Parties Await Decision on Complaint Against Anna Blaedel

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Doing an Excellent Job!

Harvard seminary-trained United Methodist layperson and 2020 GC delegate John Lomperis is doing an excellent job of finding new ways to foment reactionary dissent and undermine the "unity" of the United Methodist Church from his wood-paneled office where he is constantly looking for vulnerable clergy targets outside the Western Jurisdiction so that he can lodge a complaint against them (an action available to any UM layperson, BTW).

No doubt he'll be ratcheting up his attacks come next January 1, when the new mandatory penalties are scheduled to go into effect.

But he also has to know that he's much safer sitting in his D.C. office and collecting his large IRD salary than he would be if he should he decide to seek ordination in the Indiana Annual Conference with his M.Div. degree.

He could and should be charged with multiple offenses, including disloyalty and undermining the ministry of (another) clergy person, if he gets by the gatekeepers on the road to ordination.

It is difficult to overstate his lack of qualifications for ordination as an Elder, and thus the decision of Harvard University to award him his M.Div. degree should raise ethical questions about their criteria for admission and graduation.

Perhaps Harvard just needed his tuition money, or maybe Mr. Lomperis succeeded in swinging a large financial contribution from an IRD donor to sweeten the deal. We'll never know.

But there he is, folks, getting highly paid to rub salt into the wounds of the United Methodist Church. And luckily, thanks to the IRD, he now has his seminary degree to bolster his supposed authority and clout within traditionalist circles.

I'm sure that all those who want to support his excellent work know exactly where to send their hard-earned dollars.

Wayne 120 days ago

Lomperis

If he has a DC office, how is he a lay delegate for Indiana? He certainly doesn't commute that far.

Shouldn't he have transferred his membership to a local congregation?

JR 119 days ago

Of course the charges are reasonable

Just because the Bishops (former and current) in Iowa have chosen to ignore the requirements in the BOD for 17 years doesn’t make the charges unreasonable. What is unreasonable is the lack of enforcement for seventeen years. This is not an indictment on her as a person, as only God will one day judge that, but is instead the simple facing of a reality that she does not meet the qualifications to be an ordained Methodist minister because of her choices. These may be choices she feels compelled to make because of who she is and choices which are governed by her conscience, but they are nonetheless her choices. When you make certain choices, it is most reasonable to expect consequences.

John 121 days ago

Choice?

The only choice here is the choice in answering God's call to ministry. Sexuality and gender are NOT "choices."

Rev Grant 119 days ago

Sure she had choices

If she wishes to be rightfully ordained as an UMC minister, she could choose to be celibate. If she is unable or unwilling to make that choice, she could have chosen to answer a call to ministry by choosing to be ordained in a different denomination. She had plenty of choices, but she chose not to choose and expected the Church to evolve around her rather than her evolving around the Church.

John 119 days ago

Get real.

The charges aren't against her sexual orientation, they are charges that she isn't following the rules for clergy- and she admits it.

td 122 days ago

Blaedel is punished for her sexual orientation

That is kind of like saying laws which punished blacks who didn't go to the back of the bus were not against their color, but rather that they disobeyed the rules.

Daniel Wagle 122 days ago

Yes, this.

This is what the debate is about. The rules do not prohibit people with same sex attraction from being clergy, they prohibit those who repeatedly and unrepentingly engage in same-sex sex or marriage.

I understand that you probably do not see a difference from what a person may be attracted to do versus what they actually choose to do in action, but here is where the division is.

There simply is no way around the fact that same-sex sex is contrary to the faith that has been handed down to us from christ and his disciples. Maybe you are right that they all got it wrong, but on something so fundamental, jesus could have set the record straight and he did not- and that was at a time when homosexual acts were prevalent in ancient, non Jewish society.

td 120 days ago

If you require celibacy, then do so

If celibacy is required from some, require it from all.

It's a simple ask. The current clergy can still be married, they can still enjoy the benefits of companionship. Just no sex.

Jesus was celibate. Paul was celibate. Shouldn't we expect our clergy - ALL our clergy - to be as 'Christ-like', as holy, as possible?

JR 119 days ago

Please.

This is not about celibacy. It's about clergy living in a state of repetitive, unrepentant sin. I understand that a side of the church does not think it is sinful. That is their right to individual conscience, but they should not pretend that their view is consistent with the faith we have received.

We truly are talking passed each other here in our different understandings of what in the deposit of faith can be changed. What is to some a silly, cultural rule is to others foundational christian morality that the church simply does not have the right or the privilege to change.

td 119 days ago

Torches and pitchforks for the divorced

Start your purge, then.
Divorced/remarried should be first on the line.
That's FOUNDATIONAL. Jesus said so, having remarried is the same as adultery. Boom, living in sin.

That ought to be on the docket for GC2020. I wonder if I have time to write it up and submit it.

JR 119 days ago

I ran across another article

td, I thought you might want to check this out.

I thought you might agree with one statement particular statement:

"The ... priorities include “soul winning,” strict devotion to the King James translation of the Bible, and “hard preaching”—a devotion to supposed Biblical truths, no matter how difficult or unpopular."

Think about that a little bit.

Then read this article:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/08/sarah-silverman-pastor-hate-comments-new-independent-fundamental-baptists.html

JR 119 days ago

Okay.

We have discussed this before. I do not think divorce or remarriage is in the same category. There are so many contexts where a divorce or remarriage can be considered not sinful- abuse, misinformation at the time of the ceremony, etc. Obviously, if a clergyperson thinks divorce is no big deal or is a serial marry-er and divorcer, this is someone we wouldn't want in our clergy. The current issue we are discussing concerns a person who is proudly proclaiming that she continues to engage in homosexual actions, doesn't think.it is sinful, and will not change her behavior. My guess is that most people who divorce have no plans to divorce again.

JR, i respect your engagement, but we just appear not to agree on what sin is.

td 119 days ago

If she admits being in violation

According to the BOD, why is this even a question? The hierarchy of the church did her no favors when they ordained her. And why would you want someone leading a church or ministry who lied before God when she took her vows?

Anonymous 122 days ago

How do you know?

How do you know she lied when she took her vows? She might have been not 'actively practicing'. Heck, she certainly wasn't 'actively practicing' in that moment - so what's the timeframe that's even being asked?

"Do you foresee yourself in engaging in 'incompatible practices' within the next 30 days?"

I realize that is quibbling on very specific points - but if she was celibate at the time of her ordination, then she wasn't really a problem from the 'vows' perspective.

But I am interested in what the Traditionalists think about what 'time frame' is appropriate when considering LGBTQ ordination. If they have ever engaged in sex, is that the dealbreaker? What about clergy who, prior to taking their vows, had sex while single - are they banned from ministry?

I have so very many questions about how you determine these things!

JR 119 days ago

Here's a go. I am taking the bait.

It has to do with whether the person thinks the action was wrong and whether he/she intends to keep doing it. Obviously, she does not think the activity was wrong and she intends to keep doing it; if she thought otherwise, this case would be dismissed.

A good standard:
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, i have sinned against you, whom i should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

I agree it would be the ideal not to have church rules that detail what clergy can and can not engage in without losing their jobs, but what is the solution when a faction of the church refuses to adhere to the faith on foundational sexuality morality?

td 119 days ago

While they are clergy in the UMC

There is no sex accept between a married man and woman. What happens before that time or after is inconsequential because they are no longer bound by the rules of the UMC. However, in reality, the only sexuality standard currently being enforced seems to be adultery. We have become laser focused on homosexuality because liberal/progressives have made this the do or die issue for the UMC. If the office of Bishop had been held accountable back to the decisions of General Conference, we probably would not be in this mess. The seeds to this debacle were sown a long time ago with the creation of Jurisdictions which made the office of Bishop into its own free-wheeling seat of localized power not accountable back to anybody or anything.

And just for the record, IRD is most definitely not an ultra conservative organization. Holding people accountable for what they agreed to do is not the mark of an ultra conservative; it is about living with integrity. Integrity and accountability have been hallmarks of Methodism from the very beginning. With that said, given the current circumstances, I do not understand why John Lomperis bothered to file the charges. GC2019 has made it very clear that when it comes to Christianity and what it mean to be the church we are not on the same page about anything and have not been for a very long time. General Conference is well on its way to becoming nothing more than an expensive but useless ceremonial relic because it is what we do every 4 years. All the real power lies with the Bishop and the Annual Conferences.

betsy 119 days ago


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