A Way Out of Insanity?

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Restoring the Church

The Book of Discipline has changed many times since it was first printed. The unscholarly statements about sexual orientation were added in the '70s and expanded on in the un-Christlike manner ever since. Daily I thank God that I grew up in the years before this condemnation of who God made me.
And, PLEASE, stop using the words "gay, lesbian, homosexual, sin, and alcoholism" in the same sentences !!!!!!!! I know that some doctors say that some people inherit a tendency to addiction for alcohol and other drugs. But you must be aware that both medical doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists have denounced the "treatment" of Homosexuals. And by tests and autopsies have found genes and parts of the brain that are specific to gay men and lesbians. Those of us who are gay or lesbian are who we are because of our Creator. Don't deny us close, loving relationships with the person who loves us and whom we love, don't deny us the celebration and blessing of that relationship in our houses of worship, by the pastors who baptized us and taught us. Being willing to
"sit beside us" and to accept our tithes is not the Christ-like love we learned about in Sunday School, Youth Groups, sermons and camps.
We have learned that Scripture does not really support slavery or denying the vote or ordination to women. I hope you all agree that women are not "property" to be bought or sold.....or to be silent. I hope you agree that women and men should be equal partners in marriage.
Heterosexuals might learn something about that sort of equality by
observing gay couples and lesbian couples. Share child care, share
housework and yard work. Actually, I've noticed that younger heterosex-
ual couple are doing well with sharing those responsibilities.
Read a few old, old copies of The Book of Discipline and you will see that it has been changed many times. God bless us all.
Remember, OPEN must be a verb before it can be an adjective.
God is still speaking......are we listening ??????? Are we OPEN to the information Holy Spirit is telling us? While walking on Earth, Jesus never condemned same-gender orientation or relationships. As I read Scripture,
the issue is faithfulness.

Elsie Gauley Vega more than 4 years ago

overcoming division

At one time we did not include African Americans, so the separate African American Methodist Episcopal Church was formed....and eventually Blacks were included in the UMC. At one time we did not allow women to be ordained, at least not many of them. And now women are even Bishops!!!!!! The denomination has made many changes......and can restore herself to the fully inclusive Church she was before the cruel rules added in the '70s. Jesus condemned many things.....
but never mentioned any comment against those of us who are LGBT.
If we read our scriptures carefully and with OPEN HEARTS, OPEN MINDS, OPEN EYES we will acknowledge that King David and Jonathan were gay in orientation. Jesus's great-great-great grandmother Ruth, the woman from Moab, who sworn her undying love to Naomi, was in a lesbian relationship with Naomi. They raised the son she bore together. Nowhere in scripture says that Ruth and Boaz went off to his home and had ten more kids and lived happily forever after.
According to the Jewish custom of ensuring that each family have an heir, Boaz was a sperm-donor doing his duty by his kinswoman. Please, don't be shocked.
Yes, doing his duty to have an heir, David got married---several times, with several concubines on the side. But that does not negate his original and basic orientation. Stop being shocked. Gay men and lesbians have been with us in every generation, every tribe and nation. We are your sisters and brothers, your sons and daughters, and, yes, many times, your mothers and fathers. God made us who we are. Our only 'choice' is to be who we are or to pretend to be heterosexual.....which leaves both the self and the other unhappy. By the way, when did you 'choose' to be heterosexual!!!!!!!!!!??????????
Our church will be healthier, our society will be healthier, when we all accept the fact that God, our Creator, loves diversity and makes some of us different with different gifts. Some cultures have called us Two-Spirited and have raised us to be medicine men and women, priests and chiefs.
Churches have enjoyed the music we have written and composed, played and sung, the sermons we have given (before you found out we we lesbian or gay), and the art and classes and meals we have prepared. And, of course, the tithes we have given......always glad to accept our money.
I daily thank God that I grew up in the days before my whole self, my orientation, was named something unfit to open the 'good gift of sexuality' (as if, being a human being, I would not want love and intimate companionship--as if I would not want to love and be loved). I know many God-loving lesbians and gay men who have been called by God to ministry. The church has been the looser when she defrocked them!!!!!!!! and has lost a good thing when refusing to ordain them.
When did the people in Good News and the Confessing Movement decide to be heterosexual? When did they make that choice? Do they think ORIENTATION is a 'choice.'????????????

Elsie Gauley Vega more than 4 years ago

Incompatible?

Indeed, Jesus identified many things as incompatible with his teachings. Yet our Book of Discipline does not name any of them. The love of money, despising one's neighbor, refusing to forgive--all of these are incompatible. And all of them lurk in the hearts of all of us, pastors and fellow worshipers alike. It may be news to some, but pastors may be adulterers, alcoholics, or any other sin you can name, just as much as those sitting in pews. If you don't want to ordain anyone with the same sins and problems as other Christians, then you had better not ordain anybody. And I say this as someone who believes that pastoral ministry deserves the utmost seriousness of purpose, complete dedication to the ideals of the Christian life, and accountability to supervisors and fellow Christians. The sins of all of us, clergy and lay, require repentance and amendment of life.

I think it is more likely that the traditionalists will prevail, the Book of Discipline will remain unchanged, and if anyone ends up leaving, it will not be the traditionalists.

Jeanne Devine more than 4 years ago

topic

There are quite a few things that are "incompatible with Christian teaching." I'm not sure why this gets spelled out versus something else.

We've used such strong language about "the other side" that it's hard to have conversation. If you disagree with a side then you don't love them. That's not the case. There are a lot of people who are welcoming to strangers that are unlike themselves. The problem is not regarding welcoming though that's what people want to make it. The problem comes when you talk about ordination and marriage. If you believe homosexuality is wrong, you don't want a homosexual as your pastor just the same as not wanting an adulterer, alcoholic, etc. Do you mind if they (LGBTQ, alcholics, etc) sit beside you in church? No, because you sin yourself.

I don't want to split, but honestly, I'm tired of the fight. I'm tired of the hateful names people throw at each other.

H more than 4 years ago

no way out

I think the only solution will be separation. Traditionalists will not accept a denomination that permits openly gay pastors or same sex weddings. Liberals will never rest until the denomination accepts both. When the conservatives realize their rules aren't going to be enforced they will leave.

Jeff Conn more than 4 years ago

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