21 October 2012

The way forward

The following was posted on the UM Connections website.  It is in response to a seeming call for the break-away from the United Methodist Church by progressive congregations favoring full inclusion in the church.  The organization Methodists for Social Action replied that rather than breaking away we should stay within the UMC and press forward with our cause.  While I refuse to identify as a United Methodist due to the unaccsptable homophobic policies of the General Conference as expressed in the Book of Discipline, I have come to realize that separation is also a poor choice since it would not achieve the goal of a fully inclusive UMC, only a homophobic UMC with a new denomination, the Rainbow Methodist Episcopal Church, being established.  In the post, I refer to the RMEC and the LGBTQMEC.  A historical note, Bishop Richard Allen, to whom I refer in the post, led a breakaway of African Americans from the 19th Century Methodist Episcopal Church and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The congregation he founded, Mother Bethel AME, continues to thrive in Philadelphia, PA.

When violence is done, as it was at the 2012 General Conference, the reaction from those who are the victims of said violence can often be emotional. The pain expressed in “Bill’s” letter is real. I felt the same pain. The message MFSA responds with is also clear, we don’t run away from our problems. We confront them in a positive manner. However, they very well come a time when a LGBTQ Richard Allen rises from the pews and decries the discrimination and hate preached by the General Conference and the Book of Discipline. This “Bishop Allen” will go down the street and form the First Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Gender and Questioning Methodist Episcopal Church. This denomination will grow as those who believe in inclusion flock to it and as UMC congregations dis-affiliate and join the LGBTMEC. As long as the spiritual violence, as hurtful and vicious as the dogs and firehoses of Birmingham, AL continues, the cherished “unity” of the United Methodist Church will be under threat. Fortunately, there is good news here. The call of Bishop Talbert to practice biblical obedience is the one sure, best way of combatting those who would impose the apostasy of hate upon us. While the heart of General Conference remains hardened, we must do whatever is necessary to render such apostasy irrelevent. Only then, when those who refuse to see the light as God gives them that ability, will finally give up the ghost and embrace true inclusion and acceptance of God’s universal and unconditional love as expressed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God the Son and Redeemer

A second post on UM Connections reports the statement of Bishop Conyer of Indiana, who claims that the progressive movement is practicing a form of "neo-colonialism" in its call for Biblical Obedience and a rejection of the spiritual violence of the 2012 General Conference.  My post is here.

Bishop Coyner seems to want progressives to admit defeat and go quietly into that good night.  That will simply not happen.  The spiritual violence done by the 2012 General Conference cannot and will not go unanswered.  It is obvious that since the ultra-right wing, which truly does practice a form of neo-colonialism with its implied threats of economic sanctions against the Central Conferences should they vote in a way other than the oxymoronic "Good News" and IRD, we have no other choice than to render the apostasy of hate expressed there to be irrelevant.  Bishop Talbert sounded the clarion call, the Western Jurisdiction, along with others, have answered.  We will practice Biblical Obedience.  We will place the Word of God as expressed by Jesus, God the Son and Redeemer and inspired by God the Holy Spirit, ahead of imperfect human document known as the Book of Discipline.  We will lead the United Methodist Church into the land of sunshine and light known as full inclusion.  Let no one doubt this, for no progressive movement for social justice has ever failed.

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