That’s the title of an article in Christianity Today. Here is an excerpt from that article:
“Irreconcilable” disagreement over same-sex unions is once again prompting debate over splitting the historic United Methodist Church (UMC), one of America’s largest denominations.
“If we are one church, we cannot act as if we are two. If, in reality, we are two churches, it may not be wise to pretend any longer that we are one,” concludes a statement last month from 80 traditionalists from across the UMC, which has 7.7 million U.S. members. (An additional 4.4 million members are overseas.)
The statement says the UMC is facing a crisis in four areas because:
* Pastors have violated or said they are willing to violate the Book of Discipline ban on same-sex marriages. (The Book of Discipline is the church’s most authoritative guide.)
* Pastors and other leaders realize that there are no “meaningful consequences” for violating the Book of Discipline by officiating at a same-sex union. (In one instance, two clergy were given a “24-hour suspension without pay” for marrying gay couples.)
* More church leaders believe “significant parts of the Scriptures do not provide an accurate understanding of God’s heart and mind and may be discarded as uninspired and in error.”
* Among top leaders, “there are dramatic differences in how personal and social holiness is lived out and taught.”
Questions that come to mind:
- Shouldn’t some differences be irreconcilable?
- When does a ‘church’ cease being a true church of the living God?
- Since when does what ‘more and more church leaders believe’ have any standing when what more of them believe clearly violates God’s design and plan for marriage?
The article didn’t leave out an opinion from the “grassroots” level (regular folks).
“At the grassroots, schism is unpopular. A June poll, commissioned by a UMC agency, indicates that rank and file UMC members are opposed to a church schism over homosexuality. “We found that regardless of a person’s position on homosexuality, members felt strongly that the church could offer a positive and different voice to the broader conversation occurring in society today,” said John Deuterman, president of Corporate Research, which conducted the survey for the UMC Communications agency.” (Emphasis mine)
I really don’t know what that is trying to say. The only ‘positive’ and ‘different’ (than society) voice ought to be the voice of Almighty God, who has spoken rather clearly in this matter.