What would happen if an openly gay person ran for Bishop within the AME Chuch?

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What would happen if an openly gay person ran for the office of Bishop of the AME Church? I have been following the events of the Episcopal Church at its General Session. There is a possibility that the Diocese of New Hampshire will have an openly gay person serve as Bishop. What would happen say in 2008 if someone wished to run a similar campaign?

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2003


My brother Ray, it really is a moot point since the A.M.E. Church does not ordain gays. So if someone were to be openly gay, I would imagine that they would have to surrender their credentials.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2003


I hate to break that nice pair of rose-colored glasses, but I can name a half dozen elders that are gay, and one of them is a pastor.

And that's just in the 5th District..........

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Elder Harper: Are these elders that you refer to openly gay or is that the sidewalk talk?

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Well, well, they would porbably get elected, since the church is now doing things according to the WORLD. There are at least 10 pasotrs in the 11th district. Florida that is. If a person that is gay ran for Bishop in the AME church he or she would win. We are now open to open to anything. Our children are in danger of being exposed to any type of sinful lifestyle in the chur. Wake up Rev. Denise they are in the church. Some are in the closet and others are open and bold. But remember these are all God's children.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Rev. Denise did not say that there weren't any gay laypersons or clergy in the AME Church. She stated that the point of a OPENLY gay person in the AME Church running for any office of the clergy is a moot point because of the policies regarding sexual orientation and ordination. Now tell me, is someone arguing there has been an openly gay person who sought to become clergy and was accepted by their local church, presiding elder at a Quarterly Conference and then by their bishop at an Annual Conference? Or in the second case, came out of the closet during their tenure as a minister and is still actively preaching in a local church? If so...have mercy! I think that we have to remember that in our assessments of the AME Church that we understand that WE are the AME Church. If a clergy person was ordained and/ or kept their office being openly gay that is the fault of the local church.

I think that if an openly gay person ran for Bishop I don't really think that they would be successful. I still think that besides all of the acceptance of a decadent society, we as African Americans are still in many ways a conservative culture. Everything doesn't openly go (Remember we are the culture who coined the phrase "doing things on the down low."). We might tolerate some stuff kept undercover, but accepting things in the bright light is something different. And most of the delegation represented at the General Conference is of a church tradtion that I believe isn't going to accept such a thing as being openly gay in the higher ranks of the church. I am going to also believe that our Bishops, who are currently in office, would not even want to endorse or accept something as these Episcopal Church bishops are doing.

At any rate, I think that the Episcopal Church in its attempt to be more progressive is going to loose a lot of its membership. This whole situation really makes you want to sit back and wonder what the future is going to bring...

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

One thing I see running clearly throughout these posts is that we have forgotten that we are Methodist and what Methodists believe. As a reminder I would refer you to the proceedings of the last General Conference of the United Methodist Church where some of their members also forgot but were quickly given a reality check. The links are below.

A General Conference in a Methodist Church is not a weekly prayer meeting. It is rather designed to handle the business of the church. It has been my experience that whoever you may be from the Bishop to the pew the General Conference will not tolerate your games or play with you.

General Conference 2000 UMC

Gene ral Conference UMC

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Yes,in answer to the second part of your question. There are several ministers that display their sexual preference openly, they were reported and no action has been taken.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

My beautiful sister Taminika! I love you for acknowledging what I really did say. Thank you for actually reading my post and observing that I said an OPENLY GAY MINISTER, one who has said publicly that they are gay would not be allowed to be Bishop. For the A.M.E. Church does not recognize gay ordinations. The case with the Episcopals is that the man who is to be appointed Bishop is OPENLY GAY he stated that years ago and is openly living with his male lover. Pastor Ray's initial question says OPENLY GAY.

In response to Rev. Harper, I do not wear rose colored glasses for if I were I would not be able to do the type of ministry that I do. For I am on the mission field by choice and I have to see things clearly. I am fully aware that we have gay ministers in our denomination. And the fifth district, and at my first annual conference, people I did not know came up to me to spread gossip about those who were suspected as being gay. And several of the married men came on to me. So we do have a problem. As does every other denomination. Gays according to reports I have read make up 10 person of the population. As I have stated in previous posts I am also a therapist and in my many years as such I have counseled people from all walks of life. Perhaps the rose colored glasses you refer to is my unwavering faith that God is in control of this world. I have blessed assurance that God will judge the wicked both gay and straight.

And Linda Watkins, in your post you told me to wake up. I invite you to consider your words. For I would hope we would have civility on this discussion board regarding one another's opinions. I have been on this board several years and I have incurred every piece of evil and attacks that anyone should endure. I will not tolerate disrespect to me on this board! It is not the will of God for his children to be abused.

There are those that speak of the church becoming worldy, yet as of late there are very few POSITIVE DISCUSSIONS ON THIS BOARD ABOUT GOD. What about Christian discipleship, what about talking about spiritual books we have read. What about the first time reader that comes to this board and wants to know about Christ or our church? What do our discussions tell them about us. And do we wonder why new people do not post. Look at how we disrespect one another.

One last thing I have fought every battle imaginable physical, and spiritual. I have withstood threats to my family. I have stood up to the KKK, aryan nation while here in Montana. For my God told me to. And he covered with his full body armor of protection. I am still here and they are gone. I organized groups around the state with only the strength of God as my allie, and doing it in a state that is 98 percent white. The white people rallied with me, and we pushed them out. Enacted new laws and worked together as one people of God. I have been called many things but I have never "been called one who sees through rose colored glasses" for those that do will not step out on faith build church, witness for Christ. Instead they sit and attack and complain. God is an awesome God and there is nothing or anyone that can stop me from doing his work. I am pit bull for Jesus!

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

REV. ROGERS PLEASE ACCEPT My HUMBLE APOLOGY. I MEANT NO DISRESPECT TO YOU OR ANYONE. There are open and close gays operating churches in the AME Church and we know this and I respect your opinionand I do have a right to MY opinion. I Love you my sister and respect your opinions. Let's discuss what the AME church has to offer lost souls coming into the church for the first time.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

This is not directed to anyone in particular, but I felt this needed to be said. The operative term in this thread is "openly gay". If someone is categorized as gay but "in the closet", then he/she is not openly gay. Unless someone tells you themselves that they are gay you should not make assumptions based on what you think you see or what you hear from others about that person. It is not a good idea to label someone as gay based on how they act or how they dress. For those who say they know gay pastors/ministers, on what information is that "knowledge" based?

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003


In my 4th year studies, a pastor (who will remain nameless) said (and I quote), "My rise in the A.M.E. Church would have gone faster if I had 'batted for the other team'". The pastor is straight. Draw your own conclusions.

When I said I know of at least 6 elders who are gay, I did not speak in generalities; I can name them (but I won't).....

Many scholars feel that the apostle Paul was gay (based on the way he viewed marriage and women's role in ministry). The Catholic Church is known for having gay (and pedophile) priests. Are we so arrogant or blind as to think that we are immune?

To those of you who think that there are no gay elders (or deacons) in the A.M.E. Church,


They are here, along with gay choir directors, musicians, and Sunday School teachers.

Now, to answer the original question: If an openly gay person ran, I personally do not think he or she would be elected. But if said person did not disclose this fact, was elected, and subsquently "came out", I don't think we would remove them.

Just my two cents.....

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

I have been apart of this zion for 20 years and i have met some characters ordain and unordain in the church. Does it really matter because none of you have a heaven nor hell to put them in. And if you familar with the 7th chapter of matt. Judge not unless you judge. Also it states why try to take out splinter out your brother eye when you have one in your own. Those who always question some sexuality have issues with there own sexuality. We are concern with some things in our zion that dont concern us. Ones sexuality is between God and the individual. Sin is Sin, No one is greater than the other. If you are concern about sin, lets talk about preachers who are whores, who drink, who beat their wives, who abuse their power as pastors, who still money from the church, who use their pulpit to get back at the people on the congregation. Better dont concern with none of that mess. Just prayer for pastors, bishops, elders, connectional officers and so on. Pray that as a zion we are caught to meet the Lord in the middle of the air when comes to get the church not just our zion but the church without wrinkle or flaw.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2003

Bro. Brown:

I admire your passionate response regarding caution when throwing stones. However, I think that in all discourse people have a right to voice their opinion whether we agree with it or not. That is how we learn. I don't think anyone on this thread is arguing that there isn't a bunch of sin going in our church among the layity and the clergy. The media has told us of shortcomings in the church, our congregations and the congregations of our peers have told us about shortcomings in the church, and the Bible tells of shortcomings in the church. But it didn't keep the prophets from pointing out the faults of the masses and their leadership, it didn't keep Jesus from pointing out the faults of the masses and its leadership and it didn't keep Paul from doing the same. Jesus with all of his loving compassion destroyed a temple. If we are going to be all that God wants us to be we have an obligation to point out wrongs and be accountable that they exist and try to work to right our wrongs. (The beauty of mercy and grace). Of course, the WAY in which we do it has to be decent. I am sorry, but sexual orientation is something that has to be addressed in the church. I understand that we should not be judges, but we also can't be complacent either. I think the most challenging thing about being a Christian is knowing when to let God move through us and knowing when to let God move by himself. I think that is why we pray; to find out which option we should take and how to go about doing what God wants us to do. Picking and choosing our battles is also important. Drunken pastors and whorish people might be God's battle, not yours. But I'd like to think that with the organizational systems that we have created, such as what Rev. Denise mentioned regarding ordination, is a way to keep a battle such as gay bishops from even getting started. Sexual orientation is a major issue if you are talking about the leadership of the Church. Homosexuality totally destroys many of the paradigms of ANY religion. Drunkeness, whoring, stealing, and all other sorts of mischief, might destroy the organization of an denomonation, but not the foundations of the paradigms of a religion. I think b is much greater than a.

As for finger pointing as a mask for one's similar issues is an opinion. That is not always the case. If God is in us then we have an obligation to do that which is right and in order with God's way. We are God's ambassadors. And I don't think what the Episcopalians are doing is right. And with thier stalling on this issue, I think they are wondering if what they are doing is even right.

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003


No one is judging.....but since you opened the door....

Matt 7:1-2 (NIV) 1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

I do not judge people. I show them where their sin is in the Bible. I let the Word judge them. That way, I am forced to keep myself in line with the Word as my judge.

For those pastors that are misbehavin', The judge has something to say:

1 Timothy 3:1-12

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. 8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.

Someone that is abusing their office should be suspended, sat down, or removed from office; end of story. But it takes the laity to do that. The laity has a degree of culpability for allowing corrupt local church officers, ministers, elders, pastors, and bishops to do what they do, because

They have to the power to vote them out.

The A.M.E. Church does not belong to Rev. Harper; it does not belong to the Bishop's Council; it belongs to the sheep, who have a choice over who their shepherds are. But apathy has opened the gate. Ignorance let the wolves sneak in to mingle with the sheep. Fear now prevents the sheep from removing the false shepherds.

Being a Christian means that you have to change sinful behaviors. Whatever Paul's thorn in the flesh was, he overcame it to do God's work. We cannot, at any level in the church, tolerate sin. It must be confronted.

We can no longer live any way we want, claiming our sin is "between me and God". That argument didn't work for David, it didn't work for Jimmy Swaggart, and it isn't going to work for Kobe.

The judge speaks again. Romans 8:8-14 (NIV)

8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Those pastors and laity who allow these travesties to occur should not be surprised when their own blesings are blocked. Those pastors and laity who allow these travesties to occur are playing with "Holy Fire".

Those pastors and laity who allow these travesties to occur should not be surprised that members are leaving. How long would you stay at a restaurant that disobeys health codes, doesn't feed you, and doesn't make you you want to come back?

Remember, in Scripture, to finish the rest of the passage. Otherwise, those in power would still have us in chains, and women would be be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, you dig?

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

Well, well, well. What a topic. I don't quite understand why Linda should be chastised for expressing her views on this topic. Everybody else is enjoying the benefits of free speech, why should her informed views be treated differently? I don't understand why an openly gay person should be required to surrender his credentials in a bid for the Bishoprick? Since the 2000 Doctrine & Discipline DOES NOT make any reference to this issue how can you impose ex post facto laws? If the Discipline does address the issue of homosexuality as a barrier to the Bishoprick I stand corrected. I would think barring a clergy candidate for the Bishoprick when there is nothing in canon law which addresses the issue puts the entire Connection in a state of legal jeaporday. Now given what the Episcopal Church in America has done in electing an openly gay Bishop it will be interesting to see if the 2004 AME General Conference will address the issue and have it included in the Discipline. Personally, I have my doubts that the AME delegates to the Gen Con will propose any such legislation addressing homosexuality because of the theological cowardice which permeates across our Connection on this issue. It's interesting that we can amend the Discipline to address topics like tithing or "economic development" but remain mute on fundamental behavioral issues. The key is precisely what Rev. Turner has emphasized and what Bob Matthews has discussed repeatedly -The AME Laity must accept responsibility for the poor choices we make. Until we come to grips with our theological mission as defined in Scripture, anything goes, and our credibility will only suffer. But then again, getting most of our folks to read and exegete the Scriptures according to II Tim 2:15 is the root cause of our passe` attitude about homosexuality. QED

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

This is an interesting topic indeed! I agree with most of the posters that openly gay ministers have been and continue to be ordained in the AME Church. A prime example is one minister in the 13th District who frequently visited a gay night club while pastoring a church in one city. After proper investigation and the pastor admitting to his homosexuality, he was removed from that church only to be sent to another in a different state! He continues to pastor a church in our zion.

But what I have never understood is why people attack homosexuality so viciously but accept adultery? If these are both considered sins by the word, who are we to rank which is worse? I would like to see that addressed at the next General Conference. If it were written in our discipline not to ordain or allow current ministers in our zion, well we would soon be looking for a lot of ministers, elders, and bishops!!

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2003

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