Methodists leaning Conservative in General Conference
For those who haven’t been following the 2012 United Methodist General Conference, proposals have been made for the worldwide group to change its stances on, specifically, homosexual clergy members and gay marriage. Central to the conflict is the Book of Discipline, the document which provides the rules and regulations to United Methodist churches. In 1972, language was added to the Book of Discipline that declares homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian doctrine and church policies have been molded in that light.
Every four years, the United Methodists meet to discuss changes to the Book of Discipline and related issues. This year, the General Conference started on April 24 in Tampa, Fla., and committee reports will be discussed this week.
The Confessing Movement Within the United Methodist Church — a decidedly conservative group — has been keeping up with the day-t0-day goings on during the conference. Click here to track issues as reported by the Confessing Movement.
Saturday (April 28) was a noteworthy day in the General Conference as committee reports were presented. Those recommendations will be discussed by the General Conference this week, but the reports do lean conservative. Some of the more notable reports are as follows:
* A resolution to withdraw the United Methodist Church from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has passed and is headed for discussion at the conference.
* A petition cleared committee that, if passed, will only allow active bishops on the Council of Bishops. Why? It seems there are some who claim retired bishops have been disruptive, pushing for reforms such as a change in the Church’s stance on homosexuality.
* Speaking of homosexuality, a petition to remove language from the Book of Discipline declaring homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian teachings failed to pass committee. A fight is brewing over this issue as that policy is instrumental in the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage, gay clergy, etc.
* The definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman has been affirmed.
These issues, and more, will be debated through Friday. Regardless, it does appear conservative movements are prevailing thus far. Stay tuned…
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.