Dissident Group Promises Disruption

The Rev. Amy Delong expresses her feelings of not being heard by the Connectional Table to Bishop Bruce Ough. A UMNS photo by Kathleen S. Barry.

The Rev. Amy Delong expresses her feelings of not being heard by the Connectional Table to Bishop Bruce Ough.
A UMNS photo by Kathleen S. Barry.

Because of a protest from a group called “Love Prevails,” the scheduled agenda of the denomination-wide Connectional Table was scrapped during its November 19 meeting in order to talk — once again — about United Methodism’s stance on homosexuality.

“We’ve been left out,” the Rev. Amy DeLong told the group. “We’ve been kept from being seated at the table.”

Although the 59-member Connectional Table is tasked to coordinate the mission, ministries and resources of the global United Methodist Church, its agenda was sidetracked by Love Prevails, an arm of Kairos CoMotion that was founded out of the support team for DeLong at her June 2011 trial in Wisconsin for performing a same-sex union and being a self-avowed practicing homosexual. Love Prevails is the same group that organized and prosecuted the demonstration on the floor of General Conference 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

As the Connectional Table began its meeting, demonstrators sang and spoke over those who were leading the meeting. Bishop Bruce Ough, the Table’s chairperson, is quoted as saying, “There are many places where we have not created the settings where we can listen deeply and profoundly enough” and get a “sense of what God is calling us to do.”

With all due respect, we have had many years of studies, conversations, dialogs, and times of holy conferencing. All of this discussion has bent over backwards to include GLBTQ persons and even at times been rather one-sided in presenting a more permissive viewpoint. Despite all the discussions and dialogs, The United Methodist Church has remained consistently opposed to condoning homosexual behavior.

However, those promoting the acceptance of homosexual practice will not accept the outcome of decades of holy conferencing. In their minds, they have the only right answer, and they are going to keep pushing, by force if necessary, until the church agrees to their demands. Friends, it is not that we haven’t talked about this issue enough; it is that some people don’t like how the conversation came out.

With a strategy to disclose, divest, and disrupt, Love Prevails pledges a new level of activism in its attempt to change United Methodism’s view of marriage and sexuality. The activists say they will “no longer self-censor” when they conduct same-gender unions and weddings.

Additionally, Love Prevails pledges to “redirect our time and treasure to efforts aimed at ending discrimination against LGBT people,” forsaking their “loyalty to the institution.” Thus, they plan to withhold apportionments from parts of the church they deem to be discriminatory.

Finally, they plan to “protest and disrupt local, national, and global events” and “undermine all policies that limit or deny the full participation of LGBT united Methodists in the life of the church.” “The time for polite persuasion has passed,” they claim. They plan to “stand in the way of business as usual,” including a pledge to disrupt the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon.

There is a difference between respectfully convincing people and intimidating people by force to attempt to change their minds. As long as our church leaders allow this coercion to continue, our church will be held hostage to an ideological agenda that is a distortion of the Gospel.

One mourns the loss of church time and resources because some people are unable to live within our United Methodist covenant. They should have the freedom to practice ministry however they feel led — outside The United Methodist Church. However, they do not have the right to force their opinions on the rest of a global church, simply because they disagree with Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. For all our sakes, it is time for our church’s leaders to stand up with clarity and firmness to prevent our church from being hijacked by an intolerant and divisive ideology.

Thomas A. Lambrecht is a United Methodist clergyperson and the vice president and general manager of Good News.

Comments

  1. And Sir, you also have the right to choose how to practice your ministry as you feel led, outside of the United Methodist Church. You and your group do not have the market cornered on listening, being persuaded, or even acknowledging the differences be they real or perceived of people who are minorities. Those who have “holy conferenced” and not listened to the voices of LGBT and how we are affected by the hurtful language of the BoD are doing more damage, spiritually and mentally to those of us who are not a carbon copy of you. Your intimidation tactics are finely honed to the point you could be passed off as a Catholic Pope.
    I will agree with you on one point: It IS time for the leaders of the United Methodist church to stand up – stand up with their heads out of the sand to realize that G O D the creator of ALL would not continue to sacrifice ANY of God’s children to the wolves of injustice, inequality, and hatred that is being touted by so many who wish to keep people of SACRED WORTH (read that in the BoD maybe?) from the love of a GOD who makes no mistakes in creating God’s Children.

  2. Bill Putman says

    Gin, I would suggest you do an exegesis (not an EISegesis) of Romans chapter 1, verses 16ff, where God himself states the opposite of what you say. God clearly states that the revelation of his wrath against a nation that hides the truth in iniquity is seen when that nation abandons “the natural use of their bodies for the unnatural” men having sex with men, women with women.

    What this means is this: when a nation abandons the Truth of God, God abandons that nation. The Biblical sign of God’s abandonment is that nation’s acceptance of homosexuality.

    While it is God’s will that none should perish but all should have eternal life, it is NOT God’s Will that TRUTH be suppressed or hidden in iniquity. The truth is, if God created people as
    homosexual, then homosexuality would not be the sign of His wrath. God may love his creation, but he does not contradict himself.

    • Jackie Alnor says

      Amen Bill – sadly though, you Bible-believing minority didn’t stand a strong stand when the camel’s nose first got under the tent – now the entire beast is in and acting beastly.

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