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 R. 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 R. 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.