United Methodist conferences petition denomination on behalf of LGBT rights

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Clergy and faith leaders gather outside Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia in support of Richard Taylor and William Gatewood (at top of stairs in doorway) following their wedding in November 2013. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service

Clergy and faith leaders gather outside Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia in support of Richard Taylor and William Gatewood (at top of stairs in doorway) following their wedding in November 2013. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service

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(RNS) United Methodist regional bodies meeting across the country this month are increasingly writing petitions and passing resolutions asking the denomination to change church law on behalf of LGBT people.

  • Fran

    Another possible compromise of God’s principles, guidelines and commands as found in his Word, the Bible. This is becoming more commonplace as each day goes by.

  • Greg1

    Their logo design should be a hand holding way up high a bible with about half of its pages ripped out. and underneath it the words “The Life, Truth, and the Wayward (John 14:6).”

  • Larry

    Can you feel the Christian love in the room?

    Nothing says, I respect the beliefs of fellow Christians like sectarian sniping and cheap jabs at other sects.

    Oh no, people want the UMC not to hate they way you guys do! Get the fainting couches!

  • Greg1

    Larry, when a parent scolds his child, is that hate? It is called “tough love.”

  • Be Brave

    Larry,

    Why is an anti-Christ such as yourself butting in where you have no cause to? Just live your life in your godless enclaves, employ safe sex practices and take your psychotropic drugs and stay alive as long as medical science can assist you.

    How rude of you to barge in to matters you haven’t the right to scream about.

  • Be Brave

    “Late last month, members of the Upper New York Annual Conference approved eight resolutions calling for changes to the denomination’s guidebook, the Book of Discipline, regarding gays and lesbians. The resolutions will be presented to next year’s General Conference, the denomination’s highest legislative body.”

    As predicted:

    Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

    For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.

    They are ungodly people,

    who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality

    and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” – Jude

    Jesus never said a word about redefining marriage, but asserted that marriage was man and woman/husband and wife. From the Old Testament and into the New.

    Liars need not apply . . .

  • Larry

    What a load of horsecrap!

    Can you be a little more dishonest about your prejudices?

    You have no regard for the welfare of those you revile, slander, abuse, attack and treat as less than people. “Tough love” involves actually showing a level of concern for those on the receiving end. Even then, it still involves a measure of unwarranted abuse.

    The world can do without your version of Christian love. Its hate Greg. Whatever else you may call is only a lie you tell yourself and others to feel better.

  • Larry

    I am an Anti-Christ? Cool. So how much do you want for your soul? I can’t offer you much. At best it would be a short sale 🙂

  • Larry

    It looks like the UMC is on the road towards a regional schism. It would probably be for the best. People wedded to the idea of linking their prejudice to religious belief are not the most accommodating types. They certainly have no stomach for intersectarian debate, compromise and discussion.

  • Shawnie5

    This is an intra-church matter, Larry, and you have nothing much to contribute here. Perhaps you’d like to comment on something having to do with civil law, instead.

    “Whatever else you may call is only a lie you tell yourself and others to feel better.”

    Kindly refrain from trying to tell us what we really think. We can do that just fine ourselves, thanks.

  • Larry

    It is a public matter as it is on a news site. You are doing nothing but flinging poo here.

    I am remarking at the sectarian hostility present by various posters. How Christians are more than willing to throw their fellow Christians under the bus over disagreements of doctrine and sectarian concerns.

    Greg is under the ridiculous delusion that one can extol discrimination and bigotry against others, call it “tough love” and that someone could find that remotely credible. It was a flat out lie. Nobody is being fooled by such nonsense representations.

    It would be nice if you guys could represent yourselves in an honest fashion. But that is not going to happen.

    So it looks like your church is on its way towards a split. I don’t have to guess which sect you would be jumping to.

  • Shawnie5

    You call it “”sectarian hostility — for you’re an outsider. But Jesus charged us with the responsibility of watching out for false teachers and evaluating them by their fruits. So which of the two perspectives am I going to worry about? Gee, I don’t know….oh yes, I do!

    “Greg is under the ridiculous delusion that one can extol discrimination and bigotry against others, call it “tough love” and that someone could find that remotely credible.”

    Of what importance is it, exactly, that you find any aspect of our faith “credible?” You are unabashedly of the world — Jesus said that God loved the world and sent His Son to save it (John 3:16), and also that the world hated Him because He testified of it that its works were evil (John 7:7) and would hate His people for the same reason. So whose summation of the situation am I going to go with? Gee I don’t know…oh yes, I do!

    Find something secularly-related to comment on, Lare. You’re out of your depth here

  • Larry

    You can call it anything you want. Just don’t try to pretend any of the statements above were anything resembling respectful, pleasant or well intentioned towards the position of people within the UMS making the petition.

    “Of what importance is it, exactly, that you find any aspect of our faith “credible?””

    When you are asking for people to respect positions actions and statements which are objectively harmful and malicious.

    When you are trying to justify aspects of faith which are causing tangible harm to others.

    When you are claiming bigotry has the social sanction of your religious faith, and is therefore acceptable in public.

    You are asking me to consider your “statements of faith” credible as a way to attribute your bigotry to something besides your own personal opinions. So it is concern for you that someone outside your little echo chamber is willing to accept it. At least in order to bolster your image in public.

  • Shawnie5

    “So it is concern for you that someone outside your little echo chamber is willing to accept it. At least in order to bolster your image in public.”

    Larry, I am not asking you to accept or respect anything. Nor do I care about my “image in public.” Pretty much this entire debate within the UMC is about SSM-affirming people being concerned about their “image in public” against the direct orders of Jesus Christ.

    The only thing I have asked of you, and will continue to ask, is that if for some reason you, an outsider, have some kind of opinion about which way the UMC should go on this, then make a biblically/historically sound case for it and defend it. Otherwise, all of your comments here are irrelevant.

  • Larry

    “Larry, I am not asking you to accept or respect anything. ”

    Quite untrue. You want people to believe your position is motivated by something other than prejudice. You want people to think your beliefs are somehow rationally justified as scriptural interpretation and sanctioned by God. You want to pretend discriminatory behavior is simply just “refusing to affirm the sins of others”. You want a level of respectability to your belief.

    Whatever a church decides to do when it comes to internal doctrine is their business. You can’t claim your usual nonsense claim that people ignorant of scripture are coming in on the side of affirming when you have ordained clergy and church leadership petitioning for it.

    Obviously going in the direction of affirming appears to incur the spite and malice of several posters here calling themselves Christian. That alone is noteworthy.

  • Shawnie5

    “You want people to believe your position is motivated by something other than prejudice.”

    You can BELIEVE anything you like about our position and our motivations. But nobody can take you seriously in a debate when you’re trying to tell us what we really think. That just makes a monkey out of you. If your only response to our stated beliefs is that they aren’t really our beliefs, then you don’t really have a position at all and should bow out until you do.

    “You can’t claim your usual nonsense claim that people ignorant of scripture are coming in on the side of affirming when you have ordained clergy and church leadership petitioning for it.”

    I said MOST Christian on the side of affirmation are ignorant of scripture–but most are not clergy. When CLERGY want to do it, that is a more serious matter and goes back to Jesus’ words about wolves in sheep’s clothing, and rotten fruits, and causing His little ones to sin.

  • Larry

    The actions speak for themselves. Its not a matter of what is in your hearts, its a matter of what you say and do in public. How you present yourself to the world. I don’t have to be a mind reader to know I am being lied to.

    “I said MOST Christian on the side of affirmation are ignorant of scripture–but most are not clergy.”

    Weaselwording again. Suddenly bold pronouncements become qualified and adjusted after the fact. SSDD.

  • Shawnie5

    No change whatsoever. Here is my previous statement:

    “Not for the most part. I think most Christians who are on board with accepting same-sex marriage in the church are doing so because they simply are not fully aware of what they Bible says about it, and they have believed the pro-affirmation arguments without really checking it out too closely. Now, there are others who know the fatal flaws of the case and yet still keep presenting it as if the flaws are not there and calling for others to accept it anyway [such as clergy]— and yes I have some serious doubts about “Christians” like that, because every one of them knows Jesus’ warning about how “it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!”

    I think reading comprehension is as big a problem for you as hypocrisy, bigotry, and lack of information.

  • Be Brave

    Larry,

    When it comes to prejudice and bigotry, you anti’s are the perfect example of both.

  • Greg1

    Shawnie, well stated. I think what Larry and the others here don’t quite get is that secularism is a stepping down to one of the lowest levels of impulsive human existence, which exhibits great disdain for the highly ordered life we are called to in the gospel. What they fail to see is that if all people would turn to Christ our God, and live the Gospel, we would be part and parcel of a peaceful, loving world, bound by the unity of the King. Yes they throw pitiful grenades at us, but they mean very little, as we are only urging all to consider the big picture, and where a person wants to ultimately spend eternity. If on a very dark night I warned Larry that a hug precipice was just in front of him, and that if he took another step he’d fall in, he’d thank me. But when you warn them of the precipice of hell, they laugh and call you a hater. Well, so be it. But we will be praying for them, that is for sure.

  • shawnie5

    Indeed we will, Greg. Thank you for your input.

    I once read a more insightful atheist than Larry asking why, if Christians really believe in hell, weren’t they trying harder to convince him. Funny how some see love as trying to warn people away from hell, while others see it as trying to help them get there.

    If agape is hard for the Body of Christ to get its collective head around, imagine how much harder it is for them.

  • ben in oakland

    @Greg:

    “What they fail to see is that if all people would turn to Christ our God, and live the Gospel, we would be part and parcel of a peaceful, loving world, bound by the unity of the King.”

    We had a period like that. It’s called the DARK AGES. The pope had his own armies, no?

    “If on a very dark night I warned Larry that a hug precipice was just in front of him, and that if he took another step he’d fall in, he’d thank me. But when you warn them of the precipice of hell, they laugh and call you a hater.”

    But he wouldn’t thank you if he knew he was standing in the middle of the great plains in Illinois. He’d think you’re an idiot. And we don’t call you a hater because of what you believe, sans a shred of evidence. We’d call you a hater because you insist your religious beliefs should have dominion over our lives. Because you actively work towards harming us, our families, our participation in society, and our own faiths, in the name of your own unsubstantiated…

  • Circuitrider

    I am a UMC pastor of 41 years. We have been debating, discussing, conferencing and praying about this wanted “compromise” concerning the clear stated word of God for more than 40 years now. Some things can not be compromised by those who hold the scriptures as a sacred gift from God and still be considered Christian. I have a sister who is gay and I love her very much! I would do most anything for her except sanction her sexual behavior. She understands that and loves me equally so.

  • Circuitrider

    You wrongly assume that some of us “link our prejudice to religious belief.” Only a bigot would presume to know the mind and heart of EVERYONE! If you can not concede the possibility that persons just actually might be aligning their lives to their true understanding of their faith and God, then you are above all most foolish!

  • Larry

    That is some nice spin control there. But I find it coincidental that your religious belief falls so clearly in line with your personal animus towards a given group of people and their desires for basic dignity.

    You would do anything for your gay sister besides treat her with respect and basic compassion. People like yourself love justifying any and all kinds of abusive and frankly malicious actions towards her and people like her as “not sanctioning her sexual behavior”. The love of someone you don’t really want to acknowledge as a person. Its an oft-told story.

    The fact that you call it “the clear word of God” while various other members of your church and its clergy strongly disagree demonstrates my point. You are not interested in debate or discussion. You have no stomach to contemplate the subject let alone engage in reasonable discussion on it.

    What makes your prejudice even more loathsome is the use of religion to offer cheap excuses for it.

  • Larry

    “the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen”
    Ezekiel 16:49–50

    I see a lot in the passage concerning Sodom about treating people with malice, pride and indifference. If you think that is related to polygamy, so be it. I think it has a lot more in common with those who claim God’s word involves mistreating people.

  • Shawnie5

    Well said, CircuitRider. Like your name. My husband is the 4th great-grandson of a midwestern Methodist circuit-rider.

  • Shawnie5

    “But I find it coincidental that your religious belief falls so clearly in line with your personal animus”

    Only if we presuppose a “personal animus” of a complete stranger, whose statements evidence no such thing.

    You’re no mind-reader, Lare. Give it up.

  • Shawnie5

    “The fact that you call it “the clear word of God” while various other members of your church and its clergy strongly disagree demonstrates my point. You are not interested in debate or discussion. You have no stomach to contemplate the subject let alone engage in reasonable discussion on it.”

    So people have no stomach for debate because they’ve been debating the issue for 40 years and are not convinced? Only buying the opposition’s argument regardless of its veracity evidences a stomach for debate?

    LOL!

    Listen, Lare, present your argument already and put it up for “debate.” If you’re not too ignorant or scared, that is.

  • Larry

    Circuitrider can defend his own statements. The fact that I hear nonsense like his coming from people who extol discriminating, ostracizing, generally mistreating, and even murdering gay people, makes such pronouncements suspect on their face. One doesn’t have to be a mind reader to tell what is obvious oft told and not even remotely convincing nonsense.

    Anyone who says “God hates … people” is just pretending their personal prejudices coincide with their religious beliefs. The mark of a coward who can’t own up to their own opinions in public.

    I can understand why you would think it requires mind reading to determine one’s view based on their statements. You are so used to weaselwording statements, making up stuff, and engaging in nonsense apologetics, that nothing you say is ever a genuine sign of belief. You obviously find it difficult to come up with the idea of holding people to what they say. 🙂

  • Larry

    Shawnie, you are so used to slinging bullcrap that you don’t think other people can state their beliefs in public in a genuine manner. One has to be able to read minds because obviously what you and others say can’t be taken at face value.

    Anyone who says “God hates … people and the deserve to be treated badly” is bigot and a coward. They may say its not really their personal belief, but it is never a credible argument on its face. There is no such thing as a person who says, “I would treat you well, but God tells me not to”.

    One can only debate if they are willing to hear arguments and treat them in a reasonable manner. You want to claim, “God says so, no other views are acceptable”. That is just being stubborn.

    As for debating the subject, talk to members of your own church. Those clergy and leaders who want to affirm. I don’t take religious arguments seriously. Its all self-serving junk.

  • Shawnie5

    “We had a period like that. It’s called the DARK AGES.”

    Actually no, it’s not called the dark ages. Historians call it the Middle Ages. And it was not a time when everyone turned to Christ and lived by the gospel. It was a time when there was an established clergy who exercised influence over rulers while negligently leaving the common people in a state of scripturally and doctrinally-illiterate folk paganism which largely continues to this day.

    At least in Europe — for Islam killed it off everywhere else it had existed. Oh wait, that continues to this day too!

  • Billysees

    Fran,
    ” Another…compromise of God’s principles, guidelines and commands…becoming more commonplace as each day goes by. ”

    I think its reasonable to apply the following to help us realize the importance of new and better things that await us all —

    …forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead……….Philippians 3:13

  • Ed Smith

    Larry, “tough love” does not EVER include condoning sin. It is all about preaching the truth in God’s love. Condoning sin makes the church become guilty of trying to abolish part of God’s law and guilty of sin itself.

  • ben in oakland

    you condone sin all of the time– the minute you decide to live in peace with your non-Christian neighbors. It is, after all, a sin NOT to believe that Jesus died for your sins, isn’t it? It will land you a spot in hell, won’t it?

    You condone sin the minute you accept your friends and relatives that have divorced their spouses for any reason but adultery. especially those that have remarried?

  • Bernard

    Uh, Billysees, I’m not sure you’re quoting that verse in its context…

  • Greg1

    Ben, yes you make a good point. When Jesus says that to divorce and remarry is committing adultery, then we need to proceed cautiously. In the Catholic Church, when Jesus says, “whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication (porneia), and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery” (Matt 19:9) is important. What Jesus means there is that if there was an impediment getting in the way of the marriage from the outset, prohibiting God from joining the two souls together, then technically it was never a true marriage at all, but instead, a life of fornication. This is important, because otherwise Our Lord would have use the term adultery, and not fornication. So the Church uses the “annulment” process to determine whether the marriage was inherently flawed, and if so, then that would free the two to marry again to other spouses. Gay marriage on the other hand is always fornication, as there is no foundation for it in Scripture.

  • Steve

    The Virginia Annual Conference just flipped, rejecting two conservative petitions and affirming one progressive petition (to remove the “incompatible with scripture” language).

    http://www.vaumc.org/BallotsAC2015

  • larry

    Anyone who claims their bigoted behavior is because of their religious belief is a liar. Nobody does that. Ever. One need not be a mind reader to see through obvious excuses.

    I can’t help it if lying and really unconvincing excuses are such second nature to you that you can’t spot them in others. 🙂

  • Take it up with the members of your own church and its clergy. They obviously do not think your interpretation of the Bible in how to treat gay people is the last word on the subject. By all means keep pretendibg these people are just more ignorant of scripture or dishonestly interpreting compared to yourself. 🙂
    http://www.vaumc.org/BallotsAC2015

  • shawnie5

    “Take it up with the members of your own church and its clergy. They obviously do not think your interpretation of the Bible in how to treat gay people is the last word on the subject.”

    Some do. And others don’t. Like CircuitRider said, we’ve been gladly “taking it up” for a generation now. I guess the pro-affirmers have no stomach for debate because they’re not convinced by the non-affirmed. LOL!

    We certainly know as YOU have no stomach for it.

    Both sides can not be right about it from a scriptural/historical standpoint. Quit being a whining coward and present your case already if you have one.

  • shawnie5

    I have no other reason for not affirming homosexual behavior than religious belief. I’d be happy to affirm it if someone made a sane and convincing case for it from scripture, as I am quite sure CircuitRider would be as well, but no one does.

    The reason why all this escapes you is that you are a bigot who is emotionally invested in hating a group of people you know very little about.