The Rev. Brian Atkins, second from right, speaks about the plans on offer from the Commission on a Way Forward during the For Everyone Born gathering in St. Louis in late July. Photo by Heather Hahn/UMNS

United Methodists debate, lobby and worry in advance of LGBT decision

(RNS) — At a recent gathering of United Methodists, organizers sold purple T-shirts quoting the Methodist founder John Wesley’s instruction: “Do Not Rashly Tear Asunder.”

In Methodist circles these days, citing the founder's admonition can be understood only as a plea for an amicable solution to the denomination's coming showdown over homosexuality.

A special session of the General Conference, to be held in February in St. Louis, will decide whether, how and which churches within United Methodism will allow openly gay clergy and same-sex marriage rites, and whether homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” No matter which of three ways forward is adopted at the meeting, it's expected that some congregations will choose to sunder their ties to the worldwide body of United Methodism.

But if schism is at hand, nobody can accuse United Methodists of rashness.

Since the denomination's 2016 General Conference, church leaders have hashed out the question in forums and blogs. Entire books have been published presenting the case for unity, for separation, or both sides of the question. Advocacy groups are already gathering to strategize for the special conference and to lobby delegates and educate people in the pews.

Some of these groups say unity is still possible — and advisable, given the denomination’s mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” That transcends issues of sexuality, they say.

“Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17 is one we hold as a very high value,” said the Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Va., who served on the Commission on a Way Forward, a panel that narrowed the decision facing the special conference to three plans.

“Marriage and ordination of homosexual persons is not a church-dividing issue," he said. "It’s a difficult conversation, but we’ve had those in the past with other issues, such as divorce and alcohol use. I believe we have the muscle strength to show the world we can have unity with diverse opinions.”

Others assert that it’s time to move forward separately.

“We are hurting and harming each other,” said the Rev. Rob Renfroe, president of Good News, an unofficial evangelical ministry within the church. “What kind of unity is worth the damage we are doing? We can’t quit fighting and we can’t escape each other. It’s time to quit the cage match.”

Whichever path they espouse, everyone seems to agree that the United Methodists have to move beyond the bitter debate that has paralyzed the denomination for decades.

“We’re in a place of crisis,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, a group of about 300 theologically conservative United Methodist churches. “The organization is no longer functioning.”

Three options for ending the impasse are now on the table, with the decision in the hands of 864 delegates from around the globe who will meet at the special conference. The plans became public on July 17 when the 32-member Commission on a Way Forward submitted them to the denomination’s Judicial Council for consideration at its October meeting. The commission’s report was officially released in four languages on July 31.

Lonnie Chafin, center, leads a strategy session of General Conference delegates attending the Uniting Methodists meeting in Dallas on July 17, 2018. The Uniting Methodists are supporting the One Church Plan, one of at least three legislative proposals likely to be considered at the special General Conference set for February 2019 in St. Louis. Photo by Sam Hodges/UMNS

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The One Church Plan eliminates language in the church's governing Book of Discipline that calls homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Under the plan, clergy would be able, but not required, to perform same-sex marriages; local churches may vote on whether to allow the ceremonies in their buildings.

Language in the Book of Discipline barring “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from the clergy would also be deleted; it would be left to the church's regional bodies, known as annual conferences, to determine whether to ordain LGBTQ members. Clergy could opt to transfer to churches or conferences that match their views.

“This plan removes the hurtful language from the Book of Discipline but allows pastors and churches who choose not to perform same-sex marriages the flexibility to do that,” said Leah Taylor, a lay member of the Way Forward Commission from Texas. “I think it gives us the best opportunity to focus on grace.”

Backers of the One Church Plan use the word “contextuality” – the idea that a church in rural Georgia operates completely differently from an urban mission in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, and each can best reach people if allowed flexibility.

The One Church Plan is thought to be the leading choice and has been recommended by the church's Council of Bishops. But conservatives like Renfroe expect that hundreds, and possibly thousands, of theologically conservative churches will leave if the One Church Plan passes, including several of the church’s largest and most affluent congregations.

Those objectors line up more readily behind the Traditional Plan, which would retain the Book of Discipline's existing language and add measures to enforce it — effectively conceding that Methodists' differences are irreconcilable. Its supporters maintain that keeping church members and clergy accountable to the Book of Discipline is the only way to repair the dysfunction.

“This plan reflects a consistent understanding of Scripture … and maintains the continuity with the Christian church both in history and around the world,” said the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, who submitted it to the special conference on behalf of the Commission on a Way Forward.

A copy of the UMC Book of Discipline rests on a table during an oral hearing on May 22, 2018, in Evanston, Ill. Photo by Kathleen Barry/UMNS

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Traditionalists recognize that this strict approach will likely spur congregations and conferences that are already performing same-sex marriages and ordaining openly LGBTQ clergy, including one conference that has elected an openly lesbian bishop, to leave.

The plan, said Boyette, provides "a gracious means of exit for those who choose not to live in accordance with the Book of Discipline.”

The last of the three plans, which has so far gained little traction, envisions reorganizing the denomination along theological lines. Called the Connectional Conference Plan, it divides the U.S. into three values-based branches that would replace the existing five geographical jurisdictions. Each branch would create its own Book of Discipline, elect its own set of bishops and set ordination standards.

“Local churches can choose the annual conference they want to be a part of,” said Patricia Miller, who submitted the connectional plan — though as executive director of the conservative Confessing Movement, she personally supports the Traditional Plan. “It allows for three different branches, very loosely connected, in one church.”

Some advocacy groups are offering a fourth option, the Simple Plan, which would remove all restrictive language in the Book of Discipline relating to homosexuality and promote full LGBTQ inclusion; the status of that plan is still in flux.

Details are being worked out as to how each plan would affect the denomination’s pension plan and its churchwide boards and agencies, such as the United Methodist Committee on Relief, a disaster relief agency.

Many United Methodist congregations are already clearly aligned on one side of the homosexuality issue. But pastors like the Rev. Stan Copeland of the 5,000-member Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas worry that the February decision could tear his church apart.

Copeland counts members from 18 different nations, staunch conservatives alongside LGBTQ people, those near the poverty line beside multimillionaires — not to mention the roughly 1,000 people who come to the campus every week for a wide array of 12-step programs. Copeland supports the One Church Plan.

“The world we’re trying to transform needs to hear a message from the church that we stand for unity and togetherness in the midst of our diversity and differences,” he said. “With all the division in our culture today, I think that’s a very important message to espouse.”


  1. All that money the Institute on Religion and Democracy has poured out to divide the United Methodist Church over the issue of full inclusion of LGBTQ human beings, and to muzzle the UMC’s social teachings, has really paid off very well.

  2. Very sad to see a toppling assembly choose to leave Christ.

  3. “choose to leave Christ”
    They’re not going to take donations to the homeless centers any more?

  4. The United States of America is going through the same process as the UMC and all the denominations are. The word on the Street is that within about sixteen years there will no longer be a U.S.A. Are you ready for a new Constitution?

  5. no. They are debating at this point in time whether Christ is a liar or not.

  6. You mean where Jesus says, “Blessed are those who put lies into my mouth, so that they can exclude others and be better than others and gloat because others will spend eternity in hell”. That truth?

  7. God has decided to destroy Church instead of destroying GLBT people. One could easily look around the USA, and the world for that matter, and reach this conclusion. The GLBT people are rolling along in their normal minority and persecuted status, and churches are either going crazy or blasting themselves apart over something they can do absolutely nothing about. God creates a certain number of people with different sexual and gender orientation, it seems. He always has. And he did not create them for the purpose of making everyone else try to kill them. If He needed them killed, he would do it himself by not creating them. Can we ever (EVER) just move on over to some easy-peasy logic on this matter?

  8. What are you a Nazi?

    The only people looking to destroy the Constitution and everything it stands for happens to be the ones currently in office right now. White Supremacists, Dominionists, Oligarchs. People who hate a free society and free markets

  9. Grow up. I’ll bet you $10,000 the UMC lasts longer than that sewage treatment plant called Liberty University.

  10. There were plenty of LGBTs on those trains, too. And that’s exactly where the Religious Right wants to take us.

  11. A lot of time “the word on the street” is bull hockey. The right wing has been saying that since Carter was President.

  12. No. The truth that not only is it possible that this assembly, like the Episcopalians,will be directing people to Hell telling them it is with Christ’s love – all to keep the finances coming in – as they lie to people and innocent children, declaring Christ a liar.

  13. Christ taught that homosexuality is an exchange for what is normal:
    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26
    Homosexuality is a choice. One cannot blame Christ for that:
    Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But 14each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13

  14. We’re all train junkies, but MY video is the stuff I provided, and YOUR video is the stuff YOU provided.

  15. Have you considered the possibility that declaring human dogma a lie is not the same as declaring Jesus a liar?

  16. In other words, the 2018 Democrat slate, right?

  17. GOD IS LOVE. Isn’t that all that really matters?

  18. Uh…your quotes from Romans and James were not written by Jesus.

  19. The rest of the bible wasn’t written by Jesus either.

  20. GOD IS HOLY, JUST, AND SOVEREIGN. None of that matters? Just the lust confused with love part?

  21. You’re obsessed with homosexuality. You can’t miss an opportunity to post on this topic. I knew that it was sufficient time since this went up that you would be posting your usual trash in this thread. The same lies over and over in the name of Jesus.

  22. I have no “dog in this hunt” as they say, but this fight seems to come down to two factions:

    1. The anti-gay faction that says they will not tolerate the presence of gay people or anyone that supports gay people in the UMC. They want every last UMC member that doesn’t agree with them thrown out of the denomination. If they aren’t thrown out, they are threatening to leave themselves. They are not willing to tolerate the presence of those who don’t agree with them. They want a smaller, more fundamentalist denomination.

    2. The pro-gay faction that wants everyone, no matter who they are, welcome in the UMC. They don’t want anyone excluded, including those who are not pro-gay. They want the UMC to remain a “big tent” and don’t want anyone to leave, no matter how they believe on the issue. They want a larger, more welcoming denomination.

    I wonder which side Jesus would be on?

  23. First of all, the 2nd paragraph of the RNS article mentions the debate over homosexuality; so I think the author intentionally teed the subject up.
    That being said, considering there are at least 5 self-identified homosexual posters on this page that weave their lifestyles into every comment and topic; it is only natural for others to address the topic as well. I would argue that it is they who are OBSESSED with homosexuality.
    If sandi or Floyd or me for that matter are predictable when it comes to our positions on abortion, Christianity and homosexuality; the same can be said for you, Ben, eblabulus, spuddie, etc as being anti-Christian, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality,etc.
    So I guess we know where each other stands – get over it.

  24. You’re a socialist. What do you know about free markets?

  25. I’m not anti-Christian, I am a Christian. I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice. I’m gay, so yes, I’m pro-gay.

    I wouldn’t likely have posted here, were it not that you folks obsessed with homosexuality posting here.

  26. Ok. Noted.
    It seems that most articles posted here have a touch of homosexual content in them. It almost seems as if RNS stokes the fire with their selection of articles.

  27. I thought your epithet of the week was “White Supremacist”.

    Speaking of a free society and free markets, do you still favor a state monopoly on grade to high school education?

    Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, but certainly SOME consistency is required to be even minimally credible.

    Your positions appear to be a patchwork of special cases all contoured around your eccentric biases.

  28. “I have no ‘dog in this hunt’ as they say” except of course being part of the LBGT community.

    With that in mind, let’s repair your description of the factions:

    1. The orthodox faction that says they will not tolerate the jettison of the three millenium long position in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that same sex sexual activity is immoral. They want to remain Christian.

    2. The opposition wants everyone, no matter who they are, “welcome” in the UMC, even if that requires jettisoning Scriptures, all the Christians, and three thousand years of constant teaching.

    Jesus said “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Matthew 5:17

    I wonder which side Jesus would be on?

  29. Have you considered that if the plain words of Scriptures and three millennia of constant teaching are declared “human dogma”, there are no limits to what can be called “a lie”?

  30. He writes, putting words into the mouth of Jesus.

  31. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I
    have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Matthew 5:17

    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15

    Apparently not.

  32. More than you do.

    Most of the developed world follows some form of socialism. Including our own. Regulation is required to keep markets free from monopolization and oligarchy.

    Conservatives don’t want free markets, they want personal control over them,.

  33. I think we’ve gone far enough down that path.

  34. Seems pretty clear which side he would be on. (#2). Almost seems like the UMC wants to be more like the Catholic Church now!

  35. Useful background reading to understand what’s going on in the United Methodist Church now:

    1. Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, “Institute On Religion And Democracy Works To Undermine United Methodist Church”:

    “IRD is not a disgruntled conservative United Methodist group. They are a political organization funded by political activists with a political agenda that is anti-civil rights, anti-gay, anti-choice, and pro-war. Their backers hope IRD can silence the prophetic voice in mainline churches through, as Winkler says, distortion and intimidation.”

    2. Source Watch, “Institute on Religion and Democracy”:

    “The founding document of IRD … written by David Jessup attacked the board and agencies of the United Methodist Church.”

    3. Steven D. Martin, “Renewal or Ruin? The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Attack on the United Methodist Church”

    “Since its beginning in 1982, the Institute on Religion and Democracy has continuously undermined the United Methodist Church and other mainline Protestant denominations by attacking the character of church leaders.”

    “I see the IRD operating as a key component, maybe even an essential component of the larger agenda for the religious right at the turn of the 21 st century. Their particular focus is for the most part, mainline Protestant denominations trying to redirect what’s going on within those denominations and I guess what I find curious is why these various Neo-Conservative groups and Conservative donors and foundations are plugging all this money into the Institute on Religion and Democracy” (citing Randall Balmer).

    There’s abundant documentation of the role IRD has played in deliberately dividing the United Methodist Church around the issue of LGBTQ inclusion, in order to undermine the church’s social witness — and documentation of the huge amounts of money IRD has thrown into this unholy initiative.

    Heck, groups like this are even capable of hiring paid trolls to go to religious discussion sites and attack churches like the UMC relentlessly. And not all religious discussion sites are proactive about recognizing and blocking such paid trolls.

  36. You comprise with evil and you get confusion. They need to jettison the leadership.

  37. They’ve jettisoned plenty of other millennia-long positions of Judaism. Don’t try and make that relevant to the case at bar.

  38. Sandi is of the “Jesus wrote everything in the Bible” position.

  39. As yet another Christian denomination frets and fumes over what to do about “the gays,” “the gays” quietly make for the exits, never to return.

  40. The Newspeak is strong in you. Remember, Big Brother loves you.

  41. The Hebrew Bible is perfectly relevant to the Methodist crisis, just like the New Testament. This issue clearly involves both texts.

    The UMC”s wide-open rejection of some very clear Scriptures, has now put them on the brink. They are THIS close to Dead Meato.

  42. The Hebrew Bible is relevant to the extent Christianity interprets it as relevant. But rabbinic interpretations of the Bible over the course of the last 2,000 years shouldn’t be relevant. Traditions of men, right?

  43. Of course they want people to click on the links. If judged by comment volume, their strategy works.

  44. I know. All part of their Russian plan.. 🙂

  45. You are right. I don’t like to miss discussing the topic because so many people need to be helped away from your heresies in particular and the worlds. I want them to go to Heaven and spend eternity with Christ.

  46. These institutions are more interested in calling Christ a liar

  47. As are you. Stop lynching gay and trans people, Your Blackness.

  48. What locality is that, pray tell? Mississippi?

  49. I guess you really like lynching gay and trans people. I would expect a black person to know better, Your Blackness.

  50. I actually think it’s time. The constitution is a great document, but like many others, of its time, not ours.
    Abolish the electoral college. Direct elections only.
    No life time appointments for judges.
    Money is not speech.
    Only people are people, not corporations.
    abolish the second amendment.
    Formal declaration of separation of church and state.
    Mandatory voting on a national day set aside for voting. All elections on the same days.

  51. This the is second time you thought I was right. Are you feeling OK?

  52. I feel fine. Thanks for asking. :0)
    Despite what a few commenters here “think”, my commitment is always to truth, at least as far as it can be known. If I think you are right, I’ll say so.
    And I did.
    In this particular case, I don’t the constitution is working for us, but against us.
    BTW, I left out gerrymandering from my list. I left out a lot of things, unfortunately. But that one is a biggie. Districts intended to re-elect a certain party and not to produce a fair election put us in the same place as a number of countries not known for their commitment to democracy.

  53. Satan works in mysterious ways as well as God does. You don’t understand that you are the hunted, even though you are not the hunter. This fight is not of this earth and it ends with the end of this earth.

  54. More like the king of bait and tackle. I landed a big one!

  55. WOW you are really triggered over attention drawn to conservative christian efforts to attack others.

    Does it bother you that such things are being pointed out?

  56. Stop bearing false witness. Christ never uttered a word about homosexuality. Your hatred kills people.

  57. “…there are at least 5 self-identified homosexual posters on this page that weave their lifestyles into every comment and topic”

    And the rest of you do the very same thing. When you’re ready to stop blathering on about your lifestyle, then these five might consider doing the same.

  58. No, Christ was DEAD DEAD DEAD when Paul came about.

  59. Well, not exactly dead, considering how he blinded Saul. Never the less, the Word is alive and teaching 24/7.

  60. “Traditions of men”, correct. But “irrelevant”? Not hardly. In fact the rabbinic stuff can be quite important to this topic, especially if one is participating in public inter-faith or mixed-company discussions. For example, if one brings up the Hebrew Bible on this topic in inter-faith meetings, the “rabbinic writers” can indeed pop up. Gotta be ready.

    But that’s cool for me, honestly. Why? Because, long story short, the Talmud and other rabbinic writings/writers, they were NOT supporters of gay marriage and practicing gay clergy.

    “Jewish law, then, rejected the view that homosexuality was to be regarded merely as a disease or as morally neutral, categorically rejecting the view that homosexual acts “between two consenting adults” were to be judged by the same criterion as heterosexual marriage – that is, whether they were intended to foster a permanent relation of love.Jewish Virtual Library Online

  61. The question was whether it should be relevant to the UMC decision-making process. Interfaith discussions, history of the topic, Talmudic and other early rabbinic writings, then sure.

  62. No one cares, homophobe. Just stop lynching people, Your Blackness.

  63. Jonestown is the best thing that could happen to psychotic religious homophobes.

  64. No, you just want attention for yourself.

  65. I’m going to dial up Vladimir Putin tonight. He’s gonna give me my $3000 Online Troll Fee, or ELSE!!

  66. Your choice of wording – “millennia-long positions of Judaism” – is correct.

    What they have not rejected is the moral law.

    For example, they have not rejected the Noachide Laws:

    – Not to worship idols.
    – Not to curse God.
    – To establish courts of justice.
    – Not to commit murder.
    – Not to commit adultery or sexual immorality.
    – Not to steal.

    So, what was left behind were cultic laws, e.g. keeping kosher, ritual purifications, and so on related to the Covenant alone.

    What was kept were the moral laws, the Ten Commandments.

    So, yes the three millennia long moral law is completely relevant, and is kept in Orthodoxy, Catholicism, the Assyrian Church, the non-Chalcedonian churches, and most of non-Western Protestantism.

  67. The texts as they existed at the time that the two Abrahamic religions separated are relevant.

    Wherever Jesus interpreted the texts himself, those interpretations trump any other interpretations.

    The rabbinical interpretations after the separation of the two religions are irrelevant.

    The rabbinical interpretations prior to the separation MAY be relevant.

    In general the Christians adopted the moral teaching of the Hebrew Bible and rejected the cultic teachings and laws.

    Interestingly in some cases the Christians preserved the common rabbinical interpretations of certain texts common in the first century of the Common Era and rabbinical Judaism did not.

    The moral prohibition against sexual relations outside of marriage – fornication, adultery, bestiality, same sex relations – carried over and remains in full force and vigor except in some of the more liberal Western Protestant sects.

  68. I am rather rooting for the concept that God has decided to destroy FriendlyGoat and the cults endorsing LBGT relations.

  69. Since the debate is over the debate in the UMC about homosexuality, it can hardly be construed as “obsessed with homosexuality” to join in the conversation.

  70. Coming from you it shouldn’t be a bother, it should be considered an endorsement.

  71. How do you explain the continuing demise of the Episcopal Church?

  72. And not a word at all about the religious aspects of any of this.

  73. And you and your friends will be the ones who make all these decisions.

  74. How you can be against monopolization and oligarchy and be in favor of mandatory public education?

    You’re actually a member of the AFL-CIO Pick and Choose School of economics.

  75. Yes, rabbinic interpretations prior to the separation can inform what Jesus and his followers would have thought. In the two millennia since, not so much. That is especially true when later rabbis rejected the interpretation of earlier ones.

  76. thanks Charlotte, and you give me that attention

  77. The fact that you lot “join the conversation” every chance that you get to spew hate at members of the LGBTQ community, is the very definition of obsession.

  78. The “obsession” appears to be with joining discussions at Religion News.

    You seem to have the same “obsession”.

  79. That process is not the case in Christianity.

  80. The Babylonia Talmud, one of the Jewish rabbinic writings, clearly points out (h/t Wikipedia):

    “Ula said: Non-Jews (literally ‘Bnei Noach’, the progeny of Noah), accepted upon themselves thirty mitzvot (divinely ordered laws), but they only abide by three of them:
    The first one is that they do not write marriage documents for male couples, the second one is that they don’t sell dead (human) meat by the pound in stores, and the third one is that they respect the Torah.”

    Now if those three divine laws are good enough for Mr. Ula, they’re good enough for every single Methodist. (Assuming that Methodists don’t wanna become “Dead Meat On The Store Shelf” themselves!!)

  81. I can change the world, one extremely dumb troll at a time, and when I look at you, I see a light snack.

  82. Henry VIII didn’t set up a church that would last for centuries…It’s next leader may be that moral giant Prince Charles. So it’s problems are way beyond any gay stuff !!

  83. Nobody gets off without paying their dues, Jonestown paid their dues on this side, your bunch will pay your dues on the other side. Your group are hunting down the innocent, Jonestown succumbed to their own ignorance.

  84. The Episcopal Church in the United States was not founded by Henry VIII.

  85. The Bob blocketh and the Bob unblocketh.

    Any additional issues you want on the table?

  86. It is not that God decided to destroy anything, much less the Church. His people become the Church and most of whatever is left in the house made of sticks and stones is not part of the Church. Your failure to understand time in the Bible has not brought time to a standstill.
    Nobody in their right mind is trying to kill anybody. Those who are in their right mind think that they might save the LGBT from the wrath of God. How do you thank them? You attack them. Of course they can’t save anybody and they would probably leave you alone if you hadn’t attacked their churches, attacked the baker, attacked the florist, attacked the the doctors and attacked the nurses.

    You attacked the school system and in your infinite wisdom, you attack God specifically. And that last one was your biggest error. You awoke a sleeping giant. I borrowed that last one from a butterfly that has dark wings with bold colorful markings.

  87. The Church of England has not embraced same sex marriage.

    About 2/3 of current Episcopalians come from other denominations.

  88. All the Methodist church needs to do is actually open a bible to know they’re been apostate for a long time and repent of their sin and ask God to lead them back to the Christian faith.

  89. Just to educate you on facts all the bible is Jesus word. So yes Romans and James are Jesus teaching repeated by those who wrote those books as well as the other 64 books. All scripture is inspired by God and Jesus is God.

  90. A naivete scene is not the same as a nativity scene.

  91. Christ was risen and ascended into haven observed by witnesses that recorded that event in the bible and Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus…….look it up and educate yourself. BTW Jesus was dead for only 3 days and yes that’s in the bible too.

  92. We’re not talking about global warming or the religion of “evolution” so no they’re not fairy tales because witnesses observed what’s in the bible and wrote it down. But then again by you thinking all written history is fairy tales because……

  93. Do you need to run off to a safe place because you know little to nothing of the Christian faith?

  94. I know that is what you believe, but it doesn’t constitute historical fact. And just because something is in the bible doesn’t make it real or true. Time to grow up now.

  95. Actually they made that choice on their own and Jesus will give them that which they desire. God doesn’t destroy anybody because God gives all men a choice of heaven or the lake of fire.

  96. And by your thinking anything written down in a book you choose not to believe is not real or true but you have no evidence either way do you?

  97. I was born and raised Christian, in Alabama.

    Hail Satan.

  98. The Bible does not speak to L, B or T, as far as I know. But the Old Testament does command killing the G men. That’s why some of the Muslims still do it in lawless places and why some of the Jews and Christians would too—–if it was not against secular law.

    I happen to be a straight guy, married to one woman for 46 years. I’m a quiet sort, not an activist and I did not “attack” churches, bakers, florists, doctors, nurses or God. But I have eyes to see that Vladimir Putin is leading the church in Russia and Donald Trump is leading the church in America—–all because they thoroughly snowed the “faithful” and a great deal of that vulnerability has to do with the church’s vindictiveness about GLBT people. Why shouldn’t I think God is allowing The Church to be destroyed? Do you think Vlad and Donald are the new messengers of Jesus? Seriously, do you?

  99. I meant what said 64 + 2 = 66 so no I don’t mean the OTHER apocryphal books only found in the catholic cult.

  100. Can’t tell the way you bully women…..typical democrat ways eh?

  101. Again the bible condemns homosexuality and Jesus is the word and Jesus’s word is the bible . Please educate yourself on facts before you make any father foolish unfounded claims. If you want I can quote the bible to prove you wrong…..oh wait you think the bible or any other books are a fairy tales because you say so eh? BTW the homosexual choice kills homosexuals because it’s a proven dangerous and destructive behavior.

  102. I think you have cataracts. Check out the symptoms, causes, tests and treatments at

    Seriously though; the only thing you “see” are your self-imposed delusions about some sort of (nonexistent) Putin/Trump connection that you happen to equate with the churchs traditional stance on homosexuality. Get a grip man.

    I cannot speak for my Protestant brothers; but it could be very well that God is allowing the destruction of the RCC. If so, it is not because it is not accepting of homosexuals to the church; it is because the very leadership of the church and a majority of the “faithful” have deliberately turned their back to him and chosen to partake of the sinfull pleasures of this secular world.
    Pope Benedict (as Ratzinger) stated that the church without God will destroy itself and that the remaining faithful will rebuild the church with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ and the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

  103. Charlotte is in her rebellious phase. She’ll come around..

  104. Woah… settle down tough guy…
    Remember it was that cult that put the Bible together in the first place.

  105. So the Methodists have one plan that continues to recognize God’s teachings on sex and marriage, and two that in different ways seek to radically alter those teachings — one by demoting doctrines of sex and marriage to the status of inessentials, the other by bringing doctrines of sex and marriage into line with the world’s values instead of God’s. All three of these plans will result in schisms, so they might as well stick with God.

  106. You’re thinking of Roy Moore, a Republican.

  107. At least your suggestion could be presented as Exhibit A at the Pearly Gates.

  108. Get a new hobby, besides stalking gay and trans people for attention.

  109. You have no evidence that it is true and real, so why are you complaining about me?

  110. The earliest gospel account did not include a resurrection narrative. It was added later…

  111. “homosexual persons” is a condescending pejorative phrase when it’s not uttered in an ironic way.

  112. Way to recycle old racist evangelical arguments about what they claimed was the unnatural sin of miscegenation. I’m getting on in years and I’ve heard it all before.

  113. The church split over slavery, then reunited in the late 1930’s. That left a race segregated administrative structure legacy that lasted until 1968, with the merge with the EUB, who wouldn’t stand for that.

    If the church splits over gender relationship orientations…why really bother with either organization? The whole Methodist journey has gone nowhere and is going nowhere.

    Only equality is real actual equality. To segregate and denigrate LGBT people as the Book of Discipline does, is completely unacceptable and viciously immoral.

  114. We are talking about minority gender relationship orientations. To dismiss minority relationships as just being about sexual activities has been done before, back in slavery and Jim Crow days.

    Why are you doing that again? What unearned privilege and power are you trying to illegitimately seize at the expense of minority people?

  115. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 King James Version (KJV)
    And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

    So, you’re on the side of the letter of the law that kills?

  116. Do you know what the letter of the law that kills actually refers to, or do you just know that this particular song and dance gets the result you’re looking for?

  117. I was under the impression we were talking about LBGT.

    What minority are you talking about?

    I was under the impression that Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) concluded any minority relationship issues.

  118. While the ever more interconnected LGBT community has about 300-400 million or so people around the world, which would and is majority Asian (which if a single country, would be the third or fourth most populous) the worldwide community is an oppressed minority to various degrees in almost all countries.

    An oppressed minority is an oppressed minority is an oppressed minority, multi-ethnic or single ethnic, local or worldwide. The UM should not be in the business of oppressing minority people…especially with our history in America of splitting over race slavery and being partially culpable for the terrorist Jim Crow regimes after the failure of Reconstruction.

  119. Only a depraved, evil and greedy bigot would think that a loving same sex couple is the same thing as “sexual immorality.”

  120. Okay.

    That makes Jehovah aka Yahweh a “depraved, evil and greedy bigot”.

    Given a choice between buying his spiel, or yours, I’ll take his.

    Anything else?

  121. How do you feel about the oppressed minority of kleptomaniacs?

    What about serial killers?

    Devotees of bestiality?

  122. Recycling old racist self-righteousness again? I’ve heard it all before.

    Not to mention that greedy self-righteous conceit was also thrown at abolitionists by proslavery Southern Methodists way back when my great grandparents were growing up.

  123. Recycling old racist claims against a multi-ethnic minority group?

    There was no “clear” scriptures on race just as there are no “clear” scriptures on “homosexuality.” Both are much abused modern era social constructs with a lot of long discredited scientific/scientistic baggage.

  124. Defaming law abiding minority people by comparing them to compulsive thieves, killers and animal abusers.

    It’s been done before. I’ve heard it all before, too.

  125. “Conservatives” just love the idea of exclusive and segregated gated communities, don’t they?

  126. Well, you certainly are consistent in not making any sense.

    Finished now?

  127. When it comes to injustice, I’m never “done.”

  128. We’re kind of chockablock full at the moment at this website with lunatics.

    I have already got about four pages of them blocked, so adding you to the list won’t be a big deal.

    Or you can just go find someone or someplace else to annoy.

  129. Sounds like a linguistically accurate term to me. Sorry if you’re uncomfortable with proper English.

    I guess you would you consider “heterosexual persons” a “condescending pejorative phrase” as well?

  130. You’ve already heard the only tune that Gregory knows. It would be a good time to block.

  131. Sorry, it was not meant as a personal attack on you. The “you” I was speaking to is the LGBT factionalism.

  132. Looked like scatter-shot to me. Still does.

  133. Because, as Bill said, the IRD is a political group.

  134. RD, let me tell you about something we Earth people call “irony”. It means “the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally
    signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.”: I suggest that you complain to the Overlords of your home planet, Ogg, that this was left out of your briefing when they sent you to Earth.

  135. And you are more interested in spewing hatred towards your LGBT brothers and sisters. And perverting your religion by saying that Christ calls on you to hate. It is exactly the same as those who said — and still say — that racism is ordained by God.

  136. Bill says a lot of silly things that he can’t support.

  137. I didn’t choose it, I’ve been homosexual all my life, and my health is in tip-top shape. Got any other lies you wish to perpetrate? The word “homosexuality” was not even coined until the late 19th century. There is nothing approaching same-sex marriage in your bible, and there never was.

  138. She appears to be saying that Christ calls on folks to observe the moral law.

  139. No hatred – the world hates them enough. Christians are trying to help them into the Kingdom of God.

  140. Paul, who authored most of the NT and most of the negativity about homosexuality, describes here the nature of his own knowledge and understanding —
    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    Those are excellent examples that ‘teach us’ that Paul’s writings, and perhaps other scripture as well, are too partial, too incomplete and too imperfect to be meaningful and useful for everybody in every situation.

    They also convince me, of what I sense when I read his writings, that there is a sincere attempt to express the ‘truth’, but that ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ has simply not been revealed so far. It’s like his attempt at perfection which he admits he hasn’t obtained, yet he still presses forward to that end.

    We must also press forward by ‘reasoning out’ anything and everything in scripture ‘as necessary’ and then apply our modern ‘common sense’ and ‘love sense’. That will be our sincere attempt to uncover ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’.

  141. Paul was a pharisee and is repeating what he learned from Leviticus.
    How much do you need to reason:

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13
    No reasoning involved – just obey.

  142. If you are a Christian, why don’t you follow Christ?

  143. We should be predictable. Christ’s word does not change

  144. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3

  145. One does not need the term homosexuality Canis.
    Christ taught this:

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

  146. From the 1380 Wycliffe Bible:
    Whether ye know not, that wicked men shall not wield the kingdom of God? Do not ye err; neither lechers, neither men that serve maumets [neither men serving to idols], neither adulterers, neither lechers against kind, neither they that do lechery with men,…1 Corinthians 6:9

  147. Christ’s followers, who only had the “Hebrew” teachings taught that homosexuality is wrong.

  148. For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

    But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”John 5:42

  149. Not Christ. Your idiotic fundamentalist mind just can’t handle real life.

  150. It bears repeating: I have NEVER laid “with a male as with a woman”. I lie with a man as with a MAN.

  151. She’s not hating. She’s just reminding you of the rules.

  152. Hmmmm… liberals changing the rules again. Where have I heard this before?

  153. Nice to see you have a new link. I always look forward to ignoring them.

  154. Like you ignore everything you don’t want to hear.

  155. ” No reasoning involved – just obey ”

    Now let all of us try, as best we can, to apply that simple and easy to understand phrase towards the following —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way…..Romans 14:13
    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7
    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love….Ephesians 4:2
    4. …all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble….1 Peter 3:8
    5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…..Philippians 2:3
    6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…..Titus 3:2
    7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven…..Luke 6:37
    8. ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins…….1 Peter 4:8
    9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men…..Philippians 4:5
    10. Don’t seek your own good, but the good of others…….. 1 Corinthians 10:24
    11. Follow after the things that make for peace……Romans 14:19
    12. In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets………Matthew 7:12
    13. Do to others as you would have them do to you………Luke 6:31
    14. Honor everyone……….1 Peter 2:17
    15. Continue to love each other……….Hebrews 13:1
    16. Be devoted to each other with mutual affection. Excel at showing respect for each other……Romans 12:10
    17. …let us do good to all people…………Galatians 6:10
    18. …have the qualities of [good] salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other……Jesus……Mark 9:50 [brackets mine]
    19. Love your neighbor as yourself………Matthew 22:39…….Mark 12:31
    20. If you love only those who love you, why should you get any credit for that?…….Matthew 5:46……….Luke 6:32

  156. 1. telling someone they are sinning is not passing judgment – it is helping them to be right with Christ.
    2. accept one another – It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 1 Corinthians 5
    3. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for[a] his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Ezekiel 3:18-19English Standard Version (ESV)
    4. .“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us;” 2 Thessalonians 3:6:
    5. “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” Romans 16:17
    6 definitely
    7. Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24
    – Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 1 Corinthian

  157. If I do, it won’t be from the likes of you.

  158. It is not disputed that sexual conduct between males would have been prohibited rabbinically in the 1st century (as opposed to limiting it to the plain-text meaning of anal intercourse contained in Leviticus), and that’s probably what the early Jewish followers of Jesus would have believed as well. Ulla, however, lived in the late 200s to early 300s. He was an amora, a contributor to the Gemarah portion of the Talmud. Why would Christians look to him for authority? And if they do look to the amoraim, why not to late 20th and early 21st century rabbis as well? If you’re just looking for confirmation for what Jesus would have believed, that’s one thing. But you have already rejected rabbinic authority, that’s the entire dispute between Jesus and the Pharisees.
    Btw, the citation from Ulla is from the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Chullin 92a-b. Chullin mainly concerns animal slaughter for food and kosher laws in general — that’s why he mentions meat. There is also a rabbinic dispute about the number of Noahide laws — those God-given laws observed by non-Jews. Ulla is being kind of insulting in a passive-aggressive way. He is saying that B’nei Noach *do* engage in male same-sex conduct, but that they do not go so far as to write ketubot (marriage contracts) between them (although the Conservative movement permits SSM, they also do not, strictly speaking, write ketubot for them). He is also saying that BN eat human meat, but they do not go so far as to brazenly weigh it out to buy and sell in the marketplace.

  159. “For whatever was written in former days,” yes, but centuries after? See my replies to Bob and Floydlee. Yes, Jesus’s Jewish followers likely would have held that all same-sex conduct is prohibited because that was the rabbinic understanding in the first century.

  160. Of course that has nothing to do with law abiding and loving same-sex couples.

    Scavenging scripture for “proof texts” that people think privilege themselves at the expense of “the other” has been done before by greedy bigots.

  161. If heterosexual persons had been pervasively and institutionally oppressed by LGBT people, than it would a “condescending pejorative phrase” as well.

    There use to “homosexuals,” just as there use to be “Negroes,” but after awhile, minority people decided that they don’t wish to be labeled and defined by greedy evil people of obvious ill will.

  162. Grown up people who see a system not working might want to change the rules. Sort of like when catholic priests are caught diddling children, and the grown ups think that maybe covering it up is a bad idea.

    To you can just refer to the Bible.

  163. To the other half, the system works fine.
    The diddilers and those that have their tendencies need to be removed from the church.

  164. Leviticus
    18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an

    Leviticus 20:13,
    “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman,
    both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to
    death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10,
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of
    God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
    nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor
    drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of

    Romans 1:26-28,
    “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women
    exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same
    way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in
    their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and
    receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as
    they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a
    depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    1 Timothy 1:10 – The
    sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers,
    and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

    Jude 1:7 – Even as
    Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves
    over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an
    example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    19:1-6 – When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee
    and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them
    there. Some Pharisees came to him to
    test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and
    every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he
    replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them MALE and FEMALE, and
    said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to
    his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but
    one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    And if you are determined to reject scripture, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) has this to say on the subject.

    bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2%
    of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In
    2010, MSM accounted for 63% of all new HIV infections.”

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have been increasing among gay and bisexual men,
    with recent increases in syphilis being documented across the country. In 2012,
    men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 75% of primary and secondary
    syphilis cases in the United States. MSM often are diagnosed with other STDs,
    including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.

    HPV (Human
    Papillomavirus), the most common STD in the United States, is also a concern
    for MSM. Some types of HPV can cause genital and anal warts and some can lead
    to the development of anal and oral cancer. Men who have sex with men are 17
    times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men. Men who are
    HIV-positive are even more likely than those who are uninfected to develop anal

  165. Christ never intended for them to deceive themselves that they were “in love”, I’m sure, when He condemned what they do. I don’t make any money helping people to go to Heaven and not Hell, but thanks

  166. Bigotry has a greed element to it. Reduces honest competition with minority people, if nothing else, thereby privileging yourself at their expense.

    Not to mention that you’re saying what racist evangelicals said about interracial couples back when I was young.

  167. and, as Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, it is still a sin.

  168. As a matter of fact, you do:
    In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7
    Christ called homosexuality immoral.

  169. Disparaging minority relationships as just being about sinful sex has been done before by “conservative” American Christians.

  170. Are you Sandi in disguise or another Jesus Only poster?

  171. If that is the criteria for authenticity, then you should be a Mormon!

    Whereas, there is no verifiable evidence as to who actually wrote most of the writings which make up the canon of the New Testament almost 2000 years ago, the Book of Mormon has known scribes for it’s translation, as well as, sworn testimony of more than a dozen witnesses the gold plates from which it was translated. All less than 200 years ago.

  172. Yea, this is word for word Sandi. Now we have another commenter pretending to be someone else.

  173. Not really. The unified Church did that, long before the Bishop of Rome was asserting his supremacy or at least anyone was recognizing it.

  174. There she goes again! Quoting faulty English translations of Biblical Hebrew. It doesn’t say that in the Hebrew and never will, no matter how many times she posts that it does.

  175. Actually, it does to those who aren’t afraid to see the truth.

  176. Is the quote a modern paraphrase of Maimonides’ ideas or a supposed direct quote of the Rabbi himself? It can’t be a direct quote as the word homosexual didn’t exist in antiquity.

  177. If there are heterosexuals, then there are, logically and linguistically, homosexuals. It has to do with proper English usage. Who appointed you the Language Commissar? I, for one, do not recognize your authority!

    P.S. I still use the word “gay” to primarily mean lighthearted and cheerful.

  178. You wouldn’t know, you don’t read Biblical Hebrew.

  179. The canon of 27 books was floating around various schools of Christianity and in the writings of various bishops & patriarchs during the 2 & 300s.

    The Roman and Protestant churches didn’t get around to definitively declaring their respective canons until the 1500s. The Orthodox, the 1600s.

  180. Division among the conservatives!

    It was inevitable when anti-LGBTQism is the only thing uniting them here.

  181. Again…that’s what Christian bigots have long said about “those people.” Using that argument is morally, intellectually, politically and theologically bankrupt.

  182. And, I still use “bigot” to mean people like you.

  183. You wouldn’t know because you don’t. You can’t determine someone else ability to read a language if you have no training in that language. You can only speak from absolute ignorance.

  184. I really don’t get the slightest impression that you have a clue about “conservatives”.

    The use of “catholic cult” should have been the tip-off that ChristisGod is simply an anti-Catholic.

  185. Not quite accurate, David.

    The term you should be using is “codifying”, not “declaring”.

  186. I believe there should be law that states that anyone who says or writes something along the lines of “he word homosexual didn’t exist in antiquity” should have his or her fingers broken.

    Explain how the non-existence of this word of late 19th German origin when the ancient world certainly knew both the practice and how to describe illuminates anything.

  187. There appears to be significant evidence that the Bishop of Roman was recognized as first among equals in antiquity.

  188. And homosexual is still the actual English opposite of heterosexual. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, snowflake. Better hurry back to your safe room.

  189. What part do you believe is not accurate?

    Declaring, codifying – English isn’t my first language!

  190. Based on his/her theology spouted in most of the comments they make, ChristIsGod appears to be a very conservative Christian. (Which BTW, appear to be word for word comments by sandinwindsor.) Most conservative Christians are anti-Catholic.

    Based on yours, you appear to be a very conservative Roman Catholic.

    As opposed to being liberal.

  191. I’ve corrected your false assertions many times over and you still post the same crap!

  192. No, based on his/her theology ChristIsGod appears to be an anti-Catholic.

    Based on mine, I appear to be a fact-driven opponent of what you call “liberal” and orthodox Christians call “heresy”.

  193. History’s.

    The Orthodox, for example, don’t dispute it, nor do Anglo-Catholics.

  194. “Declaring” implies that prior to the declaration the canons did not exist.

    “Codifying” indicates that the canons did exist but were not organized.

  195. In the Ravenna Document, issued in 2007, representatives of the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church jointly stated that both East and West accept the fact of the Bishop of Rome’s primacy at the universal level, but that differences of understanding exist about how the primacy is to be exercised and about its scriptural and theological foundations.

    They seem to disagree on what that primacy means.
    He is supreme, he holds primacy isn’t so cut and dried.

    English academic and Roman Catholic priest Aidan Nichols wrote that “at root, only one issue of substance divides the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches, and that is the issue of the primacy.”[1] The French Orthodox researcher Jean-Claude Larchet wrote that together with the Filioque controversy, differences in interpretation of this doctrine have been and remain the primary causes of schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, some understand the primacy of the Bishop of Rome to be merely one of greater honour, regarding him as primus inter pares (“first among equals”), without effective power over other churches. Other Orthodox Christian theologians, however, view primacy as authoritative power: the expression, manifestation and realization in one bishop of the power of all the bishops and of the unity of the Church.

  196. Yes, they disagree on what “first among equals means”.

    They do agree on first among equals.

    That’s 85-90% of Christians.

  197. Actually, the same could be said of you. As I have told you before, Christ has not given you divine secrets that have been held away from us for three thousand or more years. Those are delusions of grandeur on your part, and your assertions are untrue.

  198. Again, Christ has not given you a divine revelation, held from the rest of the world, until David Allen arrived to set the homosexuals free. Just ain’t gonna happen.

  199. I didn’t realize that you considered yourself a Christian

  200. Well, that’s a pathetic and ignorant response. There aren’t oppose sexes and opposite sexualities. We all have an X chromosome and your sexuality can be envisioned as a set of points on a sexual continuum.

  201. Well, isn’t your comment the poster child of obtuseness! The opposite of hetero (different, other) sexual attraction, is homo (same) sexual attraction. Greek hetero – other; Greek homo – same. It’s really not that difficult.

    Chromosomes are not germane to the etymology of English words; it is inane to even bring them up.

  202. I’m talking about actual sexuality, not obviously deflecting debating techniques to legitimate your sense of of a God mandated entitlement to a privileges position in society at the expense of “the other.”

  203. Bwahhahaha! What a bunch of SJW gobbledygook! (How hopelessly indoctrinated does one have to be to even talk like that?!) And I am talking about correct English, which is not subject to your personal whims, Comrade Language Commissar.

  204. You’re blathering about “correct English” when you’re really talking about fading and rather obsolete, much abused modern-era social constructs with a lot of long discredited scientific/scientistic baggage as if they were timelessly incontrovertible truths handed down by Moses himself.

  205. LOL. Thanks for demonstrating what I just said. Do they give you extra credit in junior college for writing stuff like that?

    “The wokeness is strong in this one.”

  206. Hey, Methodists are my people, both Methodist and E.U.B. I’m talking in my extended family, a church founder, minister, missionary, Sunday School teachers, church librarian, ushers, nursery care etc. The church was practically my second home growing up. We had keys…

    I have every right to criticize my heritage when I think that it’s being misused and abused to perpetuate an injustice.

  207. And moral blindness has enveloped you.

  208. “Oh no, my young woke one, you will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great…many…things.”

  209. I’ve been working full time for fifty years now.

  210. Your comments speak for themselves in that regard.

  211. You’ve done a good job of presenting various ‘options of attitudes, works and deeds’ that people can make. I like mine the best. They’re simpler to do and remember by just about everyone.

  212. Oh, there is plenty of homophobia out there, and you gleefully join in with that hatred, perverting the religion you pretend to follow.

  213. While your support of Trump says that you do not observe the moral law.

  214. Well, you should feel right at home with lunatics.

  215. Given a choice between the two main candidates, that’s actually a hilarious assertion.

  216. When you know what you are talking about, get back to me…..thanks.

  217. The UMC (my old church) needs to read the bible again, or for once. Homosexuality, “gay marriage”, LGBT, is not compatible with Christ’s teaching, aka..the Bible. It is filthy, anti-family, anti-Christ behavior. We Christians are to love everyone, but not embrace their sin. The UMC will split over this issue, and the pro-Sodomy side will die off. How many times has God destroyed entire nations over this practice? Please fellow Christians run from the UMC and go find a bible believing, bible teaching Christian church, and get “born again”.

  218. The “bishops” want to take Methodists down the Boy Scouts’
    blasphemous road like the fools spoken of in Psalm 53:1

    As they think to keep more money what’s Biblically true and
    really not funny is the exodus of the faithful has already begun !!!

  219. “But if schism is at hand, nobody can accuse United Methodists of rashness..”

    Not “rashness,” but indecisiveness.

  220. Rashness? The UMC Book of Discipline? Do you need this rag to understand Scripture? It’s so clear so as to laugh at you fools! You’re at the welcome mat of heresy!

  221. Greg I pray for your heart to soften for all people you hate! Sometimes you can turn into the thing you most hate. Let it go brother, enjoy your life and let the lord do his work.

  222. Right…people are suppose to just let pervasive injustice lay and let the lord to his work.

    Of course that was the “moderate” white evangelical racists’ position back when I was young.

  223. The side that Jesus would be on? Wow, Listen it is stated in the Bible that homosexuality is an abomination period. This is Gods law that Jesus himself followed. He would tell the homosexual to repent and upon repententence then he would be invited to the church. The church cannot CONDONE anything otherwise. You do not mix the sheep/flock with wolves!!! Get with the program people or thousands will leave the UMC including myself for good.

  224. What a nasty thing to say. Being obedient to Gods word is what is at stake.. Homosexuals should not be admitted to the church unless the are repented of their sins as clear as the bible states. You don’t invite wolves (satan) into the flock. Just as I suppose you would not invite God obeying people into yours. I pray you see the differences.

  225. Jesus would be on the side of the fathers words and be obedient to the same and would not be okay with Homosexuals in his churches..

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