Skip to comments.Lesbian minister to face peers in United Methodist Church trial
Posted on 06/20/2011 6:36:33 PM PDT by Jean S
A Wisconsin minister who has openly defied her church's ban on practicing gay and lesbian clergy will face a jury of her peers beginning Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind trial by the United Methodist Church's Wisconsin Conference.
The trial of the Rev. Amy DeLong of Osceola, at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna, is expected to draw international attention and observers on both sides of the issue from around the country, a supporter said Monday.
DeLong's defense is expected to argue that the church's ban violates the Christian tenet of inclusion.
"One of the things we're trying to say is can we live into God's love for all people? Or do we have to be bound by a set of rules that are discriminatory and obsolete?" said the Rev. Scott Carlson of Sun Prairie United Methodist Church, who is serving as a spokesman for DeLong.
The Rev. Tom Lambrecht of Faith Community United Methodist Church in Greenville, who will act as church counsel, said the ban is in keeping with scripture and called the trial "a tragedy."
"This is not something we seek out. This was brought to us by the actions and work of Rev. DeLong," said Lambrecht, who sits on the board of directors of the conservative reform group Good News, which supports the church's position.
"We don't believe there are any winners here," he said.
The United Methodist Church, the nation's third-largest denomination, allows gay or lesbian ministers only if they're celibate, although in some states the church looks the other way if clergy don't reveal their sexual orientation. It also bars clergy from performing ceremonies for same-sex unions.
DeLong, who is nationally known in the church for her work on progressive causes, including gender issues, faces three charges: being a self-proclaimed practicing homosexual; presiding over a union ceremony for a lesbian couple; and disobeying "the order and discipline" of the church.
She acknowledged performing the ceremony, and the fact that she had registered with her partner of 15 years under Wisconsin's Domestic Partnership Law, as part of her annual accounting of her ministry.
The Wisconsin Conference committee that charged her appeared reluctant to do so, citing her "courage" and calling the church laws that forced their hand "fundamentally unjust."
DeLong's supporters are hoping to tap that vein at the trial, where she will be judged by 13 other Wisconsin clergy, whose state conference has traditionally supported a change in church rules on homosexuality.
Just last week, at its annual meeting, the conference endorsed a 2011 statement by more than 30 retired bishops calling on the church to become more inclusive.
Even if they convict her, the jurors have wide latitude in sentencing - from a minor suspension to defrocking - and any penalty, depending on its severity, is likely to be seen as a referendum on the church policies.
The United Methodist Church has long struggled with the issue of homosexuality. But it has declined to follow the lead of other mainline denominations that have moved to welcome gay clergy, including the Episcopalians, the Presbyterian Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
That may be due in part to its structure. Unlike those denominations, the United Methodist governing body is worldwide and includes representatives of countries that are more theologically conservative.
Still, DeLong's supporters see developments in the United States, including the demise of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" and greater acceptance of homosexuals in mainline Christian denominations, as a sea change that will ultimately come to include the United Methodist Church.
"A change is coming," said Sue Laurie, a Chicago supporter who was barred from United Methodist ministry because of her sexual orientation.
"I don't know if it will come in time for Amy, but it will happen soon."
Is inclusion a Commandment?
She breaks the adultary commandment and makes up an inclusion commandment.
Any other thing she would like to make up while she is at it/
This is my first post in the religion forum but this hit home for me. A very close friend was a Presbyterian minister and he quit the church when they included gays as ministers. I hate to see this happen to yet another religion due to political correctness.
” Or do we have to be bound by a set of rules that are discriminatory and obsolete?”
Wow, so now the sin called out by God is discriminatory and obsolete. People just don’t think before they spew forth liberal vomit.
>>Not quite sure what this doctrine of “inclusion” is.<<
That’s a new one on me, too.
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
(2 Corinthians 6:14)
I would think that the good Reverend DeLong would have read the Book...especially I Corinthians 6:9 and others in the Old and New Books that deal with homosexuals.
I can only conclude that Ms. DeLong does not believe the Book. She chooses to ignore the parts that she does not like and teaches that things that go against God is really O.K. because she says so......and because she says so, its O.K. to ignore some parts of the Word.
...anyway, Ms DeLong has put herself up as a "teacher" therefore is in grave danger of "receiving the heavier judgment".....as per James 3:1.
May God have mercy upon her and her "students"....
Don’t read the same book as I do. My Book (Bible) tells me things will get pretty hot one day for her/it.
This sums up all you ever need to win this argument, or any other about "inclusion" or "tolerance" when it is worshiped as an idol instead of Jesus Christ:
1) Christ never condemned humans as worthless, he loved them, even the money lenders, but...
2) Christ always, always condemned sin.
3) Sin doesn't change...what was a sin two thousand years ago is still a sin, even if you put lipstick on it and call it a "life choice".
4) Christ is the definition of "inclusion"...He wants to save EVERYONE from their sins by remaking them new in Him.
5) But after seeking Him, becoming His follower means you admit your sins before God, and try to repent from them. It doesn't mean you pretend your sins are fine with God, and then go on to seduce others that they should be proud to sin in the same way you do.
Someone please remind this faux-pastor that Christ warned that for those who tempt His children into sinning, it would be better for a millstone to be tied around their necks and be thrown into the sea than what awaits them in the hereafter.
As an aside, I have long thought that Kaukauna cheese was a Hawaiian name.
These people are luke warm and God will spit them out of His mouth. You can tell this by their reluctance to reprimand this formal heretic.
These people would rather sell their souls to participate in abominable sin and worry about judgment as if it is somehow a sixties love fest rather than the “Day of the Lord.”
44 Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come. 45 Who, do you think, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has appointed over his family, to give them meat in season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. 47 Amen I say to you: he shall place him over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming: 49 And shall begin to strike his fellow servants and shall eat and drink with drunkards: 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopes not and at an hour that he knows not: 51 And shall separate him and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I understand the sentiment, but I don't pray for God to be merciful here. This is willful sedition against our Sovereign and His commandments. I pray that the Holy Spirit carry out judgment publicly so that the rest of the Body remembers who we are and gives glory to God for sending Christ. Sodomites have no part of that salvation and should be reminded of it.
 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. - 1Cr 6:9-10 KJV
Let's call a spade a spade here. There are those within several Churches now which do not belong among us.