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  #151  
Old 01-22-2020, 11:55 PM
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Oh, I missed this post at the time. Most mainline Protestants will give you some wine during the service (Methodists may or may not - the Temperance movement came out of American Methodism after all). We use Tawny Port at my (Lutheran) service.

Generally overly sweet wines are used because most people don't complain too much. Whereas more dry stuff you may get a complaint.
Pretty much what my priest said about the wine. On the other hand, it's not like anyone was stopping during the Eucharist to swirl the wine around their mouth and say, "I'm picking up notes of elderflower, cherries, and fresh-cut grass, with a hint of lemon."
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  #152  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:46 AM
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Let's take divorce, for example. The United Methodist Church allows it, even for their pastors:

https://www.umc.org/en/content/unite...eliefs-divorce

(Below the video is a transcript)

From what I understand, divorce is allowed by most Protestant churches, but not by the Catholic Church. There you have to go through the charade of an annulment.
From your link it seems like the Methodists believe like most protestants that divorce is usually wrong but it is not disqualifying.

As Christians we do not expect perfection from the pastors or the laity but only that if there is ongoing sin that they repent and stop their sinning. For example, if a preacher was having an affair, they would be required to end the affair, repent of that sin, and usually undergo some type of counseling before continuing their ministry. If the preacher refused to stop the affair or acknowledge its sinfulness they would no longer be allowed to continue.

Likewise if a preacher is involved in homosexual sex then they would be required to stop and repent of that sin before continuing their ministry. My understanding of the current controversy is that the American part of the church wants to allow clergy who have homosexual sex to continue in their ministry without repentance and to allow same sex marriages in their churches. Thus the controversy is not whether there are material differences in sins but rather there is a need for repentance.
  #153  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:24 PM
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From your link it seems like the Methodists believe like most protestants that divorce is usually wrong but it is not disqualifying.

As Christians we do not expect perfection from the pastors or the laity but only that if there is ongoing sin that they repent and stop their sinning. For example, if a preacher was having an affair, they would be required to end the affair, repent of that sin, and usually undergo some type of counseling before continuing their ministry. If the preacher refused to stop the affair or acknowledge its sinfulness they would no longer be allowed to continue.

Likewise if a preacher is involved in homosexual sex then they would be required to stop and repent of that sin before continuing their ministry. My understanding of the current controversy is that the American part of the church wants to allow clergy who have homosexual sex to continue in their ministry without repentance and to allow same sex marriages in their churches. Thus the controversy is not whether there are material differences in sins but rather there is a need for repentance.
Someone who gets divorced is in the same boat as the gay person. That is, unless they are celibate, they are committing adultery (or fornication?) every time they have sex with someone not their ex-wife.

And yet...there are divorced and (I almost can't type it, it so disgusts me) remarried congregants and even (faints, gets back up) pastors!
  #154  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:21 PM
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Someone who gets divorced is in the same boat as the gay person. That is, unless they are celibate, they are committing adultery (or fornication?) every time they have sex with someone not their ex-wife.

And yet...there are divorced and (I almost can't type it, it so disgusts me) remarried congregants and even (faints, gets back up) pastors!
Yes, I was in a denomination that changed to allow remarried pastors. It was a tough decision because they are committing adultery but it is usually impossible for people to get back with their first spouse and sometimes either the divorce happened before conversion or because the partner committed adultery or abandoned the relationship.

In general acquiescence in the culture of divorce was a sign that mainline denominations were starting not to take sin seriously and showed their descent.
  #155  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:36 PM
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You do realize that non-mainline Protestantism allows divorce as well? The Orthodox Church does so as well.

The Catholic Church seems to be the only hold out.

And the discussion about same sex marriage is definitely not about the need for repentance about sin - because affirming denominations do not consider same sex marriage to be sinful at all.
  #156  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:58 PM
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FTR, the United Methodist Church has not split. However, they are preparing for such a possibility.
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:06 PM
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FTR, the United Methodist Church has not split. However, they are preparing for such a possibility.
At this point, it almost seems inevitable.
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  #158  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:24 PM
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FTR, the United Methodist Church has not split. However, they are preparing for such a possibility.
Agreed, and that was noted upthread. A proposal for how to accomplish the split has been recommended; we'll see how the vote goes at General Conference in May. Even if the current proposal isn't approved, I have a hard time seeing how the UMC continues as one entity; the two sides seek mutually-exclusive things.
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:48 PM
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Agreed, and that was noted upthread. A proposal for how to accomplish the split has been recommended; we'll see how the vote goes at General Conference in May. Even if the current proposal isn't approved, I have a hard time seeing how the UMC continues as one entity; the two sides seek mutually-exclusive things.
We thought this was going to happen with the Episcopal Church, but that never really happened.
  #160  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:57 PM
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FTR, the United Methodist Church has not split. However, they are preparing for such a possibility.
I hope they're planning carefully, covering all details, being very careful, deliberate and orderly.
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  #161  
Old 01-23-2020, 05:08 PM
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I hope they're planning carefully, covering all details, being very careful, deliberate and orderly.

... methodical, you would say?
  #162  
Old 01-23-2020, 05:13 PM
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Agreed, and that was noted upthread. A proposal for how to accomplish the split has been recommended; we'll see how the vote goes at General Conference in May. Even if the current proposal isn't approved, I have a hard time seeing how the UMC continues as one entity; the two sides seek mutually-exclusive things.
We thought there was going to be s split in the Episcopal Church, but that never really happened.

Sorry for the duplicate.

Last edited by Doyle; 01-23-2020 at 05:18 PM.
  #163  
Old 01-23-2020, 05:17 PM
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... methodical, you would say?
Sure, but a little on the nose, don't you think?
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  #164  
Old 01-23-2020, 07:02 PM
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Yes, I was in a denomination that changed to allow remarried pastors. It was a tough decision because they are committing adultery but it is usually impossible for people to get back with their first spouse and sometimes either the divorce happened before conversion or because the partner committed adultery or abandoned the relationship.

In general acquiescence in the culture of divorce was a sign that mainline denominations were starting not to take sin seriously and showed their descent.
Hopefully you see the hypocrisy, though, of mainline (and even other) churches accepting divorce, which Jesus Himself was very clear about, but splitting over the acceptance of homosexuals. And, as we went back and forth about above, the prohibition on homosexuality is much less clear, mingled among lots of other rules routinely flouted, and may only refer to a specific act.

And, when you say "starting not to take sin seriously", wasn't one of the original splits between the C of E and the Catholics partially due to divorce?
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:46 PM
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Hopefully you see the hypocrisy, though, of mainline (and even other) churches accepting divorce, which Jesus Himself was very clear about, but splitting over the acceptance of homosexuals. And, as we went back and forth about above, the prohibition on homosexuality is much less clear, mingled among lots of other rules routinely flouted, and may only refer to a specific act.

And, when you say "starting not to take sin seriously", wasn't one of the original splits between the C of E and the Catholics partially due to divorce?
It's not only divorce. Also adultery, fornication, and drunkenness. Now sure, they'd wag a finger at any Pastor who did these, but unless it was flagrant, it would be forgiven. They will also marry a adulter, a fornicator (and who isnt?) or a drunk.

It's hypocrites all the way down.
  #166  
Old 01-24-2020, 12:49 PM
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It's not only divorce. Also adultery, fornication, and drunkenness. Now sure, they'd wag a finger at any Pastor who did these, but unless it was flagrant, it would be forgiven. They will also marry a adulter, a fornicator (and who isnt?) or a drunk.

It's hypocrites all the way down.
I don't know since I have not attended a mainline church since I was a child and only then because it was the only one on the island, but I would be shocked if even a mainline church would allow a preacher to continue to serve if they were openly committing fornication, adultery, or drunkenness on an ongoing basis. Certainly none of the Evangelical churches I have attended would allow that to happen.

In the Methodist church a pastor can be charged with an offense and have his case heard by a bishop. The first example of such an offense in the Book of Discipline is " immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage" the second example of such an offense is "practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies"
  #167  
Old 01-24-2020, 01:00 PM
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I don't know since I have not attended a mainline church since I was a child and only then because it was the only one on the island, but I would be shocked if even a mainline church would allow a preacher to continue to serve if they were openly committing fornication, adultery, or drunkenness on an ongoing basis. Certainly none of the Evangelical churches I have attended would allow that to happen.
One of my pastors growing up (LCMS) was a drunk and an alcoholic. You can ignore anything if you BELIEVE hard enough.
  #168  
Old 01-24-2020, 01:03 PM
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Hopefully you see the hypocrisy, though, of mainline (and even other) churches accepting divorce, which Jesus Himself was very clear about, but splitting over the acceptance of homosexuals. And, as we went back and forth about above, the prohibition on homosexuality is much less clear, mingled among lots of other rules routinely flouted, and may only refer to a specific act.

And, when you say "starting not to take sin seriously", wasn't one of the original splits between the C of E and the Catholics partially due to divorce?
I see the hypocrisy but there are plenty of worse things than hypocrisy. I see the argument that as long as they allow divorce, they should allow gay marriage, as akin to as long as you have the rope around your neck, why not jump off the horse?

The original split between the C of E and Catholics was political with Henry wanted to annul his marriage because his wife had not produced a male heir and the church not granting it because his wife's father was too powerful.
Part of the original reason for the Protestantism was the church not taking sin seriously and selling indulgences instead of preaching repentance.
  #169  
Old 01-24-2020, 01:16 PM
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One of my pastors growing up (LCMS) was a drunk and an alcoholic. You can ignore anything if you BELIEVE hard enough.
My understanding of the LCMS is that they have a congregational structure and the main failing of that structure is how difficult it can be to hold a pastor accountable. UMC tries to kind of split the difference between congregational and episcopal.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:33 PM
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I see the hypocrisy but there are plenty of worse things than hypocrisy. I see the argument that as long as they allow divorce, they should allow gay marriage, as akin to as long as you have the rope around your neck, why not jump off the horse?

The original split between the C of E and Catholics was political with Henry wanted to annul his marriage because his wife had not produced a male heir and the church not granting it because his wife's father was too powerful.
Part of the original reason for the Protestantism was the church not taking sin seriously and selling indulgences instead of preaching repentance.
Just once, it would be great for a major denomination to welcome gay pastors and congregants and shun any remarried divorcees, fornicators, and heavy drinkers.

Thanks for that background on the C of E! I knew it was really political, but I didn't know about the reason he couldn't get the annulment.
  #171  
Old 01-24-2020, 02:10 PM
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I don't know since I have not attended a mainline church since I was a child and only then because it was the only one on the island, but I would be shocked if even a mainline church would allow a preacher to continue to serve if they were openly committing fornication, adultery, or drunkenness on an ongoing basis. Certainly none of the Evangelical churches I have attended would allow that to happen.
puddleglum, if I'm parsing this correctly, you aren't a UMC member, then? If that's the case, what's your dog in this fight, other than a belief that the liberal faction of a Christian denomination is pushing it towards sin?

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In the Methodist church a pastor can be charged with an offense and have his case heard by a bishop. The first example of such an offense in the Book of Discipline is " immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage" the second example of such an offense is "practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies"
And, of course, that "second example" from the Book of Discipline is the crux of the issue that the UMC has been wrangling with for years.

And, FWIW, the verbiage in the Book of Discipline hasn't been there from time immemorial; the line about homosexuality being "incompatible with Christian teaching" was only adopted in 1972. The prohibition against UMC ministers being practicing homosexuals was only adopted in 1984.

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  #172  
Old 01-24-2020, 02:19 PM
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puddleglum, if I'm parsing this correctly, you aren't a UMC member, then? If that's the case, what's your dog in this fight, other than a belief that the liberal faction of a Christian denomination is pushing it towards sin?

....
I'm not a member of any church, nor do I believe in any God or gods, but I think I'm still allowed to post here.

For what it's worth, I appreciate puddleglum's contributions to this thread, especially some of the bible references and some of the historical perspective.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:35 PM
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I'm not a member of any church, nor do I believe in any God or gods, but I think I'm still allowed to post here.

For what it's worth, I appreciate puddleglum's contributions to this thread, especially some of the bible references and some of the historical perspective.
Fair enough. I was thinking about posts like this one, which puddleglum made earlier in the thread:

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I would like to see the African church flourish and the American church repent and then flourish.
At a certain level, and speaking as a UMC member, I've had a reaction of "it's none of your business." But, I admit, I may be overreacting, and I should not be discouraging discussion. My apologies.
  #174  
Old 01-24-2020, 03:01 PM
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puddleglum, if I'm parsing this correctly, you aren't a UMC member, then? If that's the case, what's your dog in this fight, other than a belief that the liberal faction of a Christian denomination is pushing it towards sin?



And, of course, that "second example" from the Book of Discipline is the crux of the issue that the UMC has been wrangling with for years.

And, FWIW, the verbiage in the Book of Discipline hasn't been there from time immemorial; the line about homosexuality being "incompatible with Christian teaching" was only adopted in 1972. The prohibition against UMC ministers being practicing homosexuals was only adopted in 1984.
My grandparents were lifelong Methodists, but my interest is solely as a member of the catholic church.

My understanding is that prior to 1972 they did not feel the need to address the issue since there was a consensus.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:17 PM
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I don't know since I have not attended a mainline church since I was a child and only then because it was the only one on the island, but I would be shocked if even a mainline church would allow a preacher to continue to serve if they were openly committing fornication, adultery, or drunkenness on an ongoing basis. Certainly none of the Evangelical churches I have attended would allow that to happen.
FWIW the ELCA church I attend has encountered both drunkenness and adultery in its pastors (not the same one). The drunk pastor had to go thru treatment, and afterwards he came back and continued to pastor for several more years. He has since retired.

The adulterous one was a lot more messy. It came to the attention of some of the members, they went to the senior pastor, who asked him about it. He said it was nobody's business, so it went to the church council, who told him that it was serious sin and he needed to break off the relationship and repent. He elected instead to leave the congregation and the ordained ministry.

Regards,
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  #176  
Old 01-24-2020, 05:46 PM
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My grandparents were lifelong Methodists, but my interest is solely as a member of the catholic church.

My understanding is that prior to 1972 they did not feel the need to address the issue since there was a consensus.
Thanks, and my apologies again for being argumentative.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:26 PM
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While we're on the topic, here's a story about a "struggling" Methodist congregation in the Twin Cities that is planning to revamp their services, and are asking the senior citizens in the congregation to find another place to worship.

https://www.kwqc.com/content/news/St...L72kMu9XLMm2Fk

With an attitude like that, no wonder they're struggling, and I predict that this will be their death knell.
Other articles on this church paint a more nuanced view, including that this church has two campuses. One regularly attracts 400 congregants, the other 30. They want to close the smaller campus and relaunch it as an inclusive community, not just a tight-knit group of elderly friends that is being financially subsidized by the larger group. "The senior citizens in the congregation" are almost the entire congregation of the smaller campus, which has struggled to attract new members for years even though it is located in a fast-growing suburb. The denomination's options boil down to 1) close the church now, as a money-loser that they are no longer willing to subsidize; 2) continue to subsidize it until the current membership dies off (which may not be all that far off), then either close or relaunch it; or 3) relaunch it now with new programs and new worship styles that might attract millenials and Gen-Xers with families, people who seem to be put off by trying to break into the ranks of a small and apparently insular congregation of seniors. None of those are great choices, but "go along as you are and it will all work out" isn't an option.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:38 PM
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The original split between the C of E and Catholics was political with Henry wanted to annul his marriage because his wife had not produced a male heir and the church not granting it because his wife's father was too powerful.
Nitpick: her father was long dead. It was the troops of her nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, Lord of the Netherlands, etc., etc., who sacked Rome and imprisoned Pope Clement VII. The Pope, caught between the rival ambitions (and armies) of the Emperor and the King of France, lacked the military resources to continue the fight and adopted a policy of conciliation towards Charles, which included not embarrassing his aunt.
  #179  
Old 01-24-2020, 07:50 PM
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Other articles on this church paint a more nuanced view, including that this church has two campuses. One regularly attracts 400 congregants, the other 30. They want to close the smaller campus and relaunch it as an inclusive community, not just a tight-knit group of elderly friends that is being financially subsidized by the larger group. "The senior citizens in the congregation" are almost the entire congregation of the smaller campus, which has struggled to attract new members for years even though it is located in a fast-growing suburb. The denomination's options boil down to 1) close the church now, as a money-loser that they are no longer willing to subsidize; 2) continue to subsidize it until the current membership dies off (which may not be all that far off), then either close or relaunch it; or 3) relaunch it now with new programs and new worship styles that might attract millenials and Gen-Xers with families, people who seem to be put off by trying to break into the ranks of a small and apparently insular congregation of seniors. None of those are great choices, but "go along as you are and it will all work out" isn't an option.
It does seem that the person they've chosen to restart the church is not a good communicator and might not be that skilled at conveying messages to people. Even in their statements to the press, they continue to mention that current congregants stay away for a year or so, but don't really do a solid job of articulating why, i.e, what they expect to happen during that time and why it will be more successful if the current group is absent rather than present.
  #180  
Old 01-25-2020, 11:34 AM
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I do think that these conversations about divorce, fornication, and drunkenness miss the point somewhat though. The liberal Methodists and the conservative Methodists aren't disagreeing on what to do with sinful pastors/congregants, they are disagreeing as to whether the act is sinful at all.

Even divorce is different, as even those who allow it realize it may be necessary due to our sinful natures. Those denominations who are affirming of LGBTQ are saying that the Church has gotten it wrong on homosexuality and condemned something as sinful when it is not.

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