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Christ United asks to withdraw from UMC

By Jessica Brodie

One of the largest United Methodist churches in South Carolina has asked to leave the denomination.

The administrative council of Christ United Methodist Church, Myrtle Beach, has sent a letter to Bishop Jonathan Holston and Marion District Superintendent Tim Rogers requesting it be allowed to peacefully exit the denomination and become independent, said the Rev. Jeff Dunn, senior pastor.

While the church lifted up its deep appreciation and respect for Holston, Rogers and others in the South Carolina Conference, Dunn said Christ United wishes to distance itself from the global UMC’s struggle around the issue of human sexuality.

Dunn said Christ United feels strongly about neither condemning nor condoning sin, but rather focusing on converting people to Christ as the answer.

However, he said, with the UMC’s special called General Conference coming Feb. 23-26, 2019, the church feels United Methodists are being put into a position where they will have to make one of two choices: appear to be condemning of homosexual people or appearing to condone the practice of homosexuality.

“We refuse to do either one,” Dunn said in a sermon to his church Sept. 30 announcing the request for withdrawal.

As he told the Advocate, “We don’t want to be condemning or condoning.”

Dunn said the decision was unanimous among church leaders and evolved over many months in prayer and, most recently, five weeks of prayer and fasting.

“We know it’s what God would want us to do,” Dunn said. “We’re trying to walk in great integrity and sincere love.”

Holston confirmed Christ United had made this request.

“A letter has been received indicating that Christ United Methodist Church has requested to begin a process to withdraw from the denomination,” Holston said. “Any request by a congregation to withdraw will be responded to under the appropriate provisions of The Book of Discipline.”

Dunn said in his Sept. 30 sermon he’s been asked whether he’s worried the denomination will take the church’s building, as per the UMC’s trust clause, Para. 2501 of the United Methodist Book of Discipline. That clause prevents churches from exiting the denomination while still maintaining its property (read more on the trust clause at https://tinyurl.com/y74shxob).

Dunn said they are just going to trust that God will provide. Christ United started 20 years ago from 12 people gathered in a living room. Today it has thousands of members and is so big they meet in a theater.

“God gave us this building free and clear, and He can do it again.”

Christ United’s announcement comes weeks after an open letter crafted by West Ohio lay and clergy members calling for GC2019 delegates to prioritize passing a “gracious and equitable” exit plan for churches who wish to leave the denomination. That letter was released in September and continues to be signed by United Methodists across the nation and elsewhere in the world.  Dunn said Christ United expects that the bishop will not be taking action regarding their request until after February, and they encourage other churches to wait until after February to determine what they will do moving forward.

If a gracious exit is offered and other churches choose to peacefully exit the denomination after February, Christ United will invite them to form a fellowship of likeminded churches that will pray for each other and hold each other theologically accountable.

79 Comments

  • Thank you for your stance. Please continue to preach Gods word and don’t yield to public opinions and sinful trends.

    • Withdrawing congregations are not Wesleyan. When Wesley’s first ever building was being developed his lawyer asked in whose name shall the building be placed. Wesley said to put in the name of the congregation (Society). But then, the lawyer said, the congregation can vote to keep you out of the pulpit ! Then Wesley said, put in the name of the Connextion (the Conference). So, it is, as it always has been, the congregations do not own the property. Wesley stopped congregationalism at the very inception our Methodism. Our definition of the Church: Please study “The Anabaptist View of The Church” best summed up in Dr. Franklin Littel’s classic book of that title. However, perhaps even Google may have an outline of that doctrine. In the 1500s Balthazar Hubmaier started the Anabaptist movement against both the Lutherans and Catholics. So, he and the whole Anabaptist movement were pursued and killed by both. Growing out of Anabaptism were the Quakers, Mennonites, and many others including the Baptists. They were the first major Congregationalists. Their doctrine of the Church was based on believer’s baptism, as the church was a Congregation of Believers. Who is a believer? The congregation votes on who is a believer, and therefore who is to be baptized. Since only believers could be baptized, then, obviously, infants could not be baptized. So, even though a person had been baptized as an infant, they had to be rebaptized to come into the church. Anabaptism means to be again baptized. However, they did not really believe the infant had even been baptized in the first place. They were the Puritans; deciding on who was pure enough to be baptized. Methodists, on the other hand, are technically Anglo-Catholics, than is, we grew as a part of the Holy Catholic Church, as stated in the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, etc. Most all denominations, except one (the Disciples of Christ) that use the Creeds have baptism even for infants, as they are baptized into the Holy Catholic Church, the Family of God, like circumcism initiated the boy child into the Jewish Religion, Israel. We Methodists are not Congregationalists. Those UMC congregations that have withdrawn from the UMC are thereby becoming Congregationalists, which is not Wesleyan. The congregation can hire and fire their pastor like a secretary, and, in fact, even vote on who can join the church; just like the Anabaptists. However, true to John Wesley, we Methodists are a part of the Holy Catholic Church, thereby, not Congregationalists. All are welcome at the Lord’s Church. See the difference ? Withdrawing congregations are becoming congregational-ist. Such congregationalism is Alien to Wesleyan-ism.

    • My reply to Rev. Robertson: what’s going on at General Conference is most definitely NOT Wesleyan. To even think of caving to societal pressure to call what is sin not sin is an abomination. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I applaud Christ United’s stand. Satan himself is using this issue to divide the church.

    • That’s awesome that you all are taking this stand. I’m hoping my church pulls out too if not sad to say I will have to find another church. Good job Jeff Dunn. We visit your church when we come to Myrtle on vacation. Love your church and your faith

    • Christ Church may feel confident of their decision, but they are actually opposed to God the Holy Trinity, never mind being opposed to Wesleyan understanding of the Church.

  • I have been of the Methodist Faith all my life….My grandfather gave the first $100 to build a Methodist Church back in my hometown….My uncle was a Methodist Pastor also…..they would not recognize the Methodist of today….They have succumbed to the world of political correct that now exist today because it is the popular think to do ….I praise my pastor Jeff Dunn at Christ United Methodist Church here in Myrtle Beach for having the courage to do God’s will in spite of the growing number of people that go against his teachings and want to be politically correct…. I thank God today that I still have the leadership of a Jeff Dunn, otherwise I would have to join the last stronghold of True Conservatism…The Baptize Religion……so sad the direction that the Methodists have taken…..it may be the beginning of the end to this once wonderful group of worshippers 😢✝️

    • You are Blessed to have a Pastor that leads his flock according to God’s Word. These leaders will answer to Our Savior one day as will we. How would I be able to stand before Him one day and explain why I stayed in a church with false teachings when I recognized as not being the Word of God. I never thought God’s leader’s in the church would ever entertain this path, let alone lead their flock and indoctrinate vulnerable children into this politically correct rhetoric. All are welcome in UMC. As with myself and everyone else, we love the Sinner and hate the Sin. None have been abolished from the church for their sexuality. We accept in love, not affirm the sin. I agree. All know what the Bible reads. You can’t cherry-pick and rearrange doctrine to fit your agenda. Leaders are called to a higher standard and it is as though they are leading their sheep to slaughter. Those participating in this secular world view, may have all the degrees and standing but, these intellectual “Christians” are on the wrong path and would do better if their faith were more childlike, as Jesus said. You are going down a slippery slope and I pray that your soul takes a second look. You say you have prayed and this is God’s answer to implement with his People. I have also prayed and asked The Lord’s guidance as to what is right and what is wrong and what I should do. My answer was different from the UMC’s leaders. You may think the church will thrive by embracing secularism but, the Word of God says it, I believe it, that settles it. I pray for those in the church that do not understand what your agenda is or, those have been in the UMC all their lives and they are now in their very twilight years will just “go alone with it” as their church is their family and “starting over” and leaving all they love would be very difficult. You are deceiving your flock. Jesus warned of false prophets in the church. We are there.

    • Wesleyan or not where does the Bible come in and what God says. I’ve been born and reared a Methodist all my life but being Methodist is not going to get you to heaven and breaking Gods law isn’t either. It’s very plain in the Bible what God says that homosexuality is a sin. Why should we conform to that. This listening event coming up on November 10 is just that… they the bishops are going to tell us we need to conform… no we do not. Praise to Jeff Dunn for pulling out. I hope our church does because if it doesn’t sad to say I’ll be gone. Wake up people the devil has clouded your mind. Lord Jesus we ever needed you we need you now. I pray dear Father you open our bishops and leaders eyes minds and hearts. This is not on hate for those who practice this way but hate for the sin. Why tear our churches up go start your own church. Shame on you for condemning people saying it’s not the wesylan way… that’s a bunch of hog wash. Read your BIBLE sndcpresch thst. Karen Bell WV

  • Either you are a Christian and love everyone or your not…is the church also going to discriminate against previous criminals as well and not allow them to come to church? Or adulterous people? Or liars? Since when do we close the doors on anyone? Sounds like the Methodist faith doesn’t understand what the word of God actually is. Very sad to see the Methodist faith heading in a downward spiral. No wonder people don’t go to church anymore.

    • AMEN!!

    • Obviously Deidra. You fail to comprehend the message here. The pastor states all are welcome in our church family. That we are neither condoning or condemning. To choose either stance or be forced to take a stance, is, frankly, unChristian. That, in fact, leaves one faction or the other by the wayside whether it be homosexuality, criminality, etc. All are welcome.

    • The real Christs church does love everyone and encourages everyone to come and repent of sins so that our old selves dies so that we can live new as Christ wants us to live. Isn’t it glorious that he invites all of us sinners. God has already set the standards and made his judgement on the clarification of sin–man cannot change that even if he wanted. We must love AND obey the word of God , outside of this is only mans creation of thought.

    • We all sin daily. I haven’t seen where the LBGT folk have been told to stay away. Many of us feel it is not in the best interest of our children and young Christians to be exposed needlessly to that lifestyle. Would you want a known practicing pedaphyle, murderer or drug dealer teaching your children? Heck, Jesus threw money changers out of the synagogue, and they weren’t even pastors. Good grief!

    • No one ever said that gays were not welcome in our church just like all sinners , which we all are, are welcome. It goes beyond the gay issue. It is do you accept the scriptures totally as the word of God or only accept those that you agree with or fir your pollical views.

    • Some people responding to Deidre’s comment do not make sense. If you are not making a choice you have made your choice…..Jesus never talked about homosexuality, same sex marriage, or anyone else. He did tell the church leaders to stop talking about a splinter in someone else’s eye when we have logs in ours. I support the ordination of LGBTQI+ as clergy and Bishops. It is not for me to decide if someone’s heart is right with The Lord!! Please reconsider leaving.

    • No, Jesus did not discuss homosexuality, however he did explain God’s plan for marriage in Matthew 19 (hint: His plan ain’t two guys). I choose to be guided by what Jesus actually said, not what he didn’t say.

    • No, Jesus did not discuss homosexuality, however he did explain God’s plan for marriage in Matthew 19 (hint: His plan ain’t two guys). I choose to be guided by what Jesus actually said, not what he didn’t say.

    • all sinners are welcome, and should be….but do you allow criminals to take positions of office and or being a pastor?

    • You don’t even understand what was stated! Reread it and just maybe you will grasp it.

    • I don’t believe that Jeff Dunn would ever “not allow” anyone to come to church and there is nothing about closed doors or not loving ANYONE. I love my children but that does not mean that I approve of everything they do. If we find it necessary to conform to the world to get people to attend church, then what exactly is the point? The message of salvation is about transforming not conforming . Isn’t that what the UMC mission statement states? I do agree with you on one point – the Methidust church that I loved for over 70 years is definitely in a downward spiral. Thank God for Jeff Dunn and others like him who are willing to take a stand.

    • You seem to fail to realize, that the church that Jesus began was based on repentance. You cannot be a true follower of Christ while embracing your sin. The Church exist to call sinner’s to repentance, not to welcome them into the Church while loving their sin ! The scriptures are explicit . The true worship of God cannot embrace Adultery (Remarriage after divorce) Sodomy (homosexuality) or
      Murder (abortion of human life) Once that occurs it’s a downward slide to perdition. All are welcome, who wish to REPENT !

  • To understand how this evolved, you might read this article from the Canada Free Press written by a former UM clergyperson.

    https://canadafreepress.com/article/lgbtq-activists-use-leftist-tactics-to-split-a-church

    • The piece from Canada Press also conveniently leaves out how relatively recently the delineated passages were added to the BoD. And that conferences outside the US have wide latitude to ‘adjust’ the structures of the BoD for their individual contexts. It also fails to mention how the delegates from Africa were used and abused by the delegates from the southern jurisdiction of the US at General Conference who bought them cell phones and texted and called them with instructions on how to vote, in clear contravention of our rules that were also conveniently ignored. Funny how those things slipped the writer’s mind.
      The actual problem is that the church has indeed fallen in line with culture. Suddenly no one can live and let live, or think and let think. Now we must all be concerned not with our own conduct or our own souls and our own relationships with Christ, but we must spend all our time policing the thoughts and behaviors of others. That is not what Christ meant by making disciples.
      We cannot agree that Jesus is Lord and in all else, charity. We must march in lockstep. And sadly, for all the protest, it is not the left which demands this. But it sure makes a better story for those who wish to deflect from their determination that their interpretations and their answers are the only ones that should matter and are the only truth.

    • Amen, Anna Bell, Amen.

  • As a lifelong Methodist and now serving as an associate pastor, I am convinced that thi8s is the wrong course to follow and folly for the United Methodist Church to grant an exception to the policy. I believe pastors are leading their flocks astray, if they choose to leave, so be it, you leave with what you entered with; your faith and beliefs. I hope you find what you are seeking. It should not be easy to leave.

  • I appreciate Pastor Jeff for coining the phrase, “condemning or condoning.” The Bible instructs us, the saints, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4: 6). How are we to settle our disagreements and or differences? The answer, we are to reason them out using Scripture as the standard of Truth. No name calling, accusing fellow brethren of ulterior motives, or claiming some new Gospel. The Bible uses the word “if” a lot. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31,32). God has spoken, and he spoke way back in Genesis. In essence, we don’t have to condemn or condone. We point to Scripture, and it proclaims that God created He male and He female. Each left home and cleaved to each other.
    Our Lord did not build His church to engage in circular and perpetual firing squads trying to beat his word into unbelievers and fellow saints, who are attempting to teach and or change his law on human sexuality. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy” “1 Peter 1: 15-16). Also, listen to the preacher, ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14) NKJV.

  • I have been a Methodist all my life and served for many years as a Methodist Minister. I am now retired. I am proud of our church for its acceptance of gays. Anyone who takes the time to explore the situation will soon realize the struggle gays go through in ultimately understanding their situation.
    The Methodist Church has been a leader in many of the social issues of the day. It would be a sad day for us to desert our gay community.

    • Yes, it would. I wish we could have had a denomination wide discussion, where we include the very people we are arguing about to share their experiences, struggles, faith and hope. I’m surprised how many people believe being homosexual is a choice. That tells me that those who hold this belief do not have gay people in their lives or do not interact with them in a meaningful way.
      May God bless us all and give us the grace to listen to one another. Then go to God for guidance in stillness. The world needs our light. Not our acrimony.
      Peace to us all.

    • Thank you. Factual and concise.

  • Obviously Deidra. You fail to comprehend the message here. The pastor states all are welcome in our church family. That we are neither condoning or condemning. To choose either stance or be forced to take a stance, is, frankly, unChristian. That, in fact, leaves one faction or the other by the wayside whether it be homosexuality, criminality, etc. All are welcome.

  • Not to decide is to decide. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot be neutral ! So, you are neither hot nor cold. Love – grace – these are not neutral attributes. Christ Church must choose, otherwise it has no credibility.

    • Very true. When you do not take a “side” you are not on the side of the disenfranchised.

  • Disappointed in their decision. They will be missed.

  • I thank this church for making a peaceful and loving example of how Christs church should respond. The truth of God is not about how man feels, it is not about how a man believes, but it is about what the word of God states. This church, once freed of the distraction of mans interference , will then be able to continue to make disciples for Jesus Christ with Gods blessing.

  • Deidra Reynolds Journey,…this church is following the Book of Discipline, which in turn follows the Holy Bible. They are NOT turning anyone away, but they themselves are walking away, to avoid the up and coming struggle of the UMC’s. Now as for what I think about all of it: why doesn’t the gay community start it’s own church, instead of trying to over run the other Methodist churches? And to top that, just think, if the gays did start their own Methodist church and then the straight community decided to come in and force their views onto the gays, I’m sure the gays would not like it and would stand their ground. Just sayin’. Signed, Susan Russell Bernaix, RN

    • Susan Bernaix, your response makes me so sad and is the exact reason people are leaving the church. There is no gay church, there is no straight church, there is no black or white church. What on earth? Don’t we all follow Jesus and his teachings. Or should I say, shouldn’t we follow Jesus and his teachings? Love one another, His greatest command. Not just the people like us. Just sayin’.

    • Oh Susan, your words are heartbreaking.
      Peace to you, dear sister in Christ.

    • I agree!

    • As an RN, I am shocked that you advocate for segregation. The history of hospitals in the U.S. is heartbreaking and disgusting. White doctors and nurses blocked the doors and sent Black patients away to die: “You have your own hospital across town. Go on now.” Different decade, same hate.

      Your advocacy for “separate but equal” and those who support it make me ashamed to be a Methodist.

      We who are privileged to know the Word are obligated to follow the 2 greatest commandments. Love God and love your neighbor. That’s it. No need to decide who deserves a place in church and who doesn’t. While you say “all are welcome,” it is abundantly clear that it is a farce since you refer to “us” and “them.”

  • Why is allowing avowed, practicing sinners to be leaders in a denomination that claims to believe God’s word, an issue? Those who thumb their nose at God’s word are doomed to destruction. The Bible is very clear here both in the Old and New Testaments. Yes, like any other sin, homosexuality can be forgiven. But it must also be discontinued to receive that forgiveness. If we continue to accept avowed sinners, who deny God’s instruction, to be leaders in the church, then the church itself is denying God’s word and is doomed. See:Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:26-28, Leviticus, 20:13, 1 Timothy 1-10, and the list goes on. Please read and understand God’s word. But the one with promise is Revelation 21:8.
    Charles E. Spickard

    • It absolutely appals me that I keep reading LGBTQ and sinners in the same sentence. Neither the Bible nor Christ even knew that language or concept. It is the present day conservatives who are using today’s meaning of the words to exclude God’s children. Pharisees in Jesus’ time did the same thing. If you ignore culture and context, you will always misinterpret. Jesus spoke very clearly about divorce but we have decided to ignore that in the UMC with regard to ordaining clergy or placing laity in leadership. Wesley’s use of the Quadrilateral would serve us well here.
      And does this also exclude Jews, God’s original chosen people because they do not call Christ Savior? It is exactly this kind of rhetoric that gives permission for event like the shooting at the Jewish Temple in Pittsburgh. Stop all the dogma and doctrine and be about loving ALL of God’s children while you work out your own salvation.

  • If a congregation asks to leave before knowing what the outcome of the General Conference is, then they should leave. But they should leave according to the current Book of Discipline, too.

    If our Book of Discipline is the standard of governance and is based on Biblical principles. then all of it should be applicable. That includes the Trustees clauses regarding property.

    • AGREE!

    • Eric,
      There is no book of discipline any more! They have elected to ignore it over the last year in regards to the “human sexuality “ aspect so how can it be used to enforce the other aspects of discipline? All or none.

    • Eric, I agree with you as long as you also insist that the chargeable offences on same sex marriages and ordaining homosexuals which are also in our present Discipline be honored by our bishops and clergy. If we can choose to ignore one part we can then choose to ignore any part. The Discipline which all clergy including Bishops vowed to uphold and follow I’m afraid has been greatly damaged by those that feel they have greater authority than the General Conference of our Church. What ever changes the General Conference makes to our Discipline, they will be what we are called to follow then.

    • Legal and Concise. Thank you.

  • My reading of the gospels, and consultation with my pastor reveal no instance of Jesus Christ ever discussing homosexuality, and certainly making no condemnation of it. On the contrary he preached love and acceptance of all. (John 3:16). Scientists say most homosexuality is genetically based, and we know God makes each individual unique. Paul preached against it, but he was only a man and not divine, and also accepted slavery and discrimination against women. There are references in the Old Testament but these are in the context of abuses of youth in temple ceremonies, and the New Testament means *New. Therefore I belief that the current Discipline language in anti-Christian and blasphemous, and those who say it should stay as is do not understand or accept true Christianity.
    Bob Johnston

    • He did elevate and honor celibacy. He did talk about and bless marriage. He never changed the standards of marriage. Please don’t proof-text Jesus.

    • The Bible clearly states man shall not lay with man as he would a woman. The Bible also states a woman shall not cut her hair like a man or a man dress as a woman. How do you explain then the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Sodom as in sodomy as in anal sex? Look should homosexuals be allowed in the church? Yes. How do we expect them to hear the word of God and be changed if we do not. Should they be allowed to continue living in their sin and hold places of authority in the church as in clergy? No. Should they be able to use the church to compound their sin by false marriages? No. Should we stand together as brothers and sisters in God and demand the word of God be preached instead of the word of men or the word of society? By all things Holy, absolutely!! We are not to add or take away from scripture. It is God’s living word and it’s about time we get back to that regardless how PC it is and that includes 2nd Timothy where a woman like myself shall not teach, preach or hold authority over men in the church. I have no problem with keeping my service to the women’s ministry and ministry of children.

  • Susan Bernaix, your response makes me so sad and is the exact reason people are leaving the church. There is no gay church, there is no straight church, there is no black or white church. What on earth? Don’t we all follow Jesus and his teachings. Or should I say, shouldn’t we follow Jesus and his teachings? Love one another, His greatest command. Not just the people like us. Just sayin’.

  • My reading of the gospels, as well as discussion with my pastor, confirms that Jesus Christ t has no record of even discussing homosexuality, much less condemning it. On the contrary, Jesus preached love and acceptance to all (John 3:16).
    Therefore the provision regarding homosexuality in the existing Discipline has no justification and, in fact, is obviously unchristian. Scientists confirm that homosexual tendencies are largely genetic, and God made each of us unique. Some cite its mention in the Old Testament, but that was in context of abuses of youth in connection with religious practices of that time; others cite Paul, but he was human, not divine,and also accepted slavery, and advocated denigration of women..Therefore it is inconceivable to me how any thinking, Christian person can opposed eliminating this odious provision from the Discipline.
    Bob Johnston

    • The Book of Discipline, based upon Biblical principles, has been our guide for generations. The basic fundamentals haven’t changed, just like God’s word hasn’t changed. If you are the “any-thinking Christian” as you cited above, why would you have joined the Methodist denomination with such glaring theological errors in our Book of Discipline? It is surreal to me to think that all of these thousands of years, the generations before us got it all wrong. Suddenly, our generation, with all of our political correctness and love and acceptance of all people and behaviors, has figured it all out. Suddenly, God’s best seller is becoming obsolete. I see total and complete confusion right now. Much like what I imagine it was like when the Tower of Babel was being built. Mass confusion and miscommunication. I feel as though I understood what the Pastor at Christ United meant when I said they wanted to depart BEFORE February, so as to not appear to side with either side. Yet, the criticism they receive all seem to accuse them of not loving, not being Godly, and I’m like, “Did we just read the same article?”

    • Thank you Bob for your post.
      It’s amazing that “fundamentalists” think that sexuality is binary considering the fact that some 1.8% of births in the US (in a multi-year national research report) are intersex. “A medical definition of intersexuality which is applied to human beings is “conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female”. Applying this precise definition, the true prevalence of intersex is seen to be about 0.018%.” Neither male nor female. OMG!
      Interesting that the Bible says that some eunuchs are born that way. Would a real Christian deny anyone born differently a life of a committed, loving relationship with another human.

  • I don’t know what Bible you all are reading, but I don’t believe it’s ok to stone your children to death when they make a mistake. I no longer cover my head when I go to worship, right along side men, mind you, not separate. And the men I worship with cut their hair. All forbidden in the Bible. You are interpreting the Word in the ways that suits you. But you are not willing to allow love to guide people to loving, faithful, equal relationships. That’s forbidden in the Bible too, because women were the property of their fathers, and then were “handed over” to be the property of their husbands. No longer valid. God gave us brains and intellect and spirits to discern our motivation toward love. or not. The gift of choosing is out witness to God and others. Choose to love.

    • Amen sister! Thank you!

  • I greatly fear this is just the beginning of the schism to come because so many of us are uncomfortable with choosing sides. Not to choose to stay with the UMC would seem to be a vote against accepting full participation of LGBT members, i.e., as some have implied, considering being gay as being in perpetual sin and therefore unworthy. I know so many fine, devoted, spiritual persons who are gay, none of whom chose who they are. It is incomprehensible that God would create a segment of his people to be discriminated against because of who they are. That is not to say that sin and sinners do not exist, but to judge someone soley on their inherent intimate sexual orientation seems wrong. Sexual crime is wrong, but gays are often wrongly assumed to
    be sexual predators. Perhaps some are, just as heteros sometimes are. What then does it mean for the church to be open and welcoming to gays? Must they promise to deny their sexuality? Would we ask that of heteros even knowing that intimacy often happens outside of marriage? We do not draw the line at cohabitation sans marriage, out-of-wedlock children, divorcees. Yes there are passages in the Bible against the practice of gay sex, but Jesus is not reported to have spoken about it. I wonder what
    Jesus would say today in a world where slavery is mostly illegal, women have much more freedom and we are more and more a global community who must accept the other who is not us. May Christ church find its spiritual home away from the UMC. But the issue they have chosen not to decide on will not go away.

  • Sisters and brothers in the Methodist Church during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s to be ordained you had to sign a statement that you did not smoke and would not smoke. All during that time conferences in the South Eastern and South Central Jurisdictions ordained pastors who smoked and many of my friends who served there told me that they were expected to smoke while conferences in the rest of the country enforced this prohibition. I had to do so. I don’t remember any conversations in the rest of the country trying to force the conferences to the South Eastern and South Central Jurisdictions to enforce this rule on who can and can’t be ordained. Why was it ok then to ignore the standards set by General Conference for ordaining clergy and not so today? Were our forebearers more willing to recognize that we do not agree and grant grace than we are today?

    • Excellent!!!

  • I don’t understand how a church can escape taking stand in the question on human sexuality.

  • The Scopes Monkey trial in Tennessee publicized the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy, which set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion against Fundamentalists, who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The case was thus seen as both a theological contest and a trial on whether “modern science” should be taught in schools.

    Interesting that the controversy of Science and Fundamentalists is still being fought in the South. Science is revealing the biological underpinnings of homosexuality
    and the irrationality of saying it is a choice and a sin.

  • I hear a lot of talk how the LGBTQ have no control of their desires and God made them the way rhey are. I have no way of knowing but I have a Bible that is the indisputale word of God. If homosexuality is acceptable then why did God rain fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gemorrah? I am just a poor lay person at 71 years of age. I know I am not an expert of the Bible. I accept the Bible as it is. I don’t think that we should change what the Holy Spirit inspired them to write. I do think that we hate the sin but love the sinner. I just don’t see how a gay minister can administer to his flock while they practice homosexuality. Once that door is opened what is next?

    • Very well said, David !! You have a way with words that hold true for everyone. God bless you!

    • 49-50 “‘The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives.

    • 49-50 “‘The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives.

    • David, you mention Soddom and Genorrah. Have you read that story lately? I have. Do you remember how Lot tries to save his two male visitors from being gang raped by a crowd of men? He says, “I have two young daughters who are virgins. Take them and do whatever you want with them, but spare the strangers.” Lot is rewarded for this! Huh! It is pretty hard for me to take this story as the “Indisputable Word of God.” I believe this story was written by a man, for other men, who lived in a very different time and place. The writer wanted other men to know how much God wants his people to be generous and kind to strangers. Clearly, the writer did not forsee how chilling Lot’s words would be for me as a woman and daughter living in a different culture many years later. I believe God trusts me to be able to read this story and discern that it is not about homosexuality, nor about how to treat daughters, but about generosity and hospitality. Everyone interprets scripture through their own lens. I believe the Bible is meant to be a teaching guide, not a tool to help us find sin in others.

  • As a Christian, I do not worship the bible or the discipline, only Jesus Christ and him crucified for my sins. If I and we are in Christ, he is in me and us, that’s all that matters. Even Jesus said no one is good, only God is good. Those who are without sin, throw the first stone!

  • To Christ Church, Myrtle Beach: The New Testament clearly states that when we act to judge others, we condemn ourselves. The current language in the UM Discipline clearly condemns those who admit to the practice of Homosexuality. They are barred from serving as Ministers in the church. That, my friends, is judgment. Certainly, the Old and New Testaments speak strongly against the powerful who force themselves on others for their own purposes. These are the pedophiles and sexual abusers to whom the Bible refers. Theirs is not a matter of sexual orientation but of criminal and deviant behavior. Pedophiles are not exclusive to the Homosexual orientation. Indeed, sexual abuse likely happens more in the Heterosexual community than in the Homosexual community. Homosexual individuals who wish to serve God as Pastors in the United Methodist Church should not be judged to be pedophiles, deviants or sexual abusers. In so doing, we condemn ourselves according to the Holy Scriptures. Loving Homosexuals who wish to join the Body of Christ as ministers should be candidates who are screened and ordained based on their qualifications for ministry just the same as any other candidate. This is the choice before the United Methodist Church, to continue to invite condemnation or to love our neighbors.

  • Very sad when a church decides by not deciding, and then uses their lack of courage to justify their retreat to the shadows.What kind of witness is this to the LGBT community and the wider world? Reminds me of a church that was called neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. As our understanding of the human situation has grown through the God-given gift of science, medicine, neuro-physiology,etc. along with our increasing understanding of the Biblical world through archaeology, history, etc.; we are called to reinterpret scripture/law just as Jesus reinterpreted, reframed, and renewed it. To refuse to engage in this struggle is to make the decision to withdraw into ignorance and irrelevance.

  • A homosexual is nothing more then a habitual sinner who enjoys sex. Condemnation here has true purpose. It keeps families to morals. I agreed the church should leave the denomination. Christ and God do condemn, all that is written of prophets clearly show massive numbers will die before the reign of Christ begins. Seek as well the codemnation of our penal codes which based on the ten commandment ‘s allow trials criminals with condemnation during judgements. These church is daring the constitution itself. Very disappointing Raymond

  • My husband and I both have family that were some of the first Methodist ministers in the states. So we feel we have a lot of history with those that helped start many of our congregations especially in Texas. My husband and I have both been very active in our local church and within many mission outreach programs, wiih that said I feel I can safely say what we as a church accept because of political correctness will cause a division in our churches like no other. If we do not follow the teachings from our Bible what do we follow…our own thoughts?
    We acknowledge that we should love all people but I don’t think this is the end of the progressives plan. I have already had dealings with a minister who liked young boys and I don’t trust the so called PC crowd to not push for more.

  • […] a desire to be held theologically accountable to others and to ensure they stay in the will of God. Speaking to the Advocate, Dunn indicated his church will invite other churches that decide to leave the UMC to form a […]

  • I have observed as “Christ United” has tried to hide the fact that it is supposed to be a United METHODIST congregation for 20 years. I have also heard people refer to this church as “ Jeff Dunn’s church” for the same 20 years. So this does not surprise me. It seems that the LGTB issue is being used as an excuse to make something happen that apparently those original 12 people wanted all along….to not be United Methodist. Good riddance to them is what I say.

    • Trish you’re so right. There are so many preachers that are in the church business and not the love of Christ for all our neighbors. It’s interesting that women didn’t have the right to be in nor take leadership positions in the UMC until after the Evangelical United Breathern merger in 1969. How about slavery and UMC – For Methodist blacks, the creation of the racially segregated Central Jurisdiction was a humiliating disappointment,
      The hate against gays who were created by god is a continuation of discrimination against those who self righteous “Christians” consider sinners or less valued than them.
      I’ve seen personally the breaking up of the SBC, Presbyterians and Lutherans and it’s going to happen to the UMC over the discrimination taken by conservative “Christians”. So sad!

  • I have been a Methodist all of my life. I strongly support the choice Christ United has made, and their reasoning for it. There has been no discussion in my church of these proposed changes, and I believe the majority of the laity are oblivious to what is transpiring. I do not understand why there has not been an effort to keep all congregations informed. If an equitable exit plan is not implemented, I wonder how all the mortgages for all the vacated churches will be paid?

  • Erin, so we’ll said by putting this Old Testament story into a rational perspective.

    Erin November 08, 2018 8:41:09 pm
    David, you mention Soddom and Genorrah. Have you read that story lately? I have. Do you remember how Lot tries to save his two male visitors from being gang raped by a crowd of men? He says, “I have two young daughters who are virgins. Take them and do whatever you want with them, but spare the strangers.” Lot is rewarded for this! Huh! It is pretty hard for me to take this story as the “Indisputable Word of God.” I believe this story was written by a man, for other men, who lived in a very different time and place. The writer wanted other men to know how much God wants his people to be generous and kind to strangers. Clearly, the writer did not forsee how chilling Lot’s words would be for me as a woman and daughter living in a different culture many years later. I believe God trusts me to be able to read this story and discern that it is not about homosexuality, nor about how to treat daughters, but about generosity and hospitality. Everyone interprets scripture through their own lens. I believe the Bible is meant to be a teaching guide, not a tool to help us find sin in others.

  • This was out on the street a couple weeks ago. Sort of sad to learn about anything on the street. The Bishop should have let the cat out of the bag and not let street talk take the lead. Not good public relations.

  • Jesus did speak VERY clearly about divorce!! Are we Methodists going to exclude divorced members because they are continuing to live in adultery if the remarry? That would be three fourth of our congregation. I have visited a church who had a percentage of gay members and I found it to be the most loving, welcoming and caring church I have ever had the privilege of attending. Didn’t Jesus say the most important thing is LOVE for one another. When are we going to realize that it is impossible to change our sexual orientation as much as it is to change our eye color or physical features. It is biologically impossible. Are we to condemn them for this??

    • Carolyn,
      Your observation about a church with gays in membership/attendance is so accurate. I was visiting the church in which our younger son and daughter in law sing in their choir and it was one of the most wonderful experiences where I really felt the spirit of Christ. There were the very rich, those of much less wealth, the handicap, and a number of gay individuals and couples. If the Christ be lifted up all manner of mankind shall be drawn… It’s so unfortunate that the hate and discrimination against those different than us, is so prevalent in “Christian” churches. It’s so unfortunate that the leadership in UMCs in Chapin, Lexington, N. Trenholm (Columbia) and Christ United in Myrtle Beach submitted the resolution at the AC and further stoked the division and hate for those who were born differently than them/us! It’s “church business” in its fullest rather than a discerning, loving spirit of the Christ being understood and applied. Open hearts, open minds, open doors! Oops!

  • Lee, you are so right!

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