The Wesleyan Covenant Association is Lying ...

And many in the United Methodist Church are complicit.

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I think you are misinterpreting several things..

The WCA's terms are technically correct. They and the Church are open to LGBTQ people. They are open to all people. They are not open or welcoming of sin. They will condone all sin and not celebrate it. Since the LGBTQ act is sinful, the sinner is welcome to attend but "go and sin no more". Same would go to liars, murderers, adulterers etc. Yes there is a case to say that the practices of LGBTQ are in contradiction to our natural state. God made you a man or a woman, you are to be that in your life, not decide later you didn't like that state. He stitched you together with parts to reproduce, not for abuse and recreation. Again the LGBTQ nature does not comply with that. The bible is very clear about all these terms and expecations of God so making what you "feel" superior to the written word and tradition is a forgone issue. We must submit to God's word, not stand and shake our fist at him.

Brian 2 days ago

Why do you believe the WCA is lying

When the truth is all they are doing is operating from a completely different perspective than the one you have:

"The orthodox believe it's possible to follow transcendent, revealed truths. Progressives disagree and put their trust in personal experience, even if that requires them to "resymbolize historic faiths according to the prevailing assumptions of contemporary life." https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2019/4/12/remember-james-davison-hunter-and-culture-wars-pete-buttigieg-fits-right-into-that-picture

betsy 2 days ago

I find this to be an honest critique of my positions.

While I support his legal right to get married and acknowledge his position that he is better off from having been in a married gay relationship versus a non-married gay relationship, I still struggle to get comfortable with a blanket affirmative endorsement.

In my thinking on this subject, the issue really turns on whether you believe it to be a choice or if LGBT individuals are "born that way". If being gay is the same in every way as being black, then this would be an easy discussion and Robert would be correct.

Notice that Robert's argument related to extending our statement regarding “incompatible” to mean that he is “incompatible” turns on this. As he didn’t have a choice, then our statement does imply that he is incompatible. But if he had a choice, then it doesn’t. Boyer’s argument is that he did have a choice. And hence, the source of this conflict. Our assumptions are different.

If its not a choice, then allowing the marriages in the church or having a gay preacher doesn’t have any effects outside of being a plus for the LGBT members and preachers. If it is a choice, then the math changes. The interests of others become involved because then we are endorsing a behavior that young people can choose. When my son comes home from his school and says, “Can a boy marry a boy?” the answer from me isn’t “Of course”. It’s a much more reluctant “yes”. Robert wants me to go to church and declare to my son an affirmative yes, and that’s not where I’m at.

With civil rights, my parents and grandparents were very liberal. They never doubted that everyone would move to their position eventually. I don’t think they and myself are as convinced that we will convince everyone to the same extent on this issue. The reason being is that the science says that there may be predisposition to being gay, but the genetics aren’t determinative. But it’s also not necessarily completely a choice. Boys with brothers are more likely to be gay. No one choose whether they had a brother. And hence, we are in this murky area that’s not easily resolved by debate.

I think we should be as welcoming, open, accepting and affirming as we are capable of being. I think we can have a lot of variation in practice within our different church communities. But I struggle to see how we can run an itinerant system with openly gay preachers and go to market as one church if allow gay marriages to be conducted in some of our churches. We have the most liberal position possible while maintaining unity. I think we should stay together as much as possible

My goal, however, is to put my personal feelings outlined above to the side, and to trust in god and my fellow Methodists within our annual conference to choose the best course of action.

Anonymous 9 days ago

Some thoughts

“Can a boy marry a boy?” Yes, though a literal reading of the Bible would forbid it.
“Can a boy marry a girl?” Certainly.
“Can a boy marry more than one girl?” No, though a literal reading of the Bible would permit it.

I don't think the Bible should be read literally, though. There's a lot of context to consider, as well as translational considerations.

JR 9 days ago

Literal reading

Not sure what your point is--we shouldn't read the Bible in the same way that fundamentalists do, perhaps? No Wesleyan reads the totality of scripture literally; i.e., without regard to context or the tenor of the entire canon. Literary forms dictate different interpretive forms.

John 8 days ago

Literal reading, response

Hi John,

I can say "I love you". There's what, about 5 or 6 very different interpretations there that could be the intended point, right? Part of that is the limits of the English language (e.g. Greek has 3 or 4 words that all translate to "love", all with specific differences). So if we just try to go with a 'plain reading' view, we are limited by the translation, by the applicable sociological factors (slavery being an easy one to point out), etc etc.

Wesley wasn't a fan of plain reading, from what I've read on/from him. There's an awful lot of 'we need to dig deep' in his point of view.

So while maybe we all should be reading the Bible the same way, we don't - not even close. And when a Traditionalist points to Leviticus and brings up 'abomination!' on this topic [disclaimer: no one has in this discussion, I'm using it as an example] as the end all be all, well that just proves that they are just going with a plain reading that supports their personal bias and isn't even interested in a discussion.

Biblical scholars have and do argue these points, better than I can.

But my (long winded) point is that perhaps we need to look in ourselves for bias on these topics that doesn't actually come from Biblical authority. We're all creatures of the society we grew up in, and have certain biases that come with the territory. If we can introspectively note and account for those, we can be better followers of Jesus, instead of using the Bible to defend our personal views.

JR 8 days ago

I'm inclined to not endorse same-sex relationships.

When I logically think about the relationships, I don't think they would be as satisfying and rewarding to be in. In that regard, I come to the same conclusion as the writers in the Bible. That's not an interpretation of the Bible, that's me walking through the logic and coming to the same conclusion.

However, I don't feel that the threat posed by same sex relationships justifies me needing to impose my views on their lives. As a parent, all things being equal I'd like to have grandkids one day. Ultimately, that's not my choice to make, it's my kids choice. But I definitely don't want others trying to endorse same sex relationships to my child. It's his choice. My preacher being an openly gay man would be a bridge too far. Methodists force you to take the preacher the bishop assigns.

So, I get to this position that we should be as welcoming as we can be without endorsing. And that's exactly where we are. And again, the choice question plays big into this analysis as if my child can't choose to be gay then my concerns don't matter. But I think the science says that genetics aren't completely determinative.

I can't think of a position where we have rejected the Biblical authors view of sin. We say you can't eat meat, but we aren't saying that meat is better than vegatables. Paul just said it wasn't important enough to be a wall to getting others to join. We say that marriage should be for life, we have just changed our interpretation of penalties and social stigma to attach to it when it doesn't work out.

When you see people pulling down rainbow flags, it's clear that others in society (esp. Catholics and Baptists) aren't nearly as generous as I am. I think my position is much more logical to those to the right of me and I think there is an argument that can be sold to our conservative church communities. My position allows me the opportunity to also watch those relationships and decide if I should change my opinion regarding same sex relationships.

Anonymous 7 days ago

Not trying to pick a fight here...

"I'm inclined to not endorse same-sex relationships.

When I logically think about the relationships, I don't think they would be as satisfying and rewarding to be in."

Of course, that might be because you aren't interested in a same sex relationship. I can imagine that they are wholly fulfilling for those who ARE interested in them. It's not hard for me to imagine that, as I know some of them.

I'm going to intentionally skip a couple of points that would just be argumentative.

"I can't think of a position where we have rejected the Biblical authors view of sin."
Matthew 19:8-10. I don't even have to go Old Testament on that one.

JR 4 days ago

Thoughts

"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin." Romans 14:22-23
I think this is an interesting passage on the topic.

As for marriage, the BoD states "God’s plan is for lifelong, faithful marriage." Moses allows divorce. Jesus allows divorce. Paul allows divorce. I don't follow your thought that the Biblical authors didn't think divorce was wrong. The Catholics and Baptists certainly added some social stigma and condemnation. A lot of Methodists don't find talking about "sin" as being very helpful.

“Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery...The one who can accept this should accept it." Matthew 19

"Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches." 1 Corinthians 7:15-17

An honest reading of the Bible's in totality supports the current Methodist position on divorce, IMO. We think you shouldn't do it, but we're very sensitive about how we say it. We appreciate that sometimes it doesn't work out, however. Again, consistent with Paul I believe.

Anonymous 3 days ago

why continue the abuse?

If the progressives continue on this path, all will suffer. Please we need to split and stop the madness of hurting each other. There will never be agreement and we must recognize this and end this painful time in the history of the methodist church. I don't care what we call each other independent methodist, first methodist, it really doesn't matter, we must split ibn order to have any kind of meaningful ministry. The hurtful thing that Africian delegates are having to endure are beyond anything Christians are to do. "We will not fund you or help you unless you vote and do as we say". That is beyond words for civilized people, much less those who are Christians. We have one chance to show the secular world how Christians handle a disagreement of views and so far we are not handling it well to show the nonbelievers we are any different from the world. We must end this now!

Tracy 10 days ago

Traditionalists See Writing on the Wall

The WCA and its supporters are facing disturbing facts. They know that in order to maintain the services, pensions, healthcare, and programs their member clergy have become used to they have to maintain large congregations. In the past this was simple. America has always been a land of secrets, closets, and closed doors with hushed voices. This culture of denial has for years allowed Traditionalists the cover to discriminate racially, sexually, and socially with confidence that the victims would be quiet or risk being outed and thrown out.
The attitudes have changed here in the US. The UMC should never have become a global Church. We did it out of good intentions and colonist inclinations to save the strangers over there. Wherever that was.
But the narratives have changed and the Traditionalists assumed that the continuation of the quiet closed door community would be protected with their colonies. Yes, globally in the GC they accomplished their goal but getting pew sitters especially people who are LGBTQ to continue to not only "know their place", but to continue to pay their tithes and go home was naive at best. People are staying home now, or simply leaving conservative communities and flocking to more liberal or moderate ones. These new homes are having those common divorce discussions in coffee shops and behind closed doors now and few care as much as the WCA about the infrastructure and money.
So what now? It is time to create a new thing. Leave the Traditionalist in their closets, and behind their closed doors and burst forth onto the mission field to exclaim and proclaim the Kingdom of God that is open to all. A community of the Beloved that is open to all in all ways. Long term We'll see who God blesses. Maybe both, maybe neither, maybe only one.

Eric 10 days ago

Odd twist to the Great Commandment

The church of Jesus Christ spans all generations and all cultures. It is folly to contain it to a single, modern nation-state. Did Jesus say, "Go and make disciples of only your own nation (ethnos), baptizing them..." Granted, the UMC is but a portion of the church universal, but why should it not represent as fully as it can the panoply of people groups throughout the world? Don't progressives want us to celebrate diversity? Or are we only to seek diversity when it fits another agenda?

John 9 days ago

Odd twist to a profoundly wrong title

Should be Great Commission, not Great Commandment

John 9 days ago

An interesting view

The right wing asserts mainline churches are losing members because we're too liberal. All they ever have for this as evidence is entirely anecdotal and there's hardly any of it at all. I suspect most of them know it's nonsense, but all of right-wing ideology requires a suspension of beliefs in facts.

George Nixon Shuler 6 days ago

Of course, of course

You don't honestly believe the ELCA, PC(USA), TEC, and UCC all have some other excuse for their membership freefall following their hard tack to embrace a radically progressive anthropology, do you? Or is it a highly coincidental correlation without causation?

John 5 days ago

Early church practice

Much of the current debate of marriage could be avoid if the UMC simply decided to follow the tradition of the early church during its first 1,000 years. That is, not involving itself with marriage. This link gives an excellent short account of this:

https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/a-short-history-of-christian-marriage/

David 10 days ago

What you cite is not history

BS that the church did not consider marriage to between 1 man and 1 women and also consider it a sacrament earlier than the middle ages. What you sight is not a history. see: "And these are the nuptials of the Lord, so that like that great Sacrament they might become two in one flesh, Christ and the Church. From these nuptials a Christian people is born, when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon that people." Pacian, Sermon on Baptism,6(ante A.D. 392),in JUR,II:144 and "It is certainly not fecundity only, the fruit of which consists of offspring, nor chastity only, whose bond is fidelity, but also a certain sacramental bond in marriage which is recommended to believers in wedlock. Accordingly it is enjoined by the apostle: 'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church.' Of this bond the substance undoubtedly is this, that the man and the woman who are joined together in matrimony should remain inseparable as long as they live..." Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence,1,10[11](A.D. 420),in NPNF1,V:268

Ronald D. Doub 9 days ago

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