United Methodists Defy Pledge to Ban Same Sex Couple Marriage

For years United Methodist pastors have trekked off to the General Council every four years and prayerfully considered the “same sex marriage” issue, and the ordaining of gay pastors. I remember my own pastor asking for prayer for him, and I also remember him, as the pastor of a large church which had recently moved into a beautiful new building, large enough to accommodate the growing membership, especially among the youth, telling us when he returned it might be necessary for him to leave and establish a church elsewhere. Today the issue is officiating over the marriage of same-sex couples. “Hundreds” of Methodist ministers have signed on to perform the marriages.

Christian Post: 

While the denomination has debated the issue of homosexuality for decades, the growing number of clergy willing to disobey church laws and marry gay and lesbian couples has many in the church concerned.

“For forty years we United Methodists have listened to each other, respected each other and have engaged in holy conferencing on the important issues of same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality,” concerned clergy say in the letter.

“Though the discussions and resultant protests have not always been pleasant, there has been the assurance that we would respect the decisions of General Conference and live by the covenant that holds us together.”

The United Methodist Church’s General Conference meets every four years. In its most recent meeting in 2008, delegates voted to maintain the church’s policy prohibiting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of partnered homosexuals. Source: Christian Post

The Faithful UMC website has originated to provide a way for letters and petitions to reach United Methodist bishops. When you click the “View Signatures” tab, you will see my Church, Asbury Methodist first on the list. In fact, I see three additional signatures from Asbury, as well as First United Methodist, Tulsa, on the list but few of the other large Methodist congregations. The following is a portion of the Clergy Letter to the Council of Bishops:

For forty years we United Methodists have listened to each other, respected each other and have engaged in holy conferencing on the important issues of same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality. And every four years, our discussions have culminated in General Conference determining the church’s position. Though the discussions and resultant protests have not always been pleasant, there has been the assurance that we would respect the decisions of General Conference and live by the covenant that holds us together. The unity of The United Methodist Church has been preserved as a result of this commitment to holy conferencing and to respecting the decisions of General Conference.

If we take them at their word, at least 900 of those who want to change the Book of Discipline regarding same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality are no longer willing to honor our Wesleyan way of holy conferencing and respectful dialog. As the article cited above states, the Rev. Robbins and others are encouraging and committed to massive acts of ecclesiastical disobedience, hoping that The United Methodist Church will not possess the resources or the resolve to enforce the church’s position. We are grieved that, evidently, the process of holy conferencing and the mutual respect necessary for good-faith conversations are no longer valued by so many of our colleagues. Their promised actions not only threaten the integrity of our church’s connectional relationships, they undermine any hope of future dialog and prayerfully working out a solution to our church’s seemingly intractable divide.

I ran across the book Taking Back The United Methodist Church, by Mark Tooley at Acton Institute Power Blog. I cannot vouch for the book, as I haven’t read it. I’m hoping to find it in a Kindle edition but it’s doubtful since it was published in 2008.  Read a review of it here. Acton Institute writer, Ray Nothstine, quotes Tooley:

The Council of Bishops often speaks as a reunion of former hippies of the 1960s and 1970s, constantly rehashing the old protest themes of American imperialism, militarism and economic exploitation. Their statements imply that the world would be entirely prosperous and peaceful were it not for the insidious influence of the U.S. In recent decades, they have never collectively expressed concern about totalitarian Marxism or about radical Islam, both of which have murdered millions over the last century, and both of which see Christianity as a special enemy.

Ray Nothstine:

Tooley provides insight into all of the recent United Methodist General Conferences, which includes a plethora of attention induced antics by homosexual activists, who want to overturn the traditional teachings of the Church. Tooley is right to note that the debate is really a greater debate and disagreement about the authority of Scripture. More recently, votes to affirm traditional views on sexuality have increased at the General Conferences.

Most of us don’t want to leave our established churches, and if we do, where do we go? Here’s a question: do you visit your Pastor’s office to let him/her know your opinions on major issues? We should do it. We must do it.

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook

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  • http://afticker.blogspot.com afticker

    he Methodist Church as well as the Presbyterian Church has drifted farther and farther away from sound Biblical teachings through the years. They have become a country club of diversity with the motto, “Anything Goes”. The political correctness disease has killed what ever message they once preached of Jesus Christ and his atoning blood.I have seen the same thing occurring in other denominations as well and it doe not bode well for the religious well being of this nation. A Nation which turns it’s back on God is on the verge of destruction.
    Benjamin Rush
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

    “The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!”

    John Witherspoon
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Clergyman and President of Princeton University

    “While we give praise to God, the Supreme Disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh … If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.

    What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind.

    Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country.”
    –Sermon at Princeton University, “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men,” May 17, 1776.

    The question arose as what to do if one does not want to leave the church they were raised in. If you recall the Presbyterian church split once again over this same issue and many left the UPC and now some are considering leaving the PUSA. The Reformed Presbyterian church stands on it’s Biblical Roots.
    AS far as Methodist churches go there is the Congregationalist Methodist Church which has maintained it’s original Methodist roots. They are a small group of churches but well worth looking into if one wants to find a church that is true to the teachings of the old time “shouting Methodist” church as my Grandmother referred to it as.

    Churches need to go back to their roots of preaching Jesus Christ, Him crucified, buried and risen again on the third day and ascending to the Fathers right hand in waiting for his return.

    They need to leave POLITICS AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS at the door lest they become as tainted as the two are.

    I will add this. For those who blatantly endorse one political party over the other, take away their tax exempt status for they are no longer churches but merely platforms for Politics. That does not say that they can not speak of what is wrong and what is right as set forth in the scriptures. That can be done without the political overtones that TOO MANY churches and groups are involved in today.

  • http://afticker.blogspot.com afticker

    John Adams, the second president of the United States, wrote in 1789, “Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other…Free government rests upon public and private morality.”

    ”It is not our government that has failed; it’s the church that has failed to be the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

    And this stand by the Methodist verifies this very statement and the scripture tells of the remedy.

  • http://therepublicanmother.blogspot.com republicanmother

    The mainline churches were co-opted by the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches a while back. You can complain to your pastor, but the way they these denominations are organized, if you go up against the larger entity, you’ll find yourself in an all out war, which is something the older members often don’t want to deal with. I know that in Truro, VA, the Episcopal church there got kicked out of their own building for not going for the gayness, and had to worship in a rented building.

    Baptists and other denominations have been immune to this more so because of our autonomous structure, but the worldliness is steadily encroaching.

    Check out the website, A little leaven for some wild happenings in the American church.