Friday, July 9, 2010

Would This Be a Deal Breaker If the United Methodist Church Did It?

When I saw this news item in the paper today (a real paper, with ink and all that!), the first thing I asked myself--would this be a deal breaker to considerations of joining the United Methodist Church?

Here's the first graph of the basic story: MINNEAPOLIS — Presbyterian leaders voted Thursday to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy, approving the first of two policy changes that could make their church one of the most gay-friendly major Christian denominations in the U.S.

Now, I don't believe this is the final word yet, as the measure has to be voted on by the church's districts (Nazarene comparison: kind of like proclamations from General Assembly probably) and has failed in the past. The leaders were supposed to vote on gay marriage, but decided to table it until their next general get together.

No. No. No. Not in the clergy. That's my first response. Not active sexually gay people in the clergy. No. Even in committed relationships. Just no. Please United Methodist leadership, don't ever do this--you would make my life ever so complicated....

Yes, that's a gut response, and not one equipped with biblical proof texts. No, I do not hate gay people. I just think that gay sex, like cheating on your spouse, and having sexual relations outside of the context of marriage, is a sin. It's a choice that people make that is against God's law. When people make that choice, I don't believe that they should be clergy. The church doesn't approve of fornicators and adulterers as clergy.

However, the Church is the Spiritual Hospital, open to all that are hurting, and we must always keep that in mind when discussing this issue. No one will hear the Gospel if we sound vengeful and full of hate.

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