Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bishop Shoves 'Gay Marriage' Up Methodists' Alley

Homosexualists inside the United Methodist Church, both clergy and laity, have worked for decades to reverse the denomination's lack of acceptance of homosexual behavior as a "Christian teaching," but to no avail.  Although many avenues for amicable exit from the UMC (including money and/or property) have been offered to defiant pastors, and entire church congregations, these homosexualists refuse to leave but rather insist that the denomination change.

This week, a retired San Francisco UMC bishop, who sat in the Birmingham jail with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., says the UMC is "immoral and unjust" concerning homosexuality, and now has officiated a same-sex "marriage" in an Alabama church, in order to intimidate the Christian majority of the worldwide denomination.
"I think it would be appropriate for those who think they cannot live within the policies of the church to withdraw from the church, and [the denomination majority] would be willing to allow them to keep their property, their pensions, and send them forward."
-- Rev. Tom Lambrecht, UMC Christian pastor
Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Methodists Ignore Own Rules re: Lesbian Pastor

Renegade Methodist Clergy for Same-sex 'Marriage'

Baby Jesus with Two Lesbians: Methodist Nativity

Methodist Clergy Buck Bible, Church - Science Also

Methodists Team Up with Atheists for Bible Study

Allah Worshiped in Virginia Methodist Church

African Methodists Vote to Keep United Methodist Church on 'Straight and Narrow'

In addition, read this NON-joke: A Rabbi, Pastor & Imam Join a Methodist Seminary, and ...

UPDATE 12/21/13: Apostate Methodist Bishops Support Defrocked Pastor (see excerpts below)

-- From "Methodist bishop performs gay wedding" posted at Montgomery Advertiser 10/27/13

A retired United Methodist bishop performed a wedding for two gay men Saturday in [Center Point,] Alabama despite opposition from other church leaders.

Joe Openshaw said he and longtime partner Bobby Prince asked [San Francisco's former United Methodist Bishop Melvin] Talbert to marry them when they were refused permission to marry in their United Methodist church.

Talbert and other Methodist supporters of same-sex rights have been encouraging their denomination to recognize gay marriages for years. Alabama does not recognize same-sex marriage.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Defiant Methodist bishop fuels gay-marriage battle" by Matt Smith, Center for Investigative Reporting, posted at San Francisco Chronicle 10/27/13

San Francisco's former United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert gave a sermon at the denomination's global conference last year, urging pastors to defy church law by performing same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Church leaders predict that Talbert's action will aggravate a conflict between conservative and liberal factions of the United Methodist Church - one of the last mainline Protestant denominations that bans same-sex marriage.

Talbert says he doesn't want to divide the church or its 12 million members worldwide. His goal, he said, is to address hypocrisy in a denomination that includes thousands of gay parishioners and gay pastors living with partners.

. . . While church policy calls for punishing those who perform same-sex weddings, the denomination said Tuesday that it would nonetheless extend employee benefits to same-sex couples.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

 From "Bishop follows through on commitment to conduct same sex wedding" by Bart Styes, Correspondent, United Methodist Reporter (a UMC official, but liberal, publication) 10/26/13

. . . With three sheriff’s deputies, multiple media representatives and an officiating United Methodist bishop in jeopardy of facing charges for violating the denomination’s Book of Discipline, this was a unique occasion. However, for the majority of the approximately one-hundred and fifty in attendance, this remained a marriage ceremony, even in the face of the implications for the United Methodist Church and the presiding clergy. Like most “traditional” weddings, there were flowers, music, and restless children.

For several of the clergy in attendance, there was a sense of frustration at this even being a divisive or contentious issue. One elder of the North Alabama [regional] conference in asserted that “some clergy were told not even to attend the wedding as it could hurt their careers.”

“We just need to get over it,” said Rev. Mike Harper. “It’s obvious these guys care about each other. I’m embarrassed that we feel awkward about affirming something so beautiful.”

Openshaw and Prince requested that the service end with a prayer for the affirming clergy in attendance and for the United Methodist Church as a whole. Local elders and deacons of the North Alabama Conference filled the front two rows of the sanctuary. Several ministers from different parts of the country participated in the service as supporting clergy. During the prayer the Bishop Talbert and the other supporting clergy who participated in the service were compared to Jesus turning over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Methodist Gay Marriage Debate Being Formally Considered By Court As LGTB Acceptance Grows" by Renee K. Gadoua, Religion News Service, on Huffington Post 10/23/13

The United Methodist Church’s highest court gathers for its semiannual meeting in Baltimore on Wednesday, as the denomination confronts a growing movement of defiant clergy members opposed to church doctrine on gays and unwilling to back down.

The church law cannot change until the next quadrennial conference, in 2016. But at its meeting, the Judicial Council, the “Supreme Court” of the United Methodist Church, will consider a number of related resolutions. One asks the council to support a Western [liberal] Jurisdiction 2012 resolution that says the church is in error on homosexuality and should ignore the Book of Discipline’s laws on it.

Also on the docket are a New York [liberal] Conference resolution commending clergy, laity and congregations who “help to provide for the pastoral needs of same-sex couples” and a case involving the ordination eligibility of a Southwest Texas candidate who is a lesbian.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay marriage debate threatens to splinter the United Methodist Church" by Ivey DeJesus, Central Pennsylvania Patriot-News 10/25/13

Under the stiffest penalties, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor at Zion United Methodist Church of Iona [Lebanon County], could lose his ordination credentials. Schaefer faces charges of marrying his son Tim and his gay partner in 2006 in Massachusetts.

A considerable number of Schaefer’s congregation has walked away in opposition to his actions, but the German-born pastor has also garnered mounting support from among his flock and peers.

Next month, in a show of solidarity for Schaefer, as many as 30 United Methodist pastors from 25 churches in eastern Pennsylvania will preside over gay marriages in Philadelphia.

The most recent pastor to be convicted of performing same-sex marriages was the Rev. Amy DeLong, a Wisconsin pastor who in 2011 was found guilty of performing gay marriages. A lesbian, she was also found not guilty of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.”

“This is nothing new really,” [Christian UMC Rev. Tom] Lambrecht said. “What is new is the widespread inclination to disregard and disobey the church’s policy... in an attempt to get the church to change it through pressure tactics.”

Lambrecht said his group [of UMC Christians] has over the years received thousands of letters from United Methodist parishioners who say they can no longer remain church members amid flagrant disobedience of church policy.

Given the demographics of the general assembly, Lambrecht doubts the policy will change anytime soon. Approximately 40 percent of the representatives to the general assembly come from outside the United States, the majority from Africa, the Philippines and Europe.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/21/13: "Methodist bishops offer support to pastor who lost credentials over son’s same-sex wedding" by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

The cause of Frank Schaefer, whose credentials were taken after he officiated at his son’s same-sex wedding, is spreading at high levels in his denomination, with a New Jersey bishop [John Schol] releasing a tearful video supporting gay equality and a California bishop inviting Schaefer to be a pastor in her region.

Schaefer’s credentials were formally removed Thursday after he told a clergy oversight body in Philadelphia that he could not uphold doctrine “in its entirety,” saying church teachings were contradictory and un-Christian on the treatment of gays and lesbians. They jury had given him 30 days to decide whether he could abide by the ban on clergy officiating same-sex weddings.

On Friday Bishop Minerva Carcano invited Schaefer to serve as a minister in the California-Pacific Annual Conference in the Los Angeles area. In a statement, Carcano said she was inspired by Methodist leaders in the 1960s who came to the support of clergy fighting racial discrimination.

Schaefer said he is also considering an offer to become a member of Foundry United Methodist Church, a large church in the Dupont Circle area, where he is scheduled to preach Sunday. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

A Message from Bishop John Schol - December 20, 2013 from Greater New Jersey Annual Confer on Vimeo.

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