A fight has been going on since 1972 in the church about homosexuality.
At issue is whether the United Methodist Church shall follow the example of other mainline churches and accept that form of sexuality as compatible with Christian teaching.
The Church Discipline, a book of stands of the Church developed by democratic votes at international conventions, declares that
- homosexuality in incompatible with Christian teaching,
- creation order is male and female that, therefore,
- marriages should only be between heterosexuals.
The Sunday night before last First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake Pastor Scott Field held a quite well attended session to explain what is going on in church politics.
Here is the announcement of the meeting and two others on the following Monday:
“It is not clear that United Methodists as a denomination will survive.”
While there used to be sixteen local conference delegates to the international conferences of 1,000 delegates, next spring only four are eligible attend.
He listed the mainline denominations that had agreed to treat marriage of heterosexuals and homosexuals as equivalent and pointed out that all had fractured.
Think Episcopalians, Lutherans, except for this Missouri Synod, Presbyterians, American Baptists, etc.
“We are about to step up to the line on this issue,” Field continued.
The local Northern Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church, led by pretty much by those with the most “progressive” views on sexuality in the world, has also diminished in membership compared with the rest of the world.
Scott believes that following the lead of the “progressives” will lead to even further membership decline.
Part of Methodist Church Discipline that Progressives want excised.He pointed out the fastest growing part of the United Methodist Church is in Africa.
Based on membership, Africans are being allotted 40% of the delegates at the 2020 international conference and the 2024 convention will beheld in Nairobi in recognition of its growth.
Field predicted approving the progressive’s agenda would result in “fallout [that] will be devastating in Africa.
“United Methodism in Africa is a pretty good brand.
“Changing sexual standards will bring shame on the churches in Africa within their culture.”
There will be an attempt in St. Louis to carve out a separate jurisdiction for the continent, he reported.
[Does that remind anyone but me of the old “separate, but equal” justification for school segregation? I attended a segregated grade school in Easton, Maryland, and wondered why the black kids who lived nearby didn’t also.]
One African Bishop observed recently that Jesus had to be rescued from King Herod by coming to Africa and that Africa could save his message again.
The institutional part of the United Methodist Church is doing what politicians do best.
Bureaucrats are attempted to blackmail African delegates with the threat of loss of money to universities, well drilling, etc., if they don’t vote the “progressive” position
That could be a credible threat because 90% of the money supporting African United Methodists comes from the United States.
“That’s used as a hammer to keep our African friends in line,” Field said.
As an aside, the Crystal Lake Pastor quoted a line from the Lord’s Prayer:
“Lead us not into temptation”
“We can find out own way,” he observed.
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