Monday, February 10, 2014

Homosexualists: Take Methodist Denomination by Force

Ordained clergy, including bishops, have been trying for decades to persuade Christian leaders of the United Methodist Church (UMC) to embrace the Gay Agenda, but after repeated defeats in denomination-wide votes, these desperate homosexual activists are adopting "scorched earth" tactics.
"Most folks, after 40 years of trying legislative solutions, realize they won't work. The way forward is to claim what we know to be true. And we're going to continue doing it in an aggressive way."
-- Matt Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network (a formal homosexualist group within the UMC)

"The time for talking is over."
-- UMC California Bishop Melvin Talbert
For background, read Bishop Talbert Shoves 'Gay Marriage' Up Methodists' Alley and also read Renegade Methodist Clergy for Same-sex 'Marriage' as well as African Methodists' Votes Halt Homosexualists' Rebellion

UPDATE 3/14/14: New York Methodist Bishop Allows Same-sex Marriages

-- From "Methodists in crisis over gay marriage, church law" by Rachel Zoll, Associated Press 2/9/14

The intensity of the conflict was laid bare over the last several months, when the church tried, convicted and defrocked Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania pastor who presided at the wedding of his son to another man. Berryman said the case galvanized Methodists advocating for recognition of gay marriage, increasing donations to the group and traffic on Reconciling Ministries' online sites. Schaefer has since been traveling the country giving talks and sermons on gay acceptance.

Frustration over the lack of change fueled the new movement to openly defy church law, starting in 2011 in Minnesota and New York. Methodist ministers had already been quietly officiating at same-gender ceremonies in some communities for years. A few of the more publicly defiant clergy had faced formal complaints or had been tried by the church. But the public marriage pledges brought new energy to the campaign.

Last month, a new Methodist group formed called the Wesleyan Covenant Network to support theologically conservative Methodists and keep them from leaving the denomination. The meeting in Atlanta drew about 130 clergy and others. One speaker choked back tears while telling the group his son is considering entering ministry — but not in the United Methodist Church.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ranks of defiant United Methodist clergy rise" by Renee K. Gadoua, Religion News Service (Washington Post) 1/23/14

Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.

Every week, another Methodist minister “comes out” and acknowledges performing a same-sex wedding on the website of the New York-based Methodists in New Directions. So far, 14 clergy have made such disclosures; none has faced a church complaint, said Dorothee Benz, MIND spokeswoman.

“The defrocking of [UMC Pennsylvania pastor] Frank Schaefer brought great shame to our denomination and much pain to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.

She sees the growing movement challenging church policy as a turning point.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Another Methodist clergyman faces charges for gay wedding" by Rachel Zoll, Associated Press 1/18/14

The Rev. Thomas Ogletree [80] will be tried March 10 for violating church law against officiating at gay unions, his spokeswoman, Dorothee Benz, said Friday. . . . Ogletree is a theologian, a former Yale Divinity School dean, and a retired elder in the church’s New York district, or Annual Conference. Some clergy had filed a complaint after his son’s 2012 wedding announcement appeared in The New York Times.

In the last few years, as gay marriage has gained legal recognition by US states, Methodists advocating for gays and lesbians have intensified their protests, hosting gay weddings in Methodist churches or officiating at ceremonies elsewhere.

Two other similar cases are pending within the Methodist church. The Rev. Stephen Heiss of the Upper New York Annual Conference is expected to face a church trial for presiding at same-sex marriages, including officiating at his daughter’s 2002 wedding. The Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy, of the New York Annual Conference, is facing a formal complaint that she is a "self-avowed practicing" lesbian, or lives openly with a same-sex partner, which is barred by church law.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "United Methodist Church Sets Date for Trial of Pastor Who Officiated Son's Gay Wedding" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 1/20/14

In addition to considering homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching", the UMC Book of Discipline also states that clergy cannot perform same-sex marriages.

Ogletree's actions were "injurious to the church", said Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of the conservative Methodist group Good News, according to the NY Times. "And it undermines the whole covenant of accountability that we share with each other as pastors," continued Lambrecht.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Same-sex marriage ban strains region's Methodists churches" by William Moyer, Star-Gazette (Elmira, NY) 1/26/14

Rev. Stephen Heiss, of Tabernacle United Methodist Church, 83 Main St., Binghamton, and the Rev. Frank Schaefer, whose defrocking drew national media coverage and invigorated the same-sex marriage debate, want the 12 million member church to allow clergy to extend marriage ceremonies to everyone, regardless of sexual preference.

Schaefer will be the speaker at a 10:30 a.m. worship service Feb. 2 as Tabernacle celebrates the seventh anniversary of its decision to become a Reconciling Congregation.

A reconciling United Methodist congregation has formally adopted a statement to welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Reconciling Congregations are not officially endorsed by the United Methodist Church.

In the Southern Tier, several congregations have approved this welcoming statement, including Tabernacle and Centenary-Chenango Street churches in Binghamton, St. Paul’s in Ithaca and First United Methodist Church in Oneonta. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Some United Methodists speak out against the denomination's same-sex marriage ban" by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman 2/1/14

The Rev. Trina Bose North and the Rev. Deborah Ingraham [of Edmond, Oklahoma] said their group, informally called Oklahoma United Methodists for Marriage Equality, wanted to counter the public statements made by the Rev. Robert Hayes Jr., Oklahoma United Methodist bishop, upholding the denomination's stance against same-gender marriage.

North [38] and Ingraham, 60, said Epworth United Methodist Church, where Ingraham is senior pastor, is part of the Reconciling Network, a network of United Methodist churches across the country working toward full inclusion for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the church.

. . . they said it's important that United Methodists who disagree with the prohibitions tied to homosexuality let people know how they feel.

. . . North and Ingraham said momentum for such public dissent is growing. They said 70 Oklahoma United Methodist clergy and 280 laypeople signed a 2011 statement in favor of the denomination changing its stance on same-sex marriage and ordination of openly gay individuals. Ingraham said the local statement tied in with a similar national statement called Altar for All.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "United Methodist Church to Review Resolution Supporting Same-Sex Marriage" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 1/27/14

The denomination's highest court, the Judicial Council, will review the Desert Southwest Annual Conference's "Marriage Equality Resolution" in April it was announced.

In the recently released docket for the Judicial Council, the reproduced resolution stated that the Conference took a stand in favor of gay marriage, even though the UMC Book of Discipline defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Last July, the Arizona-based Desert Southwest Annual Conference passed the "Marriage Equality Resolution," validating the regional body's open support for the pro-LGBT wing of the mainline protestant denomination.

Bishop Robert Hoshibata, head of the Conference, decided to allow the resolution and concluded that it did not conflict with the Book of Discipline.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UM polity expert asks Council of Bishops to 'stop the trials'" by Jay Voorhees, Executive Editor, United Methodist Reporter (liberal news source) 11/13/14

In an “Open Letter to the Council of Bishops (COB)” released today, Wake Forest University professor and United Methodist polity expert the Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Frank asked the council “…for the sake of the unity of the church, to stop the trials.” “We need to engage our differences through “Christian conversation” within our conferences and particularly within our orders of elders. Church trials are “an expedient of last resort” and are not the way forward,” Frank wrote.

Frank believes that the constitution of the United Methodist Book of Discipline empowers the bishops to act in opposition to the will of the General Conference in the face of peril to the denomination.

Frank believes that it is within the power of the bishops to refrain from referring complaints to counsel for the church, and the subsequent church trials. “You have discretion as the chief pastors of the church over the manner, purpose, and conduct of any supervisory response and just resolution under ‘fair process.’”

To read the entire article above and the full text of Frank’s letter, CLICK HERE.

Also read Liberal 'Churches' Continue to Wither as well as Liberal 'Churches' Conforming to Decadent Culture

In addition, read President Obama's National Cathedral is the Seat of Apostasy

For myriad attacks on the Bible and Christian faith, read CBS Gives Voice to Atheists, Heretics, & Apostates