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United Methodists pass Traditional Plan, keep ban on LGBTQ clergy, same-sex marriage

LGBTQ advocates react to the Traditional Plan being adopted at the UMC General Conference on Feb. 26, 2019, in St. Louis. RNS photo by Kit Doyle

ST. LOUIS (RNS) — A special session of the United Methodist Church decided Tuesday (Feb. 26) to strengthen the denomination’s ban on the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ people.

Delegates to the General Conference, the global denomination’s decision-making body, passed the Traditional Plan by a vote of 438-384.

The Traditional Plan was one of three proposals for the church to move forward together despite deep divides over the inclusion of LGBTQ members that were presented to the conference by a specially appointed Commission on a Way Forward.


RELATED: United Methodist committee rejects One Church Plan, which would allow LGBT clergy


Those divides were on display during the three-day special session of the General Conference dedicated to sexuality at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

The Rev. Ken Carter, president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops, said the United Methodist Church — which counts both Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions as members — always has included diverse points of view. That was clear in St. Louis, Carter said.

“We are a church that includes people with different visions of the kingdom of God,” he said. “I believe that’s the body of Christ.”

The bishop also admitted that United Methodists in the United States have not always been able to get along. At other times, he said, they’ve found ways to work together.

“The Methodist Church of America has united and divided and united and divided,” he said.

Passage of the Traditional Plan left both its supporters and opponents alike worried about the future of the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination.

But the Rev. Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church, the only openly LGBTQ bishop in the denomination, tweeted afterward that the plan can’t “erase” LGBTQ people from the denomination.

“For children will receive the waters of baptism & know God claims them,” she tweeted. “Some will hear a call to ministry. Some will be queer. And then it starts all over again.”

Constitutional issues

Earlier in the day, a last-ditch effort to pass an alternate proposal, known as the One Church Plan, failed. That plan, recommended by the denomination’s Council of Bishops, would have allowed individual churches and regional annual conferences to decide whether to ordain and marry LGBTQ members.

The denomination’s Legislative Committee, made up of all 864 General Conference delegates, rejected the One Church Plan on Monday. Delegates then rejected a proposal on Tuesday to replace the Traditional Plan with the One Church Plan.

Earlier in the day, the United Methodists’ top court ruled that parts of the Traditional Plan were unconstitutional, requiring delegates to amend them. Only one of those petitions was amended before it passed after hours of passionate and sometimes rancorous debate.

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey announces the results of the Traditional Plan votes late on Feb. 26, 2019. RNS photo by Kit Doyle

Much of the discussion as amendments were proposed and debated took aim at the way the petitions that made up the plan singled out LGBTQ people. Some opponents attempted to delay the vote with a series of amendments.

“We’re going to amend until the Monster trucks roll in!” said the Rev. Mark Holland, a delegate from the Great Plains Conference.

Holland, whose Mainstream UMC group had advocated for the One Church Plan, was referring to the next event scheduled at the conference center where the Methodists were meeting: Monster Jam. The General Conference meeting had a hard stop at 6:30 p.m. local time, due to that event.


RELATED: Bishop Will Willimon on why no plan can unite United Methodists


Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, who presided over its afternoon plenary session, repeatedly reminded delegates to complete the task at hand.

Attempts to delay the vote eventually failed.

As the Traditional Plan passed with 53 percent of the vote, observers supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQ members in the church began to sing the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” A number of delegates, some wearing rainbow-colored stoles, circled at the center of the conference floor.

Following the vote, a motion to appeal the vote on the Traditional Plan to the denomination’s top court, the Judicial Council, passed. Petitions offering an exit plan to churches that want to leave the denomination also passed.

Alexander Dungan, of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary near Chicago, sits near an exit of the America’s Center after a vote to adopt the Traditional Plan at the UMC General Conference in St. Louis on Feb. 26, 2019. RNS photo by Kit Doyle

The General Conference continued as observers in the stands shouted, “Stop the harm!” and people streamed into the lobby outside the doors to the conference floor where delegates were seated, chanting and singing hymns.

The Judicial Council will review the Traditional Plan at its next scheduled meeting: April 23-25 in Evanston, Ill. Any piece of legislation declared unconstitutional at that meeting will not be included in the Book of Discipline, said the Rev. Gary Graves, secretary of the General Conference, according to United Methodist News Service. All other changes will take effect Jan. 1.

A ‘historic’ day for supporters

Throughout the day, supporters of the Traditional Plan defended their interpretation of Scripture and stressed that, despite what some had expressed to the contrary, they love the LGBTQ people in the church.

“We all have friends and family in the LGBTQIA community that we love and we do value as beloved brothers and sisters,” said delegate Aislinn Deviney of the Rio Texas Conference, who identified herself as a young evangelical.

At the same time, Deviney said, many young people “fiercely believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Mark Tooley, president of the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy, called Tuesday a “momentous” and “historic” day. Approving the Traditional Plan signals the denomination is “moving from its USA liberal Mainline identity to a new global identity rooted in Christian orthodoxy,” Tooley said in an email.

“The church is following a very different path from its sister USA Mainline denominations, all of which are fast declining,” he said.

Tooley acknowledged some parts of the plan already had been ruled unconstitutional by the Judicial Council and were not amended before they were passed. Still, he said, the decision was important.

“Passage of even part of the plan that is constitutional is a symbolic great step forward into the church’s emerging global role,” he said.

Tooley expects there will be additional legislation at the next regular meeting of the General Conference, scheduled for 2020 in Minneapolis.

“Overall, the church’s future, although with many bumps ahead, looks bright,” he said.

 

The Rev. Pamela Lightsey, associate professor of constructive theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, feared the Traditional Plan could “usher in a host of greater evils.”

“People are not yet talking about leaving, though we feel as though the church is attempting to leave us,” Lightsey said before all the votes were finalized.

LGBTQ United Methodists and those who support their full inclusion in the church have to decide what comes next, said the Rev. Gregory Gross, a delegate from the Northern Illinois Conference and organizer with the Queer Clergy Caucus.

There may no longer be room for them in the denomination, he said. So LGBTQ Methodists may have to envision “a new expression of Methodism.”

“It’s sickening how much people clearly dislike us — clearly do not like — LGBTQ people and must be threatened by us,” Gross said. “It’s sickening and disheartening, and yet at least we finally know where people are.”

A group of LGBTQ advocates protests the vote to adopt the Traditional Plan during the UMC General Conference on Feb. 26, 2019, in St. Louis. RNS photo by Kit Doyle

The Rev. Jerry Kulah, a delegate from the Liberia Conference and dean of the Gbarnga School of Theology in the capital, Monrovia, said he was not worried about the plan now going before the Judicial Council.

“We have a Judicial Council that’s there for all of us to perfect whatever we do that may not be consistent with the Book of Discipline,” Kulah said.

He had spoken in favor of the Traditional Plan earlier in the day from the conference floor, saying the church in Africa is growing “leaps and bounds” because of its commitment to “biblical Christianity,” which he said supported the idea that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman.

“The church in America cannot be living one way and the church in Africa living another way,” he said.

The United Methodist Church has more than 12.5 million members worldwide. About 58 percent of the delegates to the General Conference were from the U.S., where the United Methodist Church claims nearly 7 million members. Nearly 41 percent were from central conferences outside the U.S., including growing churches in African countries and in the Philippines. No breakdown was available on how delegates from each country voted.

Painful process

For some delegates, the special session was a painful experience, no matter what side they were on.

During a lunch break on Tuesday, North Carolina Conference delegate LaNella Smith said she was struggling to decide how to vote during the special session.

She felt the pain in the room, Smith said. She also felt the fear. But the decisions seemed to fall along the same lines they have for years, she said.

The delegate said that the denomination’s rules on sexuality were not a top priority at her church.

“For those of us in the black church — I was just talking with some friends of mine — this is not a black church issue, so it’s not an issue we discuss,” Smith said. “It’s not an issue that we deal with. We’re dealing with our people having housing and jobs and food and child care, a young man not getting shot on the street. This issue is so far down the list of issues for us.”


RELATED: The ‘Splainer: What’s the United Methodist special session all about?


Jorge Lockward, a delegate from the New York Conference who wore a rainbow stole Tuesday, said that during the special session, United Methodists were honest about their divisions. Now, he said, it’s time to pray.

“Stay hopeful!” Lockward told a group of university students on the sidewalk after the General Conference had adjourned.

Coming into General Conference, Lockward said he hoped to see “the movement of the Spirit.” That happened on Tuesday when delegates gathered in the center of the floor and bishops came down to pray with them.

“I’ve always felt loved by the church, but always at the edge of the church, and for the first time in my life I felt that I was right at the middle of the church,” he said.

Despite Tuesday’s results, Lockward said God was still at work in the United Methodist Church.

“What I know is that the wind of the Spirit is blowing and that we need to have our weather vanes nicely oiled … so we can follow it,” he said.

(This story has been updated.)

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

370 Comments

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  • Take your bow, conservative Methodists – you won. But yours is a pyrrhic victory, as you will one day learn.

  • So who didn’t vote? 438 + 384 = 822

    But 864 are on hand to vote. Are we to believe that 42 delegates abstained from voting on something that passed by a margin of 54? So the church goes forward to discriminate against people on the opinion of 50.7% (438 of 864) of its delegates who attended? All I can say is I’m glad I left the Methodist umbrella in 1983. That is too much of a mess to live within. Even if you’re there on the side of the 50.7%—–the church is ruined on those kinds of margins. Nobody wins. Everybody loses.

  • I am in favor of this again in a few years.

    The Church was of course right to do what it take to keep our brothers and sisters in Africa from leaving.

  • Traditional Plan wins because there are only 7% of homosexuals in the world’s population on average, according to “Demographics of sexual orientation” and “LGBT demographics of the United States” by Wikipedia’s cited sources. For instance:

    Brazil 2013 = 7%
    Ireland 2006 = 7.1%
    Italy 2011 = 6.7%
    Japan 2012 = 7.6%
    Mexico 2017 = 6%
    Spain 2017 = 6%
    UK 2017 = 7%
    USA 2017 = 7%

  • I believe there were around 30 or so who were denied entry into the U.S. because of the lack of visas or something.

  • There are openly gay Methodist pastors, deacons and even bishops already. They will now be ousted and their lives flipped upside down. That is by definition, a constitutionally protected class and is most definitely an act of discrimination.

  • The One Church Plan would have allowed them to carry on business as usual based on their local laws and statutes.

  • Oh my goodness you have changed my mind completely! Now I’ll just need you to point to where in the new testament where Christ stated that. Thanks so much!

  • Can’t you read? – “Evangelicals Once Again Dominate List of Top-growing Large UM Congregations”, Juicy Ecumenism”, November 20, 2018.

  • Mark 6:11
    Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.

    Luke 9:5
    And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.

    Luke 10:11
    Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.

    Luke 11:51
    yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.

  • According to Jesus, the back of the bus — or the foot of the table, as it were — was always the place to be. Luke 14:10-11.

  • Other denominations have promised the same “Congregational Independence” and had those promises turn out to be false as congregations were pushed to conform to pro-LGBT positions.

  • Love the Lord your God with all of your mind, soul, heart and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself
    John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22
    Which one are you having difficulty with?

  • Clearly, you lack an understanding of the Constitution.

    Read Matthew 15 and Mark 7. When Jesus spoke of those things that make people ‘unclean’, He mentions adultery and ‘fornication’ or ‘sexual immorality’. Those terms mean all the other forms of sexual sin mentioned in the Old Testament.

    John 8 shows how to treat those found to have committed sexual sin: we do not condemn, but the transgressers are to sin no more.

  • The Episcopal Church of which I am a member is definitely not of one mind in accepting gay marriage even though legislation permits it. We are divided even though leaders deny it.

  • Except it would have made a mockery of the church and a mockery of God.
    Scripture cannot mean two opposite things at once. A church is not, “well I like that scripture, so I’ll go there”, instead of the same church that teaches differently. Doesn’t work that way.

  • Only four percent of the world’s population are Americans. That must mean that there are a great many more “homosexuals” than there are Americans…and that the majority of them are probably Asians. So if the the evermore interconnected, worldwide LGBTQ community was a country, it would be the third largest one, and a considerable economic powerhouse.

  • Mike, don’t forget about 1 Corinthians 5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

  • Since very few Americans, anyway, self identify as a “homosexual,” perhaps the pernicious nonsense that they just endorsed should just be ignored as being not applicable to modern society.

    If there were “homosexuals,” heaping a big load of unjust and very dangerous minority stress upon vulnerable young “homosexuals” would be something monstrously evil…and further proof of the Calvinist doctrine of the total depravity of man.

    Since the only people who can actually see “homosexuals” are self-privileging literalist idolators, bigots, scapegoaters and hatemongers, perhaps the UM should start a fund to aid those poor, pathetic souls and find a medical way to rid them of the specters that devil them so and cause them to want to create such harm on others.

  • Why in the world are delegates from countries that won’t be affected included in this vote? I think it definitely put the “traditionalists” (now known as bigots) on the losing side.

  • Christ talked a lot about caring for the poor. Therefore is imperative that the church stay United in order to keep helping them.

  • What will happen to the traditional church when the non-bigots break away? That’s an awful lot of money that’s going to be taken away from them.

  • Who cares how many there are? This wasn’t a vote to change the whole church gay. It was to accept all of God’s children.

  • Men don’t have sex with each other the way they do with women. Men don’t have vaginas unless they’re trans and that’s not against your beliefs right? As long as they’re using the prescribed parts?

  • You can try to split hair, crossing your fingers that you are right, or you can just believe Christ who taught that homosexuality is a sin. Choose life, Seven

  • The Book of Discipline has a Biblical stance regarding homosexuality. Why did these pastors, deacons, and bishops knowingly join this denomination?
    Do you really think they will be “constitutionally” protected?

  • So your saying God is a liar when he said homosexuals shall not be in the Kingdom or where He said they are and abomination and a stench in His nostrils or where he said stone them and stop the perversion from My people or you shall not except the price of a dog(queer) in My house, or do you not know God or His word

  • does that make them right because God doesn’t condone perversion and God doesn’t bless what he doesn’t condone

  • Respectfully, many “traditionalists” love God, His word, and others, even gays. For us, it isn’t about rejecting gays as children of God worthy of His love. It’s a rejection of what we believe is sin. We don’t wish gays spiritual, mental, or physical harm. We want our denomination to follow the Word of God as well.

  • When preachers have to vote on what God said is wrong the church something is wrong with the hearts and minds of believers

  • I’m not Methodist, but I attend a Methodist seminary. Probably a third of my class, myself included, are queer, and many of us, though clearly not me in this case, are… were… seeking ordination based on a call from God to ministry. I’m wracked with pain for my Methodist siblings. Today the UMC church chose to stand with the oppressors and not the oppressed. Unfortunate and shameful.

  • Yes, you do mean them harm. Your weasel words can’t cover…it shows. Resorting to eye of the beholder “sin” is a weak excuse for bigotry.

    The Word of God has many things good Methodists ignore…stoning to death disobedient children, holding slaves, a lake of fire, etc. Oh, but not the Gays and their icky relationships. Nice try…

    …I think everyone would respect you more if you just came out and said you don’t like LGBT people and God does not love them…drop the pretense !!

  • Just because you can’t imagine it having any impact on them doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have any impact on them.

  • but you’re not methodist. don’t worry queer they still have public restrooms for you people to blow dic*s in.

    here’s the good news you silly phaggots account for 67% of new HIV infections, 63% of all HIV infections and 74% of all syphilis infections!

    you just love differently!

  • So Jesus is also responsible for old Testament…Exodus:21, Yahweh’s big slavery plans…and Deuteronomy:28, believe in Yahweh or have your wife raped and children kidnapped. Marry your rapist (Duet:22) is quaint stuff compared to most of Deuteronomy.

    So this is Jesus active in the OT? … Just so you can get him to endorse the big L in the OT…Leviticus — here you can say Jesus smites the gays….and the Methodists cheer !!

  • I suppose it is because it is a worldwide church with everyone having the same right to a vote. What “progressives” have to do now is suppress the African vote, as you seem to be proposing.

  • You neither know my heart, nor care to engage in respectful debate. Do you know how to engage in respectful debate or discussion? What’s evident is your own desire to condescend and believe you can read someone else’s mind. Believe what you will about me and other traditionalists. I don’t care.

  • I suppose they will refuse to be ousted or alternatively will leave and take their congregations with them. The Traditional Plan lets them keep their buildings and their pensions, and I am guessing that their congregations will provide them with their salaries.

  • No worries. Beating you to it, here already is Reader’s Digest with “12 Steps to Dealing With Bad Neighbors”:

    “1. Get to know each other.
    2. Head off problems before they’re problems.
    3. Document the problem.
    4. Talk it out.
    5. Look for advice or solace online.
    6. Check with other neighbors.
    7. See if anyone else will side with you.
    8. Talk to a lawyer.
    9. Get a mediator.
    10. Write and report.
    11. Call the cops.
    12. Take it to small claims court.”

  • God doesn’t condone perversion? Are you kidding? …

    -> Genesis 38:7-9 — “offend God he will kill you: And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up sperm to thy brother. And Onan knew that the sperm should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground,..”

    -> Deuteronomy 25:11-1 — “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.”

    …So God says pull out and dump you cum on the ground when f**king a relative…and says smite a Good Samaritan woman grabbing an assailant by the balls. God puts most perverted porn sites to shame !!

  • Well, “if … LGBTQ … was … country” but
    “If she don’t do Daisy Dukes
    “If she can’t rock cowboy boots
    “No she ain’t the one for me
    “If she ain’t country
    “A little country cutie
    “A little redneck beauty
    “Now that girl’s country”

    Source: “If She Ain’t Country” by Drew Jacobs.

  • I have difficult with this one…daughters screwing their Dad…

    Genesis 19:31–36
    “…So they made their father (Lot) drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father…The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him…So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him…”

    Gay marriage is much worse than this, Right ??

  • WRONG ANSWER. For it was The Elitist 7%’s soft coup “to change the whole [United Methodist] church” that got thwarted by the ecclesial power of the “vote”. Not today, Boss.

  • CORRECTION: “Today the UMC church chose to stand with the [majority] and not the [minority].”

    ALTERNATE CORRECTION: “Today the UMC church chose to stand with the [Traditionalists] and not the [Elitists].”

  • David Dashifen Kees: “I’m wracked with pain”!

    Damien Priestly: “Bravo !!”

    HpO: Lost in Translation much?

  • Hey hey hey please delete yourself ted

    I don’t want to be associated with you

    This is sinful what you’re doing

  • CORRECTION: “About 43 percent of the delegates in St. Louis are from abroad, mostly from Africa, and overwhelmingly support the LGBT bans. … [They] ‘stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal church elite in the U.S.'”

    Source: David Crary and Jim Salter, “United Methodist Church on edge of breakup over LGBT stand”, Associated Press, February 25, 2019.

  • well i’m catholic so i can always just confess it and be forgiven. i really don’t care what protestants think about my religion given that you are all he11 bound….give my regards to hitler heretic!

  • The Supreme Court has established practice that the government may not interfere with the employment requirements for their professional church workers. This would cross the line barring the government from religious interference. The Bible says what it says. Some churches chose to follow the Bible. Some don’t. But the government doesn’t have a horse in the race when it comes to a church deciding if it will continue to do so or not.

  • If a clergyperson doesn’t believe the Bible on their pet preference why should anyone believe anything they have to say about God. It would appear to me that if you just pick and chose what you like and believe that in the end all you are really preaching is what you hope God is like versus what God has said he stands for. All you are doing is creating a framework to cast god in yoru own image adn what you want him to be like and what you want him to approve. When I consider religion I read the text becaus to be honest people are always going to just put words in God’s mouth to justify whatever agenda they want. This is an excellent example of that. It is a rare thing to find a humble clergy person who is willing to follow rather than impose their own views on God.

  • Would you say the same to drug dealers, child molesters and so forth. The real issue is this. Is homosexual practice a sin or not. yes or no.

  • As a United Methodist, I am called to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
    While I’m not clergy, I’m not alone. The United Methodist Church has a thriving LGBT membership. There are over 100 openly LGBTQIA clergy faithfully serving the Lord according to their calling in the United Methodist Church. We have an openly lesbian married Bishop, Bishop Karen Oliveto. I have been able to thrive because I grew up in a United Methodist Church that actually *practices* its slogan of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” We proudly fly a rainbow flag at my church and will continue to do so regardless of what General Conference does. We will continue blessing same-sex weddings at the risk of being defrocked from ministry. We will continue hosting queer Pastors at my church and we will not stop preaching the Gospel of Love and Radical Inclusion for God’s LGBTQIAP Children. We will continue defying the denomination as that is what God calls us to do. As Bishop Melvin Talbert once called it, Biblical Obedience. We will continue our ministries for trans people and we will continue supporting the call to ministry in LGBTQIAP people who go to our church. God is audacious enough to defy human-made rules our church has by continuing to call LGBTQIAP Children of God into ministry. We will continue to support LGBTQIAP people of all ages, from youth to elderly. We will continue teaching an inclusive Christianity to all of our Congregants. We will double down on opposing hypocritical religious policies as Jesus did and we will go the extra mile to include the marginalized as Jesus did. We will live out our call to seek justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. We will bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to ALL of God’s Children. We will ensure that our welcome of LGBTQIAP people includes LGBTQIAP people of color. We will continue to act as a Sanctuary for all God’s Children and we will live out the radical love of God. As Mark Miller said in song “No matter what people say, say or think about me, I am a Child of God. No matter what people say, say or think about you, you are a Child of God. No matter what the world says, says or thinks about me, I am a Child of God. No matter what the Church says—decisions, pronouncements on you, you are a child of God! And there is no thing or no one who can separate—they can’t separate you from the truth that you’re someone! You are family! You are meant to be a Child, a Child of God! You are a Child, a Child of God!!!!!”

    We are in the Wilderness, BUT WE ARE GOING TO THE PROMISED LAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We must unite as Methodists for equality in the name of Jesus Christ. It is time for the freedom to marry. It is time for the freedom to preach as LGBTQ Children of God in the Church. It is time to live out God’s radical love and hospitality. We will make it and if our policies are unjust, we will righteously obey the radical will of the King of the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ. We are not done. God’s not done with us. We are not defeated. This may be Good Friday, but Easter is coming!!!!! Injustice, evil, and oppression will not have the final say. Rise up in hope, O Methodist Church! We are Going to the Promised Land. Praise God because we are going to the Promised Land. God’s love will never abandon us for love is the more excellent way. God will empower us and will shine a bright path forward. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it! We are going to the Promised Land!!!!! The love of Jesus will be our roadmap and we will reach that day together. Rise, shine for your light has come! WE ARE GOING TO THE PROMISED LAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    With love, peace, truth, and righteousness,

    a (Bi) Child of God

  • The whole deal would change nothing for them. We didn’t get a vote on their countries’ rules; why do they get to decide on ours? If this was left up to the US delegates then the One plan would have been chosen. Suppressing their vote would be making decisions for their countries without giving them a voice.
    The majority of the countries that would be affected preferred the One plan.
    So stop talking nonsense and trying to make me seem like a conservative.

  • You’re making up pretend possibilities about the decision affecting them while their decision has actually affected the majority of the US church. I guess im going to go with the part of the church that loves (love is a verb) everyone.

  • If you believe that homosexuality is a sin you probably don’t believe in variety so I purposely left those out.

  • It’s just a matter of time before the UMC also submits to Satan and calls him their lord. They basically already have. To even have a vote on such a thing is puke-worthy.

  • Funny how American conservatives almost always seem to think that civil rights movements are dreadful conspiracies that are always being directed by “liberal elites.” Since they think that “liberal elites” are white, it’s a very racist assumption that people of color are incapable of effective action and therefore must be manipulated by those dreadful white “liberal elites.”

    Which is exactly what the white Citizens’ Councils thought of the NAACP.

    Were Richard and Mildred Loving “elites?” Liberal yes, from live experiences, but they were otherwise ‘everyday people,’ as a friend says.

    Does that mean that those conservatives leaders in their expensive suits and artful coifs, and who are often Ivy League graduates like Pat Robertson, are in reality, adenoidal rubes who live in rusty trailers miles into the backwoods?

    I know a SGL (same gender loving) public intellectual in the Black media who has interesting insights into religious leaders from former colonies, but since I’m not from the Black community nor possessing of advanced degrees, am not an expert on European colonization and have never lived and studied in those areas, I may not be able to explain them adequately. So, I won’t try.

    But, I’m very sure that those locally powerful, conservative, well educated religious elites from those former European colonies could keep up with him. They’re that, and also shameless bigots and bullies in the name of the Lord who callously create dangerous minority stress for their minority LGBTQ neighbors and parishioners. In that, they’re hardly different from the business class bigots in the white Citizens’ Councils of my youth.

    Speaking of Mildred Loving, here’s a quote from this soft spoken, modest, righteous prophet of justice and love before she passed on.

    “Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.”

    Mildred Loving, 40 Years Later. The Atlantic, June 18, 2007.

  • I’m sure, then, that Jesus never said: “You have heard it said…But I say…”

    He changed the Old Testament when he did that. He would therefore expect people to love justice, to love the Golden Rule, to love their neighbor, over that which perpetuates injustice, is the antithesis of the Golden Rule, and is counter to his last commandment, even if it iss the letter of Law.

    Even Paul apparently realized that in 2 Corinthians 3rd chapter. The letter of the law kills, the spirit of the law liberates.

  • I’ve read the whole chapter of Lev. 18. It’s not about condemning today’s loving, mutually consenting adult relationships, it’s about creating a monotheistic Jewish identity…it’s about the politics of identity. Basically, it’s don’t do as the ancient Egyptians and Canaanites did, ecstatically worship fertility gods like Moloch.

  • They knew when they joined the church’s position and the teaching of Scriptures.

    The First Amendment precludes their being “a constitutionally protected class”.

  • You do understand that morality IS complying with the will of God, right?

    Btw, I’m foursquare for not having my balls grabbed.

  • The Catholics are having much the same problem.

    Individual underwent ordination and made promises knowing in their hearts their concealed intention not to keep those promises.

  • The supporters of the Traditional Plan bent over backwards to make it easy for the LGBT supporters to leave.

    Odd, though – the LGBT supporters would not support making it easy to leave.

    Sort of hints at what they had in mind.

  • He speaks from a denomination that has lost over half its membership over four decades being colorful, interesting, and accommodating.

  • The continuing loss of membership says it all.

    During Katharine Jefferts Schori’s reign she had to resort to locking the doors to keep people in.

  • No, the church does not go forward to discriminate.

    The church goes forward doing what the church has been doing going on 2,000 years.

  • The church chose to stand with the church, the Scriptures, and the teaching of the deity from Yahweh to the death of the last Apostle.

  • CORRECTION: There are no “civil rights movements” in the church of born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard followers of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation – but only the “[sovereign] rights movements” of the Spirit of His Father God!

  • As Jesus said when he banned divorce except for certain reasons, his Father in the Old Testament accommodated the Hebrews hardness of heart.

    Like a father to his children, he took generations to bring them to the truth.

    This has pointed out to you many many times in the past.

    Poor memory or just a basic disagreement with Christianity?

  • Precisely.

    Civil rights movements are based on political power.

    There should be no political power in the church.

  • Your mathematical ability is on par with your theological acumen and general understanding in “Nobody wins. Everybody loses”: nonexistent. Truth seems to evade you.

  • Wrong. Think Elijah and the concept throughout Scripture and history of the remnant. God does not do numbers. He does faith and obedience.

  • A Classic Non-Sequitur Fallacy, This!

    “The case famously known as Loving v. Virginia saw a black woman named Mildred Loving and her husband, a white man named Richard Loving, being sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for their union. … [But] on 12 June 1967, the Supreme Court gave an unanimous ruling that all RACE-based legal restrictions on marriage in the country were unconstitutional. … Th[is] story of the Loving couple is … proof that love is love, and love conquers all, regardless of … SEX”?!?!

    “RACE” = “SEX” = NON-SEQUITUR

    Source: Nigel Tan, “Why every gay couple needs to watch this film about Richard and Mildred Loving: Before the fight for marriage equality, there’s the fight against criminalisation of interracial love”, Gay Star News, August 8, 2016.

  • Hence LGBT is Spirit-ually “power”-less, but only “political[ly] power[ful]”.

    (Hi, I’m HpO and you are …?)

  • You’re right attitude is important. So, do you have a problem with Jesus’ attitude and name calling when he went out of his way to call the religious leaders and others of his day snakes, graves, unclean, frauds? How about when he said they were satanic? He even called Peter satanic. Get over the smarmy Jesus thing that leads to denying truth. Address Ted’s assertions not his attitude. Do you really know what behaviors same sex perverts do and what disease and mental health issues plague them? Do some research.

  • I do not believe your correspondent lacks an understanding of the problem.

    His beef appears to be with ted markuson’s approach to dealing with it.

  • God loves all people.
    I think everyone would respect LGBT people more if they stopped hiding behind their false bigotry narrative and admit they wish to live sinful ways.

  • What about my comments on attitude don’t you get? I challenge you to address what I raised about Jesus’ attitude. Is he not our example? Is there anything wrong with how he handled those who claimed godliness? Is it not loving to tell the truth no matter how forceful? Isn’t this what Jesus did? You may have the last word.

  • Jesus used the formula “You have heard it said…..But I say unto you…” six times, in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew.

    Note that He used the words “You have heard it is said”, not “It is written”. What Jesus is doing in these passages is rejecting the oral traditions of the Pharisees (“it is said”), not the Law itself (“it is written”). He then goes on to give His own interpretation of the spiritual significance of the Law, which is generally more expansive and stricter than the interpretations of the Pharisaic tradition.

    That Jesus in these passages is critiquing the oral traditions of the Pharisees can be seen most clearly in His last use of that formula, Matthew 5:43-48. The words “Love your neighbor, but hate your enemy” do not appear anywhere in the Law of Moses. They derive from the oral interpretations of the Pharisees, which Jesus has criticizing here, as in the previous verses.

    So, no, Jesus didn’t “change the Old Testament” with the words “You have heard it said….But I say unto you….

  • Notice how the photos highlight the pro-LGBT delegates.

    Weren’t there any people there from the anti-LGBT side? There must have been, since the Traditional plan passed.

    But RNS prefers that they be invisible.

  • No, just you. Spineless bigots pretend their personal prejudice is God’s will so they can avoid responsibility for having hateful views.

    Christians don’t follow Leviticus. They use it against others. God’s will to you us whatever you can throw out there to avoid the Biblical command to love thy neighbor.

    Your cowardice is duly noted.

  • Conservative Christians have no problem condoning perversion if it suits their needs. They love rallying around pedophiles, thieves, liars, adulterers and bigots if they can get something out of it.

  • Funny how it is always only one sin and always those of others. Never any hint of applying such rules to oneself.

    Nope. It’s just an excuse to act like a raging bigot in public without having to face the personal responsibility for doing so.

  • The “progressives” will probably do what they always do.They will dig in their heels and stay, continually trying to subvert the denomination. The majority of the UMC bishops, the seminaries, and a very large percentage of the clergy support them. They’re probably not going anywhere. They will stay and be a vocal thorn-in-the-side of the traditionalists, do all they can to prevent any real implementation of the conservatives’ ideals, and work towards a reversal of the recent decision sometime in the future. Then they will declare the issue “solved”, and shut down any further discussion.

  • Christians like you only treat morals as something for other people to follow. Always giving excuses not to follow it yourself.

  • Meaning people who do not immorally add personal conditions, carve outs and excuses to “love thy neighbor”.

    Not people you would associate with.

  • You know full well that Christians follow the moral law of God, rejecting sexual immorality (which includes homosexuality) as they were taught by the Apostles in Acts 15. Don’t pretend you don’t know that. You’ve been schooled on that issue countless times.

    Your endless promoting of the same disproven LGBT propaganda is duly noted

  • Funny how your personal prejudice and the “word of god” seem to coincide. You bigots are such a spineless lot.

  • Churches are at their best when they act on theological matters, through theological processes. I must say I chuckle a bit at the whole “voting” thing (complete with filibusters trumped by monster truck events) as a process (particularly given its history in this particular case), but in any event, once they do so act, through a voting process, the losers are certainly free to disagree and start their own denomination based on whatever theological principles and processes they want to employ.

  • Then churches should stop trying to wield political power. They should refrain from direct participation in politics. But they won’t and you would oppose such action.

    Really the entire vote had to do with the ability of conservative political forces to use the church for their campaign efforts. Bigotry is a major rallying cry for economic conservative efforts.

  • NO, God did not approve of Onan’s refusal to raise up offspring for his dead brother. If you had not been such a lazy azz and gone on to read verse 10, you would have seen that. Onan died for his sin.

  • A church cannot be elected to office, so a church cannot “wield political power”.

    The Democrats have been using the black churches for decades for their campaign efforts. Did you object?

    Since churches can’t wield political power, your position is against churches teaching things with which you disagree, in other words if they don’t agree with you, they’re bigots.

    That, of course, is bigotry.

  • Jesus said that if you loved God, you would follow his commandments.

    You’re saying if you follow his commandments, you’re a bigot.

    That sounds like you’re not someone I would associate with.

  • This conversation is about “United Methodists pass Traditional Plan, keep ban on LGBTQ clergy, same-sex marriage”.

    If a conversation on – say – stealing, murder, or burning down houses comes up, those sins can also be discussed.

    That makes it clear your comment is designed to allow you to act like a raging bigot in public while pretending to be opposed to bigotry.

  • Standard Christian doctrine, the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. There’s a reason why when Jesus said “before Abraham was born, I am” those he was speaking to tried to stone him for blasphemy.

  • “People are not yet talking about leaving, though we feel as though the church is attempting to leave us.”

    No, Lightsey, your Church’s refusal to adopt the new secular understanding of sexual morality as you have does NOT mean your Church is leaving you, it means you are leaving your Church.

  • Parson Johnathan Fisher preached this day in history 200 years ago. A true prophet that is still active through his written words, testifying to the Power and the Life that is the written Word. Fisher is not that Power, nor is he that written Word, he only testifies.

    “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110

  • My school does indeed teach that. It also teaches context, process theology, and explores what the Word of God has meant to various people of different cultures for the last ~3500 years (to include the Hebrew Scriptures). There’s a lot there, and it’s not as straightforwards as many hope or prefer it to be.

  • Except for marriage. It is very clear on that.

    Jesus addresses and defines marriage in Matthew 19:4–6 and Mark 10:6–9 using both Genesis 1:26–27 and Genesis 2:24 to parse it out. Here Jesus defines and affirms marriage as between a man and a woman, a reflection of the fact that God made us male and female to care for creation together. With this definition, same-sex marriage is excluded. Had Jesus wished to extend the right of marriage beyond this definition, here was his opportunity. But he didn’t take it.

    Jesus never discussed same-sex marriage because the way he defined marriage already excluded it. He was not as silent on the topic as some claim.

  • Do we have independent, third party confirmation of their integrity? Do we have independent, third party confirmation that they actually wrote the works attributed to them?

  • You’re a Methodist pastor who is going to keep this all reconciled with your local congregation, right?

  • Stealing, arson and murder would be overlooked or excused by your crowd if there is something to be gained for them. They have done so constantly.

    This is not about dealing with sin, this is about excuses to act obnoxiously and maliciously to others.

    There is no bigotry on my part. I am not looking for excuses to treat people as less than human. I am calling out bad behavior and dishonest excuses for them. If you feel offended by such frank descriptions if your scripted position, so he it.

  • I know you by your position. You make it clear in your writing here what morals really mean to you.

    It doesn’t take a mind reader to see that.

  • Funny how “love thy neighbor” didn’t come with any stipulations, conditions, carve outs or exceptions.

    You choose to create them for yourself because you find such a simple command too inconvenient.

    You are a bigot who feels the need to add to the Bible and pretend what is Gods will out of a spineless inability to own up to your own malice.

  • You are lying. Churches throw their resources and support for politicians and political positions. They act like PACs.

    Your second paragraph contradicts your assertion in order to engage in whataboutism.

    Churches and politics are intertwined. It is the home they dug for themselves.

  • Claiming your personal prejudice is the word of god, as you do, is the epitome of spinelessness.

    Someone looking for excuses to act obnoxiously and maliciously to others but too scared of the consequences of doing so.

    Whatever I say. It is correct here.

  • Not refuted in any way. As stated elsewhere, the appeal of Fundamentalism is how it emboldens and excuses acting obnoxiously and maliciously to others without any thought to consequences.

    They make it clear “morals and values are for thee, never for me”

  • Not even close. The context is people that do believe the Bible is the Word of God. That’s what they base their beliefs on. You, obviously, do not. So whatever you say is incorrect.

  • Yet, they were considered more righteous than all of the homosexuals in S&G. Homosexuality must be awful in His eyes.

  • I know full well Christians like yourself are full of crap when it comes to issues of morality and values. They are for other people.

    That they look for excuses to avoid the moral law of God concerning how we deal with each other. Always looking for phony exceptions and carve outs from the responsibility to love thy neighbor.

    They always look to excuse their own immoral conduct while condemning others.

    A spineless bunch who just want to act maliciously without consequence.

  • No, just your self serving take in it. You are too spineless to own up to your own malice. Nobody compels you to act badly to others. You choose to do so. You choose to pretend it is religious belief because you are afraid of the consequences otherwise.

  • And the culture of Israel, when these things were taught has held to the immorality of homosexuality since

  • We are living in the Last Days and this is what Jesus was saying when he said it would be like the days of Noah and Lot. 47 2/3 voted against God how sad

  • Still looking for the sentences after the phrase “love thy neighbor” which state none of it has to be followed if you can cough up an excuse. The phrase remains without conditions or exclusions.

    Please stop being so spineless.

    Nobody, not even God, compels you to act obnoxiously and maliciously to others, as you do. You chose to do so and proof text the Bible to avoid personal responsibility.

  • They do know a way to help these people leave their sin- turning to Christ, renouncing their sin, and following Christ.
    That is the best way to get cleansed of sin

  • Bill, if you want another example of the dems using churches, check out “Reclaiming Jesus” and take a look at that farce

  • Unless you can get something of value from me. Your behavior is immoral, dishonest and feckless.

    God may excuse it (according to you). But nobody else has to. 😀

  • I studied a little about that process theology thing, and a few of its promoters.

    Can’t lie, folks. Even if there were zero issues about the gay stuff, the process theology stuff ALONE, would still constitute slo-motion cyanide within the Christian seminary. And cyanide tends to be effective.

  • Nope. Religious bigots are being mocked for claiming that God told them to be hateful bigots. Mentioning Jesus in a slam on your bigotry is no disrespect to him, just you. Thanks for playing into it so very well.

  • Again, one just has to read the posts and see the actions of the people I am referring to.

    “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person.”
    John 12:47

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
    John 13:34

    https://i.pinimg.com/474x/74/0d/6d/740d6da5152f96cd37ba739d7cfb7166–jesus-teachings-jesus-loves-me.jpg

  • The Christians who actually accept Christ also accept the modern understanding of sexual orientation. Fake Christians selectively use “gotcha” passages from the Old Testament to persecute others while ignoring the ones that might limit their own choices and actions.

  • I have nothing to repent. I am not the one who is being dishonest and hateful here. I seek for all people to be treated as human beings. Apparently something which is a great imposition on you.

    To put it in the terms you bandy about freely, I am merely pointing out your sins and how they are not acceptable.

  • The African delegates argued that it would change how they were viewed in their countries, much to their detriment. I don’t know if they were right or wrong, though I suspect they were right as they would be in a better position to know, but my point is they should have a vote if it is one church and they are part of it (one man, one vote) and especially if they believe they would be negatively impacted by the One Church Plan. The name One Church says a lot. It is either a worldwide unsegregated church or it is not.

  • The Christians who actually accept Christ are not fooled by modern LGBT propaganda about sexual orientation. They rely on the entire Bible, as well as the unanimous 2000 year old teaching of the Church to speak the truth in love to the LGBT community.

    The Christians who accept the modern LGBT propaganda about sexual orientation are apostates who reject both Christ and His Word. They are fake Christians who ignore passages of the Bible they don’t like which might limit their own sinful choices and actions.

  • Better get off the devil internet and go totally Amish. Cherry picking modern science when it suits your otherwise medieval values is the heart of hypocrisy.

  • You ain’t kidding. Go find a Midrash Rabbah Genesis and find out what the rabbis taught was going on immediately before Noah’s flood. It gives a whole new perspective on Jesus’ strange words about the “marrying and giving in marriage” that would be going on on the eve of judgment day.

  • My values are far older than “medieval”. They go back to the will of the God who crated time itself.

    That in no way precludes me from using the internet, silly.

  • It’s just more shouting through the keyhole of the church door. Nothing that needs to be taken seriously.

    “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” I Cor.2:14-15

  • Yatah, Yatah. That’s your unfounded, unhistorical claim. That does not give you a right to abridge the civil rights of other people. But feel free to play Neanderthals for Jesus in your own church.

  • We left the local UMC that we had attended for 20 plus years, 6 years ago. When they decided which scriptures were negotiable, and the Book of Discipline was unnecessary, we found a new church home. It was a painful departure. By the time we left, we realized how many friends were already gone.

  • Jesus said Moses wrote the Torah. And all of the early church fathers attribute Paul’s epistles to him, such that even the most secular of experts do not challenge their authenticity (with the possible exception of the pastorals).

    That’s plenty.

  • The very fact that they are having a vote of any sort about what is the clear word o’ god should be enough to tell anyone with half a brain that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the clear word o’ god.

    This is what I wrote a few years ago to a FEMALE Methodist minister. FEMALE ministers are verboten, according to the dlearcword o’ god, as expressed clearly by out resident god twin and confidant, sandimonious.

    First, Rev. Vicki, thanks for understand, evolving, and repenting. Here’s some advice from an atheist.

    What your beloved methodist church needs is a good old fashioned schism. What is holding you back are the african and other backwards, third world churches. They will continue to hold back progress inYOUR church as long as they can, as they have in the episcopal church. And all over a few verses that they were taught by their colonial masters to mean one thing they clearly don’t mean.

    The united Methodist church became united post slavery, if I recall. They weren’t so united before, when the argument was over slavery and the inherent worth of black people as human beings. That’s what makes the African contingent so mind numbingly obtuse in their opposition. You’re not going to change them, not in this lifetime.

    By avoiding the schism, you are bowing to the spirit of racism that informed your last schism, except that this time, it’s homobigotry, not racial bigotry. By avoiding this schism, all you are saying is what the Catholics say about defending child predators– avoiding a scandal in the church is much more important than doing what you know to be morally correct.

    So just do it. Have a goods schism, cry a little bit, and then get on with the job of opposing yet one more human prejudice that has been given some sort of sanctity as god’s word, or sincere religious belief, or whatever it is they are saying now…

    …as if that were any sort of an excuse.

  • Or they voted for god and against bigotry. But if it’s the last days, you should be cheering them on, unless you don’t actually believe Jesus is coming again, or that you are not one of the elect.

  • Find a better class of church to belong to, and a better class of Christian to hang out with. You deserve better.

  • I disagree. My classmates, the staff, and faculty have been some of the most welcoming, grace-filled, authentic people I’ve ever met. I wouldn’t trade them for the world, hence my empathy towards those of them in the UMC church who are in pain as a result of this past weekend’s debacle.

  • You need to realize you are talking to someone who has never opened a bible in her life. She can not possibly make heads or tails out of this intra-church issue by means of Wesley’s Quadrilateral so all she can do project her own motivations onto others. A sad case.

  • Nah. RNS is simply bigoted against them and would prefer they were invisible and silent.

    They are much like you in that respect.

  • Sorry, but being truthful about sin does not in any way “abridge the civil rights of other people”.

    Try again.

  • I see. It is my fault that there is no independent, third party confirmation. Thank you for the clarification. Or is it God’s fault, since it was He who hardened my heart?

  • Your “truth” is not any sort of absolute truth. It’s just bigotry fancy wrapped as religion. We have freedom from “religion” as well as freedom of religion.

  • Amazing!!! Do you truely believe that YOU are not the one being dishonest and hateful? If you wish to be honest then read your own posts. I suppose you don’t judge either? “To put it in the terms you bandy about freely, I am merely pointing out your sins and how they are not acceptable.” Who are YOU to judge another as having sins you (oh so holy, “I have nothing to repent”) feel you need to point out? Again, read your own posts. The words “bigot,” and phrases such as, “I know full well Christians like yourself are full of crap,..””Your behavior is immoral, dishonest and feckless” flow from your mouth in endless profusion. If you really understood honesty you would check this out and you will find you are the most hateful one posting. One can not accept homosexuality and yet love the homosexual in the same manner that I detest alcoholism but still love and serve alcoholics. “There is none perfect, no not one.” By your way of thinking if you do not particularly like someone’s foibles it is obvious that you hate them as a person. Think about it.

  • Of course, but our commission was to make disciples of all nations with the gospel and teach them to observe everything He taught us.

  • Its no more “secular” than the allowance for divorce, military service, and polygamy that has already been made. But lets go after 2% of the population, since they can’t put up as much of a fight.

  • The Old Testament refers to Solomon as the “wisest” man. Hmmm…. He had multiple Wives and Concubines! Maybe John Smith was right. LOL

  • Funny how God-haters all want to weigh in on a totally intra-church issue.

    “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Ps.2:1

  • I am not the one being hateful and dishonest here.

    I left that to the people who are trying to pretend their personal prejudice is “God’s Will” as a way to duck the responsibilities and consequences their views bring.

    I am not the one who pretends “love thy neighbor” came with a host of carve-outs and exceptions which render it meaningless as a direct commandment from Jesus himself.

    I am not the one who pretends they are merely “calling out sins” of people as an excuse to act obnoxiously and maliciously.

    I can’t help it if you are not used to someone calling out the wildly canned dishonest excuses self-righteous hypocrites make when trying to act badly to others.

    But as I said before nobody is compelling you to treat others with such hostility and malice. You chose to do so and looked specifically for ways to rationalize it as to not face the consequences.

    You look for excuses to treat others as less than human. People such as yourself do not look at sin except as a pretext to attack others. Sin only matters for thee, never for me.

    Calling it God’s word only makes it a more spineless effort on your part.

  • 2 thirds of the US membership and at least a tenth of membership in the rest of the world is “elitists”?

  • I don’t doubt what your saying. But your own church is telling you they don’t want you, and that if they have their way, you will not be ordained.

    Believe me, I’m on your side, even though I am an atheist. You can try again in another four years, or you can do what Jesus commanded, and shake the dust of your feet.

  • Colossians 2:8English Standard Version (ESV)

    8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

  • Sin is not a part of my theology. I have no frame of reference in that context. But, I do agree that pain can be valuable in that it can lead to learning. I prefer learning opportunities to be less uncomfortable though!! 🤣🤣

  • Obviously not as much as polygamists and divorcees. Someone opened an amendment to outlaw those things as well, and it got shot down by something like an 80% vote. Not the 10% that the Traditional plan won by.

  • I’m not Methodist, heck, I’m not even Christian. My faith is affirming of the divinity of all humans in their plural diversities. My school does the same even if the church body to which it is linked does not at this time.

  • Sin is not meeting the mark that Christ set. If you do not believe in sin, why do you think Jesus came here in the flesh?

  • And this post in your mind is loving. There is nothing honest about how you and others like you rationalize your practice of spewing forth hate and malice, as you most certainly are, and then and then have the gall to declare,”
    I am not the one who pretends they are merely “calling out sins” of people as an excuse to act obnoxiously and maliciously.” Reread you post above. That is the very thing you did and are doing. Along with that you must be a prophet to know what I rationalize, that I treat others as less than human, etc. Frankly I only wrote because I was amazed at the blind hypocrisy of someone “who has nothing to repent” judging everybody else, casting aspersions and epithets as though they feel they are the only righteous person in all of creation. It’s pretty compelling.

  • He’s already said he isn’t Christian. Beats me why non-believers want to hang out in churches, in seminaries, on discussion boards about church doctrine and policy, and so on.

  • “They have done so constantly.”

    Citation needed that “stealing, arson and murder” have been “constantly overlooked or excused” for the sake of “something to be gained for them.” Something other than your own anti–Christian bigotry, please.

  • Jesus Christ says, “I come not to unite, but to divide.” Do you know that? Do you believe it?
    Jesus Christ says, “What fellowship does light have with daekness.”
    All scripture is from Jesus Christ. This means, Jesus Christ says homosexuality is sin.
    The word “holy” means to separate the things of sin from the things if God Those that promote sin are not part of us. They need and deserve The Gospel, but when they reject it, we are to walk away from them. Jesus Christ says, “Wipe their dust from out feet.” There is a good reason to compare ashes and dust to the things of this world that are aliens from Jesus Christ. You knew all this, didn’t you?

  • Oh look, Bob Arnzen / Mark Connelly has once again shed his snakeskin and become “Bill Paca” this time.

    Hi, Bob.

  • “Refuted?” How does one “refute” wild fantasies of corrupt intent dredged up from your own dark heart of bigotry?

  • Are you denying homosexuality is a sin? Are you attempting to persuade that homosexuity ifs good? If so, Jesus Christ says you are hating Jesus Christ and serving Satan if you are doing these things; moreover, Jesus says, if you hate Him, you must hate us. If you hate Jesus Christ and us, it stands to reason you want to attack righteousness as well as sexually corrupt our kids.
    It’s natural we prefer Jesus Christ over the enemies of Christ who are lovers of selves whose wake is filled with death and destruction.
    Simply the pro gay are at war against Christ and us.

  • Your post is a 100% lie clearly showing clearly that you are not part of us; moreover, you do not know anything about us.

  • For me, it is enough to say you are a 100% devilish liar and dismiss you. You do not want truth; in fact, you hate truth. There is no reason to interact with you as if you can respond to truth while you are in your present condition.

  • and four years from now they’ll vote to get rid of female ministers. or maybe they’ll reinstate miscegenation as a sin. it’s a brave new world out there, who knows how far we can regress

  • Evangelical support of Donald Trump already tells me that sins are something they care little for if the sinner is useful to them. They even make that exact claim when called out for their fecklessness here.

  • Personally, Trump is a 100% failure because he does not do his spiritual duty and his political duty to lead us into a civil war to abolish abortion, LGBT promotion and all forms of perversity and pornography in the nation; as well as, he fails in his duty to make civil war to re-establish security, justice, and true liberty in our nation.
    Since you do not like us, it’s obvious you and your allies should not be among us.

  • Depends on the church asking. You denying bigotry and malice is a sin. You deny bearing false witness and reviling people is a sin. But they are.

    You are claiming homosexuality has absolved you of Jesus’s direct command to love thy neighbor. Given you an excuse to treat people as less than human.

    You are spineless in your petty bigotry. Seeking to claim it is God’s will, as to avoid the consequences of hateful attitudes and actions.

    There is no hatefulness in being honest about an issue. Calling out your position for what it is.You are far from honest. You are far from acting in a moral fashion. There is no righteousness in your actions. There is nothing moral about looking for reasons to hate and treat others badly.

    You define your Christian belief by whom you hate. That cheapens the faith. Cheapens the words of Jesus. Cheapens God’s Word to nothing more than excuses to act badly to others and proof texting. There is nothing of value in your version of Christianity. Just self-serving hypocrisy.

    “as sexually corrupt our kids.”

    Funny how allegedly moral people such as yourself have to resort to reviling and slander to support yourself. Evidently bearing false witness is not a sin if you are claiming you are doing God’s will. 🙂

  • You could try to demonstrate you are not just making excuses to act obnoxiously. But that apparently is the appeal of fundamentalism.

  • “I have nothing to repent.”

    If you’re not a sinner, you have no need of a savior.

    Good luck with that one when you meet God.

    “The arrogance is strong with this one.”

  • Evangelical support of a serial liar, bigot, adulterer and swindler as the nation’s leader and the excuses given for their approval of such immoral conduct, shows how empty Evangelical “values” really are. He is not the only one awash with immoral conduct who they throw their support for. He won’t be the last either.

    I only see them talking about the sins of others and trying to blame people. But honest talk of sin starts with self reflection. That never comes up in the discussion. It was never meant to. Sin is for other people.

  • You and I have nothing in common other than geography. We do not even speak the same language for the same words have opposite meanings to us.
    There is no reason to talk with you as if you are anything but what you are. This principle applies to your devilish allies proving your kind are not just aliens to us, but it also proves you are enemies. I won’t be replying further to you. I’ve given you all you deserve.
    In closing, I also wrote these posts to you for others to read.

  • Let’s start with these deplorable “snakes, graves, unclean, frauds”. Who were they then, and who are they now, and who are you & yours in comparison? Why did Jesus call them “snakes, graves, unclean, frauds”, and why is He calling whoever they are now “snakes, graves, unclean, frauds”, and why is He not calling you & yours “snakes, graves, unclean, frauds”?

  • You make excuses for your own personal cowardice here. You want to be able to hate others and treat them like crap but you don’t want to face consequences of your actions. So you look to religion to absolve you of responsibility. There is nothing moral about that. It is not an expression of values. It is simply rationalized obnoxiousness. A way to enable acting badly for its own sake.

    You clearly do not like people giving you responses outside of an echo chamber of scripted positions and expected answers. You want to pretend that your petty hate and fecklessness defines religious belief. But frankly that only cheapens and demeans faith in general.

    Hypocrisy is allegedly following a religious leader who commanded his followers to “Love thy Neighbor” but finds excuses, carve outs and exceptions to avoid even giving lip service to such things. It is the nature of your professed belief.

    “You will know them by their deeds” By the deeds of Christians such as yourself, I justify my position here.

  • They are enemies of Christ. They are wolves in sheeps’ clothing. They hate Christ and serve Satan. They may not know it, but they come to steal, kill, and destroy.

  • I am trying to honestly portray behavior and attitudes and you avoid it by making excuses with religion. You are expecting your views to be respected and beyond criticism. Tough luck. It is merely spinelessness on your part there. A desire to avoid the consequences of acting badly to others. There is no morality in your moralizing.

  • No matter what the court says, we are beholden to Jesus Christ. It is clear the court is an enemy of our Lord

  • I spoke the truth about people who do not. That is nothing worthy of repent.

    For Christian Fundamentalists sins are only for other people, never themselves.

  • I am not the one pretending God hates the same people I do. That is all you. Hate and destruction is all your thing. I am not the one looking for excuses to treat others as less than human. You already admitted that was your position.

  • Your hatred and lack of respect for the lives of others is duly noted. Your desire to attack a free society is also duly noted.

    One has to like others to expect to be liked in return. You clearly have nothing but hostility to the rest of the world.

  • I am not the one who has been seeking excuses to treat others as less than human. That has been your position and you rely on religion to do it.

    Nothing I have said has been an incorrect assessment of you or your views. They aren’t pleasant, but then again, rationalizing hate as you do isn’t meant to be pleasant.

  • God says you are beguiled by Satan. God says that you say that truth is lie and you say lies are truth. God also says that you say what is good is bad, and you say bad things are good.
    I say, you are confused by Satan. He lied to you, now you lie to yourself; and in turn, you have no choice but to lie to others because you have rejected Truth and embraced a lie.
    This is why discussions with you regarding your philosphies are 100% futile. Simply, you must lie, and you are 100% lying when you claim you are trying to get to the truth, proving again you have no part with us; moreover, you are 100% toxic pollution

  • Jesus told us to judge rightly, which also means we are to discriminate rightly between truth and lies, as well as rightly discriminate between good and evil. If the court does not agree with Jesus, the court is wrong. We are beholden to Christ even when the court is antiChrist.

  • L’me see out of boredom with the English language … Yawn, here you go. Oxford Universities Dictionary says, “Elitist [means] a person who believes that a society or system should be led by … a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.”

    BINGO I mean DITTO, what Oxford said.

  • Am I talking to God now?
    Is there anyone else in your head at the moment?
    How long have you been off your meds?

  • Oh & uh what Jerry P. Kulah said. (Cf. “African United Methodists Won’t Trade Bible for Dollars”, Juicy Ecumenism: The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s Blog, February 23, 2019.)

    “We Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to ‘grow up.’ … We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church ELITE, in the U.S. We stand with our Filipino friends … our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia … our allies in America … [our] Sunday School teachers in Nigeria, biblical scholars in Liberia, pastors in the Congo, United Methodist Women in Cote d’Ivoire, and thousands of other United Methodists all across Africa who have heard no compelling reasons for changing our sexual ethics, our teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards! We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world!”

  • Why waste a good disagreement when you can weigh in and kick some “christers” and “religionists”?

  • “Who knows how far we can regress”?! But to you “[pro]gress” in Christianity is “regress[ive]”, too! WATCH THIS:

    “tyler … 4 months ago … 10 months ago … a year ago … there’s a certain strain of progressive christianity that is more than happy to throw minorities under the bus if it makes them look ‘fair.’ and then they get all indignant when those minorities recognize them and call them out for the awful fake-allies that they are … progressive Christians can’t be trusted … all those ‘progressive christians’ are doing jack squat about anything–worse than that, in fact, because instead of listening to anyone they jump onto little disqus threads where people are complaining about all of that stuff and they go ‘oh but i am against all of that bad stuff too, i am your ally! clearly that means none of your complaints are legitimate and everything you have to say is overdramatic make-believe 🙂 who have you been talking to?’ yeah that’s some real great basic human decency right there. … it really steams my carrots the way progressives call out conservatives for attacking same sex marriage, then turn around and try to ban heterosexual relationships … i think it’s terrible that progressives will condemn conservatives for disowning their children for being gay, but then will abandon their own kids simply because they grew up to be heterosexual. … i think it’s a travesty the way progressives will do anything to ban heterosexual marriage, up to and including defying court orders and gumming up bureaucracy at the individual level.”

  • I suppose.

    I can’t imagine anything more boring than hanging out on an atheist board all day. That they don’t feel the same about us is kind of baffling.

  • Yet those same African churches are fine with changing the sexual ethics of the church in regards to polygamy…

    Hypocrisy knows no cultural bounds.

  • How is holding a vote elitist? How is asking that the majority within a region have a say in their own matters elitist?

    There is nothing elitist in what progressives and centrists wanted.

  • I can’t read it. It’s “invisible”, like you & I are. Oh but wait. “No one has seen God [either] at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 1:18). “Blessed [therefore] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

    Hear that? Blessed are the invisibles, for they shall see The Holy Invisible!

  • Let’s see … you, patrick, and Ben in Oakland share a shower, right?

    Flagged –

    Targeted harassment — posted or encouraged others to post harassing comments or hate speech targeting me, other individuals, or groups

  • They apparently tire of saying “no” to each other.

    God?

    No.

    Hope?

    No.

    Morality?

    No.

    Maybe it’s a preview of hell.

  • Or tells anyone with half a brain that if you decide to overthrow 3,000 years of constant teaching through two covenants, you better be able to support your arguments with something quite a bit more substantial than muttering “love” loudly.

    The fact that opponents of 3,000 years of constant teaching were given a hearing and the chance to make their case explains what love really means.

  • In the Anglican Communion the African churches have begun to send missionaries to the remaining faithful Anglican Christians in the West.

  • I’ve always kind of believed that what makes hell what it is is the constant and inescapable company of the other prisoners — all of them trying to be god and no one to break it up.

  • Flagged for pointing out that you’ve shed your snakeskin and donned a new identity yet again? Oooo – I’m shaking in my boots.

  • Keep your pronouns to yourself. Don’t expect us to buy that nonsense.

    If you’re a man, you’re he/him.

    Welcome to the real world, Mr. Kees.

  • Except he only asked for wisdom in governing his people. Everywhere in the OT where it deviates from one man/one woman marriage it’s a disaster. Man destroying God’s model and paying the price.

  • I don’t care, one way or the other. I’m a vegetarian.

    But of course, it isn’t about women ministers anymore than it is about alleged word of god, you can’t say— well, YOU can, Mark— that it’s all about the clear word o’ god when the clear word o’ god, not old testament dietary restrictions but NEW TESTAMENT declarations, says no women ministers.

    Unless, of course, you are, dear Boy, willing to admit to outright hypocrisy.

  • If the lessons of the Southern Baptist purge of liberals some 30 years ago apply here, you might not have a choice.

    I applaud your good spirit and pan-religious attitude, absolutely. And maybe your school can maintain itself.

  • In the real world you are either a man or a woman. So which are you?

    What you are in your imagination is of no interest to the rest of us.

  • LGTBQ’s are “worthy of death.” Romans 1:32 and “it is an abomination.” Lev. 18:22 etc. But there is good news; to the adultress HE said
    “go thy way and sin no more…” SHALOM

  • Your being brain washed by silly modern fads will not convince people with any common sense to call you they/them instead of he/him.

    And you did not answer my question. So what gender do you imagine yourself to be? Or did they not come up with a word for it yet?

    Bonne nuit!

  • You have no idea of what your saying but if you think you and the rest of the perverts out there can bully us into excepting your lie it’s not working. Jesus still loves and died for you,repent and ask him to heal you from this abomination

  • The book of Jude clears this up; They are the ungodly people that hide claiming to have a form of godliness but are just trying to justify their sin by trying to steal the kingdom of God

  • Your perverted version of Christiandom is the real sin to be repented of. Save yourself and forget trying to falsely judge others.

  • You know nothing of His dying for our sin should we turn to Him, renounce our sin, and follow His Lordship?

  • Loving and being loved is not a sin in my Bible.

    Not to mention that when I was young, “conservatives” were all similarly ranting about another of their made up sins, “the unnatural sin of miscegenation.”

  • Why do “conservatives,” past and present, just love to smugly and self righteously disparage minority relationships like you did?

  • too sad there Rick. This culture will have these kids believing they are nothing more than a group of cells that can be vanquished at the slightest whim. This kid doesn’t even know that Christ will protect Him, as he runs along with the culture that will bring him to perdition. He thinks he is so smart, when he is just beginning to learn…….sad

  • Religion News Service is Progressive Christian, and by what you wrote from 4 months to a year ago, you have thrown them under the bus. Can “a spambot” do that, exposing you like that?

  • TRUTH BE TOLD: It’s krazypantz’ idea of church that stinks – not Jerry P. Kulah’s. Because, according to krazypantz (9 days ago … 12 days ago … 4 months ago … 8 months ago … 9 months ago): “It is better to think of the Church as a franchise … [with] no dogma … [so as to] perform same-sex marriages … I personally support those changes”.

  • Right as far as you go, but one of the problems with the One Church Plan is that if the church explicitly states it has no fixed position on homosexuality then nobody’s religious convictions can be violated by forcing the church to follow civil law. If it has no expressed position forbidding homosexuality then the state should not be enjoined from forcing the church to employ gay clergy and perform gay marriages. The traditionalists would be on very shaky ground in court if they refused to hire gay clergy or perform gay marriage or rent the church or church hall out for the same.

  • I know if I was running a broke and declining denomination I’d want to be stuck with potentially thousands of tiny empty mostly rural church buildings that needed maintenance and insuring and heating. The fact that the traditionalists were the only ones offering a graceful exit tells me that the “liberals” are stupid and vindictive.

  • your formatting is borderline unreadable but you’re… mad that i criticized certain progressive christians… for their tendency to try to appease the people that would do harm to minorities… and their prioritizing empty promises of future reform over direct, immediate action… in a thread where we’re discussing how that very approach has inevitably led to lgbt people getting thrown under the bus?

    i still don’t get the problem here. are you just upset that my assessment was correct or what

  • The reason we have all of these covenants is that God keeps screwing them up — and always has to do another…Covenants with Abraham, Noah, Moses; then the New Covenant from god-boy Jesus and sidekick Holy Spirit. Then more covenants…Mohammad, Joseph Smith, others…

    Its almost like flawed people keep inventing these “covenants” as times change…No that couldn’t be true now — Could it ??

  • He died for that…just proves the point about Gods’ condoning perversion. So lets be fair and eaae up on the Gays !!

  • Sin is in the eye of the beholder…there are Christian denominations and other religions that have no problems with LGBT sex.

    I sinned by eating meat on Friday during Lent…Who is to say which is worse, LGBT sex or a burger on Friday in early April? It’s all arbitrary.

  • Besides the point…the OT is a horror show. And the NT with Christian eternal damnation…is even worse.

  • “…what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord…” (Genesis 38:10a) DISPROVES your allegation that God “condones perversion”.

    “…and He slew him…” (Genesis 38:10b) shows that God took it seriously when Onan abused and humiliated his brother’s wife by refusing to provide her with a child – who could keep their family line alive and potentially support her in her old age -. as he was legally required to do.

    So I guess you are a-ok with humiliating and abusing women, and leaving them destitute. You sound like one really nice guy, Mr. Priestly. (Snark)

  • Two covenants is hardly “all of these covenants”.

    Jesus gave a nice pithy explanation of why there were two covenants:

    Matthew 19: 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.”

    So, a good part of the answer is that men exhibit hardness of heart.

    And the rest of the reason you’re illustrating.

  • It would appear the plan was to do what was done in the Episcopal Church – grab the reins of power and drive traditionalists out.

  • For what it’s worth, I’m 40, so “kid” is probably not the best way to describe me though I do appreciate it! My gender is non-binary, or enby for short. I spent some number of years using a more particular term, demimale, but decided that it didn’t feel right deciding to go with the more general, and also more confusing, enby.

    As for thinking I’m smart, I’ve accomplished much, and I think I’ve a fairly advanced knowledge in certain topics, but clearly we’re all working to better ourselves and work towards our own highest good. Anyone who isn’t learning is probably dead 😉

  • I have never heard of the condemnation of “the unnatural sin of miscegenation” being taught by any conservative, traditionalist Christian Church for the past 2000 years. Please reference the Ecumenical Councils, Canons, and Church Fathers which did so.

  • You’re being ingeniousness here. I’m not talking about those churches, I’m talking about among the “conservative” white American laity, who, even if they didn’t phrase it exactly like that, apparently generally believed that interracial relationships were unnatural and therefore, must be against God’s designs for mankind.

    Since the term “miscegenation” was only invented in the 1860’s, if memory of long ago research serves, of course it couldn’t have been taught before then.

    Not to mention that the much abused Modern Era concept of “race” also couldn’t have been taught before the Modern Era.

  • still a kid to me David
    The topics you have displayed a knowledge of here, won’t help you to keep a job

  • I agree 100%. Churches should have no political power whatsoever, and it’s a darn shame so many of them are obsessed with acquiring it.

  • As I said, self righteously disparaging minority relationships as just being about sinful acts and lusts has been done before in America. Dehumanizing minorities as being incapable of ‘real’ love has been done before in America.

    Not to mention that goes along with ‘conservatives’ tawdry fantasizes about minority sexual relations.

  • Unless a church can get elected to public office, you’re talking through your hat, or antlers.

    Of course they are entitled (First Amendment) to run their churches, and teach their religions, and the people that adhere to those religions may vote, and you may not like that.

    Tough (also First Amendment).

  • No.

    Because — ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins…….1 Peter 4:8

  • I would say that local UMC left you long before you made the break official. I’m sure that was heartbreaking, even if it was no longer the church you had originally joined.

  • Exactly! This was a church that my husband and I were married in. We baptized our children there and they went through confirmation there. This was not an easy decision. It was very heartbreaking, but the writing was on the wall.

  • For those of us within the church who think all are equal in the eyes of God, the United Church of Christ has stretched a hand out in love. Read their open letter.

  • The One Church Plan would have opened traditional churches and clergy up to civil litigation. Once one man one woman marriage ceases to be a religious dogma of the church it becomes subject to civil law. Would the global church be willing to defend in court a traditionalist minister or church for refusing to marry a gay couple? And on what religious grounds. I think we are all sophisticated enough to know that the answer would be yeah we are one church but you are on your own sucker. Tell it to the judge one man one woman is NOT Methodist doctrine. We no longer have doctrine on that in the new one church.

    The one church plan would have forced hundreds of congregations to leave and forfeit their property. The sponsors knew that which tells you everything you need to know about the love in their hearts. The traditionalists are the only ones who offered anyone a graceful exit.

  • It is the object of the love that matters. Not all love is good. Love of self is the pride that goes before the fall. Love of money can lead to avarice. Love of food to gluttony. When you substitute the wrong object love stops being a good thing and becomes an evil thing. If you truly love God you will follow his commandments, all of them and not just the ones you are comfortable with. God is under no obligation to justify Himself.

  • “Definitely” – yes! For instance:

    Mark 6:11
    Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.

    Luke 9:5
    And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.

    Luke 10:11
    Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.

    Luke 11:51
    yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.

  • It is blasphemy to say God ordains the unrepentant practice of sodomy in both marriage and ministry.

  • Your “truth” is based on 6 verses that all are either based in Mosaic Law, undue focus on the homosexual nature of a larger sin, or mistranslations. That “truth in love” you speak of DOES NOT come off as love. It cannot, and it never will. Do you have any idea how that phrase comes off to an LGBTQIA+ individual who is exploring Jesus?

  • I rely on the original Greek and Hebrew texts, which are quite clear in their condemnations of homosexual relations. Your claim of “mistranslations” is fallacious.

    At the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) the Apostles indicated what parts of the Mosaic Law were still applicable to Gentile Christians. Sexual immorality is still forbidden.

    It is common that those addicted to a particular sin resent being warned that their sin can hinder the process of their salvation.

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