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Why Would We Choose to Remain in the UMC?

Progressive changes are occurring in the United Methodist Church. We are witnessing the damage being done to our churches and to our denomination first hand. Our denomination is losing members because of these changes. Traditional churches are being forced to spend significant time and resources in the struggle to remain traditional by leaving the UMC.  

Not coincidentally, similar theological changes and resulting splits have occurred in other mainline denominations. You probably remember that in 2012, First Presbyterian Church of Greenville voted to transfer to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.  

At the time, their Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Richard Givens was quoted as saying, “Changing the definition of marriage and changing ordination standards away from what we believe to be a Christian stance is not a healthy thing.” The vote carried by 97%. Today they are thriving and building a $35 million dollar worship and performing arts center.  

Meanwhile, the Buncombe Street Community News reported this week that our church has a deficit of over $373,000.

As we prepare for the October 30 vote, prayerfully consider the following questions regarding the progressive changes to the United Methodist Church and to other denominations:
How does imposing a progressive theology on a theologically traditional denomination help Buncombe Street grow and better serve God?  

Why is our UMC leadership assisting the progressive movement in our denomination by making it difficult and expensive for so many traditional churches to leave?

Why wouldn’t our traditional members vote to disaffiliate so that Buncombe Street will continue to be a traditional church for our congregation and for the traditional worshipers who would join our church in the future?
Do those imposing the theological changes in the UMC care about the damage they are inflicting on our denomination and on God’s Kingdom? Or is the damage unimportant in relationship to achieving the goal of changing the theology of the UMC?  

If you are a follower of Jesus and you are theologically progressive, why would you seek to impose your beliefs on a theologically traditional denomination?  

Why would you not join a denomination that shares your progressive beliefs, knowing that your efforts to change a non-progressive denomination to a progressive denomination is especially damaging to the traditional churches and is antithetical to the spirit of Christianity?  

If you are progressive and Methodism is your goal, why wouldn’t you create your own progressive Wesleyan denomination and worship with other like-minded members?
Imposing a progressive theology on a theologically traditional denomination DOES NOT HELP OUR DENOMINATION GROW OR BETTER SERVE GOD.  

It is divisive and damaging to the efforts of its members who are caught in the theological change. UMC churches are experiencing the damage as traditional members leave for other denominations rather than be subject to the progressive evolution that will inevitably occur in our church. Buncombe Street has already experienced the loss of members over this issue.   

A successful vote to disaffiliate ensures that our church’s theology will not change. It also means that our Church’s welcome and acceptance of LGBTQ persons will not change. Unfortunately, the progressive movement in the UMC has forced the need to disaffiliate upon us.  

It is clear at this point that the lack of traditionally trained clergy graduating from our UMC funded seminaries, coupled with the progressive direction of the UMC leadership, guarantee that the UMC will not continue to be a traditional denomination in the United States.  

Below are two slides presented at the last BSUMC Way Forward Task Force meeting.  

Note that the above slide of the Post Separation UMC options indicates that the liberal-minded will retain the UMC name and logo. As stated above, “do nothing and the churches remain here.” Is that where we want to be? We think not.

Perhaps the most important question is:

Why, as a traditional church, would we choose to remain in the UMC, knowing that our leaders’ decision to discontinue enforcement of our Methodist doctrines resulted in the challenges that our traditional Methodist churches are currently facing? 

We pray that you will ponder these questions as you make your decision on the direction of Buncombe Street church. May God grant you wisdom as you discern His will for our Church. Amen.

Close to Home

Last night, Washington Street United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC, held a “Service of Repentance and Healing for the Harm Inflicted on LGBTQIA+” persons. Click here for the full article featured in the SC United Methodist Advocate.  

Washington Street UMC is one of the oldest Methodist churches in SC. Founded in 1803, WSUMC is one of 11 UM churches in South Carolina listed as members of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). Their website states that RMN equips and mobilizes United Methodists to resist evil, injustice, and oppression as they seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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