unofficial cm page


Open Letter: What Bishop Davis does this say about a denomination?

Bishop Lindsey Davis
United Methodist Church
North Georgia Conference
159 Ralph McGill Boulevard, #208
Atlanta, GA 30308

March 15, 1999

Dear Bishop Davis,

This is written with concern for our denomination and the message that it is sending the world. You being the bishop in charge of the conference where a statement has recently been made by not reappointing Reverend Charles Sineath are the recipient of this letter. Following are the concerns I have and my sincere prayer is that you will read them in the hope that there exists the dialogue that I have been told our episcopacy wants to partake in.

  1. YOUR STATEMENT TO The Atlanta Journal-Constitution AND THAT OF THE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT OF ATLANTA-MARIETTA. It is my concern that the statement by you that Sineath is just one of 50 ministers in the conference who will be reassigned this year and that of the DS that the action was simply a personnel matter, is misleading. After all in a letter sent by you to church leaders last April you said "I cannot stand quietly by and allow Marietta First United Methodist Church to proceed in a direction which I believe to be negative and contrary to the expressed will of the North Georgia conference." Also in the FUMC Marietta recent board meeting where it was once again decided to redirect funds to Methodist approved organizations the DS at the time said there would be repercussions.

  2. YOUR CONCERN OVER THE BREAKING OF THE DISCIPLINE BY NOT PAYING FULL APPORTIONMENTS BUT YOUR CONTRARY VOTE OF WHAT OUR DISCIPLINE SAYS CONCERNING SAME SEX UNIONS AND MARRIAGE. This statement is made in light of your vote with other Bishops to allow same sex unions on Methodist founded Emory and your lack of a statement against what is happening in our denomination in that area. Where is the outrage that has been expressed toward redirecting apportionments from our episcopacy concerning the sins of abortion, homosexuality, and greed by our own agencies as well as many others. (see FUMC Marietta’s excellent document on this as well as many other reports including our own Barnabas report)

  3. THE LACK OF SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY USED IN THESE DECISIONS: Article IV of our articles of Religion states "We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for our faith and practice. Whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation." Article XV The Christian and Property "We believe God is the owner of all things and that the individual holding of property is lawful and is a sacred trust under God. Private property is to be used for the manifestation of Christian love and liberality, and to support the church’s mission in the world. All forms of property, whether private, corporate or public, are to be held in solemn trust and used responsibly for human good under the sovereignty of God." From John Wesley’s sermon The Danger of Increasing Riches "And can you AFFORD to waste your Lord’s goods, for every part of which you are to give an account, or to expend them in any other way than that which he hath expressly appointed?" I insert these to show that I believe in light of our denomination’s continuing misuse of funds and continuing support of the sins of abortion, homosexuality, greed, and even blasphemy of the Gospel it is the individuals’ churches duty to use what is the Lord’s for only the Lord’s work. For an officer of the Church as you are designated to insist payment to things that are not found to be supported by Scripture I wonder where the authority of our denomination is going. After all FUMC Marietta did pay a portion of their apportionments and redirected what it did not pay to other Methodist agencies that were using the money as the individual Church felt it could give account to God.

I respectfully submit my concerns and know that it is not my right to rebuke you but only to remind you of what I believe Scripture says. (Jude 1:9) It is my true belief that we must not as Jesus taught us "break the command of God for the sake of your tradition." WE are at a time in our church when it is becoming increasingly evident that secularism will be tolerated in our church but not paying apportionments in full will not. What Bishop Davis does this say about a denomination?

 In Christ,


Marla Steepleton,

Laymember, Christ United Methodist church Memphis TN

cc:  Bishop Kenneth Carder

[Click] button If you would like to add your yourcomments.gif (1566 bytes) to the UCM News

<Back to News