Contact: Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth, President/Editor, Lifewatch, 252-726-2175
TAMPA, May 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The United Methodist Church's General Conference, the policy-making body for the 12-million-member global denomination, ended May 4 in Tampa, FL without considering important proposals related to the denomination's ongoing affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). General Conference meets only every four years.
The Reverend Paul T. Stallsworth, pastor of St. Peter's United Methodist Church (Morehead City, NC) and president/editor of Lifewatch (www.lifewatch.org), commented:
"It was a real disappointment to see our denomination's General Conference managed in such a way that delegates were not given the opportunity to deliberate and decide on proposals related to life and death. MANAGED is the word. For it seems that decisions were made, by a few, that prevented the conference from dealing with RCRC and some other life issues. Remember that before anti-RCRC legislation was ignored by the entire conference, it had passed a legislative sub-committee and a legislative committee.
"It is especially disturbing that the clock was run out on these matters -- when there seemed to be plenty of time for the conference to grapple with the important matters of restructuring The United Methodist Church and the church's teaching on homosexuality. Greater justice and mercy, to the unborn child and mother, is delayed and denied for another four years.
"Yes, we will have to wait another four years. During that time, church members and friends will be harmed by the practice of abortion, and others will leave our denomination out of the discouragement that affiliation with RCRC brings many United Methodists. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice will continue to use and abuse our church's name to advance its pro-choice political agenda. And our denomination's blank-check endorsement of RCRC's false and harmful teaching -- that the abortion of unborn children, who are created in God's image, is 'God's work' and 'holy work' -- will remain.
"But over the next four years, Lifewatch will not be silent. For we trust, we know, that '[t]ruth is most powerful, and will ultimately prevail.' That is especially true when we identify Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life, as the truth."