Skip to comments.Methodist Leaders Rebuke Bishop Who Held Gay Marriage, Call for Charges
Posted on 11/20/2013 6:41:52 AM PST by xzins
Bishop Mel Talbert Retired Bishop Melvin Talbert conducted a ceremony celebrating the marriage of a same-gender couple in Center Point, Ala. A retired bishop in the United Methodist Church (UMC) conducted a same-sex marriage celebration in Cedar Point, Ala., on Oct. 26. On Friday, bishops of the UMC publicly rebuked the retired bishop, Melvin Talbert.
The UMC Council of Bishops statement calls for charges to be filed against Talbert for both "conducting a ceremony to celebrate the marriage of a same gender couple" and "undermining the ministry of a colleague." Conducting such ceremonies is expressly prohibited in the church's governing Book of Discipline, which all ordained UMC clergy have vowed to uphold. Click here to read the full statement.
"I commend our Council of Bishops for their willingness to issue such an unprecedented public rebuke of one of their renegade members and declare that it is finally time for him to face some consequences," says John Lomperis, the Institute on Religion and Democracy's United Methodist action director. "Now the relevant bishops need to provide continued leadership in processing the charges against Talbert so that he is truly held accountable.
"Talbert represents the fading liberal old guard of United Methodism. This action demonstrates that the future of our denomination is not with the church-killing radicals but rather with a new generation of more faithful, global leadership committed to biblically grounded ministry for ALL people."
"No one forced Talbert to become a bishop," Lomperis notes. "But when individuals choose to accept election as bishop, they choose to make a covenant with God and the rest of the church to uphold our code of conduct. If our bishops cannot be trusted to keep their word to God and the church, we have no basis left for unity as a denomination. Thankfully, our Council of Bishops has made clear that they want to have integrity in our life together, despite strong pressure to do otherwise.
"The Old and New Testaments plus 2,000 years of consistent Christian teaching could hardly be clearer on how sex is a gift to only be expressed within certain boundaries. United Methodist General Conferences have affirmed this by a growing margin, so that observers on both sides agree that future change is unlikely.
"Recent protests of this standard do not reflect liberal momentum but rather liberal desperation over the ongoing reorientation of the United Methodist Church towards biblical faithfulness."
Ping to rebuke and charges
Good to see the church turning toward the right and the light.
Makes sense - they have a long history of NOT following the Episcopalians :-D
He was suspended for 30 days. But....if he violates any rules during that 30 days then he will be defrocked. And he has taken a defiant attitude, suggesting that he plans to break several rules.
Your link is about a pastor named Frank Shaeffer. This is about a bishop, Melvin Talbert. They both involve marrying gays, and Shaeffer was convicted, so they’re easy to mix up seeing that they’ve happened at the same time.
Yep, another one. Only this is a retired bishop who was part of the problem when he was active. Thought he could get away with it once he retired, but apparently there are many now who realize that saying “the rules don’t count” for one area mean the rules don’t count for others who don’t feel like following other rules.
It’s going to be slow, because we have only one 2 week long rule making meeting every 4 years, but the African churches are holding the line and giving strength to the conservatives still in the Methodist Church in the USA.
I think the Methodists have a broader base and do not have the 50-year history of lunacy that the Piskies have.
I agree. The Methodists began with a larger group of biblical Christians than did the piscopals.
>>I agree. The Methodists began with a larger group of biblical Christians than did the piscopals.
We have the advantage of having a history of being a holiness church too. Although many of the bishops and clergy shy away from that these days, the congregations are really starting to find their way back to holiness.
I’m hoping that a hardline stand in these trials will result in many of the hard-core leftists leaving to find gayer pastures to spread their...umm...ministry.
A premeditated public and expressly forbidden unholy act SHOULD have resulted in permanent suspension of his church authority.
Sure would be nice if the Catholic Church would grow some balls and do this.
And, as one raised Catholic I am dismayed that more willfully disobedient priests are not severely disciplined.
If the shepherds break the laws with impunity how can the flock be guided?
2 different cases, but I agree with you on both of them.
As a Methodist, I didn’t think they’d come down hard because this was the guy’s first conviction. We run our judicial system similar to the USA justice system.
I thought that the penalty would be a minimum 1 year suspension, but it was 30 days.
They have essentially said that our rules are optional with a 30 day waiting period.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
The good thing about the Catholic Church is that you actually have an authority who can put a wayward bishop out to pasture. They might not exercise that too often (if ever?), but they do have the authority.
My Methodists are learning that tolerating this is causing their churches to empty.
Actually African Anglicans--which make up something like 30+ MILLION--haven't been "tanked" in the worldwide Anglican communion at all--they have been reforming it--to become centered more around Jesus, and holy Scripture, and less Canturbury (since the Church of England itself, is very shakey--but not quite as bad as the Episcopal Church USA).
Something over 100,000 Americans--usually called "Anglican" (NOT Episcopalean)--are a part of Anglican Church of North America-affiliated churches--direct competitors to the 'piskies. Most ACNA churches have ties to African bishops, making them authentically Anglican (apostolic-succession and all), without being controlled or influenced at all by the majority apostate 'piskie "bishops."
The next 10 years will be interesting for Anglicanism...and I predict 2 worldwide bodies--since the developing world Bishops have had about enough with the tolerance for direct apostasy in the Western communion, and will probably break with the UK-parliment/politically influenced state-Church of England sooner or later, IMHO.
Most African Christians are only a generation or so away from animist paganism--where sexual immorality, deviancy and homosexual practice, were not uncommon (and has had terrible consequences--see the African AIDS crises, still in full swing). It is incredibly obvious to African Christians--from new convert up to bishop (unless they've had too much Western exposure...) that homosexual practice is perverted, unnatural, and anti-Christian.
Famously in Rwanda (a major backer of American Anglicans, interestingly) a pagan king about 120 years ago, had a group of Christian boys executed--for refusing to be his sex-slaves. This kind of cultural memory of evil perversion resonates with African Christians--and they will not give-in to accepting homosexuality, like Western dupes have done.
I thought Methodists loved homos, big time.
Are you aware that prior to merging with Evangelical United Brethren to become The United Methodist Church, they were The Methodist Episcopal Church?
I'm sitting in a library here in Wilmington, DE where you will find quite a significant amount of literature on the early days of Methodism in the area between here and Baltimore where it really first took hold, and the Methodists were a branch of the Episcopal Church. Remember, John Wesley was an Anglican priest to the time of his death.
Methodism is shot through with episcopacy, paedobaptismal regeneration, Arminianism, female ministers, remarriage adultery, and the social gospel. Pulling back from sexual immorality is only a temporary lull until the last death rattle of conservative laymen die, and ministers educated by liberal seminaries produce another raft of unregenerated religionists, IMHO.
(Speaking as a Methodist PK, now 77 and a firm believer in independent, fundamental, immersionist Bible-believing New Testament local churches as bearing the Cross forward in a lost and dying world)
Too bad the Methodists don't read the bible. 1 Thess 4:1-8 clearly lays out that whoever rejects the commandment regarding sexual immorality has rejected God. "Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit."
Romans 1:32 confirms this by condemning those who approve of those who practice sexual immorality. Such a man is not qualified to be a pastor/elder/minister/priest.
The UMC is headed for a schism during the next 3 years. The minority homosexualists, like the retired bishop in this story, will initiate it. It will likely mostly affect those parishes in the suburbs which heavily push "social justice" and/or have a female preacher.
As Arminians, we believe that “God so loved the world”, but we also believe that God hates sin: “Psalms 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
So, does God “hate homos”? The wicked shall be cast into hell is what the bible says. However, “those He foreknew He predestined”.
So, some He hates and those who will repent He loves.
Your understanding of Methodist history is beginning, but there are some points for you to study.
First, the "Methodist Episcopal" church was not called that because of any relationship to the Episcopalian church. It meant that they had a church government that was run by bishops (episkopoi in Greek = bishop).
Next, the Methodists NEVER were a part of the Episcopal church. They were a pre-Revolutionary War part of the Anglican Church, but during and shortly after the war that bond was broken by the retreat of Anglicanism from the USA. The "Methodists" were a "small group class teaching/singing" movement within Anglicanism led by Anglican priests John & Charles Wesley and George Whitfield. Whitfield, in particular, championed it in America as an evangelist/missionary. (His preaching was appreciated by Ben Franklin, for example.) Whitfield was more Calvinistic than the Wesleys, and even though he did most of the groundwork, the arminianist variety of Methodism won out in the long run. The Anglican Church dwindled to little influence during the Revolution and two ordination lines, one out of Scotland and another out of England competed for the loyalty of the Americans. Since the English line was loyal to the king, they were of little influence for some time. The Scottish line was more in tune to the Americas but they were low in numbers. Therefore, the Revolution gave rise to the Methodist Church and John Wesley ordained "Methodist" bishop Coke and thence Asbury to deal with ordination and communion needs in the Americas. This reality was forced on the Methodist small groups because of the lack of clergy support from the Anglicans. The Methodist Church was off and running on its own, and it hasn't ever reconnected to the Anglican Church. As for the "Episcopalians": 1785: The First General Convention of Episcopal Church is held, with clergy and lay representatives from Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The General Convention authorizes the preparation of an American Prayer Book and names itself the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. So, in fact, the Methodists pre-date the Episcopal church and not the other way around.
By the way, if a Catholic priest officiates at a so-called-gay so-called-marriage, he WILL be excommunicated, have his priestly faculties revoked, etc. etc. ---and presto. Just happened to (ex) Fr. Ray Bourgeois and a couple of others.
But that particular scenario is, unfortunately, an anomaly. Priests will always get cracked down on, for that kind of public cut-and-dried manifest defiant act, especially if it involves a Sacrament.
But they still allow the laity to get away with murder literally --- as exemplified by four blood-dripping decades of pro-abort Catholic politicians. There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of them. And they can still get a chuckling photo-op with Cardinal Tim!
Fascinating! Thanks for the history lesson.
Good to see the Methodist church showing some backbone......but they should kick them out, not suspend them (IMO).
Yeah, we have one of those, for now... Though she maybe smrt enough to avoid getting caught up in this...
You missed the point. They just gave him 30 days to agree to follow the rule. If he doesn’t adhere to the Discipline, he is out.
ping to #19
Your understanding of Methodist history is beginning, but there are some points for you to study./i>
I certainly am not an expert on early American Methodiam, but what I described as an association of Methodism with Anglican Episcopalianism was impressed on me three or four years ago while doing some research in the library I mentioned. I will try to go back to find and reread that material I found.
However, remembering our first President as being somewhat of a churchman, I found several references online of which the following is a representative excerpt:
President George Washington was an Episcopalian. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, the American province of the Anglican Communion, which is a branch of Christianity, and which is usually classified as Protestant.
Washington and the family he was raised in were originally Anglicans. The Episcopal Church was not officially founded as a separate province within Anglicanism until 1789, after the American colonies proclaimed independence from Great Britain. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church was part of the Church of England,* so Washington was originally a member of the Church of England.
(*my underlining)( Click here for full article)
This tends to argue against your assertion, as does the great impression made on me of what I read about Episcopalian "Methodists" in lower Delaware. I will do my best to check this out and report back ASAP.
With respect --
Your comment above is my point. George Washington was an Anglican prior to the war. There was no "episcopal" church as we know it.
Methodism, on the other hand, was already running independently in the colonies, and in 1784 officially.
So, as I said, a case can be made for Methodism pre-dating the Episcopal church.
Additionally, the "Episcopal" in the name of the former "Methodist Episcopal" church did not have anything to do with their connection to Episcopalians. It had to do with their church polity/governance structure. Episkopoi = bishop.
My Methodist seminary, Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Ky, was fairly intent on our learning these things. And the UMC denomination in which I've pastored nigh onto 35 years also is intent in tracing our American lineage back to Coke and Asbury, Wesley being the source of the bishop's ordination of those two early Methodists. In fact, our denominational bookstore is "Cokesbury".
FWIW, I'd really have no problem being associated with early Episcopalianism if that were the case. They were a fine group of Christians tracing back from Anglicanism all the way (eventually) to Jesus.
You missed my point. The man has already rejected God.
Perhaps but the story doesn’t mention that.
(mistyped -- sorry)
That’s ok. If we fretted over typos in a keyboard age, we’d never get to say anything.
Well, in this case the unintended result could have been taken as a slur, which therefore needed respectful correction.
He would be shocked at what his church has come to.
Compared to where the Episcopalians are, though, they are still clinging to some shreds of sanity.
But we aren't on that road at all - that's why we left the Episcopalians and became Catholic. They are still willing to fight for what they believe in.
I think he not only laicized him, he excommunicated him too.
So, you’re suggesting that they do use that authority. :>)