It’s very sad that the United Methodist Church can’t put the issue of Biblical marriage vs. same-sex marriage to bed. But American progressives won’t let it go until they’ve made every church denomination bow to their worldview. Unfortunately, they see the UMC churches in Africa as an unmovable impediment to their goal, and have worked out a deal to remove those churches from their fellowship.
The agreement, which was facilitated by mediation expert Kenneth Feinberg, reportedly gives $25 million to the “traditional” denomination that will be formed. That group will include churches in the U.S. as well as most of the churches in Africa, the Post reported.United Methodist Church announces plan to split over gay marriage, LGBTQ clergy, The Hill, January 3, 2019
So, it’s money the progressives value over the revealed Word of God, so money is what they give (as in, thirty pieces of silver). They get to keep the majority of U.S. church properties. I say, truly they have their reward.
Of course, this deal is racist on its face. I don’t expect my view to be very popular. I expect I’ll get a lot of indignant “how dare you!”s in response. But if you feel that way, read the whole thing and see what your heart tells you.
But before I get to that, let me also say that we’ve been here before with other “mainline” Protestant denominations and we know how it will end. Those American churches that leave the UMC for whatever Biblical values they hold will maintain or even prosper, though they may lose many congregants who agree with the main church’s progressive worldview. The UMC, as a denomination, will quickly shrink and become like the Episcopal Church in America.
We know this because the Episcopal Church in America split from its Anglican brethren in Africa over the same issue of gay marriage. The Presbyterian Church also split, with the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) retaining a Biblical stance on same-sex marriage. The original PC (USA) church has continued to shrink.
The UMC “deal,” boils down to this: the American WASP UMC told their African brothers and sisters in Christ that these Africans don’t get to dictate policy to the WASPs. The African churches were started by western UMC missionaries, and the churches were successfully transitioned to growing, indigenous-led, healthy congregations. Now that the black-led African churches have held to Biblical values that American progressives reject, the lily-white Americans say the black Africans need to learn their place.
Read this thread by Lyman Stone. You might not agree with everything he wrote, or the way he wrote it, but understand this clearly: rich WASPs telling black Africans to go away and here’s some money for it is facially racist.
Before you tell me how the UMC stands for racial justice and so forth, let me explain the two types of racism endemic in American culture. “Southern” racism has always been “close but not high” and “Northern” racism has always been “high but not close.”
“Close but not high” is when black servants lived in the homes of wealthy southerners. It’s when blacks and whites tended to live across the street (or literally, across the tracks) from each other. It’s when they worked side by side, and black nannies raised white kids. It’s when black and white kids saw each other daily. But blacks were not allowed to own businesses that catered to whites (this is post slavery), or attend white schools, or manage white people, or hold high office–unless their rights were vigorously defended.
We saw how this racism erupted into violence and the KKK when in Reconstruction, blacks were given government positions. We saw how this has continued to fuel the civil rights movement in rolling back the cultural racism endemic to many southern communities.
“High but not close” is equally pernicious and evil, but you hear less about it. This is northern racism where people are fine with blacks holding high office, or owning businesses, or being celebrated in the arts and culture. But if a black family moved into the neighborhood, “white flight” would happen. Or new neighborhoods and developments would suddenly become full when black families applied for a lease or mortgage. This is the back story of real estate developer Fred Trump, who lived in a time when such practices were common.
If you want to see racism rear its head, just kill the sacred cow and watch. The issue of “high but not close” manifested not in real estate (which was handled by regulation) but in forced busing. Southern integration was simply a matter of letting black children attend white schools in the areas where they both lived. In cities like Boston, busing meant bringing black kids from far away.
Let’s now examine the UMC in America. The UMC has always been very WASP-heavy, in both the north and the south. If you find a black family at a Methodist church, it’s a rarity. (This is not unique to Methodists, of course. It’s said–and true–that the most segregated hour in America is between 11am and noon on Sunday.)
Methodists have always believed in evangelism, and missions. They are very strong here. They’ve planted churches around the world, and especially in Africa. But the “planted” churches are just that: missions. Who would have thought that the missions would now get to tell the “mother” church how to interpret the Bible?
In WASPy American Methodist meetings, such nerve is met with scorn. Stone tweeted “It’s important to understand that the ‘traditional’ vs ‘progressive’ split is actually ‘white people in America’ vs ‘black people in Africa.’ Go look at the convention votes; it’s extremely clear what’s going on.”
The black Africans, as part of a global Methodist denomination, got to make a majority of Bible-believing “conservatives” and overrule the WASP “progressives” from having their way with gay marriage. This was clearly unacceptable, so the rich, white Americans want to buy off the black Africans to go away. If this was in any field or endeavor other than church government, it would be immediately recognized as a racist play.
Imagine if McDonalds Corporation decided to pay off all its black franchisees to form a new chain that culturally served black customers. Imagine if Chick-fil-A did something similar–you’d have to cover your ears to dampen the thunderous screams from liberals and the media.
But you’ll scarcely hear the whimpers here, since in this case the black Africans hold a Biblical view (and therefore, to liberals and the media, they are hate-filled bigots; do you see the irony?) of marriage and refuse to relent to the WASPs. The liberals and media see the actual Africans as backward and needing of missionaries to correct their old fashioned and outdated ideals. Never mind that they’re black–they’re not the “right” kind of oppressed black, so move along.
The WASPy American UMC won’t allow itself to be dictated to by black African mission churches. That’s the overlooked issue here. They want their progressive, “woke” gay marriage, but don’t accuse them of racism in the process of getting it.
Sorry, folks, it’s racist.
If American Methodists want gay marriage, let them leave the Methodist (UMC) church. But, sadly, thirty pieces of silver will buy a lot of silence.