When the United Methodist Council of Bishops met during its mid-November meeting, it requested that a formal complaint be filed against retired Bishop Melvin Talbert for performing an October 26 same-sex union in Alabama. Talbert had been asked not to perform the ceremony – which is prohibited by The United Methodist Church – by the active bishop in the area, as well as from his colleagues on the Council of Bishops.
The Council of Bishops assigned Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference and Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the council and episcopal leader of the Germany Area, to file the complaint.
Good News contacted the bishops in order to discover the progress of the charges against Talbert.
According to their statement: “Bishop Wallace‐Padgett and Bishop Wenner are following the processes outlined in the church law, and have had several conversations to discern their next steps, both via telephone and meeting in person in Washington D.C. in December for discussion and prayer. They anticipate that they will complete the process before the executive committee of the Council next meets in mid-January.”
“We do this in a spirit of hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized,” Bishop Wenner said. “Bishop Wallace-Padgett and I ask for your continued prayers for all involved in this process and the church as a whole.”
It is about time for the charges to be filed against Talbert. He has been taking advantage of his office for years to do things which are not in accord with United Methodist polity or the scriptural call to personal and social holiness.
When one accepts the privileges and offices of an office within the church, he/she accepts also the limitations of the office. Talbert has flaunted his rebellious nature for decades, and if you had the temerity to oppose him on anything you were immediately branded “Racist” whether it made sense or not.
As a retired member of the Cal-Nev Annual Conference I view the action of Bishop Talbert with great dismay. When one understands that Bishop Talbert took great pride in pointing out that he had wailed with Dr. Martin Luther King one also understands that he was looking for something that he could do that would emulate Dr. King. His call for disobedience to the United Methodist Book of Discipline and his follow-up action in performing a same sex union perfectly fits his desire to be seen in the same light as Dr. King. I also clearly understand that in the Western Jurisdiction Bishop Talbert will never be held accountable for his actions. Rather, he will be praised and honored for his act of “disobedience”. Because of its liberal leadership Is it any that the Cal-Nev Annual Conference has virtually always been the last in Apportionment payments to the General United Methodist Church; is it any wonder that the Cal-Nev Annual Conference struggles to grow in membership; is it any wonder that the Word of God (commonly known as the Bible) is regarded merely as a book of myths by a significant number of its clergy, with no real importance for its transformative and life giving truth? Any moral compass, if one can call it that, that exists among the vast majority of leadership in the Cal-Nev Annual Conference is guided by the belief that culture transforms the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that one does not have to be held accountable to the precepts of God’s Word.
I totally agree with you, Leland! Amen! Liberals often use the “racist” card when one disagrees with their opinion, apparently not knowing what else to counter with. It is a convenient excuse. I watched a Youtube video with Bishop Talbert and John MacArthur as guests on the Larry King show. It was clearly evident that Talbert was very wishy-washy in his responses to Larry concerning Christianity. Talbert danced around the subject of salvation, while MacArthur was clear that salvation through Christ was the only way to heaven. It is time for the church to take action. To paraphrase Edmund Burke: “In order for evil to triumph, good men (and women) must do nothing”.
Bet the Bishop would have never traveled to Alabama in the first place to defy the church if charges against his defiance would have been brought in the North Alabama Conference. The western jurisdiction, where the charges must be brought, poses no problem for him given the 24 hour suspensions of the two ministers there for the same defiance. Little or nothing will done to him, and he is counting on it.