Endorse A Statement to the Council of Bishops from Faithful United Methodists

BOD2With the election of the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop of The United Methodist Church, a pastor who is married to another woman and therefore unqualified to assume the office, it is clear to most people that the church has reached a crisis point.

Thousands of people across the connection have endorsed a statement that will be shared with the Council of Bishops. To read the statement and add your endorsement, click HERE.

Comments

  1. William Frazier says

    The United Methodist Church has now remodeled it’s self after the Unitarian Church.

    This is not as much about sexuality as it about honesty, In order to be ordained, the applicant pledges to be guided by the Book of Discipline. These ministers and one Bishop, had no intention to be guided by the Book of Discipline, so they simply lied to obtain their objective.

    There are denominations that welcome gay ministers and bishops.Why would these persons avoid those who welcome them and lie to gain entrance to a denomanation that forbids them.

    I can think of no other answer \then they want to change everyone who does not embrace their lifestyle.and disrupting an entire denomination does not concern them.
    .
    With 100+ pastors and one bishop already entrenched, I see no other solution the separation.

    • This issue for me speaks about covenant. God is a God of covenant and He has never broken covenant. If we are created in God’s image and likeness then we are called to fulfill covenant.

    • James F. Doyle says

      Very well stated. I see no discussion of honesty, or the ethics of being honest and maintaining our commitment to honesty. There are a number of other church homes available for those that insist on ramming their view of religion into a church that believes differently.

    • Joyce Baughman says

      After reading just what the Progressive Christians believe, one would have to conclude that it is, indeed, a watered down, hypocritical, self centered, and opinionated assessment of Christianity. In fact, it is very difficult to call it “Christianity” at all since there is practically no semblance of it within its cause. Describing false prophets, the bible reads “having a form of godliness but denying the power” (2Timothy 3:5) and “from such, turn away”.
      I say it is “watered down” because they believe only the parts of the bible that make them feel comfortable…one’s they hand-pick. They have openly challenged the credibility and authority of the bible. They claim that only one third of “Jesus sayings” are accurate and that only parts of scripture are relevant in our culture and day. Whereas, Christians believe the bible was inspired by God and useful forever and is relative to every person. Progressives have no common convictions because in their theology “anything goes”. God’s Word says, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32). Nothing, absolutely nothing, gives them the authority to delete or change or demean scripture. Their inflated egos tell them they are scholars who know more than God. Truthfully, the bible has survived generations of skeptics and will endure this one, too. One must remember when hearing their theory, that half truths are worse than lies. 
      Progressives do not like to be corrected and refuse to accept correction from the bible, using the excuse of “irrelevance” . When the bible convicts us of wrongdoing, it urges us to face our nemesis, and with God’s help we can become “over-comers”. The watering down of Christianity reduces their theories to only to a cult level of its own making. They make accusations that we are “ransacking” the bible to find verses that condemn certain behaviors when, in reality, we are simply reading the bible and accepting what God speaks to our hearts.
      I say they are hypocritical because they contradict their own words. They declare that their religion is about doing good works, love, and all inclusiveness. Christianity is about a sovereign God, Christ, our relationship with Him and our love and commitment to Him. Once this kinship is established, “good works”, “love” and “all inclusiveness” ensue. Their “all inclusiveness” appears to be the acceptance of all peoples and groups of people with the exception of “bible believing Christians”. They say there should be no distinction between individuals and groups and yet they are quick to separate themselves from traditional Christians. This is a contradiction of their own claims. They are the first to make this discrimination. Thus, I must say. their claims are hypocritical. They are not only insincere but are quick to make the false claims or implications that traditional Christians don’t emphasize love, don’t do good works, and are not “all inclusive”. The lives of Christians should speak for them in that regard. Christians don’t claim perfection, but their very commitment should testify that they are “set apart” from the world. The implications are so strong, by our critics, as to our not including all persons, that it is a misrepresentation of the facts. Our invitation is to every single person. All who are seekers are welcome and all are loved. We believe that each person is at a different place in their journey with God. Therefore, those assuming leadership roles should be living exemplary life styles in accord with the scriptures….not perfect, but clearly and obviously headed in that direction. They are entrusted with much, and much is required of them. “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48)? We may have, and are happy to have, alcoholics, drug addicts, adulterers, homeless, pedophiles, agnosticcs, the despicable and obnoxious, and even the vilest of offenders in our midst, as well as the average Joe Doe who wishes to come. It is a “feeding trough”, if you will, to all, not excluding homosexuals or anyone. The happiest moments for Christians is when they see a person becoming new in Christ Jesus and having their lives turned around. It is the “acme” of our purpose. We do not judge or condemn one another, for that is God’s business. We are there to love each other, forming a bond that encourages and lifts to a better recognition of God’s plan for our lives.

      I say it is “self-centered” because their whole emphasis appears to be on homosexuals and that is the sum-total of their so-called inclusiveness. I haven’t heard any mention of the other groups that God certainly wants included (except for Afro-Americans & women). They appear to have just one mission which is to insist that all people agree with them regarding the homosexual life style. They go so far as to attempt to change the bible to meet their wants. Wouldn’t this world be in chaos if we all decided to delete from the scriptures whatever pertained to us that we did not like (because it proved us to be offensive)? Being a Christian means we are willing to forsake all and take Him. This is what brings about what is called being “born again”. The sins we once loved, we now hate. Some of the things we once despised, we now can love. We can start again with a newness of life. The very reason homosexuals feel excluded is because they are not satisfied with our acceptance and inclusion of them as human beings and individuals, but they want to be included “because” of their homosexuality. This is exactly what we cannot do. God makes a way for us all to be included. However, He doesn’t make puppets of us, but instead, He gives us “free will” to make life’s choices. It is errant choices that separates us. This means that no outside force separates us. We separate ourselves. Separation is caused by the watering down of the Word of God, when we ought to be abiding in it.

      The Progressives believe:
      …. teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey. We, however, are witnesses to the sacredness of the Bible believing that is uniquely the Word of God and deriving from it what is necessary to meet our need of salvation and to give us direction for our walk with ‘God. We do enjoy elaboration of scripture and pondering men’s thoughts in regard to it. When it comes to the bible, I believe everyone has the right to reverently question it. We may or may not find answers. Often we do find answers as we study with an open mind and open heart. When we don’t, we can console ourselves with the fact that God is the epitome of love. He has all power, and all knowledge to work perfectly under the umbrella of love. We, on the other hand, haven’t reached that apex of love nor do we have the capability of reasoning that God possesses. To say we are limited is putting it mildly. This is where faith comes in. We don’t understand but we trust Him thoroughly. We can look forward to the day we meet face to face and realize the wisdom of God. Traditional Christians believe that we establish a relationship with Christ once we seek Him and trust him, and that there are absolutes all along the way. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. (John 1:1)The reality of God is absolute. John explains how God has always been and that He has also been called The Word, significant that they are used synonymously to emphasize the reverence due toHis Word. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life (John a4:6). No man comes to the Father but through me”. Also, “12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) These words are important in assisting a person in finding his way, spiritually. If there were other means to reach God, then His son, Jesus, died in vain. It wouldn’t have been necessary for him to die. If there are no absolutes, how can a journey be successful? One would simply drift from one thing to another without solutions. If you question things but never come up with answers, why bother with questions? “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

      Progressive Christians like to think that homosexuals are just exactly like the rest of us. They have separated themselves from us by their own choice and distinction. When God created Adam, he created man. When he created Eve, he created woman as a helpmeet (or mate). He didn’t create just two men or two women. They were created for the purpose of procreation. When God became “fed up” with mankind and his sinful ways, he determined to destroy it with a flood. He selected one man, and one woman, plus his family whom he deemed righteous enough to be saved from the waters. It was Noah and his family. As directed, they took the animals in pairs, also. Should we tear those pages from the scripture? Of course not. All the while, homosexuals and their cohorts, have been saying that we exclude them. They are welcome at my church and to sit in the pew next to me and perhaps even go out to lunch with me.. The issue isn’t inclusiveness. It’s that my interpretation of the bible differs from theirs, so they are insisting that I change my whole belief system so that they can “feel” included. They are not satisfied to sit in the pew with me. They want to show the world that they can be my spiritual leader…..and so that they can make a point to the world. In other words, they want to be a chief not just an indian like the rest of us……and they want to be my leader so they can change me. I have a standing rule not to say “never”, but believe me this will NEVER happen with me. Anyone who wishes to be my spiritual leader must be someone with a credible lifestyle, a person with spiritual and moral integrity. It matters not how many degrees they have or how scholarly they must believe themselves to be.

      Let me share for a moment or two with you about my personal encounter with Christ. It began in Tampa, Florida in early September of 1960. I had begun attending a Methodist Church in our neighborhood. I was on the right track, don’t you think? The church was humming with people of all ages and descriptions. It seemed as though the walls swelled and contracted with vitality. I felt really good about all of it. The preacher was a really special person who almost made you feel like you wanted to be like him. Everyone flocked to him and listened to him. He was just an ordinary man who happened to be extraordinary. He seemed something like the One whose life he talked about so often in his sermons. Every sermon seemed tailored for my life. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that he had some secret spy taking notes on my life. I was captivated by what he was teaching. The sanctuary was packed and the people sang with gusto until the rafters rang. You could just feel this great energy. Two or three months passed by when he preached a sermon about the people around the cross when Jesus was crucified. He told how they celebrated How they mocked Him and even gambled for His garment. He stressed the complacency of the average people of that day. It didn’t seem to matter that the very Son of God was being crucified. Something happened to me because. I could relate to those people as though I were like them…complacent….sort of like “Nero fiddling while Rome burnt”. Jesus was obedient to the Father while I was thankless and unconcerned. . When I left the service, I knew I was lost. I always thought I was a Christian, but in reality, I was not. The following two weeks I struggled with it and sensed a deep conviction over it.. I knew that if I truly committed my life to Christ, I would be a different kind of person. I wanted to do it, but I just couldn’t. I wish I could share more about those two miserable weeks.  Only the brevity of time and space prevents me. The last sermon, at the end of that two weeks, Pastor preached about Moses and the burning bush. At the close of the service I literally trembled in my pew. Somehow, I managed to reach the altar where I met Jesus. I was, indeed, standing on holy ground. A great burden was lifted and I couldn’t even begin to verbalize the elation I experienced or the transformation that took place. At that moment the Holy Spirit took up residence in my heart. This is significant because in years prior to this I had very little understanding of the bible. We might say, then, that Jesus being the author of the bible, had all of a sudden become the interpreter, too, and who can debate it? The author knows what he is talking about. This is my authority. When I think of the bible I think of the greatest book ever written. I hold it in high regard. It is the reason I met Jesus…and it is the reason others can ,or have met, him too.

      Soon after this experience, I was kneeling beside my bed praying for God to let me serve Him. I simply had to do something……but what? I literally begged God. I would do anything JUST TO SERVE HIM. In a couple of days the phone rang, and it was some strange woman from Church. She explained that the District WSCS was meeting at our church and would I speak to this crowd. I wondered, of course, what I would speak on, and before I could ask, she said, “We want you to speak for 20 to 30 minutes on The Holy Spirit!!!! WOW!!! She wanted me to speak about someone I knew. You can bet that I studied the Holy Spirit day and night until that meeting. I believe I could have spoken for two hours. The Progressives don’t need to tell me the bible isn’t relevant or that you can’t put too much credence to it or that there is no such thing as divine intervention. WHAT I EXPERIENCED IS FACT AND IT’S ABSOLUTE.

      This leads me to another point. You may wonder whom it is that’s saying all these challenging things. How many degrees are framed on my office wall? Why should anyone listen to me? I’m just another average Jane Doe who happens to be eighty two years old. One might think that I’m old and out of step with the times. I haven’t missed many steps with Jesus since that day on January 29, 1961 when Jesus became my best friend. It’s been a long walk with thousands of experiences along the way. Some good, and some bad. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Believe me, I’ve seen some miraculous things and have lived life to its fullest and with Jesus present..

      My reason for writing this is because of the news, after the fact, that the United Methodist Church has chosen a lesbian bishop for it’s Northwest Jurisdiction which has been a source of concern for me, as I now make my home in Montana. After the fact because our local church failed to give us a “heads up” that such a thing was even in the works. This bishop has a following of many homosexuals who are also proponents of Progressive Christianity and who would try to destroy and demean our faith.

      I would like to make a suggestion. If I were homosexual and looking for a church, the first thing I would do is to find one whose doctrines I could abide by. If there was one I would join it. If I could not find one, I would start my own church and build it from scratch just as other denominations have done. I would not join one that clearly stated it’s disciplines which were in opposition to my beliefs and then try to change its doctrine and steal the church which was established by bible believing, hard working and giving individuals. In order to accomplish this, Karen Oliveto broke the church discipline by being ordained a pastor, by marrying same sex couples, and be seeking and agreeing to be bishop. .Persons entrusted with leadership in the episcopacy of the church failed to stop such heresy and are responsible for letting these things happen. Conversely, I am not homosexual, was looking for a church whose discipline I could accept, already knew the discipline of the UMC, and joined the church confident that I had made a good choice. Now, after seven years, suddenly my church has betrayed my trust. I find myself grounded in a church who has succumbed to a doctrine I find impossible to follow. QUESTION: Has Karen OVILETO stolen my church from me or has my church misrepresented itself by touting a discipline that apparently means nothing and stands for less? I suppose it is time to build a huge bonfire and burn the hundreds of books of discipline that people have looked to for nought. Perhaps we should hire a clever lawyer and sue the United Methodist Church for misrepresentation of who they are. Better yet, let’s just let God handle this. His Word will endure regardless of how many people party to attempting to destroy it.
       
      Joyce Baughman

      • Bro. Joe Glover Local Pastor says

        Well said Joyce…glad to see someone with the courage to speak out!!
        God Bless and keep up the good Work!!]
        joe Glover

    • David C Wold says

      I have to agree – cleaning out the ones who have violated their vows would leave a hole , but not something the UMC/Methodist Church has not been able to recover from . Notice that one of the world conferences that has left this issue alone has decreased their member while North American conferences , who have been debating this issue for over 30 years have lost 1/3 or more of their members.
      the ‘gang of 5’ only asked their ordained sisters and brothers to denounce their vows and about 30 did so but then on the big day in NYAC all 5 stated ‘yes’ to :

      Will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church,
      accepting its order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline,
      defending it against all doctrines contrary to God’s Holy Word,
      and committing yourself to be accountable with those serving with you,
      and to the bishop and those who are appointed to supervise your ministry?

      I will, with the help of God.

      So beside either lying to the BOOM or lying to the Bishop – we have to ask, do we really ‘afford’ to have them as clergy and maybe more important can we ‘afford” the ones hiding behind ‘closed doors’ at BOOM ?

  2. Ronald jones says

    This goes contrary to the Bible. I am a forgiving person, but this action is outside of the laws of the Church. How can the Council approve this action.

  3. Ray and Judy Cohoon says

    UMC needs to make a stand, you either go by the Bible or you don’t. We may divide but at least we know how we stand.

  4. A church that cannot or will not enforce its own Book of Discipline and that eschews Holy Scripture just to go along with a popular movement is not a Godly church. This behavior must be dealt with immediately. We cannot continue to argue this issue year after year after year. I am in favor of letting the two sides go their separate ways and worship as they feel proper, but not under the same banner of United Methodism.

  5. Betty Bullock says

    The church is to follow Gods word…..this certainly does not do that.

  6. The election of Rev. Oliveto to the highest position in an Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is a blatant violation of the Book of Discipline and contrary to what the Scripture teaches us. The rules are very clear, it shouldn’t happened in the first place but it happened. And now the ball is in the hand of the General Conference they need to take an action in pursuant to the provisions of the Book of Discipline.

  7. Robert Turnage says

    With the election of the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop of The United Methodist Church, a pastor who is married to another woman and therefore unqualified to assume the office, it is clear to most people that the church has reached a crisis point.

  8. Rev. Gary L Whatley says

    We look to the Council of Bishops for leadership and to uphold the Discipline. I pray for ggem for wisdom and courage to step up to uphold our book of order. I am very gratified that a way forward has begun, lets keep up the pace.

  9. As many have acknowledged, this is a SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY crisis within the UMC. There are those who believe the Bible and its Scriptural authority, the growing majority, those who believe there is a Bible subject to man’s shifting and evolving interpretation of it while yielding to its authority when it is made culturally relevant, a loud minority, and those who do not know what to believe, the confused. Does the UMC still believe in the Bible and its Scriptural authority as stated in our doctrines and theology? It needs to be noted that NOTHING there has been changed by a General Conference. If this new commission cannot agree with the current stated doctrines and theology of the church as THE starting point for its work, then that will be the impetus to initiate a parting of ways plan, with those who are aligned with the church as it is staying in connection, and those who refuse to align and stay in connection a way forward and out of the denomination as they have so indicated with their acts of defiance and independence.

    • My wife and I have placed our tithes in an escrow account and will release them when the COB does the right thing. Maybe hitting the COB in the pocketbook will help speed this process up. That entails removing ALL gay pastors and bishops from their credentials and showing them the door ; the sooner the better. Let them go disrupt someone else. This just sickens us and the COB has done our church o huge favor. ACT NOW !

  10. This looks very significant. To those of legal backgrounds, an assessment of these two cases — New York and Northern Illinois — would be most appreciated.

    http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/judicial-council-takes-up-gay-ordination-issue

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