By Dave Andrusko
As it happens, my family attends a United Methodist Church which, as a denomination, is embroiled (as it has been for years) in the cultural wars, the same battles which have split all “mainline” denomination. Our single issue focus is on abortion, which has riven the UMC, so we’ll talk about that exclusively.
Since we go to a UMC church, I’m guessing that’s why the remarks of David Palmer, the lead pastor of the Kent United Methodist Church in Ohio, so annoyed me. Speaking with KentWire.com, The Rev. Palmer (as did all the others interviewed for the article) dismissed the concerns of pro-life Christians as over the top.
According to reporter Leah Shepard, Palmer “noted how extreme Christian stances on abortion have become since his ministry began, calling the overwhelming opposition to it as ‘simplistic’”.
If the overwhelming opposition was to an issue that Palmer felt passionate about, do you think he would describe it as “simplistic”? Naw, I’d guess he’d get his knickers all in a knot because people could not see that [fill in the blank] was a self-evident wrong.
Guess what? Pro-lifers think there can be no more obvious wrong than taking a defenseless unborn child’s life. It is mind-numbingly brutal, violent, and callous. And there are always two victims for abortion leaves a permanent scar on many women’s hearts.
Here’s more from Shepard:
Palmer, an ordained pastor for almost 44 years, said today’s American Church is starkly different from the American Church when he started his ministry in 1979. He said when he began his ministry, the overwhelming sentiment was if the Church were to get involved with any politics, it should be in the realm of the teachings of the Old Testament, primarily those pertaining to idolatry and justice. In the biblical context, idolatry refers to anything put in place of, or before God.
I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that aborting unborn babies by the millions and millions and millions is a chilling example of idolatry. And where is the justice in slicing and tearing apart hapless preborn babies?
Affiliated with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice until 2016, the UMC voted 425 to 268 to require church boards and agencies to withdraw immediately from RCRC, an organization that advocates for abortion on demand. (Two United Methodist agencies, the General Board on Church and Society and United Methodist Women, were coalition members of RCRC.)
Writing for the Christian Post, Michael Gryboski reported
“RCRC is a one-sided political lobby that opposes all disapproval or limitation of abortion,” read the proposal.
“RCRC’s advocacy often directly contradicts our social principles on abortion, but it still uses our Church’s name. Several annual conferences and many United Methodist leaders have urged the Church to end all association with RCRC.”
No doubt Rev. Palmer opposed this turnabout. He blamed Rev. Jerry Falwell for leading conservative Christians to the dark side.
Rev. Falwell died in 2007!