United Methodist Church officials in Alabama have dismissed a complaint signed by more than 600 church members in July that chided Attorney General Jeff Sessions for implementing the family separation policy along the border and attempting to justify it with Scripture.
But the logic of the decision, which cited a distinction between personal behavior and the actions of public officials, is not sitting well with some Methodist leaders.
The formal dismissal of the complaint by the Rev. Debora Bishop, district superintendent of the Alabama-West Florida UMC Conference, where Sessions‚Äô home church resides, came in a letter on July 30. It amounts to a final decision on the charges of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and ‚Äúdissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.‚ÄĚ...
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ( 2 Cor. 5:18-21). Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (MT 28:19, 20).
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (ROM 1:16).
Read the article about South Carolina churches closing. United Methodists were losing many churches, and this article might help explain why. When 'over 600 members' can file a complaint against the US Attorney General, just because his church is within their district, is utter foolishness. The late President Richard Milhouse Nixon was a Quaker, but I never read of that church ever condemning his behavior, especially in terms of the raunchy language he used or his management of this country's losing efforts in Vietnam.
Jack Jenkins wrote: The Rev. William B. Lawrence,¬†a former president of the UMC‚Äôs Judicial Council, said Bishop‚Äôs logic was ‚Äúproblematic.‚ÄĚ
Lawrence said Bishop was invoking a secular legal concept known as the principle of ‚Äúsuperior orders‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ the idea that an individual cannot be held accountable for illegal actions if they were ordered to enact them by someone else.
‚ÄúI do not follow the logic that grants someone, even the president of the United States, the right to ‚Äėsuperior orders‚Äô with regard to church law,‚ÄĚ Lawrence said.
Lawrence further noted that the ‚Äúsuperior orders‚ÄĚ defense has failed in U.S. courts.¬†In the 1813 case United States v. John Jones, a privateer‚Äôs crew was¬†tried for stealing from a Portuguese vessel during the War of 1812. The crew members insisted they were simply following their captain‚Äôs orders, but the judge dismissed their argument and found them guilty.
Former Nazi officers tried this defense also and it didn't get them anywhere