Please pray and display Christ-like spirit in midst of our disagreement

Notice: Below is an image of letter head and a letter from the desk of Bishop McAlilly. If you can not see the image/read text, please CLICK HERE.


More resources:
CLICK HERE to read “Bishops urge Bishop Talbert not to officiate same-sex union” by United Methodist Communications

30 Comments on “Please pray and display Christ-like spirit in midst of our disagreement”

  1. […] Annual conferences are allowed to restrict divorced people from serving as pastors. There are many United Methodists who would not view Chad as capable of serving as a pastor because he has broken […]

  2. […] Bill McAlilly of the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences offered support for the executive committee’s statement and Bishop Mike Coyner of the Indiana Conference commented on both the Talbert controversy and the […]

  3. David Keith Wells says:


    I have tried to refrain from commenting again, but must respond to some of the previous epistles.

    I am amazed that the libertines are so sure of themselves. They turn history and tradition upside down. Their feelings reign supreme. The libertines constantly say Jesus was all about love. Yes and he was all about walking through the temple with whip lashing the money changers, turning over tables, kicking butt, and taking down names. He also said “sell your cloak and buy a sword.”

    A zen Methodist like myself (the most succinct explanation of the meaning of zen I ever read was Zen = “I don’t know”) must allow for the possibility that I am getting it wrong. So the proponderance of the evidence must carry the day. To be fair we have folks on both sides who have absolute metaphysical certainty that they know the mind of God.

    I am at a loss to understand how folks believe that they know what Jesus was thinking. Jesus stated plainly what marriage is. The opinion of the libertines is an extrapolation of what they believe Jesus meant to say. It is very difficult to argue with an opinion, so I will not try.

    The comment that Jesus had nothing to say about homosexual behavior, therefore he must approve of it, is a logical fallacy, known as arguing from silence. Jesus did not comment on plural marriage or sex with animals, so he must have been a fan. Foolishness!

    The simple fact is, our pastors who violate the discipline are guilty of using the Lord’s name in vain. They swore an oath to God to uphold the discipline. They violated that oath. That also makes them guilty of bearing false witness. What other of the ten “suggestions” will it now be OK to ignore.

    I have said before that these libertine pastors, if they were people of character, would find a church that suited their feelings. How can they in good conscience, accept money from what they believe is an heretical organization?

    I do believe the Bishops made a minimal response, maybe all they could do.
    God help us all!

    Keith Wells

  4. Gloria Gregory says:

    I once heard a wise woman address a very large Sunday School class. Where, she asked, in the Bible does it say that homosexuality is worse than any other sin?

    The UMC has seen fit to allow divorced ministers to serve, even remarry, and to officiate at weddings of other divorced persons. Given the church’s stance against homosexual marriage, that seems to be a form of bigotry and discrimination.

    Why, Bishop McAlilly, do you ask us to uphold a man-made law (from the Book of Discipline) higher than the mandates of Christ?

    The UM denomination spent BIG bucks to hire a PR firm to create the slogan, Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors. Perhaps we should post notices on church doors stating who is “really” welcome… and who may actually ‘come as they are’.

    Or we might simply consider that God may be doing a new thing, and desiring clergy to follow Him, instead of each other.

    I applaud Bishop Talbert for keeping Jesus’ love alive.

  5. […] condemning Bishop Talbert, upholding an idolatrous clergy covenant over God’s truth of inclusion (…). I began to think about leaving the ordination […]

  6. Thom Franklin says:

    In opposing slavery (and therefore the bible) John “Wesley and the Methodists were persecuted by clergymen and magistrates. They were attacked in sermons and in print and at times attacked by mobs.” Wesley witnessed firsthand the torture put to a slave and took a stand.

    Where is our courage and our outrage now? Does anyone really think Methodists will still be opposing Gay marriage in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 100 years?

  7. Jason says:

    Thank you for this letter Bishop McAlilly! We will pray for God to intervene and His will to be done.

  8. Dan Boone says:

    When God calls something a sin, there is always a reason. Always. We all have urges and temptations. Some are incredibly strong and last a lifetime. I fear that there may be a downside to giving in to the urge of homosexuality. A downside that we, in our limited wisdom, haven’t figured out yet. I wonder. I wonder, too, about those who are so quick to discount God’s Word and lean to mankind’s wisdom. They call themselves enlightened. Are they? They call others biased and ignorant. Are they? God be with us. Please, Lord.

  9. Jay Archer says:

    Thank you Bishop McAllily for your courageous and loving statement. It grieves me that even your brief step into this issue draws potshots from the unchecked zealousness of folk who are sure they stand with God in their deconstructed renovation of the scriptural witness. I would hope you have not bothered to read these reactions and if you have, I would pray you are released from the prideful weight of them.

  10. Keith Wells says:

    Bishop Bill does stand for justice, he stands for honoring his commitments to the UMC.
    Talbert does not. Bishop Talbert still takes money from people he regards as hate filled heretics. Bishop Talbert seems to believe he can do as he pleases , ignore the dicipline when it suits him , but he will still cash the check.
    If Talbert was an honorable man he would resign and then his feelings could lead him. The body of the UMC has made it clear that they support the BOD. How difficult is that to understand?
    Supporters of Talbert should research his behavior in California and how he delt with ministers who disagreed with him. He used his full power as Bishop and more . He apparently ignored the dicipline then as well. There was no love or understanding involved. Hate won the day in California ,and Talbert carried the standard.
    Talbert is an excellent reason to do away with lifetime apointment for Bishop .
    I could make a comment about how power corrupts ,,but will save that for another venue.
    OK,,,, let the name calling begin,,,,
    Keith Wells

  11. Ginny West Case says:

    I am disappointed that Bishop McAllily wrote his letter condemning Bishop Talbert’s stand for justice. Once I was told that Bill McAllily was one of those who stood for justice. Some rules are unjust and must be broken for grace to prevail.

  12. Zach Ferguson says:

    In 10 years, when the majority of people under the age of 40 have left the church, I hope that the leaders of the UMC that stood for injustice and hatred will realize what role they played in the decline. It is very sad, because we have been through this as a church in the past.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, “The time is always right to do what is right.” The laws and rules are not always just or right, so sometimes it means that we have to stand against those rules and demand justice. 57 years ago when women finally were able to be ordained, as well as 47 years ago when African-American preachers were able to preach in an all white congregation. The time to do what was right in the church only came because those that were oppressed demanded that it be so. The leaders that opposed those changes because of the scriptures and the Book of Discipline were on the wrong side of history, and became part of the ugly stain on the quilt of the UMC that is our history.

    Bishop Talbert understands the history, and the injustice that the UMC has committed against its members, and he personally was affected by those injustices. He should be applauded for his stance, while the Council of Bishops, Bishop McAlilly and Bishop Wallace-Padgett should reconsider their stance of hatred and complacency.

    I would remind the church that Jesus spent most of his ministry with “the other”. Time and time we find Jesus at the gates of the cities in which he visited; a place that those outcast by society were found. He showed love, mercy, compassion, and concern to those people. Instead of focussing on the scriptures that promote hated and judgemental actions, we might need to refocus ourselves on the example of the ministry that Christ left for us.

    It is no surprise that I support the full inclusion of the church–for marriage, ordination, and membership regardless of sex, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, social/economic class, ethnicity, or any other factor.

    I served the church as a young adult missionary, but because leaders of the church continue to promote hatred and division in the church–I have decided to leave the UMC. A decision that breaks my heart, but I can no longer stand idly by while my brothers and sisters are discriminated against, and are judged because of how they are created. Love is beautiful, and should be celebrated by everyone no matter if it is between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and a man.

    It seems we fear what society has not accepted as the “norm”. When we began ordaining women as a church, or opened churches to be served by pastors of a different race or ethnicity, we were going against what society, and many in the church thought was the norm. Dr. Howard Thurman was exactly right when he said, “He who fears is literally delivered to destruction.”

    Let us begin to not live in fear, but instead build a church and a world built around love and acceptance.

  13. Melba Mitchell says:

    To be obedient to the word (the Bible) I don’t consider it to be discriminating. But we as people have got to decide will we follow Jesus all of the time or will we follow Him when it is convenient for us. Leviticus 18:22 makes it very clear about man and woman. I will continue to pray also. Love should be unconditional but the word of God will be the same yesterday, today and FOREVER more.

  14. Dorris Rowlett says:

    What makes me sad is that all churches are going away from God’s word and teachings. What the bible says is the gospel not to be changed by humans. I hate it when people want to change the bible to support whatever they want to do. If my daughter or son was homosexual, would I love them less. No I would love them just the same, however that doesn’t make it morally right and I don’t think I should ignore what the bible says because of it. This is a perfect example of how the world is falling apart and going away from God. I pray every day that we will get back to God and obey his commandments and teachings. I will continue to pray for us all.

  15. Birgitte says:

    What also makes me sad is that my kids who are both active young adults in the church are talking to me about leaving the Methodist church because they see their friends be discriminated against.

  16. Katherine Eskew says:

    My prayers are with you and our church as we seek to reconcile our church, our book of discipline and our beliefs with God’s Holy word.

  17. Galen Colbert says:

    The Bishop’s statement is disappointing, yet I understand it. The rules are the rules, the company line has to be upheld, and he couldn’t say anything else (but perhaps one could ask “why say anything?”). I’m a gay methodist, very active in my church, and legally married to my partner of 17 years…I’m one of the guys Jerry Whitt referred to in his post above. I applaud Bishop Talbert for forcing the issue. My spouse and I are currently evaluating whether we want to remain members of the UMC. It has nothing to do with our local congregation, who have been accepting and who we consider as members of our family. We love them dearly, and I hope they feel the same way about us. It’s much bigger than that. Bottom Line: why should we continue to support a denomination with our time, talent, gifts, service and TRUST when said denomination officially considers us “the other”? This is the decision we’re struggling with, and it’s heart-breaking.

  18. Ann says:

    Apparently, many Methodist seem to ignore what the Bible says concerning homosexuality. I don’t view the Bible as out dated. I suspect the demise of the Methodist church will come soon enough when the practice of marrying same sex couples is viewed as the proper thing to do.

  19. Anita jensen says:

    It is time that the book of discipline of the united Methodist church change its opinion on such matters. I support the bishop for conducting this ceremony as the greatest commandment is to love one another. We cannot do this as long as we support such out-dated ideas. It is no wonder so many people, especially the younger generation oppose organized religion. Until the church can move forward to a position that “all are welcome”, we encourage this negative attitude among our population.

  20. Jerry Whitt says:

    My wife and I were married in the Methodist Church 49 years ago. We have several gay friends. Two of whom were recently married out-of-state and out-of-the-church even though they are both Tennesseans and very active Methodists and we believe it is shameful that the church will not bless the love they have shared for many, many years.

  21. Jay says:

    Thank God for Bishop Talbert and for those in the UMC who embrace justice and love. An unjust law deserves no respect. And God Bless the good men who will be joined in Christian marriage by Bishop Talber.

  22. Trish Sanders says:

    I do pray that the Methodist church can take the more radical stand of Jesus as I understand his teachings of acceptance, inclusion, and non-judgment. It is such an outdated argument that the BOD takes—-how is it different from other changes that have been made since the beginning? Such a waste of energy, hurt feelings, inequality in our impoverished religious culture. Is it a wonder we have fewer people interested in our Message instead of the simple direct message of Jesus to “love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbors as ourself? Even the government is becoming more inclusive than most organized Christian demoninations! Seems we could starting with This marriage get on the Loving side of a human argument!
    Trish Sanders

  23. Deen Thompson says:

    I join you in praying for our church and at the same time I thank Bishop Talbert and Bishop Swenson for speaking out and speaking for those who are being harmed by the hurtful language found in the BOD of the UMC. Our church and the Council of Bishops are not of one mind on the treatment of GLBT members of the UMC and our voices need to be heard. Bishop Talbert will feel the heat of many of his fellow bishops, but in the spirit of John Wesley he can say, “The world is my parish”. Bishop Talbert stands in the spirit of Jesus and the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” This overrides the words of the BOD that continues to harm and kill in the name of the UMC.

  24. Ace says:

    “The language in our Discipline is wrong. Indeed, we must work to change these immoral laws at General Conference. But General Conference only comes every four years and no LGBTQ person should have to wait any longer to experience the full love of God in Christian community at a United Methodist church.” Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Council of Bishops Executive Committee member

  25. Dan Leslie says:

    Bishop I am praying for the Church and especially for you, as you travel this part of the path of grace.

  26. Sarah Flynn says:

    Crying ‘Peace, peace, where there is no peace’ will not bring about unity. The only unity the church will find is when it recognizes that both sides are conscientious about their beliefs and therefore a compromise is in order. Till then it can expect more of the same unease and protest.

  27. Sarah Flynn says:

    All that the letter says is true and yet irrelevant and a distraction from the moral issue at hand. Bishop Talbert sees the moral equivalanccy between institutional racism and institutional homophobia. And he remembers how it was necessary to break the lesser laws in order to appeal to a higher law of justice and truth. It is not as tho reasonableness has not been attempted. It has been offered and rejected
    What has been disrespected has been the consciences of those who disagree with the majority. In fact the majority refuses to admit there is division in the church and insists on a my way or the hiway position. No compromise. Other churches have been willing to let this issue be decided locally. Methodists have insisted on a one size fits all and now some are upset that the minority isn’t willing to conform to what it considers to be immoral and unjust rules. By doing nothing the majority has brought this upon themselves just as much as all white segregated churches did in the 1960s and 70s. There is no unity nor can there be while the church promotes subordination of LGBT people. They are being liberated in our society and they and their friends and allies will no longer be complicit with their own oppression.
    What amazes me is that there are still LGBT people and allies left in the UMC to protest. The UMC leadership should think about that. Here are people who still care enough about the UMC to risk trial and punishment.
    I believe it is time for those who advocate unity above justice to realize that Jesus and the Kingdom call us to more than preserving an unjust unity.
    Bishop Talbert is giving that opportunity to repent of our indifference and hardness of heart. And if he and others are brought to trial this challenge will grow more acute and more divisive until such time as moderate and reasonable people in the UMC insist upon a compromise that respects the conscienses of both sides. It is compromise or more protests and schisms.
    So the bishops want peace they had best propose compromises.

  28. thank you for your update. How to deal with this is a difficult decision, I pray for all of our leadership. Thanks for your service.

  29. Gatra Reid Malard says:

    I pray that other Bishops and ministers of the United METHODIST Church will follow Bishop Talber’st lead and marry same-sex couples. How can the Church claim authority for those who one should chose to love? This policy is damagin our CHURCH. Bill and Gatra Mallard, 1800 Clairmont Lake, Decatur, GA 30033