History was made with a couple of new wrinkles at the United Methodist Church General Conference gathering in Cleveland, Ohio on May 2-12, 2000. There were protests, disruptions, and arrests as the conference ran its course. Prominent in the chaos part of the disruptions was an outfit identified as Soulforce. As the conference came to a conclusion with significant votes, Soulforce people declared the intent to wage "unholy war" over the next 4 years against those in the UMC who support the Book of Discipline statements related to homosexuality. Below are the detailed plans of the "war" that is planned. The term "unholy war" is applied for the following reasons -- first, this group used the term "holy war" as applied to certain churches and their resistence to accepting the same gender coupling lifestyle. Second, what this group is planning is anything but "holy" -- so the only other alternative is to use the word "unholy!"
Now here is how the crucial votes went:
- United Methodism's 28-year-old proscription against homosexual practice ("incompatible with Christian teaching") was supported by a 628-337 (65 percent support) vote.
- By a 640-317 (67 percent) vote, the body also retained our statement that "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" are prohibited from ordained ministry.
- The issue of same-sex unions being disallowed within United Methodism was supported by a 646-294 (69 percent) vote.
- General Conference reaffirmed the restriction of church funds "to promote the acceptance of homosexuality" with 74 percent support.
Now, in light of the above recorded votes, you will see why there will be a systematic planned "assault" on the United Methodist Church over the next 4 years leading up to GC 2004 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is best when you refer to that "assault" or "seige" to call it for what it really is -- a deadly "unholy war" for the soul of the church and its people! Details below
"RELIGHT THE FLAME!"
A FOUR-YEAR SOULFORCE STRATEGY TO HELP END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SEXUAL
MINORITIES BY THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Current U.M.C. policy discriminates against God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered children. This spiritual violence must end. We love this member of the body of Christ too much to allow it to continue these policies that lead to suffering and death. Because delegates to GC2000 refused to take a significant step towards ending these policies of discrimination, our "Relight the Flame" campaign begins May 14 and will continue until GC2004.
Our Overriding Promise: The four-year "Relight the Flame" campaign described (in part) below will be guided ENTIRELY by the "soul force" principles of nonviolence as practiced by Gandhi and King. Every action promised will represent the Spirit of Christ who called His followers to do justice above all else. Our goal is not to "win" this endless debate about homosexuality but to end it by achieving reconciliation with our sisters and brothers who are victims of misinformation about sexual minorities.
Every local U.M.C. congregation features the denomination's logo: a cross and a flame. That flame represents the presence of the Holy Spirit in that local congregation. We are persuaded by Scripture, church teaching, and historic example that Christ's Spirit cannot remain where all God's children are not welcome. How can the Spirit be present in a local congregation who makes outcasts of God's own children? Our logo for this entire campaign will replace that bright red flame with a plume of smoke and ash and the words "Relight the Flame." We are struggling to help save those congregations from policies that have driven the Holy Spirit from their midst. We are working with you to help save the soul of the United Methodist Church.
First Promise: 1,000 people of faith will be arrested in a massive civil disobedience on the opening day of GC2004. Remember, the goal of a civil disobedience is NOT to intimidate or to embarrass but to change minds and hearts through our voluntary redemptive suffering. Our May 10 civil disobedience had one goal: to demonstrate our love for the United Methodist Church. Approximately 200 of us spent May 10 crowded into police vans and jail cells across Cleveland. We were fingerprinted and photographed. The charge of "persistent disorderly conduct" will remain on our records. Together, we paid $29,605 in fines and court fees to help you understand how sincere and determined we are. And we will do it again and again until you realize that this tragic debate is over. The suffering must end.
Second Promise: Over the next years, U.M.C. congregations across the nation whose clergy or laity have been especially outspoken in support of these discriminatory policies will be the site of Sunday Morning civil disobedience actions (not unlike the civil disobedience conducted in Cleveland, May 10).
Third Promise: We will be organizing on the Internet to recruit and train U.M.C. members and other people of faith to stand vigil on Sunday mornings on the sidewalks in front of United Methodist congregations that support these discriminatory policies. Marchers will carry banners that read clearly: THIS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH DISCRIMINATES AGAINST SEXUAL MINORITIES.
Fourth Promise: We will be organizing on the Internet to persuade members and friends of U.M.C. congregations who support these discriminatory policies to give their tithes, offerings, and special large gifts to U.M.C. congregations who support full inclusion for sexual minorities.
Fifth Promise: We will be organizing on the Internet to convince United Methodist clergy, musicians, Sunday School teachers, ushers, choir and committee members and all other volunteers who currently serve U.M.C. congregations that support these discriminatory policies to offer their services to U.M.C. congregations that support full inclusion for sexual minorities.
Sixth Promise: We will urge U.M.C. clergy to refuse to obey the unjust "laws" stated in the Book of Discipline. Marry us! Ordain us! Welcome us into full, unqualified membership in your churches! "It is as much our moral obligation NOT to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good." Gandhi.
Seventh Promise: We will launch a nationwide campaign to persuade the 3,000-4,000 closeted U.M.C. clergy and the hundreds of thousands of U.M.C. laymen and laywomen to "come out" and join us in this campaign to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." Without their courageous example, injustice will prevail and the suffering will go on.
For more information or to volunteer to assist in our "Relight the Flame" campaign contact: UMC@soulforce.org or go to: http://www.soulforce.org "Relight the Flame Campaign"
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A PS! Bear in mind also that MR. Jimmy Creech, high profile
United Methodist layman, is now partnered up with Mel White!
Ooops! Don't make more of the term "partnered" than merely an
agreement such as throwing into a business venture together!
Also, check Mr. Creech's "letter" -- described as "urgent!"
CLEVELAND (May 13, 2000) Discriminatory policies against sexual minorities in the United Methodist Church resulted in 191 arrests, May 10, and 27 arrests, May 11, for acts of civil disobedience at the General Conference of the nation's second largest Christian denomination in Cleveland, Ohio.
Those arrested included United Methodist Bishop C. Joseph Sprague (Northern Illinois) and Bishop Susan Morrison (Northern New York), civil right leaders from the '50s and '60s, members and clergy of The United Methodist Church, and Soulforce activists from 24 states. It also marked a first arrest for Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, who traveled to Cleveland to help launch the ecumenical, interfaith Soulforce campaign to end the "holy war" against homosexuals being waged by Catholic, Protestant, and Mormon churches.
The May 10 civil disobedience coincided with an ecumenical worship service addressed by the (Anglican) Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by 5,000 United Methodists and heads of 20 other denominations with anti-homosexual policies in place. The arrest of 191 people of faith continued for ninety minutes as a dozen different Soulforce "Prayer Squads" blocked the exit from the Cleveland Convention Center in a Silent Vigil carrying signs that read "No exit without justice." Hundreds of supporters sang hymns and applauded as each "squad" was arrested. Nearby, anti-gay protestors shouted obscenities and waved signs reading "God Hates Fags" and "Got AIDS Yet". Officials from the Cleveland Mayor's Office and Police commended the large Soulforce delegation for their disciplined and peaceful act of civil disobedience.
"For three decades Catholic and Protestant leaders have debated our issue," explained Dr. Mel White, Soulforce Founder and the last person to be arrested. "Each debate ends with another act of injustice. They've declared our lives 'incompatible with Christian teaching.' They've refused to ordain us for ministry, to bless our loving relationships, or to budget funds for programs that assist or welcome our sisters and brothers. We're blocking this exit to say to the 1,000 Methodist delegates and their ecumenical guests, 'This debate is over. The suffering has gone on too long. Stay in there this time until you do justice. And if you don't, we give you fair warning that we love the church too much to stand by in silence. We are launching a plan today in the loving, nonviolent spirit of Jesus, Gandhi, and King that will demonstrate our determination to end the injustice forever."
November 14, 2000
Washington, DC -- Mel White is a homosexual preacher who apparently considers himself the "Gay Gandhi." His civil disobedience group is known as Soulforce, and it routinely conducts Operation Rescue-like demonstrations to protest Protestant and Catholic opposition to homosexuality.
In July of this year, Soulforce protesters were arrested outside a Denver convention center for blocking the entrance to the annual meeting of the Episcopal General Convention. The Episcopalians still correctly reject homosexuality as a violation of biblical morality.
On Monday, White's uncivil disobedience group protested outside the annual meeting of the U.S. Catholic Bishops at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month, White wrote a letter to the Bishops asking them to overturn the Church's centuries-old opposition to homosexuality. In his Nov. 9 letter to the Bishops, White said, "Vatican teachings about homosexuality lead to wasted lives, ruined relationships, discrimination, suffering, and even death."
In reply, Bishop Joseph Fiorenza responded that the Bishops had to abide by the church's teachings that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." The Catechism of the Catholic Church also declares that homosexual acts are "contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
What was White's response to Fiorenza? "That's not an answer. When you say you're against violence but use the very hate language that causes it."
Mel White's statements give us more reason than ever to oppose the passage of pro-homosexual hate crimes laws. He has unwittingly telegraphed the true intentions of those who want hate crimes laws passed: These laws will eventually be used to criminalize free speech!
Let's examine White's flawed logic. It goes like this: A church denomination that has a policy against homosexuality is forcing homosexuals into living wasted lives, suffering ruined relationships, discrimination, and death. And to speak out against homosexuality is "hate language" that "causes" violence against homosexuals. In White's tortured mind, if one speaks out against homosexuality, he is creating a situation that leads to violence and the killing of homosexuals.
If sermonizing against homosexuality equals murder, then our nation's pastors are in danger of losing their right to preach against homosexuality from the Bible. If White and his homosexual allies succeed in getting hate crimes laws passed, we can foresee the day when a pastor or priest is arrested and fined for preaching from Romans 1.
While the Gay Gandhi continues to lobby for sodomy in our nation's churches, those of us who value free speech and biblical truth should remain steadfast against his efforts. We should also continue expressing our opposition to hate crimes laws that would criminalize our right to preach against a sexual behavior that God forbids. We cannot--indeed will not--compromise on this issue.
In light of what you read above how about
WHEREAS the UMC General Conference 2000 in Cleveland, Ohio has concluded, and
WHEREAS votes were taken to retain the present Book of Discipline statements on homosexuality being incompatible with Christian teaching, avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be ordained, and UM clergy are prohibited from performing same gender "union" ceremonies, and
WHEREAS there were demonstrations and disruptions at the UMC General Conference 2000 initiated by those who are advancing a same gender coupling agenda and attempting to force acceptance of the same on the United Methodist Church, and
WHEREAS there were several arrests, including two UMC bishops (one being arrested twice) as a result of such demonstrations and disruptions, and
WHEREAS Mel White and Soulforce have vowed what amounts to “unholy war” between now and the April 25-May 7, 2004 General Conference meeting in Pittsburgh PA against those who support the UMC Book of Discipline position, and
WHEREAS there will be support of this "unholy war" in defiance of the Scriptures and the UMC Book of Discipline on the part of a number of UMC "leaders," clergy, and laity, and
WHEREAS there may even be petitions submitted to the Pittsburgh City Council to have Pittsburgh’s "Golden Triangle" painted pastel pink with 2 fifty foot entwined wedding bands placed atop the U.S. Steel building as a symbolic act to welcome delegates to the 2004 General Conference meeting in Pittsburgh PA (OK, I admit – this one is a bit of "tongue in cheek" – but, hey, anything is possible with the same gender coupling crowd!),
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that those who still believe the Scriptures to be authoritative and clear in setting the moral boundaries on all male and female relationships, and who are determined to uphold the UMC Book of Discipline standards regarding homosexuality and practice of same, fully recognize that we are indeed at war concerning the faith once delivered to the saints, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there be rigid diligence exercised in the matter of being drawn into "dialogues" lest we find ourselves adopting a position of recognizing the same gender coupling lifestyle to be as legitimate as that of a heterosexual married couple, forgetting that the basic issue has been and continues to be one of full repentance from all acts of sexual immorality just as repentance is demanded in all other forms and expression of human rebellion against a holy God, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the "NO-NO" Same Gender Coupling Campaign continue unabated through the April 25-May 7, 2004 General Conference scheduled to be held in Pittsburgh PA, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED STILL that all who profess the name of Jesus Christ depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19) and fervently pursue holiness without which no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)!
Still contending (John 15:16; Jeremiah 15:17; Jude 3,4)
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection, W. Pennsylvania Annual Conference, UMC
Web Site: Circuit Rider's Range at:
Permission is given to copy this resolution, distribute it, post it, put your name to it (that is, if you want to risk being lynched from the nearest oak tree!), or make changes, or whatever! How about spreading some copies around your annual conference sessions? That should liven it up a bit!
But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will reprove you, and set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God."
Return to beginning of the unholy war thing!
Circuit Rider's Range 1
Bird's Eye View of Circuit Rider's Range
What's New On Circuit Rider's Range
No Same Gender Coupling
CR's United Methodist Connection
A Declaration of Unholy War!
Compiled by Clayton D. Harriger beginning May 16, 2000