Schism Would Be a Blessing

More. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics: Conservative African Methodist Denounces the Racism of Progressive American Bishops.

15 Comments for “Schism Would Be a Blessing”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    “Truth is not decided by a majority vote.”–Pope Benedict.

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    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Course not. You need a Roman emperor to summon the bishops, and then the minority of bishops who respond get to decide for “all of Christendom” the “truth” on the nature of the Trinity and other matters.

      Reply
  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The African Methodists opposed to gay equality sound like pre-civil rights Southerners opposed to racial equality. But the irony is lost on them.

    If schism comes, it is unlikely to be as clean as you suggest, with African Methodists on one side and Canadian/US/English Methodists on the other. The US denomination is likely to split internally as well, pretty much along north-south lines.

    Methodists in the West, the Northeast and parts of the Midwest are effectively in schism now, while Methodists in the South have not broken with traditional teaching.

    I don’t expect that to change. Do you?

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  3. posted by Kosh III on

    IMHO Most congregations will continue as before with the welcoming congreagations continuing to be welcoming and the discriminating congregations will slowly dwindle and die off in the US like all the other old bigots.
    A few may leave and form a rump demonination like the Southern Methodist Church, a 2300 member denomination that formed after the 1939 union of North and South.

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    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I don’t know about that, Kosh.

      Given that the Methodist population is most heavily clustered in the West North Central Conference (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota), and in the three southern conferences (West South Central, East South Central and South Atlantic Conferences), it seems as likely to me that (1) the UMC will remain intact, but “welcoming congregations” will detach and form a new denomination or affiliate with another denomination such as the ELCA, or (2) the UMC will remain intact, and members of the UMC in the “welcoming congregations” will leave the UMC and drift into the ELCA or another denomination.

      But I’m just guessing. Whatever the UMC does going forward, I wish them well. I think that the Methodists, by and large, have been a positive force in our country’s history, and never destructive to my knowledge.

      Reply
  4. posted by JohnInCA on

    The African Methodists opposed to gay equality sound like pre-civil rights Southerners opposed to racial equality. But the irony is lost on them.

    What irony?

    For the most part, African Methodists aren’t African-American, they’re just African. America’s Civil Rights struggles aren’t part of their history.

    You can judge them harshly (and I do) without projecting American history onto them.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      For the most part, African Methodists aren’t African-American, they’re just African. America’s Civil Rights struggles aren’t part of their history.

      The “irony” comment struck me as odd, too, for the same reason.

      The United Methodist Church (UMC) in the United States is home to very few African-Americans, African-Americans comprising less than 1% of UMC membership. African-Americans in the Methodist tradition tend, for historic reasons, to be members of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.

      What I’m puzzled by is why Stephen thinks that a schism within the UMC would be “a blessing”. It is such a personal comment, suggesting to me that Stephen is Methodist and has a dog in the UMC fight.

      In any event, it is hardly worth worrying about. The UMC has been largely apolitical, unlike the Southern Baptist, Mormon and Catholic denominations in the United States. The UMC will schism, or not, and those of us outside the denomination don’t have a dog in the fight. Because the UMC is largely apolitical, whatever they decide won’t affect many people outside the denomination.

      Reply
  5. posted by JohnInCA on

    As a side note, what’s with CPAC 2019? Supposedly it started yesterday, but there’s almost no news coming out of it this year. I know the real write-ups don’t normally come till the week after, but there’s normally some news coming out of it while it’s actually running.

    On that note, LCR is on the “exhibiting sponsor” list. So at least they didn’t ban LCR this year.

    Reply
  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    More. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics: Conservative African Methodist Denounces the Racism of Progressive American Bishops.

    What is the suggestion here? That “welcoming” members/congregations of the UMC are practicing “identity politics” and racism by having the temerity to suggest that Christianity need not be inherently and irrevocably hostile to gays and lesbians?

    It is an honest question, Stephen. I thought that your initial post was odd (because of the apparent mix-up of African-American Methodists (as few as they may be) and African Methodists, brought into the denomination by evangelism in past years), but I understood it to suggest that the coming schism was a “blessing” because it would result in an American UMC that was more “welcoming”.

    Even though I don’t think that is the most likely result (see comments above), that’s what I understood you to be suggesting. Now it seems that you are suggesting the opposite, that somehow American Methodists are wrongheaded in seeking to make the UMC more “welcoming”.

    I beginning to think that I should just give up trying to understand Christians.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      There’s still the possibility he just hates big religion. If Mr. Miller were talking about Catholicism, the two opposite-seeming posts would make perfect sense to me.

      But he’s not, so they don’t.

      Reply

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