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The Assault on the UMC Continues

by Michael L. Gonzalez

November 1, 2000

We're not surprised, but aren't we saddened that the homosexual advocates will continue their assault on the UMC, as you can read in their latest announcement.  Even though the UMC General Conference this past May made so perfectly clear the beliefs of this denomination, this small renegade group of radical liberals, which comprise a scant 2/10ths of one percent of the UMC membership, insists on forcing their beliefs on the other 99.8% of the members.

It would appear that religious freedom means nothing to these people.  Why do they insist that the UMC change the centuries-old beliefs to suit such a minuscule sample of people, given the fact that they know full well that they don't believe in the Christianity of the UMC?  The actions of these people demonstrate an arogance--that they know better than the other 99.8% of the members.  Yes, their actions say "I know what's best for you, and I'm going to force it down your throat."

Oh, but some people will say, "Look at the tally at the UMC GC2000, where over 30% of the delegates supported the homosexual advocate positions."  First of all, the voting at the General Conferences over the past few quadrennia have shown an ever shrinking percentage of support of the homosexual advocate positions.  Secondly, and more significantly, remember that the delegates simply do not proportionately represent the Christian beliefs of the membership.

How can I say this?  How about from personal experience in the Northern Illinois Conference--I think you've heard of the bishop here:  C. Joseph Sprague.

The Northern Illinois Conference is reported to have about 125,000 members in about 430 churches (approximate numbers, give or take a few percent).  Now, how many signers of the Reconciling Congregation Program are from the Northern Illinois Conference?  Not even 1,000!  Not even 7/10ths of one percent of the Conference membership.  How did the Northern Illinois Conference delegates vote at General Conference?  All but one or two supported the homosexual advocate positions straight down the line.  That's right, the Northern Illinois Conference delegation was nearly 100% supporting of the homosexual advocate positions, and yet over 99.3% of the Northern Illinois Conference membership DOES NOT support the homosexual advocate positions!

Those of you who are amazed at this fact, might wonder how in the world people become delegates if they don't hold the same beliefs as their fellow congregants.  It's really fairly simple, although it took many years for the NIC to end up in this situation.  You see, the NIC has been like a magnet for clergy who are radical liberals--attracting them from throughout the midwest and beyond.  When you put together this radical liberal bias along with a leader like C. Joseph Sprague, you end up with a steamroller that intends to run right over any traditional beliefs that get in their way.

How's the mix in the NIC now?  The best guess is that perhaps a third or more of the clergy are either liberals or radical liberals, with another third that lean toward liberalism because of the influence of Sprague.  Then you have the other third of the clergy who are generally interested in having a fair appointment from Sprague, and so they just "go with the flow."  Oh sure, there are a handful of pastors who stand up and speak their mind, but such a small number out of several hundred clergy have had little effect, so far.

So, is it any surprise that the delegates to the Annual Conference are by and large liberal?  No!  And so, is it any surprise that the NIC GC delegates are nearly exclusively liberal?  No!  And so, is it any surprise that given similar situations in several other radical liberal strongholds, that the UMC GC can end up with about a third liberal and/or radical liberal?  No!  And so, does this mean that about a third of the UMC membership is liberal?  No! No! No!

Well with a membership that is 99.8% NOT radical liberals, why can't the UMC "shake" these few renegades and just move on in traditional Christianity?  Now that's the question that must be answered!

In the NIC, the episcopacy and too much of the clergy are now a part of the renegades.  The clergy in the NIC who are NOT a part of the renegades, or are not sympathizers of the renegades, simply don't seem to be interested in dealing with the renegades.  And, the handful of clergy who are motivated to stand up and defend the faith in the NIC are being squelched by the power of the episcopacy.

The rank-and-file members are by and large completely unaware of the agenda of the radical liberals, and the small number who have become aware fall into one of these categories:  Those members who see the problem of the radical liberal movement, but who choose to ignore it because it hasn't affected their local church; those members who see the problem and desire to stand up and defend the faith, but who are unsuccessful in reaching beyond their single local church; and lastly, those members who see the problem and then stand up to defend the faith in the UMC, but eventually seek traditional Christianity outside of the UMC, and thus opt out of the situation entirely.

I ask you, clergy of the UMC:  Where will you stand as the radical liberals assault the UMC?

And, I ask you laity of the UMC:  Where will you stand as the radical liberals assault the UMC?

It's your church.  Do you still want it?  Please pray and seek the will of God for your life. 


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