus among most commission members across the spectrum that all plans needed a gracious exit, and so the commission initially included an exit path with each of the three plans, before the Council of Bishops majority faction effectively removed gracious exits from two of the plans.” Moreover, the gracious exit petition that was passed at GC2019 was a version of a plan submitted by Leah Taylor, a liberal member of the Commission On a Way Forward (COWF) and supporter of the One Church Plan. (You can read more of Lomperis’ analysis and background on “gracious exits” here.)


96 Responses to Adam Hamilton: “I’d Rather Not Have a Divorce”

  1. William says:

    What a blatant fraud. Wolf in sheep’s clothing‼️ He’s pastor of a social activist organization. He does not believe in the Gospel. His earlier writings were Biblical. He’s now nothing more than a modern day liberal politician. Get out of preaching, Adam, and run for office on the Democratic ticket. The unmitigated arrogance and blasphemy — reading the text that is not reflective of the heart and character of God❓He knows❓

    Well, he’s now their point man to lead the liberals to a new progressive denomination. Please don’t keep hanging on and do it, Adam.

    • Karen says:

      My thoughts 100%.

      • William says:

        Plus — God’s created order for marriage, as unequivocally cited by Jesus, was not reflective of the heart and character of God❓❓and, we can reach compromises with God❓❓

      • Mark Metcalf says:

        Mr. Hamilton’s view has all the aspects of heresy.

    • Loren Golden says:

      I used to live in Overland Park, KS, just under nine miles from the Church of the Resurrection’s original Leawood campus.  I visited COR once (about 2003, I think), where I heard Hamilton preach, and I was also at the 2004 Billy Graham Crusade in Kansas City, where Hamilton offered one of the prayers.  From both of these, and from his reputation in the city, I thought him a stalwart contender for the faith once delivered to the saints.
       
      Then some years later, I had to revise my opinion of him.  When at first I heard that he had been invited to offer the prayer at President Obama’s first inauguration, I thought that it was a good gesture of the incoming president toward an Evangelical leader in the United Methodist Church, but I soon learned otherwise, that it was the newly elected Theologically Liberal president showing his commitment to constituency, for Hamilton had changed.  Soon after, I learned that COR was hosting classes for the UMC’s St. Paul School of Theology, which an Associate Pastor of my previous home church (Colonial Presbyterian) referred to as the “St. Paul School of Heresy”, known in the community for its promulgation of Liberal Theology.
       
      It is sad to see how a once-promising Evangelical leader has thus defected.

    • Benl says:

      Adam Hamilton is one of the reasons I am a proud Christian. I learned a lot from him when I attended COR and believe he is a man of high moral character with sincere faith. He upholds the creeds and the message of Christ. The fact that your anger towards him leads you to publically call him names, makes me wonder about your sincerity. Disagreeing with you on the interpretation of scripture does not dilute his faith, message or the enormous impact he has had for Christ throughout the world.

      • Katherine says:

        Hamilton does not believe in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17. He wishes to dissect scripture and only use the parts he likes.

        It is possible that he once was a man of God but he has sold his soul to the devil. It is very clear in his writings that he has done so.

    • Bruce says:

      I agree. I used to like Hamilton, but I think Satan has a grip on him. Great choice, as he has a strong reputation. I’m just glad how the Conference went, but I’m worried that things will be different after the 2020 Conference. Just keep praying that God’s will be done.

    • Katherine says:

      Could not agree with you more. But he won’t leave, his objective to destruction of the church. He continually refers to the church as his church. The church is God’ church, God is the head. But Hamilton seems to think he is the head.

  2. He’s a wicked wolf. When he says the bad plan “aimed at making room for everybody,” he meant, “making room for God-mocking non-Christians to be members and leaders.

  3. “Hamilton’s reasoning for wanting to change the Book of Discipline’s language is, he said, “because I think the rules are based on a reading of the text that is not reflective of the heart and character of God.””

    Such statements prove that he knows nothing about the real God. Hamilton mocks the clear teachings of the Bible. http://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/problems-with-pro-gay-theology-2/

  4. Scott says:

    At our Shrove Tuesday dinner I had multiple members bring me copies of the letter Hamilton wrote and posted after the conference. They were all offended and upset by it. They all noted the dismissive and arrogant way he speaks about the African and Asian delegates. That attitude is reflected in what he said in this post. Adam Hamilton has forgotten humility and is using money as a threat against the less affluent sections of the church. He may have the largest church in the system and pay the most apportionment’s, but the majority of the large churches that pay large amounts of apportionment’s are evangelical and traditional.

  5. “He cleverly noted the Bible’s description of slavery, polygamy, and violence as a reason to reconsider Biblical authority on marriage as between a man and a woman. But the Bible’s description of history and cultural context is not necessarily prescription for Christian living, as numerous scholars have noted before.”

    Typical wolf-speak, distorting and attacking the veracity of scripture to agree with the world.

  6. Andrew Hughes says:

    I agree with Walter Fenton. He is an elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, and the WCA’s vice-president for strategic engagement. “The Traditional Plan includes a fair and gracious path for any local church – conservative, centrist, or progressive – to leave the denomination. At this juncture, the UM Church would be well served finding out who really wants to be a part of it, rather than spending fruitless time and energy constraining others who wish to leave with the threat of the trust clause.”

  7. Tracy says:

    Using money as a threat? Changing the system from within? I have a better option for you, Mr. Hamilton: LEAVE. After all, that’s what you would suggest to any supporter of the TP (had the OCP passed).

    Also, Mr. Hamilton, if you were never going to accept the results of the opposition plan, why didn’t you say that in the beginning? Why were UMC members given a list of options if one of those options was unacceptable? We all the answer: You never imagined that the OCP would fail.

    • Coach says:

      Did all not pray for God’s will to be done in the vote? We trust the Holy Spirit moved during the vote.

      It certainly looks like, based on post-vote comments, one group is angry about the results and the re-establishment of Gods word.

    • Tom says:

      “We all the answer: You never imagined that the OCP would fail.”

      That’s the real head-scratcher. The bishops and liberal leaders never even considered the possibility of the OCP plan not passing. As if they hadn’t been paying attention over the past several general conferences as the votes continued to drift farther and farther towards traditional/orthodox views.

  8. td says:

    this guy. Enough can’t be said about how self important he is. Now…he wants a “do-over” because he didn’t win.

    Hamilton started with his own non-denominational church- then joined it up to the UMC- and then took over the annual conference. Now he wants to take over the whole UMC.

    • David Livingston says:

      Just to be clear, COR has always been United Methodist. They have always used the United Methodist name. They have always paid 💯 apportionments. Your can argue with his theology but he had been totally committed to the denomination.

      • td says:

        Thank you for correcting my lack of knowledge in this area. My knowledge was based on what most umc churches and congregants in eastern kansas think- it never even occurred to us that thr church of the resurrection has officially always been methodist. I stand corrected. Thank you.

        So…why hasn’t hamilton ever been rotated out of that church like all other clergy?

      • Lee D. Cary says:

        “Your can argue with his (Adam Hamilton’s) theology but he had been totally committed to the denomination.”

        Total commitment no longer seems to be his declared stance. He’s made that clear. Conditional commitment is, IMHO, a more accurate description of his position today, as the past tense (had been) is currently operative.

        • Melissa says:

          Agreed. Hamilton’s “commitment to the denomination” has been shown very clearly to have been a conditional commitment to the denomination as long as it was controlled by those adhering to his liberal agenda.

  9. Tim G. says:

    “Kudos to them for outmaneuvering us, those of us who were [with] the One Church Plan” and that “they figured out the politics and they did it really well.”
    To the political all things are political. There has always been majority support–if only narrowly–for affirming the Book of Discipline regarding same-sex marriage, etc. The adoption of the Traditional Plan is not the triumph of politics over belief, quite the opposite.

    • Tom says:

      Hamilton’s statement is so disingenuous. But libs always project. The liberal branch has attempted to “play politics” for as long as I can recall. Recently there was the attempt to have the annual conferences vote to allow each region to set their own rules. When that didn’t work, they gummed up the works for *days* at GC2016 with their silly attempt to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Which led to their latest ploy, the 2019 special session.

      Each one of these attempts to subvert the UMC rules has failed. Yet the trads are the ones playing politics?

  10. Kent says:

    When a person’s go to Scripture is Genesis 3:4-5, they probably shouldn’t be a Pastor. A lot of blood will be on Adam Hamilton’s hands if he doesn’t repent.

  11. Higher Ground says:

    I listened to it all. How very sly he is! Yet, he couldn’t resist mocking traditionalists. (Did he think we wouldn’t notice?) He admits to being surprised that the OCP failed. If he could be wrong about that, perhaps he has also underestimated the number of traditionalists in his own congregation, as one of his flock suggested. Well, he has duly warned them that he doesn’t wish to be the pastor of such backwards-thinking rubes. May God give His faithful servants the courage of their convictions–and AH his wish–boot him out!

  12. David says:

    Well, back at the 2004 General Conference, it was some conservatives that were floating the idea of splitting the church. The majority of both conservatives and liberals rejected this and ended up singing, “Blest be the ties that bind.” Things have only gotten worse in the ensuing years in regards to unity. The OCP would never work today given the theological differences.

    Few parts of the Bible, and none of the Gospels, claim to be the “word of God” in their texts. What actually constitutes the Bible can vary from sect to sect. American anti-intellectualism has always favored easy solutions that do not require much thought. If the Bible seems to say something in black and white (or perhaps red), that is it. Of course, proper translations are the key. What some translate as “transvestite temple prostitute” is rendered by others as “homosexual” in the modern sense. Christianity did not get into the marriage until around 1100-1200 CE. Prior to this, “marriages” were simply business transactions between families and involved no religious ceremonies. It is likely the couple had no choice in the matter and the wife was merely the property of her husband. There is a reason why the coveting commandment lumps a wife into the rest of the family livestock.

    Yes, marriage between persons of the same sex was not known. A marriage where a woman was equal to a man was also unknown.

    • Karen Booth says:

      I watched the entire town hall meeting and Hamilton didn’t just threaten the withholding of funds, he indicated he and his congregational leaders had already decided to do just that. It’s a punitive measure that will target NOT the “entire system,” but Central Conference projects and missions that CoR had supported through apportionments and second-mile giving.

      As my brilliant husband pointed out, isn’t this really a form of attempted bribery and vote-buying?

    • Palamas says:

      Thank you for offering the village atheist/historically illiterate viewpoint.

    • Steven Joseph Soller says:

      David, if you were to read the above posted link by Eternity Matters, and sub links within that article, then all the arguments for Homosexual behavior and Gay marriage would be forcefully confronted, argued, put to the test, and proven false. But you will not, because then you would have to actually confront your fears that you are wrong.

      • David says:

        I do not recall mentioning gay marriage except to say that it was unknown in the past.

        • William says:

          And, the steam engine, et al was unknown in the past. But God and His Word as recorded in the Bible was the past, is the present, and will continue being the future until the Second Coming. His created order for marriage is from the past, is the same in the present, and will continue in the future until the end times. Until man can recreate the universe to conform to his likeness, he will also not be able to recreate marriage to so conform.

        • Mike says:

          You were the one who said, and I quote: “You cannot bear the thought that marriage has changed over the years.” Anyone who reads that quote in the current context would natural think it was a reference to gay marriage.

    • Joyce says:

      2 Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is inspired by God. NIV says in this scripture that “that all scripture is God-breathed”–the Bible is alive unlike any other book because the Holy Spirit was “breathed” into it. We are physical–the book is physical–but the Holy Spirit is spiritual. Does every verse or chapter in the Bible have to start out saying the following verses are inspired by God? lol So if someone reads the Bible and sees this and thinks this is true and feels the Holy Spirit working thru reading the Bible are they are anti-intellectual? Is man’s intellect above God’s? hardly Also among so many other scriptures supporting that God has inspired the “Holy” Scriptures is Hebrews 4:12 that says the word of God is living and active–judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. NIV. It is “active” with Holy Spirit to guide us and also correct us if we take it seriously. So as far as I can see we must go by what it says and not try to make up our own theories and excuses for doing what we want to do instead and do what God wants us to do

  13. Carlos Otero says:

    It should be remembered that Hamilton, the ORU graduate, started and built his church on conservative theology (plus his personal charm and preaching style). He only more recently shifted to the left, as his books have documented. His church did not grow large on liberal theology. Very few do.

  14. Karl Kroger says:

    I am so thankful for Pastor Adam and his commitment to the Wesleyan movement and his efforts to strengthen the denomination. I find his actions and words to reflect much more integrity than those who are seeking to stop our denomination from becoming more inclusive.

    • Jim says:

      Karl,
      The church is inclusive. The true church of Jesus Christ, those saved and redeemed by his grace does indeed welcome ALL to hear the gospel. Just as the thief on the cross saw the Lord as his savior and Messiah, and repented in his final hours, so too can the sinner who defends the homosexual lifestyle. So lets stop the disingenuous rhetoric of inclusion. Let’s talk about sin and repentance. Just as murder including infanticide requires repentance and a turning from sin so too does the man who lusts for sexual encounters with another man need to turn from his sin and seek the mercy of our ever loving God. Same too for the woman who lays with another woman. This is not complex, this not difficult. It is however about an unwillingness to accept the fact that sin is sin before a Holy God. So friend, sit next to me in the pew and hear the gospel in it’s entirety and see the forgiveness of the Lord as he hath done for me and for countless others. The one difficulty here is that you are going to be hard-pressed to find a UMC preacher who is actually presenting the Word of God from the text.

    • William says:

      More inclusive? That is being repeated over and over and over. Inclusion and becoming avchild of God REQUIRES REPENTANCE. Hebrews speaks of the fate of those claiming to be a follower of Jesus who have not repented. It is ugly.

  15. Tim says:

    In a sermon several years ago I heard Adam Hamilton say he was not sure there really is a Satan. He also said a third of his congregation felt the same way, another third said there is no Satan and the final third said there most definitely is a Satan. No wonder the guy doesn’t think much of the Bible.

  16. Scott says:

    Poor Adam he broke his shoulder patting himself on the back….meglomania unbecoming in a shepherd of God’s flock….but typical…crying when things don’t go your way….complaining that you were a victim of politics when your side controls the media the bishops the schools the boards the culture. …everything was on his side….except the the father the son and the holy spirit

  17. Rev. Dr. Lee says:

    The Rev. Adam Hamilton generally channels the theo-ideological position of Dean Shailer Mathews (1863-1941), University of Chicago Divinity School. Arguably the leader of the Modernism of his day that, between 1900-1936, captured the Presbyterian Church. (See his book “The Faith of Modernism,” 1924) To Mathews Modernism meant:

    “It is the use of the methods of modern science to find, state and use the permanent and central values of inherited orthodoxy in meeting the needs of a modern world…Modernists endeavor to reach beliefs and their application in the same way that chemists or historians reach and apply their conclusions. They do not vote in conventions and do not enforce beliefs by discipline. Modernism has no Confession. Its theological affirmations are the formulation of results of investigation both of human needs and the Christian religion. The Dogmatist starts with doctrines, the Modernist with the religion that gave rise to doctrines. The Dogmatist relies on conformity through group authority; the Modernist, upon inductive method and action in accord with group loyalty…The Modernist movement is a phase of the scientific struggle for freedom in thought and belief.” (p. 23)

    Compare Mathews words to Hamilton’s argument: “The simple fact is that the center of interest in religion is passing from theology to life. This tendency is bound to demand intellectual justification other than {sic} inherited authority can give. Men seek to answer questions of practical living suggested to their religious faith by methods successful in other fields of inquiry.” (p. 27)

    “[T]he use of scientific, historical, social method in understanding and applying evangelical Christianity to the needs of living persons, is Modernism.” (p.35)

    The early 20th Century Modernists were the religion wing of the American Progressive Movement. One hundred years later, with victories secured in several other of the Seven Sisters of protestant denominations, they’ve changed little. Contextual differentiation and inclusiveness are currently popular in its language. The language they use against their opposition though has hardened. No examples needed.

    • Lee D. Cary says:

      Pardon the nearly duplicate posting. The first time it didn’t appear to go thru. Don’t know why.

  18. Lee D. Cary says:

    The Rev. Adam Hamilton channels the theo-ideological position of Dean Shailer Mathews (1863-1941), University of Chicago Divinity School. Arguably the, leading Modernists of his day that, between 1900-1936, that captured the Presbyterian Church. (See his book “The Faith of Modernism,” 1924) Here’s how Shailer defined Modernism:

    “It is the use of the methods of modern science to find, state and use the permanent and central values of inherited orthodoxy in meeting the needs of a modern world…”Modernists endeavor to reach beliefs and their application in the same way that chemists or historians reach and apply their conclusions. They do not vote in conventions and do not enforce beliefs by discipline. Modernism has no Confession. Its theological affirmations are the formulation of results of investigation both of human needs and the Christian religion. The Dogmatist starts with doctrines, the Modernist with the religion that gave rise to doctrines. The Dogmatist relies on conformity through group authority; the Modernist, upon inductive method and action in accord with group loyalty…The Modernist movement is a phase of the scientific struggle for freedom in thought and belief.”

    Compare Mathews words to Hamilton’s argument: “The simple fact is that the center of interest in religion is passing from theology to life. This tendency is bound to demand intellectual justification other than {sic} inherited authority can give. Men seek to answer questions of practical living suggested to their religious faith by methods successful in other fields of inquiry.” (p. 27)

    “[T]he use of scientific, historical, social method in understanding and applying evangelical Christianity to the needs of living persons, is Modernism.” (p.35)

  19. Bill Ivins says:

    I’ll bet Adam Hamilton is giving up the Book of Discipline for Lent…just saying.

  20. Jere says:

    It seems as though he wants to single handedly change the Book of Discipline, turn his back on fundamental, traditional Wesleyan theology & lobby for a change in the UMC to suit his own thoughts & arrogance. He & many like minded people will be the reason for the “divorce”. The UMC is wanting to retain its Wesleyan theology, something those in the Methodist & Brethren churches grew up with before the merge in 1967/1968 & the liberals want to change it to conform to modern thought & consensus among its people. The WCA wants to keep Wesleyan theology & UMC doctrine pure. It apparently offends LGBTQ & supporters of that culture/lifestyle. Oh well. They knew what the UMC taught when they joined the church. If they dont like it, they can organize their own church & quit trying to change the UMC. I’m a proud UM & I’ll defend the UMC to my last breath. Simply put, the WCA & UMC are the two greatest Wesleyan theological entities around & they should be defended & supported with unwavering loyalty & respect.

  21. Tom Magee says:

    Funny how unity is a great idea when it is on his terms and other liberals. When they are on the outs then they entertain the idea of leaving.

  22. Richard says:

    My wife and I just watched Adam Hamilton’s town hall meeting. He was very emotional and angry that the Traditional Plan passed, by those “who figured out the politics” of progressives and “out maneuvered them”. In his emotional state he said things about supporters of the Traditional Plan that were simply not true. It was obvious this was an attempt to build himself a coalition and coerce supporters of the TP by threatening to withhold funds for any purpose with which he doesn’t agree. It is interesting that he threatens to take that coalition and leave the church. Boy, what a change from the progressive side, and in just a weeks time.

  23. betsy says:

    “Unless my relationship to God is right, my sympathy for men will lead me astray and them also; but when once I am right with God, I can love my neighbor as God has loved me. How has God loved me? God has loved me to the end of all my sinfulness, the end of all my self-will, all my selfishness, all my stiff-neckedness, all my pride, all my self interest; now He says I am to show my fellow men the same love.” Oswald Chambers, Biblical Psychology

  24. Terry says:

    If the Bible is to be taken as only partially authoritative, then who or what is authoritative for those biblical issues not accepted as authoritative, you know, those insignificant things like creation, the incarnation, the fall of humanity, the reality of sin, the atonement, marriage, sexuality, sanctification, heven, hell, and other insignificant matters. Maybe we should trust every bishop, or maybe we should trust every theology prof in our UM
    seminaries. Perhaps we need to trust every pastor of old downtown wealthy churches, or anyone who feels (without admitting it) that they are actually smarter than God. Yes that old Bible is so irrelevant to today’s society, and we must listen to only liberal thinking people to fully discover God’s will. After all, our record of denominational growth over the past nearly 50 years, plus the profound influence for Christ we have over the world, is all the proof we need for the superiority of liberalism over evangelicalism. (Give liberalism enough rope and it will hang itself.)

    • Mike says:

      W. A. Criswell, the late pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, once said that liberals believe that the Bible is only partially inspired, and that they are inspired to pick out those parts that are inspired. and those that are not.

  25. Loren Golden says:

    “I’d rather not have a divorce,” Hamilton stated.  Yet in advocating, as he has done for the past several years, for the Church to stop regarding homosexuality as a sin, he has been promoting divorce.
     
    First is the obvious: Homosexuality itself is the divorce of sexual intercourse and the conception of children.  “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them.  And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” (Gen. 1.27-28)  And again, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. … Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2.18-24)  Thus from the beginning, God intended that man should marry and mate with woman, and the two should thereby “become one flesh”, particularly in the production and raising of children.  And if this were not sufficiently clear, He later said more bluntly, “The LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?  And what was the one God seeking?  Godly offspring.” (Mal. 2.14-15)  And it is plainly obvious that “Godly offspring” is not something that the Lord can reap from a homosexual coupling.
     
    Second, in insisting that homosexuality is not a sin, Hamilton has been cheapening the blood of the Lamb shed on behalf of sinners, as if it were not shed for the sin of homosexuality (Lev. 18.22, 20.13, Rom. 1.24-27, I Cor. 6.9-11, I Tim. 1.8-11), falsely telling homosexuals that they neither need forgiveness for the sin of homosexuality nor need they repent of it, effectively divorcing homosexuals from the Savior that they, along with the rest of us, desperately need more than anything else in all creation.  Is viewing pornography not a sin?  The Lord Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” further intimating that those who DO look lustfully upon a woman (and make no mistake: this is what a man is doing when he views pornography), and are thereby guilty of adultery, deserve to be cast into Hell (Mt. 5.27-30).  And if we should believe the Lord Jesus here, then why should we not believe His Father, speaking by Moses, when He named homosexuality in the context of adultery, incest, child sacrifice, and bestiality as “abominations” committed by the Canaanites, by which they had defiled themselves, making the Promised Land unclean, for which He was driving them therefrom, and from which He had forbidden the Israelites from doing (Lev. 18), upon pain of death (Lev. 20)?  Or why should we not believe the Holy Spirit, speaking by Paul, when He told us that homosexual passions are “dishonorable” and “contrary to nature”, and homosexual acts “shameless”, the “dishonoring” of the bodies of those who commit them, resulting from “the lusts of impure hearts” and “debased minds” (Rom. 1.24-27), for which, among others, the Law of God is laid down (I Tim. 1.8-11), such that those who commit them, among others who commit other sins, “will (not) inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6.9-10)?  To be sure, the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but would rather that the wicked turn from his wicked way and live (Ezek. 18.23,30-32), and in His Church are those who formerly committed homosexuality, but who have been “washed (therefrom), … sanctified, … justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Cor. 6.11)  But for those, like Hamilton, who commit it that homosexuality is not a sin, the Lord has a stern warning: “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. … Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezek. 3.17-21; repeated in 33.2-9 for emphasis)  And remember: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10.31)
     
    Finally, in persisting in advocating that the people of God disbelieve the Scriptures that teach that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God, Hamilton is advocating divorce between the people of God and the Word of God.  Make no mistake: “Until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5.18-19)  “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. … The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out, … and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (Jn. 10.2-5)  The Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10.11).  We His sheep hear His voice, and we follow Him.  He will not lead us into sexual immorality, as do those “who hold the teaching of Balaam” or “that woman Jezebel” (Rev. 2.14-16,20-23).  The teaching that homosexuality is not a sin is a teaching of the world, not of God.  The world in its wisdom does not know God (I Cor. 1.21), the Lord commands us “not (to) be conformed to this world” (Rom. 12.1-2), “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (Jas. 4.4), and “if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (I Jn. 2.15-17)  If United Methodists follow the teachings of Hamilton and his fellow supporters of the One Church Plan, they can only do so by tacitly approving of the sin of homosexuality, falsely teaching those caught up in its snare that it is not a sin, a species of sexual immorality for which God will condemn them, despite what the Lord says in Rev. 21.8, 22.15.  Hamilton claims that the One Church Plan is “aimed at making room for everybody,” whereas the Traditional Plan is “aimed at pushing people out” of the UMC, but in reality, it is insidiously intended to subvert those United Methodists who believe and trust the Bible apart from the wisdom of the world and to exclude from the life of the UMC—especially from her ordained offices—those who refuse to be subverted.  Surely Hamilton must know this, as the experience of orthodox Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians in their exodus in the past decade from the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) has shown.
     
    As an Evangelical Presbyterian who was raised in a United Methodist home, I thank God that UMC General Conference passed, even if by a slim margin, the Traditional Plan.  I also thank Him that the faithful, growing minority of United Methodists in the Global South will soon become the majority in the UMC.  Yet I know that the forces of worldly accommodation are still strong in the UMC, as they are in all the formerly Mainline Protestant denominations, and they will persist for years to come in seeking to make the UMC more like the world, as have those in the Episcopal Church, the ELCA, the PC(USA), and elsewhere.  So it is my fervent prayer that God-fearing, Bible-believing United Methodists would not lose hope, would not lose faith, and would not lose sight of “the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3.14)

  26. andreas says:

    The entire debate surrounding this issue can be traced back to this sentence: “because I think the rules are based on a reading of the text that is not reflective of the heart and character of God.”

    Once we allow for this, a subjective and relativistic reading of Scripture, all bets are off. That’s why we have a General Conference and a BoD, for goodness sake…to find out exactly what the heart and character of God is. I don’t care if you have a big or a small church, for a Methodist it is not an option to go all congregational. The church has spoken and whether we like it or not we have to be loyal and accept her authority.

    • L. Cary says:

      Spot-on, Andreas. today, the push for the “subjective and relativistic reading of Scripture” is a redux of early 20th Century Modernism.

      It is – and has long been – the death knell for the Seven Sisters of liberal Protestantism. The UMC is just the most recent to face it straight on. And represents a debate well worth having.

    • Dr. Todd says:

      Just to be clear, your first paragraph and your second do not go together. A clear, plain meaning of a Biblical text will be a clear, plain meaning of the text totally without regard to what any council has to say.

  27. William says:

    Why would Hamilton want to now stay in the UMC? Why do other liberals want to now stay in the UMC? Displaying but an ounce of integrity, they would already be convening a conference, at Hamilton’s church, to launch a progressive denomination. Is their real goal to destroy the UMC? If so, then they’ve now handed Satan the steering wheel after picking him up hitchhiking decades ago since his original goal was to be driving.

    • Tom says:

      As the Ojays once sang… “Money money money money…. MONEY!”

      They want to be able to use the church to legitimize their sinful lifestyle while having the traditional churches foot the bill.

    • Mary W says:

      Brother William,
      I stay in the UMC because this is the church that baptized me. This is the church that formed me and loves me. This is the church where my family has gathered for generations to sing God’s praises. This is my home and I’m happy to share it with you as we walk the path together. But I will not leave my home. It isn’t out of spite or politic that I stay. I stay because I love God, and I love our lgbtq+ siblings who are in real pain weather they are closeted or out, child or adult. I stay out of love for you and love for our conservative siblings. That we might stay in Christian relationship with one another and work to grow our dissonance into a harmony that glorifies God and reminds all in our midst regardless of their sexuality they love that they are God’s own beloved creations.
      I pray that God might make us instruments of His peace. May it be so, William.

    • Mike says:

      Liberals cannot build a church, because they do not have the power of the Holy Spirit directing and energizing them. They must corrupt everything they come in contact with.
      Look at the situation in our government. The Democrats are constantly acusing Reputlicans of the most horrible things, and usually things that they themselves are guilty of. They are not simply content to present their program, but want to make everyone else go along with it.
      Liberals must control what they are part of. They think it is the natural order of things.

    • Loren Golden says:

      “Why would Hamilton want to now stay in the UMC? Why do other liberals want to now stay in the UMC?”
       
      Because it is practically impossible to subvert a denomination from the outside.  If Hamilton and the Church of the Resurrection separate from the UMC, it will be a statement, but one that will be lost on the larger body, and one that will be quickly forgotten.  Once outside the UMC, COR could become the flagship of the Progressive Methodist Church (or the Social Justice Methodist Church, or whatever Theologically Liberal Methodists want to call it), but the new denomination will continue the same steep death spiral that characterizes formerly Christian denominations that have given themselves over to Theological Liberalism and Sexual Libertinism, and those churches and pastors who join it will forsake all opportunity to meaningfully influence the denomination from which they are separating.
       
      So despite Hamilton’s bluster, intimating that he and COR will separate if the UMC does not come around to their (or his) way of thinking, don’t expect to see Hamilton or COR go anywhere anytime soon.

  28. Mary W says:

    Respectfully, I lift that the money paid in apportionments belongs to God and that leadership and congregations exercise responsible Christian stewards in discerning the use of God’s money. To say that white superiority is the driving force behind this stewardship discernment is as misleading as it is harmful and convenient to a narrative that thrives on division. Our beloved lgbt+ siblings are experiencing not only spiritual violence but real physical violence in areas of the Central Conference. It is right, good, and just to make sure that none of the communities perpetuating this violence are backed by passive sleeping Christians.

    And please let’s not forget John 3:17 in our pursuit of biblical holiness, sister.

    • Lee D. Cary says:

      “Our beloved lgbt+ siblings are experiencing not only spiritual violence but real physical violence in areas of the Central Conference. It is right, good, and just to make sure that none of the communities perpetuating this violence are backed by passive sleeping Christians. ”

      Mary W, so are you suggesting the UMC discount the votes of delegates from those Central Conference nations that culturally adhere to different statutes/beliefs/standards concerning human sexuality and same sex marriage? And should the UMC cease any financial support of the fastest growing edge of the denomination, unless they conform to the LGBTQAI+ U.S. agenda? That it?

  29. bob says:

    As a Methodist leader commented as members departed to form what became the Church of the Nazarene: They took the fire and left us the stove…

  30. Lee D. Cary says:

    An article written by a lawyer who is a member of Adam Hamilton’s congregation has posted today on the Federalists website at: https://tinyurl.com/y68qnjvx

    You may find it interesting, and illustrative of why this debate is a very long way from being over – if, indeed, there is an “over”.

    • William says:

      Jesus dealt with some lawyer types there in the Temple. He didn’t seem to be very impressed. Of course, they eventually handed him over to the Romans for execution. But, lawyer talk can not explain the cross and the redemptive work Jesus did there for us sinners, including lawyers. Liberals refuse to deal with sin, and seem to struggle mightily with Jesus on the cross. They seem brain dead on the matter. Or, perhaps their brains are to far separated from their hearts. They seem so preoccupied with themselves that there’s little room for humility and certainly not for repentance. Repentance seems an alien concept to them Can those practicing sexual immorality, including homosexuality, inherit the Kingdom of God? Paul repeatedly warned with an emphatic NO. For Hamilton and his cohorts to bring those thousands into his church preaching or implying that their sexual activities outside that of a man and a woman in marriage is the essence of pandering in the secular culture at best but is tantamount to handing out maps to hell inside the church at worst. Is Hamilton trying to duplicate the church at Corinth minus interference from one like Paul?

  31. Lee D. Cary says:

    Re.: “*UPDATE: After thinking over Hamilton’s comments and further discussion with IRD’s UMAction Director John Lomperis, I’d like to add a thought about his “pressure on the system” option. It sounds as if Hamilton is encouraging theologically-liberal churches to use money as a lever, which would impact poorer, non-white, non-American churches and communities. If Hamilton’s church used “money as a lever,” then they could potentially withhold $2.5 million in annual offerings. So was Hamilton suggesting that (richer, mainly white, liberal) American United Methodists use their superior wealth to punish (poorer, mostly non-white) non-Western United.”

    What Hamilton suggested might be logically construed as being, well…racist-based on an attitude of mostly “white supremacy”. That fly too close to the flame of truth?

  32. Tracy Adams says:

    Please leave before you bring everyone down with you. You are the one who chooses to not follow the discipline. You are not asked to stay when you so obviously disagree with the majority and our beliefs. Unless it is as others believe, it only about the money. This has taken away from the mission of the church, do you not care that essentially this would end the UMC in Africa, Russia and other countries? Of course not, this only proves what they believe, that America thinks it is all about them. It is not, it should be all about Jesus! You cannot rewrite the Bible, unless of course, you hold yourself equal with God.

    • Ashwood says:

      Do YOU not care that by forcing their views on the entire denomination – no matter how right they think they are – the traditionalists have essentially doomed the denomination along with the UMC in Africa, Russia and other countries?

      I will survive to worship the way I see fit as will you. But the UMC in Africa, Russia and other countries may not and they will only have themselves and the traditional plan to blame.

    • Diane says:

      The German UMC has announced it has no intention of honoring the bans on lgbtq people. It’s not all about the American church vs al others.

  33. Paul Morelli says:

    I am curious how we know what God is like apart from the scriptures and the scriptures description of Jesus and His ministry. If we cast doubt on the scriptures, how can we be sure the God we believe in is the real God and not one we have made up by cherry picking scriptures… When I was an atheist I talked people out of believing in Jesus by casting this same doubt on the trustworthiness of the scriptures that Rev Hamilton is also doing in defense of his position. This is a tactic one must be very careful with because the next logical step is that you can’t believe any of it and let’s go play golf on Sunday….

    • Diane says:

      If every text were destroyed, do you think God would cease to be known? God will make God’s self known without scripture. The Bible is a record of how people have understood a still-speaking God throughout time. Parts of it are time-bound. Parts of it are timeless. It is a narrative text and not meant to be interpreted literally (the literal interpretation of a narrative text is consistent with the developmental stage of a beginning, five-six-year-old reader). Love God with heart, soul, and mind. Our minds are shaped by life-experience; adult readers of a narrative text are expected to have sophisticated comprehension skills and generally speaking, adult readers will always disagree, often based on their life-experiences, on the meaning and interpretation of a narrative story.

      For example, some read the creation story as God created them, male and female…as in each divinely created human, there’s both male and female. LGBTQI people are the most visible expression of God’s creating each of us male AND female. Others read the same creation story through a binary-gender lens: God created them, all who are either male OR female, but none who are clearly male AND female. Even Paul says there is neither Greek nor Jew, free or slave, male AND female. Paul does not use male OR female. Adhering to an understanding of rigid binary gender roles, stereotypes, and physical characteristics is not necessary for building God’s beloved kin-don. Each of us is one, male AND female. How wonderful!

  34. Mark Flynn says:

    We spent millions of dollars for this special general conference because those who controlled the agenda at the two previous general conferences prevented those conferences from passing the same sort of legislation that we finally got in 2019.

    • Wayne says:

      BINGO,!

    • Marvin says:

      This special GC had much prayer behind it. They even held a prayer session before the conference started. Yet, because the OCP did not win the progressives are claiming that the majority was not listening to God.
      I think the majority was listening to God. I think the progressives have inserted their agenda into the situation. They think that they should be able to tell us what to think and believe and that we should just follow. I see it as a form of Gnosticism. The COB spent so much time lobbying for their beloved plan they did not listen to God or anyone else.
      The church is God’s church not theirs.
      I find it insulting that the progressives say the majority, the traditionalists, were not listening to God. I am reminded of Proverbs 3: 5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
      The progressive bishops serving on the COB were trying to force their path, not God’s.

  35. Gary Bebop says:

    Traditionalists need to keep talking about what happened at GC2019 until the church confesses to the shameful tactics used against Traditionalists. Continue to tell the truth! The record should not be suppressed or subverted or trivialized or glossed. The truth sets us free. Do not cooperate with lies, denials, and palliatives.

  36. Joyce says:

    Churches are not a club, not a political party and are not being inclusive since all homosexuals are welcomed in the Methodist church. The tradition policy doesn’t say no gays allowed in our church! lol The real issue is letting them lead and decide and change adherence to the Bible that is the real issue and whether the church should perform marriage between two of same sex. There are clear guidelines for elders and leaders in the church that are clear. It would be like those who state they are committing adultery and want a ceremony by the church to celebrate it and thinks everyone should congratulate them on their adultery. Or those who are drunk all the time (and other issues that the Bible condemns) trying to cause a split in the church demanding to be the leaders? The guidelines in the Bible even states someone not having their children under control can’t be elders! (the leaders at that time) and other guidelines. If we are claiming to be following Jesus we are required to follow the Bible for guidance. My husband who isn’t all that religious (not a church goer now) but grew up in a Catholic church says what’s all the fuss and waste of time and energy–just let everyone open and read their Bibles–it makes it very clear that marrying guys is not holy (as in holy matrimony) and they should not be leaders (elders) in the church. This is a political movement not a spiritual movement

  37. Ben says:

    If it wasn’t for Adam Hamilton, I would have left Christianity. His teachings taught me there was a middle way. That being a Christian did not require adherence to the literal interpretation of the Bible or belonging to the Republican party, As I was raised to believe. He is not a wolf, his disagreement with you is not a disagreement with the creed or teachings of Christ. I look forward to standing at the Throne, and if Christ admonishes me for interpreting this issue wrong, I do not believe I will go to hell, for it is by grace that I have been saved. Although Christ may also applaud me for using a scientific understanding of sexuality to make my decision. Salvation has never required complete understanding or agreement with a certain sects interpretation of non-essential scriptures. Adam Hamiliton is not a wolf, I thank God for his ministry

  38. Dale says:

    “I’d Rather Not Have a Divorce”. . .
    but I’m going to continue to violate my wedding vows until the meaning of those vows is renegotiated to my satisfaction.
    Hrm. Hamilton should choose a better metaphor.

  39. Dorothy says:

    Thank you for all f your comments. This gives me hope as one who is thrilled that the traditional plan once again has been confirmed. I am not alone. Your comments have been so well written!

  40. Bruce Brown says:

    Adam Hamilton is the preacher who classifies scripture into 3 categories. Usable, sometimes usable and unusable. At that point I wanted to get up and leave. I have been taught that ALL scripture was God Breathed and usable. Now which is right?

  41. Robert M. Parker says:

    I have been an adult Methodist for 45 years. I have always believed that Methodists will not change the Bible to suit their own conveniences. Now there seem to be many who would do so because it will make life easier for them.
    Is not our contention really about the meaning of marriage, not about whether homosexuals can be Methodists?

  42. Diane says:

    Y’all take yourselves too seriously. I’m out in the world and very happy not to be in your institution. I think you call it church. Just a reality check: homosexuality is a human trait far more common than red hair. I don’t care what plan wins or loses, there are lgbtq people everywhere. Where the environment is punitive, lgbtq people are in the closet, deceiving moronic Christians who are desperate to believe everyone is (or should be) heterosexual. Deception isn’t healthy for relationships and it’s obvious that’s what your traditional plan wants. On the other hand, there are communities that aspire to be honest, where lgbtq people can live openly without having to play pretend. I don’t need a biblical debate to figure out which community I prefer – the one where folks are not pretending. Of course, it’s so much healthier to just leave the church and it’s bs and live life abundantly outside its walls.

  43. Another Wolf! says:

    It should be obvious to everyone that there are two points of view in this standoff. However, there is a sharp difference in approaches. The less traditional side offered up a compromise where both view points would be respected and our denomination would survive relatively whole.

    However, by rejecting the Open plan, the traditionalists made it clear that it was too great a compromise for them to show respect for any viewpoint except their own.

    This “my way or the highway” approach is a major reason John Wesley founded the Methodist denomination and why people left Europe for the shores of our great nation.

    Actions have consequences. Congregants, congregations, and conferences that do not agree with the traditional model will not simply fall in line. The traditional plan asks them to be hateful to members of their biological and church families. You preach and quote scripture to us until you’re blue, but in the end we will still disagree.

    Its clear to me that the two sides are not able to coexist theologically. As a result, the hard work of splitting up a corporation, that is the legal secular definition of our union, needs to get started.

    Like any “divorce”, there are ugly issues to be resolved. Assets (pensions, property, and just plain money), a that when mentioned by Adam Hamilton outrage many of the other people that comment on this post, is one of the ugliest.

    To be clear, I don’t agree with Mr. Hamilton’s proposal to withhold apportionment payments. The main people this will hurt are the worker bees that keep our denomination ticking. However, this tactic has been used repeatedly in the past by traditional churches seeking to send a message to the denomination on this same topic (Google Evangelical United Methodist Church in western Ohio).

    Chelsen is correct in stating that many of the churches in Africa and Asia depend heavily on funds from rich mostly white churches in the US. If the traditionalists drive off (no matter how you fain innocence, this is what the “liberal” side feels is happening) all the congregations in the US that disagree with their traditionalist views (a vast majority of US based delegates at the conference voted against the traditional plan), their money will leave with them and the churches in Africa and Asia will bare brunt of the consequences of the vote they cast – not the rich white traditional churches in the US that drove the Methodist denomination over the cliff.

    • Loren Golden says:

      “The less traditional side offered up a compromise where both view points would be respected and our denomination would survive relatively whole.  However, by rejecting the Open plan, the traditionalists made it clear that it was too great a compromise for them to show respect for any viewpoint except their own. … The traditional plan asks them to be hateful to members of their biological and church families.”
       
      If you are under the impression that traditional Methodists “hate members of their biological and church families” (and demand that Progressive Methodists do the same), because they believe Scripture’s injunctions against homosexual behavior, then, supposing you to be a typical proponent of the so-called “One Church Plan” (and given the vehement reaction of OCP proponents like Adam Hamilton, William H. Willimon, Susan Henry-Crowe, and Mark Holland to the passage of the Traditional Plan), what reasonable expectation would traditional Methodists have that their “viewpoint would be respected,” as you claim, when you clearly do not respect it?
       
      When the Presbyterian Church (USA) effectively passed its own version of the OCP, denominational leaders similarly claimed that Evangelical congregations would still be allowed to refuse to ordain homosexuals and other sexually immoral persons, to decline to host same-gender weddings, and to call pastors who believed and taught as they did.
       
      However, they had little credibility with Evangelical Presbyterians.  In the 1970s, the Permanent Judicial Commission of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (a predecessor denomination of the PC(USA)) ruled that a candidate for ordination to the office of teaching elder who could not in good conscience participate in the ordination of women, despite being willing to work alongside ordained women, could not be ordained.  The UPCUSA PJC ruled, “Neither a synod nor the General Assembly has any power to allow a presbytery to grant an exception to an explicit constitutional provision.  A candidate who chooses not to subscribe to the polity of this church may be a more useful servant of our Lord in some other fellowship whose polity is in harmony with the candidate’s conscience.”  Evangelical churches that disagreed with the ordination of women and wanted to call a pastor who likewise disagreed would not be able to do so.
       
      Fast forward forty years, and in 2016 the PJC of the PC(USA)’s Presbytery of Salem ruled that, “A categorical decision by the session not to permit any marriage by a couple of the same-sex on church property without consideration of their commitment to each other, their understanding of the nature of the marriage covenant and their commitment to living their lives together according to its values is inconsistent with the process required by W-4.9001-9006.”  There is no respect for Evangelical Presbyterians’ consciences regarding sexual morality, irrespective of the promises of denominational officials that no attempt would be made to force Evangelical pastors or congregations to act against conscience.
       
      Such would be the fate of traditional Methodists if the OCP were ever to pass, and the United Methodist Church would join the PC(USA) in facing significant losses, as “the rich white traditional churches in the US” (as you characterize them) sue their way out of the UMC, as traditional Methodists in mixed-congregation pews, and traditional Conferences in Africa, Latin America, the Philippines, and elsewhere around the globe depart en masse, despite the empty promises of the OCP’s proponents to the contrary.

      • Marvin says:

        I don’t believe the people favoring the OCP really thought things through. I believe they assumed that individula church congregations would be fine in voting for either a progressive or traditional pastor. The reality of that situation would be church families split apart. The side in the minority would be left without a church home. A large portion of them would need to find a new church to attend.
        Another consideration is that there would like be a mismatch in the number of churches wanting a particular type of pastor. This would force a pastor possessing opposite view to serve in a church that did not fit with their doctrinal view.
        Each individual church would be greatly harmed in being forced to choose what side of the fence they desired to sit. I know churches with several practicing homosexual couples that have no issues. However, it that church would have to vote on which side they would it would cause a split of that church.

  44. td says:

    So, now it’s official. Church of the resurrection is asking all the churches in the great plain annual conference to stop paying their apportionments. They have sent letters out to pastors and lay leaders of each congregation and are asking the administrative board/council to act to withhold money from Africa.

    This self centered pouting and attempted coercion speaks for itself.

  45. Charles Whatley says:

    One side believes ordination should be limited to those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman and the other side believes ordination should allow for “gay” marriages.

    And the compromise is to allow for “gay” marriages. Maybe I missed the definition of “compromise?”

Leave a Reply

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