Another UMC Conference Condemns IRD
John Dorhauer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 11:01:54 PM EST
We reported a few weeks ago on this site that the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist church passed a resolution condemning the work of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Now the IRD's own website is reporting that the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist church has done the same. In what consumes the better part of six pages, the resolution (PDF) passed at the Annual Conference in the second week of June.

The resolution recounts a litany of open attacks by the IRD leveled against the United Methodist Church, including the IRD's Mark Tooley calling Methodist Bishops "Flower children and chronic demonstrators who never grew up;" another claim that "one of the strongest regiments of the godless army (the `secular left') is America's maintstream protestant leaders;" and "irreconcilable differences on essentials are dividing culture-conforming liberals... from faithful United Methodists."

These examples of inflammatory language are the stock and trade of the IRD.

What I find fascinating is the growing awareness of, dispute with, and open condemnation of the IRD by long established, reputable, and faithful institutions that have been the backbone of the church in America for a long time.

What is also interesting is the number of renewal movements active in those established religious institutions who fail to see the damage being done to their denominations by the IRD. Many of those renewal movements are functioning in full cooperation with the IRD, and are doing so without any apparent ability to offer critical analysis of the manner in which the language, the tactics, and the teachings of the IRD are destroying the very institutions they claim to want to renew. (Go here for a list of those renewal groups alligned with the IRD).

These actions by now two Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church are unprecedented. They are the first we know of to openly condemn the IRD, and it will be important to watch whether or not this becomes more of a movement; and to see just how the IRD chooses to respond (the article by John Lomperis - is more of the same: a condemnation that repeats the mantra that "they" are doing all of this with no evidence).

Let's all keep watching. I am sure there will be more of this in the days and months to come.




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