JHYPERLINK "http://www.umc.org/decisions/64868/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzA1In0" http://www.umc.org/decisions/64868/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzA1In0
ELECTING BY CASTING LOTS
Northwest Philippines Annual Conference, like several of its sister conferences in the Philippines, elected delegates to General and Central Conferences using a system of casting lots. The bishop was asked if this was legal. Saying there was no prohibition, he honored the process and the delegates were thus the legal representatives of their conference.
The Judicial Council deferred a decision until its October 2016 session. Since the ruling of the bishop was made with regard to only the one conference, and his decision is law for them only, deferral allows the delegates to function legally and gives the Council time to get all the documents that should have been sent in. Without that material and answers to the Council’s questions about the details of the process used, they will not have enough upon which to base their decision.
It is likely that using casting of lots will not become common in the United Methodist Church. The ambitious who successfully work the politics required for a voting election will not allow it. Casting lots would be tantamount to trusting that God would pick the best delegates. And the means of gaining certain kinds of jobs in the denomination would be disrupted if just anyone was elected to General, Jurisdictional, or Central Conferences. Hmmm. On the other hand, . . . .