An African American Clergyman Critiques Asbury President's Letter

by

by

Comments (9)

Comment Feed

I can't help but wonder

Where all we differ in our understanding of God and us that you come nowhere close to understanding the perspective Dr. Tennent comes from. It starts with that, for traditionalists, slavery and sexuality are two completely different subjects. Slavery--especially the type of enslavement forced on Africans--is absolutely against God's will for how he wants us to treat each other. However, the sexuality question deals with God's very act of creation and how and why God created us male and female. Another issue fueling the divide is how we view humanity: Is humanity naturally good and evolving in their understandings of God or is humanity naturally fallen and our natural tendency is to want to go our own way and not live out God's intent (Original Sin). Which leads us to who Jesus is--our divine savior or an example of how we are to live. And when it comes to the historical Christian understanding of sexuality, there has been no compelling evidence presented to warrant a change. Furthermore, the Bible does not endorse slavery just because it references the reality of some people living at that time. However, there is always a great concern over sexual morality; the New Testament is consistent in its understanding that same gender relationships do not fall within the Christian understanding. In short, just because some Christians got it wrong about slavery does not mean that the historic understanding of sexuality is also wrong. Lastly, it is not for me to judge or cast stones--literally or figuratively--because Jesus has already suffered the death penalty for our sinfulness in this life; as a result the judgment of all people is left for the second coming of Christ. Which means, I am not judging you when I say that I disagree with you--I am simply saying I disagree with you and are as passionate about my beliefs as you are about yours. If we are angry and frustrated with each other it is because we are people of conflicting and contradictory beliefs trying to occupy the same church--something that is not doable because from what I have read, we do not agree on what the church is and how it relates to and interact with society at large.

betsy 12 days ago

Response

"Slavery--especially the type of enslavement forced on Africans--is absolutely against God's will for how he wants us to treat each other."

I'd be interested in the Biblical references you used to come to this conclusion. I don't see it, at all. There are numerous references to things such as selling your own daughter into slavery, etc.

"Furthermore, the Bible does not endorse slavery just because it references the reality of some people living at that time."

endorse slavery, change that to condemn homosexuality. QED.

"In short, just because some Christians got it wrong about slavery does not mean that the historic understanding of sexuality is also wrong."

It also doesn't mean they got it right.

Re: judging - totally agreed. We should be able to disagree and discuss - that doesn't mean we need to be in the same denomination, but we should be able to respect each other, love each other, and discuss the issues.

JR 10 days ago

Disagree

With all due respect, I see a substantial difference in meaning and effect between having a Baptist, who happens to be Black, as chaplain of a Christian church-supported university and having a Unitarian as chaplain of Methodist founded university which among its schools s a Methodist approved seminary. Baptist’s may practice Christianity a bit differently but still worship the Triune God of orthodox Christianity. Can you say that about an Unitarian?

John 12 days ago

Progressives don’t get it

There is absolutely no similarity between accepting blacks into the denomination or into the clergy; accepting woman as clergy vs accepting LGBT as clergy or recognition of same sex marriage. As a strong conservative/ Traditionalist, I can accept the “evolution” of historical precedent for blacks and women as their circumstances are factored on race and gender. LGBT sin and consciously do not follow God’s Word because they CHOOSE to engage in unacceptable behavior. Thus, the situations are nothing alike. Sin is sin and our church leaders should set an example of living a Christian lifestyle. Consciously sinning or condoning a sinful relationship as a holy Union, blessed by God is not the example our churc leaders should be setting.

As for Emory appointing a Unitarian as their chaplain, Emory should be ashamed of themselves. Such action only further strengthens the argument for acknowledging the denomination needs to split. Unitarians are on the fringe of Christianity and are more reasonably considered as humanists.

As for Dr. Tennent, I hope and pray he continues to lead Asbury on a God/Bible based curriculum for.Christian leaders and is able to show the students who signed the petition, the error of their ways. I pray these students can understand that the LGBT position they support is not Christian as it is based on Man’s values and not God’s Word. Asbury has a great history and tradition of church leaders (unlike Emory’s Candler School of Theology). I have benefited from numerous sermons and lessons from Asbury alumni. I hope Dr. Tennent is able to effectively confront and stop the secularism that has gained a toehold within Asbury so that their great tradition/reputation can continue unabated.

Steve 12 days ago

You crossed the lanes

"There is absolutely no similarity between accepting blacks into the denomination or into the clergy; "
I agree on the fact that accepting them as fellow Christians and as clergy has no relevant Biblical issue. That was a cultural one.

"...accepting woman as clergy vs accepting LGBT as clergy or recognition of same sex marriage."
There are Biblical references that block women from being clergy.

There are Biblical references that block divorce, and certainly remarriage. Does your "strong conservative/ Traditionalist" view adhere to those principles as strongly as you call out against LGBT inclusion? Because the divorced/remarried "sin and consciously do not follow God’s Word because they CHOOSE to engage in unacceptable behavior." Yet I'm sure there are several members of your congregation, and certainly folks you know and like AS CHRISTIANS who are in that situation.

Because you state that "Sin is sin and our church leaders should set an example of living a Christian lifestyle. Consciously sinning or condoning a sinful relationship as a holy Union, blessed by God is not the example our churc leaders should be setting." Know any divorced clergy? Maybe you ought to be calling them and telling them how you feel.

We're in a societal shift period. The question isn't whether the church will shift in accordance, but how long - and how much damage is going to occur in the process.

JR 10 days ago

Asbury Seminary

JR, thanks for your comments, as I find them supportive of what I wrote. And thanks to the comments of those who disagreed with me. My testimony: My affirmation and acceptance of the “Jesus (of) The Disinherited” as articulated by E. Stanley Jones, Howard Thurman, John Wesley, Bishop James Thomas, Bishop James Mathews, Bishop Leontine Kelly,
Bishop C. Dale White, Rev. G. Haven Caldwell And other clergy and lay people, is my guide. I have at times placed on the pulpit, “Let them see Jesus”. The Jesus Of The Traditional Plan, is difficult for many of us to see. That is why I value prayerful conversation.

Gil Caldwell 10 days ago

Jesus of the Disinherited

We are all sinners, reverend, in need of the saving redemptive love of Jesus Christ. But that does not mean that we are to continue in our sin. John 8, Jesus confronts adulterous womans' accusers and ask those without sin to cast the first stone. Then he instructs the woman at the well to go and sin no more. We should, in love, call our brothers and sisters struggling with homosexuality and any other sin to "go and sin no more." as Jesus did the woman at the well. The beauty of church fellowship is that we have each other in the body of Christ to love, walk with and lift each other up in our individual struggles with sin. Yes, reverend, Jesus resides in the Traditional Plan..

Teresa Dawson 10 days ago

I agree somewhat

I agree that divorced individuals should not be church leaders. Neither shouldi individuals who are known to have affairs outside marriage or individuals who have lived together before marriage.

I don’t agree with your opinion Re “societal shift”. We are expecting amoral decay from the rejection of Biblical values. Thus, making it even more important for the Church to uphold those values and lead by example.

Steve 10 days ago

Basic Societal Disagreement?

JR, correct me if I am misunderstanding what you are saying,but it seems as if you are saying that society will universally accept LGBT behavior and same sex marriage as mainstream. The church should therefore do as well, and it is just a matter of time before they do.

If that is what you’re saying, I disagree, The Church, and it’s leaders must lead a revival of teaching and following God’s Word as provided in the. Bible ( a Evangelical and historical interpretation, not some liberal secular interpretation). As part of following The Great Commission, the Church should be leading society, and not vice versa.

Steve 10 days ago

     DONATE TO OUR MISSION

If you value receiving United Methodist Insight, please contribute to our financial support. Make checks payable to our sponsoring congregation, St. Stephen UMC, and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150.

Thank you!


Get United Methodist Insight Weekly!

* indicates required