UMC BISHOPS RESPOND TO US SUPREME COURT RULING ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Bishop Lindsey Davis, Kentucky Conference – “While I am personally disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to alter the government’s definition of marriage to include same-gender couples, their decision is not much of a surprise.  The Court’s reasoning runs counter to the teachings of almost all world religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  I remain hopeful that the United Methodist Church will remain faithful to the biblical understanding that marriage is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman.”

Bishop James Swanson – Mississippi Conference – “The question that I believe is foremost upon the minds and hearts of United Methodist clergy and laity is, “How does this affect our church’s official position on same sex-marriage?”  A very simple answer is, it does not. Only the General Conference can make a change to our position.

This is affirmed even in the Supreme Court’s decision. I would direct your attention to page 27 of the decision where the court points out “… It is to be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

In making this statement, the Supreme Court of the United States recognizes that obviously the First Amendment protects religious organizations’ “rights” to teach our principals in accordance with our beliefs.

I am committed to that and to doing so with love, grace and humility. I trust that we all can have the same spirit.”

Bishop James R. King, Jr – South Georgia Conference – The polity of our United Methodist Church did not change. Our Book of Discipline in paragraph 341.7 states, ceremonies that celebrate same sex unions “shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” As a denomination, we have agreed that the only body authorized to change the Book of Discipline is the General Conference, which will meet in 2016.

Stand strong in your faith in God. Hold to the timeless values of faith rooted in the love of Christ. I will uphold the discipline of the church and expect you to do likewise.

Let us continue to be in constant prayer.

Bishop Ken Carter – Florida ConferenceFacebook post by Bishop Carter

June 27, 2015 – 7:15 AM

In light of ‪#‎scotusmarriage, what if…

  1. Those on the left side of the aisle allowed space for conscience (as Kennedy does) for people of faith who cannot interpret marriage in this way.
  2. Those on the right side of the aisle began to focus on fidelity in marriage relationships.
  3. Preachers began to teach counter-culturally about marriage, acknowledging the profound brokenness in our culture, in relation to grace and holiness.
  4. We clarified the distinction between marriage as a right (in the state) and marriage as a gift (in the church).
  5. We repented, on both sides of the aisle, from speech that reduced those different from us into one-dimensional people.
  6. We repented, as well, from the historical reality that Christians have been an obstacle in each movement toward greater civil rights in our country.
  7. We recovered a passion to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

For more about what bishops are saying – Go to:  http://www.okumc.org/blogdetail/1456861  and http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/bishops-offer-advice-after-gay-marriage-ruling.

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