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UMC Next, has released a summary of their proposal to the next General Conference. The details of the plan have not been released, or at least I have not seen them, so I am commenting on what is written in the proposal and do not have any inside information or the like. Having read it, I find several things troubling. I encourage you to read the entire summary as I will address only a few parts in no particular order.
the United Methodist Church should not be defined by a plan that insists on uniformity of belief and practice in a divergent and contextualized global church, the UMCNext Proposal includes the following provisions:” Let’s think about this for a minute or two and examine what is being said. This is in direct response to the traditional plan, so it then is in direct response to questions of sexual ethics. I fully recognize that many have differing views on proper sexual ethics, and I have little desire to debate them here, the idea that sexual ethics are somehow contextual (depending on or relating to the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea.) has no basis in scripture. While we do, and will likely continue to, disagree on what constitutes sexual immorality, scripture does not indicate that it changes based upon context. Such an argument can allow for plural marriages, incest, and the like, at least theologically. Note here that I did not say “would”, simply that it can. It is not only sexual immorality that can be justified in this way however, it is nearly anything. So long as you can find a suitable context, what is sin can vary from place to place and situation to situation. Calling the faithful to holy living, both personally and corporately,...
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