Methodist Official Dismissive of Christ's Teachings on Homosexuality

Bill Mefford, an official of the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church, posted a response on social media dismissing the teachings of Jesus Christ on human sexuality, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last month.

Mefford posted on the Facebook page of Maxie Dunnam, president emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary, where Mefford celebrated and confused the Supreme Court’s ruling with the Holy Spirit. Mefford told Dunnam, “I never have asked Jesus to define marriage.”


Yes, but note that he said this in a dispute with Maxie Dunnam, who is a very powerful figure in the UMC as well. Asbury Theological Seminary, of which Dunnam was the president in the 80s and 90s, graduated about 15% of the UMC clergy ordained in 2014, more than seven of the “official” seminaries combined.

The “General Boards” in the UMC are a power to themselves. The conservatives whose numerical and grassroots strength is growing are fighting to limit the power of the boards and bring them under control by General Conference.

Just putting things in a bit of context, lest it appear that Rev. Melford speaks for the UMC as a whole.


Oops–Dunnam was the president from 1994 to 2004, not “in the 80s and 90s.” I basically elided President McKenna. (I ought to know this stuff, because my wife is the granddaughter of Frank Bateman Stanger, the president before McKenna, and I know he stepped down in the 80s.)

I read too fast.
I thought you wrote the Bateman Strangler. :smiley:

I know that many Methodist laypeople are quite conservative (at least around where I live). I’m sure there are some enclaves of liberals though, especially among the clergy. The Methodist church is the last “conservative” mainline Protestant denomination I can think of; the UCC, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches have all gone liberal.

Yeah, technically the General Conference of the United Methodist Church is the only body that can “speak” for the church and the church’s “canon law” is the Book of Discipline, which is set by the General Conference. The Book of Discipline, as it currently reads, continues to uphold traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and marriage.

The General Boards have their own agenda, and their members are often more liberal than the church as a whole. Yet, they don’t actually determine UMC theology.

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