A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Sex and Schism #2: The Local Option

I was preparing to write a post on the recent proposal to settle the UMC's dispute over homosexuality by allowing individual churches, clergy, and conferences to decide for themselves what to do on this matter. Then I read David F. Watson's post on the proposal. I simply could not have written anything better. So, I am linking into his post for your consideration.

I agree with David-- "This is essentially a congregationalist approach to ethics and certain ecclesial practices in a denomination that is not congregationalist in its polity. While Baptists strongly value the autonomy of the local church, this has never been a core value of United Methodism."

As much as many of us would like to focus on matters of making disciples, we must continue this discussion to find a way forward. The Way Forward proposal is not in keeping with our core ecclesial convictions as Wesleyans and United Methodists. If I wanted to be a Congregationalist, I would not be a United Methodist.

David's post can be read here.

The local option proposal can be read here.


Steve Heyduck said...

As I follow you more than David Watson, I'll comment here.

While not entirely disagreeing with the assessment of congregationalism of this call, I see it rather as eliminating the distance and disconnection at which the issue is currently being 'handled.'

Allan Bevere said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comments.

There is no doubt a distance and disconnect, but I am also concerned that if passed, the way forward proposal will create havoc at the local church level.

J. L. Watts said...

I agree - which is why I was against the previous proposal (the agree to disagree). The UMC is not congregationalist (although there was that brief bout of MPC, but we got over that).

Allan Bevere said...


I am with you. I will tell you that I am a little bit tired of the sterile arguments on both sides. The blind acceptance of the left/right continuum has left us with uncreative and predictable solutions.

I will be writing on that next week.