Daily Lectionary Podcast – Revelation 2:1-3:22

Revelation 2:1-3:22
Letters to the Churches, The “types” of churches, Spiritual Diagnosis

Paragraph to Ponder

On why there will not be a United Methodist Schism

Almost alone among the oldline Protestant denominations, United Methodism has not compromised its sexual teaching, primarily because its membership is global, and the overseas churches are growing while the U.S. church continues its decline. Non-U.S. delegates were 40 percent of the total at the 2012 General Conference and likely they will be 50 percent in 2016. These conservative, mostly African churches ensure that as long as United Methodism is global, there will be no liberalizing our sexuality standards. Interestingly, as United Methodism continues to lose hundreds of thousands of members in the U.S., it is now possibly the 9th largest denomination globally, thanks to Africa.

This situation has caused a few liberals of late to ponder whether liberals should possibly leave, advocate division, or at least stop fighting. Here is a new development with potentially interesting consequences. But there is virtually no precedent in American, or global, religious history of liberals creating NEW denominations. Liberals may take over already existing denominations, but when have they generated new ones? It’s very rare.

Why would that be the case? (FYI, the LCMS in seminex days might be one counter example, but still the AELC lasted less than 10 years if I remember correctly.) Why do “conservatives” splinter, but “liberals” never leave? Some of it has to be that “liberals” have only very rarely lost denominational politics. (Again the LCMS seems to be the only place I know of were the “liberals” are the political incompetents.) What is it about differing psychologies?