Judicial Council April Docket

The United Methodist Church Judicial Council will meet at the end of April to rule on the Western Jurisdiction’s election of a practicing homosexual bishop and appointment of that bishop to the Big Sky Area.

Here is a link to the request for a declaratory decision on the appointment, the request for an expedited decision, and a statement on placing the ruling on the April docket.

Here are the specific paragraphs referenced in the original request:

  • Paragraph 304.3: While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. 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.
  • Paragraph 310.2.d(3): The General Conference, in response to expressions through out the Church regarding homosexuality and ordination reaffirms the present language of the Discipline regarding the character and commitment of persons seeking ordination and affirms its high standards.
  • Paragraph 341.6: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
  • Paragraph 2702.1.a: Chargeable Offense – immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage.
  • Paragraph 2702.1.b: Chargeable Offense – practices declared by The United Methodist Church to incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies.
  • Paragraph 2702.1.d: Chargeable Offense – disobedience to the order and discipline of The United Methodist Church.

April will be here before we know it; don’t forget to sign the petition issued by the Methodist Crossroads.

If you would like to write your own letter to the Judicial Council, here is the mailing address and names for each of the members.

Liberal Churches Shedding Members

The Daily Inter Lake Newspaper in Kalispell MT, recently published an article by David Millard Haskell titled, Liberal Churches Shedding Members and Traditions. Here is a link to the complete article.

This article reinforces the data taken directly from the United Methodist Church website; the liberal jurisdictions experience more rapid membership losses as compared to the more conservative ones.

Liberal leadership and members within the United Methodist Church continue to state, ‘orthodox biblical interpretations are driving people away from the church’. Unfortunately their position is not confirmed by the official numbers from the UMC or any other denomination that has takes a social versus biblical perspective on the Bible.

Montana Wesleyan’s In The News

Billings GazetteThe Billings Gazette newspaper, in the Faith & Values section, published an article about the formation of the Montana Wesleyan Methodist organization.

The article  discussed reasons for the groups formation, highlights from the first meeting held in November, and information about the next meeting in January.

Click here to read the complete article.

Theology versus Church Growth

Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, from the Good News organization, wrote a very interesting article titled Study Demonstrates Connection Between Theology and Church Growth.

Based on the 5 year study cited by Rev. Lambrecht, ‘conservative theological positioning of clergy and attendees is a significant predictor of church growth.’

The information contained in the article offers one explanation as to why liberal mainline denominations are in decline and orthodox evangelical churches are experiencing growth.

Click here to read the complete article.