The United Methodist Church (UMC) will hold its next General Conference session in early May 2016 in Portland, Oregon. Among key items to be considered is a proposal called “The Third Way” which would permit individual UMC conferences to vote to permit their ministers to conduct same-sex “weddings” and to permit UMC ministers on an individual basis decide whether or not to conduct such marriages.
In the following short video UMC pastor Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, chair of the Connectional Table’s Legislative Writing Team, describes changes being considered:
Methodist pastor Rob Renfroe urges a no vote on the LGBTQ proposals and comments on the rules for process the UMC GC hopes to employ at GC 2016:
While the United Methodist Church is not the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventists have followed developments in that communion with considerable interest. The “Third Way” Methodist proposal seems remarkably similar to the “Third Way” women’s ordination proposal some floated in the months previous to the 2015 SDA San Antonio GC session, in that it claims to offer a neutral approach with which all in the church can live, while granting legitimacy to an unbiblical practice. Advocates of LGBTQ rights are at work within the Adventist Church as well.
The UMC faces possible schism next month over the LGBTQ proposals.
Ty Gibson recently placed a lengthy article favoring TOSC position 3 on the internet. In his brief response Clinton Wahlen gently points out glaring problems in Gibson’s approach. Elder Wahlen serves the church through the General Conference. He is associate director of the Biblical Research Institute.
At the very end of TOSC a third group arose which claimed to support the idea of male leadership yet argued that as God had accommodated Israel by giving them the king they requested, so the church should permit Divisions wishing to ordain women to do so in the broader interests of unity.
We believe that the brief Ellen White article that follows helps answer the question, would Ellen G White have supported TOSC position 3?
The PDF format document you can download below is three pages long and facilitates study of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee papers prepared in the study process accomplished in 2013-2014. The papers are organized into columns so that you can see which ones support TOSC position 1, 2 or 3. The papers are referenced and hyperlinked so that all can investigate the materials that have been prepared supporting the various positions.
Physician Ken Mindoro offers a few short but pointed lines relating to recent challenges to marriage, the Sabbath, and women’s ordination. Beware the reasoning you choose, because it may come back to bite you…
The Connectional Table, a United Methodist body of clergy and lay people gathered from around the world, have revealed their plans to propose a “third way” for that denomination. Addressing concerns about “unity” and a renewed “focus on mission,” the proposal would be voted on at General conference in 2016. For the UMC, the Connectional Table functions as a key leadership council for the denomination, guiding and coordinating that church’s mission, ministry and resources.
The article, published by the United Methodist news Service, is found here:
In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, some have used precisely the same “third way” language for their proposals to permit women’s ordination on a piecemeal basis by individual unions and divisions as locally determined. Consider: can even one Christian denomination be named that has not chosen a “third way” on this kind of matter, that has not in the end settled on an unbiblical way?
We offer here the link to a detailed new analysis prepared by Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) group #1 of the position summary of TOSC group #3. We find this 23 page pdf file to have remarkably useful clarifying content, helping the reader better understand both the group #3 and the group #1 positions.
Pr. Stephen Bohr of Secrets Unsealed Ministry responds point-by-point to the “hand-drawn”-style video presented by advocates of the “third way” position. (The third position arose at the end of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) process. It differs from “position 2” only in that it admits that “male leadership” is God’s ideal. However, this supposed recognition is meaningless since postion three, like position two, would allow each division of the world church to decide independently for itself whether or not to ordain women.)