In China, the government moves into a church, removes the pastor, and installs one of their own. Same with the United Methodist Conference in Georgia.
In China, if a church refuses to submit to the government approved pastor, the government moves in, padlocks the doors, and takes possession of the facilities and property. Same with the United Methodist Conference in Georgia.
In Canada, if a church refuses to abide by Canadian laws, government officials padlock the doors and place a fence around the building.
The singular difference between China and Canada is that neither the Chinese government or Canadian officials claim to be doing this “out of love” for those in the church. The North Georgia Conference issued the following statement on July 12:
Acting out of love for the church and its mission, the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church’s Central West District Board of Church Location and Building, the Bishop, and the eight District Superintendents have unanimously determined that “exigent circumstances” have threatened the continued vitality and mission of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church. Given this determination, all assets of the local church have transferred immediately to the Conference Board of Trustees of the North Georgia Conference.
It seems only the United Methodist Church’s North Georgia Conference claims to cast out an entire congregation in an act of love.
For another perspective on this skirmish in the UMC split visit:
Analysis by Pete Fleming, July 19, 2021
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