A Just Resolution Would Bring Justice for the UMC and Bishop Talbert



Comments (6)

Comment Feed

Cost Of Trial

Why should Methodists incur financial costs for what Bishop Talbert did? We throw up our hands over dollars wasted and yet point at all the wrong culprits. Bishop Talbert performed the ceremony in spite of repeated warnings and even though he knew exactly what the consequences would be. The burden for the cost of the trial should fall exactly where it belongs: on him.

Talbot Davis more than 8 years ago

What is just resolution?

Thank you, Thomas, for pointing out the downside of trials. I totally agree. What would be a "just resolution" that would uphold the Discipline in this case? Advocacy is perfectly permissible. What has occasioned the complaints is an action that contravenes the order and discipline (freely chosen) of our church. When Bishop Talbert says he will violate the Discipline again, if asked, how can there be a just resolution that upholds the Discipline?

Tom Lambrecht more than 8 years ago

In Therapy, We Call Such Rhetoric "Crazymaking"

When discussing these events with non-Methodists most find it to be entirely hilarious that our "Bible" to which our authoritarians point is unironically called the "Discipline." It recalls an abusive relationship in which the abuser whispers sweet nothing at times while at other times he makes favorite clothes or beloved pets disappear. This is a great example of the convoluted logic of advocacy of authority for authority's sake - "Whip 'em until they bleed, and then fine 'em for bleeding."

George Nixon Shuler more than 8 years ago

Not "Crazymaking"

With all due respect, those advocating for the church's position are not advocating "authority for authority's sake." Instead, they seek to maintain accountability to the agreed upon covenant that we all share. Not all authority is bad--only authority that is abused. The emotional tenor of the trials I have been a part of is definitely NOT with a thirst for "punishment." It is sorrow for the brokenness of the covenant, along with resolve to attempt accountability. Our Discipline is a freely chosen way of being in discipleship to Jesus Christ TOGETHER. When someone unilaterally abandons their commitment to be in that way of discipleship, but refuses to withdraw, the only option left is some means of holding the person accountable. There can be no discipleship without accountability.

Tom Lambrecht more than 8 years ago

The Issue, Strangely Enough, Is Not About Accountability

Tom, sadly in this case, the issue is not about accountability. It is about a divided church that cannot agree on what accountability is, in such instances. Worse yet, we cannot even agree that we are divided about the subject of homosexuality and same-sex marriages, even though this is always the great big invisible elephant in the room. Until we can find a middle ground, issues like this will continue to come up in a judicial form, because the General Conference left us no other outlet for such conflicts.

Tom Griffith more than 8 years ago


No, the problem is the ugly language, being inserted into the Discipline piecemeal since 1972. And there is no "middle ground" so long as those words remain.
I can envision a local option, where one Methodist congregation may prefer to be restrictive and not allow marriage or other privileges to gay folks and other may take the opposite view and maintain an open church. But that CANNOT happen so long as those words remain. If you take them out, and permit local option then we can stop fighting, stop spending scarce resources on trials which are a travesty of the secular criminal justice system, and get on with seeking and welcoming new Christians wherever they are. However, in what is really power grab, some parts of the church establishment want more and more restriction, narrowing the definition of Methodist to the point of destroying the Social Principles in the name of control. NOT the church I was raised in, nor one to which the coming generations want to belong.

Anne Ewing more than 8 years ago