Good News responds to same-sex union performed by Bishop Talbert

GoodNews_sqHOUSTON, Tx — Good News, a group in the United Methodist Church which attempts to promote “orthodox Wesleyan Christianity,” released a statement today condemning Bishop Melvin G. Talbert for presiding at a service celebrating the marriage of a gay couple this past Saturday in Birmingham, and calling on the Council of Bishops to “exercise discipline and hold Bishop Talbert accountable.”

Talbert presided at the service in spite of calls from North Alabama Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett and the Council of Bishops Executive Committee to refrain from doing so. Talbert facilitated the service of celebration at the request of Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince, a United Methodist gay couple legally married in Washington D.C. but wanting the recognition of the church.

Good News has traditionally opposed changes to the United Methodist Book of Discipline regarding homosexuality, and published a statement prior to the service calling on Talbert to refraining from disobeying church teaching, which prohibits United Methodist clergy from “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions.” (¶2702.1)

Here is the full text of their statement:

In an egregious act of defiance, Bishop Melvin Talbert has publicly and flagrantly violated the covenant that binds United Methodists together by officiating at a service of holy union between two men in Birmingham, Alabama.  We understand the emotional and sensitive nature of the sexuality debate within The United Methodist Church.  At the same time, same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Alabama, nor is it permitted by the United ethodist Discipline. Not only did Bishop Talbert defy church law, he ignored the urging of both Bishop Wallace-Padgett, bishop of Northern Alabama, and of the executive committee of the Council of Bishops not to preside over the service.  Elected and sworn to an office of unity, Bishop Talbert has instead chosen to use his position to foment greater division within the UM Church.

As Bishop Michael Coyner has recently stated, “A bishop of the church, whether active or retired, has a special responsibility to teach the faith, to guard the church, and to order the administration and discipline of the church… I don’t think we can be ‘church’ together without a commitment to such order.”

Good News calls upon the Council of Bishops to exercise discipline and hold Bishop Talbert accountable, as they have publicly promised to do on several occasions.  A failure to hold accountable Bishop Talbert and other clergy who are flaunting our church’s policies will result in the unraveling of our church’s covenant and order.  Formal separation may not be far behind.

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 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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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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Lisa Williams Sears

here we go with the U.M.C are bigots, judgmental, intolerant. the U.M.C hasnt changed. society has. the bible says, " homosexuality is perversion". regardless of the Bishop's behavior- This same sex "marriage" is not blessed in God's eyes. no. i don't see the U.M.C becoming obsolete. we are raising our children and their children the same teachings that we were taught. i believe this bishop should be separated from the church.


Your anthropology is wrong. You were not born a heterosexual. Human beings were born male and female. Our maleness and femaleness is the first information we have concerning the image in which we are created.

Only in a culture in which there are no moral restraints on sexual behavior can the notion of 'homosexuality' or 'heterosexuality' arise.

There is absolutely no evidence to support your belief that sexual orientation is hard-wired. The born-that-way-can't-change notion is a canard, a convenient slogan invented by the homosexual lobby.

Linda Worley
Linda Worley

The positions and behaviors of those like the Good News group, intolerance, bigotry, judgment and bias against many groups of people, is why I no longer participate in the UMC. I was raised in the Methodist Church and loved it for its courage in advocating for social justice….I have found that the UMC has become just another voice of exclusivity and legalism. That is not consistent with how I know God. If this trend continues, the UMC will shrink until it is insignificant.

John JP Patterson

Please note: "The Good News Magazine" and "The Confessing Movement" are independent organizations and not affiliated with the United Methodist Church. They have no official capacity and no authority in matters pertaining to the UMC.


Simple RESPECT the Discipline of the UMC if you don't like it don't be UM Clergy


[…] of the favorite commonplace arguments of the Good News crowd has unfortunately been taken up by the Council of Bishops: that performing the wedding of a […]

Jackson Day

I'm not convinced regarding this issue that simply calling those we disagree with "bad people" is persuasive or likely to solve anything. It seems to me that the core issue is not so much theology as anthropology. What is the nature of human beings, and what is the nature of human sexual identity. I personally am heterosexual and I notice how that very innate wiring shapes my relationships with both men and women. I could not change my sexual orientation for a billion dollars. So what if I grew up knowing I had a same-sex sexual orientation instead? I could… Read more »

Mickey Maze
Mickey Maze

Amen to Rev Mama and Wad

Rev Mama
Rev Mama

I find it strange that people oppose an organization that is simply supporting what the Book of Discipline says – a Book of Discipline that has been upheld for years by the voting delegates of General Conference. You're free to oppose the position taken by the majority of voting delegates – delegates who, in the main, are not bigoted, or hateful, or ignorant. But if you find yourself disagreeing with most of the delegates at General Conference, out of unity with the Book of Discipline, then it is possible that while fellowship may remain among brothers and sisters in Christ,… Read more »

Pastor Al

Why is it strange? BOD has been known to change from time to time…and reason is still one of the ways we find God’s grace. And, as for your claim about bigoted, hateful or ignorant….one should not make such claims unless you can verify that all hearts, minds, and doors would be open our gay African-American or Latino sons and daughters. Moreover, if your solution is “to align oneself with a denomination that upholds the same principles” I am sure the Southern Baptist will welcome the influx of new members…but the rest of us will remain because we believe that… Read more »

bill krill

Bigotry, hard hearts, and a narcissistic ordained ministry is killing the UMC.

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