So Much for the “Big Tent” – The Fount Account

As you have undoubtedly heard, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church met last month and changed a great deal of the denomination’s teachings on social issues and further distanced itself from a traditional, Biblical understanding of the Christian faith. I would even go so far as to say that the denomination has entered heretical waters in its attempt to be “relevant” to the modern culture (of the United States and Europe). It was able to pivot sharply to the left primarily because over 25% of the churches in the US have exited from the denomination over the past two years, thus removing the opposition almost entirely. In addition, the conference moved to make participation by United Methodists from Africa nearly irrelevant.

Here are just a few of the major changes. It is no longer against church law to be a “self-avowed, practicing homosexual” clergyperson. It is also no longer against church law for clergy to preside over same-sex weddings, or for UM churches to host same-sex weddings on their property. Abortion is now clearly affirmed by the UMC as a method of birth control. Church funds can now be used to “promote the acceptance of homosexuality”. And, interestingly, it is no longer a chargeable offense for clergy to commit adultery! The conference rejected a petition to affirm the Nicene Creed as an official creed of the church, and it made other changes to separate itself from historic Christian teachings.

As expected, the progressives in the denomination have celebrated the actions of General Conference with wild abandon. Delegates have reported how “refreshing” it was without the usual controversies and fights. No wonder, since the opposition has been all but eliminated! The bishops and others often speak of the UMC as being a “Big Tent”, where people of widely divergent beliefs can exist together in one church, but that is just a smoke screen. Local churches, far from being free to practice their faith however they believe, will now be subject to “training” by the annual conference in how to accept clergy as their pastors regardless of the clergyperson’s sexual orientation or gender identification. Already, local churches are expected to accept appointment of clergy regardless of what the clergyperson believes.

Big Tent, indeed.

Meanwhile, the Global Methodist Church, a new denomination being formed from the refugees who have escaped the UMC, will be meeting for their convening General Conference in September in Costa Rica. They will gather for the first time to celebrate their liberation from the tyranny of the UMC, and instead of a “Big Tent” will experience a good old fashioned “Big Tent Revival!” The contrast will be stark.

The Fount continues in its lawsuit against the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the UMC in order to leave the denomination. The judge in the case is expected to rule on the conference’s motion to dismiss (demurer) the case on June 12th. So be praying for favor from the court and the continuance of the suit. The Church Council has also requested that The Fount be allowed to transfer to the Free Methodist Church denomination, so we’ll see how the bishop responds to that request. Keep your prayers ascending!

In Christ’s Hope,