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CLUB 444: Why Stay? part 4 and conclusion

January 21, 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 —

SCRIPTURE.  Okay – this can be an enormous blog post all on its own – so let’s keep this one simple and straightforward. If you want a more detailed look at what the UMC believes about the Bible – and will continue to believe “post-separation”, check out this link, https://www.umc.org/en/content/theological-guidelines-scripture


The Bible was written, compiled, translated, and passed down through generations by men – but it was divinely inspired by God. It is a holy and sacred text – the source of our doctrines – the authority for our lives – and the roadmap to reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Jesus and the sustaining of the Holy Spirit. It is a love story, a measuring rod, and a guidebook. But it is not meant to be read literally. It is intended to be interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit, and understood through the lenses of tradition, experience, and reason. 

Once again, the GMC wants to allude to a future where the UMC discounts or discards the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

CONCLUSION.  I hate that we have been forced to take sides. I hate that there has to be an “us” and a “them”. I hate that there is discord between brothers and sisters in Christ. But this is where we are. 


Yes, there are things about the United Methodist Church that I would like to see changed. And I will continue to fight for those changes. Change and growth are good things. That’s why the General Conference meets every four years, to discuss revisions to The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions. And I’m sorry to be the one to have to say this out loud, but as society changes – our social principles should evolve to reflect and address those changes. These books are not divinely inspired scripture – they’re books that can and should be updated and edited. 


But I cannot in good conscience, cast a vote to disaffiliate in order to join a denomination that was established primarily to stop the discussion about human sexuality and deny the full inclusion of my LGBTQ+ friends and family into the church. I can’t and I won’t. At the very least, the UMC is still open to the discussion. 


Nor can I be a part of a denomination that has deemed it necessary to recruit clergy, members, and even whole churches through what I see as a pattern of deceit, fearmongering, and unfair maligning of my church. That is certainly not how Jesus taught us to treat each other. 


This has not been an easy decision. There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth. But If my home church votes to disaffiliate, I will mourn – I will grieve – I will wish them the best and will continue to pray for its members that I will always love – but I will find another UMC church that believes and is willing to live out the motto, “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”


Peace.

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