Upholding the Discipline

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Discipline as Process

No Discipline is perfect or perfectible. I have serious concerns about a variety of our social stands (but these do change from time to time). I am equally or more concerned about a number of theological statements made in the Disicpline. Yet I support it. By this I mean that I support the process of conferencing, even when it is mean and stupid. We will have another Discipline in 2016. There the conferencing may be even more limiting as proposals are mandated to figure out more part of the Discipline "are not subject to change or adaptation." [¶101] This poses a grave threat to the process of Discipline development and in light of the limited wisdom of any given General Conference. Recent actions of which have been much less than stellar. I can't imagine good coming out of even more restrictive legislation that binds us to yesterday.

Wesley White more than 1 year ago

UPHOLDING THE DISCIPLINE

One seems to often have a narrow focus when it comes to upholding the Discipline. For instance, pastors are quickly brought upon charges while laypeople who come under the same trial directives are allowed to disrupt and kill the soul of our churches in violation of the Discipline. Pastors who do "same sex" weddings are brought up on charges, however, pastors who do weddings of heterosexual couples WITHOUT A VALID MARRIAGE LICENSE, in order that the couple NOT lose ther social security benefits are also in violation of the Discipline. I know of one clergy couple who recently performed a "wedding - covenant service" for a couple who got "married WITHOUT a wedding license. When I asked for a ruling from a General Church agency about this, I was told, the Wedding service is intended for use of heterosexual copies UNDER the laws of a state and with use of a valid marriage license. To do a covenant service for a HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE is as in violation of the Discipline and a chargeable offense, the same as doing a covenant service for same-sex couple.

Rev. Thomas L. Shanklin more than 1 year ago

Nice list-making

This is certainly the UMC equivalent of the much-touted response to the "clobber passages" in the Bible used to justify hatred against LGBTs, citing things like slavery, shrimp, and mensturation. The answer is, of course, the haters want to justify hate however they can. Our hateful sneering passage about how "homosexual practice" (for those who can't do it right, I reckon) is "incompatible with Christian teaching" is enough reason itself to wipe the dust from the feet and leave the UMC. But the animating contest of justice calls us back.

George N. Shuler, LCSW more than 1 year ago

Notable Quotes

“Someone should have told the young man (alleged shooter Dylann Roof), [that if] he wanted to start a race war, ... he came to the wrong place.”
– African Methodist Episcopal Bishop John Richard Bryant at the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and one of the nine shooting victims.


"I read scripture theologically. But as a New Testament scholar, I see my job as always listening first and foremost to the text in its historical context, and allowing its theology to be the first voice to which we respond. In the end, I will affirm creeds or confessions, if I do, because I believe they contain the right things to say at a given moment in time in which they were written, in light of what scriptures says."
– J. R. Daniel Kirk, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary who was denied tenure after participating in a panel on how to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality. From his blog Storied Theology.


"War, retaliation and retribution are not the answer. The only thing that will conquer hate is our deciding to love. Such is the imperative of discipleship to love. Love that is unconditional. Situations may result in catastrophe. Circumstances may seemingly justify condemnation, but that’s not what Christians are allowed to do. We are not allowed to counter-punch. We are required to love in the face of pain, prejudice and persecution, doing so unconditionally."
– The Rev. F. Willis Johnson, pastor of Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson, Mo., in an essay on the Charleston massacre for Ministry Matters.