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  • seminarian a year ago

    The article implies that the definition of marriage has always been church law. That is tremendously misleading. My best guess is it's less than 20 years old, and that before that the Discipline did not address the issue. "Hate the sin and love the sinner" is disingenuous, judgmental and self-righteous. It's like saying "I would love you if the way God made you (black, female, handicapped, or gay) were acceptable to me."

    • wayne b seminarian a year ago

      What is disingenuous is saying someone hates another because they disagree with their life style.  I may disagree with my childs life style but it doesn't keep me from loving them.  Your use of the word hate is used to create confusion. 

    • Pastorsmate seminarian a year ago

      Interesting!  Amy, seems to me that what Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery (another sexual sin) was not, "Come on into the kingdom, adultery and all!" but clearly was, "Go and sin no more."    God's own pattern of the sin/love relationship is that He Himself passionately loves and cares for sinners, but firmly rejects their/our sin.  Otherwise, if He accepts both sinners and sin, why would Jesus need to come and die?

      Jesus' first recorded words of ministry in the Gospel of Matthew were, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."  Why would He need to say that if sinners could enter the kingdom, sin and all?   Forsaking sin is a requirement for salvation.   God clearly loves sinners, but hates/rejects our sin.  Jesus instructed His followers to love one another "as (in the same way as) I have loved you".   The way He has loved us is by loving the sinner while rejecting the sin.   It would be hard for Him to make it any clearer.

  • jeffreyconn a year ago

    i know that some folks disagree but it is time for the UMC to recognize same sex marriage and to allow lgbt clergy to be in same gender relationships. They already are appointed and ordained they just need to be allowed to be honest about it. In order for that to happen, the UMC has to be honest about it.
    We need to delete all Disciplinary references to the sexuality of clergy unless they are violating civil or criminal laws.

  • oompaw a year ago

    In response to the last statement by Amy Durfree West, (It's like saying "I would love you if the way God made you (black, female, handicapped, or gay) were acceptable to me.") is ludicrous because one can't compare race and gender with one's choice to live a sinful lifestyle of sexual immorality. 

    We each have our own "thorn in the flesh" which can include all tempations of every kind of nature, but the same promise God made to Paul is just as strong for anyone who has faith, "My grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in your weakness."  The temptation for sexual immorality can be overcome because of God's grace.

    It is made clear in God’s
    word that anything other than sexual relations between a husband and wife is a
    sin.  Jesus spoke of this in Matthew
    9:4-6, as did Paul in the 5th chapter of Ephesians.  Paul addresses sexual sins (sexual
    immorality) in 1 Corinthians 6 which includes anything outside of sex in a God
    sanctioned marriage, which is clearly defined as being between a man and a
    woman.

     

    People who use the
    argument that we as Christians are not to be judgmental, I agree.  We are not to judge or condemn others, but we
    are called to judge sin as it is defined in scripture.  Remember the words Jesus told the adulteress
    woman who was about to be stoned.  He did
    not judge or condemn her, but he did judge her sin.  Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not
    sin again.”  Jesus
    was very clear in what He said.  He was
    letting her know that actions will be forgiven, but he also let her know they
    were sinful, for told her to go and sin no more.  He was telling her to repent.

     

    As disciples of Jesus
    Christ, are called to be witnesses to His gospel; to live holy lives being led
    by the Holy Spirit.  Paul admonishes all
    born-again believers to do just that in his letter to the Christians in Rome.  “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by
    the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and
    acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be
    transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the
    will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

     

    If one is not living a
    life that follows the teachings of Jesus, how can that person be an effective
    witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ?

     

    Upon our profession of faith in the
    UMC, we vow to renounce the spiritual
    forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your
    sins.  We also make the vow that according to the grace given, to serve as
    Christ's representatives in the world.

     

    How can one serve as Christ
    representatives in the world when living a sinful lifestyle?

     

    I ask you to remember the vow taken
    upon joining your current congregation:

    As members of this congregation,
    will you faithfully participate in its ministries
    by your prayers, your presence,
    your gifts, your service,
    and your witness?

     

    If one is living in such a way that
    does is not pleasing to God, how can that person serve as an effective witness
    to Jesus Christ?

     

    Peace & blessings to all.

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  • Shawn Hughes a year ago

    Just further proof that Protestantism changes as the wind blows...thank God of the His one true Church, the Catholic Church!

  • syost a year ago

    Christ died for our sins.  We have all been called to repent of sin and allow God to change our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. The entire new testament is a message of hope and judgement.  Our hope is eternal spiritual life through Jesus as well as the promise of judgement for sin.  God clearly has told us He will destroy the works of the flesh. We are all born in sin.  We should not lie to each other about the outcome of sin in our lives, but rather encourage one another to turn from destruction and allow God to renew our minds.  Christ also taught us to be seperate from the world.  He tells us we will be persecuted for righteousness sake. God loves us and His judgement is coming. 

  • Michael Uno a year ago

    I believe that the United Methodist Church has a much bigger issue regarding Marriage to address as the United States has the 3rd highest divorce rate in the World  (approx. 188 countries).  Defining "Marriage" would be a start.   Marriage used to be a holy (religious) concept, but marriage seems to be more of a civil contract which the government uses for income tax purposes and monitoring assets.

  • Park37 a year ago

    Rev. Booth hit upon a key truth that exposes a huge lie that underlies this whole debate - that "gay" is an identity - when she said “I think people have little to no choice in their experience of same-sex attractions, though they have a choice regarding how they personally respond to those attractions,”  Homosexuality is not an identity, it is a behavior, and it is clearly condemned in Scripture just as adultery is.  There is NO room for compromise on this issue. 

  • feslop a year ago

    Kathy Gilbert's article is a model of advocacy. Her opening section suggests biblical ambiguity and the danger of translating the concept of marriage into modern categories (and L.T. Johnson is a fine scholar). That transitions into the next section, phrased to suggest a 50-50 split on how the church interprets Bible passages directly related to same sex sodomy. An obligatory nod toward the teaching of the church follows, courtesy of the book by Rev. Booth, with decisive wrap-up that disagrees with and debunks everything Booth said.  Common' Kathy, tell us what you really think!  Ha...

  • WILLIAM HILL a year ago

    In reply to Amy Durfee West, marriage in Church law, scripture, and tradition has always been between a man and a woman.  Your best guess of 20 years concerning the question of whether marriage in the Discipline stated that it is between a man and a woman is off by at least 4 years, as the 1988 Discipline (the oldest I have) explicitly states in Par. 71C "We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant which is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman.  We believe that God's blessings rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union.  We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage".
    Par 71F (Human sexuality) "Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are only clearly affirmed in the marriage bond.
    Also, I have a 1943 Methodist Book of Worship that in the marriage ritual clearly shows marriage is between a man and a woman.
    If at any time the Discipline did not mention marriage as between man and woman perhaps it was because Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience showed this to be the norm, and never envisioned that a Christian would ever think otherwise.

  • UMCWesleyGuy a year ago

    Wow, this is the first GC I've every watch and IT IS ENTIRELY ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY.  From start to finish (throw in a cookie or two and a couple of quickies on divestment and restructuring).  Even when we're not talking about it, we're talking about it.  Wanna address hunger? Spousal Abuse? Aparthied? Sorry, not without talking about homosexuality.  Wanna try and worship in good faith with other Methodists?  Nope.  Wanna try and process what "all means all" might mean in your own life--nope, we'll interpret it for you--it means homosexuals.  Apparently, if you find the BOD to be a wise document, you are a bigot and it's illegitimate to have other matters on your heart.  And speaking of other issues on our heart, I'm having trouble thinking of what might occupy more of our attention in the first GC since 2008...Occupy, hmmm...wait! that's it!..hasn't there been a world-wide financial crisis since 2008? Didn't a couple of greedy corporate @#$^s take down the whole world economy and move to Fiji? How many homes lost, retirements disappeared, US credit rating downgraded for the fist time ever, political inability to do anything about it, environmental armageddon on the brink also because of monied interests? You think this would have been the conference to have a more fine-tuned discussion about what we think about the capitalistic societies we live in?..,about what we think about the problem that we are all bound up in this mess, even complicit in it in many ways? Think it would have been nice to search out ways in which we need to repent and, literally, put our money where our mouth is at this critical juncture? Think we could have spared the time to talk about how we want to address those that have the "American dream"?--about the dangers of selfish ambition, profit motive, the Christian rationale and foundations of responsible finance, both personally and as a nation? No proposal to discuss there? Fine, what about the the problem over overshooting our message in response to the evil behavior of the rich? I seem to recall that Jesus did talk to a couple corrupt tax-collectors in his day--didn't one of them climb a tree or something? I can't remember why, guess its not important to think about at a time when class resentment is bubbling up. Anything to say about a just tax policy?...really, even though the House is entirely radicalized (in both directions) and wants to either give the rich more tax cuts or pass the buck? Doesn't the BOD have something to say about the role of govt in health care and isn't this the first GC since the passage of Obamacare? We can't devote a little discussion to how that legislation measures up to what we had in mind earlier...about the stakes of repealing it...about how we want our govt to navigate the complex issues of health and our budgetary problems as a country? Last I checked, Ayn Rand was resurrected since we met last in the form of the Tea Party--but I can't quote see how an "each for your own" mentality could possibly be relevant to the church and there can't possibly be anything at stake in whether or not our members adopt that point of view as well. Noone thinks that might be an important theme for the 2012 conference? I guess not. I will have to submit to your wisdom, then, and allow these issues to be sidetracked and muddled in with (read: taken over by) the LGTB issue. Dear God, make us wise, make us relevant, and give us the courage, strength, and discernment to know when it is time to address other issues in a serious way for the sake of this dying world!

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  • Havetohaveaname a year ago

    Two Things1.  Holiness is not talked about very often in this matter nor is picking up our cross. 
    2.  Where is the discussion on the other groups who have advocated maintaining the Biblical stance.  There is the token reference to the other side, but no mention of the letter that has thousands of signatures of clergy and laity?  Where is the viewpoints of the international delegates?

  • Skipper Anding a year ago

    We need to be in harmony with God's plan of created order:  "There can be no "liberation" from God's norms; true liberation is found only in accepting them."   Jesus said to worship in "Truth and Spirit".  Don't want truth?  There are plenty of false prophets ready to tell you whatever you want to hear. Some wear clergy clothes.  Jesus said false prophets were waiting like wolves to devour you.  The Pharisees ask Jesus why his disciples didn't obey "our ancestors" and wash before eating.  Jesus said "Why do you disobey God and follow your own teaching?"  God commands us to be holy because He is holy.  Why follow your own desires when God loves us so much!       

  • wsteinbr a year ago

    Jesus is our identity and he talked of human sexuality referencing Gen 2:24. He also defined sin for us in Matt 15:19. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." NIV. No sin is any more than any other sin. By the way - Of note is that the sexual immorality is porneiai in greek. This word also includes homosexuality.

    http://lukeplant.me.uk/blog/po...
    http://bible.org/article/homos...
    http://www.gotquestions.org/ho...

    But! we need compassion for sin without compromise. I am reading the book "Unwanted Harvest?" by Mona Riley and Brad Sargent. We want to be a healing church. A church that offers healing to those who want to get out of whatever sin that they are in. Praise the Lord 1 John 1:9! 

  • wsteinbr a year ago

    For those who question whether the Gospels are a correct representation of what Jesus said I would offer this link:

    http://y-jesus.com/jesusdoc_1....

    The y-jesus.com web site is excellent overall.

    Blessings,

    Wesley Steinbrink

  • searching_for_answers a year ago

    I have never understoond why those in favor of church acceptance of gay marriage and clergy cite that Jesus said nothing on the topic of homosexuality.  None of the arguements I have ever heard from people of this persuassion are Biblically-based.  The Bible clearly lays out standards for how we are to live and treat one another.  Neither negate or conflict with the other.  Therefore, if church acceptance of gay marriage and clergy is based solely on the emotional response to people sharing their personal stories and "updating with the times", what does the Bible or Jesus matter?

    Someone, PLEASE cite a verse that liberates us from any sexual relation outside of the bounds of heterosexual marriage (premarital sex, homosexuality, masturbation, adultary, polygomy, lustful thoughts, swinging, etc.).

    For I am a sinner and have been guilty of many of the above mentioned (and may still do in the future, although I hope not to).  I judge no person but do feel obligated by the Bible to help the world stay "salty" and NOT simply change what is right and wrong based on what I or others want to do.

    God made the rules and part of finding truth in one part of the Bible is to believe it all.  If you want to make your own rules, the Unitarian Church may be an option for you.