Methodists, The Politics of Leverage and the Future of Protestantism

What God Wants for Your Life | 6/11/2018 | Staff
rubydrummer (Posted by) Level 3
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Several weeks ago the bishops of the United Methodist Church concluded their deliberations on the future of the United Methodist Church. With an eye to the 2019 General Convention, the bishops have been weighing how to navigate the thorny issues facing their church, concerning same sex relations and the ordination of openly gay clergy.

Before them were three options for resolving the dispute: The One Church Plan, The Traditionalist Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan. In the end, the Council of Bishops endorsed the One Church Plan, which is effectively what might be called a local option strategy. The One Church Plan liberalizes the rules that govern the church’s operation, making room for the ordination of gay and **** clergy, and – at the same time – creates a mechanism that allows both pastors and their congregations permission to decide whether they will or won’t cooperate with that liberalization. It is a plan that the church has considered in the past and rejected, and it is likely that the same parts of the church that opposed the plan in the past will oppose it again. That cohort evidently includes all of the Methodist bishops from Africa.

Complicate - Matters - Bishops - Plans - Consideration

To further complicate matters, the bishops also brought the other two plans forward for consideration, and they left open the possibility that other plans could be offered from the floor of the convention. (In a subsequent meeting of the church’s Judiciary Council permission to for delegates to propose those alternatives.) The reports from both meetings suggest that this open-ended “recommendation” was finally necessary because the bishops themselves were unable to reach a unanimous consensus.

I have watched this process with interest because, although I am not a United Methodist, I do teach at a United Methodist seminary, and I owe a great deal to my early formation...
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