Let that sink in for a second.
Anyway, some folks in the UMC went to the church court to protest apparently and the UMC court made a very confusing ruling.
The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that the consecration of an openly gay pastor as bishop is against church law.
But in a somewhat muddled ruling that could reflect the ongoing struggle to determine how great a role LGBTQ members can play in the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., the court also ruled that the Rev. Karen Oliveto, its first openly gay bishop, “remains in good standing.”"Somewhat muddled"? Well that is a nice way of putting it. The "top court" of the UMC says on the one hand that it is against church law to consecrate an open and unrepentant homosexual as a bishop but then refuses to remove her and says she is in "good standing". Your consecration was against church law but you are still in good standing?
I don't understand UMC church law well enough to know what exactly is going on here. What I can sense is that they are trying to straddle the road but in doing so are not making the more conservative Methodists happy and certainly are not placating the militant homosexual-affirming liberal wing. They are just making everyone mad.
If it is against church law to consecrate an openly homosxual bishop, then she should be removed. Given the overwhelming and unanimous witness of Scripture, this should be a no-brainer. She shouldn't be a bishop, she shouldn't be a pastor and she should be under church discipline and eventually excommunicated if she refuses to repent.
On the other hand, if she can stay as a bishop in good standing that means that it really is OK to be a practicing lesbian, "married" to another woman and that Scripture is irrelevant when it comes to determining the qualifications of a leader or even the standing of a member of the church.
It can't be both things. It is pretty clear to me what the UMC wants to do. It wants to affirm as holy a union between two people of the same gender and bless those unions and permit and encourage the participants in those unions to be leaders in the church. It doesn't do that fully out of fear of seeing a mass exodus of church members who have thus far stayed the course in the UMC but that is where this is headed. Like other denominations you can only sit on the fence so long and eventually, probably within the next 24 months, the UMC will fully embrace homosexuality and the second largest denomination in the U.S. will splinter. As Ed Stetzer pointed out yesterday, at the current pace of decline "mainline" denominations will cease to exist in less than two dozen years. When the UMC eventually fully embraces perverse sexual practices as normal and holy, that will only accelerate the pace of collapse. Groups like the United Church of Christ, an ultra-liberal group, are already seeing the end. The UCC is under one million members and of those that remain, only 38% are male and 2/3 are aged 50 and older. Of course that same survey also indicated that less than 2/3 of members absolutely believe in God and more than half never or very rarely read Scripture so that shouldn't surprise anyone.
What is generally missed here because it is so commonplace among "progressives" is that the "bishop" in question, regardless of her homosexuality, is a woman. I will say this, if you can't understand why a woman cannot be a bishop or elder in the church, it is no wonder you can't figure out what is wrong with a homosexial bishop or elder. There are not really any arguments to be made from Scripture that boil down to "It is OK for a woman to be an elder but it is not OK for a lesbian to be a bishop". Unfortunately for the UMC, that ship sailed a long time ago.
Will the last Methodist to leave the building turn off the (sustainably sourced from renewable energy) lights?