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Current Disobedience And Bishops' Silence Is Head-on Collision Course With Schism

From: Wesley Putnam
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 1999 4:02 PM
To: UMC Bishops
Subject: Schism

Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord.

I pray all is well with you as you finish up the appointments for the year. I write you with a heavy heart for our church. I am a sixth generation Methodist. My great, great, great grandfather was a German immigrant who was the first licensed exhorter in the Methodist church in the state of Louisiana. Two of my great grandfathers were circuit riders in South Louisiana. My dad is a retired United Methodist clergyman. I and four of my brothers are United Methodist clergy. However, it looks as though it might end there. Two of my three sons have left the denomination and my grandson who was born this week will not know the church of his forbears.

I find myself in the sad position of now serving in a denomination I am ashamed of.

We have been taken over at the highest positions by those who have accepted the tenets of "universalism", "relativism", and "syncretism". As a result, there is not a United Methodist seminary left that teaches Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of God who is UNIQUELY the Savior of the World, the Bible is the Divinely inspired Word of God, or the only way a person will get to heaven is by faith in Jesus Christ.

The authority of Scripture has been abandoned in favor of "progressive revelation". Missions and evangelism have been sidelined because there is no need to "convert" anyone anymore. It is frowned on if a person feels they have to "witness" to a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, or member of any other world religion. I just read an article about a United Methodist church in Denver that claims it is "Buddhist/Christian". Our own Board of Global Missions is a mere shadow of what it once was. We support two people in New York for every person on the field and the majority of the money goes to social or political causes with which most United Methodists would disagree.

A few months ago, one of your own sat by silently as over a third of his clergy members performed a "holy union" for two lesbians. Not only was he silent, the same is true for the entire Council of Bishops. I take your silence to mean that you are in sympathy with bishop Talbert and with the pastors in his conference who violated their covenant and the Discipline. I find it sad that Bishop Sprague is allowing Greg Dell to continue as an ordained member of his conference when he has thumbed his nose at the decision of his peers to remove him from Broadway UMC. Now, I read that he is to receive an appointment as the director of "In all things Charity".


I can't tell you how sad it makes me to watch this church being slowly pulled apart, not from the outside, but from within. I have lost hope. I don't believe it will ever change. We are on a head-on collision course with schism. I, frankly, hope it happens soon. I hope that in 2000 the delegates will approve the process by which churches can determine which way they desire to go and be allowed to do so with their pensions, property, and the blessings of those with whom they disagree.

I don't expect a reply from you. I am not angry. I just want to see something happen before it is too late.

Wesley Putnam

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