Tom, I have not read the link but you have given enough for me to be able to¬† add my two cents. These days I have been enjoying a higher lever of peace in my life than I do some of the times, but this topic with regard to churches, is one that always succeeds at getting me a¬†little ¬†fired up.
I guess, for my own sanity¬† at least,¬†I ought to try to stand in their¬†¬†shoes a¬† while. –¬†All community of faith (I believe) get started on¬† a degree of faith in God. As they grow larger¬†and larger with more and more people joining and believing the same way basically; and as people of influence in the society become members; and more “deeds of good works” are being done; and people begin to depend on them for everything, from physical, to emotional to spiritual¬† needs, it is then¬† very difficult to¬†“let any one down”¬†so they continue their old path.¬†Of course the agony that others are cast in because of such behavior is completely ignored.
The UMC has been “studying” this subject for many years. The one and only conference of theirs I attended was in the late 90ties, they were “talking” then. It is my hope that they will begin to feed all their Sheep.
Thank you for posting. Would like to know their outcome.