Where Was The Bishop From Asbury?
Bishops Intentionally Confuse Homosexuality Issue In Pastoral Letter
John M. Crowe firstname.lastname@example.org
This sad event raises some important questions from a church health perspective.
1.What is the place of the standard doctrines of the UMC in relation to church health on the local, district, conference, and judicial levels?
The judicial council's decision rightly decided that Christian doctrine, i.e. the vows of church membership, was the real deciding point. I'm amazed at those who quote from the UMC's constitution but forget that it begins as does the definition of a local church with a definition of what church is from the EUB article of beliefs. This tell me that our definition of what church is comes first and must shape theologically both being and doing church.
2. What impact does this have upon other clergy and laity who witness or hear accounts of these unjust actions? Could these well fit within clergy abuse as described by a Canadian clergyman, Barry J. Robinson, in his book LUCIFER Grows In Our Garden: AN ANATOMY Of Clergy Abuse. We normally think Clergy abuse only applies to preacher killer churches or clergy who abuse their churches. However, it applies to the church's hierarchy as well.
The judicial council justly corrected the injustice done to Rev. Johnson. Even so, how can he or any UM clergy person really feel in covenant with each other as pastors or as pastors and conference leaders when voted out like he was?
However, the council did not have the ability nor could anyone pay back Rev.
Johnson and family if he has one, or the congregation he was the pastor for 6 years for the collateral fallout they must have gone through?
Also, I was appalled at the Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops on this matter. Clearly this was an emotional decision on their part and not a doctrinal response stated reasonably. I think if they were on Trump's The Apprentice, he would say they were all fired.
To my dismay, where was the Bishop from Asbury and others who I thought stood more for sound Christian teaching? If this is what a graduate from Asbury Theological Seminary is like, I hope he is the last one. My how could the former president of Asbury been so supportive? No wonder the seminary has not made much noise about him being elected as a Bishop.
John M. Crowe, D.Min., APC
Church Health Columnist for the Academy of Parish Clergy Director of Body Anatomy and Church Health Development.
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