In the wake of our report Tuesday, titled, “EXCLUSIVE: Local Texas United Methodist Church In Waco Now Embracing Islam,” a local TV station dismissed the story as “fake news” without even attempting contact. The entire Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church denied any of our findings in a statement, which can be read in full here.
Unfortunately for the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the disingenuous broadcasters passing off lazy reporting as virtue, simply denying things won’t eliminate the paper trail.
UMC claim: we are not involved in any “Islamic sanctuary plan”
Fact: Semantics. They publicly support Obama’s plan for allowing thousands more Muslim refugees with minimal vetting (which even Obama’s own Director of Intelligence says welcomes ISIS infiltration).
Fact: UMC’s website includes a call for more Muslim refugees: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/u.s.-faith-leaders-take-in-more-syrian-refugees
Fact: UMC churches already house refugees and a vast network of churches are involved
Also, note these videos, two of which are official UMC content:
Texas UMC vid promoting more Muslim refugees
UMC: “Welcoming the stranger” [interesting phrasing that mirrors the claims of our source]
UMC in Kansas openly defies state authorities, welcomes Muslim refugees
*Note to church hierarchy: perhaps, read your own literature?
UMC claim: “The United Methodist Church has no belief, intention or mission other than making disciples of Jesus Christ. …reports to the contrary are simply false.”
Fact: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) lists UMC as a “faith partner,” has a “Should to Shoulder” program with UMC to fight “Islamophobia,” and has its interfaith HQ in the Washington, D.C., UMC central office. ISNA’s founder and first president was sentenced to 23 years in prison for terrorism-related activities in 2004.
Federal courts upheld ISNA’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing scheme in history, ruling that the government had “produced ample evidence” linking the group to Hamas.
For UMC to even share real estate with this organization is outrageous, on legal and theological grounds. If the church claims the message of Christ, it must claim all of it. To paraphrase a command in New Testament scripture, “Do not be unequally yoked” [2 Cor. 6:14] with non-believers; this is a concept which appears to be in conflict with UMC’s prolific interests.
Fact: ISNA publicly defended al Qaeda, Hamas, and denies that Bin Laden was behind 9/11 — they’ve also hosted Siraj Wihhaj (an unindicted co-conspirator in the ’93 WTC bombing) at events, a man who publicly advocates replacing the U.S. Constitution with “shariah.” Again, mere association with ISNA is by itself — appalling.
What does ISNA have to say about UMC?
“At the national level, the Islamic Society of North America has found a close ally in The United Methodist Church, both working together in campaigning for social justice, peace and equity.”
Even assuming that nothing we reported happened in this local congregation [and accounts are always likely to vary in human interest stories due to perspective], membership in a church endorsed by ISNA is not good.
It is almost as bad as a U.S. president being endorsed by Hamas (e.g., Pres. Barack Obama, who was endorsed by Hamas.)
UMC Claim (local): “I’ve never heard of anything like that… .”
Fact: Methodist churches are microcosms in a corporate, top-down structure, and leadership has high-turn-over, as well as congregations. The current pastor has only been in his role since 2016.
Miscellaneous information: UMC records confirm several important details in our story. The Central Conference of the UMC Journal for years 2015-2016 are helpful. For the last two years, Bosqueville UMC had an unlisted interim pastor, as we reported, and one of the listed retired personnel in the Central Texas Conference is “Billy M. Patteson.”