Umc is on its way out
No matter how the UMC crisis is resolved it’s over for the UMC. In the near future the denomination will be tore apart somewhere along the lines of 60/40, with 40 to 60 percent leaving the denomination to either form a new denomination or abandon the institutional church all together.
On the surface the issue is sexual identity, namely homosexuality. In case you’re not following the crises, here it is in a nutshell. The US UMC is part of the world UMC which sets policy, rules, and beliefs. Basically the world UMC declared homosexuality a sin and voted to ban homosexuals from ordination as well as banning pastors from performing marriage ceremonies for homosexuals. The US UMC is bound by these decisions.) But deep down the issue is much more serious – conservatives versus liberals.
If you interpret scripture so that homosexuality is a sin, you are considered a bigot. If you interpret scripture so that homosexuality is part of God’s plan you are unfaithful to the scriptures. There is no middle ground and no compromise.
Progressives make the case for inclusion – God loves everyone and so should we. That means homosexuality should be included in the church and be candidates for ordination.
Conservatives say that the scriptures tell us that homosexuality is a sin and needs repentance and no homosexual can be ordained.
Here’s my response to this crises. The real shame is that the UMC is being torn apart for the wrong reason. Instead of homosexuality being the issue, our lack of working toward the salvation of every human being should be the issue. We’ve virtually abandoned personal witness and evangelism. Less than 1 percent of the UMC have ever led a person to Christ when that is one of the reasons Christ died for us- to go make disciples. On top of that we no longer believe Jesus is the only way to God. That is the real crisis but it is being totally lost in the rush to inclusion.
Does God love the homosexual? Of course. But more important does God require we go after the one lost sheep? You bet. That’s the real debate we should be having.
A long time ago when I founded 21 Century Strategies, then Easum Band & Associates, now the effective Church Group, I had one theme – if Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior give me your hand.
Folks the issue isn’t homosexuality. The issue is whether or not Jesus is the Lord of our lives.