Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
April 28th, 2017 by Joel Watts

Quick thoughts on the Judicial Council decision

You can read the article here. The text of the decision is here.

Some quotes:

  • “A same-sex marriage license issued by competent civil authorities together with the clergy person’s status in a same-sex relationship is a public declaration that the person is a self-avowed practicing homosexual” for purposes of the prohibitive language in the United Methodist Book of Discipline, Paragraphs 304.3 and 2702.1(b), the council ruled.
  • The decision further found that an openly homosexual and partnered bishop may be charged with disobedience to church law, along with other bishops and clergy persons who actively participate in the consecration of that bishop.

Yeah… she stays “in office” until the process is completed, but it appears that given the changes in the BoD in 2016, the process is expected to end one way.

Why? Because she is now deemed self-avowed – deemed by her marriage.

Further, those who consecrated her — and it appears those who ordained self-avowed LGBT candidates can now be charged. This could trickle down to the the BOOMs too. This point may have to be argued, however, bishop is a category of clergy and thus their ruling (I’d argue) doesn’t merely apply to bishops but should apply to clergy who do not meet the qualifications.

I note this line from inside the decision:

What is true for elders must also be true for elders who are bishops.

Further, the Jurisdiction does not mean Denomination.

That means those letters people signed…

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


2 Responses to “Quick thoughts on the Judicial Council decision”
  1. I find your comments helpful, thank you for the work you do to lift Jesus above all. I noticed you have training in mental health. How do you see depression and its causes on those with schizophrenic disorder. I need to get a deeper understanding so can help with someone who has this. thank you, Connie

    • Connie, that is a rather intense question. I would look for a pastoral counseling center (which are usually staffed with LPCs) in your area that may be able to help.

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