The United Methodist Church creates a significant Data Point

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The United Methodist Church creates a significant Data Point

For a long time the con­ven­tional wis­dom from MSM and Chris­tians on the left insisted that unless you throw out the bits of the Bible that you don’t like and rede­fine sin the church will collapse.

Many Protes­tant denom­i­na­tions took that advice and frankly have been never heard of again because their influ­ence has dropped so much that they have no sig­nif­i­cance or influ­ence in every­day Amer­i­can life.

Appar­ently the United Methodist church has decided they want a shot at buck­ing this trend.

The denomination’s “Tra­di­tional Plan” passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53% to 47%), in the final hours of a spe­cial UMC con­fer­ence held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sex­u­al­ity.
The deci­sion leaves a siz­able, vocal oppo­si­tion, ensur­ing the exit of many pro­gres­sive pas­tors and churches from the l
argest main­line Protes­tant body in Amer­ica. After the final vote, pro­test­ers began chant­ing “no” and “stop the harm” through the rest of the ses­sion until the con­fer­ence ended over an hour later.
The Tra­di­tional Plan pre­serves exist­ing UMC posi­tions and adds fur­ther account­abil­ity mea­sures for those who vio­late them by per­form­ing same-​sex cer­e­monies or ordain­ing gay clergy.

empha­sis mine

Appar­ently it occurred to the major­ity of the vot­ers at the con­ven­tion that there just might be a rea­son why the UMC remained the “largest main­line Protes­tant body in Amer­ica” and that rea­son just might be that they haven’t taken the wide gate that leads to destruc­tion espoused by the lib­eral left. As an African Bish­ops at the con­fer­ence said in a speech a few days ago.

And then please hear me when I say as gra­ciously as I can: we Africans are not chil­dren in need of west­ern enlight­en­ment when it comes to the church’s sex­ual ethics. We do not need to hear a pro­gres­sive U.S. bishop lec­ture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a cul­tur­ally lib­eral, church elite, in the U.S.

We stand with our Fil­ipino friends! We stand with our sis­ters and broth­ers in Europe and Rus­sia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.


Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, dean of Gbarnga School of The­ol­ogy at United Methodist Uni­ver­sity in Liberia.

One might argue that the sig­nif­i­cance of this move is the first defeat for the left in main­line Protes­tantism in a while but I think the real sig­nif­i­cance here is that it cre­ates a data point which is in con­trast to all the others.

We have sig­nif­i­cant amount of data on the rates of mem­ber­ship in Protes­tant denom­i­na­tions that have accepted the LGBT lib­eral line now we will be able to col­lect data on mem­ber­ship on a denom­i­na­tion that explic­itly rejects it.

If in 10 years the denomination’s decline in mem­ber­ship is greater than the decline in mem­ber­ship in Denom­i­na­tions that accepted lib­eral change then the left can blame said decline on this decision.

If in 10 years the denomination’s decline in mem­ber­ship is equal to or not sig­nif­i­cantly greater or less than that of Protes­tant Denom­i­na­tions that accepted lib­eral change we can infer that the decline in all these denom­i­na­tions is inde­pen­dent of this deci­sion and part of the gen­eral decline in belief.

If how­ever the denomination’s decline is sig­nif­i­cantly less or stops (which is very pos­si­ble as they are giv­ing Protes­tants who believe in scrip­ture a Protes­tant place to go as opposed to becom­ing Catholic) then we will be able to say that the asser­tions that the Chris­tian­ity in gen­eral and the Protes­tant churches in par­tic­u­lar must lib­er­al­ize to sur­vive is false.

On and one side note, If you expect to see a lot of lib­eral Methodists either break­ing away or join­ing other denom­i­na­tions expect to be dis­ap­pointed:

Some­one once asked a famous dis­sent­ing the­olo­gian why she remained in the Church if she found so much of its doc­trine and prac­tice so detestable.

She answered, “It’s where the Xerox machine is.” In other words, she remains b/​c the Church but­ters her bread and pays her rent. The Church pro­vides her with the resources she needs to under­mine the Church.

If they join other denom­i­na­tions they’re just another face in the crowd and are no longer sig­nif­i­cant, if they form inde­pen­dent churches they become a small con­gre­ga­tion that won’t last a gen­er­a­tion but as long as they remain dis­senters within the the UMC then they are assured of get­ting atten­tion, fawn­ing press and finan­cial sup­port from out­side orga­ni­za­tions opposed to this vote and anx­ious to rede­fine sin for their own purposes.

Oh and unlike when the ECLA allowed gay clergy to marry there were appar­ently no freak tor­na­does invert­ing crosses dur­ing the debate.

Unex­pect­edly

For a long time the conventional wisdom from MSM and Christians on the left insisted that unless you throw out the bits of the Bible that you don’t like and redefine sin the church will collapse.

Many Protestant denominations took that advice and frankly have been never heard of again because their influence has dropped so much that they have no significance or influence in everyday American life.

Apparently the United Methodist church has decided they want a shot at bucking this trend.


The denomination’s “Traditional Plan” passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53% to 47%), in the final hours of a special UMC conference held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sexuality.
The decision leaves a sizable, vocal opposition, ensuring the exit of many progressive pastors and churches from the l
argest mainline Protestant body in America. After the final vote, protesters began chanting “no” and “stop the harm” through the rest of the session until the conference ended over an hour later.
The Traditional Plan preserves existing UMC positions and adds further accountability measures for those who violate them by performing same-sex ceremonies or ordaining gay clergy.

emphasis mine

Apparently it occurred to the majority of the voters at the convention that there just might be a reason why the UMC remained the “largest mainline Protestant body in America” and that reason just might be that they haven’t taken the wide gate that leads to destruction espoused by the liberal left. As an African Bishops at the conference said in a speech a few days ago.


And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”


Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.


We stand with our Filipino friends! We stand with our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.


Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, dean of Gbarnga School of Theology at United Methodist University in Liberia.

One might argue that the significance of this move is the first defeat for the left in mainline Protestantism in a while but I think the real significance here is that it creates a data point which is in contrast to all the others.

We have significant amount of data on the rates of membership in Protestant denominations that have accepted the LGBT liberal line now we will be able to collect data on membership on a denomination that explicitly rejects it.

If in 10 years the denomination’s decline in membership is greater than the decline in membership in Denominations that accepted liberal change then the left can blame said decline on this decision.

If in 10 years the denomination’s decline in membership is equal to or not significantly greater or less than that of Protestant Denominations that accepted liberal change we can infer that the decline in all these denominations is independent of this decision and part of the general decline in belief.

If however the denomination’s decline is significantly less or stops (which is very possible as they are giving Protestants who believe in scripture a Protestant place to go as opposed to becoming Catholic) then we will be able to say that the assertions that the Christianity in general and the Protestant churches in particular must liberalize to survive is false.

On and one side note, If you expect to see a lot of liberal Methodists either breaking away or joining other denominations expect to be disappointed:

Someone once asked a famous dissenting theologian why she remained in the Church if she found so much of its doctrine and practice so detestable.

She answered, “It’s where the Xerox machine is.” In other words, she remains b/c the Church butters her bread and pays her rent. The Church provides her with the resources she needs to undermine the Church.

If they join other denominations they’re just another face in the crowd and are no longer significant, if they form independent churches they become a small congregation that won’t last a generation but as long as they remain dissenters within the the UMC then they are assured of getting attention, fawning press and financial support from outside organizations opposed to this vote and anxious to redefine sin for their own purposes.

Oh and unlike when the ECLA allowed gay clergy to marry there were apparently no freak tornadoes inverting crosses during the debate.

Unexpectedly