Why and When Traditional United Methodist Congregations should withhold tithing

Disclaimer: The founders of Moyock Christian Fellowship are former United Methodists who broke away from the denomination following lapses in stewardship, a shift in theology, and a progressive conference. Many of our visitors, guests, members and subscribers are current and or former United Methodists.

Both Good News Magazine and Juicy Ecumenism continually post about the dangers of the current construct of the United Methodist Church (UMC), its Bishops, and especially the liberal Council of Bishops, but they never seem to address it as a problem. The new Global Methodist Church (GMC) is already poised to establish nearly the same construct in their new denomination. But why?

Absolute Power

The single largest problem in the UMC is that congregational members do not have a voice in anything their local church does, the district, or the conference. The way the UMC operates today is akin to allowing congress to pick its own members, or the President of the United States to pick his successor. Why would anyone want such a construct, other than for absolute power?

We have a problem

Just as American’s get to vote out a congressman every two years, there should be a process to vote out a bishop as well. When bishops start plotting ways to overthrow congregations that don’t agree with them, or don’t mirror their own liberal narrative, we have a problem … a problem the folks paying the bills don’t have a “voice” in.

Power of the Dollar

I have advocated for several years that congregations being led by folks that are not reflective of their values, or God’s own commandments, should withhold their tithes and offerings. The one thing leadership in out-of-control charges and conferences understand is the power of the dollar, especially when it’s being withheld.

Making it their church

We watched the bishop send in a liberal pastor to the UMC we left to form Moyock Christian Fellowship. That congregation was a very conservative yet welcoming charge. Over the next two years, the charge became insolvent, spent every penny of its more than 230K reserve fund, and saw more than two-thirds of giving units walk away. The bishop did nothing to bandage the hemorrhaging congregation, leading me to believe her goal was to rid the charge of its traditional members. This process played out around the UMC allows bishops to make local charges their church, instead of the congregations.

Doomed to repeat history

This is the system the new GMC is poised to recreate.

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