‘Uninformed generalizations’

I read in “Holston Conference News Briefs,” Feb. 25 edition, the recent negative comments from a pastor about contemporary worship. I first encountered this form at Willow Creek Community Church, where the depth of cross-bearing discipleship was preached at least as often and at higher levels than most of our United Methodist churches.

I also spent three and one-half years at Tyner United Methodist Church in contemporary worship where we worked hard on participatory worship and cross-bearing discipleship. Shall I also add other United Methodist churches doing the same: Christ, Cokesbury, Middlebrook Pike, Hixson, Burks, Asbury, First Farragut, and …!

Let’s be careful about uninformed generalizations.
Rev. Tom Seay
Bearden UMC
Knoxville District

‘They should leave’

I read with interest the article in the March 12 issue, “Pastor faces complaint for performing gay marriages.” The Book of Discipline is very clear that United Methodist ministers are not permitted to perform same-sex marriages. The fact that the couples had a marriage license doesn’t make the marriage acceptable in the United Methodist Church. If ministers aren’t going to abide by the Book of Discipline, they should leave the United Methodist Church.
Joe Rorex
St. Marks UMC
Maryville District

‘Demon-possessed legion’

I am outraged and saddened that we as United Methodists are upholding the blasphemy of God's word and instruction. In the March 12 issue, page 6, was a picture that slapped the face of all Christians (true Christians). Karen Oliveto (I will not show respect for her title for she no longer should be deemed "reverend") looked on with a "proud" look of satisfaction as she took part in the blasphemous, so-called union of two females. Her words made me gravely ill when she said “... the miracle of God moving in our midst in San Francisco and creating a new world.” Something is moving in San Francisco and in her, but I'm positive it is not God.

She also said, “The world has shifted radically." While she is correct in that statement she is wrong in implying that God is the one who is shifting. Yes, the world is shifting but to the rule and prince of darkness Satan himself. Romans 1:22 says, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

Romans 1:26: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” Verse 27: and likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."

Romans 1:32: "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

There are more of God's words that emphatically denounce the act of homosexuality, but what more do we need? I, for one United Methodist, am calling an end to the so-called controversy of homosexuality. There should be no controversy! Forget about the Book of Discipline and its plan statement against homosexuality and what the government allows. Look to the Bible. How can we allow the ordination of clergy who are supposed to be called by God to preach his word if they are not preaching his word? Does the name antichrist ring a bell?

If Karen Oliveto and others like her are not stopped from representing the body of United Methodist as Christians, I challenge other true Christians to pull themselves and their resources from the body of the United Methodists. We cannot support with our askings, pledges and Fair Share an organization that will not take a stand against Satan and his demon-possessed legion. We cannot and must not "take pleasure in them that do them.”
Joy Shrader
Oakland UMC
Morristown District

‘Detriment of our mission’

I was very disappointed in the March 12 article, “Pastor faces complaint for performing gay marriages.” The article was written by a free-lance writer and appeared to me as one-sided in its lack of defense of the United Methodist Church position on this subject. The issue of same-sex marriages by the church is very divisive. Discussion of difficult issues should not be avoided. When articles on such issues are printed in a United Methodist publication such as The Call, they should be representative of the church. Free-lance persons write for the purpose of gaining personal recognition in order to promote their talents. This often results in deliberately raising controversy in order to get recognition.

Much more important for the enlightenment and education of your readers would be to publish an article on this subject that was written by, or at least endorsed by, the Holston Conference delegation to the upcoming General Conference. There are many very significant issues facing the United Methodist Church that deserve discussion more than the issue of same-sex marriages by the church. Unfortunately, same-sex marriages will consume much valuable time of the General Conference and receive a great deal of publicity in the secular press to all the detriment of our mission as a church.

The “Open General Conference Meeting” at First White Pine UMC on March 18 is a wonderful idea for enlightening church members, and I commend the delegation for making this an open meeting. However, it appears very doubtful I will be able to go. I would welcome a full edition of The Call by the Holston delegation both before and after General Conference concludes. I hope to read much of the proceedings in The Call rather than relying on the local newspaper.
Dwight Patterson
Trinity UMC
Knoxville District

Editor’s note: The article, “Pastor faces complaint for performing gay marriages,” was prepared and released by United Methodist News Service.


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