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CLUB 444: Bill and David

June 15, 2022

Bill Easum, yup, the one so many of us have read and quoted, recently shared this —-

Every UMC should read this from David DeSilva

It seems all manner of United Methodists are commenting on the launching of the Global Methodist Church.

Some are celebrating the event with hopefulness that the GMC will recover something of the Wesleyan spirit and its emphasis on evangelism and sanctification that once made it a holy fire sweeping across this nation rather than whatever emphases it has embodied over the past few decades that have left it essentially a pile of dying embers. (And moving into an openly affirming position in regard to same-sex practice has not stemmed the precipitous decline in the ECUSA, PCUSA, or ELCA. I have serious doubts that it will produce a different outcome in the UMC.)

Some are sanctimoniously lamenting the loss of unity or a united witness, as if those United Methodists (like myself) who thought the Book of Discipline struck the right balance in regard to affirming the sacred worth of all people while also witnessing to the scriptural vision for marriage and human sexuality have not been under siege in the face of relentless and aggressive attacks on the denomination’s identity and practice. Unity and a united witness were lost a long time ago in the UMC, and they were destroyed by each and every clergy person who acted against the decisions of each successive General Conference regarding marriage and human sexuality (and each and every member of a UM seminary faculty that taught their students to do so).

Some are expressing their lack of patience or sympathy, or even openly denouncing, clergy and churches who are breaking away from the UMC to join the GMC as “schismatics,” effectively denying the whole history (and, in some cases, the parts they themselves have played in that history) of UM clergy refusing to keep their ordination vows to uphold the Book of Discipline and remain faithful to our covenant or, like honest people, leaving to join another of the many available denominations with whose official stance concerning gay and lesbian marriage they would not have been in conflict.

I do not rejoice at the birth of the GMC (which is entirely made up of the UMC sisters and brothers that “progressives” have worked tirelessly to alienate, by the way). It marks the victory within the UMC of the arrogant self-assertion of a minority over the collective wisdom of the denomination (as expressed in every General Conference that spoke to the question). It marks the admission that there can no longer be a place for traditionalist-minded Christians in the UMC whose progressive members have shown nothing short of disdain for every General Conference decision made concerning marriage and human sexuality during my lifetime. It marks the realization that those who think themselves wiser than scripture will not stop till they have re-created the UMC in their image. And the traditionalists who are finally ready to abdicate and allow progressives their victory must now endure scorn and sanctimonious lament as they depart.

Those of you who are lamenting the loss of unity or united witness (which is already a miserable bit of play-acting given the face of Protestantism as a whole) after having taught your students and congregations for years or decades that the Book of Discipline got it wrong — quit your hypocritical show. It would be more honest if you would just shout out on your FB walls for joy that the backwards troglodytes who think that Paul had greater insight into God’s perspective on human practice than you do are leaving so that you can have the kind of church that you want, that you have fought so long and hard to have, that you have INSISTED on having no matter what it did to those whose consciences were more beholden to scripture and the 1900-year-long wisdom of the Christian Churches on every continent than to the prophets of the LGBTQ+ agenda in the modern West.

Those of you who are condemning sisters and brothers leaving to join the GMC and puffing yourselves up on your virtue for staying “in humility and patience” unlike those “schismatics” — quit your slander. You in your arrogance have driven out your sisters and brothers. And in the end you had better be right about God, about human sexuality, and about marriage. Because if you are wrong, you’ve become simply another example of attaining the true nadir of human depravity according to Romans 1:32, which is not merely sinning, but approving of those who practice what is sinful.

As for me, I am not joining the GMC anytime soon. I will stay with the UMC at least through GC 2024 to see what the end will be — to see if the good intentions behind the “Protocol” come to fruition or if, once a majority of progressive votes has been achieved, all motivation for a fair and gracious separation evaporates. And I will continue to remind my progressive colleagues that they should confess and lament their own complicity in the split that is happening and come to genuine repentance rather than point any fingers or wag any tongues at their sisters and brothers who are graciously getting out of the way of their agenda and their incompatible vision for “the next UMC.”

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