The Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church rejected a decision not to remove an openly lesbian bishop even though the denomination’s highest court called for her ousting.
Earlier this year, the high Court of the church ruled 6-3 that the election of Karen Oliveto as bishop violated Church law. The ruling was based on the ordinance that specifically bans noncelibate homosexuals.
On Wednesday, the Western Jurisdiction argued that the ‘judicial council’ exceeded its authority in their ruling.
Richard Marsh, counsel to the Western Jurisdiction, stated that the brief was to aid the acceptance of homosexuality within the church.
“The Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops believes it has an obligation to the wider LGBTQ community within the Church and beyond to point out the fundamental errors contained in this decision,” stated Marsh.
Furthermore, Marsh argued that Oliveto being in a same-sex marriage did not necessarily make her a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” cannot be ordained.
“The Judicial Council is without authority to expand the list of chargeable offenses. Only the General Conference can declare that same gender marriage is a chargeable offense, and it has not done so despite opportunity,” argued the brief.
In late April, the United Methodist Judicial Council argued that the openly practicing and married homosexual violated ‘Church Law;’
“Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore, or negate Church law. It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop,” read the decision.
“Paragraph 310.2(d) requires that all clergy persons make a complete dedication to the highest ideals of the Christian life, including but not limited to, their commitment to abide by and uphold the Church’s definition of marriage and stance on homosexuality. An openly homosexual and partnered bishop is in violation of these minimum standards.”
Just recently, The United Methodist Church at The Northern Illinois Conference commissioned M Barclay who personally identifies as a non-binary transgender individual. The decision made at the Illinois conference totally goes against the very fabric of Scripture. In the Book of Genesis, it doesn’t say God made an individual genderless, the Word of God says He made a Man and a Woman, yet somehow the United Methodist Church overlooked that aspect and violated not Church law, but God’s ordinance within scripture.
However, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruling against the decision to ordain Karen Oliveto as a bishop shows that there is some resistance left in the United Methodist Church to the sways of culture and the LGBT movement. Ongoing throughout our churches is a raging culture war, and as Christians, as this carries on, we must stick close to the Word of God. Therefore, we are not moved by every whim of false or changing doctrine.