Proponents of the negative and restrictive language regarding homosexuality in the United Methodist Discipline have protested that the legislation is ignored or violated by many within the denomination. Such resistance has a long history. This article highlights historical examples from United Methodism and its predecessor bodies when clergy, laity, bishops, and conferences rejected, through their actions, legislation passed by the General Conference. Issues include rebaptism, women’s lay rights, women’s clergy rights, clergy performing marriages for divorced persons, clergy smoking, and alcohol. The point of the illustrations is not that General Conference actions are meaningless. Some violations are inconsequential and properly ignored. Other actions strike at the heart of who we are and are rightfully enforced. But the rejections here remind us that legislation must rest on a shared consensus that the rules are necessary, right, and consistent with John Wesley’s passion that all come to know the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

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