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CLUB 444: Why Stay? part 2

January 19, 2023

Scott A. Duell, a friend IRL as well as online, has graciously given me his expressed permission to share this with you here. I’ll be doing that in four parts —

REASON.  According to John Wesley, Reason is a fundamental principle that goes hand-in-hand with Christianity. By my own crude interpretation, that means that God gave us brains and the capacity for critical thought – so we should use them. 

I have read the materials provided by the Global Methodist Church and those written by my own pastor. I have watched the videos by Rob Renfroe and listened to sermons, discussions, and debates. But I am dumbfounded by how much misinformation is being disseminated and presented as “fact”. The GMC has even invented a term, “Post-Separation UMC,” to attempt to paint the church in an unflattering light; as if something fundamental is going to change just because some people are being led away from the UMC like rats being led out of Hamelin by the Pied Piper. As I said before, it’s not. 

To put it in the simplest terms I can come up with, they want to leave because they think that the UMC is becoming too liberal or progressive. That’s it. The only real evidence they have of that is ongoing discussions to allow and affirm same-sex marriages and the ordination of practicing LGBTQ+ persons. But as of yet, that hasn’t happened. Sure, GMC supporters will bring up a couple of extreme examples – always the same few – in order to frighten the more conservative members into thinking that it’s more widespread than it really is, or that it’s like an infectious disease rapidly spreading across the country. But again, it’s really not. Those are just scare tactics. 

To me, it seems like a natural extension of the state of our current politics. The divide between those considered liberal and those considered conservative is growing wider and wider for no apparent reason, eliminating any chance of compromise or collaboration, and precipitating the need to vilify and demonize the other side. That mentality has leached into our churches – and that’s not healthy or okay. 

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