Liberian United Methodist seminary leader Jerry Kulah told a United Methodist liberal advocate that the church’s teaching on sexuality is settled. In response, Mark Holland of “Mainstream United Methodists” called Kulah “strident” and insisted: “General Conference 2019 made it abundantly clear, we cannot live together.“
Holland’s group unsuccessfully pushed last month’s General Conference to liberalize United Methodism’s sexuality teaching. “Either member of a marriage can demand a divorce,” he wrote. “We clearly do not have two willing parties to work out this relationship.” The rest of Holland’s response to Kulah is here.
And here’s Kulah’s message to Holland:
March 20, 2019
I am praying for you and all of our sisters and brothers of the UMC who are following your lead so that you might come to the realization that your DREAM FOR LEGALIZING SAME-SEX UNION IN THE UMC has DIED. Yes, you may defy church laws and illegally practice it as much as you can, you may deny and deceive some that nothing changed as a result of the Special General Conference, but one thing is clear: the MESSAGE has gone out to the whole wide world that THE GLOBAL UMC HAS REJECTED THE LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX UNION, THE ORDINATION OF GAY AND LESBIAN PASTORS AND THE CELEBRATION OF SAME-SEX UNION IN CONGREGATIONS OF THE UMC. That is what we fasted and prayed for and God answered our prayers.
This has been the reality since 1972 to present. Therefore, No attempt now or in the future would change the results. If you did not succeed with the massive support you solicited from some key progressive Bishops and leaders of the church at the recent Special General Conference session, do not think you will have a better opportunity in the future. You need a new game plan, and I can offer you the most preferred.
NO BORN-AGAIN, BIBLICALLY-COMMITTED AND INFORMED, HOLY-SPIRIT BAPTIZED AND EMPOWERED BELIEVER of the UMC in AFRICA shall ever betray the trust and support the celebration of what the Holy Bible calls sin (homosexuality) in the church. Furthermore, given the continued rate of numerical decline your brand of UMC is experiencing, there is no likelihood you shall ever succeed through our global communion and connection. So, if you are really serious about reviving the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY who want to see the legalization of same-sex marriage, I offer you this new game plan: move out of our connection officially, respectfully, amicably and lovingly and start a new church for LGBTQIA+ PEOPLE. We will support your transition and advocate that you move out along with all of your churches. In that way can be at peace. And you can truly be the kind of church you desire to be.
Unfortunately, many progressives were deceived into believing that “change was coming“, meaning, a full legal inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people within global UMC would happen at the Special Session. That is why you find it so difficult to accept reality. How long will you attempt to deny the truth? Your current state of denial of the facts irrespective of how painful it may be since the defeat of the One Church Plan will not help situation. Your defiant posture along with your followers only invites more pains, guilt and frustration because no one will take you serious. The sad reality, however, is that as members of the same denomination with you, your continued action of defiance presents the UMC to the rest of the Christian Community in particular, and the world at large as a terrible embarrassment to the Christian witness. IT IS TIME TO STOP! YOU CANNOT FIGHT FOR GOD! IF YOU CLAIM YOU ARE RIGHT, MOVE ON! DO NOT INFRINGE UPON MY RIGHTS TO LIVE BY OUR CHURCH’S UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL. THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG! YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE NOR CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UMC ON THIS ISSUE.
We (the UMC in Africa, and conservative UMC globally) will not condone your attempt to compromise the authentic teaching of the Holy Bible on the issue of human sexuality, and thereby betray the trust and earnest labor of your great, great, great grand parents whose blood became the “seal” of the Gospel in Africa. Their graves and tombs all over Africa are a visible witness to their sacrificial labor to ensure that the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ saturated many parts of the Continent of Africa. We cherish their legacy that must be honored until Christ the LORD returns. Like a relay race, they passed on the baton to our great, great, great grand parents. And today, we are committed to lifting that banner even higher, in evangelizing the nations, revitalizing the church and transforming society until it is time for us to pass it on to the next generation. This is where we stand. God bless you.