top of page

I would think pilots prefer flying passengers, not hostages. (Iowa UMC Amid Chaos Part VI)

Aunt Harriet,

I was thinking of our lunch the other day at Wendy’s. I remember the comment you made when we were in line. After 15 minutes, you said, “I feel like a hostage here… I don’t want to get out of line because I’ve been here for so long, but I am tired and hungry and thinking of going somewhere else.”

I was thinking about your “hostage” comment. There are others feeling like they are hostages within their own denomination. Let me explain.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a hostage as,

“a hostage is a person held by one party in a conflict as a pledge pending the fulfillment of an agreement”.

In applying this definition to the Iowa United Methodist Church, I came up with:

The person(s) held: Churches who adhere to current disciplinary language.

By one party: The Iowa Church leadership who have compromised Disciplinary language.

The conflict: Theological differences and acceptance of current disciplinary language.

As a pledge: The Church Property belonging to those who adhere to the Discipline.

Pending the fulfillment of an agreement: The payment of apportionments and “un”funded pension liability.

Friends, it is my opinion the Iowa United Methodist Church leadership has breached the cockpit of the aircraft called, “the Iowa United Methodist Church”. They have thrown the previous pilot overboard. The previous pilot, “the General Conference” (The ONLY rule-making body of the United Methodist Church) is still alive and well, just not flying this aircraft.

The hijackers have separated the passengers (those churches and clergy within the Iowa Annual Conference) into 2 groups:

  1. Those who will accept their theology (compromisers) and denounce the Discipline of the UMC, or

  2. Those who believe in and will continue to adhere to the current Discipline.

The hijackers want everyone to believe they are all passengers and there is no such thing as two different groups on the same aircraft. BUT, if you can’t agree with where the aircraft is going, you are welcome to jump off (but not without a price!):

If, however, a church feels that they cannot continue to be in ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church with the vision as presented, we have developed a plan with the Board of Trustees, CFA and the Board of Pensions to allow for a gracious exit from the IAUMC.

So, as I see it, those who WILL NOT compromise the current Book of Discipline, the doctrines of the United Methodist Church or Scriptural truths have two choices. You may “jump” or stay. NO PRESSURE! The cost? Well, those who wish to jump may leave with or without their assets. IF you choose to keep your assets (buildings, property, checking accounts, TV’s, etc), the price can be substantial.

Unfortunately, hijackers can be wishy-washy. Today the hijackers may feel this is a major issue worth commandeering an aircraft for. But the next time, it could be a completely different issue and passengers will have to decide if they want to jump or stay, again. And what about the next time an issue changes?

Does it matter? The hijackers say it doesn’t. The only thing that matters is that we “Fly UNITED”, but it doesn’t sound like we are going to the same airport.

I wonder if the Iowa United Methodist Church Leadership feels like they are flying a plane full of passengers or flying a plane full of hostages.


bottom of page