The United Methodist bishops in Africa this week released a statement urging all bishops of their denomination to uphold the church's teachings on marriage and sexuality, saying they are "deeply saddened" that the Bible and the Methodist Book of Discipline are being ignored by some clergy.
"We are deeply saddened that the Holy Bible, our primary authority for faith and the practice of Christian living, and our Book of Discipline are being grossly ignored by some members and leaders of our Church in favor of social and cultural practices that have no scriptural basis for acceptance in Christian worship and conduct," the bishops said in a statement released this week at the Council of Bishops' fall retreat in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
"We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman," the United Methodist Church says. "The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching." more >>
United Methodist Church leadership has recently endorsed a plan to change the name of its central rule book.
Bishops of the divided denomination plan to change the name of the Book of Discipline to Things United Methodists Don't Agree On.
A complaint filed against a Michigan United Methodist Church pastor who officiated a same-sex wedding might lead to a trial.
The Rev. Michael Tupper, pastor of Parchment UMC, knowingly violated the denomination's Book of Discipline which forbids clergy from performing gay weddings.
During an interview with The Christian Post, Tupper said he participated in the gay marriage ceremony in order "to bring light to the harm done by the United Methodist Church to LGBTQ people." more >>
No, I'm not converting, although I enjoyed my 1983 visit to the Vatican. But Friday, columnist Kirsten Powers announced on Fox News that she was joining the Catholic Church. Not many years ago she moved from non-belief to Evangelical Christianity, and she has been attending an Anglican church with friends of mine.
Many Catholics on social media have hospitably welcomed here. From a Protestant stance, her move from one church to another neither adds to nor subtracts from God's Kingdom. May He continue to bless her faith.
Presumably she will explain her faith transition. As a political liberal who is more traditional on moral and social issues, she very likely admires the current Pope and appreciates Catholic social teaching. In Washington, D.C., and in wider intellectual circles, conversions from Protestantism to Catholicism are not uncommon. There is a thirst for the intellectual resources and historic continuity of Catholicism, amplified by Mainline Protestantism's collapse and modern Evangelicalism's lack of a rich tradition. more >>
Hillary Clinton's much publicized visit to Foundry United Methodist Church yesterday brought back many memories. My first assignment with the Institute on Religion and Democracy 20 years ago was to research and publish an article on Foundry's then controversial pastor Phil Wogaman, a longtime liberal theologian who had taught at Wesley Seminary. He was an old time Social Gospel modernist, skeptical of biblical miracles but confident about perfecting society through state power.
My subsequent report on Wogaman's theology and politics was picked up by columnist Cal Thomas, which led to longtime Foundry members Bob and Elizabeth Dole, then in a presidential campaign, publicly quitting Foundry. I actually attended Foundry on the Sunday of Elizabeth Dole's final attendance. The church bulletin advertised a critique of the Republican "Contract With America." Wogaman afterwards mentioned me in his response to the Thomas column from the pulpit, with the Clintons present. Later he covered the episode in his memoir, as I did in my own book.
During that time IRD's office was across the street from Foundry Church, fueling suspicions of ongoing surveillance. Memories! more >>
Editor's Note: The following sermon was delivered by Hillary Clinton at Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C. on Sept. 13, 2015. Clinton formerly served as U.S. secretary of State, U.S. senator and first lady. She is running for president of the United States.
Good morning. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. And especially for this occasion, a remarkable event that we are celebrating together. I am so glad that Chelsea and I could be part of it. I thank you for that invitation.
I was thinking, as Chelsea was speaking, how unpredictable, even serendipitous it turned out to be that we ended up at Foundry. Some of you may remember it was not too long after the inauguration. It was a Sunday. We were already getting kind of stir-crazy, and so we thought, "Let's go to church." Now, this was a long time ago — 1993. There had been a big storm in Washington. The drifting snow was stacked in the streets and on the sides. We had the idea that we would find a Methodist church and walk from the White House. I don't know who was there that day. Some of you were very, very kind in bringing us in. This was the time before metal detectors and all of the hyper-security that we live with today. We just walked out of the White House followed by some bewildered Secret Service agents and made our way to church. And from that moment until this, we have always felt so welcome. more >>