Years ago, I attended churches of the two most flexible Christian denominations: Episcopalian and Methodist. I was still a Catholic, just attending there. When my wife converted to be Catholic, she said, “What I like most about being Catholic is that you can be a normal person and still go to heaven.” I would paraphrase her and say the thing about being Methodist or Episcopal is that you can be or do anything and still go to heaven. I once heard that if you needed a prayer that would offend no one, ask a Methodist to write it.
It’s called the United Methodist Church (UMC). For now. But due to the sin of being nice to sinners, in this case those of different sexual preference or persuasion, rumblings of discontent are sounding.
Two things would shatter my former Roman Catholic (RC) core–female priests and openly LBGTQ+ priests. Not because it would bother me (even then), but I know Catholics, especially the clergy. Pedophiles, maybe. Ordained women will not happen.
I’ve known many controversial RC clergy: from borderline atheists, Buddhists, New Age nature worshipers, and divorced priests formerly married to nuns. Almost nothing surprises me regarding that segment of society. All were men. All will always be men. The end. While a gay man may be permitted the power to convert bread and wine to the body and blood, he would not remain so if he were openly practicing his sexual preference.
But now, apparently, the Methodist bunch have been arguing about these topics for years. Now there is a standing schism movement disuniting the Methodists. Being democratic, this is being done by vote within many Methodist congregations with the help of lawyers (of course). So much for being United, and so much for being flexible. It is called disassociation for adults, it’s called taking your ball and going home for children. To be clear, the Methodist debate is over homosexuality—same sex weddings and gay ministers.
But democratic? One mega church with 14,000 members voted. About 96% of those who voted want to leave UMC for more heterosexual security (the definition of homophobia). They want to take UMC property with them. To my knowledge, it’s not all a done deal in the UMC. But only about 3,000 of the 14K voted. That means that 11,000+, or about 83% did not vote to leave. I wonder why.
My point is that the UMC is neither united nor democratic. All 14K of that one bunch may attend any church/mosque/synagogue they wish. If the non-voting, other 80% see through the ministerial bullshit and decide that exclusion is not Christian, they may decide to exercise that right to try something else. One more time: Methodists are flexible.