Update From Inside The UMC Conference

Update to the Update! My deep cover agent inside the convention, says that a last minute filibuster attempt by the pastor of the largest Methodist church in the U.S. was barely able to move the needle. The “Traditional Option,” passed by a vote of 461-359, thus keeping homosexuals out of the pulpit…for now. As is often said in Church circles, “Satan resides amongst the specific elements of any plan,” a fact the Mandarins are sure to take advantage of as they implement this decision.

Earlier I wrote up a little piece regarding a “Hostile Takeover” of the United Methodist Church and it’s conference to decide whether or not to allow leaders, preachers, bishops and others, to overtly and with deliberation continue to violate fundamental Christian tenets—to allow open and notorious, practicing homosexuals to undermine one of the foundations of the Church.

My very good friend, VietNam vet and retired Methodist Preacher, Dr C, has been helping me with this project. Not only is he well versed in Methodist doctrine, he also has a “man on the inside,” of the conference. Below is a short extract as written by Dr C of yesterday’s activities and subsequent “straw poll,” for want of a better term. In his own words, Dr C:

On day 3 of their 4-day special General Conference in St. Louis, the United Methodist Church (UMC) became a global denomination.  Not just geographically – which has been true for years – but existentially. 

The LGBTQ proponents of the One Church Plan (OCP), written to erase prohibitions against same sex marriage and LGBTQ ordained clergy, learned the Methodist Church beyond U.S. borders, is much more traditional than the UMC in America. The “Traditional” Church Plan (strengthening current prohibitions) passed with the overwhelming support of delegates representing five million – of a total of 12.5 million – UMC members from Africa, Russia, the Philippines, and beyond – with the largest group from Africa.

The juxtaposition of the two groups – U.S. Methodists and those from abroad – was captured in one moment during the debate on an alternative OCP proposal offered by the UMC Queer Clergy Caucus (UMCQCC) representing over 100 self-described queer clergypersons.  

The well-known pastor of the single largest UMC in the U.S, with 22,000 members in a new sanctuary that cost $80 million, spoke on behalf of the UMCQCC “Simple Plan.” He was a high-profile advocate of the One Church Plan that, by then, had been defeated.  He predicted the Simple Plan would fail, too, but said that the LGBTQ proponents deserved another chance to be heard.  His brief speech was applauded.  

The next speaker, taking a position against the Simple Plan, was unknown to the U.S. delegates. He was dressed in a skull cap and coat given him by those in charge of hospitality to delegates from outside the U.S. unaccustomed to the colder St. Louis climate.  He was soft spoken. and very dark-skinned. He, too, spoke briefly, but against the Simple Plan.  There was no applause when he finished.  The Simple Plan failed. That second speaker, came from the United Methodist Church in Africa.  

Dr C and I had a lively conversation about this interesting twist. The easiest answer for such support for traditional values in this regard, could be the death toll from Africa’s AIDS pandemic. Dr C and I’m sure most folks reading this, are likely much more read up on the ecclesiastical aspects of this demographic-philosophical split. I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Expect a final vote tally sometime today. Also expect that the Church Mandarins upon hearing a decision to stick with tradition, will attempt to BREXIT the process.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

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