Good News releases statement calling the present state of the UMC as “untenable”

GoodNews_sqGood News, the independent evangelical United Methodist organization which promotes “orthodox Wesleyan Christianity” released a statement today following their March 28 board meeting which says that they believe the current situation of the UMC to be “untenable.”

Their assessment of the church’s situation is in response to a variety of legal and administrative actions in the UMC related to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. “Many of our bishops are unwilling to enforce The Book of Discipline and the covenant we have agreed to live by” the Good News board wrote.   “Widespread disregard of that covenant, the will of General Conference, and the Council’s own promise in 2011 to uphold the Book of Discipline demonstrates the deep division and conflicting worldviews existing within The United Methodist Church. ”

The board acknowledged that there has been conversation in various circles about the ability to remain a united church, and considering the possibility of separation. “We are aware of conversations taking place among leading pastors and other groups around the country to examine what options are available for those of us who are biblical Christians and who have agreed to live by The Book of Discipline,” the board said.  “Those options include sweeping reform of the church or the creation of a different kind of future.  If we are one church, we cannot act as if we are two.  If in reality we are two churches, it may not be wise to pretend any longer that we are one. ”

When asked for a response to the Good News statement, the Reconciling Ministries Network (an advocacy group calling for full inclusion of GLBT persons in the life of the church) referred to their “Vision for a Changing Church in a Changing World” published today on their blog page, which acknowledges the divisions, but pledges to work with “the current and future connectional processes and power structures of The United Methodist Church in collaboration with current and future emerging alternative Methodist/Wesleyan allies and structures, calling those at all levels of authority and discipleship to faithfulness for our shared mission.”

The Good News board ended their statement by calling United Methodists to prayer, asking God to “…grant us wisdom in finding a way forward that would preserve the church’s commitment to Scripture and United Methodist doctrine.”

Good News has traditionally been opposed to changes in the Book of Discipline that would allow for GLBT participation or same-sex marriage.

The full statement from the Good News board is listed below.:

At their board meeting ending March 28, 2014, Good News staff and board members discussed at length the present reality:  many of our bishops are unwilling to enforce The Book of Discipline and the covenant we have agreed to live by.   Widespread disregard of that covenant, the will of General Conference, and the Council’s own promise in 2011 to uphold the Book of Discipline demonstrates the deep division and conflicting worldviews existing within The United Methodist Church.

We see the present situation as untenable. We are aware of conversations taking place among leading pastors and other groups around the country to examine what options are available for those of us who are biblical Christians and who have agreed to live by The Book of Discipline.  Those options include sweeping reform of the church or the creation of a different kind of future.  If we are one church, we cannot act as if we are two.  If in reality we are two churches, it may not be wise to pretend any longer that we are one.  Many are discussing the wisdom of churches continuing to fund a denomination that is unwilling to live by its policies and whose chief officers do not enforce its beliefs.  Some have already curtailed their financial support in protest.  Concrete and dramatic actions are likely to come out of those conversations in the next few months.

The Good News board and staff request prayer for The United Methodist Church in the midst of the present crisis.  May God grant us wisdom in finding a way forward that would preserve the church’s commitment to Scripture and United Methodist doctrine.  And may we treat one another with grace and respect as we seek to create a faithful future

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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21 Comments on "Good News releases statement calling the present state of the UMC as “untenable”"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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Glenn E. Sohm
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2 years 2 months ago
There is a general perception among many young people that the church has become irrelevant to their lives. If people believe that we have little or nothing to say about the human condition, then we are in dire straits. Our task should be to foster spiritual formation, to bring people closer to an understanding of God and to make disciples for Christ. As Bishop Melvin Talbert says, “There are no exceptions, no exclusions. We all belong to the family of God.” The journey needs to be open to all who seek a greater understanding of their relationship with God. If… Read more »
WAD
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WAD
2 years 2 months ago
The irrelevancy issue among young people is, indeed, tragic. But, this extends into the rest of the population as well. Far too many in our culture of narcissism would, of course, prefer the church conform to them and the culture instead of the other way around. Since the church does not appear to be an “easy button” to them, they bail or never show up in the first place. Confronting our human condition is daunting, challenging, frightening. But that’s what we must do before we can truly walk with Jesus. Prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace are the greatest… Read more »
james
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james
2 years 2 months ago
Young people feel the church is irrelevant because their parents felt the same way. It has been thus for a long time. The “more is better” mentality and “if it feels good do it” mentality have reigned supreme in the progressive atmosphere that is so thick in our country/world today. When a hunger for Father/Son/Holy Spirit is planted in the hearts of ALL men–and when there are Shepherds who will feed that hunger ready to serve–the course of this country will change–as will the world. The altar of political correctness will in deed destroy the UMC and the USA and… Read more »
Sandy Wylie
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2 years 2 months ago
When we came for baptism in the UMC, we answered questions: “Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin? Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” What if evil, injustice, and oppression are embodied in the laws of your society or in the human-made rule book of your church? Isn’t your duty to resist with all your might? We are now where our nation was in the middle of the 19th century with… Read more »
Wes Andrews
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Wes Andrews
2 years 2 months ago

Sandy, you are not talking about rejecting evil, you are talking about rejecting the plan and simple definition of sexuality and marriage in Scripture.

Galen Colbert
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2 years 2 months ago
I completely agree with their position. The current state is untenable. I agree, however, for completely different reasons than the Evangelicals. Their unwillingness to embrace change and see past the well-worn covers of their tightly clutched Bibles are going to spell the end of the UMC as we know it. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, though. What would a separated Methodist denomination look like? The possibilities are exciting. I’d be glad to not have to deal with bigotry, unkind words, judgment, and narrow-mindedness. Like it or not, the world is changing, folks. If a split does come to be,… Read more »
theenemyhatesclarity
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theenemyhatesclarity
2 years 2 months ago

I am tired of the fighting. The current structure of the United Methodist Church is not sustainable anyway. Why not just dissolve and use our resources for the Kingdom in the manner each local congregation see fit?

In Christ,

The enemy hates clarity

Rev. Robin Swieringa
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Rev. Robin Swieringa
2 years 2 months ago
I attended an evangelical denomination’s seminary because their websites and denominational officials stated that the denomination fully supported the ordination of women into pastoral ministry. In my first and second years, I discovered that the denomination, in fact, licensed and ordained complementarian men who did not believe in the denomination’s view of women in ministry — and who then “taught” their congregations their view in places other than the pulpit or classroom, despite convenanting to support the egalitarian view at their ordinations. In years three to four, the denomination published a study guide/position paper that declared the denomination’s judgment that… Read more »
MethodistPie
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MethodistPie
2 years 2 months ago

There have to be a lot of large church pastors who are sizing up the cost/benefit of being part of the connection now. Their congregations are paying the bills for an organization that seems unable or unwilling to abide by its own rules. The “brand” name has become synonymous with dysfunction. The money poured into General Conferences and Judicial Councils (not to mention underwriting the Western Jurisdiction) could surely be invested in more productive ministries. It’s becoming difficult to sustain a rational for investing in the current edition of the beyond-the-local-United Methodist Church.

John JP Patterson
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John JP Patterson
2 years 2 months ago
It seems to me, “Good News” is using the same somewhat veiled tactics the IRD backed groups used to “Bully” WorldVision into submission. Our Lord’s Summary of the Law You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And, a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another As I Have Loved You. – Matthew 22:37, John 13:34 God has already settled this matter: all human… Read more »
Tim Conover
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2 years 2 months ago
Mr. Patterson Demanding tolerance and inclusion by the progressives might be best done in front of a mirror. The intolerance of those who demand the denomination disregard a duly debated and voted on document is hypocrisy at the worst level, followed closely behind diagnosing me with homophobia, “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to homosexual people”, of which I have neither, while a nice catchphrase, it in and of itself seems to “cloak”. The issue at hand has nothing to do with fear or aversion. The issue is simply if marriage is between one consenting adult male and… Read more »
WAD
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WAD
2 years 2 months ago
While progressives accuse traditionalist of “quoting scripture”, then it would appear that you are breaking a primary progressive rule by quoting Matthew 22:37 and John 13:34. And by doing so, it suggests that this is a method employed in order to ignore, erase, or alter other Scripture, like Matthew 19:4-6. This Biblical interpretation methodology doesn’t work because Jesus NEVER contridict himself, and ALL that he ever said is equally valid and true. Therefore, no matter the man made methodology used to interpret the Bible, no one can ever change the definition that Jesus gave marriage in his affirmation of God’s… Read more »
bill krill
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2 years 2 months ago

While they argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, members are fleeing into the void.

Jeff
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Jeff
2 years 2 months ago
“Concrete and dramatic actions are likely to come out of those conversations in the next few months.” I think this means that whatever they are proposing, and there may be more than one proposal, will be unveiled at the annual conferences across the US in May and June. Now that conservatives have the majority on the global level, we can expect them to try and close any remaining loopholes in the Discipline to enable them to remove as many partnered gay clergy and pastors who perform same gender weddings as possible. I ask the United Methodist Reporter to diligently make… Read more »
The Watcher
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The Watcher
2 years 2 months ago

I agree with Jason – the problem with the action in the NE is it probably threatens the legal standing of the held in trust clause because the underlying bylaws of the organization have been breached without consequence.

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