Out of concern for the welfare of all God’s people, and, out of special concern for the people of The United Methodist Church, we, United Methodist Bishops – retired, believe The United Methodist Church should remove the following statement from The Book of Discipline (2008):
“…The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” ¶304.3 ............
It's a well known fact -- the old oak tree may be huge -- the trunk may be at least 15 feet or more in circumferance -- but if you keep chopping away and the chips keep falling, the tree will topple eventually!
And so it goes in the United Methodist Church. For some time those supporting the sodomite/lesbian agenda have been zealously at work to force full acceptance of unrepentant sodomites and lesbians into the life and ministry of the denomination. One central focus of attack has been the statement in the UMC Book of Discipline that states homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian teaching.
Other areas of attack have been the statements dealing with ordination of those who practice this abominable lifestyle and the performing of ceremonies which join 2 sodomites or 2 lesbians in a "union" that is supposed to be comparable to the marriage of a man and a woman.
The political posturing has been taking place for some time in anticipation of General Conference which will be held in spring of 2012.
Noted at the beginning is a partial statement from a gang of retired United Methodist bishops (term used very loosely) who are pressing for acceptance of unrepentant sodomites and lesbians without any objection whatsoever. The "bishops" signing that declaration are: Sharon Z. Rader, Donald A. Ott, Beverly Shamana, C. Joseph Sprague, Melvin G. Talbert, S. Clifton Ives, Joe A. Wilson, William Lewis, Forrest Stith, Susan Morrison, Susan Hassinger, Judy Craig, Dale White, William Boyd Grove, C. P. Minnick, Kenneth L. Carder, Roy I. Sano, Joe Yeakel, Kenneth Hicks, Joseph Humper, Monk Bryan, Jesse DeWitt, Jack Tuell, J. Lloyd Knox, Charles W. Jordan, J. Lawrence McCleskey, Marshall L. Meadors, Jr., Franz Schafer, Sheldon Duecker, Fritz Mutti, Cal McConnell, and Leontine T. C. Kelly. Not all signed that statement -- at least one did not and that was Bishop George Bashore who retired a few years ago after serving the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. However, in the list of those signing is the name of William Boyd Grove who is originally from the Western Pennsylvania Conference and served in that conference before being elected to the office of bishop.
Should we be surprised? With the stench of Illinois and Chicago politics greatly impacting Washington DC, it follows that the U. M. Church in Illinois would demonstrate it too is very capable of tolerating corruption of the first magnitude!
A female U. M. pastor this past June was found guilty for performing a "union" ceremony for 2 lesbians. The trial court really came down hard on her for this violation -- she was suspended for 20 days! There are more details as to what she has to do in writing a document along with discussions etc. in preparation for next year's annual conference. The Board of Ordained Ministry and the bishop have certainly bent more than 90 degrees backward to accomodate Amy DeLong, and of course she continues to do pastoral work as an ordained elder in her conference. Is this akin to laying your pinky lightly across her wrist and saying, "You naughty, naughtly girl -- now please, if you can find it within yourself, try not to do this again."
United Methodist pastor, Michael Gray, is in the heart of the effort to get a referendum on the ballot in Maine which will legalize marriage between same-gender couples. He supported the effort back in 2009 which was eventually overturned. He claims most of his congregation supports marriage between same-gender couples.
Six states have now legalized marriage for sodomites and lesbians which means U. M. pastors in those states will really be under pressure to do weddings involving such persons.
The above situations are but merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ferment taking place within the United Methodist Church. Will 2012 be the year that significant changes are made and the door is opened quite a bit wider for unrepentant sodomites and lesbians with same-gender sexual intimacy no longer regarded as "incompatible with Christian teaching?"
There is talk of a split in the UMC over this issue. There are those who strongly support such action. But really, it will do little good. The sodomite/lesbian cartel would not be content with a split -- they want universal unquestioned acceptance on the part of every person who is a part of the UMC -- laity and clergy alike!
Any who refuse to accept this abominable lifestyle have already been labeled in the most negative terms that can be dredged out of Mr. Webster's dictionary, starting with the word, homophobic.
How very real are the words of Jesus in these times as He warned that conditions would duplicate those which existed in a city named Sodom when a godly, but tormented, man by the name of Lot lived there. Unfortunately Lot paid an extremely high price for the deadly choice of moving into that city with his family.
Those who believe God has clearly established the boundaries of human sexuality will increasingly become targets of attack in this ongoing moral war. But stand your ground, dig in your heels, and speak up to the end -- victory lies straight ahead. Be comforted in knowing that our Lord will render the final judgment and have the last word!
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. --- Revelation 22:14-21