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 2 years ago


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 2 years 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 2 years ago

 Notable Quotes

“Religious liberty refers to the principle that the government can’t interfere with somebody’s conscience and can’t directly interfere with how they lead their lives. But what we’ve seen is Christian conservatives defining religious liberty much more broadly. Essentially, they say, ‘If I disagree with something as a matter of public policy, it violates my religious liberty.’ That’s an unworkable definition of religious liberty in a pluralistic society. It runs the risk of making the individual religious believer a law unto himself, or unto herself.”

– Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Steve Sanders, "Can Indiana Compromise on LGBT Rights, Religious Liberty?"

"What we need is an evidence-based public health approach — the same model we use to reduce deaths from other potentially dangerous things around us, from swimming pools to cigarettes. We’re not going to eliminate guns in America, so we need to figure out how to coexist with them."

– New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, "A New Way to Tackle Gun Deaths."