Taylor Burton-Edwards made a comment in response to my recent statement that I understood the desire of some people to leave the UMC. Here’s his comment unedited.
Just to be clear… talking about leaving The UMC is a different matter than talking about dividing the denomination through a formal plan of separation so that those who may wish to “leave” (from any theological angle) would be able to do so taking more assets with them than in they simply left.
A plan of separation might therefore appear desirable for those who actually do find the current situation so intolerable they’d prefer to leave than stay. For those who wish to stay, even with the messiness that may entail on some points, I’m not sure what case can be made to support the wholesale transfer of so many resources to those who don’t want to be here.
Anyone, lay or clergy, even congregations, can leave The UMC at any time. It’s just that if they do, they take nothing with them– no credentials, no appointment, no property, no ability to use the UMC brand, no further participation in the pension program or health insurance for themselves or their clergy, no conference provided property insurance, no claims on World Service dollars or denominational grants directly underwriting any part of their work, etc.
There is no such thing as a friendly divorce.