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United Methodist Officials: “Clearly More to Be Done” to Promote Abortion
Life News ^ | July 19, 2013 | Rev. Paul Stallsworth

Posted on 07/19/2013 2:58:02 PM PDT by NYer

Ms. Julie Taylor works in the office of Children, Youth and Family Advocacy of the United Methodist Women, and Ms. Amee Paparella is the new Director and Organizer for Women’s Advocacy at the General Board of church and Society of The United Methodist Church. On January 18, they posted their article, “Clearly More to Be Done,” on the General Board of Church and Society website.

Co-written, their article serves as their personal response to the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But given their positions in denominational agencies, their article also functions like an official response of The United Methodist Church to Roe’s anniversary.

The United Methodist Reporter suggests as much by publishing “Clearly more to Be Done” in its February 8th issue. (The Reporter is to be heartily commended for also carrying, in the same issue, a thoughtful critique of their article by Rev. Teddy Ray.)

Unfortunately, the article by Ms. Taylor and Ms. Paparella does not accurately represent what The United Methodist church teaches about life and abortion. In fact, the article distorts United Methodist teaching on this crucial matter.

This is how “Clearly more to Be Done” distorts United Methodist teaching on life and abortion.

As is well known, The United Methodist Church’s official teaching on life and abortion is found in Paragraph 161J (pp. 112-114) of The Book of Discipline (2012). Paragraph 161J indeed contains the one sentence from the Discipline that the Taylor-Paparella article quotes:

“We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers.”

Relying heavily on that one sentence from Paragraph 161J, the article makes its case that there is “clearly more to be done” to realize “reproductive justice” in American society and throughout the world.

However, Paragraph 161J says much more about life and abortion than the one sentence quoted above.

First, Paragraph 161J speaks explicitly about the little one carried by the mother. It refers to “the sanctity of unborn human life” and to “the unborn child.” In contrast, the article under review does not mention, even once, the unborn child. Given the fact over 55,000,000 unborn children have been aborted, since Roe v. Wade was handed down by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, that is a blatantly obvious oversight. That oversight distorts United Methodist teaching.

Second, Paragraph 161J, in one degree or another, stands against birth-control abortions, gender-section abortions, eugenic abortions, and partial-birth abortions. It also stands in favor of parental notification, “diminishing high abortion rates,” and aiding ministries that “help women find feasible alternatives to abortion.” The article under consideration overlooks these claims of Paragraph 161J, which aim to protect the unborn child and mother from abortion. Therefore, in a second way, this article distorts United Methodist teaching.

The article under critique is dedicated to seeking “reproductive justice” for women. All United Methodists are for justice for women. However, true justice for women is never reached by neglecting or supporting massive, ruthlessly violent injustices against unborn children, half of whom are little women. True justice for women does not turn pregnant women over to an abortion industry that frequently harms them.

Roe v. Wade is one of the most morally problematic, legally contested, and societally unsettling United States Supreme Court decisions in American history. On its 40th anniversary, The United Methodist Church deserved a more thoughtful response, that more accurately reflects denominational teaching on life and abortion, than “Clearly more to Be Done.

LifeNews Note: Rev. Stallsworth is the editor of “Lifewatch” a pro-life Methodist publication. This originally appeared at NRL News Today.


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; deathpanels; obamacare; prolife; umc; zerocare
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1 posted on 07/19/2013 2:58:02 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

Whaaaaa?? Even for Methodists this sounds bizarre.


2 posted on 07/19/2013 3:02:29 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: NYer
Abortion is murder of the most defenseless members of our society!
3 posted on 07/19/2013 3:05:40 PM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: Still Thinking

Just Damn! Damn their souls that is.


4 posted on 07/19/2013 3:09:30 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: Still Thinking

bump


5 posted on 07/19/2013 3:12:32 PM PDT by cyn (Benghazi.)
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To: NYer

This is as wrong as those pro-choice nuns! Or catholicsforchoice.org

Wrong all round


6 posted on 07/19/2013 3:13:49 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. - Tacitus)
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To: Still Thinking

All the social-oriented churches quit Christianity a long time ago.


7 posted on 07/19/2013 3:13:53 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Still Thinking
The UMC has struggled to maintain reasonable positions but its various ancillary agencies are infested with hard core leftists. This "more to be done" meme is a rallying cry of totalitarian radicals from way back. No matter how severely they have crushed freedom or eliminated rights, the progressives are never finished.
8 posted on 07/19/2013 3:21:26 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Still Thinking

>>Even for Methodists this sounds bizarre.

The Leftists that infest the higher ranks of the UMC do not represent the views of the average member in the pews. But, the denomination has set up a system of elitism for ordination and only those who espouse certain beliefs can succeed. The rest of us know the difference between true social justice and the Marxist crap that the Progressives have piled on top of a good and Christian thing.


9 posted on 07/19/2013 3:31:42 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: NYer

As far as I’m concerned these organized religions should lose their tax exempt status or just close their doors. They’re certainly not practicing what they preach. And I think that’s why they’re losing members.


10 posted on 07/19/2013 3:38:19 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (If you vote for evil because you can't see evil, you ARE evil!)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Grew up as a UMC but left the church in the 80’s, as it was infested even then.


11 posted on 07/19/2013 3:40:18 PM PDT by packrat35 (Admit it! We are almost ready to be called a police state!)
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To: packrat35

Me, too. But I left in 2001 after my pastor basically blamed 9/11 on world hunger. Then said ‘we must redistribute the wealth so that everyone has enough’. Socialism from the front of the church. I have never looked back. (I ran into another member of the church a few years later. She said they had lost half the congregation.......... but she agreed with the pastor).


12 posted on 07/19/2013 3:50:24 PM PDT by originalbuckeye (Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy)
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To: Bryanw92
"The Leftists that infest the higher ranks of the UMC do not represent the views of the average member in the pews...The rest of us know the difference between true social justice and the Marxist crap..."

I'm just curious how long "the rest of us" are going to put up with UMC church leaders that trade biblical truth for cultural rot. That excuse doesn't fly with Obama and his attendance for years at Trinity United Church of Christ, why should it work for the UMC "average member". It's high time for "Christians" to decide who they are going to serve and stop being enablers of those so-called churches that would lead so many down the wide and crooked path.
13 posted on 07/19/2013 3:57:41 PM PDT by ThomasSawyer (Democratic Underground: Proof that anyone can figure out how to use a computer.)
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To: NYer; packrat35; originalbuckeye

Pseudo-Christians and Pseudo-Pastors


14 posted on 07/19/2013 3:58:44 PM PDT by TurkeyLurkey
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To: NYer

Can these people be called Christian?


15 posted on 07/19/2013 4:04:51 PM PDT by dragonblustar
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To: dragonblustar

No. Not Christian, they worship a fallen angel with a grudge against the God.


16 posted on 07/19/2013 4:14:45 PM PDT by madison10
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks NYer.
Ms. Julie Taylor works in the office of Children, Youth and Family Advocacy of the United Methodist Women, and Ms. Amee Paparella is the new Director and Organizer for Women's Advocacy at the General Board of church and Society of The United Methodist Church. On January 18, they posted their article, "Clearly More to Be Done," [such as cleaning house at the UMC] on the General Board of Church and Society website. Co-written, their article serves as their personal response to the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But given their positions in denominational agencies, their article also functions like an official response of The United Methodist Church to Roe’s anniversary... (The Reporter is to be heartily commended for also carrying, in the same issue, a thoughtful critique of their article by Rev. Teddy Ray.)

17 posted on 07/19/2013 4:19:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: ThomasSawyer

>>I’m just curious how long “the rest of us” are going to put up with UMC church leaders that trade biblical truth for cultural rot.

We are a denomination that is strongly into the small group so we can function as a church of Jesus Christ indefinitely, regardless of what our bishops and district superintendents believe. Wesley invented the small group (well, rediscovered them after 1300 years of Christianity ignoring them) to combat the disconnect between the clergy in the Church of England and the common folk. Our lay leadership (in the south, at least) is strong and doing a great job of leading congregations.


18 posted on 07/19/2013 4:34:28 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Bryanw92

So why continue to support a church that differs so greatly from your own core beliefs?


19 posted on 07/19/2013 4:50:16 PM PDT by Pecos (Kritarchy: government by the judges)
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To: Pecos

>>So why continue to support a church that differs so greatly from your own core beliefs?

It doesn’t. “The Church” is the people and Christ. In the UMC, a pastor is not even a member of a local church. The Bishop has no effect on me and even the District Superintendent is someone I only speak to once a year at Charge Conference.

So, why stay? Because I believe in the Wesleyan theology and practices in my worship.


20 posted on 07/19/2013 4:58:05 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Prov3456; Inclines to the Right; xzins; TWohlford; Louis Foxwell

Ping


21 posted on 07/19/2013 5:02:48 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: Albion Wilde

Please don’t throw me in that briar patch. Methodists are liberals. It is just that simple.


22 posted on 07/19/2013 5:28:37 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Bryanw92

Do you know what percent if any of your tithes and/or offerings go toward the liberal causes of the UMC?


23 posted on 07/19/2013 5:33:44 PM PDT by ThomasSawyer (Democratic Underground: Proof that anyone can figure out how to use a computer.)
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To: NYer

I was born and raised in the UMC. My mother was active in United Methodist Women almost until she died. I can’t imagine that she and the ladies she served with would condone any of the liberal/commie stances of the UMC these days. I left it long ago and have had friends who actually got up and walked out of the church in the middle of the sermon, vowing never to go back!


24 posted on 07/19/2013 5:40:56 PM PDT by MomofMarine
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To: Bryanw92

why would a Christian belong to the UMC?


25 posted on 07/19/2013 5:41:36 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: VerySadAmerican

Of course they’re going to lose members if they abort them. All the churches I’ve been in kept their members before they were born.


26 posted on 07/19/2013 5:41:38 PM PDT by Berosus (I wish I had as much faith in God as liberals have in government.)
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To: Bryanw92

does your church send funds to the UMC ?


27 posted on 07/19/2013 5:44:29 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: Bryanw92

Left UMC a while back because of the national office liberal positions.

You realize that some of the collection plate goes to the national office?


28 posted on 07/19/2013 5:53:47 PM PDT by joshua c (Please dont feed the liberals)
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To: NYer

Need contact info for this person. I want to tell her something.


29 posted on 07/19/2013 5:57:49 PM PDT by WildHighlander57 ((WildHighlander57 returning after lurking since 2000))
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To: NYer

Sent;

Dear Ms. Taylor,

The good book says that God knew people before they were born. “While you were in the womb”. So,in God’s eyes,someone yet unborn is KNOWN to Him. Therefore,to abort a PERSON is to interfere in God’s purpose. Also,to kill a PERSON.... is a crime. Specifically it is MURDER.

Reconsider your stance,in light of scripture, which says Do Not Murder.


30 posted on 07/19/2013 6:08:27 PM PDT by WildHighlander57 ((WildHighlander57 returning after lurking since 2000))
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To: MomofMarine

There is a world of difference between old time traditional Methodists and the new Methodists.


31 posted on 07/19/2013 6:41:22 PM PDT by This I Wonder32460
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To: ThomasSawyer

>>Do you know what percent if any of your tithes and/or offerings go toward the liberal causes of the UMC?

To the liberal causes? About 4%, depending on your definition of a liberal cause. I wish it didn’t, but it does. Of course, we have some liberals in the church, so we could say that my part of apportionments goes to good causes and their portion goes to liberal causes.


32 posted on 07/19/2013 6:42:23 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GeronL

>>why would a Christian belong to the UMC?

The same reason a Christian would be a Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Baptist. See Phil 1:18 for the reason.


33 posted on 07/19/2013 6:44:58 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: SunkenCiv; NYer; Louis Foxwell; AdmSmith; Cronos; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; ...
Ms. Julie Taylor works in the office of Children, Youth and Family Advocacy of the United Methodist Women, and Ms. Amee Paparella is the new Director and Organizer for Women's Advocacy at the General Board of church and Society of The United Methodist Church. On January 18, they posted their article, "Clearly More to Be Done," [such as cleaning house at the UMC] on the General Board of Church and Society website. Co-written, their article serves as their personal response to the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But given their positions in denominational agencies, their article also functions like an official response of The United Methodist Church to Roe’s anniversary... (The Reporter is to be heartily commended for also carrying, in the same issue, a thoughtful critique of their article by Rev. Teddy Ray.)

That only holds for those who know nothing about how the denomination works.

There IS NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY that represents United Methodism. There is NO bishop in charge. There is NO agency in charge. There is NO board in charge.

The United Methodist Church is made up of geographic areas with presiding bishops, none of whom have any authority over any of the others. The East Ohio bishop has absolutely nothing to do with the Kentucky bishop beyond maybe having lunch together at times.

The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society has no authority to order anyone to do anything. They don't even speak for the denomination. They are a committee that is supposed to be tasked to encourage United Methodists to get involved in the world around them.

They can't call me up and tell me diddly-squat.

There is only ONE denominational voice, and that is the General Conference meeting that takes place for about 2 weeks every 4 years. The statement you read above from our Book of Discipline is the only authoritative statement about the UMC position on abortion. It is authoritative because it was written after voting approved it at the every 4 year General Conference.

It is very weak. It is an improvement over time from what it was back in the 70's.

It would be fully life-oriented if conservative Methodists in the USA and in Africa, Asia, and South America had their way. They are the INCREASING number of Methodists, so presumably, theirs is the voice that will eventually win out.

But, only 2 weeks to change things only once every 4 years makes for very slow going.

34 posted on 07/19/2013 7:06:47 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

So what, exactly, is “reproductive justice”?

Like I have stated before. A woman has the right to choose. When she chooses to have sex and gets pregnant she uses up that right. She doesn’t have the right to commit murder.


35 posted on 07/19/2013 7:33:29 PM PDT by bigheadfred (IBTZ)
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To: Bryanw92

if they abortion they shouldnt be called Christian


36 posted on 07/19/2013 7:55:19 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: xzins

You left out the Council of Bishops which meets regularly and oversees the work and positions of the denomination. They are a distinctly liberal bunch who routinely interfere in the activities of the local church.


37 posted on 07/19/2013 10:48:22 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: NYer
Why would they want more to be done, when so many people regret abortions?

Both men and women regret abortions.

38 posted on 07/19/2013 10:51:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Louis Foxwell; bigheadfred

No, I didn’t forget the Council of Bishops. It is not a body that can set or change the direction of the denomination. That can only be done by the 4 year General Conference. There is no presiding bishop, there is no authority regarding the law of the denomination, so they are free to do whatever they want despite any meetings of the council of bishops. It’s a slight bit more than a coffee-klatch, and a world less than a board of directors.


39 posted on 07/20/2013 4:25:32 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: bigheadfred
reproductive justice

It is the language of liberals, bhf. Liberals throw the word "justice", like sheisse, everywhere and hope it sticks somewhere.

40 posted on 07/20/2013 4:27:24 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

My experience says otherwise.


41 posted on 07/20/2013 4:52:15 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: GeronL

>>if they abortion they shouldnt be called Christian

From the UMC Book of Discipline:

¶ 161 J) Abortion—The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.

But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.

We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We support parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection or eugenics (see Resolution 3184).

We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life. This procedure shall be performed only by certified medical providers. Before providing their services, abortion providers should be required to offer women the option of anesthesia.

We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause them to consider abortion. We entrust God to provide guidance, wisdom, and discernment to those facing an unintended pregnancy.

The Church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth.

We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates. The Church shall encourage ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe.

Young adult women disproportionately face situations in which they feel that they have no choice due to financial, educational, relational, or other circumstances beyond their control. The Church and its local congregations and campus ministries should be in the forefront of supporting existing ministries and developing new ministries that help such women in their communities. They should also support those crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women explore all options related to unplanned pregnancy. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. (See ¶ 161L.) We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion.

Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, family, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel.


42 posted on 07/20/2013 5:20:30 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Louis Foxwell

My experience or your experience has nothing to do with it. The bishops wanted a new organization for the denomination. They didn’t get it. Why? Because they don’t have the authority.

Many pushed to have a presiding bishop created for the denomination. They didn’t get it. Why? Because they don’t have the authority.

It is a matter of what our rules say. They say that there is only one authority and that is the every 4 year General Conference.

I have been a fully ordained elder in the UMC since 1985, and prior to that an ordained deacon and probationary member and prior to that a licensed local pastor. My 30+ years of experience says that bishop’s power is only within their own conference. Within their own geographic region they call the shots. Beyond that they are well-heeled discussion groups.

Could all of the bishops get together and arbitrarily agree to, say, require everyone to wear red the first day of their annual conferences?

Yes.

But, (1) it still wouldn’t be denominational policy, and (2) they couldn’t enforce it.


43 posted on 07/20/2013 5:34:50 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

I have been a fully ordained elder since 1972. I resigned from the denomination about the time you started, in 1985. Had my fill of the Bishop’s authority.


44 posted on 07/20/2013 6:11:03 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Then you know what I’m saying is accurate.


45 posted on 07/20/2013 6:46:19 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

No. We are in complete disagreement. The cowardice of the ordained ministry in their attitude toward the Bishop and his DS’s is notorious. The Council of Bishops runs roughshod over local Conferences with one or two minor exceptions where a uniquely Biblical bishop is in conflict with the Council. The Council is not merely a coffee klatch. No bishop would agree with that assessment. I agree it takes a slave mentality to accede to autocratic power. Such, however, is the case.


46 posted on 07/20/2013 8:16:00 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell
Methodists are liberals. It is just that simple.

I hear you. So sad.

47 posted on 07/20/2013 9:51:45 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: Louis Foxwell; xzins

“I believe that Scripture is against him in that the remnant was within the Church and not outside it.” — John Stott, responding to Martin Lloyd-Jones’ call for evangelicals to leave the Church of England

John Stott sums up the position of those of us who are evangelical and orthodox within the United Methodist Church pretty well.


48 posted on 07/20/2013 11:00:29 AM PDT by The Grammarian
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To: The Grammarian

The church in scripture is not the church of incorporated denominationalism. The church as the Body of Christ has little if anything to do with the political bodies we know as institutional churches. I remain in the Body of Christ while choosing to separate myself from the church of my fathers which has become apostasy.


49 posted on 07/20/2013 2:17:52 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Referencing the COE as justification for remaining UMC is a queer juxposition of principles, particularly in light of Methodism’s failure to remain Episcopal Church of England.


50 posted on 07/20/2013 4:37:36 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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