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Ahead of St. Louis meeting, one United Methodist offers prayers along the way

Helen Ryde leaves a prayer letter in a prayer request mailbox at a UMC church during her pilgrimage to St. Louis. A small statue, in foreground, of John Wesley on a horse accompanied her. Photo courtesy of Helen Ryde

(RNS) — For many United Methodists, the road to St. Louis is paved with anxiety.

Will a special session beginning Saturday (Feb. 23) — considered the most consequential in the denomination’s history — find common ground on LGBT policies and end years of debate? Or will the denomination — the nation’s second-largest Protestant group — split apart?

Helen Ryde doesn’t know what the meeting will bring.

But on Tuesday, she began a 600-mile pilgrimage from the North Carolina mountains to the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, site of the meeting. As she travels through Tennessee and Kentucky and Illinois, she planned to stop in dozens of United Methodist churches to say a prayer and pin an envelope containing her prayer to the door of each congregation.

“These events are often stressful,” said Ryde, 53, referring to the General Conference. “I want to start this conference with a sense of purpose and grounding.”

Ryde, 53, is not a delegate to the special session of the United Methodist Church’s legislative assembly. A married lesbian, she works as Southeast regional organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network to encourage United Methodists to embrace LGBT equality.

Helen Ryde. Courtesy photo

The special session will bring together 864 delegates and 66 nonvoting bishops, as well as dozens of administrators and activists.

During the meeting, they will consider various plans, including one that would allow churches to ordain and marry LGBT United Methodists. (Existing United Methodist rules bar “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained as ministers and forbid ministers from officiating at same-sex weddings.)

“I’ll be working to help make decisions that will move us as far as we can toward being an inclusive church,” said Ryde. “That won’t happen overnight. But we do have the potential to take a step in the right direction.”

By Tuesday night, Ryde had made it to Glasgow, Ky., having stopped in 22 churches along the way — some small and rural, others larger and urban.

At each stop, she said a prayer she had composed before she left her Weaverville, N.C., home.

“Holy God,” her prayer read, “may every LGBTQ person who has ever been baptized, confirmed, attended or served this church know how fearfully and wonderfully made they are.”

At some churches, she folded the prayer into an envelope with her card and handed it to the church secretary. In other churches, where no one was around, she slipped the envelope underneath the door or tucked it into the mailbox.

Debates over sexuality have ripped apart the 12.5 million-member global church in recent decades. While some U.S. United Methodists would like to see a relaxing of church rules on LGBT inclusion, many African and Asian United Methodists resist the effort. In recent years, some U.S. United Methodists have openly rebelled against the rules, marrying hundreds of same-sex couples and even electing a lesbian bishop.

Ryde herself married her partner, Kate, in a 2013 ceremony officiated by a Massachusetts United Methodist minister.

As she makes her way to St. Louis in her maroon Prius, Ryde has mostly tried to keep positive and hopeful.

Helen Ryde, center, stops at Church Street UMC in Knoxville, Tenn., during her journey to St. Louis. Photo courtesy of Helen Ryde

The United Methodist Church prides itself on being a “connectional” system that enables churches to work together “in unity and strength.” That’s one of the reasons Ryde wanted to stop in as many churches as she could — to remind herself of the ties that bind them all together.

She carried with her a tiny pewter statue of John Wesley, the denomination’s founder, riding his horse.

Wesley rode over 250,000 miles on horseback and often preached in the open air to audiences, mostly in England. The 18th-century preacher often faced angry mobs incited by local clergy.

“Wesley was known for going to places and people that the established church wasn’t going to,” she told Religion News Service in a phone interview from the road. “At its best, the United Methodist Church can and still does do that. It’s a useful reminder.”

Ryde, like Wesley, is from England. She is not ordained, but a member of a lay order of United Methodists committed to a lifetime of love, justice and service.

On Tuesday as a cold rain began to fall, she was grateful she wasn’t on horseback.

“I get to be in a car and I remind myself there are gas stations along the way if I need to stop for a bathroom break,” she said. “It’s the upside of modern-day circuit riding.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

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  • Will a special session beginning Saturday (Feb. 23) — considered the most consequential in the denomination’s history — find common ground on LGBT policies and end years of debate? Or will the denomination — the nation’s second-largest Protestant group — split apart?

    When I read things like this I’m reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Name of the Rose,” starring Sean Connery which was set in a medieval monastery and in which a debate “of great importance” was held to determine whether or not Jesus owned the clothes he wore. Perhaps one day people in the future people will look back and marvel at what people of this time period thought was so important that it was worth severing ties over. Or perhaps not. Given our current state of regression I’m inclined to think it’s entirely possible that we’re headed right back to the middle ages all over again.

  • HELEN RYDE’S PRAYER: “Holy God, may every LGBTQ person who has ever been baptized, confirmed, attended or served this church know how fearfully and wonderfully made they are.”

    THE PRAYER FROM HEAVEN & MINE TOO: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! Come out of her, my people”!

    Source: Revelation 18:2, 4.

  • ok…..let’s start with some reality here….
    ““Holy God,” her prayer read, “may every LGBTQ person who has ever been baptized, confirmed, attended or served this church know how fearfully and wonderfully made they are.” Homosexuals are not Christians

    John 3:19 New American Standard Bible “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

    John 8:47New International Version (NIV) 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”

    Secondly, every person is made how Christ made them. He made no one a homosexual. He is not a sadist.

    James 1:13 New International Version
 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

    “She carried with her a tiny pewter statue of John Wesley, the denomination’s founder, riding his horse.” Was he rolling over in his grave because of the apostasy some members of the assembly want to initiate?
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/conservatives-greatly-outnumber-liberals-in-the-united-methodist-church-poll.html

  • agreed – a few more:

    James 4:4New International Version (NIV) 4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

    1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons

    Ezekiel 3:18 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[d] 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.

  • “Perhaps one day people in the future people will look back and marvel at what people of this time period thought was so important that it was worth severing ties over. ” To keep people from going to Hell, from a group trying to send them along the path to Hell, with a sweet swat on the behind, it’s worth severing ties from the heathen. The heathen don’t care about the homosexuals or Christ,

  • Secular law in this country (and about two-thirds of all others) decriminalizes same-gender love relationships. The United States government—even in Trumpism—–is now said to support the legal decriminalization of same-gender love relationships in all countries. This means one thing. Churches need to follow suit and similarly “decriminalize” in their doctrines. The idea that man-man love and woman-woman love is the greatest of all sins, the major BIG THING on which to discriminate against people is just complete poppycock. Everybody who ever did a close reading of Lot at Sodom should know the story is a myth that never happened. It’s that simple—-but some people are going to fight about it for the rest of your life.
    Such is a terrible, terrible waste of what religion is for and what it should be doing.

    You either can or can’t stone the LGBT people for real. That one is settled here. You can’t. We must stop trying to do the theological equivalent in churches.

  • Sandimonious, if I cared about your spiritual welfare half as much as you pretend to care for mine, I would seriously urge you to remove the scales of self-righteousness from your eyes that blind you to the truth that is staring you in the face: Jesus is looking at you through the pleading eyes of every homosexual person you encounter. Whatever you did unto the least of these you did unto me.”

    But I don’t.

    So I won’t.

  • No self righteousness there at all. Just a deep desire for people to know the truth so they can make informed decisions on the heresy here.
    If He is looking to me through every homosexual that I encounter, He will see a deep love of the truth and a protectiveness about them that even the homosexuals agencies cannot copy. I want them to go to Heaven, so, you’ll need to find another insult.
    ” Whatever you did unto the least of these you did unto me.”:

    Ezekiel 3:18-19English Standard Version (ESV)

    18 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.
    My hands are clean. What about you?

  • I am praying for equality in the United Methodist Church!
    Let Justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
    In Jesus’ name I am praying for equality in the United Methodist Church.

  • Just for the record, Jesus referred to Sodom’s destruction as history, instead of “a myth that never happened”, (see Matt. 11:23-24). But for many Methodists, they simply ignore that text, and all the other Scriptures regarding this issue. Yes, they all pray for this extremely critical Convention, but some pray as if NONE of the Biblical texts, caveats, and promises exist at all.

    So next week, it comes down to the flat-out Final vote. Either they vote against God’s Word, or vote for God’s Word. NO do-overs. Majority wins. So, here’s a reasonable question. What if the Methodists vote for the wrong choice next week?

    Wish I could be like those bishops who suggest everything will be okay. But that’s not what I’m seeing. If the Methodists vote for the wrong thing next week, I’m seeing THIS outcome instead: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=novaya+zemlya+tsar+bomba+youtube&view=detail&mid=55B1FC616F2772F27E4155B1FC616F2772F27E41&FORM=VIRE

  • What you call “God’s Word” is not actually “God’s words” just because they are all bound together between leather covers. They are all words written by men in times and places, some being complete misinformation. We need religion which recognizes and acknowledges that truth. Christianity negates many ideas which appear earlier in the Bible, such as would otherwise be your personal authority to just stone whomever you think is a sinner and burn other people’s animals in your backyard in order to send up a pleasing sacrifice. Christianity demands for you to tell the best known truth in your time. If Genesis is full of both historical and philosophical error, you are obliged by a belief in Jesus to admit this.

  • One bit of false reporting in the article, Ryde is NOT married. A marriage is a union of a man and a woman, and therefore any relationship that does not meet that definition is NOT a marriage whatever the government might say.

    Beyond that, I have no problem with what she’s doing, there is nothing wrong and everything right with the prayer she is handing out.

  • Legally, she is married.

    Marriage has had different meanings at different times. For example, the biblical model of marriage was between a man, his multiple wives, and any prostitutes he decided to see.

  • Nope, there’s nowhere in the Bible that prostitution was equated with marriage. As for the law, there was a time that, according to federal law, land mines were considered firearms. Insofar as application of that law was concerned, so they were. But that law didn’t change the reality that land mines are in no way, shape, or form firearms. Likewise the government can distort the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and, so far as the application of the law might be concerned, that’s how they are treated. But the law doesn’t change the reality that same-sex unions are NOT marriages.

  • Biblically, prostitution was acceptable in marriage, as was concubinage.

    You say they cannot change the meaning. They would claim to have that authority (Romans 13).

  • Chapter and verse, please. And no, stories such as Judah and Tamar that report men making use of prostitutes without commenting on the morality of their actions don’t count. As for Romans 13, I assume you’re talking about this:

    “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.’ These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”

    Yes, those commandments—like ALL God’s commandments governing our relationship with others—can be summed up in “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But because those commandments can be summed up doesn’t mean they cease to be part of the equation. God commands us to love Him and love others as we love ourselves, and the rest of His commands tell us how to do so … including His laws governing marriage. And all references to marriage in the Bible assume, where they do not outright state, that marriage is between a man and a woman.

  • By the time Jesus walked the earth, multiple wives and concubinage were historical artifacts in Judaism.

    The Jews had a particular aversion to prostitution since it was part of the pagan religious practices.

  • I assume when you wrote “some being complete misinformation” you were referring to most of your posts.

  • Matthew 18: 15 ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

  • There is no condemnation for men who have sex outside of marriage in the law. Adultery is specifically defined as a wife cheating on her husband, and not the inverse.

    And with Judah, there is morality involved. He is shamed that his daughter would act as a prostitute. It isn’t a morally agnostic narrative on a married man hiring a prostitute. That much is acceptable.

    We have to go into the same kind of interpretive work that is being used to defend same-sex marriage if we are going to work out monogamous marriage.

  • Wrong, adultery applies to both men and women and was considered serious enough to have death as the maximum penalty. For example, Leviticus 20:10:

    “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.”

    Even when it wasn’t adultery, a man that seduced an unmarried woman was required to marry her. And then there’s Proverbs 5:

    “Drink water from your own well—
    share your love only with your wife.
    Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
    having sex with just anyone?
    You should reserve it for yourselves.
    Never share it with strangers.

    “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
    Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
    She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
    Let her breasts satisfy you always.
    May you always be captivated by her love.
    Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
    or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

    “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
    examining every path he takes.
    An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
    they are ropes that catch and hold him.
    He will die for lack of self-control;
    he will be lost because of his great foolishness.”

    So yes, men having sex outside of marriage is condemned in the Bible.

  • “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.”

    As you inconveniently ignored, it is only adultery of it involves his neighbor’s wife.

    The law that a man must marry an unwed woman he has sex with has the caveat that her father can instead demand a price for his sleeping with her. Basically, prostitution (Ex 22:17).

    Proverbs calls it unwise, not forbidden or strictly immoral. It is a pretty sad comparison to death for a woman doing the same.

  • If Helen is correct in her prayer that “LGBTQ” is a noun–a person who had/has no choice in the matter of design and behavior
    Then yes, there may well be such a thing as a “lesbian Christian” or a “gay Christian”.

    Fortunately she is an activist promoting her desire for a fantasy that supports her decision to act homosesxually.

    It is distinctly BECAUSE one is a Christian that “gay” or “adulterer” or “thief” or “gossip” can never be paired with the word Christian as if there is some new creature evolving on the planet.

    And yes, people claiming to be Christian who act homosexually (or adulterous) are significant and loved by God. But so will they be corrected and disciplined by God if indeed this is the God of the bible. Just ask Pastor Lemon He even cried. https://openhandspublications.com/2018/08/03/local-methodist-pastor-dr-lemon-is-hurt-and-crushed-he-even-cried/

  • It was adultery because the man cannot marry a woman already married (or engaged, for the Hebrews it was pretty much the same thing). Since we are a monogamous society (so far, until the courts make the logical application of the Supreme Court’s lunacy), that means any woman a married man has sex with.

    If today a man sues his daughter’s rapist in civil court and the rapist ends up paying restitution, does that mean that the father has made his daughter into a prostitute? Not hardly. As for “unwise”:

    “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
    examining every path he takes.
    An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
    they are ropes that catch and hold him.
    He will die for lack of self-control;
    he will be lost because of his great foolishness.”

    That’s considerably more than “unwise.”

  • When you make a decision to repent and follow Christ, you have his beautiful Word to guide you. What does Ms. Ryde and those who agree with her, do with scripture such as Romans 12:26-27, “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 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.” ?
    Because of our natural desires, we want our cake and we want to eat it too. They want their faith, their religion, and still want to walk in the flesh. It does not work that way. We are all sinners saved by grace, however daily we must choose to follow him, releasing our own desires.

  • “Friendship with the world is enmity against God”. I instantly thought of that passage when Goat suggested we follow the lead of the secular world in this matter — but Goat gets distressed by being responded to.😭

  • That is not the statement you made. You wrote: “Jesus never gave the Church such a job.” I showed you wrong

  • It was adultery because the woman was seen as property. Otherwise, the same logic would apply to the man as well.

    Today, a woman sues her rapist, and even that is separate from the civil charges brought by state and federal prosecutors. Women are not property, so their fathers are not the offended party.

    Does the text say that polygamy, prostitution, and sleeping around are morally wrong? No, it just says that sleeping with another man’s wife is wrong: “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,” (5:3).

    The entire chapter has to do with sleeping with another man’s wife as a metaphor for failing to seek wisdom. It doesn’t preclude any of those other sexual practices.

  • You said it is important to keep people from Hell. Jesus never said anything to his disciples about saving people from Hell. He arguably never said a word about Hell.

  • God turned heterosexuals into homosexuals because of idolatry? That’s not a condemnation of natural homosexuality, but a condemnation of idolatry.

    Who are you to claim knowledge of the relationship of your God with any other person on the planet?

  • Christ spoke of Gehenna, a little valley outside Jerusalem. And he only mentioned that in the future tense. He also mentions Hades, but never as anything more than a place for the dead.

    Jesus never speaks of Hell as we somehow came to make it, as some alternate dimension of pain and punishment.

  • Exclusion and marginalization of any of God’s children is “forbidden behavior” — and is condemned in scripture.

  • Faux-Christians who oppress, subjugate, and marginalize any of God’s precious children are counted — by the Bible itself — as among the heathen! I invite you to repent.

  • Self-righteous homophones like you don’t care about scripture, or the inclusive love of God’s work in and through Jesus Christ. Repent, and avoid hell!

  • Dear Sandi in EL: You’re nothing but a self-righteous, homophobic, Bible-thumper. Lord have mercy on you. I certainly hope that you don’t belong to the United Methodist Church. Go form your own homophobic denomination! Take all the other homophobes with you!

  • “This saying is sure, and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first.” (I Timothy 1:15)

    “am”, not “was”.

  • If you’re against people of faith who come to new discernments about the Word of God — such as discerning that white people owning, selling, and trading black people on the auction block (i.e. slavery) is not in keeping with God’s intentions — then go join a fundamentalist, Bible-thumping, narrow-minded denomination — and leave the United Methodist Church.

  • Well then, you would call Christ a “homophobe”?

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    Leviticus 20:13 – 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.

  • “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20) -precisely what you do when you call homosexual sin good.
    I invite you to repent and accept Biblical teachings.

  • Christ did not advocate the stoning of the adulterous woman (John 8), but did counsel her to repent of her sexual sin.

    Christians adopt the same loving attitude towards homosexuals.

  • Actually Christ turned homosexuals over to their lusts because of that. They chose to follow their lusts and he let them do so because they chose to follow an idol instead of Him
    There is no such thing as “natural homosexuality”
    Christ made it very clear that homosexuals do not have a relationship with HIm.

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

  • I’ve been thinking about this for a while now….bear with me:
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
    Romans 1
    So it would have been in wrath that Christ turned homosexuals over to their desires
    “28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Would that not be His wrath?

  • “new discernments”? lol……..Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever…..show us where Christ endorses the sin

  • So we should spare them now but they will be eternally damned when they die? All because they are homosexual? So why did Christ die?

  • They make the choice whether they go to Hell or not.
    Christ is giving them a lifetime of chances to choose life and not death.
    Christ died to save us from our sins so we can have a right relationship with Him – homosexuals do not have that as they are yet unrepentant sinners. There is no such thing as a homosexual Christian

  • agreed. Isn’t it something else that sexual sin is not only a sin against Christ, but they sin against themselves also. No wonder He is so strict about it.

  • I am still the king of the 100 meter with a trophy to prove it. High school over 30 years ago, but no one has bested me. If you are like me (because of grace) you will want to challenge Paul on his past achievement and self-described award. It is not possible to be a SAINT and a SINNER (noun) at the same time.

    Paul never once addressed the “Sinners” in his pastoral epistles–always Saints. This was not because they were morally upstanding-rather because their position in Christ defied their old man and denied him the title of “sinner”.

    I am yet a sinful man but my sinfulness is now defined by the process of sanctification–Becoming like Christ-the Christ in me–the hope of glory.

    15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! 16 But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. 17 I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen” I Timothy 1:15-17 CEV

  • You think homosexuality is a choice I take it. Or, you believe that it is ok for homosexuals to have same sex attraction but they just shouldn’t have sex?

  • Christ taught that homosexuality is a choice and an error that He will cleanse one of – just like any other sin

  • I Corinthians 6:18:

    “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

  • Dear Sandi in EL:
    I confess and repent of my sins on a daily basis (the spiritual discipline of daily examen of conscience), and a weekly basis in the church’s liturgy of worship. I adjure you to do the same, especially in regard to your sinful homophobia. I invite you to revisit your baptismal vow, when you answered “yes” to the following questions —
    “On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:
    Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent
    of your sin?
    “Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?”
    Homophobia is wicked and evil, and has inflicted great harm on LGBTQ Christians and followers of Jesus Christ. Once again, I invite you repent of the oppression and injustice you’re meting out against these fellow children of God, and to renew your baptismal covenant!

  • HOMOPHOBIA IS NOT CHRISTIAN. I certainly hope and pray that you’re not an influential leader or pastor in the United Methodist Church.

  • I know much more than bigots and homophobes like you!! Go join a Fundamentalist cult, and leave the United Methodist Church alone!

  • God is cleansing the church of sinful and evil homophobia — just as God is cleansing out other sin. Homophobia is a choice and an error over which God will eventually prevail, as God cleanses the church.

  • obviously you don’t. Show us scripture where Christ condones homosexuality as strongly as he condemns it here:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – 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.

  • If someone asks you to do something or get shot can that really be called a choice or is it coercion? Does a God who freely forgives and loves all really need to coerce?

  • no. homosexuals are just unrepentant sinners, who Christ taught that He will cleanse them of their sin, as with any other sinner

  • Dear Sandi in EL — If you had lived during the days of abolition, you would’ve shouted at the top of your lungs that it is God’s will that white people be able to own, buy, and sell black people on the auction block because — you would argue — it’s endorsed in the Bible (the Word of God, which never changes!!), and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

  • then you need to confess your trying to uphold that homosexuality is good.
    32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1

  • The classic Christian teaching was summed up by Luther in the phrase “Simul iustis et peccator” – “simultaneously righteous and a sinner”.

    Get a better Bible. The one you are using willfully mistranslates “I am the worst of sinners” as “I was the worst of sinners” to support a mistaken modern teaching. The original clearly says “ego eimi” – “I am”.

  • The Bible does not endorse racial slavery.

    It did, however, recognize that slavery was commonly practiced, and sought to mitigate some of its effects.

  • He doesn’t need to coerce. He created you to love and protect you. If you want to reject that, He’ll allow you to

  • Homophobia is a bogus term used by so-called Progressives against traditional Christians (who say homosexuality is a sin). Its use is a delegitimising name-calling device designed to silence any dissenting viewpoint.

    But there is nothing “wicked and evil” in telling homosexuals the truth about their sexual sin. It is the most loving and Christian thing one can do for them. It is totally Christ-like.

  • We are personally not perfected. Our sins covered by the blood of Jesus. We do our best not to sin, but of course we fail. We’re human. Why do you think Paul wrote this:
    Romans 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV)

    15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

  • How convoluted! God created us so he can love and protect us…yet he also gave us free will which he apparently did not want us to use because we are met with eternal damnation if we go against his teachings. Sorry Sandi, when there is only one option (believe and follow or the furnace) that is coercion.

  • Show me in scripture where God turned people in to homosexuals due to idolatry. Book/chapter/verse
    Romans 1 states he gave them over to their lusts, He allowed it. He says it was shameful and there was a penalty.
    My desire is to know God better by prayer, scripture reading and other things. How deep is anyone’s relationship with God when they don’t desire to follow the Word he has given them? That’s my question. What do you or anyone do with the scripture from Romans 1 where this behavior is called unnatural, shameful, and invites penalty.
    I’m sincerely seeking an answer, so there’s no need to be defensive and sarcastic.

  • Star with Romans 1:21. All about IDOLATRY. rOMANS 1:25: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen. 26For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.…

    for this reason. because of this. all of the ways that 1:26 is translated come out to BECAUSE OF IDOLATRY. It says that men and women both abandoned their natural sexual orientation, and turned to same sex actions.

    GOD GAVE THEM OVER… What else could that mean when these passages clearly indicate that these people were heterosexual?

    the context is idolatry, not some stand alone sin.

  • With due respect to Luther, –Simultaneously deemed righteous and yet remaining SINFUL.

    Fully capable of sinning yet no longer obligated. Paul often speaks of his past and status among the disciples. Only here does he extend the humbling effects of grace in the form of his past trophy as relating to his pre-conversion lifestyle.

    Throughout his ministry and then as he faced death he revealed the true nature of grace-effect.

    “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; end not to me only, but unto them also that love His appearing.”—2 Tim. 4:6-8. (O yes–one more thing–I forgot–remember I am the chief of sinners too)

    Erroneous pride leaves any sinful person still in their sins as a Sinner (noun) because it feels better to say, I am just a sinner saved by grace” than I am declared by God to be called a Saint even though I remain sinful. The former perhaps helps me to feel less-guilty when I am sinful but does nothing for the fact of Sainthood–my new identity in Christ.

    “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus” Eph. 1:1

  • To quote my previous post:

    “Drink water from your own well—
    share your love only with your wife.
    Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
    having sex with just anyone?
    You should reserve it for yourselves.
    Never share it with strangers.

    “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
    Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
    She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
    Let her breasts satisfy you always.
    May you always be captivated by her love.
    Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
    or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

    “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
    examining every path he takes.
    An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
    they are ropes that catch and hold him.
    He will die for lack of self-control;
    he will be lost because of his great foolishness.”

    That is about exclusivity, not just avoiding adultery, and there is nothing metaphorical about it.

    As for the women being no more than property, go read the Song of Songs—the wedding song that the Hebrews loved so much they included it in their scriptures—and tell me that again. And the same logic did apply to the men.

  • What it doesn’t say is God TURNED them into homosexuals as has been suggested. Because of their idolatry and its practices he allowed them to do as they desired, but it came with a penalty. Are these acts not called shameful and indecent. We serve a Holy God who is unchanging. He clearly stated in the Old Testament that it was detestable for man to lie with man. So, all of sudden in the New Testament He’s allowing it. I think not. This scripture is still calling it indecent. You’re focusing primarily on the idolatry trying to condone sinful acts.

  • Well, you asked for proof, and then you changed the subject and denied the clear words.
    He also called eating shrimp abomination but of course, you want your shrimp cocktail. He also said women are not to have authority in the church. That never stopped anyone. He also said he hates divorce, but divorce is just fine as long as you really want one.

  • @ Rick Brant, and Sandi in EL — I suggest that the two of you, along with many others who’ve posted in this comment thread, would be much more at home in the Westboro Baptist Church, where you can stand on a street corner all day, waving your poster inscribed with the message, “God hates fagots.” Westboro Baptist Church is of a common mind on the matter of LGBTQ identity, and that church approaches the use of scripture in the same way that you do. So why do you continue to make yourselves miserable by being part of a denomination where so many fellow Christians disagree with you. Go be a part of a church where everyone agrees with you already!! Stop stirring up vitriol and divisiveness in the United Methodist Church. Leave! Use your energy to build up the Westboro Baptist Church, instead of tearing down the United Methodist Church. It’s time for you to go your separate way — where you can spread your message of homophobia without being challenged by anybody. You’d be happier and more at peace with yourselves — and the people who remain in the UMC would be happier and more peaceful without you.

  • I take it “discernment” means something along the lines of “new revelation”.

    The problem, of course, is that revelation for the New Covenant ended with the death of the last Apostle.

    Only in LGBT propaganda is there is a connection between chattel slavery and defying the plain words of Scripture. In the real world what you’re describing is apostasy and heresy.

    The Episcopal Church provides a real world example of where that leads.

  • Matthew 18: 15 ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.”

    That did not work out all that well for you, did it?

  • Michelle K appears to be a Christian.

    She is therefore not bound by the Levitical prohibition against eating shrimp (nor or Reform Jews, but that’s another discussion).

    As to authority in the church, it appears to have stopped among others the Catholics, Southern Baptists, Orthodox, and several others.

    In his discussion of divorce in Matthew, Jesus explains the exception. Please cite it for us to demonstrate your command of the texts.

  • What version are you using? None I can find mention anything about “share your love with your life alone.” Are you using the Douay-Rheims? That one adds words to stress celibacy and monogamy all over the place.

    Song of Songs was not stereotypical of everyday life.

    Men did not face the death penalty for cheating on their wives.

  • Ben, you are not offering proof that God TURNED heterosexuals to homosexual with using Romans chpt. Rather that God ALLOWED them their perversion, because of their wickedness. Just as He tried repeatedly to offer Pharoah to do what was right until his heart was hardened.
    God is gracious and merciful. However, he doesn’t allow us to make excuses in order for us to live against His Word.

  • CORRECTION: It’s yours “that’s not a prayer.” WATCH:

    “kronzypantz … a year ago … [I] praise … the male and female victims of rape who opposed their attackers with prayer rather than physical violence.”

    “kronzypantz … 8 months ago … [Christ] told us … [to] pray for those who persecute [us] … So maybe Christ came to make us all enemies to one another”.

    “kronzypantz … 7 months ago … Sectarian prayer is fine so long as it is open to any faith group to officiate.”

  • So we just ignore scripture, the words of the Apostle Paul? He says sin is living in him. If he continued to sin, would not he be a sinner?

  • God has never not allowed a single thing. Just look at the sex abuse scandals, the wars, slavery, genocide, and so forth.

    “Just as He tried repeatedly to offer Pharoah to do what was right until his heart was hardened. ” God HARDENED pharaoh’s heart. Why must you make up stuff to justify barbarity and cruelty? Maybe you should read your bible instead of presuming to lecture other people about what it clearly says.

    New International Version

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.

    New Living Translation

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the LORD had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen.

    English Standard Version

    But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

    Berean Study Bible

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had told Moses.

    New American Standard Bible

    And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

    King James Bible

    And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

    Christian Standard Bible

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had told Moses.

    Contemporary English Version

    Everything happened just as the LORD had told Moses–he made the king too stubborn to listen to Moses and Aaron.

    Good News Translation

    But the LORD made the king stubborn and, just as the LORD had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had told Moses.

    International Standard Version

    The LORD made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so that he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had told Moses.

    NET Bible

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted to Moses.

    New Heart English Bible

    The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation

    But the LORD made Pharaoh stubborn, so he wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron, as the LORD had predicted to Moses.

  • Do some research about what Pharoah’s hardened heart means. I don’t have to make anything up to justify what God allows or doesn’t allow. I seek him faithfully everyday. I try to love him first and then others. You and others don’t have to agree with me. You have His free will that allows you to do as you please. I’ll leave you with this Rick Warren quote that is appropriate.
    “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.Mar 28, 2013

  • I can understand the need to find some way out of this biblical inconvenience. But nevertheless, EVERY single translation says “God hardened pharaoh’s heart.” There is no asterisk saying *please let us explain our way out of this one, because the clear word o’ god doesn’t mean what it says.”
    As for Rick warren? First thing wrong is the idea of a lifestyle– that’s Christian code for denying reality when it comes to gay people. Second, fear and hate aren’t the only options. Despite and contempt are also motivators. And when it comes to bigotry, I think they are far more likely than fear or hatred. Third, when you (a generic you, not you personally) go out of your want to attack people, lie about them, harm their families, and attempt to limit their participation in society, when it is of no benefit to you and all based upon the stories you tell yourself–
    disagreement is frankly indistinguishable from hate.

  • First, why is it that those who uphold the traditional Biblical and Christian teachings about homosexuality must “leave” and go their “separate way”? Why shouldn’t they stay, and the ones who are teaching new doctrines be the ones to leave?

    Second (and here I can only speak for myself), I am not a member of the UMC – and so I cannot leave it. I offer my observations here on this matter as a concerned observer, same as others here do.

    Third, I would never join the Westboro group, as I believe they have far too many divergences in their teachings from traditional Christianity for that ever to be an option. No thank you!

    Finally, If I were to carry a poster, it would bear the first words Jesus ever preached:

    “Repent, and believe in the Gospel!” (Mark 1:15)

    In His love for mankind, God has revealed the path to salvation, and it begins with repentance – even for homosexuals.

  • No. The clear teaching of Scripture is that the Christian is both simultaneously saint and sinner. I prefer to follow the Scripture (as well as Luther and countless Christian teachers across two millennia) rather than you. With Paul I will confess: I am (ego eimi) a sinner.

    I am declared by God to be called a Saint even though I also remain a sinner.

  • I Corinthians 5:

    11 But now I am writing you to stop keeping company*m with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral* or a greedy personn or an idolater or a reviler* or a drunkardo or an extortioner,p not even eating with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.”

    I was disfellowshipped/excommunicated from Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • I AM a member of the UMC, and I second what you said. It makes sense that those trying to change long-established church doctrine should be the ones to depart and form their own sect.

  • Shawnee, some day I would love to sit and talk with you. You intrigue me and I think it would be a very interesting conversation – although I don’t know where I’d start – maybe one day

  • No, literally it isn’t a prayer. Its a statement by the angel cried out as a lament, not something people are wishing for.

    Also, are you high?

  • Sandi in EL:
    Apparently you approach the Bible as a text that gives you permission to hate, and tells you exactly who you’re supposed to hate, to oppress, and to exclude from God’s grace, and from equality in the church and in society. The Bible I read and the Jesus I follow tells me who I need to love, and who I need to accept with grace as God loves and accepts. You’ve done nothing in your comments above but pull verses out of the Bible and use them to thump people on the head, to condemn them to hell, to exclude them from the church, to define them out of Christianity, and to pat your own self-righteous, judgmental, bigoted self on the back. I’m curious as to whether you’re an ordained pastor and, if so, where you earned your Master of Divinity. As I said, you’re a perfect candidate for membership in the Westboro Baptist Church; you’d be less miserable there.

    You want some scripture texts to read? Please meditate on the following passages on a daily basis – until God reaches down into your heart and cleanses out the bigotry, vitriol, judgmentalism, self-righteousness, and hatred – and replaces those evil things with love – love for your fellow brothers and sisters that you currently hate, and that you refuse to recognize, regard, and respect as co-equal children of God.

    “11 Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. 13 This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the savior of the world. 15 If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. 16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.”

    “God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 17 This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.19 We love because God first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God” and hate their brothers or sisters are liars. After all, those who don’t love their brothers or sisters whom they have seen can hardly love God whom they have not seen!21 This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.” (I John 4:7-21)

    “14 We know that we have transferred from death to life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The person who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that murderers don’t have eternal life residing in them. 16 This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 But if someone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but refuses to help—how can the love of God dwell in a person like that?
    18 Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.19 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence. 20 Even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (I John 3:14-20)

    “If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.
    4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
    8 Love never fails. As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. 9 We know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. 12 Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. 13 Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13)

  • You’re attempting to argue that loving our neighbor means not loving our Creator, since we were told that if we loved God, we would follow his commandments, and exclude from the church unrepentant sinners.

    Buzzz!

    That’s a falsification of Christianity.

  • Just for your information, God does not hate “f-gg-ts”.

    However, God will send “f-gg-ts” who know better who persist in sinfully acting on their inclinations to the punishment they themselves chose.

    Actually, then, it is time for YOU to go your separate way.

  • Your last sentence is contingent on with whom they were cheating and whether there were two witnesses.

  • The use of “self-righteous, homophobic, Bible-thumper” identifies you as a toady for the LGBT lobby and a probable participant at JoeMyGod.

  • 2 Peter 2: 4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment;

    Luke 8: 31 They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

    Luke 16: 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

    Revelation 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

    Matthew 13:42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Matthew 13:50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

    Matthew 18: 8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire.

    Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

    Jude 7 Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    To these add Matthew 7:12; 22:13; 25:30, 2 Peter 2:17, Jude 13, Philippians 3:19, 1 Timothy 6:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Galatians 6:8, Romans 6:21, and Revelation 2:11.

    You apparently have a damaged New Testament. I’d get a fresh copy.

  • Let’s see what the classic Jewish interpretation is since you were raised Jewish:

    https://www{DOT}myjewishlearning.com/article/who-really-hardened-pharaohs-heart/

    Oopsie for you.

    Now the classic Christian response to skeptics (that’s YOU):

    http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1205

    Your last paragraph simply states two of your long-term themes:

    – democratic process in your opinion cannot be used in a democratic society for those people to build the society they wish themselves and their families to live in;

    – everyone needs to genuflect to your particular “lifestyle” or Katie bar the door.

  • So, your basic argument is that if God existed and was competent, you’d act right rather than like a twerp?

  • Ben, you choose to believe your own narrative or those your fed. I don’t hate, have contempt for, harm, or fear homosexuals. It goes against the second greatest commandment. I choose to read the Word of God and live accordingly. If you find those who disagree with you a form of hatred, then so be it. I don’t answer to you.

  • Don’t take Ben too seriously.

    He is in his seventh decade and firmly devoted to his particular vices, oh and also hating Christians.

  • No, literally, krazypantz “praise[s] the male and female victims of rape who opposed their attackers with prayer rather than physical violence”?! WHAT?! And krazypantz believes that Christ told her to “pray for those who persecute [her, because] maybe Christ came to make [her people] all enemies to one another”?! WHAT?! And krazypantz has decided that “sectarian prayer is fine so long as it is open to any faith group to officiate”? WHAT?!

  • Well, it never ceases to amaze me that when you disagree with someone, you must be a hater, wish harm or are disgusted with those who are different. Oh, or you must be a bigot.

  • FOR THE RECORD:

    krazypantz on church (3 days ago … 6 days ago … 4 months ago … 8 months ago … 9 months ago): “It is better to think of the Church as a franchise … My church has no dogma … The Church has been witnessing numerous cases of active gay and lesbian persons who display the marks of sanctification. … I have met gay couples who demonstrate grace in their piety, love, and humility. Much of the Church has witnessed the same. … [When] will we start telling the Evangelical Churches that they must perform same-sex marriages? … I personally support those changes”.

  • FOR THE RECORD:

    krazypantz on Jesus (14 days ago … 7 months ago … a year ago): “I wouldn’t call Christ dogmatic. He taught in parable and his own disciples didn’t record him in a dogmatic way. … Jesus talks about sin as systems and forces of evil in the world … [not] sin [as] ‘I did a bad.’ … [Each of the Church] Fathers and Mothers … tells the … story … that Christ … died a political death … Real presence [is] like if Jesus said ‘my body is a car’ … The make and model were never clearly stated”.

    krazypantz on scriptures (4 months ago): “The Bible isn’t meant to confirm the existence of God. … [And] I don’t disagree about our morality not coming directly from the bible.”

  • I’ve never heard of JoeMyGod. I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate, Crucified, and Resurrected One! As an evangelical Christian in its most authentic expression, I allow my life to be shaped by the Good News of Jesus Christ, as attested to in scripture. I grieve that you subscribe to oppressive, sinful homophobia! I invite you to repent, and give your whole heart to Jesus.

  • I see that Sandi made sure that my post listing scripture was marked as SPAM. Wow!!!! Talk about people who are under the spell of the Devil!

  • Minimize much? Be like Northam and call black slaves indentured servants? The Israelites were allowed to make slaves out of the captured inhabitants of the lands they conquered. Read some of the rules that applied to the non-Israelite slaves. Not do benevolent. Paul never condemned slavery. He did encourage kind treatment but never condemned it. That allowed us to justify slavery in the colonies. Finally, Americans realized god was wrong and abolished slavery.

  • Not hate – just tough love, right? One good thing I can say about Jehovah’s Witnesses – they never accepted a burning Hellfire as literal. Their god would never punish someone for eternity for 70 or so years of sinning, especially not the agony of burning. God allegedly made us in his image but he’s more flawed than many of us. That intelligent beings in the 21st century would believe in such a barbaric and nonsensical idea is saddening.

  • I’m reminded of the Life of Brian and the stoning scene. All of the women were disguised as men so they can throw stones. I can imagine Sandi, in disguise, selecting the right stones and waiting for her chance to punish the homosexual. But there is no theocracy here so the state handles punishment but alas, homosexuality is not a state sin so she has to be satisfied with the thought that god will toss the guy in hellfire.

  • “Their god would never punish someone for eternity for 70 or so years of sinning, especially not the agony of burning.”

    You present two things:

    – The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept the New Testament as written;

    – Their god is NOT the god of the Bible.

    The Bible can present truths in mystical or figurative ways.

    However, the notions that God is flawed, or that God is less than just and therefore hell does not exist is incompatible with Christianity.

  • The classification as spam is automated at Disqus.

    I have found two characteristics trigger it:

    – length; if it is too long it is marked as spam;

    – urls; some sites trigger the spam filter, and too many urls do the same.

    Sandi had zero to do with it.

  • You follow the teachings of Jesus Christ that you find acceptable.

    Calling the rejection of sin “homophobia” is an eccentricity, a heresy.

  • And the UCC demonstrated the same thing.

    The Church of What’s Happening Now has a short shelf life.

  • Only if you disagree with an LGBT lobbyist.

    Spend some time at JoeMyGod{DOT}com and you’ll get the picture.

  • Its “point”-lessness is to the deaf & blind, telling you that this isn’t you: a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, by enduring the cross that you carry in your life of faith in response to the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world.

    But this is you, instead: Your “unbelief and hardness of heart [have been, and still are] reproached [by The Christ Jesus] because [you have] not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.” (Mark 16:14) “These words [of theirs] appeared to [you] as nonsense, and [you] would not believe them.” (Luke 24:11) It’s all because you’re “foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25) “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:29)

  • Paul never condemned “slavery” for good reasons.

    The Christian message is NOT “one man, one vote”.

  • Read St. Isaac the Syrian (AD 613-700), Jim. He clearly shows that the “fire” of Hell is nothing other than sinners’ subjective experience of – and violent rejection of – God’s Love.

    Maybe check out the lecture “The River of Fire” by Alexander Kalomiros, which addresses this and other topics in the Christianity of the Ancient Fathers. Probably not what you would expect. Interesting if you can stick to it.

  • It must be pointed out that Helen Ryde, who I have personally met a few times DID struggle for years, to no avail against her Sexual Orientation. I myself, many years ago, tried this, to no avail. I am talking about a change in attractions. But it is far healthier psychologically, for persons always to accept their feelings rather than to fight them. Of course, we also need to learn to express them in responsible ways.

  • I generally use the New Living Translation. But there’s the Amplified Bible:

    “Drink water from your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship]
    And fresh running water from your own well.
    Should your springs (children) be dispersed,
    As streams of water in the streets?
    [Confine yourself to your own wife.] Let your children be yours alone,
    And not the children of strangers with you.”

    In other words, stick to your wife, don’t be spreading bastards around.

    And no, Song of Songs wasn’t typical, any more than the love songs you hear on the radio are typical. Rather, it was the ideal the Hebrews desired and by which they measured themselves. And there is nothing of “property” in that ideal.

    As for men not facing the death penalty if they cheated on their wives, to again repost from earlier:

    `And a man who committeth adultery with a man’s wife — who committeth adultery with the wife of his neighbour — the adulterer and the adulteress are surely put to death.”

    So yes, men faced a possible death penalty when they committed adultery, just as women did.

  • No. My comment was directed at “doctorchrysallis”, who in some posts above said that the Bible endorsed whites enslaving blacks – the kind of slavery once practiced in the American South. The Bible nowhere endorses white people enslaving black people.

    My statement -as a correction of “doctorchrysallis”‘s claim – stands.

  • “I am talking about a change in attractions.”

    Well, there’s your problem.

    Some people are so deeply damaged by certain sins – it has gotten so deeply embedded in the warp and woof of their psyches – that such a change may not be humanly possible.

    God, of course, can work wonders, but for others it may be His will for them to struggle against this sin their whole life long. As Jesus said: “Whoever wishes to be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

    The way of the cross is the way of salvation. There is no other way.

    As one of the Desert Fathers said: “It is blood to the end.”

  • That is still a translation that adds a lot to the original language. One could argue that is one possible allegorical meaning, but those words themselves are not there.

    Yes, men faced capital punishment if they slept with someone else’s wife. They face no punishment for sleeping with a prostitute or other unmarried woman.

    If a married woman sleeps with anyone other than their husband: death penalty.

    This is not equal enforcement. It is a very narrow idea of adultery purely as the wife cheating, the husband doing as he pleases.

  • But why should this self hatred be expected of Gay persons, but not straight persons? Jesus usually juxtaposed self denial with giving up one’s *Heterosexual family,* for instance in Luke 14:26 he said we were to HATE our Heterosexual families.

  • As to “this self hatred be expected of Gay persons”, the hatred expected is hatred of sin.

    It’s what we expect of kleptomaniacs, pedophiles, and a host of others who are burdened with inclinations which should not be acted on.

    The notion that denying an inclination is a problem has its roots in the LGBT propaganda machine, which picked and chose to support it.

  • “But it is far healthier psychologically, for persons always to accept their feelings rather than to fight them.”

    It seems rather clear that this position is a “special case” which exempts your feelings from others which you find somewhat more problematic, such as kleptomania.

    The “answer” in the LGBT propaganda is that LGBT behavior hurts no one, but of course that’s predicted on the notion that humans do not live in societies where interaction is the norm and one person’s behavior has a variety of impacts on others.

    And, of course, the behavior in question is objectively sinful.

  • It isn’t an “allegorical meaning,” it is a realistic application of poetic language to real life, supported by the context of the subject matter.

    Beyond that, I get that you’re hung up on the fact that because the ancient Hebrews were a polygamous culture adultery was determined by the marital status of the woman. But that doesn’t change the facts we are NOT a polygamous culture, that men DID face consequences for sleeping with unmarried women, that any sex outside of marriage including prostitution WAS considered sinful, and that wives were NOT considered to be property—that for the Hebrews as for us, the ideal marriage is one in which the couple are in love.

  • Yes, that is what allegory is.

    We disagree over what the Hebrews saw as sinful, given that their laws only punished a very small set of sexual actions by men but bound women tightly.

  • Their laws punished men’s sexual acts with married women, and unmarried women. I wouldn’t call that a “small set.”

  • God’s righteousness and wrath are BEING revealed. Being revealed by rebels.
    Rebels come in many forms and they all desire to suppress / darken the truth.
    Such suppression comes in forms of denial, argument and even comedic blasts of irreverent foolishness. (night show TV)
    The constant is that THEY KNOW THE TRUTH. (Both Christians and Non-Christians)

    Creation (nature and natural order) has provided an everlasting, obtrusive revelation of God–consistent with His character and order.
    The scriptures provide yet another bold witness to God.

    The great disturbance today is not so much how we see sin and perversion in the world (just as Paul saw in Rome and Corinth)

    What we must contend with is much more deviant and disturbing. THE CHURCH makes pretension and thumbs its nose at God greater than the heathen who wishes nothing of God. Such heathen are much prefered for they are the legitimate target of God’s grace and salvation. “lost” “Outside of Christ” “people of this world”.

    9 In my other letter I told you not to have anything to do with immoral people. 10 But I wasn’t talking about the people of this world. You would have to leave this world to get away from everyone who is immoral or greedy or who cheats or worships idols. 11 I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curse others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them! 12 Why should I judge outsiders? Aren’t we supposed to judge only church members? 13 God judges everyone else. The Scriptures say, “Chase away any of your own people who are evil.” (I Cor. 5:9-13)

    Sheep and Goat Tare and Wheat Trying to mate together the word Christian with LGBTQ in any other way than inviting the wrath of God is the boldest invitation to God for His wrath. (and an indifferent, benign, impotent church)

    People claiming to have known the new birth experience of regeneration are they themselves taken captive by the sin sourced in the mind. Their new Evangelism then is not to repentance, rather prop up their deviance and rebellion against God and also to gather men and women of like mind.

    They together dare to exchange the truth of God for a lie—then bost of such evil!.Where is God’s wrath?

    Perhaps the wrath of God is seen in the abject poverty of His bride the church in these days and the burgeoning mental health crisis being pursued by the Pharmaceutical industries. The USA — 10% of worlds population–has well over 50% of the worlds mental health workers and medicine sales for depression, anxiety and other maladies.

  • Man sleeps with a prostitute: no punishment.

    Man sleeps with unmarried woman: marries her, or pays a price depending on whether the Father brings him before the elders. Woman has no man to press for her rights, she is just used.

    Man sleeps with his slave: Just sacrifice a ram and its ok. (Lev 19:20-22)

    Woman sleeps with anyone other than her husband: death.

    There are some protections for women in the Old Testament laws, but they are terribly unequal, and view either the Father or Husband as her keeper.

    Biblical marriage is not just a recitation of what marriage was in the bible.

  • If you’re not voting deliberately to harm my life, than I have no issue. If you think my marriage harms yours, or that gay people mean the fall of civilization, or that gay people should be treated differently in society than all of the other people conservative Christianity believes is going to burn in hell, then we have issues.

  • You didn’t read your Leviticus close enough:

    “If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man’s wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death. The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle.”

    In other words, if a man sleeps with a slave who is engaged to be married the pair can’t be executed as would otherwise be the maximum penalty, but he still has to pay a fine to her owner and sacrifice a ram as a guilt offering. This isn’t the same as a man sleeping with his own slave—in that case she is considered his wife with all the rights that status implies, and if he decides he didn’t want to marry her after all she’s free.

    And you left a word out of what women faced, “married”: as in “MARRIED women that slept with anyone other than their husband faced a maximum penalty of death. An UNMARRIED woman that slept with a man faced no legal penalty at all.

  • 1. I wish you no physical harm.
    2. There are numerous things that are harming our civilization, not just one.
    3. According to scripture and my faith, I believe that marriage is between male and female. You may choose to do what you like, free will. I don’t have to believe in it because you do. I don’t have to support it. Neither do you have to agree with me. It’s called respect.
    4. You (I) don’t have to agree with someone else’s lifestyle, POV’s, or choices. We should follow the 2nd greatest commandment and be able to love without losing our own integrity or conviction.
    5. I don’t get to judge anyone’s life. Ultimately, God does.
    6. I will vote according to my convictions and will give you the same respect to vote yours.

    True Christians, and I don’t mean liberal or conservative, are called to live by the word of God. Personally, I’m more concerned with what God thinks of me than you or anyone else.

  • 1) that’s nice. Spiritual harm is so much easier to mete out.
    2) my marriage harms nothing except for conservative Christians self entitlement that they alone have the truth. You don’t.
    3) don’t get gay married, and your problem is solved.
    4) if you think my existence, my marriage, my family are harmful to society, it IS a point of view. One based in bigotry, not love.
    5) you just did.
    6) of course you will. And if my life suffers for it, well hey, you’re just voting your convictions. I’m sure you think god will reward you for it.

  • An unmarried woman could not easily marry if she had sex before marriage. There would be a strong stigma against her relegating her to prostitution or being a burden to her family. If she tried to marry and is accused of not being a virgin, her Father has to prove her innocence or she is stoned to death.

    Grooms face no such expectation.

  • Basic Psychology says we are better off if we accept our feelings but learn to express them in non destructive ways. Paul saying, “be angry, but do not sin,” expresses a similar thought.

  • He allows us Free Will and the ability to Choose without twisting our arm, but there are consequences for action that leads to sin. He never takes away our Choice!

  • The Holy Spirit can break the desire of the flesh to sin, and this is why the Rebirth of the Holy Spirit is critical in the life of a Believer.
    He broke the emnity in my flesh towards his law, and took my alcohol, drug, and pornography addiction away. A.A. Has the 12 step program, and I’ve found that these steps can be applied to any area of sin we have in our life; we simply have to confess its is sin, and acknowledge we are powerless over it, and absolutely need His Help to accomplish what we can’t do!
    Shalom in Him.

  • God’s righteousness and wrath are BEING revealed. Being revealed by rebels.
    Rebels come in many forms and they all desire to suppress / darken the truth.
    Such suppression comes in forms of denial, argument and even comedic blasts of irreverent foolishness. (night show TV)
    The constant is that THEY KNOW THE TRUTH. (Both Christians and Non-Christians)

    Creation (nature and natural order) has provided an everlasting, obtrusive revelation of God–consistent with His character and order.
    The scriptures provide yet another bold witness to God.

    The great disturbance today is not so much how we see sin and perversion in the world (just as Paul saw in Rome and Corinth)—

    What we must contend with is much more deviant and disturbing. THE CHURCH makes pretension and thumbs its nose at God greater than the heathen who wishes nothing of God. Such heathen are much prefered for they are the legitimate target of God’s grace and salvation. “lost” “Outside of Christ” “people of this world”.

    “9 In my other letter I told you not to have anything to do with immoral people. 10 But I wasn’t talking about the people of this world. You would have to leave this world to get away from everyone who is immoral or greedy or who cheats or worships idols. 11 I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curse others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them! 12 Why should I judge outsiders? Aren’t we supposed to judge only church members? 13 God judges everyone else. The Scriptures say, “Chase away any of your own people who are evil.” (I Cor. 5:9-13)

    Sheep and Goat Tare and Wheat —Trying to mate together the word Christian with LGBTQ in any other way than inviting the wrath of God is the boldest invitation to God for His wrath. (and an indifferent, benign, impotent church)

    People claiming to have known the new birth experience of regeneration are they themselves taken captive by the sin sourced in the mind. Their new Evangelism then is not to repentance, rather to prop up their deviance and rebellion against God and also to gather men and women of like mind.

    They together dare to exchange the truth of God for a lie—then bost of such evil!.Where is God’s wrath?

    Perhaps the wrath of God is seen in the abject poverty of His bride the church in these days and the burgeoning mental health crisis being pursued by the Pharmaceutical industries. The USA — 10% of worlds population–has well over 50% of the worlds mental health workers and medicine sales for depression, anxiety and other maladies.

  • Likely that was the reason for the fine — a double dowry could easily make a girl an attractive marriage prospect even minus virginity.

  • Jesus’ call to deny oneself is addressed to all people, not just homosexuals.

    And yes, Jesus’ teaching in Luke 14: 25-27 emphasizes the denial of self and anything else that would hinder one from following him. If our family, our money, our employment, etc., would entail our denying Christ, we must reject them as our Lord says.

  • How would you define the LGBT campaign? Is it destructive to desire laws where someone cannot be fired just because they are gay? Is it destructive to desire to be free from violence? I also struggled against same sex attraction LONG BEFORE I even engaged in any homosexual acts. Being Gay is far more about attractions and feelings than it is about ACTS. I had same attraction from the time I was a toddler. Does that make me an evil person? The attractions are what make a person Gay, not the acts.

  • “Is it destructive to desire laws where someone cannot be fired just because they are gay?”

    It depends. In general although there is little legal protection from being fired for “being gay”, an employer should not be made aware of someone’s sexual interests and activities whether you are heterosexual or homosexual. Making your employer aware involves bad judgment and in some cases outright stupidity.

    “Donald Zarda, a gay man, claimed that he was fired from his job as a sky-diving instructor in Long Island, NY because of his sexual orientation. He claimed that he told a female student about his sexual orientation. She then told her boyfriend who then complained to Zarda’s boss who then fired Zarda.”

    I would have fired him for talking about his sexual orientation if he was heterosexual. Employees keep that stuff to themselves.

    “Is it destructive to desire to be free from violence?”

    Is violence legal anywhere in the United States?

    “The attractions are what make a person Gay, not the acts.”

    Only the acts get folks in trouble, either with others or with the Creator.

  • People can always say at work that they have an opposite sexed partner or spouse. Why should someone be fired if they said in a non pornographic, non sexually graphic way that they are Gay? Even if they are graphic, they shouldn’t be fired, but rather told not to be so publicly graphic. Why should they be fired if they have a same sex partner they are committed to?

  • If you’re in state which has at will employment and no protection for sexual orientation, you can lead by example.

    Personally I kept my mouth shut at work and highly recommended to employees they do the same.

  • I do attend a Reconciling Congregation. Even the first United Methodist Church I ever went to in Bloomington Indiana is now Reconciling.

  • https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/ahead_of_st_louis_meeting_one_united_methodist_offers_prayers_along_the_way/#comment-4348653815

    “First thing wrong is the idea of a lifestyle– that’s Christian code for denying reality when it comes to gay people. Second, fear and hate aren’t the only options. Despite and contempt are also motivators. And when it comes to bigotry, I think they are far more likely than fear or hatred. Third, when you (a generic you, not you personally) go out of your want to attack people, lie about them, harm their families, and attempt to limit their participation in society, when it is of no benefit to you and all based upon the stories you tell yourself–disagreement is frankly indistinguishable from hate.”

    Somehow “a generic you, not you personally” when the entire diatribe was aimed at Christians rings hollow.

    Of course, since you fabricated your own moral code, not telling if lying is moral.

  • The Bible nowhere endorses white people enslaving black people.

    That statement is factually true but the Bible condones slavery so in a sense it says it’s OK for whites to own blacks, blacks to own whites, etc.

  • The word “slavery” in English is equivocal.

    Paul makes clear what he is talking about when he describes the proper relationship between slaves and masters, and it ain’t chattel slavery ala “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.

    In the First Century world “slave” meant many things, from prisoners of war to individuals with very specific rights, including the right to earn their freedom.

    Most of them had a better deal than factory workers in the USA in the late 19th century.

  • Well then, you would call Christ a “homophobe”?

    Dictionary result for homophobe
    /ˈhōməˌfōb/
    noun: homophobe; plural noun: homophobes
    a person with a dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.

    Well the Bible says he loves the sinner, whereas a homophobe doesn’t. But he hates their acts of love, affection and sex and will send the unrepentant sinner to Hell so yes, in my opinion he is a homophobe.

    Something to ponder. There is much anecdotal evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Science cannot state either way at present but will likely figure it out. Suppose that this is true. What, if anything, will change? Just curious as to your opinion.

  • look back, Jim. I asked a question.
    Some sinners, He loves, others see His wrath and right now, I’m researching whether that wrath entails turning them over to a reprobate mind.
    Christ is very clear that it is an exchange from what is natural, and an error – Romans 1

  • with being turned over to a reprobate mind, maybe they shouldn’t trust their “feelings” and trust Christ instead.

  • English Standard Version

    You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23

  • Note the reference to psychology.

    Psychologists have become the equivalent of theologians for the pagan New Religion.

  • One assumes “voting deliberately to harm my life” proscribes a democratic society voting to establish the sort of society in which its members would like to live and raise their families.

    One also assumes that your rubric of harm includes a desire to make the devout Christian Jack Phillips, owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, bake cakes with dildos decorating them, or celebrating a same sex marriage.

    You seem, then, to be advocating harming the lives of other citizens.

  • As to “my marriage harms nothing except for conservative Christians self entitlement that they alone have the truth” two points stand out:

    – you have what you wanted. Is it time for you to shut it up now?

    – an argument can be made that your view that your marriage is not harmful to society is itself based on bigotry, in this case in favor of what spins your particular propeller.

  • “But he hates their acts of love, affection and sex and will send the
    unrepentant sinner to Hell so yes, in my opinion he is a homophobe.”

    More accurately he correctly identifies the ultimate object of love and affection to be God, and notes that if you love God, you keep his commandments.

    So, no, he is not a homophobe.

  • Fair enough – if, however, “it must [ALSO] be pointed out that”: “Wesley Putnam, a full-time evangelist in the UMC and former president of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists”, has been asking you, “Why aren’t ‘Reconciling’ churches being held to account?” (cf. Methodist Thinker, March 21, 2011).

    Why? Because, according to “Judicial Council Decision #871” and “Judicial Council Decision #886 … [your] Reconciling Congregation … ‘may not identify or label itself as an unofficial body or movement. Such identification or labeling is divisive and makes the local church subject to the possibility of being in conflict with the Discipline and doctrines of The United Methodist Church. … Annual conferences may not legally negate, ignore, or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based upon conscientious objections to those provisions.”

  • ANSWER HIM, THEN. “Wesley Putnam, a full-time evangelist in the UMC and former president of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists”, has been asking you, “Why aren’t ‘Reconciling’ churches being held to account?” (cf. Methodist Thinker, March 21, 2011).

    BECAUSE: according to “Judicial Council Decision #871” and “Judicial Council Decision #886 … [your] Reconciling Congregation … ‘may not identify or label itself as an unofficial body or movement. Such identification or labeling is divisive and makes the local church subject to the possibility of being in conflict with the Discipline and doctrines of The United Methodist Church. … Annual conferences may not legally negate, ignore, or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based upon conscientious objections to those provisions.”

  • Reconciling Churches ARE in harmony with some parts of the Discipline. They are also in line with our Baptismal vows to resist evil and injustice whenever we find them. Reconciling Congregations are in harmony with MOST of this statement in the Social Principles found in the Book of Discipline, “We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.” Reconciling Congregations might not be in harmony with the practice of homosexuality being incompatible with Christian teaching, but the main focus is to include persons of different Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in the life of the Church, which for the most part is consistent with this statement in the Book of Discipline. Anyway, it isn’t the “practice” that makes a person Gay. By far and away, the most important factor is their deepest feelings and attractions. By the same token, you could say that “Wesleyan Covenant Association” Churches violate this ruling. But they might find parts of the Discipline that go along with them as well. It is just like you usually can find something in the Bible to justify anything. But I think what RMN justifies is better than what the Wesleyan Covenant Association justifies.

  • Also, there used to be, years ago, Reconciling Annual Conferences, but not anymore. What you quoted seems to apply to Annual Conferences more than to local Churches.

  • Gathering sticks on the Sabbath also carried the death penalty (Numbers 15:32-36). Just touching the Mountain of the Lord where the Ten Commandments were given carried the Death Penalty. (Exodus 19:12)

  • The sin you choose to follow is evil, yes. Christ taught it is worthy of death and then turned around and died for sinners, should they turn to Him, renounce their sin, and follow Him

  • “Reconciling Churches ARE in harmony with some parts of the Discipline. They are also in line with our Baptismal vows to resist evil and injustice whenever we find them. ” How are you not resisting homosexuality then, Daniel?

  • Nope. I asked you for scripture condoning/promoting homosexuality, Daniel,
    The sticks was for disobeying God – not picking up sicks.
    So, where is your scripture where Christ condones homosexuality

  • TRUE OR FALSE: “What RMN [Reconciling Ministries Network] justifies is better than what the [WCA] Wesleyan Covenant Association justifies”.

    FALSE: “While some have drawn parallels between the WCA and Reconciling Ministries Network, they have several distinct differences in structure alone that negate any comparison between them. [1] Membership fees. The WCA charges membership fees, whereas RMN merely asks for donations. Since the first missional responsibility of a congregation is to pay their apportionments, criticism is justified of a church that pays WCA membership fees but is not 100% paid on its apportionments (or withholds them entirely like a North Georgia congregation). [2] Creedal Belief Structure. The WCA requires assent to a creedal list of beliefs, whereas RMN does not, trusting that diversity of theological beliefs lead to a reconciled church open to LGBTQ persons. [3] Voting Delegates. The WCA functions more like an annual conference gathering with voting delegates from member churches, whereas RMN operates as a professional non-profit with a board of directors, audits, etc. … [4] RMN supports the full spectrum of Compatibility, whereas the WCA is firmly in support of Traditionalist Non-Compatibilists.”

    Source: Jeremy Smith, “Wesleyan Covenant Association: Gathering Storm or Aftershock in The #UMC?”, Hacking Christianity, July 18, 2016.

  • From the description given, the WCA sounds like a splinter group, trying to form their own denomination. That is in violation of the Discipline.

  • (1) TRUE OR FALSE: “What RMN [Reconciling Ministries Network] justifies is better than what the [WCA] Wesleyan Covenant Association justifies”.

    FALSE: “What RMN [Reconciling Ministries Network] justifies” in Steven Tuell, “Pennsylvania Scholar: WCA’s Belief on Bible Is Wrong”, United Methodist Insight, May 24, 2017 – is BAD VERY BAD. Watch this:

    (2) TRUE OR FALSE: “What we mean by … ‘the Bible is true’ … is that the Bible points us to Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6).”

    FALSE. “Jesus … is the truth” AND “the Bible is true” – BOTH.

    (3) TRUE OR FALSE: “The WCA’s reading of the Bible is the only right one”.

    TRUE. A plain and uncomplicated “reading of the Bible is [ALWAYS] the … right one”.

    (4) TRUE OR FALSE: “Our Western culture has decided that God’s Word and his will for us is no longer the truth.”

    TRUE. And thus fulfills endtime prophecy.

    (5) “All Scripture is God-breathed [the Greek has a rare word, theopneustos, usually translated ‘inspired by God’]”.

    TRUE. That’s all in the original New Testament Greek: πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος – pronounced pasa graphee theopneustos. A plain and uncomplicated “reading” of that gives you this plain and uncomplicated understanding: “Every scripture, passage, writing, is breathed by God, relates directly to God’s Spirit as the divine origin and source of revelation and inspiration.”

    (6) TRUE OR FALSE: “What … the church is to do about LGBTQ persons: in our pews, in our pulpits, and more broadly, about the legalization of same-sex marriage in every state of our republic … cannot simply point at the Bible and say ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it.'”

    FALSE: Through His 1st apostles and disciples, The Christ Jesus is telling all United Methodists everywhere, “Do not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have [you] to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)

  • Do you think it is wrong to gather sticks on the Sabbath, because doing so carried the Death Penalty? Is it wrong not to be circumcised because Moses was almost killed for it in Exodus 4:24?

  • You don’t listen too good. Your pro-LGBT Methodist ally, Jeremy Smith, had just told you, “Negate any comparison between … WCA [and] RMN … Negate any comparison between the two organizations.” Yet here you are insisting on “comparison”.

  • That is not my opinion at all, but rather what we should conclude from the literal logic you employ, that everything that carried the Death Penalty in the OT is something we should oppose.

  • where is your scripture where Christ endorses homosexuality? No more excuses trying to justify.
    Show me the scripture where Christ endorses it as clearly as he condemns homosexuality

  • Good call. “Demon” may just be the Twister behind The Strawman Fallacy Legacy of One Daniel Wagle:

    “Daniel Wagle … 2 years ago … Gathering wood on the Sabbath carried the Death penalty in Numbers 16. … If Christ placed the death penalty on gathering sticks on the Sabbath, then we should think of that as a Sin as well. … [Yet] Jesus healed on the Sabbath … Breaking the Sabbath carried the death penalty in the Old Testament [yet] Jesus healed on the Sabbath in the name of Love over that of legalism. … [Therefore] just because something carried the Death Penalty, doesn’t mean it necessarily was a sin. … [Why] homosexuality is [not] a sin because it carried the death penalty [is because] Jesus and his disciples both did things that according to the Law carried the death penalty. … [If] anything that carried the death penalty in the Old law was a sin, [then was] Christ a Sinner.”

  • O GIVE IT A REST ALREADY – This Strawman Fallacy Legacy of Yours, Daniel Wagle!

    “Daniel Wagle … 2 years ago … Gathering wood on the Sabbath carried the Death penalty in Numbers 16. … If Christ placed the death penalty on gathering sticks on the Sabbath, then we should think of that as a Sin as well. … [Yet] Jesus healed on the Sabbath … Breaking the Sabbath carried the death penalty in the Old Testament [yet] Jesus healed on the Sabbath in the name of Love over that of legalism. … [Therefore] just because something carried the Death Penalty, doesn’t mean it necessarily was a sin. … [Why] homosexuality is [not] a sin because it carried the death penalty [is because] Jesus and his disciples both did things that according to the Law carried the death penalty. … [If] anything that carried the death penalty in the Old law was a sin, [then was] Christ a Sinner.”

  • Just answer the question, should we oppose everything that carried the death penalty in the Old Testament? What about not being circumcised, where Moses was almost killed for it in Exodus 4:24? Is gathering wood on the Sabbath wrong because it was subject to the Death Penalty in the Old Testament?

  • I actually know very little about Jussie Smollett, but just read the story about him. Hadn’t heard of him before.

  • Don’t go all out LGBT Frédéric Martel on me now.

    (It’s a theory, but this is further to my way of saying, This LGBT Character Evidence proves that this person acted in a particular way on a particular occasion based on the character or disposition of such a person.)

  • Don’t matter none. Aren’t all LGBT Character Evidences the same anyway across the board, yours included, in light of that Strawman Fallacy Legacy of Yours? Your Strawman being, and I quote, “Christ a Sinner”?!?!?!?! Oh what you & they will do to defend LGBT-ism!

    On that note, don’t you go all out LGBT Alex McGillis on me now.

  • How does that contradict my assertion that unmarried women faced no legal penalty for premarital sex?

    Also, you again distort the meaning of scripture. In this case, it involves an accusation leveled against a bride by her groom. In the case of a woman that was seduced before she was engaged and her seducer was tried and found guilty and paid whatever her father demanded as a penalty, and someone else then married her even though she was already known not to be a virgin, he could hardly accuse her of that after the marriage. The law you are referencing would involve marriage under false pretenses and adultery.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 states he did not know sin, but made or did sin (epoiesin) so we may become the righteousness of God.

  • We are to resist injustice and oppression. Discrimination and violence against LGBT persons is injustice and oppression.

  • It is neither discrimination, nor violence to want to see homosexuals in a good relationship with Jesus – get over yourself

  • To fire them just because they are Gay is discrimination. To believe in violence against LGBT is unjust.

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