Good News responds to plans for same-sex union by Pennsylvania 30

GoodNewsMagGood News, an evangelical/conservative advocacy group in the United Methodist Church (UMC), released a statement today responding to the announcement last week that 30 UMC clergy would be presiding over a same-sex union service as a sign of solidarity with the Rev. Frank Schaefer. Schaefer will be tried by a church court in November for his leadership in a same-sex wedding for his son.

The Rev. Tom Lambrecht, Vice-President and General Manager of Good News, said that they had release the statement in respond to what they see as “escalating pressure” for acceptance of same-sex marriage in both culture and the church. “I think that those who are promoting same-sex marriage are perceiving a cultural moment of acceptance,” Lambrecht said, “and it’s time for people of faith to respond.”

The full text of their statement can be found below:

The plan by more than 30 United Methodist clergy in Eastern Pennsylvania to jointly preside over a same-sex union service represents an escalation in the movement to disregard of our United Methodist Discipline, established from decades of holy conferencing. It is lamentable that an act of worship will once again be used as political theater in an effort to nullify the moral teaching of the church. It appears that covenant breaking and pressure tactics are replacing Scripture and holy conferencing to determine the church’s moral teaching.

We are seriously troubled by the appearance that The United Methodist Church is hopelessly divided on issues of doctrine and morality. It seems that the situation is spiraling swiftly out of control, with this proposed joint service following the first-ever public and flagrant disregard of the Discipline by a bishop. This approach is a slap in the face to all who uphold 2,000 years of Christian moral teaching. Such tactics call into question whether The United Methodist Church can remain together.

For more than 200 years, The United Methodist Church has been committed to a form of polity that preserves church unity and ensures that we remain faithfully engaged in discernment and holy conferencing on a host of contemporary issues, including a right understanding and practice in regard to sexuality and marriage. Such a right understanding and practice are crucial to the church’s mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. We grieve the enormous loss of time and resources that will be expended dealing with the contemplated joint disobedience and the damage that will be done to the unity of the church.

Many United Methodists will not continue to support a church that is unable or unwilling to enforce its doctrinal and moral standards. We call upon the Council of Bishops to exert clear and consistent leadership in upholding both the process and the product of the church’s holy conferencing over the past 40 years. To allow widespread public schismatic actions to continue with impunity will only confuse our members and betray the church’s polity — signaling further division and compromise with a society that has abandoned biblical moral teaching.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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5 Comments on "Good News responds to plans for same-sex union by Pennsylvania 30"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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wesleywhite22
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This is the standard boilerplate press release that is used every time a legislated restriction based on cultural norms allows more folks in and threatens the current power base. It doesn't matter if it is about clergy smoking or women's ordination or abolishment of the US Central Conference. This would seem to signal that "Good News" sees either an opportunity to raise more money or a reasonable possibility that their reign of constrictive policies may be tailing off or both. Should discriminatory legislation be rescinded it will be "Good News" that will be the first to renew their periodic call… Read more »
Rev. Brian P
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A statement that argues for upholding the moral teachings of the church without acknowledging that the 'church' has been on the wrong side of the moral fence at times (see slavery, sexism, the Crusades to name a few) is a statement that lacks integrity and should fall on deaf ears. As for my time and resources….I plan to spend them assuring that more people are folded into the love and grace of God rather than 'waste' them with conversations soaked in self righteousness.

Ralph
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It was a sin in Jesus times and a sin now. Sure people sin, but a God man doesn't wake up planning to sin. If this continues the Church should split and let those who believe in God's word go their separate way.

Jonathon Edwards
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The United Methodist denomination needs to take a firm stand and defrock each and ever pastor who goes against the teachings of the church (more importantly the Bible) and cut off their pension and any benefits they receive.

GregN
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And in some of that "2000 years of Christian moral teaching" the church has been very wrong and done great harm. It is time to stop doing it to those God has created that know love in a different way than most people.

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