Will local church split impact some of our local primary elections? UPDATE | Eastern North Carolina Now

UPDATE:  Two discussions at his church (not First Methodist) my neighbor had this morning lead me to revise my opinion of the impact of this issue.  I now think this is penetrating and has the potential to significantly impact both races adverse to the Walkers.

My neighbor did not initiate either discussion, with one group he encountered between Sunday School and church and the other after church.  Someone in the second group had read the article below but when my neighbor asked, no one in the first group even knew what the BO was.  Both groups were highly concerned with the pandering to homosexuals aspect, and the second group also highly concerned about the illegal alien aspect.  The concern was higher on the school board race, but existed for both.  What was really telling was that there was consensus in both groups that the Walkers should not be re-elected.

To me, this shows the information is spreading among voters and they are starting to use it in making their voting decisions.  Of the four places I had heard this earlier, only the one who was a First Methodist member had mentioned using it as determining how they would vote.



There has been a good bit of chatter among voters about the potential impact of involvment with a church split swinging two key local races against a local power couple.  To their credit, these politicians' opponents do not seem to be trying to use this politically against them, nor do any other political organizations.  Although more widespread than one would expect, it is still just chatter among voters.

It is smart by opposing candidates not to try to use this politically as trying to weaponize anything about an opponent's religion usually backfires on those using it. A good example is former US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), who ran some TV ads that were interpreted as casting doubt on her opponent's religion, and prompty sank Dole's reelection campaign.

To give some background, the situation involves County Commissioner Randy Walker and his wife School Board member Carolyn Walker and the congregation split at First Methodist Church in Washington.  The Walker's had long been members of that church but were part of the minority of members who departed in the split.

Many "mainline" Protestant denominations have had their central church bodies come under the influence or outright control of those who push more politicized doctrines over traditional religion.  This has been going on for decades.  First there was the "Social Gospel" which promotes liberal political doctrine, and then the even more radical "Liberation theology".  These ideologies promote causes ranging from homosexuality to illegal immigration over traditional religious views.

The United Methodist Church was one of the earliest such Protestant denominations to be heavily infiltrated by the Social Gospel, which was what we now call "woke" long before the term "woke" was even coined.  Many local church congregations have never been happy with the Social Gospel and there has been increasing pushback, in some cases involving splits in denominations.

In the Methodist Church, the pushback finally evolved to creation of a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church which is designed to get the church back to traditional religion and out of politicized doctines like the Social Gospel. This is where the split at First Methodist came in.  Many in the church saw the new Global Methodist Church as representing more what they thought a church should be and began a process to leave the United Methodist Church to join the new denomination.

The liberal Wikipedia says the split pitted the "progressives" who remained in the United Methodist Church against the "conservatives" who moved to the new Global Methodist Church.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Methodist_Church

The Walkers were part of a vocal minority that wanted to remain in the United Methodist Church, and when that issue went against them the Walkers bailed out to another Methodist Church that remained part of the "woke" United Methodist Church.  This is what led to the chatter among voters.

While it might seem tempting in the throes of hotly contested political campaigns to try to tie some of the Walkers votes in government to their stance on this church split, like Randy Walker's vote in favor of tearing down the monument to fallen Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery or Carolyn Walker's vote in favor of a math curriculum that includes promotion of  leftist "social justice" political views in math class, their opponents have wisely not done so.  If those issues on those votes as elected officials do get used, they should stand strictly on their own and not be tied in any way to what is dividing our churches.

Contested issues within churches need to stay within those churches and not be dragged into politics.  Other candidates in these races are to be commended for not trying to drag this church split into political campaigns.  It is already a big enough challenge for the churches involved.

What about voters?  It may well impact how some who were very involved in the issue within that church vote, but probably not much beyond that.  Only if the races are very close will that be enough to have a real impact.  In spite of the wide chatter on this situation, most voters will likely look at other issues in making up their minds, like the failure of the county commission to reduce taxes in spite of their surplus, and the failing scores of so many Beaufort County schools.

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Big Bob said:
( February 13th, 2024 @ 6:47 pm )
Do I need to post the sign that was displayed in Ayden?
Its public record and easy to find.
( February 13th, 2024 @ 11:54 am )
Those issues were dealt with in the mid 1960s, Bob. You are history challenged again. Those things were gone where I lived in North Carolina when I was in high school in the late 1960s and college in the early 1970s. During that period, minorities not only had equal rights, they also had affirmative action. You apparently mis-remember things to try to push your race-based agenda.
Big Bob said:
( February 13th, 2024 @ 10:19 am )
Skylite BBQ wouldn't allow blacks in to the 70s. They weren't the only ones, so just stop. You were there. So was I.
Anytime blacks wanted equal rights you and others like you cried socialism.
( February 13th, 2024 @ 9:31 am )
Bob, you seem really challenged when it comes to history. The lunch counter stuff was in the early 1960s, and I have had the opportunity to meet one of the leaders of the sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro. He is now a Republican activist and I have met him at a number of GOP meetings including one Beaufort County Republican convention, where he was appearing for the Frederick Douglas Foundation, a black Republican organization.

No, in 1971, the social gospel stuff was mostly welfare state promotion. Some of us in our Methodist Youth group, which was where I first encountered it, called it "socialIST gospel" in those days.

Further, religion is not inherently political, although it is a target for takeover by the left, and social gospel is one of their means to try to do so.
Big Bob said:
( February 13th, 2024 @ 9:11 am )
Christianity is a liberal religion. it certainly has more in common with liberal ideology and conservative ideology.
( February 13th, 2024 @ 8:46 am )
Actively being "part of a vocal minority" that pushed the liberal position seems to me to be more than being "caught up in this controversy". However, we have freedom of religion in this country and people are free to dress up just about anything as a religion. However the conflict arises when politicians campaign for the liberal position one place and then proclaim how conservative they are during their political campaigns. That does not pass the smell test.

Among a number of the national church bodies, lots of liberal politics, including very active support for illegal immigration, are dressed up as religion. The United Methodist Church is one of the worst offenders on that. Since illegal immigration is one of the top national issues, I would think that the UMC's position on border issues would have entered the discussions, but I was not there and do not know that. Apparently positions on homosexuality were a big driver on both sides.
Big Bob said:
( February 13th, 2024 @ 7:22 am )
Social gospel in 1971. Let me guess, African Americans wanted to be served at the lunch counter?
( February 12th, 2024 @ 7:30 pm )
Sad to see Randy and Carolyn caught up in this controversy, but as a former Methodist myself, I was pleased to see the emergence of the Global Methodist Church and proud that Washington's own First Methodist joined it. I myself bailed out of the United Methodist Church back in 1971 over the "social gospel" when I went away to college. I had grown up active in the Methodist Church, and our own congregation and minister were great, but in high school I became aware of the impact of social gospel on the overall church organization. I was going to have to join a new church in a new location anyway, and due to the social gospel decided it would not be a United Methodist Church. My family was historically Lutheran from the time they settled in North Carolina in the 1740s until my parents decided to join a Methodist church many of their friends and neighbors were members of, so I researched the Lutheran Church and found way too much social gospel in its dominant branch, so I ended up joining the traditionalist Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, which met my expectations. If the Global Methodist Church had been an option in 1971, that is probably where I would have gone.
Victoria said:
( February 12th, 2024 @ 11:43 am )
It is good to know the basis and the facts for this story going around in our community. As always when things get told from mouth to mouth, there are embellishments, and this post gives the factual background on what did happen without those added embellishments. That gives the citizne a much better perspective on how to evaluate what the Walkers did or did not do. That link to why the Global Methodist Church borke away from the United Methodist Church was particularly useful and sheds a lot of light on the situation.
( February 12th, 2024 @ 12:04 pm )
You make a very good point, Van Zant, about most people's loyalty to their church revolving around their local congregation, not the far off national denomination. Church members usually look to their friends in the local congregation, their local minister, even a cherished church building rather than the agenda of a distant denomination office. Why would someone prioritize a national church body unless it was over ideology? In this case, it appears that promotion of homosexuality was the lightning rod in the split, with the Global Methodist Church rejecting that promotion. Someone would really have to be wound up in the issues involved to leave their longtime local church. I can readily see how this would concern voters particularly over a school board member,

Personally, I am not in Mrs. Walker's district, but if I was my vote would have been determined by the fact that she is part of the "seat warmer" faction that fails to give proper financial oversight to the liberal school superintendant Cheeseman, or, in fact, proper oversight of much of anything.

Randy Walker initially impressed me with his many social media posts about being a watchdog for the taxpayer, but once he won the primary, he took all of those down. Instead, Randy has become a lapdog of the county manager and the ruling coalition, and has not looked out for the taxpayer at all. With his record he would never have had my vote anyway. He has been part of the group piling up a slush fund instead of reducing taxes. With the revaluation coming, we need pro-taxpayer commissioners now more than ever, and Randy just is not one of them.

The state motto Esse Quam Videri is Latin for "To be rather than to seem". That is what voters need to look for in elections, those who are the real deal instead of those just telling voters what they think the voters want to hear as Randy did in his first primary with regard to taxes.
Big Bob said:
( February 12th, 2024 @ 11:52 am )
Jesus was woke, you know that right?
Van Zant said:
( February 12th, 2024 @ 10:06 am )
Each to their own. People have a right to their beliefs, but they should also own it, especially as public officials. It is hard to understand why supposedly conservative minded public servants would choose to flee to the increasingly more radical left and woke U.S. United Methodist Church rather than stay in their church in the same building with the congregation that voted to affiliate with the traditional Wesleyan Christians in the Global Methodist Church. Ducks say quack quack. Maybe woke is as woke does.
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