Good News responds to same-sex union performed by Bishop Talbert

Bishop Talbert (UMNS)

Bishop Melvin Talbert (Photo: UMNS)

In an egregious act of defiance, Bishop Melvin Talbert has publicly and flagrantly violated the covenant that binds United Methodists together by officiating at a service of holy union between two men in Birmingham, Alabama.  We understand the emotional and sensitive nature of the sexuality debate within The United Methodist Church.  At the same time, same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Alabama, nor is it permitted by the United Methodist Discipline.  Not only did Bishop Talbert defy church law, he ignored the urging of both Bishop Wallace-Padgett, bishop of Northern Alabama, and of the executive committee of the Council of Bishops not to preside over the service.  Elected and sworn to an office of unity, Bishop Talbert has instead chosen to use his position to foment greater division within the UM Church.

As Bishop Michael Coyner has recently stated, “A bishop of the church, whether active or retired, has a special responsibility to teach the faith, to guard the church, and to order the administration and discipline of the church… I don’t think we can be ‘church’ together without a commitment to such order.”

Good News calls upon the Council of Bishops to exercise discipline and hold Bishop Talbert accountable, as they have publicly promised to do on several occasions.  A failure to hold accountable Bishop Talbert and other clergy who are flaunting our church’s policies will result in the unraveling of our church’s covenant and order.  Formal separation may not be far behind.








  1. B. Moreland says

    The “Good” News Magazine reminds so much of the similarities between yourselves and the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the Bible. You only care about “the law” of the church and try to enforce it on the UMC even if it causes hurt and pain among God’s people! You ignore the two greatest commandments to uphold church law! Sad. Instead of siding with Satan and spreading hate, why don’t you side with God and spread love?

  2. The UMC teaches love, just because we recognize the aspect of sin does not mean that we don’t love the sinner and so goes it with our Lord, God, our Father. He loves the sinner but not the sin. Forgiveness can be sought through our Savior Christ. He came to earth and died willingly for all of us but we must bend our knees and ask forgiveness and return not to our sin. Remember the woman that was to be stoned to death for adultery. Jesus ask if you are without sin throw the first stone but no one would and they left ashamed because they knew that their life was not without sin. But then when all of her accusers were gone and her life was spared Jesus said woman where are your accusers and he also said GO AND SIN NO MORE. We as flesh are sinners but we have Christ’s blood sacrifice that we may be forgiven. We as UMC do not hate, we love but we STAND FIRM BY GOD’S WORD.

  3. The Council of Bishops must act as their sacred honor and duty to the Book of Discipline must be upheld as they are the defenders of the faith and doctrine of the United Methodist Church. Just because a person once was an officer of the civil law and courts, they would be held accountable for breaking any law that they upheld while in service of their particular office. The UMC is at a crossroads of remaining viable and active in ministry and doctrinal soundness. Unwavering on this issue will accelerate the downward spiral of the loss of Congregants we now experience factually and Spiritually.

  4. Pastor Stephen Burkhart says

    With months notice that is was coming; with absolute definition in Bishop Talbert’s own words before and after violating the Discipline…..the largest violation of the Discipline is the deafening silence and total lack of response from Bishops in a timely fashion. Covenant is broken. A Call to Action Vital Factor Metric for Bishops : How many Bishops will do their job to defend the Discipline, as they have promised? How long will it take?

    Believe we are at a time when Bishop Talbert and any who wish to follow him should be allowed a friendly separation so they can establish a Discipline they will uphold with honor.

  5. Rev. Paul Dreher-Wiberg says

    You refer repeatedly to “covenant,” and to your Bible; the Book of discipline. “Covenant” in the UMC is a joke. NEWS FLASH to all my “Good News” (oxymoron) colleagues: COVENANT is a relationship, not a weapon, and if it involves Jesus Christ, it CANNOT be an instrument of oppression and exclusion!!


  1. […] News referred to Bishop Talbert’s officiation as “an egregious act of defiance” that […]

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