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The Discussion - Part 3C

Throughout this series of discussions, we didn’t hear many personal stories, other than mine, because I am very open about my family, with my brother’s blessing. A couple of them spoke of gay relatives. Everyone was supportive, which was simultaneously pleasant and disappointing. But it was good for my blood pressure. ;) I think my pastor got something out of the exchange of ideas. I hope the experience will serve him well in the future (He’s being reassigned this summer).

As a means of wrapping up, we looked over the sections on what the church can and cannot responsibly teach. We determined that the answers the study came up with are very general and vague. There were no real conclusions reached, other than that there needs to be more research, study, and discussion.

This book was published in 1994, before the debate on same sex marriage became so prominent and states began granting same sex marriage rights (and rites). My pastor contends that, if the best form of love and relationships is marriage, the Church should be forefront in advocating for it. Only in recent years has the United Methodist Church even allowed for discussion in its annual conferences.

But The United Methodist Church is in no position to advocate for same sex marriage. It is in no position to advocate even for equal treatment, despite this quote in its declaration of Social Principles: “Homosexuals no less than heterosexuals are persons of sacred worth…. Further, we insist that all persons are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured...”

Because it continues thus: “…although we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching…. No board, agency, committee… shall give United Methodist funds to any ‘gay’ caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality.” And finally, “Self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”

It’s hard to advocate for civil rights for gays when discrimination is written into its own declaration of Social Principles.

The United Methodist Church is supposed to be a reflection of Jesus and how he lived and what his priorities were. When it comes to gay people, the Church keeps silent, waiting for someone else to take the lead. It’s not what Jesus would do.

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