McFarland praises UMC bishop's 'prophetic voice'

Monday, March 11, 2019
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

Bible 1Wise words from an African bishop in the United Methodist Church may have saved the day for the denomination, says a Christian apologist.

"A very good spark of truth" is how Dr. Alex McFarland describes Dr. Jerry Kulah's speech at the General Convention in St. Louis.

OneNewsNow reported in a Feb. 27 story that UMC delegates narrowly defeated LGBT activists in their midst by voting 438-384 for the “Traditional Plan” over the “One Church Plan,” a homosexual-friendly compromise in the already-fractured denomination.

The same story suggested Kulah could have helped the “Traditional Plan” win days later after delivering an impassioned speech at an UMC breakfast, where he vowed that African Methodists would stand for biblical truth despite pressure from fellow Methodists to compromise or lose funding.

UMC Book of Discipline (2016)Kulah, who leads a theology school in Liberia, all but laughed at the financial threats after his poor country has endured civil war and the Ebola virus.

“Please understand me," he said, "when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money."

When people look back at the UMC event, McFarland says, it will go down in church history as the time a “prophetic voice” came from the UMC.

"I thought it was just very beautiful and very poignant how Bishop Kulah said, We're Christians, we're children of God, we believe the Word of God,” says McFarland. “And I think his stirring speech resonated in the hearts of many American United Methodistsm and they had the boldness and the courage to stand against the LGBTQ and Bishop Karen Oliveto, the lesbian bishop."

McFarland

Oliveto, the first openly lesbian UMC bishop, predictably told NPR that the vote "caused a shockwave of trauma across the church and around the world."

The NPR inverview included a 10-second sound bite of Bishop Kulah's speech and asked Oliveto for her response. She wants to work with African leaders such as Kulah with a "message of love," Oliveto said, even though the Liberian bishop had accused UMC leaders of threatening them. 

"The United Methodist Church has always been a big-tent theology church. We don't just turn to scripture," she went on to say. "The United Methodist way of doing theology is to look at scripture and then look at church tradition, experience and reason." 

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