Hopeful Signs Emerge from Sexuality Panel

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My Reaction to the Webcast

While I found your post thoughtful, I must disagree with several points. In the webcast, there was no discussion. It was obvious the videos had been previously viewed by the participants (all straight), and they had prepared responses. This was a TV Show, not a discussion. Also, sitting locked in a room talking only to oneself is not dialogue, it's a monologue.

I also believe you are expecting leadership from our Episcopacy. I would not be as presumptuous. This is a group that only about six years ago got around to voting to condemn the Japanese use of "comfort women" during WWII. This is not a group that will be on the forefront of change within the UMC.

As a life-long Methodist, I wish this were not the case, but I am afraid it is.

I do, however, know of something that would help. At the next General Conference, we need to pass term limits for both Annual and General Conference delegates. There are a number of intractable anti-gay leaders in this church who have been delegates for years and years. At the 2012 GC here in Tampa, some lady (and I don't know her stance on inclusion) was honored for being a delegate at 10 GC's. While I certainly honor her service, think about this...that means that for 40 years, no one else has been able to speak for that Conference from that seat...40 years. This church will never be able to change so long as GC delegates are approaching today's issues with 40 year old perspectives.

John Masters more than 2 years ago

What has emerged for me....

in this debate is two questions.

1.Do we stand by the understanding that homosexual acts are a sin?

2. Has the church dealt with the LGBTQ community in a negative way?

My answer to the first is yes.

My answer to the second is also a yes but with the personal knowledge that the church is entirely capable of making anybody feel like a second class citizen; I have been on the receiving end and I am not gay. There are a myriad of ways a local church can go about disenfranchising their members and not even be aware they are doing it. As I just recently read--and it speaks to my experience--the visible body of Christ is extremely flawed and it should never be confused with the invisible body of Christ which is not. Participating in church will not necessarily lead to a connection with Christ. I had to leave the church to find that.

What I am aiming at is that the LGBTQ community does not have a monopoly on being hurt by the church. If the church is going to go down that road it better ask for stories from the denomination at large, not just the LGBTQ community; leadership might learn something.

We are a graceless denomination--and this argument proves it-- because currently the UMC marks success not by an individual's growth in the grace of God, but rather by the amount of money in the plate, people in the pews, and how actively people support the local church's ministry. It has most definitely become an institution more concerned with its own survival than with the welfare of any one person in the pew regardless of sexual orientation.

Based on my personal experience, all I have to say to the LGBTQ community is that I hope you have better luck than I have had. What you truly need is to learn about a triune of God of holy love who is most definitely way more verb than noun; an unfathomable God of mystery who is determined to love you more than you could ever think about loving yourself. Along the way you will come to realize that we as humans are a rebellious lot because we are incurable control freaks who think we know more about ourselves than the God who created us. Life gets better on the other side of receiving that understanding because you finally realize that there is most definitely a savior, and it is most definitely not you.

Orter T. more than 2 years ago


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