Friday, January 06, 2023

"Progressive" Bishop: "United Methodists are Misled"

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As you probably know the United Methodist Church has been in the process of trying to split for the past several years.

One part of the 6 million member church in the US wants to hold to biblical teaching on matters of human sexuality, marriage, etc.---the other, so-called "progressive" part, wants to ordain homosexuals, bless same-sex "marriages" and generally advocate for LGBTQAI+  activists in the name of the Lord.

Several times a scheduled denominational vote has been canceled.

Now conservative, biblical Methodist Churches are simply leaving the UMC so they can move forward with a biblical mission, causing the progressive leaders in the church to claim they are being "misled.". 

Be informed, not misled.

The North Georgia Conference of the UMC is shutting down the efforts of 70 conservative churches to disassociate from the liberal denomination. Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, who heads that conference, is citing "misinformation" as the reason – and in its official announcement, the conference uses that specific term 13 times.

Mark Tooley, president of The Institute on Religion & Democracy, summarizes the actions of the North Georgia Conference leadership: "The outgoing, very liberal bishop and the board of trustees have said, no, we are not going to allow you to exit because we think there's too much misinformation being circulated regarding the reasons for leaving the United Methodist Church."

According to Haupert-Johnson, many local churches have been "misled" about the disaffiliation process; and have been presented with information about the process, and about the UMC and its leadership, that is "factually incorrect and defamatory." 

She continued:

"We have significant concerns about this misinformation and are well aware that it has the potential to do irreparable harm. This information presented to members of local churches about disaffiliation has been outside the bounds of normal and acceptable civil discourse. It has not only been false and misleading but has been antithetical to the concept of a gracious exit or a commitment to honoring the mission and ministry of all Christians."

Frankly, it's the so-called progressives that are trying to mislead an uninformed constituency---regarding the Bible and human sexuality and marriage.

And it's about who gets the church property. 

Conservative biblical Methodists are fed up and are moving on. 

Last March, the Global Methodist Church, a more conservative Methodist denomination, announced it will officially launch in May. The creators of the GMC and other United Methodists had previously said they would hold off from launching until after the General Conference.

The denomination’s website says thousands of Methodist clergy and laity from around the world have worked together for “over three years to lay the groundwork for a new, theologically conservative Methodist denomination steeped in the great ecumenical and evangelical confessions of the Christian faith.” 

“It is anticipated that some theologically conservative local churches will find annual conferences willing to negotiate fair and just exit provisions, while others will, unfortunately, face obstacles placed in their paths,” the denomination said in a statement.

“The Transitional Leadership Council decided it was time to launch the Global Methodist Church, so those who can leave early will have a place to land, to begin building and growing, and making room for others to join later.”

We're living in perilous times.

The UMC has been engaged in a long battle over the church’s teachings on sexuality, prompting more conservative churches to leave the denomination. The UMC’s official stance, as outlined in the Book of Discipline, labels homosexuality a sin, bars the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals, and prohibits the blessing of same-sex marriages.

However, progressive United Methodists have on several occasions defied the rules by ordaining openly gay clergy or officiating same-sex marriages. In December, a UMC pastor was relieved of his duties after participating as a drag queen in the HBO reality series, “We’re Here.” 

On Jan. 30, Frazer United Methodist Church, a congregation of about 4,000 members in Montgomery, Alabama, became the latest church to disaffiliate from the mainline Protestant denomination.

The church said in a statement that the congregation intends to join the Free Methodist Church: "[W]e believe that the Free Methodist Church is a better fit for our present identity and future fruitfulness.”

The UMC has more than 6.2 million members in the U.S., according to 2020 data, making it the third-largest Christian denomination in the United States.

Paul wrote to Timothy identifying what the last days will look like in II Timothy 3: 

2 Timothy 3:1-13

This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 

But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Be informed, not deceived.

Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.