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Dear Council of Bishops:
We the undersigned have a genuine love and deep concern for our church. We believe that the unity and the future of The United Methodist Church are in jeopardy.
We agree with the sentiments expressed in the clergy letter to the bishops of The United Methodist Church (click here to read the full text).
In light of the following facts:
We believe that a minority within The United Methodist Church is attempting to hold the whole church hostage to its determination to change over 3,000 years of Judeo/Christian teaching on the nature of marriage and sexual morality. We support our church's gracious, loving, and truthful position on the nature of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, and that sexual relations be reserved only for heterosexual marriage. Our church's position is a balanced reflection of the teachings of Scripture and portrays the mind of God on these matters. We are grieved that a minority has abandoned the process of "holy conferencing" that has characterized our church's deliberations on these issues. We see these actions as an affront to our United Methodist connection and a betrayal of clergy vows of ordination.
Therefore, we support the following steps:
We sincerely believe that the future of The United Methodist Church is at stake. What the dissidents are proposing will lead to anarchy - and the end result will be the demise of the church we love. We speak not as members of any board or caucus group, but as United Methodists who have committed our lives to this great denomination and who treasure our Wesleyan heritage. We believe there is a way forward – and that way requires that pastors and congregations live by the Book of Discipline, and that our episcopal leaders maintain its integrity by enforcing it unapologetically.
No institution that values its health and its integrity can allow those who represent that institution to willfully, publicly, and repeatedly undermine its policies by their actions or their statements. Doing so, whether in the name of compassion or diversity, will rupture our unity, weaken our witness, and cause our members to mistrust our leaders. The United Methodist Church must not sacrifice all the positive ministries of transformational discipleship that we are attempting to build for the sake of a defiant minority.
In this time of crisis in our church, words and statements are important, but words are not enough. We must see our leaders act with integrity to uphold and support the Discipline as they promised in their ordination and consecration to ministry. We ourselves must act with courage and faithfulness to uphold our commitment to Scripture, The United Methodist Church, and the Wesleyan way. By God's grace we will do so.