Why Are Ultra-Conservative United Methodists Going After Bishop Talbert?



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Lambrecht on Talbert

Bishop Talbert's call was to disobedience to an ordinary set of house rules when they conflict with the central document of Christianity, the Old and New Testaments, whose call for love, grace, and caring is repeated and clear.
I am weary of those who continue to try to make of The Disipline a sacred and irrefutable document, which it most decidedly is not. Consider its history. Big organizations need to attend to a lot of details so that their parts can all work together, but those rules change as new truths surface, and right now, one of those truths is the sacred worth of the GLBTQ folk against whom those rules currently call for discrimination.

Anne Ewing more than 9 years ago

Bishop Talbert

I am so tired of seeing those who are what I consider to be mainlaine in their theology/practices/politics/etc being labeled "ultra-conservative" or "far right". Since you cannot win your argument by vote....do you think it helps your cause by trying to label the majority of people as a bunch of crazies? The UMC has taken a position on this issue that is loving and graced filled. I understand why you think it is wrong or inadequate.....but I also understand why the UMC position is the right position to take.

Henry Lessner more than 9 years ago

Bishop Talbert

Steve, thanks for your article.

As a signer of the letter, I simply want to say that our intent is not to silence discussion on this issue. Rather, we want to ensure that discussion (or holy conferencing) takes place within the agreed-upon parameters of our clergy and lay covenant within the Book of Discipline. There is a difference between expressing disagreement with the position of the church (which we would in general support) and calling for disobedience to the policies of the church (which we have of course said is out of bounds).

Given the entrenched nature of our respective opinions on the issue of how the church is to minister to GLBT persons, I am not optimistic that we will be able to resolve our differences. However, I am willing to keep talking. But we must recognize that Bishop Talbert's call for disobedience to the order and discipline of the church is schismatic, fostering deeper division between us. Such an approach is highly ironic and unacceptable coming from a bishop, who is charged to be an agent of unifying the church, rather than dividing it. It is also much more unacceptable coming from a bishop, who is charged with upholding the Book of Discipline, to find him essentially renouncing its authority.

There is room for disagreement within The United Methodist Church. But active movements for disobedience tear at the fabric of unity in our church and render the covenant we have agreed to uphold meaningless. We are fast approaching a time when "everyone does what is right in his/her own eyes" and the church splinters into a thousand pieces. In my view, that would be a tragedy.

Tom Lambrecht more than 9 years ago

Holy Contemplation

As I followed the evolving discussion at General Conference of the question of sexual orientation and its impact on church teachings, polity, and leadership roles within our church and as I observed the references to the "holy conferencing" by the petitioners, one realization is starkly clear: there was little conferencing on this divisive but vitally important issue (I would term it more "accusatory yelling"), and almost none of that appeared to be "Holy." I would add one thing to Clumm's suggestion that all elements of the quadrilateral be applied to the discussion: holy contemplation, bathed in prayer. Only when that has taken place can "Holy Conferencing" even hope to commence.

Dell Gates more than 9 years ago

Talbert Censure Initiative by the FAR RIGHT

So why not mount a PETITION to the COB from those of us who share your position Steve? Perhaps with several hundred or thousand signatures of common-minded, WESLEYAN BASED Methodists the COB will have some feedback to consider?

Todd Anderson more than 9 years ago

Bishop Tabert

If he really wants to effect change, it would be better accomplished from within - not from disobediance and offensive behavior. I still remember his inappropriate outburst in Ft Worth in 2008 during the protest.

Tom Wussow more than 9 years ago