Good News issues statement on UM Council of Bishops request

GoodNews_sqGood News, the independent group of United Methodists committed to promoting “orthodox Wesleyan Christianity,” has issued the following statement in response to the United Methodist Council of Bishops statement earlier today requesting the filing of a complaint against the actions of Bishop Melvin G. Talbert:

Good News, a renewal and reform ministry working within The United Methodist Church, applauds the statement issued today in response to the same-sex union service performed by Bishop Melvin Talbert October 26 in Birmingham, Alabama.  We view the statement as an implied rebuke of Bishop Talbert’s actions.

The fact that the Council requested that complaints be filed against Bishop Talbert for both “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions” and “behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor” is very significant.  It is virtually unprecedented for a bishop to file a complaint against another bishop.  (The Council as a whole is unable to file complaints, according to the Discipline.)  We hope that Bishop Wenner and Bishop Wallace-Padgett will follow through prayerfully and promptly with the Council’s request to file complaints and initiate the judicial process.

The church is watching to see if it can hold its leaders accountable to the promises they made to the church at their ordination and consecration.  All eyes will be on Bishop Elaine Stanovski (Mountain Sky Area), who is the president of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, to ensure that any complaints are processed according to the Discipline.  The judicial process will take time, and there is no guarantee of the final outcome, but this is the process we have of holding persons accountable when they are accused of violating the sacred trust of their ordination.

While we wish the statement would have called for Bishop Talbert’s resignation, we are pleased that the Council united to hold him accountable by criticizing his actions and initiating judicial processes against him.  We affirm comments made by Bishop Rosemarie Wenner at a press conference following the meeting, where she said, “The bishops have to play a role in the [judicial] process … bishops have to follow through due to the charge we are given.”

We call upon other parts of the church to now fulfill their responsibilities of accountability.  We further call upon all United Methodists to stand down from schismatic actions and honor the process of holy conferencing.  Continued violation of ordination vows will only serve to deepen the division in Christ’s body and hasten a separation of the body that would harm the mission of the church.

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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16 Comments on "Good News issues statement on UM Council of Bishops request"

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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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[…] Social Action and Reconciling Ministries Network; for conservatives, check out the response from Good News) that have had a stark disagreement; progressives applaud Bishop Talbert’s actions as […]

Wes Andrews
Guest
No, I would say those who think that the definition of marriage should ignore the truth of Scripture are destroying the mainline denominations, including the UMC. Their selfish position is fragmenting faithful congregations who are now in a position to say "NO" to their denominations, because of liberal "intolerance." Yes, liberals are intolerant and they bully those who don't comply to their ideas. They have no higher authority for their views. Those who hold to Scripture do so, not because they don't like homosexual people, but because they desire to be faithful to what they believe as God inspired truth… Read more »
Jay
Guest

Conservatives do not own the United Methodist Church.

Bryan Moreland
Guest

Good News is going to kill the UMC. The Good News organization wants to close all reconciling congregations, or those who pose a threat to them! The UMC is still in a decline in membership and it is because of the people like the Good News organization!

Dave Ogden
Guest
I am disapointed that the Good News cites the church law and says we must obey. However, church law has a long history of being wrong when society was wrong; slavary and the ordination of women are only two of these instances. The law say homosexuality is wrong is kept in place by the strength of the non American voting block – Africa has a much harsher opinion of homosexuality than does the US. It is a crime punishable by death in Kenya, perhaps other African countries. This type of cultural background is what is keeping the US church from… Read more »
Ken Grenz
Guest

I was present in subcommittee in the 2008 GC when goodhearted folks of both sides of this issue negociated a good piece of legislation. Meanwhile 2 Good News members on the subcommittee did not participate in the process. The move to later shoot down the carefully crafted statement came from those who did not engage in the committee process. This is an example of Good News strategy!

Gregg
Guest

It strikes me as inauthentic and contradictory to say, "Stop these schismatic actions," while ALSO saying, "If the Discipline ever changes, we will leave The UMC." In this environment I am wondering what the Good News movement sees as the point of continuing "holy conferencing"… Is it anything other than another tool to continue to force others into doing what they want, with theological understandings that they have control over? The seeds of schism were sown in 1972, and have been watered at every GC since. We should probably just reap what we have sown.

Owen
Guest
For conservatives, our commitment to truth is higher than unity. For us, we are united in what we believe to be the truth, as unity has been historically (such as in the ancient creeds of the church like the Nicene Creed), not simply united without qualification. But we are united with the agreement that the Book of Discipline has; but to change that is to get rid of the foundation for unity that many feel. This doesn't mean we don't love those whom we do not share ministry unity to, however, but that we would have no more innate connection… Read more »
Owen
Guest

Apologies for that atrocious run-on sentence at the the!

Rev. Dr. Kim Strong
Guest

We all know the issue is the perceived loss of income should the UMC change it's position on gays and lesbians….they fear those over 65 will leave and take their tithes with them.

According to Paul we are to pray for our leaders and follow the laws… If the law says it is illegal to not recognize gay couples married in a state that permits it, isn't the church breaking the law by not allowing gay marriage in those states?

Just a thought

Joe
Guest

No, because the church does not bow to Caesar where the gospel is compromised. The first three centuries of Christian history should make that clear.

Should the church have accepted the practice of slavery and abided by the terms of the Fugitive Slave Act in states where Caesar declared slavery a legitimate institution? Of course not.

Joe
Guest

Right. Because the vitriol you're spewing encourages unity and dialogue.

Physician, heal thyself.

Sabrina McLaughlin (
Guest

You sound like Bullies. If there is to be a schism in the United Methodist Church then I say let it be so and let it be done. It's not Christ-like to keep company with bullies, and I'd be happy to be separated from them.

CJ Caufield
Guest

Ridiculous assertion.

Owen
Guest

Bullies punishes others arbitrarily. This isn't bullying, but called accountability. There were clear standards, the people in question are not under any other basic duress in their life (while the people Jesus was focally reaching out to were under duress), and there were warnings provided beforehand. This is no more 'bullying' that it would be to put under trial a clergy if they practiced gender or racial discrimination.

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