Anybody who’s been reading my blog for a while is aware that I’m very pleased with our new pastor, Pastor Bart. He’s strongly evangelical, Wesleyan, and faithful to his calling.
But I’m still not happy with what I see happening in the greater UMC. The pro-gay liberals are still hammering away at the church, thinking that eventually they will be able to bring about a breach in the wall that is holding their “un-beliefs” at bay. Here in the Minnesota Annual Conference I have learned that we actually have people in the front office working openly and unabashedly to push through this ungodly agenda, readying proposals to change the wording of our Book of Discipline at General Conference 2008. (Personally, I think it’s an outrage to have them doing that while on-the-job at AC offices, but we have even bigger fish to fry.)
Now as we have seen ever since GC 1976, the UMC has rejected such changes ever more strongly every four years, and I don’t think that’s going to change. The UMC is becoming more and more biblically-grounded as they years go by, even in the face of this persistent attack by the pro-gay forces. But still, this causes me some small fear, and that is, that these pro-gay, humanist, unbelieving liberals will finally give up and leave the UMC.
Why should that cause me any fear? Simply this: Minnesota AC is an extremely liberal AC, and my fear is that as the liberals are leaving, their first priority will be to take the entire AC with them. I think they would try to simply make a proclamation that the Minnesota AC is no longer part of the UMC, but either a separate denomination, or more likely, part of a new and separate liberal or progressive denomination.
You may say, “So, let ’em go!” But if that is what happens, then our local church would be part of that. I would have to leave, because I certainly couldn’t be part of such a “church”. And I believe that the people of our local church would not go along with this, either; and I think it’s true of most UM churches in Minnesota. The people of the church are much more conservative than most of the clergy, and so we would have to organize and protest. I assume this would cause the progressives to back down from their plan to take the whole AC with them.
In that case, I believe they would try instead to take as many of the individual churches along with them as they can, which means the local churches would have to vote on which way to go: should they go with the new, liberal church, or remain with the now-more-conservative UMC?
In our local church as it was under Pastor Jim, I believe Jim would have gone with the progressives, and would have tried to influence our church to vote that way, and he may have succeeded. But this is also one thing I like about Bart, in that I think he wouldn’t go along with the progressives. I think he would have a lot more concern about the well-being and theological-correctness of our local church, and wouldn’t let us be hijacked over to the liberal denomination. I can’t say that his own leanings aren’t in that direction; I don’t know him that well yet. But I believe he would be concerned that the people of our church be able to make an intelligent and educated choice. And it’s my guess that he would remain on as our pastor and not leave for the progressive church.
This is all only speculation. The progressives seem to be tireless in their battering our our walls, and the situation may stay this way for many years. But I really have to believe that they’ll get tired of business as usual eventually, and then this scenario may take place.