Oct 15

Bishop faults jurisdiction’s gay issue stand

A UMNS Report
By Heather Hahn*

Indiana Area Bishop Michael J. Coyner on Oct. 15 published his criticisms of the Western Jurisdiction’s stand against The United Methodist Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

Coyner 295 1 300x216 Bishop faults jurisdiction’s gay issue stand

Bishop Michael Coyner

Delegates to the Western Jurisdiction’s meeting July 18-21 adopted a “Statement of Gospel Obedience” that says the denomination is in error in its stance that the practice of homosexuality “is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The jurisdiction’s statement also urged United Methodists to operate as if that stance in Paragraph 161F of the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book, “does not exist, creating a church where all people are truly welcome.”

In his Oct. 15 E-pistle to the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, Coyner faulted the Western Jurisdiction’s actions in three ways.

He said the statement:

  • Comes across as a kind of “neo-colonialism,” distrusting the actions of the global church’s General Conference, which increasingly includes delegates from outside the United States, particularly Africa
  • Is a “very poor substitute for the honorable practice of civil disobedience as expressed clearly by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
  • Does not “offer the church any way forward on this difficult issue”

“What if the Western Jurisdiction, which has a proud history of diversity, tolerance, and openness to new models of ministry, had offered some suggestions for our United Methodist Church to move forward on this issue?” Coyner wrote. “Instead, the actions and statements of the Western Jurisdiction seem to conclude that ‘we are right and everyone else is wrong.’”

Responses from Western Jurisdiction bishops

Los Angeles Area Bishop Minerva Carcaño, who leads the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference, and Pheonix Area Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, who leads the Desert Southwest Conference, took issue with Coyner’s appraisal of the jurisdiction’s statement.

“There is a rather large jump from the statement agreed upon at the WJ Conference and neo-colonialism,” Carcaño said. “Neo-colonialism is a complex socio-economic, political and historical reality that in my opinion is not appropriately used in this  situation.  It does, however, add gravitas to Bishop Coyner’s statement and elevates a church situation to a level it does not deserve. It does, though, add to the barriers that we continue to erect among ourselves that do not allow us to have the conversation we need to have about not only this issue, but a number of other issues pertaining to the social, moral and ethical fiber of our church and our witness to the world, or lack thereof.”

She added that delegates from the Western Jurisdiction were seeking change to the denomination’s stance on homosexuality long before the increase in African delegates that was apparent at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla.

“What I read in the jurisdiction’s statement is not that we know better than everybody else but that we know differently,” Hoshibata said. “What we taught centuries ago and called it the Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed with the world and with culture.”

The bishops also said the Western Jurisdiction stands in the tradition of King’s practice of civil disobedience during the U.S. civil rights movement.

“Whenever there is any injustice — an injustice against one person, one group or one community — I think those are opportunities to speak out and share our thoughts and our concerns,” Hoshibata said. “It’s also an opportunity for us to demonstrate what we feel Christ has called us to do when he calls us to justice. This is precisely the Christ-like response I think Martin Luther King would have been supportive of.”

United Methodists in the jurisdiction have been in prayerful reflection on the matter of inclusivity for a long time, Carcaño said.

“It is our collective conclusion that God leads us in a different direction and that we can longer remain silent,” she said. “We are aware of the disciplinary consequences and believe that faithfulness to God is more important than staying in the ranks and file of the church and continuing to do what we United Methodists have done for too long. We have spoken and lived in contradictory ways; we have said that persons of homosexual orientation are of sacred worth but not worthy of fully being a part of the church.”

The Western Jurisdiction encompasses Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam and other U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean.

A personal response

At the beginning of his response to the Western Jurisdiction, Coyner stressed that he was writing only his personal opinion as a bishop. He noted that his comments do not reflect the official position of the Indiana Conference, the North Central Jurisdiction or the Council of Bishops.

“Lots of people here in Indiana have been asking me for my personal response, and so rather than having thousands of conversations, it seemed easier to send out one statement for anyone to read who is interested,” he told the United Methodist News Service.

He added that he hoped his response would “encourage further conversation” among United Methodists.

Coyner described himself as a member of the “great middle” of The United Methodist Church where he believes many church members find themselves.

“Right now, it feels like people are ‘talking past one another’ rather than having conversations with one another,” he said.

Divisions evident at General Conference

The Western Jurisdiction’s actions followed the defeat at General Conference, the denomination’s top-lawmaking body, of a proposal to say the church was in disagreement about homosexuality.

During General Conference, bishops take turns presiding during the plenary sessions, and Coyner was presiding at the morning session May 3 when delegates rejected proposals to change the denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

After those petitions failed, dozens of protesters gathered on the plenary floor after the break, singing ‘What Does the Lord Require of You?’ Coyner asked the demonstrators to stop, and when they did not, he recessed the session for an early lunch. “I think you’re actually hurting your point,” he told the group.

The protesters stayed on the plenary floor through the lunch break, and representatives from the Council of Bishops negotiated with leaders of the demonstration and found a solution to the impasse. Germany’s Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, then the new president of the Council of Bishops, opened the session with a statement crafted by the bishops. The Rev. Frank Wulf, a California-Pacific Conference delegate, prayed. And the demonstrators left the floor peacefully.

“That particular protest moved toward being unhelpful when they disrupted times of worship and when their protest came without any advance discussion of their goals,” Coyner told the United Methodist News Service on Oct. 15. “Having the General Conference go into recess allowed various leaders of the groups and General Conference leaders to work out a resolution — which I believe was appropriate and fair.”

A way forward?

In his E-pistle, Coyner suggested that General Conference might one day modify its various statements on human sexuality “first to affirm Christians of good will are in disagreement on these issues, and second to adopt a more moderate and holistic approach to these issues.”

However, he said, such changes should come with “prayer, theological reflection, humility, listening to God and listening to one another.”

The Western Jurisdiction, he said, was not providing a helpful way forward.

Carcaño disputed Coyner’s assertion that the jurisdiction’s statement does not provide a way for the denomination to move into the furure.

“The statement says that in the West we will live with integrity what we have said as United Methodists — that we are all of sacred worth and all welcomed,” she said. ”We recognize that the WJ statement puts the WJ in tension with other parts of the church.  Perhaps this tension will be just what we need to lead the entire denomination to a better place.  I am hoping that it will help us create the kind of Christian conferencing we need to be having on all matters important to God; a holy and disciplined conversation that does not wait for General Conference, but that is a daily exercise in our efforts to be faithful to God.  For the opportunity to reflect on this matter, I am grateful to Bishop Coyner.”

Coyner also took issue with those who see the Western Jurisdiction’s actions as a prelude to a schism in The United Methodist Church.

“Perhaps, I have been overly optimistic or hopeful,” he said. “But I do not believe our United Methodist Church will split. To me, it would be a sad commentary about our inability to ‘conference together’ if we allow an issue like sexuality to split us.”

Hoshibata and Carcaño also both expressed confidence in the church’s continued unity.

“I don’t believe the will of most United Methodists I’ve spoken to is to split on this matter,” Hoshibata said. “I believe it is the will of most United Methodists to say this is a place where we do not agree, that we would like to do more conversations and prayer to find common ground in this matter. But in order to move ahead as a denomination, we need to focus on the mission of making disciples, and that takes places in a variety of ways.”

Wenner, the Council of Bishops president, said Coyner’s statement “indicates that we need to engage in holy conversation on the question of human sexuality – not only at General Conference, but throughout the quadrennium.”

She said the Council of Bishops takes a lead on this.

“We meet as colleagues from all regions of the church, and we hopefully will model that we are united in Christ and in responding to the call to make disciples even in our diversity.”

The Council of Bishops will meet Nov. 4-9 for the first time with its new members.

*Hahn is a multimedia reporter for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: Heather Hahn, Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.



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  1. KL

    I find it disturbing that people who claim the Bible as the word from God, don’t like to stand on what God says when it is socially uncomfortable. When studying the scripture regarding homosexuality it is in every instance clear that God does not condone the practice. He doesn’t hate the sinner just the sin as in all sin. This is not to say that we don’t embrace those with the love of Christ who are in sin (we all sin and fall short). But what is the problem with standing with the word from our Lord rather than the feelings of man? People claim to be “born that way” when if you actually believe the Creator over the created, it is impossible (see 1Cor 6:9-11 below). The gays I have known and know now know that I care about them and they respect that I believe God instead of what they say about themselves. I also know that many of them have similiarities in that they either suffered some sort of abuse or in most cases heart breaking rejection from their fathers. The mind can condition itself to believe what it needs to avoid emotional pain. And for the gay men I have known the comfort they find in other men (despite the social stigmas) is a lot easier than dealing with the emotional pain from their father.

    Is it okay to ignore the word and follow after man’s “feelings” when we don’t understand what God is saying? Do we ignore the example he gave us for marriage from the very beginning with Adam and Eve and throughout the scriptures? Do we ignore that God is a God of purpose? (The purpose of homosexuality is……?) :
    1 Corinthians 6: 9-11
    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    God in His infinite love for us shows us in verse 11 that “such were some of us,” but through His sanctification we don’t have to “be” how we “feel” we are. Just because us humans haven’t sought the Lord on how to minister rightly to homosexuals doesn’t mean we condone the sin. What if adulterers theives, murderers said they were “born that way”? Where is the proof that they are not? There is no proof of a “gay” gene though God knows they have tried to come up with one. The sad thing is these are hurting people who have found strength and justification in numbers. It is a dangerous things because we ignore those things which can happen to a young person which can push them in that direction, especially sexual abuse. The homosexual agenda is to ignore the fact that many a child never felt a same sex attraction until after they were abused. Those who have suffered are afraid to speak up because after all they were supposed to be “born that way.”

    Follow God and not man and we cannot go wrong.

    1. KW

      When you say “studying” the Bible in your second sentence, you can’t possibly mean the Hebrew and Greek, otherwise, you’d know, it’s just not that simple. There is no word in the Bible to describe my life- a loving, monogamous, committed, same-sex relationship.

      1. Aliceinwonder

        Genesis 2:24 ESV / 48 helpful votes

        Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

        It does not say a man shall take up with his fellow man and become one flesh.

        As for those who say they are ‘born that way’, there is proof that hormonal imbalance as a fetus does create either male/ female behavior disorders which show up in childhood. Hormone treatments to correct the testosterone levels do work in returning the child to their normal birth gender. GMO foods are causing a tremendous amount of imbalance in developing fetuses not to mention multiple other problems such as complete infertility.

        Any other questions about the Biblical stance on homosexuality can be found in Romans 1:18-32.

    2. Pat Staples


      Homosexual behavior is a sin–period. If a person is physically/sexually attracted to a person of the same sex , that person needs to be in prayer to God and serch the scriptures for help in dealing with the sin. The same is true for everyone who is not living according to the laws and guidance of the Bible.

      It is increasingly distubing that our church leaders seem to be more intuned with Hollywood and Political Correctness than with God’s word, and the teachings of Jesus. Have they forgotten that Satan is alive and doing very well in paving the way for the antichrist who will continue to deceive millions.

      1. Aliceinwonder

        Yes, Satan is alive and well on planet earth.

        Use your search engine to find Paul Harvey’s “If I were the Devil”. This was done in 1965. That pretty much says it all. Satan is working quite hard indeed and succeeding right under our very noses.

        Heavenly Father, we pray for you to cure those that are so deeply blinded to the destruction of your church through sexual anomalism. Give us the strength to continue to fight this evil from poisoning not only the UMC, but all churches. Amen.

    3. zaida thompson

      Great reply when are we going to stop this conversation and get on with the work of the Lord

  2. Mark West

    Interesting how the bishops, including Bishop Coyner, can be so silent while one of their number is looting the East Africa Annual Conference for his own personal gain, but breaks the code of silence when his colleagues proclaim that the love of God extends to all.

    1. UMNS editor

      Mark, please know Bishop Coyner also has spoken out on the situation in East Africa. He is the board president of the General Council on Finance and Administration, and thus part of the board that recommended church entities no longer give to the East Africa Conference treasury until its auditing issues are resolved. His remarks are in the following story: http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5847611&ct=12212945

      1. Mark West

        Thanks for that clarification. Yet his comments in that story are pretty pro forma for someone in his position; saying he has “spoken out” about it is stretching. And the looting in Africa has gone on for some time, during which he and his colleagues have been achingly quiet. Yet now he has chosen to speak out loudly and personally. Although I believe he’s painfully mistaken, he certainly has a right to do that. It’s just too bad that such passion can’t be marshaled with more frequency about issues other than genital politics.

        1. Aliceinwonder

          Genital politics…..bravo, well put. This past Iowa Annual conference was a re-run of the previous year….HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA. I have a friend who survived the rages of genocide in Rwanda and I had hoped to get his books for Africa project on the 2013 Conference agenda and while it was considered, it was rejected. I can only guess what they feel is FAR FAR more important that getting books and supplies to Africa so they can stock the churches and schools they are so desperately trying to rebuild. Yes…men having sex with men and women having sex with women is FAR more important than healing from a genocide. Genital politics….. Mark, let us kneel in prayer: Heavenly Father, the Methodist faith in the United States (and beyond) is being torn apart due to homosexual issues. There is no dispute that You can heal the blind. Please heal the blind who cannot see that feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, helping our struggling veterans, helping the ravaged in Rwanda and other such countries, getting medicine to those who cannot get it, offering help to run away teens and caring for Your flock are truly, deeply far more important that the sexual gratification issues of those who choose same sex partners. Please let them turn from selfish sexual wants and return to being selfless disciples of Christ. In Your most Holy name we pray. Amen.

        2. dan

          Mark, please also recognize that Bishop Coyner’s response is sadly, as far as I know, the only episcopal voice to counter the direct and overt calling to ignore the UMC Discipline and break covenant. He not only has the right, but he and the other bishops have the duty to speak against the overt breaking of covenant. The silence of the others is disturbing and hurtful to me, for they so often have not been silent on other subjects.

          1. Peggy Boyette

            I hope you are being facetious Randy. I have been out of the Methodist Church for awhile. Why is an Episcopalian Bishop being allowed to air his feelings in the Methodist Church? Guess I missed something here. Everyone knows that they even ordain homosexuals. Direct violation of Romans 1:27. Like it doesn’t exist. Like the Bible does not exist. What is this covenant everyone keeps talking about??? The only one I’m aware of is the one we have with Almighty God and His Son. Does anyone out there even give a rip about that?? Let’s not become so homelitcally, hermenuetically correct for the constituency that we forget where this branch of the church came from and WHO founded it and WHAT it was founded on. If anyone of you on the board of the this church I was raised in cave in to this issue I will absolutely go to the floor on my knees. IT’S A BIBLE, READ IT. You are responsible for the SOULS you shepherd!!! You can love a homosexual into salvation but not IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED YOURSELF.-

  3. Daniel

    I am with the bishop here in that I would love for us to find a substantive middle ground (as opposed to a non-position) on this culturally significant issue. But I just cannot see how there can be a middle ground. Group A says that homosexual practice is (for homosexual-attracted individuals) a gift from God and an expression of fidelity blessed by God and therefore holy (and, by logical corrolary, those who say otherwise are hindering God’s will); Group B says that homosexual practice is contrary to the revealed will of God, contrary to the nature of human design (physically and spiritually) and therefore sinful and harmful for those involved (again it logically follows that those who say otherwise are hindering God’s will – as Bishop Talber recently called the UMC’s position “unjust”). How can there be a compromise as long as Group A and Group B each maintain their current convictions? Of course if one group could persuade the other group en masse to change its mind, all would be solved. But I am not optimistic about that.

    ‘Agreeing to disagree’ (on paper) will only serve to defer the issue until the stakes are raised so high that the non-position becomes intolerable (supposing more pastors refuse membership on the basis of homosexual practice or supposing a self-avowed practicing homosexual is elected a bishop) when we all (still having the same convictions on the issue we had before the paper compromise) decide that actually there should be a clear policy after all.

    If a compromise position were suggested that homosexual practice could be OK sometimes for some people, but is nevertheless not as clearly affirmed as traditional marital relations, both Group A and Group B would scoff and both would say that such a compromise forfeits the whole principle they are upholding.

    The only possible resolutions I can see (assuming one side is not persuaded by the other, which I think is a safe assumption) are either a loud schism in which a group rejects the covenant relationship laid out in the Discipline altogether and the Church clearly ceases to be one united church in its doctrine and discipline OR a wearing away of one group or the other over time so that General Conference votes are more and more lopsided (in one direction or the other) and the issue becomes less urgent while the “losers,” feeling frustrated and angry quietly leave the church for denominations more alligned to their convictions (either more liberal or more conservative, depending on who “won” – and I use that term somewhat ironically here). Or maybe (hopefully) I am missing something that someone else can see quite clearly, in which case I’d love to hear your perspective. Seems a lose-lose proposition to me.

    The other alternative is to continue to “live in the tension” and to “stay in conversation” indefinitely, which is another way of saying continue to fight this costly, spiritually draining, and trust-poisoning battle indefinitely – for which I do not believe most of us have the patience (nor am I sure that we really should). Can anyone see another way that I’ve not outlined, that I’m missing?

    1. Penny

      Scripture commands: ‘Flee fornication.’ Fornication is anything outside of marriage. Scripture states: ‘Marriage [between man and woman, no other meaning existed] is honorable.’ Other beds are defiled i.e. unclean. Scripture directs: ‘Flee fleshly lusts that war against the soul.’ All who indulge in prohibited sexual conduct are souls who have lost war. Scripture also directs to not be carried about by diverse and strange doctrines, or statements from persons/groups who have lost war.

      When I attended an Episcopal congregation in Boston in 1985-1988, I observed the organized homosexual community in Massachusetts act in collusion to attend churches of the Episcopal denomination for sole purpose of persuading its laity to change the rules and position of their church. Rather than politely endure the constant propaganda, people like me withdrew, while Episcopalians who stayed and resisted were called ‘bigots,’ ‘homophobes’ and worse. When I moved back to Florida, I observed similar organized efforts of homosexuals attend Episcopal and other churches for purpose to cause individual church and denomination to change their beliefs and tenets about homosexuality. Homosexuals do not attend church to learn what they must do to inherit eternal life. They attend to cause that church to change into what pleases them. In approximately 2003, the national Episcopal church caved to homosexual clamor and changed its rules.

      I give credit to the Catholic denomination, who gave subject relatively no audience. How they did that could be studied. That is my reply to Daniel’s thoughtful question.

      The homosexual agenda is integrated in the platform of Democratic Party. I do not know whether the economic plans or acts of the Democrats vs. the Republicans are best for country or world. Were I to come to confident conclusion as to whose economic policies were best, should my vote be based on that alone? I should not vote for a party that supports gay marriage and adoption of children by homosexuals. Should I vote to gain the whole world, at cost of my soul? I will not vote for Sodom and Gomorrah.

  4. dm

    I think Richard Exley says it best: We are called to stand for truth regardless of the cost, but we must always walk humbly and in love. In the past we have spoken truth but without love. As a result we have been perceived as judgmental. Now some Christians refuse to address the issues at all lest they be perceived as intolerant. Both extremes miss the mark. Truth without love is harsh and judgmental even as love without truth is permissive. But when we speak the truth in love it is transformational.

    “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

    Thank you Bishop Coyner for continuing to seek the truth while demonstrating the love of all God’s people, even when that love is perceived to be intolerance and rejection. Prayers to all people to be able to discern God’s call on our lives and the way we live our lives.

  5. Michael

    I agree with Bishop Wenner when she says we need more holy conferenceing on these issue. I would add peaceful as well. I think the biggest thing is the way in which we interpret what the BOD says and how we live by it. I would say from Bishop Hoshibata’s statement about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Is he saying that it has changed or the way we use it? The Gospel has not changed, what has changed is how we share it and use it for our own agendas.

  6. Donna Taylor Martin

    I find it ironic that we can campaign for equality, fair treatment, and cry injustice over one population purportedly “outside” the church walls, while actively treating a group “within” the church walls as “less than.” Yes, I am referring to the plight of Licensed Local Pastors, who until the 1960′s would complete Course of Study and become ordained, but now are a separate caste within the denomination. Perhaps cleaning up the inside isuses within the denomination would make a difference as we seek to bring “outsiders” in.

  7. theospilot

    Thank you Bishop Mike!!

  8. Bev

    Conversations have been held on the issue of inclusivity in our UMC church for decades. Those conversations have not changed the hearts of most of our leaders in the UMC. Those who quote the Bible
    seem to forget the texts that deal with the Great Commandment of Jesus. I decided to follow Jesus a long time ago, not any other. I will continue to follow him wherever he may lead.

  9. Gary

    Thank you Bishop Coyner for speaking up on the issue. It seems that there are many people in the UMC that don’t see the bishops stand up against homosexual practice and I understand why – the libs go nuts and cry “intolerance” and “hate” and when they do take a stand I for one appreciate it. I wonder if Carcano is leading her flock to a better place as she says she hopes the WJ will do in this issue?

  10. Pamela

    KL , your final statement about the homosexuals agenda was off the wall. We are not a product of fatherly abuse. We ARE made in Gods image and our sexuality is a gift from God.
    You do remind me of my own fathers teachings who told me a black man and a white woman should never be together because you do not see a blue bird and a red bird mating.
    Same kind of ignorance and .teaching going on in familys today.
    Try sharing the love of God with all people. Do not exclude people who are different then you.
    We will continue to talk, pray for each other and help members like you to understand that God is the Father of us all.

    1. d

      Do you think all sexualorientation is a gift from God?
      Sexual orientation includes:


      Which, if any, of the above would you reject as a “Gift from God’ and why?
      Do you have a right to make that distinction?
      If so, will you allow others to do the same?

      1. Gin

        D: According to Webster’s dictionary Bestiality is defined as : 1: the condition or status of a lower animal;
        2: display or gratification of bestial traits or impulses; 3: sexual relations between a human being and a lower animal ,
        The definition of pedophilia: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object
        Homosexual: 1: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex; 2: of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex
        Bisexual: 1 a : possessing characters of both sexes : hermaphroditic; b : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward both sexes; 2: of, relating to, or involving both sexes

        I won’t further bore you with the definitions of pan, poly or asexual. Rest assured however, that they are actual orientations. However, bestiality and pedophilia are not sexual orientations. As a bisexual person: I am not a lower animal, I am a human – homo sapien by scientific class. (Ironic isn’t it that we’re all homos by scientific classification? I’ve always found that amusing. ) I desire a long term, monogamous relationship with a consenting adult (someone 18 or older) of either gender. And since I would personally want to persecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who has sex with a minor (and as far as I’m concerned, that is anyone under the age of 18, altho in the State of Oregon, children are considered to be 12 and under), I do not condone sex with minors – I refer to that as “jail bait”.
        Both pedophilia and bestiality ultimately are acts that can, and in my personal opinion, should be illegal and folks committing these ACTS should be persecuted. Our jobs, as adults (18 and over), homo sapiens (humans) and Christians is to PROTECT children (people under the age of 18) and animals (regardless of size – from a gnat to an elephant).
        With the exception of the definitions for the words bestiality, pedophilia, homosexual and bisexual, these are my opinions. They do not reflect the opinions of this website, my local congregation, my friends, family, or my employer. Thank you for your time.

        1. d

          Thank you for the refresher.
          I believe if you look back at homosexual orientation defined by the pro’s at an earlier time you will find homosexuality defined differently than it is today.

          It is apparent from your response you too discriminate where sexual orientation is concerned.
          It seems you too draw lines where sexual orientation is concerned.
          Those that participate in some of the practices listed, think those practices are perfectly normal. They too say they are “born this way” and their sexual orientation is as natural as any other.
          They also feel discriminated against & marginalized.
          So can we agree that to discriminate is necessary ?
          We all called to discern or discriminate against good and bad, what is and is not holy.

          The UMC refers to the inspired Word of God to make those determinations.
          The CC is not accountable to personal feelings and personal convictions made by each and every individual . That would cause a mass of confusion and divisions in the church.
          What is your criteria for determining acceptable sexual orientation and practice in the CC?

          1. Aliceinwonder

            Federal law
            The legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States are complicated by the nation’s federal system of government. Prior to 1996, the federal government did not define marriage; any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, even if that marriage was not recognized by one or more other states (as was the case with interracial marriage before 1967 due to anti-miscegenation laws). With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, a marriage was explicitly defined in federal law as a union of one man and one woman.[18] The CC is not accountable to personal feelings and personal convictions made by each and every individual . That would cause a mass of confusion and divisions in the church. <end q

            Mass confusion and division. Ah, yes. Is that not exactly what we now have? This is why I encourage the homosexuals to leave the UNITED Methodist faith and start their own. If homosexuals are so deeply entrenched in their personal beliefs, they have THE RIGHT TO PURSUE HAPPINESS elsewhere. One of the biggest reasons we fought so very hard for Liberty in the new America was for religious freedom. You could be any religion you want, all of them or even none of them. The UMC has set up their guidelines for specific reasons. If the homosexuals are not happy, they have the right to pursue happiness elsewhere. If I don't like Iowa, I can move to another state. If I don't like the Catholic faith I can become Methodist (and did). I stand strong that they start the Homosexual Pantheon of Gay America (or whatever they would want to call it) and they can write their own set of rules and argue with one another about those. Our book is The Book of Discipline. It is a good and wise book.

            I decided on the UMC as my faith for specific reasons. Should one group of people be allowed to change those reasons, not just for me but for us all, I will resign.

      2. Aliceinwonder

        AMEN. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!

        1. Aliceinwonder

          AMEN AMEN AMEN to d. Thank you d. If one execrable form of sexual behavior is deemed ‘normal’, which will be next in line demanding to be ‘normalized’ ? Would this be next ( the two party system candidates both support Sharia Law)?? > In Islamic law (sharia), marriage (zawaj زواج) is a legal bond and social contract between a man and a woman. Islam recommends marriage, with the age of marriage being whenever the individuals feel ready, financially and emotionally. Polygyny is permitted in Islam under some conditions,[1] but polyandry is forbidden.< Wkiipedia The Muslims also allow marriage to very young female children (considered as pedophilia at this point in time in the U.S.) and as we know, females endure FGM (Wikipedia: Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."[1]) where the clitoris is removed (Wikipedia: FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty. It may take place in a hospital, but is usually performed, without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor, or scissors) . IF WE ALLOW HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE AND CONDONE ALL THAT THEY DO, ALLOW THEM TO BECOME ORDAINED, ETC. WE ARE INDEED OPENING PANDORA'S BOX and if we do, we shall not be able to shut the lid. The wrath that will follow will be indescribable.

  11. Rick Pittenger

    Thank you for your wisdom Bishop Mike… I too have noticed that since I entered fulltime ministry, the words regarding homosexuals has become more and more EXclusive! Good to hear from you! Pulpitt in SD

  12. dan

    Thank you Bishop Coyner for speaking up and giving a voice that supports the covenant that we all share as United Methodists. According to a direct quote from this article, (Bishops) “Hoshibata and Carcaño also both expressed confidence in the church’s continued unity.” Yet their defense of the breaking of the covenant of the Discipline which we all thought we shared only creates disunity. I would ask Bishop Hoshibata and Carcano to justly state which parts of the Discipline can be ignored by anyone who thinks them unjust. Are other UM’s also allowed to treat the Discipline as though it did not exist?

    1. jmh

      Too late. Most UMs treat the Social Principles as if they did not exist. How many of us actually speak and live as though “war is incompatible with Christian teaching”? Who among us allows the “plunder of the earth” to have any meaningful impact on our lives?

      1. Dan

        The Social Principles are different in placement and authoritative magnitude from the Discipline and therefore the consequence and meaning of breaking covenant with the Discipline is far more troubling and divisive than the Social Principles. The two are not comparable.

        1. Dan

          JMH – I just realized I spoke incorrectly, I thought you were referring to the Book of Resolutions. But I still would say that no one should overtly be telling people it is all right to break with the Social Principles or any other part of the Discipline.

  13. d

    Worship of God includes acts of life and lifstyle.
    Worship of God always includes truth and any worship of God that does not include truth is rejectd by God.
    That truth began with Cain.

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.John 4:23

    This is He who came by water and blood; Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 1 John 5: 6-7

    “We should worship him with the truly spiritual worship of faith, love, and holiness, animating all our tempers, thoughts, words, and actions” Wesley’s notes..

  14. Jim

    As the Methodist Church dies, it’s already dead in England, we bicker over little things. Let’s embrace any who want to join us and not condem them for the way they want to live their lives. I’m certain that God isn’t spending any time on this subject or concerned about BOD of the Methodist Church.. Love thy neighbor as thy self.

  15. Michael L. Kundrat

    I seriously doubt there will be any compromising on this issue, whatever “Holy Conferencing” goes on. Neither side will give way, until the opposing side is either silenced or banished. There seems to be NO middle ground. I do believe there will be a split in the United Methodist Church if any stance is taken by the General Conference that differs from the current one in the Discipline. Scripture not culture, must prevail, or the Institutional Church is not the Church, and deserves to perish.

  16. Dolores Fort

    “What we taught centuries ago and called it the Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed with the world and with culture.”

    Doesn’t this statement contradict the one about God being the “same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

    Because more people want to indulge in un-natural ways, we are supposed to change the gospel?

  17. Holly Boardman

    On Sunday, August 26, The CBS Morning Show aired a segment entitled “Fighting at the Ballot Box for the Right to Marry.” In the middle of this rather lengthy cover story about the politics of Washington State, I was shocked to see an interview with a United Methodist clergywoman, Monica Corsaro who presented her own understanding of the validity of same sex unions. CBS reported that Rev. Corsaro had officiated at a “commitment ceremony that was “like a wedding”. It was only “like a wedding” CBS stated because marriage between same sex-couples is illegal in Washington state.

    This is clearly a violation of the Book of Discipline. Rev. Corsaro is obviously aware of this, and by submitting to an interview on CBS, she is obviously seeking to TEST this provision of the Book of Discipline. Her jurisdiction has stated that they will ignore such violations and they seem to be doing so in this case.

    Can the rest of the church allow this violation to go unnoticed? Or will someone test the Western Jurisdiction’s declaration by filing charges in this matter?

    Here is a link to the CBS program.


    1. d

      I am never surprised at what comes out of the IMC.
      Concerned UMC members have been writing and giving warning for years.
      GBCS funds Carcaño who support and promote many far left positions.
      Welcoming the Sojourner, capitalism is the cause of Global Warming, open borders,
      radical guest speakers like Jeremiah Wright and Dr. Virginia Mollenkott have been invited and to UMC Churches and use the pulpit to promote their political agenda.
      Praying with Christ-Sophia at the 1993 Re-Imagining” Conference was reported and defended.
      It was a Methodist ,Sarah Weddington, who would argue in favor of Roe vs. Wade before the US Supreme Court so what’s to surprise.

      The UMC is not unaware of what is and has been going on for years they are derelict in duty. Like the RNC, who would ignore the duty of oversight and duty, the apostasy linger and grows.
      Does anyone believe any Pastor or Elder in the church that publicly announces their division with church doctrine will uphold, teach, promote and enforce the Law and Doctrine of the UMC in the pulpit?

      1. Aliceinwonder

        I am a former Catholic. I was VERY careful in choosing a new faith. I went with the UMC because of its deep roots in Liberty and the work they did in early America. I also liked the fact that they stand firm on marriage between a MAN AND A WOMAN. If the gay community is so terribly unhappy with the UMC they can LEAVE and their supporters can go with them. They can create the Homosexual Pantheon of Gay America or something like that. Why do they have to destroy the UMC simply because they cannot have their own way? Homosexuals are welcome to leave a faith they are unhappy with, just as I left the Catholic one. They are beginning to sound like an annoying barking dog. You just want it to stop.

        1. DDT

          Amen and Amen

  18. Umcinnc

    Well said Alice!

  19. John W. Coleman

    A peaceful, satisfactory resolution to this conundrum seems impossible; and I agree with the commenter who says that church schism–once again–is probably imminent. What’s scarcely mentioned here is the call to elevate Jesus’ teachings on unconditional love, which do not specifically condemn homosexuality, above Old Testament laws and Paul’s apostolic writings. Yes, Jesus said he came to “fulfill the law and not to abolish it,” but his two foremost commandments–to love God and to love one another–were clearly preeminent.

    What’s also not mentioned here is the double-standard that condemns homosexuality as abominable but not divorce and remarriage, which Jesus defines as fornication. Consider the number of ordained clergy who are self-avowed, practicing and also remarried divorcees. And most, if not all, of our churches gladly perform second marriages, do they not? So who gets to say what is unchangeable and unacceptable now or in the future?

    Regarding the response to Bishop Hoshibata, I suppose he meant not that the gospel changes, but that our understanding and appropriation of it can change over time, especially as regards its depth, breadth and shades of meaning in a changing culture.

    1. dan

      John, please tell me the conditions, process and history of the removal of the prohibition of remarriage in the United Methodist branch of Christianity since you used that in your argument.

    2. Randy Burbank

      John, yes Jesus clearly taught that divorce and remarriage is sin–that is–NOT a part of God’s design and plan. But tell me this, do you think that if Jesus forgives us of any sin–even divorce and remarriage–that we are a brand new creation in Christ? But, if a person persists in divorce and remarriage over and over and over, are they really accepting God’s grace to become a new person? Say a person divorces, and genuinely asks God to forgive them and wants to build their lives on God’s principles. Then they find someone who shares their faith in Christ and they marry. Does God still see that person as divorced? Or does He see that they have become truly a new person, embracing God’s design and plans?

      Those who choose to engage in the homosexual expression of sex, and insist it is acceptable, are they really willing to be transformed by God’s grace into that new person, or do they simply want God to say, “Well, since you insist, I’ll change my mind.”?

  20. Rev. James E Brooking

    Thank you Bishops Carcano and Hoshibata! You leadership is a blessing!

  21. Linda Richard

    While I respect Bishop Coyner and all those distressed by the actions of the Western Jurisdiction in addressing the issue of homosexuality etc; I am prayerfully in agreement with the stance taken by the Western Jurisdiction. Sometimes if you truly believe that a position in the discipline is wrong and that another position is right one may have to take a stance such as this. The fact is that voting one way or the other does not always produce the correct decision. So for those of us who believe with heart-felt scripture based prayerful sincerity that the Discipline is in error regarding homosexuality- we must in good conscience seek out to live what we believe to be the truth. I only wish I were still serving in the Oregon-Idaho conference so I would be free to join with others in living out what I believe to be the reality of the Gospel.

  22. Al Kuelling

    It often takes people like Rosa Parks, the Western Jurisdiction, the clergy who perform “commitment ceremonies” and, yes, Jesus to lead the way by doing the “correct” thing before it is accepted as being correct.

    Some day people will say, “Haven’t the Methodists come a long way. They used to not accept Blacks. Then it was homosexuals. And along the way they didn’t accept evolution or human induced climate change either.

    Forgive my Bishop Coyner. He leads in a state that founded the KKK, a Conference that repudiated the official UMC positions on health care, and my city of Fort Wayne complains when the EPA says we should stop dumping raw sewage into our rivers. All would be oK if we would only Holy Conference with each other. Yea, right!?!?!?!?

  23. Kenneth Barr

    Bishop Coyner seems to want progressives to admit defeat and go quietly into that good night. That will simply not happen. The spiritual violence done by the 2012 General Conference cannot and will not go unanswered. It is obvious that the ultra-right wing, which truly does practice a form of neo-colonialism with its implied threats of economic sanctions against the Central Conferences should they vote in a way other than the oxymoronic “Good News” and IRD, we have no other choice than to render the apostasy of hate expressed there to be irrelevant. Bishop talbert sounded the clarion call, the Western Jurisdiction, along with others, have answered. We will practice Biblical Obedience. We will place the Word of God as expressed by Jesus, God the Son and Redeemer and inspired by God the Holy Spirit, ahead of imperect human document known as the Book of Discipline. We will lead the United Methodist Church into the land of sunshine and light known as full inclusion. Let no one doubt this, for no progressive movement for social justice has ever failed.

    1. d

      This is not a war about who wins.
      It is a Theological Split as clear as Universalism vs., Orthodoxy.
      The two will never be able to live in the same house together.
      Gays demand full acceptance and approval of their lifestyle.
      That would require those that believe God’s Word as recorded be compromised , ignored and rejected.
      That is not going to happen anytime in the future.
      Asking the church to “agree to disagree” and remain in the same home is not going to work.
      Using the marriage as the analogy for the church, It is like asking a married couple to live in the same house when they do not agree, cannot agree, and will never agree on a primary issue . That never works.
      The only thing that is accomplished is the appearance of peace when there is a house full of stress, tension, discontentment and resentment. It does not work.

      Look at all the CC who have tried.
      The Episcopal Church and the ELCA being the most recent examples.
      For years they have tried to come to a compromise and in the end they had to split.
      The Theology of the left leaning is not compatible with the right.
      That schism in theology, doctrine considered the bedrock of the CC historically in many persons eyes and as the apostles explained split the church from the beginning of the CC and will continue to do so until the end of time.
      There are some doctrine that cannot and should not be compromised.
      Peter, Paul and a few others went to their death defending the faith so if you think all will willingly walk away from their convictions or compromise them away I think you are mistaken.

      Maybe it would be wise to remember the advice Gamalie gave a long time ago.

      “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
      But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39


      1. Aliceinwonder

        Bravo d! BRAVO!!!! You have my standing ovation.

      2. Linda Richard

        d “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39
        d: I think you were applying this to those who agree with the present stance in the Discipline. But I see it as applying to those who support the stance taken by the Western Jurisdiction. For those of us who believe full-inclusion is of God, we will not be silenced. I feel very as Martin Luther did and I must say: “Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.”

        1. d

          You are correct I do support the present stand and position the UMC has taken.
          I also understand people have strong convictions.

          Martin Luther also said:
          ” The Holy Scriptures surpass in efficaciousness all the arts and all the sciences of the philosophers and jurists; these, though good and necessary to life here below, are vain and of no effect as to what concerns the life eternal. The Bible should be regarded with wholly different eyes from those with which we view other productions. He who wholly renounces himself, and relies not on mere human reason, will make good progress in the Scriptures; but the world comprehends them not, from ignorance of that mortification which is the gift of God’s Word. Can he who understands not God’s Word, understand God’s works? “

          1. Linda Richard

            d – You correctly understand how I thought you were applying the scripture from Acts. My point is that I am equally convinced that full-inclusion of LGBT folks in the Body of Christ is supported by the Bible and I believe it will prove to be God’s will. And yes I support the authority of Scripture and God’s authority as well.

    2. Randy Burbank

      Kenneth, answer me this: Did Jesus commit spiritual violence against the woman presented to Him caught in the act of adultery when He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”?

      1. Kenneth Barr

        Maybe this time Yahoo won’t time me out before I finish posting. You are mixing my metaphor. Jesus was in his role as rabbi, or teacher, at the time you mention. Therefore, no judgement was implied and no violence of any kind done. Contrast that to the obviously angry Jesus in the Temple when He confronted the corrupt and blasphemous money changers. That is the one time we know of when Jesus allowed righteous anger to come through. Remember Jesus’ teaching concerning judgement, “Let those without sin cast the first stone.” Then there is the 2012 General Conference. I will never forget the treatment of Mark Miller, who has done more for the Music Ministry of the UMC than any individual, being told, in effect, to shut up and go stand in the corner. All Mark has ever done in his life is to serve God and Christ’s Church. Yet, he was dealt with in an unnecessarily cruel and cavalier manner because he insisted that General Conference recognize this eternal truth, God’s love for God’s creation is universal and unconditional. Those why deny this basic truth, those who would deny God’s love to any part of God’s creation, or put conditions on that love, are in denial of God’s Holy Word. Those who are in denial of God’s Hole Word are in voluntary separation from God, which means they have placed themselves in Hell. Those who do this do it to themselves, neither God nor anyone else did it to them. This is the spiritual violence I speak of and it is done not by God the Father/Creator, not God the Son/Redeemer, not God the Holy Spirit/Inspiration. It is done by those who have eyes but do not see, have ears but do not hear, have souls but cannot love unconditionally or accept unconditional love. Maybe Paul Simon said it best. They live in the sounds of silence, deafened by the cacophony of their own pain.

  24. Aliceinwonder

    Mr. Barr,

    Please explain “spiritual violence”. Is having an opposing opinion violent? Oh wait….I forgot. This is the former USA. It is run by socialists who do not want religious patriots speaking.

    Christ’s final commandment to us was that we love one another. Simply because I do not agree with or condone homosexuality doesn’t mean I hate anyone, for I do not. Nor does it make me violent. I am deeply offended.

    The thing I find the most tragic out of this is the time wasted on the entire subject. Can we please just get back to doing the work of Christ? Can we please become the disciples we all should be? Can we please fill the food pantries, house the homeless, provide clothing to those who cannot stay warm, get books and supplies to Rwanda and other savagely brutalized countries and people? Can we please get medicine to those who need it? But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…arguing about sex is so much more important. How can anyone not see that the darkness is swelling up around us and will drown us all if we do not focus on what is truly important and it is not sex, sex partners, etc.

    I don’t care if you want to marry your toaster. Go right ahead. Just don’t ask to do it in the UMC and I’m not coming to your parade. I don’t want my grandsons to have to read “Suzy loves her toaster” and be forced to think it is “normal”. For God’s sake (and I mean that in the literal sense) PLEASE stop.

    If the homosexuals are so terribly unhappy, they need to start their own faith. But then who would they cry to?

    Please people….let’s get back to doing God’s work. Look at the time and energy wasted here. That in itself is sinful.

    1. Penny

      Ms. Alice

      On Saturday 10/20 morning, I found on front page of UMC Newsletter, the title of article: ‘Bishop faults jurisdiction’s gay issues stand.’ At 7:12 a.m., I posted a comment to Daniel’s thoughtful question that asked how the two contradictory positions, that homosexual practices are ordained and blessed by God, vs. they are not, could be reconciled? My comment was accepted. But before noon, the article was apparently deleted from the UMC Newsletter. I looked again, and I still can’t find it in Newsletter or in 52 pages of archives. During search, I found numerous articles that make it sound like the UMC is poised to go way of other denominations who have capitulated to homosexual pressure to accept their practices. This article, in which Bishop Mike gives hope that it is not so, is not there.

      Daniel posted comment that observed that to “live in tension” and “stay in conversation” to fight this costly, spiritually draining battle was something few people have patience to do.

      Please stand and fight. Be prepared to be called a ‘bigot,’ ‘homophobe,’ and worse. The position that homosexual practices are ordained and blessed by God is at the opposite pole of the position that God did not design or authorize any man to use his body parts as homosexuals use them. Whether persons who accept one position are perfect saints, or love or hate persons who embrace the opposite position, is IRRELEVANT to which position is right. (How effective it is to thus change subject!) Just quote Scripture that says what is says. If one quotes only Scripture, that condemns the practice, the writer of Scripture must absorb the pain of being called a bigot, homophobe or hateful. Adhering to what Scripture says has been costly to every person who ever chosen to do it.


      1. Aliceinwonder

        I too have had the experience of responses deleted/removed, etc.
        Welcome to Socialism. Isn’t it great?

        As for scripture, I believe 1 Romans vs 18-32 explains homosexuality vividly well. I refuse to call them gay. They are homosexuals.

        I’ve been called names before. They can throw all the darts they wish. I don’t care.

        I have worked with many homosexuals in the past and am still friends with one male homosexual. We get along famously good but he is very rare example of someone who simply says we agree that we disagree on certain subjects. He is my friend and always will be. We do not judge one another or try to push our beliefs on each other. We give and receive RESPECT. I’m very sorry more homosexuals cannot be the same way. I have found with any other homosexual I have met, if I do not agree with or support their agenda I get bashed big time, not to mention having to endure the drama queen theatrical episodes, which I give no reaction to. Such behavior does not deserve attention.

        Again, homosexuals have the right to pursue happiness….not be GIVEN it or to take other’s happiness away. If they do not find happiness in the UMC they are free to pursue it elsewhere.

        God’s blessings to all.

        1. Penny

          Ms. Alice:

          It is not a response or comment, but the entire 10/15 article entitled ‘Bishop faults jurisdiction’s gay issues stand,’ with all comments, that was apparently deleted from the UMC Newsletter yesterday 10/20 before noon. The article and all comments is now posted on another site called UMC Connections. Other news articles that are still posted on the UMC Newsletter are dated 10/1 and 10/2, while this one, dated 10/15, is gone. I wonder who made decision to remove this article from original site? For what reason? I shared this info with my local pastor this morning, who suggested I pursue answer. If anyone knows answer, please reply.

          The simple question is this: Does God design or authorize males (or females) to utilize their body parts in homosexual practices? Scripture clearly says ‘No.’ Scripture clearly states that persons who do so are judged/condemned. Calling me names will hurt my feelings, but it won’t stop me from quoting what Scripture says, or change what it says. My position may lose battles in the short-run, but in the long run, the Word of God endures forever.

          God loves drug addicts and alcoholics, but commands them to stop toxic behavior. This principle applies to all sinful behavior that God commands to be mortified. To tell a person it is OK to perform acts that God in His Word condemns: that is hateful.

          It is my prayer that the UMC stands firm on this issue. Its members should resolve to speak the Truth from Scripture to all homosexual gain-sayers who want the UMC to change its position. Homosexuals have no arguments against verses in Scripture. Their arguments or reasons from other sources should not be addressed. Accusations of being hateful, etc. should be ignored.


          1. Aliceinwonder

            There were far more people against homosexuality than for it so pulling the article truly has little surprise. Hide the truth.

            I highly commend and stand with you in your beliefs. I feel the same identical way about homosexuality as I do a priest molesting a little boy. It sickens me.

            I know of a woman who put her son in the Big Brother program because after the divorce, this boy’s father moved to another state and had almost no contact with his son. One day he had a dad, the next day he didn’t. The Big Brother molested this boy and convinced him he was gay.

            The government run public schools are now reading homosexual books to kindergartners so they will be indoctrinated from a very young age and parents are NOT allowed to remove their child from that class time and can be arrested if they try. Your only other choice is private school or home schooling, which are far better choices than government run schools for a vast variety of reasons beside this one.

            I hope you do find out where the articles, etc disappeared to. Please let us all know.

            I’m with you 100%

            God’s Blessings to you,

    2. Kenneth Barr

      I have explained it in another post and although I did check the boxes requesting notification none came. Hence, I’m a few days late responding. Murphy’s First Law of Digital Communication is true, to err is human to foul things up you need computers. It was not that the Book of Discipline remains unchanged, but that those who tried to do so were treated so shabbily by those who were charged with “engaging in prayerful conversation,” in other words, chairing the debate. I refer to the horrendous treatment of Mark Miller, who has done more for the music ministry of the UMC than just about anyone since John and Charles Wesley as well as others. I am referring to the shameful appearance of the Westboro Baptist folks, who visit their brand of spiritual violence on those who mourn the loss of loved ones. I am talking about the utter contempt shown by some for the dictum John Wesley taught us, as taken from Hippocrates, “Above all, do no harm.” In another place here, several people I agree with philosophically have called for a separation from the UMC. I do not agree with this for I know from my own heritage, that of a son of survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, that running away from one’s challenges only creates more challenges. Wouldn’t it have been better that in the face of the unspeakable evil that was Nazism there was a massive uprising by civilization against it rathe than waiting for a world cataclysm to deal with it? Yet, when those of good faith feel thay have dealt with in a less than loving way, as occured at General Conference, feelings of alienation are bound to happen.

  25. Randy Burbank

    I am glad to hear Bishop Conyer’s comments. His is the voice of reason. It is true, the church is for all people. We all miss the mark when it comes to God’s standard, but the church should never compromise on any issue just because we miss that mark. We can stand against sin in ALL forms and also welcome people who are held captive by sin into our congregations. While some, like many in the Western Jurisdiction, claim that we who agree with the church’s stance on homosexuality are uncaring and ignoring the Gospel, we are not ignoring Jesus’ most basic commandment of love. It is possible to love the person, but not their sin. I admit that some are outright hateful and judgmental, but do not lump the rest of us into that category. Only one form of sexual expression is given as God’s gift to us and it is that between husband and wife. Any other form of sexual expression exists outside of God’s plan and will.

    It seems to be that those who endorse the Western Jurisdiction’s resolution have violated our ordination vows. Should that not be a chargeable offense? We can welcome into our congregations the abuser without approving their abuse. We can welcome into our congregations (with safeguards) the pedophile without approving their lifestyle. We can welcome the drug addict, alcoholic, and all others without approving or even condemning them. What we are called to do is offer unto all, including ourselves, the grace of God that transforms us all into God’s design and image AND to share Jesus’ own admonition to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Go, and sin no more.”. I applaud Bishop Conyer’s approach and pray for our congregations for grace, wisdom, and discernment.

    In His Grace,

  26. J.B.

    As we change thru history…be it due to changes in DNA or whatever, caused by earth’s gravity, exposure to GMOs or whatever… Imagine the year 3012 — who have we become. Now. Look at us–them. Can you embrace them, feed them, protect them from genocide? Maybe they have new sexual features then… Maybe more like lizards of sci-fi in order to deal with the environmental changes. Can Jesus’ love adapt? We MUST adapt now to the reality we live in do that we can stop this constipation of love and get on with loving! So much love is needed and we all need to grow in love. So much. I know I need to. Please stop hardening hearts– that is the easy way. Let’s explore the more difficult path…and see who we can become together. Together we have a world to feed, clothe and be alongside.

  27. Randy Burbank

    Why does the rejection of a particular sexual orientation equal hate? Why is it that by those who want acceptance of the homosexual expression of intimacy insist that those of us who reject it as an acceptable form of intimacy do not love? I freely admit that as a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, an ordained U.M. pastor, that I am NOT perfect. I admit, to my own shame, that I often miss the mark that God has established for all people. I know that Jesus said not to condemn–and thankfully, through His grace I have learned this priceless lesson.

    But Jesus also said you will know a tree by its fruit. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my imperfections do not disqualify me from speaking out against sin as long as I do not condemn the sinner. My view, according to my understanding of the Sacred Writ, is that the only sexual expression that was designed and approved by God, is the intimacy between husband and wife. I do NOT condemn (hate/fear/whatever else I may be called or condemned/judged by those who disagree with me), ANY person imprisoned by sin, but I consistently offer the grace that has changed, is changing and one day will change me into the perfect image of Jesus to everyone without regard to age, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or any other human device that tries to divide us.

    It just hit me: here I am being called a “hater”, “judge”, “condemner” “phobic” by those who insist that I am wrong, and often I find that I am being judged and hated by those who tell me I shouldn’t hate or judge anyone…..

    1. Aliceinwonder

      You are a hater, judge, condemner, phobic because you will not yield to the homosexual agenda. They will not give in until they have their way and force the UMC to approve of unnatural sex. They feel nothing about taking up precious time, space, energy, etc for their agenda. The past two Annual Conferences I attended was drenched in the homosexual agenda.

      Their homosexual agenda is more important than feeding the hungry, helping those who have lost their homes, the jobless in America, the children who have no warm coats for winter, it is more important than getting books and supplies to countries ravaged by genocide so they can restock their schools and churches that were destroyed. It is more important than getting medicine to those who cannot get it. It is more important that getting the Word to those who have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. Never in my whole entire life have I ever seen such a selfish group of people. They have even forced their agenda into the government run public school systems by forcing kindergartners to be taught that homosexuality is normal and if you try to remove you child from the classroom while this is taught, you can and will be arrested. Only this is important to them. Discipleship comes in dead last if you can even see it on their list at all.

      So hello to a fellow hater, judge, condemner, phobic. We are not allowed our opinion or to stand up for the Word without being condemned for it. Mark 13:13 Matthew 5:10 John 15:18-20 2 Timothy 3:12

      Stay strong. Pray. Love. Pray!! Fast and PRAY. As you well know, we do not hate homosexuals. We do not hate anyone.


      1. Kenneth Barr

        There you go, Aliceinwonder, with a “homosexual agenda.” An agenda? The LGBTQ want you to “accept …unnatural sex?” No, there is where you cross the line into hatred. No one wants you to accept anything you don’t want to in your life. What the LGBTQ want is to be accepted as God’s creation, which they undoubtedly are since they are here. They want to live their private lives as we do. They don’t want to be judged by what they are, but who. Imagine being judged less than worthy due to your gender. You would be up in arms and rightly so. Imagine being judged by your religious beliefs, as I have been throughout my life as the first 40.5 years of my life were spent in Judaism and I am now a Jewish Christian. I reject anyone who says I will not be “saved” because I don’t believe as they do in their “one true faith.” Yes, Alice, you hate. You hate because you put limits on God’s creation. You accept without question a Bible which is a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I read Leviticus, a book dear to my heart since I am a Levite in the community of Israel (not to be confused with the country in Asia Minor), much differently than you. I see commandment and explanation rather than individual verses un-connected to each other. As I read the book which commands my tribe, the commandment is Thou shalt not commit adultery. What follows in both Lev 18 and 20 are explanations of adulterous acts. What is the first requirement for that sin? The individual committing it must be married. I see no condemnation of an unmarried individual “laying with a man as he would a woman (which is also a biological impossibility).” It is the married person who is prohibited from that, just as they are forbidden from laying with their mother-in law, daughter-in-law and wife of another. Interesting how the man is the only one mentioned. Does that mean a woman can do all these things? No, it doesn’t.

        When you say too much time at General Conference is being wasted on those sections of the Book of Discipline dealing with LGBTQ, you once again betray your hate. I guess you assume you have never received communion from anyone who is gay. That assumption would be wrong based on statistics. You probably also assume you have never received ministry from a gay person. That would also be wrong based on statistics. The fact is LGBTQ have been ordained as Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Elders in Full Connection since the very beginning of Christian Ministry, just as Rabbis and High Priests (in the days when Judaism had High Priests). Yet, the Book of Discipline denies ordination for “…self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.” Think about the word “practicing.” I don’t know about you but my wife and I have this sex thing down after nine plus years of marriage. We’ve produced a daughter. I’d say our practicing days are over and we’ve been ready for the real thing for quite a while now. Words are very important. The use, or misuse, of them can make all the difference. Just ask the jury in the Amy DeLong trial.

        As a denomination, the United Methodist Church has fallen behind the United Church of Christ, The Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Episcopal Church of the US in termas of growth. I submit it is because our official policy is to render the LGBTQ community into second class status while they have welcomed them as equals in all matters, including ordination and marriage. The day may come when you sit down in your pew and notice you’re the only one there. Everyone else left for a place where they will welcomed without condition. This I know from bitter, personal experience. Being alone is a hell unique to itself. I wish it on no one for I once suffered it.

        Finally, you may rightly ask what my motivation is. Simple, I am the son a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and the cousin of one who was one of the first murdered at Dachau. He suffered his fate not just because he was Jewish, not just because he was an outspoken opponent of the Nazis and their infamous leader in his hometown of Nuremberg, Julius Streicher, and not just because he was gay. My people have had backs turned on them throughout history. I will not and must not ever turn my back on anyone. For me, that is the ultimate sin and one which not even Jesus, the ultimate Redeemer, could ever absolve me. That would be the ultimate sin of commission, a sin I know to be wrong yet do. Above all, as Hippocrates and John Wesley direct, I will do no harm. I will dream what may be impossible, fight what might be unbeatable and bear what may be unbearable. I do it not because I am some kind of superior life form. I am not, I put my trousers on the same way everyone else does, one leg at a time. I do it because my God, the Creator, Redeemer and Inspiration demand it of me. That demand is expressed by this wonderful definition of God’s Love and Work, “Infinite diversity through infinite combinations.” Never put limits on God, as I once did by denying the divinity of Jesus. God is limitless and God’s creative power is limitless.

    2. Kenneth Barr

      It becomes hate when violence is done. I submit you don’t wish to do violence, spiritual or otherwise. However, in my opinion, the general Conference and the Book of Discipline has done and continues to do violence and deny God’s love to LGBTQ by their words and deeds. While in one section the BOD says, “All have sacred worth and are welcome at God’s table,” it then specifies that “homosexuality is inconsistent with Christian teachings,” no self-avowed, practicing homosexual will be ordained or allowed to continue as an elder in full connection,” and “no UMC funds wil be made available to organizations that promote homosexuality.” Then there is Judicial Council Decision 1042, which allows a parish minister to decide who is worthy of membership in their respective congregations and that decision cannot be cha,,enged, even it is based on a violation of the “sacred worth” doctrine. I submit to you that this constitutes a deliberate pattern of denigrating a portion of God’s creation due to what they are, not who. Or, to put in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., judging not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin. I don’t not call you a hater nor do I accuse you of spiritual violence. I don’t know you and have no evidence that you carry that guilt. Without evidence, one should never accuse. There is far too much of that in the world today. No, my condemnation is of an institution and it is based on its words and deeds. I know many who agree with your position on LGBTQ who are outraged as me over what happened in Tampa. They saw it as a rejection of John Wesley’s prime directive for Christian life, “Above all, do no harm.”

      1. Aliceinwonder

        Homosexuality has been around for a very long, long time. Greek statues show adored the naked MALE. However, God made his point vividly clear on this subject in Romans1: vs 18-32 (pay close attention to vs 26-27) and in Jude 1:7 .

        Once you know homosexuality is a sin and do not seek therapy (plus hormone treatment) then it is a choice to be this way. There are paths out of it. Those who decide to stay know the wrath that awaits.

        Donna…thank you for bringing some humor to this as well as pointing out the “slogan” (like hope and change).

        I pray the UMC stands firmly on this subject.

      2. Randy Burbank

        To deny ordination is NOT, I repeat, NOT to deny love. To reject that homosexuality is an acceptable expression of intimacy while rejecting the Biblical admonishment that sexual intimacy is ONLY acceptable between husband and wife is NOT, I repeat, NOT to deny love. These are NOT mutually exclusive positions. Jesus did not exclude tax-collectors from His love, but I see no where that he approves it as acceptable either. It seems to me that those on the side of the accepting homosexuality as now being an ordained way of intimacy (i.e. sex) have chosen to label those of us who disagree as being people without love, God’s love. While some (who fail to grasp how unworthy they are of God’s love) do in fact condemn and hate the GLBT community, it does NOT mean that others of us who cannot, for sake of conscience, accept homosexuality as an approved form of intimacy, that we condemn and hate. Quite frankly, I am tired of being labeled by those whom I genuinely love in Christ.

        1. Kenneth Barr

          Unfortunately, you do not see that to deny that which available to others, such as ordination and marriage, is to deny love. It infers that those who are denied are lesser in some way. They are not. At my church, Church of St Paul and St Andrew, we have an associate pastor who has demonstrated all the gifts required to become a Minister of Word and Sacrament. She will be ordained. Perhaps not in the UMC, but she will be ordained. The loss is the UMC’s, not hers and not ours. We will have a fully ordained minister and the UMC will not be able to use her gifts.

          I also do not accept that the Bible demands that heterosexual love is the only accdeptable love. The passages in Leviticus, the book which rules my tribe in Israel (not to be confused the the present country in Asia Minor) refers to definitions of adultery. In fact, most of the commands in Leviticus refer back to the ten described in Exodus 20. Some notable exceptions are the commandments relating to festivals and dietary laws. The passage in Romans deals with the hypocrisy of Rome in sexual matters, where the common people were condemned for what was perfectly acceptable if done by the ruling class. Paul’s attitude towards Rome is one of the significant non-religious dicta in his epistles. Seeing that he once served Rome, he was in a unique postion to comment and criticize

          Finally, there is the story of Peter and his trip to see Cornelius described in Acts 10. His hunger while on his journey leads him into a daydream where he sees the Heavenly Host bring fourth a bounty of food, all of it not kosher. When he is told to take the food and eat, he demurs, saying, “Nothing profane shall pass these lips.” The reply is one of the most profound in all scripture, Acts 10:15, “What God has made clean, you will not call profane.” Later, once he has arrived at Cornelius’ home, he is asked why he has come as Jewish law forbade Jews from visiting Gentiles. It is then that he realizes what the vision was all about, there is now a New Covenant. This he explains to those who question him. There is much in Scripture that had been described as profane. God’s unconditional gift of grace of Jesus as our Redeemer changed a great deal of that. Jesus did tell us what the greatest commanment is, we must love God wit all our hearts, soul and mind, as stated in Deuteronomy 6 and forms what is now referred to as the watchword of the Jewish faith. Then he said the second is as the first, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is Leviticus 19:18. To put it another way, no one is superior to the other. We all put our trousers on the same way, one leg at a time.

          1. Randy Burbank

            Interesting Ken, very interesting. So, if I understand you correctly, the Acts 10 passage does NOT relate to Peter’s view of Gentiles as a racial people, correct? IF (and I did say IF) the passage does not relate to racial groups (i.e. Gentiles), then let’s explore further the part that says “What God has made clean, you will not call profane.”

            How, then does God make clean? I understand, at the heart and core of God, is His act of redemption, for this is what the Cross is all about. What does redeem then mean? If I remember correctly, it is a term that comes out of the slave trade. To “redeem” someone is to pay the necessary price for a slave (slave being someone under the control and influence of another) and then setting them free. On that Cross, Jesus redeems everyone, and then offers that redemption as a gift to be accepted by faith. Until the gift is accepted by a person, they remain a “slave” to sin. (Wesley’s Justification by Faith).

            When the gift is accepted, and God redeems someone (that is, “they are not unclean/profane”) 3 things occur:
            1. A person is forgiven the debt of sin–which is eternal separation from God;
            2. They are released from the guilt and condemnation that sin creates;
            3. They are then given a new heart along with that new power to resist sin in all forms that otherwise we could not resist, but become enslaved to sin again.

            In Romans 5:1-2 Paul wrote: “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” The context of Paul’s comments was the struggle between wanting to do right but doing wrong. How can we escape that conflict? He reminds us that it is through Jesus and the power He gives us of resist and overcome temptations and sin.

            To apply Peter’s vision to the agenda at hand, is a far stretch in my view. If your assertion that God has changed His mind about the only acceptable expression of sexual intimacy, then that God is untrustworthy. If he changes his mind once, who’s to say he won’t change his mind again? And again? And again? Oh, by the way, when did Paul serve Rome? I thought he was a student of the Pharisees?

          2. Kenneth Barr

            No, no, and no. First the easiest one, Paul when he was called Saul was a Tax Collector. I do believe those taxes were Roman. Now, don’t you remember Jesus saying he was neither Jew nor Gentile/Greek? Peter was living that. Racial? How about that we are all human? Please don’t bother to reply, I’ve become extremely tired of the functionally illiterate.

          3. Randy Burbank

            I thought Paul was a tent maker?? Looking for references to Saul the Tax Collector. Would you be so kind as to help a functionally illiterate like myself? I do love history and love to learn from it. Few things would make me happier than to stop being functionally illiterate. By the way, I just feel the love from you! Thanks Brother!

          4. Peggy Adm

            I agree. One post said something about denying love to these people. Love is not always accepting. And it certainly is not accepting a blatant disregard of scripture. Love is pointing the right way. Love is offering salvation. Remember, God told Ezekial, “if you warn the wicked of his ways and he does not turn, his blood is on his own head, but if you do not warn him, his blood will be on YOUR head.”

          5. Randy Burbank

            By the way, Kenneth, this functionally illiterate person just read Acts 10. Paul was not on his journey to Cornelius when he had his vision. The envoy from Cornelius was on their way. Peter was on the roof….or is Acts 10 wrong? Also, did I read your post correctly that it was Cornelius (or one of his friends) who asked Peter why he came since the Talmud prohibited such contact? Please help this functionally illiterate person become enlightened. When I read Acts 10, I see no one asking Peter the question, rather Peter responding to those present about the Talmud and his (Peter) regard to the Talmud (meaning he did not give credence to such a ridiculous rule). It seems to this functionally illiterate person that Peter had yet another epiphany concerning the scope of the Gospel. But alas, I realize that this is just the view of yet another functionally illiterate person…..

          6. Peggy Adm

            In reference to Paul being a tentmaker: Tent in the Hebrew refers to tallits, the prayer shawl with the 613 knots to represent the 613 Commandments given to Moses. Paul did not make ‘tents’ as we in Western theology think. The tent was prayer shawls. Tents were only used by bedoins in those days. Paul was an observant Jew to the day he died along with his belief in the Messiah, but he made tallits, prayer shawls.

          7. Randy Burbank

            This question is for Peggy: I looked up the Acts 18:3 passage, and from Strong’s concordance (I realize this is limited) it uses the Greek word “skēnopoios” which is defined as “one that makes small portable tents, of leather or cloth of goat’s hair or linen, for the use of travelers”. This functional illiterate would love to know the source of the use of the Hebrew word “tallits” as it relates to Acts 18:3. Thanks for the information…..from one battling functional illiteracy.

  28. Kenneth Barr

    The phrase in line 9 of my previous post should read “…cannot be challenged…” Apologies for the typo.

    1. Michael

      I have been following some of these post and I am just really worried about what is coming out from some folks. Do I agree with the lifestyle, No, but I am also not going to twist things to fit an agenda. The BOD is not very clear on this and everyone has interpreted the wording in so many ways over the years. Yet every four years when we gather fro General Conference the same things happen, folks come in with an agenda on how to disrupt or ingnore these issues and it is slowly, whether you want to admit it or not, splitting the church. When we read that we can’t even agree to disagree what kind of message does that send. No matter how we live we are all God’s children. We say that all are welcome to our churches, to the table, “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” I am sorry from some of the things I have seen it seems like we are anything but.

      1. Donna

        Let’s get one thing straight (no pun intended). “Open hearts, open doors, open minds,” is an advertising slogan – it is NOT the doctrine of the United Methodist Church. It was intended to be a catchy phrase like, “Choosy mothers, choose Jif,” and it apparently has succeeded. But, please do NOT use it as your defense of the doctrine of the United Methodist Church, the Holy Bible and the Book of Discipline, including the Articles of Religion should be used as your source for the doctrine of the United Methodist Church.

      2. d

        Michael , Folks are frustrated and that is what you are hearing.

        Those that hold scripture as the Inspired Word of God cannot agree to disagree due to theological position that is self explanatory

        Some cannot agree to disagree because they do not know what we are agreeing to disagree on.
        I suggest many in the church haven’t the slightest idea of what is being promoted here.
        They are short on facts and long on opinion.

        There is a site online called lgbtproject.wiki and is a place to start investigating.
        Read what Sullivan says about monogamy and same sex marriage.
        Learn what Pansexual,omnisexual,anthrosexualand pomosexual mean
        Read what bi-sexuality really is and then think of what the UMC would be required to embrace.

        The information cannot be called bias because it is a pro-gay site and it is agood place to start.

        1. Aliceinwonder

          The timing on this could not have been better. I got a phone call from my (38 year old) daughter tonight. She is roomies with her friend Cara. They’ve been best friends since junior high. Both my daughter and Cara date MEN. Cara lost her job and has no health insurance. My daughter has superior health insurance. So they are going to get married so Cara can have my daughter’s health care insurance. My daughter has a secure job and Cara has been unemployed (by that I mean unable to find a decent job) for over a year, the bank took her house. There are no jobs with a living wage and insurance in their area. Cara has a couple of part time minimum wage jobs that will never offer insurance, retirement, etc. There are no real jobs (in the U.S.) and it is getting worse. I’m hoping they’ll hold off because my daughter’s insurance will change a lot after elections when the ObombA – Romney government controlled “health” “care” kicks into action.

          But I just want to thank the homosexual community for helping to make marriage a complete joke. It is not something sacred. This is not a union between two people ‘in love’. This one is a marriage for health insurance. All I can do is shake my head and wish Calgon really truly could take me away.

          BTW, the divorce attorneys can hardly wait for all of the money they will be rolling in when the ‘gay’ (hahaha, sorry couldn’t help that one) divorces begin. I know of one gay woman who has been divorced twice now and is “engaged” again. Both ceremonies were conducted by a WITCH and she does not celebrate Christmas but Halloween at her house is an impressive, major event.

          God’s patience must surely be running out. Mine would have a LONG time ago if I were Him, so it’s probably a good thing He is still in charge. I would have nuked this whole mess years ago.

          Thanks for letting me rant. I’m up to my eyeballs sick to death of this ridiculous, inexcusably insane subject. I think I’ll go pray.

          1. Peggy Adm

            Alice, I really feel for you. I will pray for your daughter. You may also tell her that she should stand strong on the the Word of God and not compromise her beliefs just for the sake of health insurance. He can heal her of any affliction and deliver her from her circumstances if she will just follow Him. I will also pray for you. I know what it feels like to get callouses on your knees from praying for your kids!!! God Bless.

          2. Aliceinwonder


            It does not matter if you vote for o bomb a or Romney. O bomb A= four more years of Bushbama. Romney = four years of BushbamaRomney. They are bought and paid for sock puppets owned by the world bankers. Russell Means describes it all in pure perfection: http://youtu.be/-LA-S64QY3o Russel Means died this month. I was deeply heartbroken.

            I will not condone (with my vote) homosexuality or abortion. I will not have the blood of our troops or that of any other on my hands through my vote. I will not vote for someone who will further desecrate our precious Constitution. My vote goes to Gary Johnson.

            Peggy Adm,

            Thank you for your prayers. This is a difficult situation and I hope they will just hang tight for a while. I also pray that Annual Conferences will eliminate the homosexual subject. I am sick to death of it consuming almost 50% of our time.


            Thanks for that link. Sullivan is the perfect example of someone who is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

            To all,

            I am just waiting. The day is coming quickly when homosexuals will discover there are things FAR more important than their sexual desires.
            I will continue to fast and pray plus listen to The Survival Podcast and prepare for the difficult times that are coming to the United States. We have become a nation of un-educated, self consumed, apathetic sheep. Sheep that are lost. And the ONLY way to be found is to return to our Christian roots, teach our children the Constitution and about the men who formed it and rebuild our strength through God. BTW, you will not find the word “democracy” anywhere in the Constitution.

            Alexander Tyler, (in his 1770 book, Cycle of Democracy):
            “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a louse fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

            History is about to repeat itself yet again as we have reached the dependency stage. Will we NEVER learn?
            Friends, take great care in casting your votes and pray deeply that Americans wake. Time is very short.


  29. Peggy Adm

    What is so hard to understand about , “He turned them over to a reprobate mind?” Romans 1:27 says,”Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the PENALTY of their ERROR which was due.” That’s the New Testament, not the Old.

  30. Aliceinwonder

    http://marriageada.org/?REF=EB121027NANT I really hope this will shed some light on what is truly going on.

    I stand strong.

    Blessings to all,

    1. Sherry


      After reading the comments… I have to say I am with you! Having people with this agenda could so easily go create their own kind of church. Honestly, there are so many of us that don’t feel that there is a place in our church for this belief to embrace. I’m sure they can have all their human made beliefs they desire else where. As for my family..We believe in following our Lord and our wise Book. We are praying that Obama does Not have another 4 years! Very scary to think of what will come next not having to worry about being elected again. We are living in such uncertain times and for the first time in our lives…we are afraid of the future. I want people to come to our Lord and become committed Christians. Which following Christ does not included mens doing sinful unatural sexual acts with each other…Or womens doing sinful unatural acts with each other!

    2. Peggy Adm

      Alice: are you Native? I am in part and admired Russell Means. As to the vote, sounds more like you really lean to Romney, which I do too. Esp. after I saw the video of what really happened in Benghazi.

  31. Randy Burbank

    One more question for everyone: What is the view of homosexuality in the Koran? I need the exact reference, not just an opinion or view….quote source please (the “b0ok-chapter-verse”) and how does the Koran say about what to do with homosexuals.

    1. Peggy Adm

      Randy: Why in the name of the Good Lord do you care what the Koran says???? Are the Methodists going the route of the Presbyterians and touting Christlam, a blend of Islam and Christianity? Stand on the Word of God, not the word of Allah, who is not god, but a false deity. BTW, the Koran says stone them. Good enough???

    2. Peggy Adm

      Randy, sorry if I sound harsh but you have no idea what I’ve had to deal with concerning the issue of muslims. To your questions re the tallit: The Greek does render it different as it does many things in the NT. However, the correct reading (and you may want to get the Hebrew translation by David Sterns available in most bookstores) gives more insight. I cross ref everything now in the Hebrew, sometimes the Greek , but falling back on the Hebrew is the more accurate. After all, the first converts were Hebrew speaking Jews and the Greek came in later even though the NT was first written in Greek, you have to get the Hebrew gist of it before you can really grasp the meaning. I can give numberous examples that would blow you away but not enough space here.OK, one is the woman with the issue of blood. It says she grabbed the ‘hem of His garment’. When you research it out in the Greek, she grabbed
      the tassel on his tallit that the Rabbi’s wore and got healed.

      1. Randy Burbank

        Thanks Peggy, and the reason I asked about the Koran, was that we, United Methodist disciples of Jesus who will not compromise on the issue of acceptability, are called fear and hate mongers. There is no doubt, that you find more grace in United Methodism than in Islam, and that is my point. While we are accused of being unreasonable, uncaring, unloving, take a look around and see where the real grace is at.

    3. Peggy Adm

      Sorry, I meant, when you research it out in Hebrew, not Greek!!!

  32. Starr Weaver

    In 1988 The General Conference authorized a Committee to Study Homosexuality with the mandate to take account of the theological and ethical scholarship, seek the best biological, psychological, and sociological information and opinion. The overwhelming majority of the committee concluded that certain assertions were true. They concluded their report with this recommendation: “The present state of knowledge and insight in the biblical, theological, ethical, biological, psychological, and sociological fields does not provide a satisfactory basis upon which the church can responsibly maintain the condemnation of all homosexual practice.” See “The Church Studies Homosexuality,” Study Book, Gary L. Ball-Kilbourne, ed. (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1994), p. 35. As the General Conference has so often done, it chose to take no legislative action on the findings and recommendation of its own committee. Also, in the 1996 Book of Discipline, par. 69C, it states “We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ”.

    1. Aliceinwonder

      As I watch the United States comes to a close, I must say it has been very interesting reading comments and participating in this discussion. Tearing the churches apart is a HUGE step in the fall of the country. It’s working. Homosexuality made for the perfect weapon.

      When I would pull in to the church parking lot I would just shake my head at Obama bumper stickers on “Christian” cars. Pro war, pro abortion, pro homosexuality. And Christians voted for him? Yes. I saw a man with a shirt that said “Proud Catholic Obama supporter”. I was stunned. A Catholic homosexual-abortion supporter???? Yes, we are that far gone.

      Yes, war is incompatible with the teachings of Christ. So we either follow the Bible or we don’t. That’s the bottom line here, isn’t it? The only way there can be war is if people continue to butcher one another. I believe there should be an all out boycott on enlisting.

      I voted for Ron Paul. The “former” Libertarian who follows what our founding fathers fought so hard for. A vote for Owe Bomb A or R-money would mean I would have the blood of the butchered unborn on my hands. I would have the blood of our troops and those they are force to murder on my hands. And I could NOT bear that thought. Ron Paul’s view on homosexuality were…be/do what you want…this is America. If you want to be homo, go right ahead. But RP does NOT tolerate those who wish to tread on the rights of others.

      The issue of homosexuality will die off soon. People will be worrying about a place to live and any food to eat. Taxes are about to skyrocket and unemployment will soar so high that it will make your head burst. Churches will close. Companies will close.

      Soon, very soon, people will learn what is important and it’s not their genital urges.

  33. Delsa Mock

    This looks awfully similar to the libertarians trying to take over the Republican Party – they have an agenda which will never work, but they want the credibility of the Republican brand. Similarly, we are United Methodists, we have a Book of Discipline, and those who choose to ignore it should start their own movement and do what they can with it.

    The key is finding out how to take back the United Methodists for who they are, and those causing the bickering should start their own church.

    Perhaps that is why Wesley left the Church of England to start his own movement.

  34. Rich Thompson

    The few want to have their way over what the people have continually decided. Dissallow the issue to waste our time; only allow the re-protest every third year.

  35. Brian Niegemann

    Wesley left the Church of England because he was a true prophet, and so of course could not fit into an ossified, often corrupt institution where politics had long supplanted faith and love. Taking back the methodist Church can only be accomplished by turning to Christ and following his teachings to love God, love ourselves and love our neighbors. There is no room in any Christian church for rejection, intolerance or fear of each other. If you want to know why Methodist numbers are shrinking, look no further than your own hearts. Are they shrinking?

    1. Aliceinwonder

      Sports 24/7 doesn’t help either. When did sports become more important than GOD? Why do parents put up with this? You can’t come to church because you have baseball,football, soccer practice or game on Sunday morning?? ????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????? It’s not just the homosexual issue that is destroying the church, it is the overall attitude of the population that is turning away from Christ, the church and becoming self consumed and self important for whatever their reasons are, be it sports, homosexuality or some other self ratifying sin.

      1. Rev. Jim Brooking

        Wesley never left the Church of England. He died an Anglican Priest!

  36. Aliceinwonder

    My Final Word/Aren’t you glad!

    Congratulations to the Democrats, the Young People, all the Single Ladies, Homosexuals, Blacks and Hispanics!

    You now own it, lock, stock and barrel. We now know that we are out-numbered and you may vote yourselves anything you would like, without worries; and……
    The next terrorist attack, you own it. Can’t get a job after graduation, you own it. Sky rocketing energy prices due to Obama’s EPA shutting down the energy producing states, you own it. A nuclear Iran, you own it. Bowing to the Soviet Union and other enemies of the USA, you own it. Another severe recession, you own it. A volatile border with Mexico with no enforcement, you own it. Trouble getting good health care, you own it. Higher heath insurance costs and health care costs, you own it. No budget, you own it. Our allies-especially Israel- mistrusting us, you own it. Another 4-trillion of debt, you own it. More Benghazi situations, you own it. No one willing to join the military, you own it. Trouble getting a loan to buy a home, you own it. More dependency on food stamps, you own it. Trouble finding good employment, you own it. Several part time jobs instead of a good job, you own it.

    A World Government, you own it. The UN governing the United States, instead of ourselves, you own it. A Senate that will not bring any legislation to the table rather it is “Dead on Arrival”, you own it. China controlling our world trade, trampling all over us, while taking our jobs, you own it. Loss of our freedoms as we have known it in the past due to more regulations, you own it. A dictatorship instead of a democracy that follows the Constitution, you own it. A suprme Court that will make you happy in every way, you own it. Less take home pay and higher living costs, you own it. Your President who was not raised with any love for this country, you own it.

    Driving a car that looks like a toy, you own it. More government corruption and lies, you own it. Government controlled mass media, you own it.More toleration of extreme and fanatical Islamists, you own it. Terrorist attacks called work place incidents, you own it. Your revenge and hate against me, instead of love of country, you own it.

    President George Bush is out of it now, and there is not another man for you to vilify and lie about. In a way I am relieved that the one and only good and decent man will not be blamed when it was nearly impossible to clean up this mess you voted for. Don’t call us for help when everything begins to fall apart, because most of us old white, straight guys will not be around.Most of whatever money we have left will be out of your taxing reach….as well as our ammunition.

    Have a good day. God bless the United States!

    God is your only hope now, but you mock him as well, and won’t ask for his Blessings, so….please, will the last person left, remember to turn off the lights?
    I received this in an email and it was just too damn good not to pass along. Just says it all, doesn’t it? Will save the bishop the trouble of writing any more articles. Maybe we can actually spend some time avoiding FEMA and the Red Cross and go help some folks who got lost everything in the recent hurricane. Sounds good to me.

    1. Rev. James E. Brooking

      The problem with our church and our country and our would is all the hatred! YOU OWN IT!!!

      1. Aliceinwonder

        Hatred comes from IGNORANCE. The uneducated. Look at the ignorance revolving around the Native Americans in early America by the “Christians”. Remember this phrase?> the only good Indian is a dead Indian.

        “Educate yourselves. Educated people are very difficult to control.” quote by Ron Paul.


        1. Starr Weaver

          “You” is not just singular, it is also plural. It seems to me you are saying that if anything bad happens, whatever it is, “you” don’t have any part in it because “you” voted the right way! What happened to loving your neighbor and treating others the way you want to be treated.

          1. Aliceinwonder

            Yes, what did happen to loving your neighbor? What happened to it was a movement to endorse homosexuality and anyone against it was labeled a “hater”. What happened to it was war for profit, not to protect our borders. What happened to it was a well crafted media system that manipulated the minds of nearly every American into a state of self love-self worship and consumerism which eventually spiraled off into the out-sourcing of our jobs. Loving your neighbor died in the public school system when everyone became the same shape cookie punched out from a shapeless, mindless cookie cutter. Loving your neighbor died when parents dumped their kids in day care so they could work two and three jobs, only to come home far too exhausted to even consider parenting the child(ren) they produced. Loving your neighbor ceased to exist when the supreme law of the land deemed it evil to teach the Ten Commandments or anything else Biblical in public schools, yet promoted abortion, handed out condoms and began teaching homosexuality in kindergarten. Loving your neighbor faded away when Christians turned a blind eye to what was happening right under their noses in the name of “progressiveness”. The only way to defeat this Godly nation was to remove God and divide the people against one another. I hope that explains it for you. Excellent question, BTW. And how we ‘voted’ meant nothing. The voter fraud was appalling and the candidates were identical. Hopeless hope and changeless change. What a JOKE. Hang on to your hats folks…the Titanic of the United States is going down.

          2. Starr Weaver

            From what I understand of the Bible, God came to the “nation” of Israel but that didn’t seem to work very well. Jesus comes to each of us individually – regardless of our nationality. While many individuials may have been guilty of the things you list in your email, there are many other individuals who are not guilty. Based on my own studies of the homosexual issues, I cannot agree with you – and I do not have a personal agenda here. I am an elderly white married female with two sons and three grandchildren. I really believe we are to follow the two commandments that Jesus gave us.

  37. Aliceinwonder

    http://vimeo.com/52009124 <free for a limited time. This should help those of you who truly SEE, understand the big picture of what's going on.


  38. Aliceinwonder

    Starr~I too am an ‘elderly’ white heterosexual female with 2 daughters and 3 grandsons. I suggest you read Romans 1 vs 18-32. If that does not clear this issue up for you then I must simply say it is not possible to do so.

  39. Starr Weaver

    Evidently, then, it is not possible to do so. I have read this passage in Romans along with all the others. I have also read Romans 12:4, Mark 12:31, Matthew 7:1-2 and Luke 18:9-14. In your passage, perhaps Paul was describing first century Jewish understanding of what was natural and unnatural? John Wesley said that Scripture is the basis for our faith and practice. But he also believed that to rightly interpret and apply Scripture in life, we need the benefit of the church’s theological, ethical, and biblical relfections of the last 2000 years, including the work of scholars, commentators, ethicists and theologians. He also believed that we bring to our reading of Scripture our rational minds and scientific knowledge. And Wesley called us to bring our life experience and the witness of the Spirit to bear upon our study, interpretation and application of Scripture in our lives. This is the process that allowed us to conclude that though slavery is allowed in the bible, it is inconsistent with the broader message concerning the dignity of humandkind and of justice. this process allows us to conclude that though the bible speaks of women keeping silent in the church, the dominant themes speak to the shared dignity of men and women. I believe we need to be open to the possibility that God’s perspective on homosexuality may be different from what is in Leviticus and Romans. It may be that heterosexuality is God’s ideal and intention, but God’s compassion and understanding toward people who do not fit the norms are greater than the Scripture would indicate. Why would a God, who is rich in mercy, who formed us in our mothers’ wombs, and whose love is higher and deeper and wider than we can imagine, would look upon homosexuals as an abomination, Jesus had a heart for people – people came before rules. In Acts 10:28 Paul said that you yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. The Roman Catholics believe in the priesthood and that birth control is not to be used; the Baptists believe you should not be baptized until you are of age; the Amish believe you should not use any modern technology; the Southern Baptists believe that you should not marry if you have been divorced – all these have Scriptural basis. Job’s friends believed his problems were caused by his sin; the friends of the blind man thought he was blind because of his parents’ sin. Unfortunately the Bible has been and will continue to be used to prove whatever believe a person feels strongly enough in. Who am I to question a person who is in a committed faithful loving relationship – what makes that person any more unacceptable than someone who has been married and divorced five or six times and in between has extramariital affairs, including many pastors.
    I realize that I am not going to, as you say, “clear this issue up for you” either. I wish that the Methodist Church would get off the fence and decide to split – i am very very tired of this controversy and I feel we are being hypocritical. We also state that war is inconsistent with the teaching of Christ but I do not want to see us turn our veterans away or make them feel like they are lesser than they are.
    All I can do is wish you peace.

    1. Aliceinwonder

      There will be no peace until there are no more people.

      Homosexuals have succeeded well at dividing the people. If the UMC fails they will blame the “haters” for it. They will gather their spoils and the rest of us will scatter off in other directions.

      Everything is going according to the plans. Satan has indeed plucked the ripest apple from the tree…..the once Godly nation of the United States.

      In my opinion, it is time for intense fasting and deep prayer.

      1. Peggy Boyette-Adm

        The book of Romans plainly states what God thinks about this issue. In view of that, why is there even a question. You either believe the book or you don’t. You can’t straddle a fence with God. If the Methodist Church I knew growing up still exists and has not caved in to the current culture, they will put this issue aside. Romans says it all as I previously stated. End of the issue. If this church follows the route of the present Episcopal church and ordains homosexuals, MY grand child will not attend their schools and I will not set foot in their doors.

        1. Aliceinwonder

          AMEN Peggy! And ditto. I have said it before and I will say it again. … If the UMC caves on this, I will resign that very day.

          1. Starr Weaver

            This is why I feel the church just needs to decide to split – it will be much easier on everyone. We are not united on this issue and I don’t think we ever will be. I believe that our church’s stance is in error and rather than try to force beliefs onto people, I feel we should separate.

          2. Aliceinwonder

            The homosexuals and their supporters do need to go one way and leave the original UMC in one piece, rather that banging their heads on the floor until they get their own way. I fear the UMC will cave in and then will lose such a vast number in members that it will destroy the faith totally. But the homos will have gotten their way and that is all that is important to them.

          3. Starr Weaver

            I think you are wrong in your statement about the “homos” as you called them. the ones that I know are very good caring people in committed relationships. And if you remember, the original UMC advocated slavery and forbade women to preach. But I also feel that we are at an impasse and any further discussion is an exercise in futility for both of us. I wish you peace.

          4. Aliceinwonder

            I have homosexual friends They have tried very hard to convert me but it’s just not my cup of tea. However, we have good friendships. I’m confused at your comparison between women preaching, slavery and un-natural sexual behavior. What does one have to do with the other? Allowing women to preach evolved out of need. What need do we have to accept un-natural sexual behavior as normal. Homosexuality has been around for centuries. It’s not going to go away. But the light is red here. Not ‘kind of red’. You still get a ticket if you run the red light. Simply because you think it should be okay to scoot through as it’s changing doesn’t mean it’s okay. The rules are the rules for a reason and I’m not going to dicker with the rules in the Bible. Murder isn’t okay either.
            If you will study early Methodist movements in America, the Methodists were VERY active in fighting for women’s rights and against slavery. That’s why I like this faith. It has a spine.
            As for calling them homos…it is simply short for homosexual which is what they are. No slam intended.
            Peace to you also, but good luck with that.

  40. Randy Burbank

    This issue is not about whether we show the love of Christ. It is about changing what is acceptable and unacceptable. Taking the view of those who want homosexuality as an acceptable expression of intimacy, the Bible can’t be trusted, so let’s go all the way and throw the Bible out. Let everyone choose their own view of God and pursue their own form of personal holiness, so long as they “say” they love all others.

    1. Aliceinwonder

      We are entering A BRAVE NEW WORLD………………..

  41. Starr Weaver

    The problem is not that we do not read the Bible – the problem is we interpret it differently. The UMC has said that slavery is not acceptable and women may preach, both of which are different from what the Bible says. The Catholics believe birth control is against God’s will. The Southern Baptists feel the same way about divorce – yet the UMC permits divorce and remarriage, including for it’s pastor. We used to think that to spare the rod, spoiled the child, meant you should beat them, but that is not what that means. Our Discipiine says war is not compatible with the teachings of Christ, but we allow military people to become clergy and we do not condemn for fighting.

    1. dan

      Starr, The Bible is not pro slavery but touches on how to best live in a culture where slavery is allowed and will not be ending anytime soon, the Bible also says that we are no longer “male or female and Paul also called the church at Rome to “greet Phoebe and assist her in whatever manner that she may require”, as for war our Discipline says more than what you are implying and it supports chaplains (who are not to bear arms anyway). As for divorce please review the process in which divorce and remarriage became permissible in our denomination then reconsider if it really adds or subtracts from your argument.

      1. Starr Weaver

        My point is that the Bible at any one point in time has been used to validiate a denomination’s position and still is. Wesley said we should bring to our reading of Scripture our rational minds and scientific knowledge and our life experience and the witness of the Spirit to bear upon our study, interpretation and application of Scripture in our lives. He believed that to rightly interpret and apply Scripture, we need the benefit of the church’s theological, ethical and biblical reflections over the last 2,000 years-including the work of scholars, commentators, ethicists and theologians. I have done the study and review that you mention above – which has lead me to where I am today. I also have read the writings and observations of some of the top people in our church, which also lead to where I am today. I believe that God wants us to be moral, faithful, committed people who take care of the less fortunate because we are his body in this world. I cannot condemn two people in a moral, faithful, committed relationship any more than I can approve of the actions of two people who are amoral, unfaithful, and to whom the “marriage” vows they took mean nothing.

        1. dan

          As a good Wesleyan you must approach your conclusions from #1 Scripture = does Scripture directly affirm the homosexual act? (especially in light of the fact that it directly prohibits it in the OT) #2 Tradition = has the long standing wisdom of the Church, especially the Historic Councils, supported homosexual activity? #3 Reason = Is it reasonable to conclude that homosexual activity (in the light of Scripture and Tradition included) is approved by God? #4 Experience = does the Holy Spirit lead us to the experiential conclusion that homosexual activity is approved by God (this is not the same as saying that we feel love and empathy for our homosexual friends and family etc. but the activity itself is what must be considered)?

          Also if you believe a homosexual relationship can be moral why do you compare it to an “unfaithful, amoral, heterosexual ( I assume you meant heterosexual) relationship whose marriage vows meant nothing”? Do you really think that anyone is approving of that type of relationship as being OK? That comparison seems to me to be illogical.

          1. Starr Weaver

            I was speaking of either type of couple – you will note that I did not put the word “heterosexual” in there. If I had wanted it in there, I would have put it in. However, since I beieve at this time more heterosexual couples take marriage vows in a church as a sacrament, that is why I made the comment about the vows. If you are abusing your partner or flitting from one relationship to another to another, I believe that is what is wrong. I really think that relationships that want or need to be approved under the “law” should all be civil unions. If a couple wants to enter into the sacrament of marriage, they should do it within their own denomination or religion, regardless of the type of couple they are.

            In 1988 The General Conference authorized a Committee to Study Homosexuality with the mandate to take account of the theological and ethical scholarship, seek the best biological, psychological and sociological information and opinion. At the close of their report, a majority concluded with this recommenation: “The present state of knowledge and insight in the biblical, theological, ethical, biological, psychological, and sociological fields does not provide a satisfactory basis upon which the church can responsibly maintain the condemnation of all homosexual practice.”

            Neither the OT or the NT writers had a concept of “sexual orientation”. I don’t imagine they would have understood a person who was born with both male and female genitalia, yet we know there are such people and today we are able to help them. I do not believe that either the OT or the NT directly forbids people from accepting the sexual orientation they were born with. There are denominations that believe sexual intercourse is to be used for procreation only and that when you reach the age that is not longer possible, you are to refrain from participating in it. These people also believe this is stated in the OT.

          2. dan

            Starr, I asked about the relationship question because you seemed to compare an obvious bad relationship to a loving one which makes no logical point.

            Other than that you did not respond to any of my questions but avoided them, what does #1 Scripture, #2 Tradition especially as it relates to the Early Church Fathers and the Councils, #3 Reason as it pertains to Scriptural teaching and #4 Experience as it is lead by the Holy Spirit all say pertaining to the homosexual act, do they affirm it?

          3. Starr Weaver

            I’m not sure they “affirm” it because I am not sure they address it – but for a simple answer, yes.

          4. dan

            Starr, Evidence of Each please. Scripture that affirms homosexual behavior please, Early Church Fathers quotes please? Later Church Fathers? Historical Councils that affirm homosexual activity?

  42. Aliceinwonder

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/feminist-nuns-go-topless-clash-with-catholics-at-gay-marriage-rally-fk-god-in-gay-we-trust/ This kind of rot doesn’t help their cause much. Why do they do this kind of ridiculous, outrageous drama? And they wonder why they don’t get any respect. Gee…..I dunno.

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