Decision 1264: Commentary

In my opinion, Decision 1264 (April 2014) is commendable as a statement of current law. I’m pleased that it contains no dissenting opinions that won’t stand the test of time. For examples of dissenting opinions that haven’t, see Memorandum 930 (April 2002) and Decision 985 (May 2004). I’m surprised to find that I am agreement with both concurring opinions. I’ll first comment on each concurring opinion, then address the controlling opinion and wander off into legislative history. I conclude that the General Conference doesn’t have a clear idea what it means by “promoting the acceptance of homosexuality.”

Content note: I cite disciplinary language.

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Immediate Measured Reaction to Decision 1264

Bishop, I respectfully request that, if this continues, that the chair would call the body to make a decision regarding our going into executive session. This is not a circus; we are not a debating society. We are working for the well-being of this church, and, if necessary, I would submit that we would have a closed session of this General Conference to consider this issue prayerfully and in much prayer and supplication.

A General Conference delegate on May 2, 1988 (1988 DCA, page 447)

Recently I’ve been reading American Methodist history. Specifically, I’ve been reading about the 1844 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. One summary I’ve read is in this early work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. From what I’ve read of the debate in the 1844 General Conference, I don’t like either side of the debate.

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