What Rulings have our Judicial Council made in the last four years?

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Well, the issue of homsecuality rises again in the United Methodsit Church. I recall that the Charismatice Movement and the matter of homosexuality were hot issues while attending Scarritt College for Christian Workers, Nashville, Tn. Here's the latest tidbit from The UMC.

Methodist Council Rules on Homosexuality Declaration

The United Methodist Church's supreme court has ruled that the denomination's book of laws does not contradict itself regarding the appointment of openly gay and lesbian clergy to congregations. Meeting Oct. 24-26, the United Methodist Judicial Council affirmed that the denomination's Book of Discipline forbids the appointment of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" as pastors of local churches. The nine-member court went on to say that declaring involvement in a same-gender relationship would be enough to subject a pastor to a review of his or her standing as a minister.

This case was one of 12 heard at the semi-annual session of the Judicial Council. Three of the docket items decided by the nine-member council related in some way to the church's policies on homosexuality.

The Pacific Northwest Annual (regional) Conference had asked the council to make a declaratory decision on what its members saw as an apparent conflict between two rules found in the church's Book of Discipline. One states that "a self-avowed practicing homosexual" may not be accepted as a candidate for the ordained ministry, become a clergyperson or, if already a pastor, be appointed to serve a congregation. The other rule guarantees ministerial appointments to all clergy in good standing.


-- Anonymous, October 31, 2001


My family was Methodist/Episcopal Methodist/United Methodist for many generations, going back to the mid-1800s. We changed denominations when I was a teenager in the late 70s because of increasing theological liberalism. Being a kid I had no choice in the matter of course. I just went to church where the rest of the family did. I remember my dad saying that the fact homosexuality was even up for discussion indicated moral rot within the denomination. In his view those who dared even suggest homosexuality as being anything but sin should be automatically disqualified for ministry and discharged. Now that I'm grown I must say I agree.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2001

As far as I know, the Doctrine and Discipline of the AME Church does not explicibly address the issue of homosexuality. Straighten me out somebody if it does. You can almost see that my brother by the number of responses you've gotten to your question. That's an issue we'd rather not discuss. They will give you the "judge not..." answer.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2001

I have in my possession "Position Papers" which address these issues and give the official stance of the A.M.E. Church. These are presented at the General Conference as well as subsequent sessions of the Bishops' Council. Thus, the position of the A.M.E. Church has been, and continues to be, that the Bible is our Authority on every issue, which we face-Past, Present, and Future.

Therefore the A.M.E. Church holds that homosexuality is in direct conflict with the word of God and therefore NOT condoned by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I am also aware of persons who have been removed from the Itinerary because they did in fact-- against the warning and ruling of the church-perform same sex marriages.

This does not negate nor deny the fact that there are persons who think or do otherwise. However, each person has his/her own need for salvation. While the church may not condemn, it also may NEVER compromise the word of God. It therefore must and does take a stand.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2001

I failed to add (as you have stated) that the position, which I stated was the official stance of the A.M.E. Church, is also the official stance of the United Methodist Church. The delegates to their General Conference reaffirmed this in May of 2000. The proceedings of this account may be found on the following website(s)

http://umns.umc.org/gc2000news/ http://umns.umc.org/gc2000news/stories/gc068.htm http://umns.umc.org/gc2000news/stories/gc066.htm

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2001

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