January 4, 2020

"Methodism in the United States dates to the early 1700s, with a long history of valuing local congregations over a top-down structure. It has split many times..."

"... most notably over slavery before the Civil War. Membership is varied demographically and politically, counting as adherents everyone from Hillary Clinton to Jeff Sessions.... [C]ongregations overseas are growing rapidly, particularly in Africa; there are nearly 3 million members in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These groups tend to be more conservative than the typical American Methodist, which in part explains the vote in St. Louis, where more than 40 percent of delegates were from outside the United States.... Though the traditionalists won the narrow vote in 2019, it is the progressives who will remain under the banner of the United Methodist Church...."

From "United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split Over Same-Sex Marriage/Under an agreement to be voted on in May, a new 'traditionalist Methodist' denomination would continue to ban same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian clergy" (NYT).

146 comments:

gilbar said...

We keep removing morality and tradition from our church; but attendance KEEPS falling
hmmm

Fernandistein said...

"United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split"

Thereby becoming Untied Methodists.

rhhardin said...

Same sex marriage isn't a moral question but a word question. It isn't marriage, it's a civil union. SCOTUS screwup.

Marriage connotes the suspicions, grudges, narcissistic postures, fears, needs, and desires peculiar to a man and a woman, not just genderless getting along but with fucking.

rhhardin said...

Their hymns are famous.

gilbar said...

delegates meeting in St. Louis voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan, which affirmed bans on LGBTQ-inclusive practices. A majority of U.S.-based delegates opposed that plan but were outvoted by U.S. conservatives teamed with delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines.

So, a MAJORITY of delegates wanted to not embrace gaydom
But; the Church, in its wisdom decided to reject teachings, and embrace gaydom
The liberal US churches wanted that; the conservative Rest of the World did NOT

Serious Question:
Which side is gaining members? Which side is totally stagnant, and dying out

ps I was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church

Shouting Thomas said...

The Methodist hymnal is great. A lot of tent revival stompers.

There just aren't many Methodists left. I subbed as organist for a time at half a dozen connected churches. Each was lucky to draw 10 people to Sunday services. No children. Just the elderly.

I couldn't understand how they could afford to pay me, but they did. Those people really wanted to sing.

So, this schism is just the kill shot.

rhhardin said...

Cannibals cooking missionaries and ray of sunlight between clouds falls on the pots. Missionary: You're not helping things, God.

old cartoon

Ann Althouse said...

My mother's family were Methodist, and one of her grandfathers was a Methodist minister.

Ann Althouse said...

(My father's family were Presbyterians. We were also taken to Episcopal church when I was a little older, and that was because there was a new church building about 2 blocks away and the vicar made the effort to befriend the neighbors, including my father.)

Shouting Thomas said...

A little story from my days with the Methodists...

One of the churches did fill up on a Sunday for a baptism. A couple dozen people from the extended family joined the usual 8 elderly regulars.

A young man and woman, obviously lovers, sat in the first row of the pews. The young man proceeded to diddle his girlfriend throughout the service. She squirmed and writhed.

Nobody said a thing, although everybody could see what was going on.

gilbar said...

Shouting Thomas incorrectly said...There just aren't many Methodists left.

There's MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of Methodists left; just not at the Gay White towns you play in.

Christianity is in Asia and Africa. Europe and America are for the Gays and Moslem's (go figure?)

Lucid-Ideas said...

I've said this many times, but the next shoe to drop is pedophilia-normalization. Watch.

In 20-30 years you'll see the American Methodists going right back to the convention-table and split over that issue. And again...and again, and so on. It will not until the institution is sufficiently used against itself.

Shouting Thomas said...

The Episcopal Church suffered thru an even more bitter schism over gay and female pastors and gay marriage.

On the national level, the progressives won out, and they immediately set out on a vindictive purge. They refused to allow individual parishes to choose their theological position, and sued for ownership of the buildings of parishes that refused to comply with the gaydom. The national hierarchy spent an estimated $30 million on lawsuits.

Many churches emptied and buildings had to be auctioned off in bankruptcy.

The surviving churches exist with half or less of their former congregation, and families have split the scene.

The Episcopal Church is heavily endowed, since it was once the church of financiers and industrial giants. The church continues to exist by slowly eating that endowment.

Eleanor said...

Hopefully, the LGBT community will come to accept no matter how hard they try, not everyone is going to like them or want to sit next to them in church. As long as the church members don't throw rocks at them or throw them off the roof of the church, they need to leave that church alone. They need to find a church that wants their money in the collection plate every week and go to church there. It's not winning hearts and minds to force themselves into church communities who believe homosexuality is against everything they stand for, and they're pissing off people like me who haven't gone to church for years. I grew up in a Methodist Church that wouldn't even serve wine for communion. They had strong beliefs and stood by them. I didn't buy into what they believed so I left. It's OK, really.

Professional lady said...

I went to a wedding at a mainline protestant church not too long ago (Presbyterian). It was kind of amazing to me how unbiblical the ceremony was - that is, there were virtually no bible readings concerning marriage. This church had embraced same sex marriage and so in order to include that concept, they couldn't reference the actual bible. Kind of interesting given the whole sola scriptura concept.

iowan2 said...

Our daughter is involved at district level, with these debates. We talked about the homosexual marriage rift. She smartly could see both sides. After all the talk, I offered they were not voting to accept homosexuals, but rather to reject Christianity.

This is the difference between members of a church, joining together, and persons of faith sharing their strength through God. The members just have to figure out what they are. Not what others are.

Fritz said...

Not a Methodist. Don't care.

Temujin said...

These old Protestant congregations don't stand a chance going up against the largest and fastest growing religion in America: Progressivism.

At some point, all others will have to be purged.

Shouting Thomas said...

Not a Methodist. Don't care.

Methodism is about the "Method." This was a reworking of Calvinism (although Methodists say otherwise).

Calvinism and the Method both stress hard work, clean living and family responsibility.

Both are great theologies for those raising families who want to elevate their lives spiritually and materially.

Charles Wesley, the dominate figure in Methodism, was a fantastic and prolific composer of hymns. Those hymns are part of the foundation upon which the great American popular music everybody loves was built.

Ralph L said...

Have the Presbyterians splintered yet?

During my spinster aunt's memorial service in Towson MD in 2018, I became angry that the Episcopal choir she'd sung in for 50 years didn't bother to show up as a group. Afterwards, I learned there weren't enough left for a choir or organist, and the (masculine-appearing female) priest was shared with another tiny congregation. They'd sung the Anthem at an Orioles' game just 5 years before, apparently with added ringers.

Ralph L said...

Charles Wesley, the dominate figure in Methodism

No, that was his brother, John.

I hadn't realized John went briefly to some Moravians between CoEngland and his evangelism.

hawkeyedjb said...

My father was a 60-year member and supporter of the Methodist Church. Last summer he got a long letter from the pastor explaining why it was SO important to become LGBTQ friendly, perform same-sex marriages, etc. He read the letter and simply quit going to church. Let them have it, he says. It's not really a church anyway. Basically just a trendy PC social club, very human-centered, with God and Christ shunted off to the side as afterthoughts.

The choir is down to a handful of singers, the music director quit, and the pews are now mostly empty. A sad end to the institution that I grew up in, with its full attendance and multitude of activities for both young and old. I wonder what they teach in Sunday school now. I wonder if they even have Sunday school.

Craig Howard said...

As long as the church members don't throw rocks at them or throw them off the roof of the church, they need to leave that church alone.

Yes. As long as y'all let us live, we should give thanks and just shut up. Got it.

hawkeyedjb said...

One more note - the trendy people who greet the new, woke Methodist Church with glee aren't nearly as willing to give part of their income to support their social club. They see it as another 'free' benefit, to be paid for by other people who are unfortunately no longer there. It won't last.

Shouting Thomas said...

Yes. As long as y'all let us live, we should give thanks and just shut up. Got it.

The persecution of the gays in the U.S. is a bullshit myth.

You're just a drama queen, Craig.

We're all tired of your drama queen theatrics.

Shouting Thomas said...

I once sat thru a sermon by a gay pastor on the persecution of the gays.

The best he could come up with to illustrate his plight was that not enough parishioners were inviting him out to dinner.

Michael K said...

Same sex marriage isn't a moral question but a word question. It isn't marriage, it's a civil union. SCOTUS screwup.

Just like abortion. The Catholic equivalent is the Latin Mass. There are still a few places. I wonder if the communist Pope will be able to end that?

gilbar said...

Eleanor said... Hopefully, the LGBT community will come to accept no matter how hard they try, not everyone is going to like them or want to sit next to them in church

the thing of it is: Not That many Christian LGBTINYC people (even though that's a lot of letters)
Progressive folk have LOTS of churches to go to; Churches that would welcome them, with open arms
But, most Progressive folk aren't interested in going to a church (even a UCC church)

When i lived in Ames, i lived 4 blocks from the UCC church that had their Gay Rainbow Flag stolen and burnt (for which, the perp got Sixteen YEARS). It's a Big building, and they have scores of people that go to services (score==20)
Meanwhile, Campus Baptist is on their Third building since i came to Ames. The newest building seats a couple thousand.

Serious Question: If you're a church, how do you simultaneously preach:
A) extramarital (and premarital) sex is a sin,
but;
B) gay bathhouses are "just fine"
???

The Baptists i know try not to even swear; let alone sleep around
And their churches are FULL.

hawkeyedjb said...

"The Baptists i know try not to even swear; let alone sleep around And their churches are FULL."

People usually go to church to get something they don't have or can't get in the wider, secular world. I know I did. In a world suffused with trendy PC ideology, why would you go to church on Sunday morning to get more of the same?

MountainMan said...

My father’s family and my mother’s were both Methodist. We were regular church members for about the first 30 years of our marriage and our three children were brought up in the church. For various reasons, my wife an I drifted away over the past 15 years.. A few years ago I had a young woman come to work for me who was originally from Zimbabwe, she had gone to a Methodist missionary school and got a scholarship to attend college here at a small Methodist women’s college. She joined our church and we attended her wedding when she married a young man from South Africa. They both had family and friends from Africa and all over the US come to our church for the wedding. It was the most amazing experience. These people filled the church with incredible music, singing, and joy like I had never seen. If they were there every week I would probably go back.

Oso Negro said...

Has it occurred to anyone that forcing every public institution in the United States to celebrate homosexuality is STILL not going to be enough to make homosexuals feel good about themselves? It’s just not going to happen.

Shouting Thomas said...

Has it occurred to anyone that forcing every public institution in the United States to celebrate homosexuality is STILL not going to be enough to make homosexuals feel good about themselves? It’s just not going to happen.

Homophobia is that voice in a gay's head telling him that his parents want grandchildren.

Swede said...

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod here.

We like football, basketball, softball, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, and fruit suspended in jello.

Not necessarily in that order.

Lots of families with kids, in my church at least.

In a few years time ELCA will enjoy the same fate as the Methodists. For all the same reasons.

Sebastian said...

"it is the progressives who will remain under the banner of the United Methodist Church"

Soon, all the remaining "progressive" members will indeed fit under that banner.

mockturtle said...

John Wesley would be horrified by the United Methodist Church. That it even calls itself a 'church' is false advertising. Even well before LBGTQ issues, they were a radical feminist, thoroughly Prog venue.

BTW, sinners of all kinds are welcome in 'evangelical' churches. Not affirming gay marriage and forbidding gay/lesbian pastors is not the same as barring gays, etc., at the door. Membership, however, would require acknowledgement that their lifestyle is in rebellion against God and repentance [contrition and change in attitude] would be necessary.

n.n said...

Instead of trans/homo marriage, they should have gone with civil unions. #NoJudgment #NoLabels #NoProChoice

Homophobia is that voice in a gay's head telling him that his parents want grandchildren.

It didn't start with trans/homos, but there are rent-a-wombs, and adoption, and a sociobiological experiment.

Generally speaking, it is a projected condition, that trans/homos will be tolerated, but not normalized. To their credit, trans/bis are a source of progressive social conflict, and trans/neos, especially of the neo-female (i.e. male) kind, are seen as a bridge across the spectrum, and an irreconcilable choice for the Rainbow.

Tommy Duncan said...

Methodist Pie

gilbar said...

If they were there every week I would probably go back.

my bleeding heart liberal mom goes to Methodist church every sunday, in Cedar Rapids, iowa
She told me that "an african group" had services in the church at noon (after the "real" service. She said it was surprising that as many people went to That service, as went to the "real" service. I tried to explain to her, that in Africa people are willing to risk their lives to be Methodists.... She had NO IDEA what i meant by that.

Shouting Thomas said...

Membership, however, would require acknowledgement that their lifestyle is in rebellion against God and repentance [contrition and change in attitude] would be necessary.

You don't have to confess anything publicly in the Catholic Church.

Lifestyle is irrelevant. It's a mortal sin for a straight person to screw outside of sanctified hetero marriage, just the same as for gays.

You confess your sins in the confessional.

Roughcoat said...

Great grandmother born in Ireland belongs to Church of Ireland St. Anne's Parish in downtown Dublin. Immigrates to America because Famine broke her family and tries to join local Episcopalian Church which is equivalent of Church of Ireland. The local Episcopalian Church won't let her join because she's Irish who are lower than blacks on their social scale. She joins Methodist church because Methodists are said to be "Episcopalians who can't read and don't wear shoes." Lowborn hillbillies, in other words. She marries my Irish Catholic great grandfather born in Ulster who also immigrated to America because the Famine broke his family. He joins the Union Army at age 16 and becomes a cavalry trooper in an Illinois regiment. He's severely wounded and invalided out of the army before war's end. "For some reason" he stops attending Catholic mass and becomes a Methodists. "For some reason" meaning that he's married to a strong-will Irish girl and there is no person on earth with a stronger will than a strong-willed Irish girl. He dies fairly young (complications of wounds) and ... is buried in a Methodist cemetery.

I am Catholic. Great grandfather rests in peace.

Michael The Magnificent said...

The ELCA has already voted to go full homo, allowing those in committed (but sinful) relationships to preach, which is why I've left. there are plenty of other churches that still preach the teachings of Christ.

And if I'd rather hear preachings of social justice instead, there's churches for that too.

Birches said...

Freaking liberals didn't get their way so they're kicking everyone else out. Dumb. You lost. Get over it. Isn't that the attitude they're supposed to take?

Down the street there's a Presbyterian Church with the rainbow flag proudly displayed and an empty parking lot to show for it. The UMC church across the street is always packed. Wonder what that church will decide to end up? Seems like an easy choice to me.

traditionalguy said...

The Methodists that I know are very sociable believing Christians who tolerate and love any and all weirdos. The administration of the Methodist Church seem to have long been the women first, since they are the real workers. And Methodist men seem to think that is just fine.They just want to socialize and succeed at rising in secular political posts and go to covered dish Suppers.

For more insight into Methodism see, " Being Dead is No Excuse"

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This isn't about gays themselves. They don't go to church, at least in anything but the tiniest numbers. This is about -- sorry for the term, but it's apt -- the army of fag hags who for whatever reason derive incredible emotional gratification from their role as "allies." I will never understand the obsession upper and middle class women have developed in the last twenty or thirty years with their gay pets. It's unspeakably demeaning to gay people, and it's doing unspeakable damage to institutions.

mockturtle said...

You don't have to confess anything publicly in the Catholic Church.

I didn't say anything about a public confession. We don't confess to priests, either. Just to God with Christ as our mediator.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Also, where is the outrage that brown and black Methodists don't count when white women fag hags want something and they want it bad?

mccullough said...

This was inevitable after their ancestors broke off from Roman Catholicism.

Johnny Come Lately Religions

mccullough said...

Church attendance in the US, especially among these mainline protestant denominations, have been declining long before The Gays.

Might as well blame it on divorce. The Fat King split from The Pope over it long ago.

traditionalguy said...

Note the irony of the initial Methodist Church Conference vote. It was rigged to approve Gay everything and would have won if the only the American delegates votes had to be counted. But those damn African delegates out voted the American Methodists.

The Progressives were so stunned by the race trap they "got caught " in, that they first tried appealing to the Supreme Church Court to declare the vote illegal. But finally they apparently have let the traditional Methodists go. It's analogous to Pharaoh letting Moses' people go when he was stunned with the deaths of all the first born sons in Egypt.

Qwinn said...

Pants: It's pretty simple really. All those you call fag hags were once mean girls in high school. Back then, they mercilessly mocked the fat kids, nerdy kids, smart kids, short kids, poor kids, gay kids, kids with acne, pretty much everyone. They now expiate all their sins by sticking up for that one tiny subset of the people they tortured back then. Trying to make it up to the smart and short and nerdy kids would be too much trouble as they can't chalk their previous abuse up to any socially acknowledged "bigotry" that they no longer admit to, and besides, at least the gays have fashion sense.

Bruce Hayden said...

I found it interesting that the author thought that the Methodist church was decentralized. Only maybe just in comparison with the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches. Methodists actually have bishops, who may or may not be sufficiently bishopy to qualify as such it under apostolic succession. More top down control than Presbyterian and Congregational definitely. Theologically not that different, just maybe traditionally mushier. My experience is that you are more likely to see human depictions in Methodist churches than these others, that take the ban in the Ten Commandments against iconage more seriously.

I was thinking about different Protestant denominations just now, and realized that I had grandparents from most of them. My father's father started seminary to become a Baptist minister, but turned away from the church before my father was born. His mother was Methodist, as were/are the rest of that side of the family. My mother's father was Congregational, in a tradition that stretches back to New England, to the early 1600s, where every town had their own community church, with its own slight twists on theology. And her mother was raised Presbyterian. I have attended services with family members in all of the latter three denominations, and sitting in the pews didn't find much difference, which may be why they are all suffering major membership losses, esp with their clergy swinging hard left, while their parishioners remain mainstream, but aren't replaced when they die off.

Howard said...

Feel that old timey Christian hate. Bring it Sister. You people better hope the atheists are right.

Wince said...

“Though this be madness, yet there is Methodism in 't.”

roadgeek said...

I predict the membership in the conservative churches will start to rise.

ronetc said...

Any writer who thinks United Methodism has "a long history of valuing local congregations over a top down structure" does not know what he or she is talking about. United Methodism is and always has been an episcopal system where the bishop has the ultimate power of appointing pastors . . . and the denomination not the local congregation owns all the local church property.

rcocean said...

The problem is that Church's that preach Gay acceptance seem to end up accepting gay marriage, Lesbian ministers, etc. and then, before you know it, believing in Jesus Christ is optional - but not mandatory. For example, I'm not sure if the Archbishop of Canterbury believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, since he never talks about it. If he believes in anything, its mostly hating white racism.

rcocean said...

BTW, nothing is more hilarious than listening to non-Christians and atheists lecturing the Evangalicals on the "immorality" of supporting Trump. Very transparent my liberal friends, very transparent.

rcocean said...

My parents weren't big on theology and passed that on to their kids. So, we've bounced from one denomination to another based on who had the best church in the neighborhood.

narciso said...

John wesley wouldnt recognize his Church, if its not about spreading the Word of God, what is it about?

Howard said...

Nothing is more hilarious than to see holier-than-thou Christians bleat about how they are beyond reproach and criticism from anybody outside of their silly Cult.

stever said...

I expect most of these American Methodist church leaders voted for Hillary. They are lousy politicians.

rightguy said...

I grew up a Methodist in Houston, and when I am back in town, I enjoy taking my nonagenarian mom to services at the church we have attended since 1959. Attendance at the traditional service is sparse these days, but the music and liturgy can be sublime.

I have tried out some local churches where I currently abide, but they were all unsatisfactory. i.e. the local Episcopal church leaves its superb hymnal (multiple Thomas Tallis index entries) to gather dust in the seatback shelf and instead issues Xerox copies of childish generic Hallelujah songs that everybody sings and claps along with.

If there was a church somewhere with a minister that read from the King James Bible, the congregation sang from the 1904 Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams hymnal, and the choir regularly sang Thomas Tallis, I would attend every Sunday, even if the service commenced at 5 AM.


Ralph L said...

and the denomination not the local congregation owns all the local church property.

My reading is the proposed settlement lets the leaving churches keep their property. There could be a loophole, however.

gadfly said...

Upside down logic! What sense does it make to refer the "traditional Methodist" church - formed under John Wesley in the 18h century - to be the new church and somehow the newly approved counter-gospel homosexuality segment is not what changed?

mockturtle said...

Rightguy: I agree, it's taken over pretty much every church--worship choruses and Gospel 'lite'. Babylon Bee had a nice satire on the church imitating the world, as if that's what we go to church for.

mockturtle said...

In fact, most churches now have the verses projected on a screen.

mockturtle said...

“Though this be madness, yet there is Methodism in 't.”

Nice, Wince!

Ralph L said...

Gadfly, the American churches have most of the money, so they're paying off the foreign and traditional congregations to leave so they can turn left.

narciso said...

The means can change, but the message cannot. Carl oglesby for instance waa ome of hillarys 'methodist' mentors, he was also an early member of the sds.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

rcocean: The problem is that Church's that preach Gay acceptance seem to end up accepting gay marriage, Lesbian ministers, etc. and then, before you know it, believing in Jesus Christ is optional - but not mandatory.

Perhaps you have cause and effect reversed. I think all that JC stuff (or even belief in God) becoming optional in those churches long predates the big rainbow putsch. (Jokes about atheist vicars go way back.)

For example, I'm not sure if the Archbishop of Canterbury believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, since he never talks about it. If he believes in anything, its mostly hating white racism.

If he started banging on Jesus dying for your sins and rising from the dead he'd probably be out of a job.

madAsHell said...

I was confirmed in the local Methodist church. That same church now flies a a rainbow banner. They don't fly an American flag

I live in the same neighborhood in which I was confirmed. It's a breeder neighborhood. Men, women, and children. It seems the church has become an expression of the preacher's sexual identity.

When I was a kid, someone that couldn't contain their sexual identify was a pervert.

narciso said...



Thats probably right:

https://youtu.be/-nrZBtKWSfs

madAsHell said...

identity not identify.....maybe identify works as well.

Diamondhead said...

And just like that the United Methodist Church lost all its racial diversity.

Michael K said...

Howard said...
Nothing is more hilarious than to see holier-than-thou college administrators bleat about how they are beyond reproach and criticism from anybody outside of their silly Cult.


FIFY, Howard.

Birches said...

You all complaining about dying churches should just go to a service of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. It might bother your sensibilities because the kids are loud, but there's a ton of them. It is not a dying church.

Earlier this week my kids were asking about how long people could be married. I mentioned that I thought 70 years was probably the tops. I did a Google search and became depressed when all of the old people from Texas and Georgia and New York went from 3 or 4 kids to three grandchildren and one great grandchild. I refined my Google search to 70th anniversary Utah and found much better ratios: six kids yielded 39 grandchildren, four kids yielded 14. All had many great grandchildren and some had one or two great great grandchildren. I felt better about life after that.

Unknown said...

Modern protestant churches.....fission after fission until everyone belongs to the
church of the Almighty Me.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

It seems the church has become an expression of the preacher's sexual identity.

A problem with preachers like that (aside from anyone's theological views on homosexuality) is the tendency for the church focus to become all-gay-all-the-time.

Walking past the usual suspect denominations in my town, an alien would conclude that a rainbow flag was the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity. Their billboards are always touting their awesome LGBTQXYZ acceptance and "inclusivity" (occasionally put up in Spanish, lol, to reach out to entirely imaginary Hispanic members of the congregation).

To be fair they occasionally relent in order to virtue-signal about how much they love refugees, immigrants, Muslims, and immigrant refugee Muslims (unlike you other filthy bigots walking by).

Dagwood said...

I wonder if Howard has a problem with those of Islamic faith who murder gays? Of if he's actually ever considered if that the Bible is God's holy word, then he's in far more deep shit than those who believe and follow it?

mccullough said...

So the Protestants are protesting. That’s what they do.

Protestants are the original SJWs.

Good to see they are keeping the flame alive

mccullough said...

Ye of Little Faith are triggered by Howard. And The Gays.

Marc said...

My godmother and her family had long been pillars of the local UMC; she converted when she married my godfather and worked as the Methodist parish office manager for many, many years. In spite of the differences between the Methodists and the Catholic Church, the Methodists then (through the later '70s, more or less) were, truly, faithful believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Observing the changes they've succumbed to or endured (or embraced, all too many of them) over the last thirty and forty years has been a real trial, although my guess is that that particular UMC church will want to go with the 'traditional Methodists'. The Catholic Church, of course, has been subjected to and suffered from many of the same pressures (and any number of 'own goals', from my point of view) etc etc.

Mark said...

Not affirming gay marriage and forbidding gay/lesbian pastors is not the same as barring gays, etc., at the door.

Thank you. And in fact it is those people who are most wounded and broken who are in need of the Church and Gospel. Jesus, who came to lead all to truth in love, came especially for such people -- the healthy have little need of a physician.

Jim at said...

Yes. As long as y'all let us live, we should give thanks and just shut up. Got it.

There's a whole bunch of people in the wedding industry who'd still have their livelihoods if you'd do just that.

Otto said...

God is no respector of persons. To Him homosexuality is just as sinful as any other ( mine included) sin. So Gays get over it and join the line . no line busting for thee.

Ann did you ever take your boys to church?

Mark said...

Go away Otto.

mccullough said...

Divorce is one of the sacraments for the Mainline.

Mark said...

Paul speaks of being adults in the faith (and in life), "that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ" (Letter to the Ephesians 4:14-15).

mccullough said...

Christ lived after Siddhartha and Aristotle.

Perhaps Christianity is the trickery and deceit to be avoided.

Drago said...

Howard: "Nothing is more hilarious than to see holier-than-thou Christians bleat about how they are beyond reproach and criticism from anybody outside of their silly Cult."

Howard thought this would be a good thing to post on the very day that he and his pals have exhibited the very types of hypocrisy x1000 that they lament in others.

It really is amazing how oblivious they are and how no one anywhere is fooled by them at any time.

Drago said...

Dagwood: "I wonder if Howard has a problem with those of Islamic faith who murder gays?"

For Howard and Admiral Inga et al, criticism of islamic supremacists for any reason is one of the greatest secular sins there can be.

Which is why The Hill reports that across our nation today there will be at least 70 lefty/LLR-lefty rallies mourning the loss of one of their chosen people, Soleimani.

I wonder which one Howard will be attending? Do they pass collection plates around? How much is the lefty GoFundMe for Iran up to now?

Mark said...

Howard: "Nothing is more hilarious than to see holier-than-thou Christians bleat about how they are beyond reproach and criticism from anybody outside of their silly Cult."

Thankfully the Church often reminds us about how Jesus often warned us about not being that way, but instead should be humble and mindful of our own imperfections and how we fall ourselves fall short in our relationship with God who is Love and Truth.

Howard said...

Drago is getting as boring as Doc Mike K. I simply reversed the teams of a comment by one of your fellow believers. Again, you are getting so easy to troll that one can only conclude that some evil empire has sapped and impurified your precious bodily fluids. Let's hope he doesn't decide to have a wash and brush up... a little water on the back of the neck.

Howard said...

Believe in God or face eternal damnation that sounds like love to me.

Mark said...

Believe in God or face eternal damnation that sounds like love to me.

Sounds to me like utter ignorance and a twisted understanding of the truth from someone who, as I quoted earlier, has been "swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery."

I'd encourage you to let go of that false belief, even if it is fairly popular, and seek the real truth.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Ye of Little Faith are triggered by Howard. And The Gays.

Howard is easily ignored. I'm not triggered by actual gay people in the slightest -- I'd like if if we could for just a day or two here or there stop hearing about The Big Gay Oppression Which Must Be Constantly Discussed Every Minute Until The End of Time because without it the ally army would have to find something important to do and wouldn't get their sweet sweet hits of furious moral self-pleasuring.

mockturtle said...

While all have sinned, only those who accept Christ's atonement will be saved from the eternal damnation which we all deserve. God made the rules. You may not like them but, then, you're not the one who calls the shots. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12.

Mark said...

If God is Life itself -- and as the Ultimate Reality, the "I am," He is Life itself -- then it stands to reason that if we want to have life ourselves, that we should endeavor to have some kind of connection with that Life (if not overtly, then in some other fashion that might be unknowing).

And if we do not have such a connection/relationship with Life that we necessarily cannot have life ourselves, which some have referred to as "damnation."

By the way, there are plenty of people who cry out, "Lord, Lord," who do not know Him at all, and there are plenty of people who know Him intimately without realizing who it is that they know.

Howard said...

Oh yeah that's right I forgot Christians are so generous with their love for humanity that they believe that unless you accept Christ's atonement you will suffer eternal damnation so the Jews the Muslims the Buddhists the pagans everyone else on the planet by far the majority of the people on the planet are doomed forever. What a lovely thought what a loving God sign me up.

hombre said...

The Methodist Bible Church and the Methodist LGBT Church. Ununited.

John Wesley would applaud the diversity. /Sarc

Paul Snively said...

Professional lady: I went to a wedding at a mainline protestant church not too long ago (Presbyterian)... Kind of interesting given the whole sola scriptura concept.

Forgive me, but it wasn't Calvin who claimed "Sola scriptura;" it was Luther.

hombre said...

Howard whines: “... Christians are so generous with their love for humanity that they believe that unless you accept Christ's atonement you will suffer eternal damnation so the Jews the Muslims the Buddhists the pagans everyone else on the planet by far the majority of the people on the planet are doomed forever. What a lovely thought what a loving God sign me up.”

That’s a bit of an oversimplification, Howard, the reality having nothing to do with our humanity, but with our love for Jesus Christ. We also know that it is not our belief, but God’s judgment, that determines who is doomed and that Jews will probably not be among them.

We also believe in free will. So if you choose, God will sign you up. You should know, however, that He loves you, but that doesn’t require him to tolerate your bullshit.

gilbar said...

MadAsHell said...That same church now flies a a rainbow banner. They don't fly an American flag

The UCC church in Ames (that sent the guy to prison* for SIXTEEN YEARS), had their rainbow banner COVERING the cross on the side of their building. And, yes; they bought a new Rainbow banner The Next Day (wouldn't want people thinking that the United Church of Christ had Anything to do with Jesus

that sent the guy to prison* I'm sure some of you are going: "They didn't send him to prison, the Judge did. Which is true; and ignores that fact that
A) they pressed the charges
B) didn't ask for Any leniency
C) BRAGGED about sending a MAN (a Straight MAN!) to prison

Milwaukie guy said...

Have the Presbyterians splintered yet?

There have been numerous splits amongst the Presbys. In 1804-1805 two splits occurred which soon united into The Christian Church, which still has the Cross of St. Andrew in its logo. Both my Iowan parents were member.

And, of course, the split into northern and southern churches with the Civil War and wasn't reunited until the war's centennial.

Presby Presidents:
Andrew Jackson
Abe Lincoln [not much of a church man but did attend 1st Presbyterian in Springfield]
Woodrow Wilson [boo, Southern Presby, insert numerous invectives here]
Ronald Reagan
Donald Trump [via Norman Vincent Peale]

Not necessarily inclusive. Not a bad run.

Mark said...

Why do you repeatedly resort to caricatures and strawmen, Howard?

It has often been explained to you that your characterizations have no basis in reality.

The better path would be to have a sincere desire to know the truth.

Milwaukie guy said...

Even though I'm an atheist, I still go to the church occasionally. In Chicago, I went back to my home church for the occasional blessing of the tartans. In Portland, I go to Easter now and then to thank Jesus for being a founding father of Western Civilization and silently praise the Scottish Reformation.

Based on limited field observations, I'll take what is no longer a real religion for $500.

gilbar said...

I'm childless, and a Non-Christian (though, i was baptized And confirmed Methodist);
so this is all academic to me; but....

If you go to church, and have a son (or sons); would it ENCOURAGE your desire to join a church knowing that they are TOTALLY GAY FRIENDLY?

I suppose, you could argue, that if the churchmen are Opening fucking each other; maybe they won't be going after kids. It's like to Boy Scouts now; feel free letting your son go camping with them; on account of because the leaders will be busy doing each... unless the get bored

narciso said...

he doesn't get john 3;16, and that's the most obvious statement of faith,

narciso said...

john 14:6, for another,

Michael K said...

Howard said...
Oh yeah that's right I forgot Christians are so generous with their love for humanity that they believe that unless you accept Christ's atonement you will suffer eternal damnation


Howard prefers Islam where you can get your head chopped off for being an infidel and don't have to wait for natural death.

Actually, back when I spent 12 years in Catholic schools, I seem to remember that Hell was not for unbelievers but for unrepentant sinners.

I'm sure Howard is more up to date on religion than I am.

Greg the class traitor said...

Howard said...
Oh yeah that's right I forgot Christians are so generous with their love for humanity that they believe that unless you accept Christ's atonement you will suffer eternal damnation


Hey Howard: God is throwing a party. You're invited. He's given you instructions for how to accept the invitation

If you don't want to accept the invitation, that's not the fault of the people who do chose to accept it.

If you don't want to accept the invitation, that's not the fault of the people who told you how you could accept it.

It's your choice. Own it

Greg the class traitor said...

I'm hoping the people vote it down in May, and say "you lefty fruitcakes are free to split off, but we're keeping the name"

Doug said...


Yes. As long as y'all let us live, we should give thanks and just shut up. Got it.


Which is more than a mosque would afford you.

Really, what the hell else do you people want? Pride Month at church? A special holiday, like Stonewall Day or something? Tranny services?

This is A CHURCH, where you are supposed to get salvation for your filthy perverted souls, not some gay bar.

Lazarus said...

Blogger Qwinn said...

Pants: It's pretty simple really. All those you call fag hags were once mean girls in high school. Back then, they mercilessly mocked the fat kids, nerdy kids, smart kids, short kids, poor kids, gay kids, kids with acne, pretty much everyone. They now expiate all their sins by sticking up for that one tiny subset of the people they tortured back then.


By no means. It was the nerdy, unpopular girls who had one gay friend they could talk to.

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Have the Presbyterians splintered yet?

Yes, long ago.

Greg the class traitor said...

Blogger Ralph L said...
Gadfly, the American churches have most of the money, so they're paying off the foreign and traditional congregations to leave so they can turn left.

That's what I figured the deal was, but I think the real Methodists went for too little.

It's already legally established that the fake Methodist congregations can't take the church property with them, without the approval of the overall Church. The one that went 53% good guys.

So the deal should have been "we keep the name, and most of the money, but we'll let you go with the Church property to whatever new hell you want to create."

Of course, I'm not a Christian, so I'm laking in Christian charity

(See, Howard, I haven't accepted God's invitation, either. but unlike you, I own my choice)

mccullough said...

Claiming eternal damnation for non-believers has always been a marketing strategy. Since Christianity and Islam, the two biggest religions, preach it, they will be in constant conflict with each other.

God and Allah are very petty and arrogant. That’s how you know people invented them. They aren’t even interesting characters. They are comic book villains. Believe in me or you shall suffer eternal damnation.

But these religions allow divorce. Because marketing fear only works on little children.

mccullough said...

Fake Methodists?

They are all fake. They split from The One True Church. So they are going to hell, anyway.

The Pyramids predate Christianity by a few thousand years. So Christianity and Islam are just blasphemy. But that religion died out. They all do.

agentlesoul said...

Pants said,
I'm not triggered by actual gay people in the slightest -- I'd like if if we could for just a day or two here or there stop hearing about The Big Gay Oppression Which Must Be Constantly Discussed Every Minute Until The End of Time because without it the ally army would have to find something important to do and wouldn't get their sweet sweet hits of furious moral self-pleasuring.
Agree with you there. My wife and I stopped listening to NPR when their constant harping on the Gay of the Day features became intolerable.

narciso said...

that's a nonsequitor, besides you see many Osiris worshipers milling around, same for Phoenicians, (baal) i'll grant you hades has a lively circle,

narciso said...

why has islam become so popular, because it is unstintly about belief, in a very old testament way

n.n said...

Progressivism, too. Most recently, a Progressive sect was cancelling another Progressive sect that affirms [anthropogenic] global cooling... warming... change, but denies [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] global whatever. And, of course, Liberalism, which is divergent, notable for its generational schisms.

Howard said...

All you need to know about Christianity is it was made up out of hole cloth in the Middle East, the asshole of the world.

Howard said...

Blogger Michael K said...
Actually, back when I spent 12 years in Catholic schools


That explains why you walk so funny.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

why has islam become so popular, because it is unstintly about belief, in a very old testament way

That and the legalistic minutae that appeal to so many.

Howard said...

Greg: I don't know what "own your choice" means. Please explain

Howard said...

Islam is popular with shithole countries just like in the USA Christianity is popular in shithole counties

Professional lady said...

I thought Presbyterians held to scripture alone. Thanks for the correction if I'm wrong.

narciso said...

like western Europe, eastern Europe not so much,

Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...

Blogger Michael K said...
Actually, back when I spent 12 years in Catholic schools

That explains why you walk so funny.


What's your excuse queenie?

Mark said...

why has islam become so popular, because it is unstintly about belief, in a very old testament way

That was my question back in mid-late September 2001.

So I read the Koran. I read some of the hadith. And what did I think then? "Why has Islam become so popular." That was my question AFTER reading the foundations of Islam.

Then I realized the answer -- it is not a matter of faith, defined as a coherent set of beliefs.

Islam became so "popular" for one reason, a reason proven in history -- the sword. Islam is all about conquest and being conquered.

Mark said...

Meanwhile Howard continues to put his head in the ground, ignoring all friendly attempts to explain things to him.

You do realize don't you (or maybe not) that the only one buying your s*** it you?

ken in tx said...

This headline and news article are both bogus, at least in part. 16 people, claiming to represent the different factions of the world wide United Method Church, agreed upon a protocol for separation to be presented at the next General Conference of the church in May. It still has to be voted on by the General Conference. It is not a done deal. The last General Conference voted down similar proposals last time. The African and Philippine churches in particular don't go along with being pushed out of their denomination for not catering to the LBGT crowd.

Also, The Methodist Church is not the one that emphasized the local congregation. That would be the Baptists. The Methodist movement grew out of the Anglican Church and has a similar structure with bishops etc.

Drago said...

Mark: "Meanwhile Howard continues to put his head in the ground, ignoring all friendly attempts to explain things to him."

You ought to see his comments on economics.

Hilariously Inga-like.

Spaceman said...

The pentacostal churches originated from the Methodists in what is known as Azusa Street Revival in the early 20th century. More recently many in the mainline protestant churches are leaving for non-denominational churches, which emphasize core elements of Biblical teaching and little formal liturgy.

It is unfortunate that the Methodists are on this pathway. Many solid long-term Christian friends in the Mehodists; kind and gentle people.

Drago said...

Howard: "All you need to know about Christianity is it was made up out of hole cloth in the Middle East, the asshole of the world."

Hard to understand why evangelicals trend republican......

Drago said...

Its good that all the masks are all the way off though.

Very helpful.

Narr said...

My brothers and I were raised in the Methodist church that my mother was a lifelong member of, though her attendance pretty much ceased when she could no longer drive and she wouldn't allow one of us to drive her but not go in. She felt that represented her failure, and ours too--she always said that after our father's death the people of the church were wonderful to us, but I don't recall much wonderfulness before or after that tragedy. (The drop-off was the extent of my father's attendance too, before he died, except on the big holidays; he was an asst scoutmaster but I was just a tag-along with him and my older bro [G&C Eagle Scout] and don't know how he got into that.)

My father's father was from Hamburg and AFAWK had no religious affilation; my father's mother the Oldenburg peasant used to talk about walking miles every Sunday morning to the Lutheran church--she ended her days going to the Presbyterian church, which I took her to, and picked her up from. I have no idea what church my father's family might have attended when he and his sister were growing up--my grandmother wasn't much for discussing such matters after her children both died young. They had plenty of church-going friends both native and immigrant, but they were all over the map as to faith and commitment.

I was confirmed per schedule about age 14 but knew even then that I didn't much care for the people, activities, and trajectory (theology or not) of the place, so stopped going by about the 11th grade.

Wife was raised RC but thoroughly creeped out by the priests, nuns, and rigmarole; our son was raised completely un-churched. Most of our friends who drifted away from childhood churches have drifted back, and often to the "other side"-- Prots have become RC and vice-versa, Methodists are now Lutherans, Baptists have become Presbyterians and Episcopalians.

All this in the buckle, arguably.

Narr
So much owning!

mccullough said...

The Methodists, like the Episcopalians, were always the stiff New Englanders. The P in WASPs.

New England has replaced Protestantism with Progressivism.

Greg the class traitor said...

Howard said...
Greg: I don't know what "own your choice" means. Please explain

If you don't go to Heaven, it's because you chose not to

Own it. Don't whine about those mean Christians who are excluding you. They're not. They're inviting you

It's you who's choosing not to go

No, you're not "entitled" to go to Heaven. You can't "earn" a trip. It's God's party, not yours

You want to go? God's told you how. You don't want to do what's needed to get an invite?

Then stop whining

DavidUW said...

(use Irish priest accent):
All the heretic Protestant sects will splinter against the rock of St. Peter

rcocean said...

As an atheist, I don't believe in God, but whenever people have a religion thread I pop up to say:

1) This thread is boring to me. As an Atheist.
OR
2) I have an opinion about a religion - I don't believe in.

For some reason, I just can't stop commenting about a God I don't believe exists.

Just want everyone to know my opinion. As an Atheist.

rcocean said...

As an Atheist, I wonder why those fucking Christians that I hate and believe in a God that doesn't exist, don't stand by their weird stupid beliefs and refuse to support Trump.

Just wanted to make that clear, as a Life Long Democrat. And Atheist.

Otto said...

Howard , Greg gave you a clear and lucid explanation of heaven and Christians.
Here is another prospective that you probably have not considered in your kvetching about the subject.
As explained everyone has to make the choice ,even children of Christian parents. So think of the anguish of Christian parents who's children don't believe. It weighs heavy on their hearts.
I know from personal experience.