United Methodist Church to Split

Started by D. Engebretson, January 03, 2020, 01:02:07 PM

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D. Engebretson

Quote from: J. Thomas Shelley on January 05, 2020, 12:31:34 AM
Quote from: mj4 on January 05, 2020, 12:27:29 AM
Perhaps the proposal represents an admission among the traditionalists that the institution is irreversibly led by revisionists despite the increasingly conservative makeup of the wider church. Rather than endure years of stubborn noncompliance and resistance, it's better to just hand over the institution and start fresh. It's sad, though, to think of all the colleges, seminaries, campgrounds, and conference centers etc. that the traditionalists will be leaving behind.
I hope you are wrong...and that the GC stands firm and causes the exodus to be the other way 'round.

The innovators who reject the traditional UMC teachings (including the Social Principles) should not be allowed to keep the corporate name or the institutions attached thereto.  If they find those teachings so untenable they should leave to fund and build their rainbow logoed utopia.

It does raise an interesting dilemma.  I know that in the congregational constitutions of my synod the provision is that those who remain faithful to the doctrinal standards in the constitution retain the building and property.  I suspect that this holds true for the denomination as a whole, as well, but I'd have to check the synodical constitution in our handbook.

That said it may have come down to simply wanting out and not wanting to fight anymore.  As in any divorce there comes a time for some when the marriage is just too dysfunctional and abusive to endure. And if the LBGTQ+ agenda is deeply embedded within the auxiliary organizations of the denomination (as well as the top leadership) it may be seen as easier to make a clean break and start over.  Keeping everything isn't always a benefit.   

Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: D. Engebretson on January 05, 2020, 01:19:48 PM
Quote from: J. Thomas Shelley on January 05, 2020, 12:31:34 AM
Quote from: mj4 on January 05, 2020, 12:27:29 AM
Perhaps the proposal represents an admission among the traditionalists that the institution is irreversibly led by revisionists despite the increasingly conservative makeup of the wider church. Rather than endure years of stubborn noncompliance and resistance, it's better to just hand over the institution and start fresh. It's sad, though, to think of all the colleges, seminaries, campgrounds, and conference centers etc. that the traditionalists will be leaving behind.
I hope you are wrong...and that the GC stands firm and causes the exodus to be the other way 'round.

The innovators who reject the traditional UMC teachings (including the Social Principles) should not be allowed to keep the corporate name or the institutions attached thereto.  If they find those teachings so untenable they should leave to fund and build their rainbow logoed utopia.

It does raise an interesting dilemma.  I know that in the congregational constitutions of my synod the provision is that those who remain faithful to the doctrinal standards in the constitution retain the building and property.  I suspect that this holds true for the denomination as a whole, as well, but I'd have to check the synodical constitution in our handbook.

That said it may have come down to simply wanting out and not wanting to fight anymore.  As in any divorce there comes a time for some when the marriage is just too dysfunctional and abusive to endure. And if the LBGTQ+ agenda is deeply embedded within the auxiliary organizations of the denomination (as well as the top leadership) it may be seen as easier to make a clean break and start over.  Keeping everything isn't always a benefit.


¶ 2501. Requirement of the Trust Clause for All Property-1. All properties of United Methodist local churches and other United Methodist agencies and institutions are held, in trust, for the benefit of the entire denomination, and ownership and usage of church property is subject to the Discipline. This trust requirement is an essential element of the historic polity of The United Methodist Church or its predecessor denominations or communions and has been a part of the Discipline since 1797. It reflects the connectional structure of the Church by ensuring that the property will be used solely for purposes consonant with the mission of the entire denomination as set forth in the Discipline. The trust requirement is thus a fundamental expression of United Methodism whereby local churches and other agencies and institutions within the denomination are both held accountable to and benefit from their connection with the entire worldwide Church.In consonance with the legal definition and self-understanding of The United Methodist Church (see ¶ 141), and with particular reference to its lack of capacity to hold title to property, The United Methodist Church is organized as a connectional structure, and titles to all real and personal, tangible and intangible property held at jurisdictional, annual, or district conference levels, or by a local church or charge, or by an agency or institution of the Church, shall be held in trust for The United Methodist Church and subject to the provisions of its Discipline. Titles are not held by The United Methodist Church (see ¶ 807.1) or by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, but instead by the incorporated conferences, agencies, or organizations of the denomination, or in the case of unincorporated bodies of the denomination, by boards of trustees established for the purpose of holding and administering real and personal, tangible and intangible property.

2. The trust is and always has been irrevocable, except as provided in the Discipline. Property can be released from the trust, transferred free of trust or subordinated to the interests of creditors and other third parties only to the extent authority is given by the Discipline.

3. Local churches and other United Methodist agencies and institutions may acquire, hold, maintain, improve, and sell property for purposes consistent with the mission of the Church, unless restricted or prevented by the Discipline.

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

The 2016 UMC Book of Discipline can downloaded at https://www.ctcumc.org/files/fileshare/2016-book-of-discipline.pdf
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 05, 2020, 01:39:04 PM
Quote from: D. Engebretson on January 05, 2020, 01:19:48 PM

It does raise an interesting dilemma.  I know that in the congregational constitutions of my synod the provision is that those who remain faithful to the doctrinal standards in the constitution retain the building and property.  I suspect that this holds true for the denomination as a whole, as well, but I'd have to check the synodical constitution in our handbook.

That said it may have come down to simply wanting out and not wanting to fight anymore.  As in any divorce there comes a time for some when the marriage is just too dysfunctional and abusive to endure. And if the LBGTQ+ agenda is deeply embedded within the auxiliary organizations of the denomination (as well as the top leadership) it may be seen as easier to make a clean break and start over.  Keeping everything isn't always a benefit.

¶ 2501. Requirement of the Trust Clause for All Property-1. All properties of United Methodist local churches and other United Methodist agencies and institutions are held, in trust, for the benefit of the entire denomination, and ownership and usage of church property is subject to the Discipline....


The Book of Discipline says the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.

spt+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Charles Austin on January 04, 2020, 10:19:20 PM
Steven, you wrote (my emphasis added):
And, as has been happening with every other "mainline protestant" denominiation (ECUSA, UCC, PCUSA, ELCA, etc.), those who have departed from the faith of that church are keeping the institution, while those trying to keep the faith of that church end up either departing from, or being marginalized within, the institution. 
You have stayed in the ELCA, and moved to a new call in the ELCA. You have said that your congregations send mission support to the ELCA, which you say is now in the control of those who have "departed from the faith" of the church.
I have said I am glad you stayed. But is it a problem for you, being in and representing and supporting a denomination that you believe has "departed from the faith of the church"?

Is it a problem?  Of course it is. 

On the other hand, I don't need an angel of the Lord to tell me that 7000 in the ELCA have not bowed their knees to Ba'al; I have met some of them, and that includes newly ordained pastors.

Kyrie eleison, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Richard Johnson

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 05, 2020, 01:39:04 PM


¶ 2501. Requirement of the Trust Clause for All Property-1. All properties of United Methodist local churches and other United Methodist agencies and institutions are held, in trust, for the benefit of the entire denomination, and ownership and usage of church property is subject to the Discipline. This trust requirement is an essential element of the historic polity of The United Methodist Church or its predecessor denominations or communions and has been a part of the Discipline since 1797. It reflects the connectional structure of the Church by ensuring that the property will be used solely for purposes consonant with the mission of the entire denomination as set forth in the Discipline. The trust requirement is thus a fundamental expression of United Methodism whereby local churches and other agencies and institutions within the denomination are both held accountable to and benefit from their connection with the entire worldwide Church.In consonance with the legal definition and self-understanding of The United Methodist Church (see ¶ 141), and with particular reference to its lack of capacity to hold title to property, The United Methodist Church is organized as a connectional structure, and titles to all real and personal, tangible and intangible property held at jurisdictional, annual, or district conference levels, or by a local church or charge, or by an agency or institution of the Church, shall be held in trust for The United Methodist Church and subject to the provisions of its Discipline. Titles are not held by The United Methodist Church (see ¶ 807.1) or by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, but instead by the incorporated conferences, agencies, or organizations of the denomination, or in the case of unincorporated bodies of the denomination, by boards of trustees established for the purpose of holding and administering real and personal, tangible and intangible property.

2. The trust is and always has been irrevocable, except as provided in the Discipline. Property can be released from the trust, transferred free of trust or subordinated to the interests of creditors and other third parties only to the extent authority is given by the Discipline.

3. Local churches and other United Methodist agencies and institutions may acquire, hold, maintain, improve, and sell property for purposes consistent with the mission of the Church, unless restricted or prevented by the Discipline.

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

The 2016 UMC Book of Discipline can downloaded at https://www.ctcumc.org/files/fileshare/2016-book-of-discipline.pdf

All of which is moot, of course, if the General Conference were to decide to approve this plan. Provisions of the Book of Discipline, unless they are part of the constitution, are completely amendable or revisable by vote of the General Conference.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

#35
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on January 05, 2020, 05:50:08 PM
The Book of Discipline says the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.

Yes it does - in more than one place - and much stronger language than the ELCA ever used.

¶ 161.G.   We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God's grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.

¶ 304.3. While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

¶ 341.6. Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.

¶ 613.19. To ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC "not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends" (¶ 161G). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. This restriction shall not limit the Church's ministry in response to the HIV epidemic, nor shall it preclude funding for dialogs or educational events where the Church's official position is fairly and equally represented. [see also 806.9.]

¶ 2702. 1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference (¶ 370), local pastor, clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in ¶ 2702.4) with one or more of the following offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage; (b) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies; (c) crime; (d) disobedience to the order and discipline of The United Methodist Church; (e) dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of doctrine of The United Methodist Church; (f) relationships and/or behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor; (g) child abuse; (h) sexual abuse; i) sexual misconduct including the use or possession of pornography, (j) harassment, including, but not limited to racial and/or sexual harassment; (k) racial or gender discrimination; or (l) fiscal malfeasance.


The Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference (which includes the United Methodist congregations in our area,) has made a statement opposing this: https://dscumc.org/blog/2020/01/01/words-of-grace-for-today-and-beyond/

I know of at least one minister in the conference that has conducted at least one a same-sex marriage, with no disciplinary actions. I know of at least one minister in the conference who is in a same-sex marriage, with no disciplinary actions.


It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline. I know that one of the ELCA ministers who went through the whole process (and was removed) said that it cost him more than $50,000. (There was a resolution at a synod assembly to limit the synod's expenditures on such cases to $50,000.)
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

DCharlton

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 02:02:21 AM
It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline. I know that one of the ELCA ministers who went through the whole process (and was removed) said that it cost him more than $50,000. (There was a resolution at a synod assembly to limit the synod's expenditures on such cases to $50,000.)

If the UMC is anything like ELCA, I predict that once the Book of Discipline is changed, the UMC will suddenly have the money to litigate once again. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Robert Johnson

babylonbee.com/news/methodist-church-to-split-over-whether-or-not-to-be-christians

NASHVILLE, TN—Leaders from the United Methodist Church have announced a tentative plan to split the church over differences on whether or not Methodists should be Christian or some sort of social group with a vague deist motif that makes up morality based on whatever it feels like.

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 02:02:21 AM
It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline.

Breaches of what?  The ones on homosexuality?  The ones on "property held in trust"? 

Apart from offering for our consideration quotes from the Book of Discipline, do you have any thoughts on the inability of the UMC to actually enforce the "stronger" discipline with regard to homosexual practice, as opposed to the discipline regarding properties?
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on January 06, 2020, 12:23:59 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 02:02:21 AM
It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline.

Breaches of what?  The ones on homosexuality?  The ones on "property held in trust"? 

Apart from offering for our consideration quotes from the Book of Discipline, do you have any thoughts on the inability of the UMC to actually enforce the "stronger" discipline with regard to homosexual practice, as opposed to the discipline regarding properties?


At least in the conference in this area, it's not an inability to enforce the discipline with regards to homosexual practice, but the bishop's unwillingness to go against his own conscious in regards to this issue. I believe that there are other bishops like him.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Dan Fienen

I suppose that for progressives they only have to obey rules they agree with.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles Austin

Pastor Fienen writes:
I suppose that for progressives they only have to obey rules they agree with.
I comment:
Cheap shot. Mis-characterizing of the situation. Those in the current Methodist church who chose not to "obey the rules" general faced discipline, even expulsion from the ministry or at least the possibility of that happening.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis.
GUILTY on ALL 34 counts

MaddogLutheran

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 12:59:43 PM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on January 06, 2020, 12:23:59 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 02:02:21 AM
It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline.

Breaches of what?  The ones on homosexuality?  The ones on "property held in trust"? 

Apart from offering for our consideration quotes from the Book of Discipline, do you have any thoughts on the inability of the UMC to actually enforce the "stronger" discipline with regard to homosexual practice, as opposed to the discipline regarding properties?


At least in the conference in this area, it's not an inability to enforce the discipline with regards to homosexual practice, but the bishop's unwillingness to go against his own conscious in regards to this issue. I believe that there are other bishops like him.

At least you can't pretend, like you have with regard to the ELCA, that the Methodists have never adopted an interpretation of scripture about these issues.
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

MaddogLutheran

Quote from: Charles Austin on January 06, 2020, 01:13:23 PM
Pastor Fienen writes:
I suppose that for progressives they only have to obey rules they agree with.
I comment:
Cheap shot. Mis-characterizing of the situation. Those in the current Methodist church who chose not to "obey the rules" general faced discipline, even expulsion from the ministry or at least the possibility of that happening.
No cheap shot.  I think what Pastor Fienen should have included was that when progressives are punished for not obeying the rules, they are celebrated for their bravery by all the right thinking people.

Unlike those malevolent dual rostered types in the ELCA...those people are the worst schismatics for breaching our governing documents!
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on January 06, 2020, 01:21:07 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 12:59:43 PM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on January 06, 2020, 12:23:59 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2020, 02:02:21 AM
It may be that the United Methodist Church could not afford to litigate all the breaches of these paragraphs of their Discipline.

Breaches of what?  The ones on homosexuality?  The ones on "property held in trust"? 

Apart from offering for our consideration quotes from the Book of Discipline, do you have any thoughts on the inability of the UMC to actually enforce the "stronger" discipline with regard to homosexual practice, as opposed to the discipline regarding properties?


At least in the conference in this area, it's not an inability to enforce the discipline with regards to homosexual practice, but the bishop's unwillingness to go against his own conscious in regards to this issue. I believe that there are other bishops like him.

At least you can't pretend, like you have with regard to the ELCA, that the Methodists have never adopted an interpretation of scripture about these issues.


I didn't see one scripture reference with any of their statements about homosexuals in the Book of Discipline.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

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