Focus 3: Traditional Plan affirmed again

In the first indicator of the direction of the 2019 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, the majority of delegates affirmed the Traditional Plan. In a vote gauging “high priority” vs. “low priority” of various denominational plans, more than 55 percent of the delegates (459 votes) affirmed the Traditional Plan.

Despite what was perceived as a full-court press from the vast majority of North American bishops to pass the One Church Plan, only 48 percent of the assembly (403 votes) considered the OCP a “high priority.”

The Simple Plan, a radical proposal that would have eliminated all Disciplinary language regarding homosexuality, received only 153 votes.

The Connectional Conference Plan, a complicated restructuring of the denomination, mustered only 102 votes.

The Traditional Plan maintains our present position of affirming the worth of all persons and welcoming them to the ministries of the church while supporting our current biblical standards on marriage, ordination, and sexuality. The Traditional Plan has several provisions that need to be voted upon that would allow the church to enforce the Book of Discipline more effectively when pastors and bishops violate our policies. Each of these provisions will need to be approved individually.

The Traditional Plan is most in line with what delegates have supported at every General Conference since 1972. We believe that the Traditional Plan provides the most hopeful path to a faithful future for The United Methodist Church.

Although the General Conference has given indication that it approves the Traditional Plan, we are aware that progressive leaders will attempt to keep the conference from passing the plan. There will be efforts to postpone, amend, and substitute resolutions coming from the floor, seeking to bring work on a Traditional Plan to a standstill. For example, a last minute referral of a half dozen petitions to the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters resulted in the rejection of all but one of those petitions.

Nevertheless, we are gratified that the General Conference prioritized the Traditional Plan, recognizing 2000 years of Christian tradition and the scriptural understanding of sexual ethics. All of this was in spite of the efforts of advocacy groups and bishops focused on changing our views on marriage, ordination, and sexuality. 

If passed, the One Church Plan (OCP) would allow every pastor, every congregation, and every annual conference to determine its own sexual ethic. This would be an unwise course of action. Every other mainline denomination that has liberalized its sexual ethics has experienced a dramatic decline in membership and attendance, the loss of numerous congregations and financial resources. It has also sparked lengthy and costly court battles. It’s what we learn from other denominations – all the other denominations – who have gone this way before. 

God is good and God is sovereign. We believe God still has plans for the people called Methodist. 

Comments

  1. Praise be to the Lord Most High and we must thank our African brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ for their appreciation and loyalty to Scripture, the BOD, and 2000 years of Christian tradition, wisdom and insight!

    May the good Lord Jesus give us the Traditional plan today with grace and enforcement to honor and serve God and our fellow human being!

  2. Hallelujah! God’s ‘way forward’ is always ahead of our desire or imagination. May He lead us into a new and exciting Methodism.

  3. Now comes the really hard part. Many of the present bishops are openly on the record that they will continue to do damage, despite the passage of the Traditional Plan, just like they did under the Discipline. Prepare to withhold apportionments to the Episcopal fund or this may go on forever or till the denomination is hopelessly disjoint.

  4. Terri Hicks says:

    Praise His Name! This is very encouraging!

  5. Walker Shaw says:

    I have been watching the Special General Conference online. Do you believe that the mission of the UMC will be better served by a church substantially reduced in members and funding? I was frankly stunned at the audacity of the Traditionalist Plan and understand you are the principle author. It is simply remarkable you could be so misguided. Why would you deliberately reduce the effectiveness of carrying out our mission? How did you come to the delusional belief that your view of the Kingdom of God is the only valid way to serve the Lord? Frankly sir, you are misguided to a degree that significantly undermines the work of the church. Please reconsider your actions and do what ever is possible to resolve your mistakes. Confession is insufficient. You must actively reverse the harm done. vr

    • Darrell clark says:

      Therein lies the rift in the U.M.C. I don’t think anyone thinks we can do more, with less. The conservatives (me included)believe the primary mission of any Christian Church , is to save souls through Jesus Christs death and resurrection . Not through great works.

    • Sojourner Truth says:

      So, please justify having two disparate theologies under one “umbrella” with the OCP. Why did the Progressives make a false allegation against the WCA near the close of the Conference? Why do you continue to make salacious claims and perpetuate arguments out of sophistry? Do you think that it is appropriate to level ad hominem attacks against those that believe that the MTP was the right way to proceed as a church?
      Walker, we might not be the delusional ones.

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