Skip to comments.United Methodist Officials: “Clearly More to Be Done” to Promote Abortion
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 Womens 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 Roes 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 Churchs 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.
Whaaaaa?? Even for Methodists this sounds bizarre.
Just Damn! Damn their souls that is.
This is as wrong as those pro-choice nuns! Or catholicsforchoice.org
Wrong all round
All the social-oriented churches quit Christianity a long time ago.
>>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.
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.
Grew up as a UMC but left the church in the 80’s, as it was infested even then.
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).
Pseudo-Christians and Pseudo-Pastors
Can these people be called Christian?
No. Not Christian, they worship a fallen angel with a grudge against the God.
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 Roes 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.)
>>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.
So why continue to support a church that differs so greatly from your own core beliefs?
>>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.
Please don’t throw me in that briar patch. Methodists are liberals. It is just that simple.
Do you know what percent if any of your tithes and/or offerings go toward the liberal causes of the UMC?
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!
why would a Christian belong to the UMC?
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.
does your church send funds to the UMC ?
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?
Need contact info for this person. I want to tell her something.
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.
There is a world of difference between old time traditional Methodists and the new Methodists.
>>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.
>>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.
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.
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.
if they abortion they shouldnt be called Christian
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.
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.
It is the language of liberals, bhf. Liberals throw the word "justice", like sheisse, everywhere and hope it sticks somewhere.
My experience says otherwise.
>>if they abortion they shouldnt be called Christian
From the UMC Book of Discipline:
¶ 161 J) AbortionThe 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.
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?
But, (1) it still wouldn’t be denominational policy, and (2) they couldn’t enforce it.
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.
Then you know what I’m saying is accurate.
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.
I hear you. So sad.
“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.
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.
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.