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Kenyan United Methodists oppose allowing LGBT clergy, pray for church unity worldwide

A lay leader delivers announcements about the upcoming special session of the UMC General Conference at Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 13, 2019. RNS photo by Gad Maiga

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — During a recent prayer service here at the Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church, more than a hundred worshippers followed Rev. Wilton Odongo, one of the church’s head pastors, as he led congregants in prayer.

This prayer was addressing the unity of the church — specifically, the worldwide United Methodist Church.

Later this month, a special session of the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis will renew its long-running debate over same-sex weddings and LGBTQ clergy. Several proposals under discussion would remove a rule in the church’s book of discipline that would prevent anyone who is a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” from serving as a minister.

Here in East Africa’s heavyweight country, though, most say a resounding ‘no’ to such measures.


RELATED: African Methodists worry about the church that brought them Christianity


“We are praying that God gives guidance to the delegates so that the result does not hurt the next generation,” said Odongo, who is also the district superintendent of Nairobi and the secretary to the Episcopal Office of the East Africa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Odongo, who is among the reserve delegates for the General Conference meeting, told Religion News Service that he believes the ordination of LGBTQ clergy goes against the teachings of the Bible.

The Rev. Wilton Odongo preaches a sermon at Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 13, 2019. RNS photo by Gad Maiga

“In Africa, we have people in polygamous marriage and others who practice female genital mutilation, but we have never advocated for such issues to be universal,” he said amid cheers of ‘Amen’ from congregants. “We don’t want the issue to be included in the church because it’s a sin. God forbids it.”

For decades, the United Methodist Church, numbering 12 million members worldwide, has faced conflict over how the denomination should minister to LGBTQ individuals and whether or not to include them as leaders of churches. Two years ago, in Portland, Ore., the denomination narrowly avoided a schism over this issue during a heated General Conference meeting of 800-plus delegates from around the world.

The General Conference then authorized bishops to form a Commission on a Way Forward to envision changes in law and structure that might help preserve unity within the church.


RELATED: Historic United Methodist church sees ‘hopeful’ time for LGBTQ Christians


Three plans for the church’s future emerged from the commission to be considered at the conference, which begins Feb. 23: the One Church Plan, which would allow congregations and conferences to decide whether to allow same-sex weddings and gay clergy; the Traditionalist Plan, which would strengthen the current rules; and the Connectional-Conference Plan, which would allow churches to sort themselves by theology.

Another proposal, called the Simple Plan, would remove any language about homosexuality from the Methodist Book of Discipline.

Many Methodists in Kenya said the “One Church Plan” would amount to a repudiation of Bible passages condemning homosexuality. Pastor Anthony Maiga, who oversees Rongai United Methodist Church in Nairobi, believes African Methodist churches are not ready to allow the ordination of LBGTQ clergy.

“We are all aware that homosexuality is a sin and the Bible condemns it,” he said. “We are fighting to defend the Bible and follow Christ’s teachings. There is nowhere in the Bible that encourages the ordination of homosexual clergy.”

Still, Maiga said, he doesn’t want to kick out LGBTQ church members.

“We can allow them to fellowship with us and be part of us,” he said.

Kenya, in red, located in eastern Africa. Map courtesy of Creative Commons

In September, the United Methodist African bishops unanimously reaffirmed their view that marriage is between a man and a woman and vowed to maintain the unity of the United Methodist Church. But the bishops did not endorse any of the three proposals by the Commission on a Way Forward to resolve the United Methodist Church’s impasse over this issue.

Some Methodist churches in Kenya have ties to the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA), a conservative Methodist organization that supports the Traditional Plan.

Rev. Kephas Oloo, a United Methodist elder in western Kenya, is already in Missouri, working with the WCA to drum up support for the Traditional Plan.

“Africa is the fruit of mission work,” said Oloo, echoing the words of the South Congo Area Bishop Kasap Owan during the closing worship service of the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s global celebration in Georgia this past November.

“Africa will not walk away from Christ,” he said. “If you bring us another teaching on marriage, our churches will be empty. But if you are faithful to the word of God, the church will grow. Jesus was protected in Africa. Africa will remain the place to protect the Gospel.”

Still, some African church leaders say they want the church to remain united regardless of the outcome of the conference.

The Rev. Patrick Wandera said he is “no fan” of the local option (One Church Plan) recommended by the bishops, which would erase parts of the Book of Discipline and let individual churches decide on weddings and ordinations.

Wandera, who heads one of the country’s fastest growing United Methodist churches, the Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church in Nairobi, said he is firmly in the traditionalist camp.

“We believe what Methodists have always believed about marriage,” he said. “We believe this beautiful picture, from beginning of Scripture to end of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation, that marriage is between a man and a woman.”


RELATED: A flourishing United Methodist church considers a way out


Others said it was a non-issue.

“There are far more pressing issues than same-sex marriage that the church in Africa needs to address, including corruption, refugees and poverty,” said Rev. Davies Musigo of the Huruma United Methodist Church.

He worries that African Methodists who support the Traditional Plan might lose funding from Methodists in the United States who disagree with their views.

“But what is of concern to us is the attaching of conditions to aid” by donor countries, he said.

“This is a Christian perspective, not an African perspective, because this is a problem all over the world,” he added. “Aid should not be used as a coercive tool to impose any set of values.”

Still, Maiga said the unity of the church was paramount — no matter what happens in St. Louis.

“This issue should not divide the church,” he said, appealing to the delegates. “We are praying that we remain united as one church regardless of the outcome of the special General Conference this February.”

Gad Maiga contributed to this story.

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Tonny Onyulo

124 Comments

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  • The African conferences can continue to bar homosexuals from ordination and marriage under the either of the plans that would allow for it in the Church. They are empowered to adapt the discipline to their context, unlike the US conferences.

  • I’m wondering how Kenyan United Methodists are defending the human rights of LGBT persons as they’ve covenanted to do through our Book of Discipline?

  • It certainly appears to be the question that you asked.

    Prescinding for a moment from the question of whether marriage is a human right, and if so under what restrictions may it be exercised, within a given religion, and within a denomination of a given religion, there are only those “rights” which the denomination grants to its members.

    Forgetting that is how the Episcopal Church in the United States got itself tangled up.

  • I’ll just leave this right here:

    “Research at Baylor University shows that clergy sexual abuse of women is common across denominations, and that it’s devastating because of the religious status that clergy hold. The major study found that 3.1 percent of the 3,559 women surveyed reported that they had been the target of clergy sexual misconduct at some time in their adult lives (often by married clergy). That meant 1 in 33 women who had attended services within the past month reported that she’d at some point been the object of a religious leader’s sexual advances. The principal author of the study, the late Diana R. Garland, wrote elsewhere that it appears clergy sexual abuse of women is more prevalent than clergy sexual abuse of children.”

    Paul Moses, “Redefining Who’s ‘Vulnerable,” Commonweal

    https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/redefining-whos-vulnerable

  • “In Africa, we have people in polygamous marriage and others who practice female genital mutilation, but we have never advocated for such issues to be universal”,…..per Odango.

    What kind of crazy subject-changing is THAT?

  • Translation from the Kenyan Christianese:

    Heterosexuals can do whatever they want, but it won’t particularly bother us. In fact, we’re give it a through going finger wagging. But treating Teh Geyz like we treat everyone else? Nope.

  • So we have 3 options, eh?
    1. Follow scripture (church house)
    2. Follow scripture, or don’t follow scripture – some assemblies apostate, some traditional. (a house divided)
    3. don’t follow scripture (itchy ear assembly – divorced themselves from Christ)

    “We are all aware that homosexuality is a sin and the Bible condemns it,” he said. “We are fighting to defend the Bible and follow Christ’s teachings. There is nowhere in the Bible that encourages the ordination of homosexual clergy.” amen. Homosexuals are not Christian

  • You’ve been peddling “Heterosexuals can do whatever they want, but it won’t particularly bother us.” lately.

    But previously. when the mood hit, the Christians were all blood and guts.

    What WILL tomorrow bring?

  • Marriage is the commitment of a man and a woman. Just as 2 lines joined at one end are called an angle, and there are different terms (right, acute, obtuse) to describe the relationship of those 2 lines (90°, less than 90, greater than 90°), so marriage is a male/female designation, always has been. If two men or two women want to make a commitment to each other, then unique terms should be used and certain civil rights (e.g., inheritance) granted using a distinguishing term. That is using language with integrity, rather than manipulating words. Just using the qualifier “same-sex” before marriage says you are engaged in word manipulation. Please, act and speak with integrity.

  • Marriage as a human right has been established by the UN (article 16 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights). I agree with it.

    My original question was whether Kenyan UMs were upholding one of the covenantal vows of the BoD (defending the human rights of LGBTQ, which includes but is not limited to marriage). Since they want me to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on the BoD, do they themselves have absolute integrity when it comes to following the BoD? I suspect not.

  • UN Declarations are not authoritative for Christians.

    The Bible and the 2000 year old unanimous teaching of the Church are.

  • Churches are not bound by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

    The United States Supreme Court in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain (2004) concluded that the Declaration “does not of its own force impose obligations as a matter of international law.”

    Generally non-Western countries reject it since it written from a totally Western perspective.

    Your construction on it seems to indicates that you believe it should override Christian teaching in the Kenyan UM church.

    I don’t think that dog will hunt.

  • Were you following Dr. Lindsey, e.g.:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/southern_baptists_should_investigate_churches_that_cover_up_abuse_says_sbc_president/#comment-4344966056

    “ …. Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists have something else in common. Each are controlled by all-male leadership and power structures that exclude women from decision-making and oversight.”

    you’d get it.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/humour

  • President Trump announced his plan for a global fight to decriminalize homosexuality. I believe Kenya on the list. What will his loyal base think about that? Pushing to legalize what they consider a sin worthy of hellfire.

  • The original contention was whether Kenyan UMs have integrity when demanding BoD purity on matters regarding sexuality? I contend they do not. They can prove me wrong by demonstrating how they are defending the human rights of LGBTQ in their country. Until they can demonstrate such purity, then I have a hard time respecting lectures from the Kenyan delegation.

  • I was responding directly to your contention that LGBT clergy would make clergy sexual abuse worse. Did I read that wrongly?

  • Book of Discipline Paragraph 341.6 clearly indicates they do not recognize homosexual marriage as a universal human right, otherwise they would mandate it. Hence the conflict you posit (leading to a lack of integrity) does not exist.

  • I’m NOT limiting the human rights matter to just gay marriage. LGBT Kenyans are entitled to all the other human rights as well. I want to know IN WHAT WAYS the Kenyan UMC is protecting ALL the OTHER human rights entitled to LGBT Kenyans. If they are NOT protecting ALL the other human rights of LGBT Kenyans then they ARE picking and choosing which parts of the Discipline to follow. If they are picking and choosing, then their claims of integrity fall apart. So PLEASE demonstrate HOW the Kenyan UMC is protecting the human rights of LGBT Kenyans as they have already promised to do.

  • There are Kenyan LGBT Christians and there are Churches in Kenya which are affirming to the LGBT community.
    The Cosmopolitan Affirming Church is praying for the High Court of Kenya to decriminalize homosexuality, thereby throwing off the shackles of a law imposed by British imperialists. LGBT Kenyans are beloved children of God and filled with the grace God gives everyone. Let us be gracious with one another and see the God-given worth in every precious creation of God.
    https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/World/God-and-justice-Gay-church-prays-historic-Kenya-ruling/688340-4990700-y656pg/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1C_HOU0MHwhzC3SaOJUK7-fE2Ftv1a-cwebcxikWyxdrMdrUmedcveiiM

  • There cannot be (legitimate) LGBT clergy because LGBT are false identities (a sexual abnormality is not an identity). Our true identity is God’s beloved son or daughter. Claiming a different identity indicates Satan’s deception. It is double-mindedness (bi-polar is one clinical description); dividing the mind is diabolical (of the devil). The church that is committed to God’s word cannot place those who claim false identities (such as LGBT) in positions of leadership. Nor can it tolerate any clergy sexual abuse. Nor can it approve of same-sex behavior, which is ultimately self-destructive. Nor can it perform “same-sex” marriage (an illegitimate term as I wrote earlier), regardless of what government says, because the term marriage applies only to a committed man/woman relationship. Word manipulation does not create reality. Marriage, in its deepest sense, was created by and is a gift of God. Government involvement regarding marriage always occupies a subordinate position. So I say marriage is never a right, it is god’s gift.

    And I write the above as one who has personally dealt with same-sex attraction, but one whom God set free because of His Word/Truth and Grace. From my youth, His Word was my foundation. There was struggle, yes. But I now understand why “the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”, is true. And as Jesus also said, “He that loves mother and father (or others) more than me is not fit to be my follower. Only by genuinely desiring to please God more than self or others, will we find true freedom. Self-centeredness, or exalting oneself above all else, violates relationship with God and others. That is how I define sin. When the pastor at my previous church (for 40+ years) violated church discipline by marrying 2 men and saying the discipline was wrong, I spoke out publicly at the end of the next worship service, shouting out “As one who has experienced homosexuality, I affirm the discipline is correct. You have defiled this sanctuary. You have rebelled against the church. Jesus warned of false shepherds who would mislead his precious sheep.” Two days later I received the pastor’s email saying I was banned from the church and the police would be called if I set foot on the property. I felt blessed (see the final Beatitude Matt.5:11)
    P.S. Re your “lol” reply to my reply above, I don’t know that expression.

  • Ear tickling means telling people what they want to hear. Ergo, if your pastor has been obsessed with homosexuality and telling you, who already believe that it is a terrible sin, and ignoring the sins you’re actually committing, he (I’m guessing he) is tickling your ears.

    What do you mean by “homosexuals are not Christian”? That people with same sex attraction cannot have accepted Christ? That they reject the historic Christian creeds? That this is one thing that is, in your view, such a sin that one cannot be a Christian while in a same-sex relationship? It’s not clear to me that any of those claims would be accurate or within the realm of orthodox Christian teaching. If one is not a Christian because one is a sinner, whatever the stripe of sinner, none of us is a Christian.

  • Ear tickling means telling one what they want to hear,
    Homosexuals are not Christian. They rebel against Christ

  • So telling you what you want to hear would be saying that homosexuals are not Christian. I’ll be happy not to tickle your ears in that department.

    Wait… are you saying LGBTQ persons aren’t *Christian,* as in not acting like Christians, or not ChristianS, as in, “‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ only applies if you’re not gay?”

    I’m not denying scripture, and I’m not twisting scripture. I’m re-interpreting scripture in light of new information, as the Christian church has since the book of Acts when all of a sudden they found out gentiles – GENTILES! – could be saved.

    Ear-tickling quotes from pastors that tell you what you already believe and don’t challenge you or stretch you are all well and good, but have you ever met someone who loved Jesus from the top of their head to the ends of their toes and had tried like all get-out to stop being attracted to people of the same gender – prayer, conversion therapy, you name it, they tried it and it didn’t work? Have you decided you’re going to still love that person because you know in your bones that Jesus loves them? You ever start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, you’ve been reading the Bible wrong and what everyone told you those verses mean might not be what they mean?

    I have.

    It’s not about twisting or denying scripture. It’s about listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us through scripture and the lives of faithful LGBTQ Christians and recognizing that maybe we – not God! -got it wrong, and that God has been waiting all this time for us to figure it out.

    God is love, and Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbor, and everything else hinges on that. EVERYTHING. ELSE. hinges on that.

    So when we find ourselves thinking that we have to choose between loving our neighbor (in a way that they would recognize as loving!) and following scripture as we understand it, we are called to recognize that we have not understood it properly. St. Augustine called this “The rule of love” – if an interpretation leads us to greater love of God and neighbor, we are interpreting scripture rightly, but if it pushes us away from that, we’re doing it wrong.

    So. Have you been there? Have you faced off between what you’ve been told the Bible means, and a living, flesh-and-blood human being who loves Jesus with every fiber of their being but can’t stop being same-sex attracted, no matter how much they pray? What would you tell them? They’ve already accepted Jesus. They already tried everything on your list. Not being gay isn’t an option. Does Jesus love them as they are and cannot otherwise be, or not?

  • No. Homosexuals are not Christian and telling them what they are doing is OK – that is tickling their ears
    One is not saved if they are rebelling against Christ
    There is no new revelation that homosexuals are anything but not saved
    You aren’t following Jesus if you are unrepentantly involving yourself in sin
    The Holy Spirit will not contradict the Lord – who taught that homosexuality is a sin
    Loving God, is following His commandments. God commanded that homosexuality is a sin
    St. Augustine can say whatever he wanted. Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin worthy of death
    The only option is to renounce one’s sin, and follow Jesus – who said He would cleanse us of our sin

  • So suppose you’re me. Suppose you’ve spent ten weeks with someone, serving side by side with them, and seeing the love of Jesus radiate from this person. They’re your friend. Then at the end of the summer they tell you, “I’m gay. I’ve tried everything to not be attracted to people of the same sex, but I can’t.”

    You know from their fruit that they love Jesus with everything they have. You can’t deny their genuine faith because you’ve spent ten weeks with them.

    What do you say to them when they come out? Do you tell them Jesus loves them and you still do too? Or do you tell them “the only option is to renounce one’s sin and follow Jesus.”? Do you tell them they have to remain single for the rest of their lives, that that’s God’s will for them?

  • How much faith are they showing if they don’t believe God will forgive them of the sin they endorse in, that He condemned?
    For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not become partners with them; 8for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. Ephesians 5:5

  • I’m not talking about them endorsing sin, I’m talking about them being attracted to people of the same gender. I’m asking what you would say to a friend who was same-sex attracted and loves Jesus. You didn’t answer.

    This isn’t a question you can quote a few Bible verses at and make it go away.

  • I would tell the person to turn to Christ, repent and be saved.
    We don’t want people with that sin to be running churches – a little leaven…..
    Actually, it is a question one can throw Bible verses at and it will go away. When most people learn they are sinners, they care enough to rectify that.
    Christ made it “immorality” when He overthrew S&G and when He laid out the laws for Moses to teach

  • In this (real-life) example, they’ve already turned to Christ and repented and been saved, but that hasn’t made them not attracted to people of the same gender.

    I can’t help but wonder if your perspective is more related to your inability to imagine this situation that happens every day than it is to what “The Bible clearly says.”

  • Multiple times, yes. And it didn’t change the reality in front of me, nor would it, no matter how many times I read it.

    They are Christians. You don’t know. You weren’t there. You didn’t spend ten weeks seeing the fruit of their faith. I’m beginning to think you could never understand unless you were faced with these people and their genuine faith, because you can’t fathom or even imagine that they exist.

    But they do, I Corinthians 6:11 notwithstanding. Quoting Bible verses at reality won’t change it any more than flat-earthers quoting verses will change the shape of the earth. [I’m not saying you’re a flat-earther; I’m saying that, like them, you are quoting Bible verses as though it will change reality].

    Faithful, committed LGBTQ Christians with genuine faith exist, whether you believe in them or not. I know them. They are my friends, and their witness forced me to re-examine my assumptions about the Bible.

    And one day, if not in this life, then in the one to come, you will meet them, too.

    Until you do, I expect you’ll just keep quoting Bible verses I already know, which isn’t really a conversation I think will be helpful for either of us, so… unless you are prepared to imagine a faithful Christian who has tried to stop being gay and it hasn’t worked no matter how much therapy or prayers they tried, I don’t see the point of further discussion. Adieu.

  • ” I’m beginning to think you could never understand unless you were faced with these people and their genuine faith,” They are not showing faith. Christ taught throughout the Bible that homosexuality is a sin.
    Scripture will do as God intends it to:
    Isaiah 55:11 King James Version (KJV)
    11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    It is written in the last days that even the elect will be fooled – I submit that you should consider your points from that perspective.
    I see you could provide no scripture as per my request.
    If you cannot discuss scripture using scripture, did you consider 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

  • Y0u missed a part of my response as I hadn’t finished typing when it posted and needed to continue afterward.
    Where is your scripture where Christ condones homosexuality?

  • And you didn’t respond to my request that you imagine faithful LGBTQ Christians, other than to say that they don’t exist, quote scripture, and demand scripture that doesn’t exist… so we’re at a standstill.

    As I said…

    Q.
    E.
    D.

  • I can cite plenty of scripture, but I don’t see the point. You’re not willing to wrestle with the tension of people whose existence contradicts your understanding of scripture, so discussing scripture itself would be a waste of both of our time.

    I think this will probably be my last comment.

  • well then, show me the scripture where Christ condones homosexuality as emphatically as He condemns it in Leviticus

  • Re: “Kenyan United Methodists oppose allowing LGBT clergy, pray for church unity worldwide”

    Unity cannot happen until they do as Christ taught them – to treat others as they themselves would be treated. That includes God’s LGBTQ children. so it is the Kenyan United Methodists who are rejecting Christ’s message. Christ Himself was silent on the topic. They should maybe take the hint and do likewise.

  • Rational folk do not see entering into committed, consenting, adult, human relationships as “sin”.

    Paul may have believed that homosexuality (perhaps his own “thorn in the side”) was bad. Christ failed to mention it.

  • More and more, mutually deciding whom you will commit to in marriage is seen as a human right.

    And, that wasn’t cegr76’s question.

  • Re: “Marriage is the commitment of a man and a woman.”

    Not necessarily.

    Re: “always has been”

    Again, it ain’t necessarily so. In some cultures, it is the marriage of one man and several women, sometimes even girls. In March 2014, Kenya’s Parliament passed a bill allowing men to marry multiple wives. In some jurisdictions (even in some parts of America) there is no minimum age at which one can enter into marriage.

    And why do you want separate (and clearly un-equal) institutions set up for gay people? That is what would be ‘special rights’.

    Sure glad you didn’t bring the ‘marriage is for making babies’ non-‘argument’.

  • It is FAR from “the question that [cegr76] asked.

    It was, “how Kenyan United Methodists are defending the human rights of LGBT persons as they’ve covenanted to do through our Book of Discipline?”

    Marriage is not a ‘religious’ thing. No ‘God talk’ makes any couple legally married.

  • Re: “Churches are not bound by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights).”

    They’re “bound” by their own dogma and polity – which is ALL made up by fallible humans.

    Re: “Generally non-Western countries reject [the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights].

    Odd, then, that Kenya allows polygamy.

    Re: “Christian teaching”

    Christ was silent on the topic. Maybe you were thinking of Pauline teaching.

  • It is hardly “unanimous” considering how many thousands of christian sects there are – all of which differ in various ways. This is just another example.

    “The Church” is not of one accord on this matter – observably.

    So, I recommend more observation.

  • You’re not going to get an actual answer to your actual question from them.

    THey’re in “We’ve ALWAYS done it THIS way” mode. It isn’t true, of course, but they seem stuck in it.

  • Re: ““We are all aware that homosexuality is a sin and the Bible condemns it,” he said.”

    Not really. Paul condemns certain acts, but those acts are not what we understand homosexuality to be. They involve coercion (aka rape). But today’s debate is about consenting adults entering mutually consenting relationships – the opposite of what Paul talked about.

    Re: “We are fighting to defend the Bible and follow Christ’s teachings.”

    Again, not really. Christ was silent on the topic of ‘the gays’. Take His hint and do likewise.

    Re: “There is nowhere in the Bible that encourages the ordination of homosexual clergy.” amen.”
    Likewise for women clergy. Yet many in the Church are fine with that. Amen.

    Re: “Homosexuals are not Christian.”

    You’re welcome to believe that, but you’re wrong. Many, many are.

  • But “Homosexuals are not Christian” is the credo YOU “want to hear”.

    Christ didn’t address the issue, so there can be no such ‘rebellion’ against something He didn’t teach.

    Re: “we cannot deny Scripture”

    Lots of rational folk do precisely that. I mean, donkeys cannot talk, right? If you don’t “deny [some parts of] Scripture”, you should be out there “surely” putting gay people (or, at least, Paul’s or some Levite priests’ notion of them) to death.

    This “Paul blair, pastor” you cite – he is not the Christ. Whoever he is, he’s tickled your ears quite successfully. Sadly.

  • Re: “One is not saved if they are rebelling against Christ.”

    Please cite me ONE verse in which Christ said anything about homosexuals.

    I’ll wait.

    Re: “Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin worthy of death”

    NO, Sandi, He did not.

    Your condemnatory attitude toward God’s LGBTQ children will be judged by the One Who is qualified to. And He told you not to.

  • Using your own ‘proof text’ to ‘prove’ that what your text says is true is called a tautology, I believe.

    Your citation is Paul, not Christ. And I find it odd that you consider two people committing to one another in a mutually consenting, adult, human relationship to be “sexually immoral”. Rational folk do not.

    That’s ‘Paulian’, not ‘Christian’.

  • Sandi, it is not POSSIBLE to “repent” of loving someone.

    Nor is it advisable.

    Re: “We don’t want people with that sin to be running churches”

    YOU don’t. You make that more than clear. But you seem to be okay with people with OTHER “sins” to be running them.

    S&G was not about homosexuality. It was about inhospitality. Do some reading.

  • Re: “They are not showing faith.”

    You, as a human, do not get to make that judgment of others.

    Re: “Christ taught throughout the Bible that homosexuality is a sin.”

    No, Sandi, He did no such thing. Some of His followers did. And not one verse you’ve cited so far was Christ’s.

  • Re: “Let us be gracious with one another”

    That quality seems lacking in too many self-described ‘christians’ here.

  • Why would it be “worse”? That makes no sense. The sexual abuse of women seems to be a problem for men who are attracted … to women. That isn’t LGBT people.

  • Your latest pull-quote doesn’t make the point you tried to make about including LGBT clergy. At all.

  • Your example cites a male/female(s) relationship, not a same-sex relationship. Go back to my example. We must use language with integrity, not manipulate.

  • Re: “There cannot be (legitimate) LGBT clergy”

    And yet … there are. In many denominations, Christian and otherwise.

    But now that you’re a heterosexual, I’d like to ask why you denied being heterosexual during your “struggle”?

    Pomposity doesn’t make for a good argument.

  • The point was/is that it isn’t ONE man and ONE woman as the OP suggested.

    THAT was not “using language with integrity” – because it isn’t true.

  • Rick, “the Church” is NOT “unanimous” on this, nevermind myriad other issues.

    That’s just not true.

  • LGBT (afflictions, not identities) are accorded the same civil rights as others. The whole notion of “protecting” a specified group is anti-Liberty. Liberty (as our founders declared) is an unalienable (not government-given, but Creator-given) right. “We, the People” (ordained and established the Constitution) to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Liberty is our constitutional right TO discriminate – to make our own choices whether others like it or not. Example: If a restaurant refuses to serve me because I’m an “old guy” (age, sex discrimination), it is rightfully exercising it’s Liberty. As long I can readily be served at another restaurant, I’m not being denied my Liberty (to eat at a public restaurant). But for government to compel the restaurant to serve me, is an unconstitutional denial of it’s Liberty. The only instance when government can legitimately address “discrimination” is (what I call) “societal”/governmental discrimination, because only this form denies Liberty. The 1964 Civil Rights Law was just, not because it prohibited discrimination, but because it gave Black People the Liberty they had been denied due to “societal”/governmental (not mere individual) discrimination via Jim Crow/segregation laws. Any “non-discrimination” laws that prohibit mere “individual” (person or entity, such as a business) are an unconstitutional denial of individual Liberty. Asking “Is this person/group being discriminated against?” is not the right question to ask. The proper constitutional question is “Is this person being denied their Liberty?” Per my above example, I was being discriminated against and may not like it, but I was not being denied my Liberty. The restaurant was. That is government partiality; that is unjust. Illegitimate non-discrimination laws are destroying Liberty and must be repealed.

  • You obviously have a different definition of legitimate (“in many denominations”). It is the heart’s desire. That’s what God sees, that men often don’t. If my (or clergy’s) heart’s desire is to please man rather than God, to “honor God with their lips, but not with their heart”, then they are not legitimate clergy. That’s why the only Biblical instances of Jesus expressing anger was at the religious leaders of the day.
    Don’t get the point of your question.

  • It seems to be YOUR “heart’s desire” to see God’s LGBTQ children treated unequally despite what Christ taught.

    You don’t get to decide what faith matters are “legitimate” … for other people. You’re not qualified to make that judgment, and the One Who is told you not to.

    My question is, when you were homosexual, why did you deny the ‘truth’ that you were hetereosexual all along ? And what changed you? What was it that made your attraction to other men go away?

  • The Bible and the 2000 year old teaching of the Church are indeed unanimous in in considering homosexuality sinful.

    Name any Councils, Canons, or Church Fathers who have ever taught otherwise. There are none.

  • Paul (not the Christ) spoke of lieing with man “as with a woman”. Gay men do not lie with women.

    And, in the days when the Bible was being composed (by fallible men), marital rape was perfectly okay.

    S & G was about inhospitality, not homosexuality, per most Biblical scholarship.

    Sorry, not taking your word for this supposed “unanimity”. Nor are many denominations.

  • Harping, as you do, on “equality” is playing the victim to elicit misplaced compassion. Grow up.
    At one point Jesus said ‘Why do you not decide for yourselves what is right?”

    On what basis do you make the assertion “the ‘truth’ that I was heterosexual all along”” Are you qualified to make that judgment?

    What changed me was standing on God’s word which I “hid in my heart that I might not sin against God” from early childhood. It helped me make critical decisions along the journey. The amazing one was this: Some years ago I engaged in online homosexual pornography a few times and then asked God to forgive me. Then one night I added to my prayer “but I really wanted to.” I didn’t stop at asking forgiveness, but confessed my heart’s desire. The next opportunity I had “to reward myself”, the desire wasn’t there. We cannot hide desires from God. When I got completely honest with God, then he acted on my behalf. Of course, Satan continues to present temptations. But I follow God’s/Jesus’ advice: (Gen.3) to Cain when he was angry with his brother Abel (and later murdered him). God said “Sin is crouching at your door. It wants to have you. You must master it.”
    Jesus (Sermon on the Mount, Matt.5) uses the laws about murder and adultery to point out that the law can only address external behavior, but the real problem is the heart’s desire (anger and lust). He says you’re guilty of murder if you’re angry with a brother or sister . Words kill. and then “Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue just by staying out of bed. Those lustful leers you think nobody notices (I take that to mean regardless of sex), they also corrupt. Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do. You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile.” In other words, just as God said to Cain, we have to recognize powerful destructive emotions (anger/lust) and take drastic action, not let them control us. So now I’m more alert to put out the fire before it gets out of hand.

  • Re: “Government involvement regarding marriage always occupies a subordinate position. So I say marriage is never a right, it is god’s gift.”

    You can say it until the cows come home, but governments do, indeed, decide who is … legally married. Marriage needs no god. Marriage needs no religious belief whatsoever. Maybe you were thinking of the religious rite of Holy Matrimony – a ritual that does not, byu itself, make anyone legally married.

  • The Word of God (Jesus Christ) spoke against men lieing with men In Leviticus. In the New Testament, he only approved of heterosexual marriage and celibacy.

    Gay men lie with other men as normal men lie with a woman.

    The Bible was not composed by fallible men, but by the Spirit of God.

    I am not aware of any Counciliar pronouncements promoting marital rape.

    The Bible says that both inhospitality and homosexuality were noteworthy sins of Sodom, as per unbiased Biblical scholarship not pushing LGBT propaganda.

    I notice you are incapable of naming any Ecumenical Councils, Canons, or Church Fathers who ever taught anything but unanimously on the subject of homosexuality.

  • Christ has taught that homosexuals will go to Hell, unless they turn to Him, repent and follow Him as Lord and Saviour
    Christ does not send Christians to Hell

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • I’ve not talked (let along “harp[ed]”) much about equality here, though Jesus certainly was concerned about it. What is your beef against it?

    Re: “On what basis do you make the assertion “the ‘truth’ that I was heterosexual all along”

    You referred to yourself as “one who has personally dealt with same-sex attraction”. You admitted that “There was struggle”. That you “engaged in online homosexual pornography”. So, I presumed you were same-sex attracted and now you’re not. And I want to know what it was that changed you into a straight person. Because once I know that, I can bottle it and make a fortune, since no one else ever has. Even the founders of the conversion movement admit this.

    So be honest and tell us how you “mastered” becoming heterosexual.

    Oh, wait. You still have same-sex attraction (“I’m more alert to put out the fire before it gets out of hand.”) So your words ring hollow and false. Take your own advice and grow up. You haven’t been ‘cured’ or ‘healed’ (iow, become heterosexual) because you were not sick to begin with. It sounds like you are securely still in the closet – just like the lying founders of Exodus International were when they began their campaign of false witness.

    Conflating “murder and adultery” with two people committing to one another in marriage is a huge false equivalency. Reducing it or comparing it to “anger and lust” is just silly. Marriage and love are NOT “destructive emotions”.

    “Those lustful leers you think nobody notices” – that doesn’t sound like any Bible I’ve ever read.

  • Nope. Leviticus was written by Levite priests who had to ensure they’d live for 40 years in the desert, centuries before there was a Jesus Christ.

    Heterosexuality is not so much “normal” as it is common. Nor is “normal” the same thing as the statistical “norm”. It would be quite abnormal for gay men to lie with women.

    Re: “The Bible was not composed by fallible men”

    You’re welcome to believe that, too. And, any “Counciliar pronouncements” would also have come from fallible men. As would Ecumenical Councils, Canons, or Church Fathers.

    Sorry, you’ve not swayed me to your opinion.

  • I’ve read them countless times, Sandi. In their entirety. (And volumes of scholarship on them both.)

    And they were written well before there was a Jesus Christ.

    And you still don’t get to judge the faith … of OTHER people.

  • That’s what you believe. Others do not.

    You’re welcome to your beliefs. Why do you not have the grace to allow others theirs?

    IOW, why do you hate Unitarians?

    ;{O)

  • Why would you send me to a child-molester-supporting apologist frightwing publication as if it had any merit?

    Shame on you.

    And, way not to answer my question.

  • And, being human, no doubt flavoured the teachings with his own (often misogynist, homophobic) slant on things that Christ Himself never mentioned.

    I would also note that Paul did not want women to be allowed “to speak” on spiritual matters in the Church, and yet, here I am speaking with one. I must be a heretic for debating you … according to Paul.

    Btw, how long is your hair?

  • We are ALL “sinners” – according to parts of the Bible.

    As for “unrepentant”, we humans can never tell if another person is repentant, Sandi. They can say they are, but only God gets to know that for certain.

    But again, most folk do not view two consenting adults, committing to one another in marriage as something of which to repent, for it is not possible to repent of loving someone.

  • If I do, am I supposed to see something different this time? That makes no sense.

    Sandi, I know you believe what you believe, and you’re welcome to believe it. But you don’t make convincing arguments by merely repeating the same claims. You’ve certainly not convinced me to change my beliefs.

  • Wrong again. The Word of God (Jesus Christ) was active throughout the Old Testament, starting with Genesis.

    And I notice yet again that you are incapable of naming any Ecumenical Councils, Canons or Church Fathers who ever taught anything but unanimously on the subject of homosexuality. By the lack of such proof, you show that your contention that the Church has not been unanimous in condemning homosexuality is both false and without foundation.

  • Re: “Christ has taught that homosexuals will go to Hell, unless they turn to Him, repent and follow Him as Lord and Saviour”

    He did not specify homosexuals, Sandi. There was no sexual purity test.

    Again, I do not believe two consenting adults entering into a committed marriage as something to “repent” of, and you’ve not convinced me otherwise.

    The ESV does not jive with the NRSV, nor with the countless other Vs.

    The very word “homosexual” was only coined about a century or so ago, so what we understand it to be today is hardly the same thing as what the shepherd-priests who likely wrote Leviticus ‘understood’ it.

    Why there are different versions should tell you something.

    Please bring better arguments.

  • Just as I hate cults who lie about God’s LGBTQ children.

    I don’t really “hate” them, though I do try to enlighten them.

  • Homosexuals are not Christians.
    Christ will not place Christians in Hell

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • No, it didn’t.

    I asked, “Do you believe all LGBTQ folk are molesters and/or rapists?” Not what a pernicious lie-peddling, hate-mongering internet site says.

    As a Christian, I’m shocked you would read such trash, let alone believe it.

  • I’m not concerned so much about your thoughts, I am concerned that people reading them see the truth

  • That’s what you and your faith believe/teach.

    I’m saying there are many Christians and Christian churches that believe otherwise.

    Meh.

  • It doesn’t matter what most people think – what matters is what Christ taught, and He taught that they will go to Hell – should they not repent

  • Sandi, pretty much all seekers seek the truth. But your posts lead me to believe you want them to see your particular faith’s version of it.

  • except, I am usually able to support what I say with scripture – that takes it out of “my faith’s” ballpark

  • “They’re ‘bound’ by their own dogma and polity – which is ALL made up by fallible humans.”

    Or not.

  • I explained. You didn’t get it. Sorry, that’s all I have to offer. Not interested in endless quarreling. You’ve made it apparent you are not really open to what I have to say.
    Best wishes.

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