Tuesday, February 1, 2011
33 Retired United Methodist Bishops Urge Denomination to Remove It's Ban on Homosexual Clergy
"…The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church." ¶304.3
Such a change would have to take place at the General Conference level. The next General Conference will take place in 2012. This issue has come up at every General Conference for decades, now, but it is important to note that at each Conference the United Methodist Church has remained firm in their stand for continuity with Scripture and the teaching of the Church catholic for over 2000 years. The current position of the United Methodist Church, while not being on the same page with certain other mainline American denominations (e.g., The Episcopal Church and The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), is on the same page with the vast majority of Christian churches throughout the world. (In other words, it is denominations such as TEC and the ELCA that are out of step with the rest of the Church.)
While this issue is raised at every General Conference, this may be the first time that such a "Statement of Counsel" has been issued by such a large number of retired bishops. (That is, I do not know if this has happened before, but I am not aware that it has.)
The United Methodist Church, along with all Christian churches, is called to show forth the love of God in Christ for all people. Part of showing forth that love is proclaiming the great good news that we can be forgiven and transformed by God's grace.
The full statement can be read, here.