RMN’s Berryman — “I am ashamed of my church today”

matt-200-x-300Matt Berryman, the Executive Director of the Reconciling Ministries Network (an advocacy group of United Methodists working for the full including of GLBTQ persons in the life of the church), posted this afternoon at the RMNBlog his response to this mornings statement by the Council of Bishops:

What has indeed been undermined by the Council’s statement is the authority of the local pastor to shepherd the people of God in these sacred moments with a clear conscience and a faithful heart. The Council of Bishops has shown a lack of leadership by saying the only way forward is to put clergy on trial who can no longer follow discriminatory, unjust, immoral laws.

via I am ashamed of my church today; a response to the Council of Bishops.

Click here to read Berryman’s full statement.

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13 Comments on "RMN’s Berryman — “I am ashamed of my church today”"

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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The Bible also teaches against lying, cheating, divorce, sex out of marriage, gluttony, bragging, condemning others, withholding tithes and offerings and on and on…. Pretty sure I've seen ministers do all of these and no one pays it any mind. But let two people love each other, well we can't have that can we.

Wes Andrews
This isn't about conservatives. Everyone has a voice at General Conference. General Conference have been both affirming of all people, and also affirming of Scripture. It's stance is very graceful Biblically. If you or anyone else honestly and openly believe that they can't and won't uphold the Discipline which is openly debated and defined at General Conference. Then be honest with yourself and find a denominational or organization that doesn't hold to the Biblical definition of marriage, an organization that you don't have to defy at every turn when you don't get your way through due process held at General… Read more »
Wes Andrews
And Jay, if we were to apply what seems to be your definition of love, then General Conference would be in the wrong if it limits marriage in any way. Who are we to say that two or six or ten entities can't marry? For GC to say "yes" to the Biblical Definition and "no" to anything else will always fail by your definition. We prostitute the concept of "love" when we use it to justify anything or everything. Authentically loving friends, parents, spouses say "no" to us, and not just "yes". One other thing, the "us vs. them" mentality… Read more »

[…] spectrum (For progressives, check the responses from Methodist Foundation for Social Action and Reconciling Ministries Network; for conservatives, check out the response from Good News) that have had a stark disagreement; […]


Sorry, Wes Andrews, the conservatives do not own the denomination, and they will not silence the voices of those who value Jesus's law of love more than the unjust law encoded in the BoD.

Wes Andrews
Wow, I think the UMC has been caring and generous to everyone. And the UMC has worked hard at attempting to be faithful to the foundational truths in Scripture. The church isn't the body of Berryman or Wes Andrews. It's the Body of Christ. God, within inspired Scripture defines himself, his generous love, and yes, marriage. I believe that currently the Book of Discipline reflects that it is not ashamed of the Gospel and truth of Scripture. It is regretful, Mr. Berryman, that you are ashamed. If you don't agree with the United Methodist Church's Discipline and are unwilling to… Read more »
I agree entirely with Berryman. I find it interesting that several years ago when the church was running its now embarrassing "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" campaign, some pastor in Virginia refused to allow a gay man to join the church. This repugnant action was upheld on the grounds that pastors should have autonomy over their churches. Apparently, local autonomy extends only when the locals do something bigoted. When they follow Christ's teachings by welcoming all within the church on an equal basis, they are subject to "discipline." Bishop Talbert is a prophetic voice. He will not be silenced… Read more »

Seems to me that the Good News says, "love the sinner but not the sin." The Good News is the "same yesterday, today, and forever." It is not progressive nor does it change in order to validate what some in modern society would like for it do. Perhaps that is why the dialogue has become so vitriolic–"we" do not like what Father/Son/Holy Spirit has to say about what is going on so "we" try every way in the world to bend the Holy Writ to the morals of the day………………………….

Not a Fan

I find it amazing that we have come to the point of being Editors of the word of God and not Messengers of God's word. it is always what we want and not want God says. I respectful say to Mr. Berryman no one is keeping you here there are other denominations open to your ideas that claim to be "Christian".


But here's the thing. The United Methodist Church is not ashamed of you. Funny how the various factions of the church like to throw that word around: Shame. I personally wonder if it's a projection of sorts.

bill krill

I believe the words of Jesus on love pretty much trump the other stuff. Presuming that one KNOWS that ones' understanding of the Gospel is infallible is, well, fallible. The Gospel is a living thing that continues to progress in revelation of meaning…Jesus also condemned divorce, but how many UMC believers (even pastors) are divorced? Get the plank out of your eye.

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