Hey, We're OK! Get on Those Tuxedos & Gowns and Let's Party!

Hey, We're OK!
Get on Those Tuxedos & Gowns and Let's Party!

Music Title: This Magic Moment

No matter that we have passed the 2 million lost member mark and are pressing on to 3 million members lost since the '68 merger -- and no matter that people are still leaving the United Methodist Church because of division over practices and preaching that are anti-Bible and contrary to the basic doctrines upon which the former Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist Churches were established -- and never mind why these Churches in their early years were blessed mightily of God due to His Word being faithfully and passionately proclaimed with the result that huge numbers of people were brought to repentance, faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and an ardent pursuit of a holy life by committed obedience to that same Jesus!

Strange is it not, that quite a number of ministers didn't have all that college and seminary training either -- and would you believe that people (laity and pastors) in those days actually believed that the Bible meant what it says -- my, my -- what a strange approach to take!!! Well, they probably didn't know any better -- if they were alive now, we'd set them straight on this Bible stuff wouldn't we, and really show them how to grow a denomination!!!!

What's happening here -- is it a new approach in the ever growing popular practice of "revisionism" or what? A General Conference appointed task force has taken a look at things and guess what -- we're ok! We've gotten our membership rolls "cleaned" -- oh? What happened to those persons who were a part of that "cleaning" process? Were they always a part of the group that needed to be "cleaned" due to their cluttering up the membership roll of First UMC of Lukewarm City? Was anything really done to get them actively involved?

Or was it just a case of the "revolving door" procedure of taking in some new members each year (DS's sometimes have a fit if you don't add some new people to the roll -- lay a guilt trip on you if you don't and may even demand that you spell out how your church justifies its ongoing existence -- oh oh! -- Noah sure would have flunked out on that one!) -- besides, it makes us look good if we can show on the statistical report that we added some new people! BUT AT THE SAME TIME at charge conference we have to get rid of some "dead wood" on the roll too! Conference statistical minutes on large membership churches especially are exciting to read on this subject -- quite a juggling act some of them have going on this thing!

Incidentally -- on that membership loss -- has it ever occurred to you that perhaps it is appropriate that we have lost quite a large number of members over the years -- after all, our "official" policy in the UMC Discipline gives sanction to abortion on demand -- over the years since 1973 at least 40 million or more unborn have been sacrificed on the altar of a "god" by the name of Convenience --

-- the oldest of these victims would now be in their upper 20's had they been permitted to live and be born -- it cannot be denied that out of these sacrificed millions some would have been in the United Methodist Church -- one wonders what contribution they would have made in the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- the thought makes one as comfortable as a worm on a hot skillet -- uh, that is if we don't play our little rationalization game and try to dodge reality -- and members of the UMC hierarchy are certainly expert players in that particular game -- if you don't believe it, just ask them!!

We are told that despite membership losses that giving is up -- ah, when the dollar amount is adjusted, is giving as much now as say the year we had 11 million members? And do we have as many missionaries on the field as we had at that time?

The conclusion of the task force is "...that the United Methodist Church is alive and well." Put on the tuxedos and gowns -- let's celebrate -- we are alive and well -- or are we?

by Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in full connection
W. PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church

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