IRD Dividing

IRD Dividing United Methodism?

on July 3, 2019

Responding to her own California-Nevada Conference, which approved a resolution urging possible departure from United Methodism over its traditional sexuality views, Bishop Minerva Carcaño and her cabinet faulted IRD for creating denominational divisions:

Some members of the Wesley Covenant Association, Institute for Religion and Democracy, and others have been planning this deconstruction of the connection for almost 40 years. The schismatic endgame of this strategy is apparent. Yet many of their movement are no longer represented in General and Jurisdictional delegations. This does not mean the tide is turning; the numbers bear witness that they are not. However, facilitating THEIR exit should be the primary goal rather than having us waste valuable time and energy planning what is ultimately the will of the WCA and IRD. Remember, it was the Methodist Episcopal Church South that left the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Last month the California-Nevada Annual Conference was one of several Western conferences urging the call of a “special session of the Western Jurisdictional Conference…To consider and develop a process for creative separation from The United Methodist Church, while defining ourselves clearly, to be able to continue to function as one church in our Jurisdiction…”

United Methodism’s fast declining Western Jurisdiction, which includes fewer than 3 percent of the church’s members, is the denomination’s most liberal area and has widely defied the church’s traditional teaching about marriage. The February 2019 General Conference strengthening penalties against defiance has prompted growing liberal calls to create a new denomination.

Some liberal activists in the West and elsewhere have also called for congregations to withhold apportioned payments to the United Methodist Church in protest, especially to punish any recipients of church missions dollars in Africa, whose growing churches are theologically conservative. Carcaño’s statement likewise rejected this strategy.

Revealingly, Carcaño admitted: “As the weakest of all the jurisdictions, the West has been dependent on the connectional church for its survival. Loss of the connectional relationship will accelerate its decline.” Why is the Western Jurisdiction, ostensibly the most “inclusive” of the church’s regions, so weak? Operating in socially liberal areas of the West Coast, it should be thriving. United Methodist progressives nationally want the denomination to replicate the Western Jurisdiction’s unalloyed theological liberalism. But why, if the result is “weakness” and “decline?”

Some progressives reacted negatively to Carcaño’s plea to remain in and financially support United Methodism. The pastor of one of the Western Jurisdiction’s largest churches, who angrily removed the denominational logo from his church after the 2019 General Conference, announced he was “disappointed.” The Mountain Sky Annual Conference, which has an actively lesbian bishop in defiance of United Methodist law, approved a “separation” resolution by more than 80 percent.

Many United Methodist progressives are tired of the decades long battle to overturn the church traditional teaching on sexuality and understandably are ready for creating a new structure. There appears to be a growing chorus across the denomination’s ideological divisions for a separation facilitating distinct churches for traditionalists, progressives and “centrists.”

Carcaño’s faulting IRD for United Methodist divisions is an old refrain from some institutionalists who prefer to ignore the nearly century old chasm between evangelicals and liberals in American Methodism. The sexuality debate is only one outgrowth of deeper differences over biblical authority, Christology, salvation, and ecclesiology.

United Methodism has long avoided formal schism by trying to elide these deep theological divisions. But the debates over sexuality, with practical implications, could not be obfuscated. Despite many decades of liberal dominance in church governance, traditionalists, joined by the growing overseas church, have kept the marriage teaching orthodox.

Blaming IRD is convenient for church institutionalists preferring a simplistic explanation for liberal failure to consolidate final control over the denomination. A Tennessee clergyman, writing on a denominational website last month, echoed Carcaño about IRD but with more detail:

You think: this is a brilliant, calculated, political-influence machine, justifying itself as a champion of Christian ethics. But then over the past 15 years the tone changed and comes across with a slap. The current president of the IRD, Mark Tooley, is a former CIA analyst, patriot, and attends a United Methodist congregation. His newsletters read like a Christian “voters guide” and often come across with invective. The intrigue and allegations would make for great copy in a spy novel if the target shooting wasn’t so disheartening and if the IRD weren’t so effective with their mission and goals: they have helped our denominations divide.

This cleric further warns:

Another type of political maneuvering compromises the biblical gospel and divides Christians with assertions of orthodoxy. The late Tom Oden, an evangelical theology professor at Drew University, directly influenced IRD strategy with his final book, The Rebirth of African Orthodoxy, by claiming that Christian patristic orthodoxy originated in Africa, and that votes from African Methodists can be leveraged to prevent the spread of progressive biblical interpretation of Scripture.

Presumably this cleric thinks United Methodism would now be in harmony, absent IRD. But the truth is more interesting. Liberalism long ago captured the seminaries and centers of control but never fully persuaded the local church in America even after a century of trying. Meanwhile, as the USA church shrinks thanks to decades of theological schizophrenia, the African church has arisen bold and strong, untouched by and unintimidated by USA theological liberalism.

So United Methodism will divide, finally recognizing the long-suppressed reality. They who facilely fault IRD will never understand what really happened.

  1. Comment by Eternity Matters on July 3, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Some things need to be divided, such as sheep and goats. Good for the IRD.

  2. Comment by Pat on July 3, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I agree.

  3. Comment by BibleMoth on July 4, 2019 at 11:57 am


  4. Comment by RichmondGiant on July 3, 2019 at 7:44 am

    We’ve heard this song before. What’s going on in UMA has taken place already with the Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and others. When liberal theology strays far from Scripture and is little more value than a self-help podcast or a social gathering, people will drift away. The church has lost it’s saltiness in these cases.

    The present case of sexuality is just the current instantiation of the bigger issue of Christian humanism run amok and a lack of church discipline on dealing with heresy and apostasy. It won’t be the last issue we fight over.

  5. Comment by geek49203 on July 4, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Precisely. This sexuality issue isn’t the cause, it’s the symptom. Much larger questions are in play, including the entire question of “Do we really need a Savior and to flee from the power of sin?” It doesn’t get more foundational than that.

  6. Comment by Stephen Rhoades on July 3, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I have no illusions about the challenges administratively, institutionally, financially and emotionally involved in separation. But I’m utterly convinced this divorce is the only acceptable response to the chasm which exists between progressive UMCers and their orthodox colleagues. (Count me among the latter). I am heartened by Progressives who share this perspective. It would be great if GC ’20 could be something other than “Groundhog Day”.

  7. Comment by Bruce on July 3, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Amen! My thoughts exactly.

  8. Comment by JR on July 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I’m among the former, and I agree that a division must occur. It doesn’t really matter who is more responsible any more.

  9. Comment by Andrew Hughes on July 3, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Progressive thought will not end with sex. This is just the beginning of deconstructing the Methodist Church to come in line with cultural, politically correct thinking. When has the Church Christ created ever been politically in line. We have come to a place that truth lovers must, in love, stand up for “truth”. We must call our Christian leaders, our teachers, our clergy to account for their actions. Scripture and our founder, (John Wesley) taught us when he instituted the weekly classes to hold one another accountable. Wesley’s Band Meeting Questions: 1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting? 2. What temptations have you met with? 3. How were you delivered? 4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not? 5. Have you nothing you desire to keep secret? Reference: John Wesley’s Class Meetings: a Model for Making Disciples, by D. Michael Henderson, Evangel Publishing House, 1997, pp. 118-9. When we apply these principals to our inward and outward man God changes everything from leadership to layman.

  10. Comment by senecagriggs on July 3, 2019 at 10:38 am

    [ The progressive dilemma ]

  11. Comment by PFSchaffner on July 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Very curious to see ‘clergy’ used here as a singular noun, equivalent to clergyman or cleric (or ‘clerk’ if you want to be very old-fashioned). Historically, ‘clergy’ can be a collective, an abstract (denoting the clerical estate or orders), or sometimes a plural. Have never seen ‘a clergy’; is this an attempt to avoid compounds in ‘-man’?

  12. Comment by Sky McCracken on July 3, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Mark just didn’t want to use my name.

  13. Comment by Michael on July 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Mark thank you for your steadfast service to the cross and to the word. Take the attacks on stride and know we- the less vocal majority- have not been pleased with the direction of our bishops especially Carter here in Florida. Thanks for organizing and adhering to the scriptures.

  14. Comment by Marilyn on July 3, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Many of us in the Susquehanna Conference have not been pleased with the words and actions of Bishop Park, either.

  15. Comment by Donald on July 3, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Clearly this bishop lacks both insight and any sense of irony in her words. So much for effective leadership!

  16. Comment by Pudentiana on July 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    This separation is well overdue. How many of our children have been led astray by the ridiculous politically correct Sunday School lessons of Cokesbury and how many have long ago foregone “holiness” as old fashioned prudishness? Enough of submitting our offspring to the corruption of the UM schools. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do with “one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”

  17. Comment by Bill on July 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    If the conference had approved any plan other than the traditional I was prepared to quietly and gracefully leave the church. From what I’ve seen recently many liberals refuse to accept the results and are going to be very vocal with their displeasure.

  18. Comment by Melissa on July 3, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I agree completely. Having been born and raised in the Methodist Church, I’m thrilled that the Traditional plan prevailed. Due to the liberal, politically correct propaganda espoused by the Methodist leadership since at least the 1970’s, I’ve been estranged from Methodism. I’ve returned to the Methodist Church and look forward to the exit of the liberals – the sooner, the better!

  19. Comment by Ted on July 5, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Bill……notice how this falls in line with their failure to accept President Trump as their President. Any time liberals fail to persuade others, they refuse to accept the results.

  20. Comment by Keith Newell on July 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I am saddened on the one hand that division is inevitable. But I believe the only way to spread “scriptural holiness” again in this land is to unashamedly stand up for Christ and His authority and the inspiration and authority of God’s Holy Scriptures. I believe the result may be true revival in our land!

  21. Comment by Joe Wesley Kilpatrick on July 3, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Bishop Minerva Carcaño reminds us of the 1844 debates over slavery and the departure of those with regional loyalties who had a view of slavery different from the majority. If history repeats itself, the General Conference will again hold fast to its scriptural understanding of sexual ethics, just as it held fast to its scriptural understanding about slavery, and it will be the Western Jurisdiction and its friends who depart to exalt their false understandings of sexual ethics. I pray that the General Conference will repeat history by revoking the consecration of one or more bishops who are disobedient to the will of the majority on sexual ethics, just as it did in 1844 on slave ethics.

  22. Comment by Rachel Cullum on July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I have never been Methodist but I was ELCA Lutheran and saw the same stuff many years ago. It started with allowing abortion, having fema

  23. Comment by William on July 3, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    How does the approval of practicing sexual immorality make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? It does not. Blasphemy!

  24. Comment by Darren Wertz on July 3, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Bottom line: the louder they scream and the more petulant their pose the greater piece of the Methodist institution they hope to take with them.
    For my part those who deny their sworn vows and precepts upon which the church accepted their membership deserve only the door.

  25. Comment by Mort Kothmann on July 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    I praise God for all those in leadership who have been faithful to scripture and lead the majority of UMC members who want to remain in a traditional Wesleyan Church. I have been troubled by the progressive trend in the teaching materials starting in the 1960s. The Adult Bible Studies has been producing good literature for several years now. However, I would like to hear from traditional leaders about what would happen to the boards and agencies that are staffed by progressives if the 2020 GC reaffirms the traditional decisions of the 2019 GC.

  26. Comment by Loren J Golden on July 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Many years ago, in my early twenties, I attended a large, Theologically Liberal United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas (in fact, the same church where my parents and maternal grandparents had been married, and where my mother and her siblings, and my younger brother and I had been baptized as infants, before moving away).  The senior pastor was a very engaging, very charismatic individual, but during the three years I was there (1988-1991), I was increasingly bothered and discontent about how the Scriptures were handled from the pulpit (mishandled is a better word for it).  The senior pastor would set his own context, into which the associate pastor would read the morning Scriptures, and then after the choir sang the morning anthem, the senior pastor would proceed to preach on whatever he wanted to preach on, irrespective of what the Scriptures read that morning actually said.
    Then one Sunday, I visited a large, Evangelical Presbyterian Church (then affiliated with the PC(USA); now affiliated with the EPC), and I found a church where the senior pastor read the morning Scripture and then preached on it, in such a way that it was clear that he believed what the Scripture said and had a great deal of respect for it.  And that was the day I became a Presbyterian.
    The poor, misguided souls in the UMC, like the California-Nevada Conference’s Bishop Carcaño, simply do not get it.  The people in the pews are not leaving the UMC because organizations like the IRD or the WCA oppose the “Progressive” policies of the Liberal Hegemony in power and are fomenting schism (I had never heard of any renewal groups in the UMC at the time I left); they leave because they have a deep hunger for hearing pastors who believe the Bible unashamedly preach the unadulterated Gospel—two things that only a minority of American UMC pastors do.
    Like Bishop Carcaño and those of her party, the leaders in the PC(USA) found a convenient scapegoat in the Presbyterian Lay Committee, whose bimonthly periodical, The Presbyterian Layman (later just The Layman), was more popular than the denomination’s own periodical in Presbyterian homes.  Denominational officials for years castigated the PLC for years; one presbytery even voted to withdraw its validation of the ministry of the longtime CEO of the PLC, and editor of The Layman, Parker T. Williamson, on charges that the PLC was engaged in “destructive tactics and unending attacks upon women and men who are seeking to do God’s work through the offices of the PC(USA)” (the charges were later overturned by the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Mid-Atlantic Synod).  Since a great number of Evangelicals and Evangelical congregations departed the PC(USA) five to ten years ago, after the denomination first changed its ordination requirements to allow sexually immoral persons to hold office, and then to redefine marriage to be between two persons of indiscriminate gender, the PLC’s influence in the PC(USA) has waned significantly: In 2014, the PLC suspended print publication of The Layman; in late 2017 the PLC discontinued the ministry of The Layman Online; and late last year the PLC was permanently dissolved (with the IRD receiving The Layman Online to archive it).  Nevertheless, even as the PLC’s voice waned, the PC(USA) hemorrhaging membership losses continued, for much the same reason as the UMC’s own American membership losses have: The majority of the clergy neither believe the Bible nor preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    If anything, the PLC helped galvanize Evangelicals in the PC(USA), encouraging them to stay in the denomination and “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), just as the IRD and the WCA still do for American Evangelicals in the UMC.  If Bishop Carcaño’s wish were granted, and all American Methodist Evangelicals, together with their partners in the Global South, were to depart to form a new Global Evangelical Methodist Church, independent of the UMC, the shadow of what would be left of the UMC would be much less contentious, as is the shadow of what is left of the PC(USA) today, while the hemorrhaging membership losses continue unabated.  Liberal Methodism, like the PC(USA), has only one thing to offer the world: A way of thinking of oneself as a Christian without having to believe the Bible or the Gospel message.  It is a place for people who have lost faith in the God of the Bible and the Jesus of the Gospel, but who are reluctant to leave Christianity altogether, finding value in Christian community but not Christian Doctrine, finding common cause with the world, where the world is at odds with the Gospel message.  But it is only a way station, where Church people stay for a period of time—some longer, some less—until they either depart for churches where the Bible is believed and the Gospel preached, or they depart Christianity altogether—either they or their unbelieving children.  But it is a one-way street, for this watered-down Christianity has nothing to offer that the world outside the pale of the Church wants.  And so, the PC(USA)—and the UMC as envisioned by Bishop Carcaño and her party—continue to wither and die, having prostituted themselves to a world that finds them utterly irrelevant.

  27. Comment by William on July 4, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Our liberal UMC bishops have set themselves apart and above by becoming “intellectual and scholarly” critics of the Bible while presenting their version of a designer Jesus that conforms to their own secular driven agendas. They even see themselves as equal or superior to Paul, for example. They have received “new revelations” (what is that called?). People like Adam Hamilton have joined this apostasy while writing their books for sale.

    As the American church continues the decline in membership and even greater decline in worship attendance, as reported by our 61 salaried Finance & Administration staff in Nashville, repentance and changing course appears to be completely alien to these progressives. Who, other than the Great Deceiver, could be blinding these poor souls?

  28. Comment by Jeff Winter on July 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Eastminster Presbyterian in Wichita is a great Presbyterian church now in the EPC

  29. Comment by Loren J Golden on July 5, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Precisely. Eastminster was my church home from May 1991 until the end of November 1996, at which time a change in employers took me to the Kansas City area, and I promptly transferred my membership to Colonial Presbyterian (recommended by all the pastors at Eastminster), also formerly in the PC(USA) and now in the EPC.

    Eastminster had a profound influence on my spiritual development, and I only regret not having discovered her sooner (especially since John Gerstner had been Eastminster’s theologian-in-residence throughout much of the 1980s and had stopped doing that by the time I started attending).

  30. Comment by Melissa on July 4, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Well said, Loren.

  31. Comment by Willard Helander on July 7, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I very much agree. The progressive admonishing to focus on “spreading the gospel” but at the same time taking offense at and actually declaring “off limits” any meaningful discussion and understanding of what the gospel actually teaches is, at it’s essence, most condescending. Mankind is hunger for meaningful purpose, not simply celebrating the latest societal trend.

  32. Comment by Loren J Golden on July 9, 2019 at 1:05 am

    For clarification, when Theological Liberals/Progressives tout “spreading the gospel”, it is not to the Gospel of salvation from sin and death by the grace of God alone through faith alone in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
    Rather, it is to the so-called “social gospel” they refer, predicated upon a very narrow reading and limited application of the Lord Jesus’ reading in Luke 4.16ff. of Isaiah 61.1-2, where He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  And then He said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
    Progressives today hold that the Lord Jesus’ primary mission was not to reconcile us to God, from whom we were alienated on account of our sin, by paying the penalty for that sin by bearing the wrath of God on our behalf on the Cross, but rather to lead by example in ministering to the poor, the downtrodden, the outcasts of society, those who are different from us, etc.  Indeed, they believe that there is no sin (especially no sexual sin, except abuse) that we have committed that has offended God (after all, if it does not offend Liberal sensibilities, it must not offend God, or if it does offend Liberal sensibilities, it must offend God).  And so, the First Great Commandment, in the judgment of Theological Liberalism, finds its sole fulfillment in fulfilling the Second, in all the ways approved of and endorsed by Progressives.
    To be clear, I am not saying that if we fulfill the First Great Commandment, that we need not worry about fulfilling the Second.  Indeed, fulfillment of the Second Great Commandment is indispensable to fulfilling the First.  After all, as the Apostle John admonishes us, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (I Jn. 4.20-21)  However, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is still the First and Greatest Commandment (Mt. 22.37-38, Mk. 12.28-30), and whoever does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, in comparison for his love for the Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is not worthy of Him and cannot be His disciple (Mt. 10.37-39, Lk. 14.25-33).

  33. Comment by Dan W on July 4, 2019 at 9:33 am

    “Global Evangelical Methodist Church” the GEM. I like that name. Great comment Brother Loren!

  34. Comment by Jeff Winter on July 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    For 35 years I was a PCUSA pastor. I am now in a theologically conservative Presbyterian denomination. Yea.
    Mr. Tooley is right on. He is biblically thoughtful and understands the nuances of the Methodist decline. He should be respected for the excellent work he has done giving the reasons why this historic is finished. Gather as many deck chairs as possible because the UMC is about to hit the iceberg.

  35. Comment by Palamas on July 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Bishop Carcaño and Sky McCracken (who self-identifies in the comments) are delusional. I’ve known and worked with people at the IRD for years. They are not stalking horses for the political right, nor are they schismatics. They have been and are members of the mainline churches who have done their best to try to bring orthodoxy back to those same churches, and been vastly outnumbered and outgunned, as it were, in those efforts, with denominational structures and seminaries universally united against orthodoxy, and the majority of mainline clergy as well. If Carcaño thinks she’s lost, it’s because she represents a stance that is no longer Christian, but a different religion parasitically using the language, structures, and resources of a historic Christian church, one that has been decisively rejected but the world-wide membership of that church.

  36. Comment by Lamar Aiazzi on July 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    As Christ said, in the end times people will look for miracles, but the only miracle they will see is that of Nineveh, i.e. complete repentance. So, if Carcano et al, want to leave the Methodist Church, they should do so under the requirement that they rebrand their “faith” without the mention of Methodism, or Wesley. They should be forthright, and simply state they are the Church of Lucifer, a satanic cult.

  37. Comment by William on July 4, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    A cult. That’s exactly what they’ve become. Their idol is the LGBT movement that they so aggressively worship.

  38. Comment by John Evans on July 4, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    The senior pastor of a large United Methodist Church which i sued to attend in Baton Rouge, LA declared from the pulpit that the scriptures need to be “revised”. This was during an angrily delivered sermon after the special session of the General Conference. He is now the handpicked (by our liberal Bishop Harvey) lead clergy delegate to the 2020 general conference. I will continue to oppose this flagrant desertion of the scriptures, for as Martin Luther famously said, “I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.”

  39. Comment by Diane on July 4, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I am more and more reminded as I read on this site that Christianity has long been divided into splinter groups of whatever persuasion – each forming their own exclusive, juvenile (think high school) club, where membership in each club is all about a particular set of beliefs. The reason progressive churches are dwindling is because many of us are tired of the general pettiness and “join the club nature” of all of Christianity.

  40. Comment by Palamas on July 4, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    In other words, progressive churches (those that, according to you, ought to be growing, because they’re so inclusive and tolerant and so on) are shrinking because people are giving up on Christianity. Congratulations–progressives devotion to the sexual revolution has trumped their devotion to Christ. And that is somehow the fault of people who disagree with you?

  41. Comment by Loren J Golden on July 5, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Please leave the poor, bitter, old woman alone.  She has no appreciation for Christian doctrine, no appreciation for the struggles that non-liberal Christians face, no interest in genuinely listening to anyone who posts on this website, and nothing truly relevant or helpful to say.  Proverbs 26.4 in her case is more applicable than Proverbs 26.5.

  42. Comment by Palamas on July 4, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    And by the way, when you talk about those creating exclusive clubs, you can look in the mirror. Evangelicals in the mainline churches have seen this movie before–in the Episcopal Church, the ELCA, the PCUSA, the United Church of Christ, etc. Once liberals gain a majority, Neuhaus’s Law comes into effect: once orthodoxy becomes optional, it will soon be proscribed. The other mainline denominations are now boutique clubs for people who have rejected much if not all of historic Christianity, but like to play dress-up and pretend they are chummy with the Man Upstairs. They have largely cleansed their numbers of dissenters. And people like you have the gall to complain about those defending orthodoxy in the United Methodist Church because, meanies that they are, they don’t swing the door wide open for the same thing to happen in the last mainline denomination that hasn’t fallen to liberalism.

  43. Comment by Skipper on July 5, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Satan has divided the UMC. Progressives just play along with him. What’s the difference in Progressives and the Rotary Club on moral values? A civil club would have higher values. Do Progressives recognize the difference in a man and a woman? Why do they choose to live like the world around them? Christians believe when you accept Christ your life changes. That’s a huge difference. In the Bible we see this change reflected in the lives of Christians.

  44. Comment by William on July 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    A church that does not believe and preach these profound words of Paul IS NOT a Christian church. Therefore, the progressive wing of the UMC falls squarely into this category. Separation from that is an absolute necessity.

  45. Comment by td on July 7, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Yes, this is a huge problem in the umc. Most of our pastors in the last 2 decades primarily lead the church like it is a rotary club, lions club, or political action group.

    I suppose at one time they may have believed in the transforming power of christ, but now they mostly seem to shy away from god, prayer, and inspiring holy living. Most seem utterly depressed and unwilling to believe.

    It is sad, and the truth is that there probably is no way to resurrect this denomination. In general, our clergy have radically different beliefs and opinions from most laity, and that situation leads to lots of mistrust. The situation is unsustainable.

  46. Comment by JR on July 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Lot of ‘most’ in that post.

    I guess you’ve been listening to a lot of sermons the last few years.

  47. Comment by Tony Fernandez on July 5, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I have seen the deterioration of our UMC in the last 15 years or so. I agree that the progressive group has been working hard to create a schism. For 15 years I served as a minister in the Methodist Church in Cuba, then for 32 more I served our beloved UMC in the US until retirement, and I feel sad for the present situation we are facing. Our brothers and sisters in Africa have been attacked for their vote at the last session of the General Conference. The progressive group has offended them saying that “we (Christians from the West) gave them the Bible and now they voted against the points of view of our western modern culture.” The truth is that now our brothers and sisters in Africa have the Bible and many of those called “United Methodists” have nothing but those cultural patterns that are destroying the church and the whole society.
    I mentioned before that I have seen this deterioration in the UMC in the last 15 years, however the movement to destroy the church started many years before and it came from outside the church. The left has been penetrating the Christian church since the sixties and seventies. They know that the only way to destroy the western countries is controlling the media, the schools and the churches. The first two are in their hands and they need to continue their destructive path dividing the church. Let’s continue praying for our denomination and for the whole Christian church but let us keep our faith in the God of history. For sure He is not concerned about denominations but about our personal relationship with Him.

  48. Comment by Mike MacKenzie on July 14, 2019 at 2:16 am

    “Liberalism long ago captured the seminaries and centers of control but never fully persuaded the local church in America even after a century of trying. ”

    The reason for this pattern is painfully obvious. What is being taught in liberal seminaries and pushed on the church by liberal leadership is not Christianity, it is heretical. It has no power, and is nothing stronger than the secular cultural zeitgeist, with a little Christian-ish window dressing. The people and congregations that have been convinced by the liberal heretical leadership to take on this twisted version of the faith, frequently find that since its not substantively different than just living a secular life with no particular belief in God, then why bother with the going to church part and spending time, effort, and money believing in a ‘god’ that essentially says, “Hey man, whatever the world is already doing is okay with me. However you want to live your life, I’ll give you a big thumbs up! You do you, man!” It has nothing new to offer them that they aren’t already getting more cheaply and honestly from other sources in the world around them. So when a congregation turns liberal, one of two things happens, either the people in the pews realize they are wasting their time their and go away or the current generation stays for what ever social benefits they are receiving there, but lose the drive and fervor to perpetuate the faith and make new disciples. The liberal congregations then die, either quickly or slowly as the case may be. The local churches that reject this liberal attacks on the faith and preserve the true faith inherited from Christ and his apostles remain and grow. So you get this divide, the liberal leadership vs the conservative congregations, because the congregations that are converted to liberalism wither and die.

  49. Comment by Janice on July 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    When liberals hate the message, they shoot the messenger.

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