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United Methodist bishops want to let pastors, conferences decide on LGBT clergy

The Rev. Cynthia Meyer, a Kansas pastor who came out to her small congregation in January 2016, joins protesters outside of the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., on May 18, 2016. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

CHICAGO (RNS) — The bishops of the United Methodist Church have endorsed a plan  that would allow individual pastors and regional bodies to make their own decisions on whether to perform same-sex weddings and ordain LGBT people as clergy.

The Council of Bishops recommended the One Church Plan, on Friday (May 4), after nearly a week of meetings in Chicago, according to a council press release.

“The Council’s prayerful deliberation reflected the diversity of the global denomination on the matter of homosexuality and many other matters,” Bishop Ken Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, said in the release.

“The Council affirms the strength of this diversity and our commitment to maintain the unity of the church.”

Differing views on the inclusion of LGBT members have roiled the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, drawing to a stalemate at a contentious meeting of global delegates at the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Bishops there announced the creation of a 32-member commission that would make recommendations to settle questions of ordination and marriage at a special session of the General Conference to be in held in February in St. Louis.

Carter was one of the moderators of that commission.


RELATED: United Methodist conference seen as confusing even to God


The denomination’s rulebook, the Book of Discipline, states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained as ministers, appointed to serve or married in the church.

United Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto talks during a news conference after arguments before the church’s Judicial Council meeting on April 25, 2017, in Newark, N.J. Photo courtesy of UMNS/Mike DuBose

But since the 2016 meeting, many of its smaller U.S. jurisdictions and regional bodies, called annual conferences, have made their own decisions regarding LGBT clergy. Later that year, the Mountain Sky Conference elected Karen Oliveto, a married lesbian, as the denomination’s first openly LGBT bishop.

For more than 20 years, individual pastors have publicly or secretly celebrated same-sex unions, and more recently legal weddings. Several were tried in church courts and some stripped of their ordination credentials.

The One Church Plan is one of three proposed by the commission. Others include the Traditionalist Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan.

Bishops will submit a report to the special session including all three plans and  a narrative of the council’s discernment process regarding those plans. But they will recommend the One Church Plan.

In their release, bishops said each plan “held values that are important to the life and work of the church.”

The One Church Plan would remove the controversial language about human sexuality from the Book of Discipline, according to the council. It also would safeguard pastors and conferences unwilling to perform same-sex weddings or ordain LGBT people because of their theological convictions.

Few details about the plans will be available until July 8, by which date the full report for General Conference delegates is expected to be released, according to the council.

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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  • Homosexuality doesn’t belong in God’s church..sorry but God is quite clear. It is okay to be tempted and to struggle (as struggle is a sign of the flesh as opposed to God’s spirit) but to willingly and openly live and therefore promote this lifestyle (and therefore be a potential snare to others) belongs to the world, not God’s people.

  • God’s word is also clear about judging others.

    Hypocrite, much?

    If it belongs to the world, not god’s people, then why are you and your pestiferous ilk so intent on forcing the world into your vision of god?

    Hypocrite, much?

    A lot of Christian people, ministers, churches, and entire denominations disagree with you, not despite what their bibles say, but because of what their bibles say. Are you prepared to judge them also?

    Hypocrite much?

  • Assuming that a deity revealed its purpose and the rules to humanity, which is a foundational belief of Christianity, that this revelation concluded with the death of the last Apostle, also a foundational belief of Christianity, then whatever else the One Church Plan may be, it is not Christian.

  • I personally would refrain from Scriptural exegesis were I an atheist whose demonstrable grasp of both religion in general and Judeo-Christian scriptures in particular approximate nil.

    Assuming that your reference is to Matthew 7:1–2, which translates as “Do not judge, so that you will not be judged, since you will be judged in the same judgment that you make, and you will be measured by the same standard you apply.”

    The incorrect interpretation is something along these lines: “Yeah, he cheated on his wife, but who am I to judge? Hey, we’re all sinners, right? Like Jesus said, ‘Judge not, lest you be judged’”.

    This makes the verse a prohibition against declaring any specific action sinful or wrong, since doing so would mean “judging” someone.

    You in particular like to cite this verse (well, the sentiment since you don’t know where ti came from) when some church figure is found to be doing the very things he thundered against in the pulpit. “See, he shouldn’t have judged – he’s no better than anyone else.”

    That actually, and oddly, comes closer to the meaning of the passage which is not forbidding judgment but hypocrisy.

    Jesus follows up his warning against judgment with an explanation – we will all be judged by the same measure that we use. If we cannot hold to the standard we use, we have no business applying that standard to others. The response to the statement for a Christian is to amend our own behavior and live properly and help others to do the same.

    So the statement does NOT mean we should never make a judgment about right and wrong. It means we shouldn’t make a judgement hypocritically.

  • As in specks and beams? Of course.

    All of us may be sinners. Only hypocritical Christians like throwing stones.

  • Ah, yet another passage you can’t identify and don’t know the meaning of.

    Simply put, Christians are called upon to make judgments every single day and every single minute of their lives.

    As participants in society they are also called upon to do the same in their roles as citizens.

    Given the number of stones you throw at people and institutions you don’t like, you’re really not a position to make the argument you’re gearing up to make.

  • This is a good way to kill a church. Happens every time when the leadership accepts homosexuality.

  • Well, certainly a good way to diminish the membership and render it irrelevant, as the Episcopal Church in the USA and the United of Christ, also in the USA, have demonstrated.

  • “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”

    This phrase appears in the United Methodists’ Book of Discipline. What the One Church Plan does is declare that the fundamental nature and purpose of sex and marriage is a non-essential. How many of even its own boosters really believe that? When churches start espousing things they don’t really believe, they are in deep trouble.

  • If they stop referring to themselves as a Christian church, I have no problem with this. I don’t picket Westboro who pretend to identify with a Christian assembly.
    Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin and that sin leads people to Hell. So, on embracing this, they are actually working for satan, and not Christ, leading innocent children into behaviour that will place them in Hell and Hell is forever.
    So, take the cross off the buildings. Take the Bibles and hymnals out of the pews and quit pretending to worship Christ, and I have no problem. Knock yourselves out.
    ” 32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:32

  • It’s been clear for awhile that the Methodist Bishops dropped one of the 3 big plans to end the Great Methodist War.

    Which one got dropped? The Bible-based plan got dropped. They have ditched their own Bibles on this issue, and their own Book Of Discipline as well. (See link below for the standards that will get ditched.)

    Ain’t no joke; this is for real. In fact their Judicial Court essentially refuses to enforce the BOD standards even now.

    So the Great Methodist War is over. The Methodists lost.
    http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/homosexuality-full-book-of-discipline-statements

  • Because I am an atheist, dear ,and no more bound by god’s word than you appear to be,

  • The track record is that it leads to schism.

    The One Church Plan is political rather than religious, a sort of “can’t we all just get along?”

    The answer of course is “no”.

  • Here’s a top comment in a New York Times article about so-called gay “conversion therapy” that bears sharing here:

    “I am not a Christian. In fact, I am not a believer. But I studied the history of religious art and religious thought. The idea that the Creator of the infinite Universe cares for your sexual orientation is ludicrous beyond words. Look at the starry sky. Look at the magnificent paintings of El Greco and Da Vinci. Listen to Hendel’s [sic] “Messiah”. And then tell me that people who try to squeeze God into the narrow confines of their filthy minds are not guilty of blasphemy. Evangelicals who have reduced historical Christianity to preoccupation with sex and abortion have done more damage to religion than all the atheists who have ever lived.”

    Amen.

  • Demographics say otherwise. Those 18-30 overwelmingly support marriage equality by 87% to 13%. At some point they are the mass majority. They accept their family and friends and do not believe they should be cast out. Religion follows society….not the other way around. Churches have to pay the bill. That takes butts in the seats to donate and support it.

  • As an atheist you know its fine to judge. The problem you have is that there is objective criteria for you to judge something as being immoral. Anything goes for the atheist.

  • You never know.

    He may spring forth an entire moral system based on something.

    However, up to this point nada.

  • I doubt it would work, too — trying to keep the peace by declaring an issue to be non-essential isn’t likely to be taken seriously by those members that believe otherwise.

  • The One Church Plan is anything but. It guarantees the church will split, if it has not already. The Traditionalists, who take the Bible and its teachings seriously, will go in one direction. The Liberals, who take their cues from culture and the prevailing morality of the age, will go in an opposite direction. No different than the Presbyterian, Episcopalian or Lutheran. It is sad to see but the need to shape morality and the truth of God to fit one’s own preferences is more standard than exception in our age. As Romans says: “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Sad to see another denomination brought low. Our prayers should go out to all of them.

  • The Episcopal Church (USA) is the perfect example.

    First, a contingent or contingents exited on the ordination of women.

    Then there was a bit of a tussle as to how to accommodate those who did not agree with the ordination decision.

    Simultaneously the denomination decided to scrap the ban on LBGT practices, including marriage and ordinations, and consecrated an openly gay bishop.

    More folks left and the Anglican Communion censured the Episcopal Church.

    Next a female Presiding Bishop was elected whose scorched earth approach to those who refused to genuflect led to entire dioceses exiting and engaging in legal battles.

    At the moment the legal battles are winding down, the church’s headquarters in NYC are being considered for sale to pay off the debts incurred, and the church is about half the size it was before.

    Assuming that figuring out how to bring everyone together scored 100, and closing the doors and selling the building and contents was 0, I give this debacle a 30 at best.

  • The “moral system” of atheism is a fantasy. Any moral act could be justified by it including rape, murder and being anti lbgt.

  • > When churches start espousing things they don’t really believe, they are in deep trouble.

    Yet adopting something implies belief. It’s quite possible to argue from Scripture that homosexual practice is a conscience issue, for example. Perhaps those pursuing the One Church Plan believe that and are not lying about their beliefs as you assume here. By your logic, that would make them not “in deep trouble”.

    I’m therefore unsure of which part of the situation you believe warrants the “deep trouble”.

  • Well, one top comment deserves another. Here’s one from Luis Ruiz, via NBC News. He was injured but survived the 2016 Massacre at the gay Pulse nightclub:

    “I should have been number 50! Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse, I remember my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV.

    “My struggles were real! The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus. I’ve grown to know His love in a deeper level. 2 out of the 49 were my close friends and are no longer with us. They lost their life that night.

    “I should have been number 50 but now I have the chance to live in relationship and not religion – not just loving Christ but being in love with Christ and sharing His love. I know who I am and I am not defined with who the enemy says I use to be – but who Christ Jesus says I am. #FreedomMarch

    Luis used to be gay. But he met Jesus Christ, and now Luis ain’t gay no more. You’d think the Methodists would’ve gotten the hint by now.

  • Ben always says “all of us may be sinners”.

    Why? Because if Ben simply says as Roman 3:23 does, “All of us HAVE sinned”, then he can no longer get any free pass on his OWN sins while he’s busy tossing brickbats at “hypocritical Christians” for our assorted sins.

    (And don’t worry, I’ve already admitted out loud that I’m a sinner & I got issues & I need Jesus everyday. It’s Ben’s turn.)

  • There’s another really sad aspect of this tragedy. The Methodists have been successful in bringing many Africans to Christ and starting up churches and even a few schools to help train pastors.

    But the Africans are financially poor. NOT self-sustaining. And ALL the purse-strings are held by the American Methodists. The ones who are doing this radical change. The Africans were a major force in holding back the gay marriage / gay clergy tide in Methodism. Now they HAVE to surrender, and they have NO money to try to leave.

  • I did. In your article, Ruiz didn’t retract his own story of salvation and change, nor did he apologize for it at all, so gay activist Julie Rodgers can say whatever she wants. She ain’t Luis.

    There’s no reason to expect gay activists to EVER agree with Christian ex-gays. Their respective positions, (“Christ did it for me” “Christ didn’t do it for me”), are permanently at WAR with each other.

    But only one position can be true. 1 Cor.6:11 and 1 Cor. 10:13 make it clear that the Gay Activists are wrong about Christ. The Christian ex-gays, ain’t going away.

  • Religion absolutely should not follow society. I cannot speak for other religions, but Christianity follows the teachings of Christ. Those teachings are absolute and in no way, shape, or form should be changed according to the latest, self-serving, sinful ways of man.

  • Sadly, fundies got to Luis when he was most vulnerable. Badly injured in a hospital bed and psychologically in a place where he was easily swayed. Conversion is a private personal experience. But Luis is being used to advertise someone else’s agenda.

    It will be interesting in five, ten years to see where Luis finds himself when this phony conversion wears off. Very few Christian ex-gays last to the end. They eventually realize they’ve been duped and embrace their God-given sexuality.

  • that this revelation concluded with the death of the last Apostle, also a foundational belief of Christianity

    There are Christians who don’t believe that. There are hundreds of millions who believe that the Holy Spirt is still revealing God’s will through the successors of the Apostles, the bishops or their equivalents.

  • As a member of the Anglican Communion I find it sad that your thumbnail sketch of your belief of what happened is so far off base. Barely 1% of TEC’s membership left in schism.

    Like most other mainstream Christian denominations, TEC’s main source of dwindling membership is is that it has an aging membership that is dying off and not being replaced by new births. Which is a whole different kettle of fish that what you imply.

    The sale of TEC’s headquarters in NYC has been on the table for a few decades as the leadership determines how best to serve a membership with more devolved resources. There are US cities more central to the membership with lower costs of living, great transportation hubs, as well as meeting & conference facilities that may make better use of the church’s money.

  • I don’t believe in the concept of sin, at least, not a sin against a being I consider imaginary, based upon how I understand a book written by people 2000 to 3000 years ago, translated, edited, and redacted, who were a universe away from us in just about every way. That’s your mess.

    I don’t believe any of what you believe. My morals are quite consistent, quite well developed, and rely on simple precepts that require no translation, or interpretation: that I don’t harm other people, that I strive to be kind, that I live by my morals, that I keep my hands off other people’s stuff, that I don’t try to manage people’s lives for them, that I stay out of their business, that I tell the truth, and treat them as I would want them to treat me.

    That is what you and your ilk don’t understand (you), can’t understand (JP), prefer not to understand (Blob or Jose, whichever personality makes its appearance today), don’t give a small gd about sunderstanding (sandimonious)…

    Etc etc etc etc etc.

  • But the One Church Plan doesn’t make a statement of belief on the issue of homosexual practice, but rather tries to preserve unity by effectively ruling that the issue is “non-essential.” But that will only work if those that hold to traditional Christian teachings on sex and marriage agree. How do the supporters of the OCP intend to convince them of that? I seriously doubt that they can.

  • Yet another man who blames all of his bad choices on the gay community, rather than on himself, and then congratulates himself on finding Jesus.

    He’s not heterosexual. He never will be. He is simply not gay, at least in his own mind.

  • ” Words! Words! Words!

    I’m so sick of words!

    I get words all day through;

    First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do? ”
    L&L – My Fair Lady:

    Aren’t you all showing your base insecurity with your verbiage….
    Get simple :
    WWJD

  • Also, how sick to claim he didn’t die because his GOD had a PURPOSSSE for him … does that not mean the ones who died were useless? This is a very troubling story and he will be used by anti-gay forces until the day he dies.

    It also amazes me when an “ex gay man” blames his alleged perversion on his being gay, rather than on the fact that he is a pervert? Imagine if a heterosexual man tried this. Imagine if trump and his alleged adulteries and romps with porn stars tried to blame his behavior on his being heterosexual?

    a straight man who sleeps with massive numbers of women and has sex obsession, or who does all that with drug and alcohol abuse, is called anything from a “dog” to a “real man”, completely masking the “perversion” for straight men.

    Double standards. Without them, the heterosexual world would have no standards at all.

  • If you total the ECUSA membership just before it began ordaining women, and tabulate the membership of the Continuing Churches circa six or so years later, the percentage in the Continuing Churches exceeds 1% by some margin.

    No, the sale of the 815 Second Avenue, NYC, headquarters has not been on the table for decades.

    A taste of where things are can be gained reading:

    https://livingchurch.org/2017/08/28/protracted-diocesan-lawsuits/

    http://www.anglican.ink/article/diocese-and-episcopal-church-file-suit-peoria

    https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/article/new-legal-actions-promise-extend-south-carolina-property-litigation

    https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/article/san-joaquin-diocese-episcopal-church-file-suit-regain-property

    It is also worth noting that the Episcopal Church USA is in impaired communion with the Anglican Communion.

  • No, there are not “hundreds of millions who believe that the Holy Spirt is still revealing”.

    That is a minority opinion even in your Anglican Communion.

  • God is always good and His plan is always just. We may not understand what’s going on, but He does. I pray for these churches who are facing the crossroads: lose membership to the world’s view or lose the ability to operate in the world.

    Having a gay preacher in today’s society means there is an obvious void of leadership in the church. However, it is no different than having a thief or someone that is sexually promiscuous on the pulpit: all three need the prayers of the church for God to redeem them.

    When Jesus died on the cross, he was in the company of 2 thieves. One of them told Jesus to get himself down (he was of the world). But the other thief asked for forgiveness; this was the believer and this is what today’s churches should aspire to be. Not the easiest road, but the road to God.

  • WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

    This is what’s wrong with it: the “pastors … unwilling to perform same-sex weddings or ordain LGBT people because of their theological convictions” – whom “the One Church Plan … would safeguard”.

    They should’ve given up on their “United Methodist Church … the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States” – dusted off their feet, and forsaken it! I would.

    Why? Out of obedience to God & Jesus:

    According to The Apostolic Rule of Christian Conduct Outside the Church, it’s time for them to leave their congregations that (eventually) are LGBTQ-AFFIRMING, then find or start a new church that’s NON-AFFIRMING. Or stop going to church altogether. Why? Because they can no longer fulfill this calling peacefully where they are if they stay put, that’s in keeping with 1 Corinthians 5:12 – “Are you not to judge those who are within [krinete tous eso] the church?”

  • “God is always good and His plan is always just.”

    Not quite . . . God is [almost] always good [ghastly] and His plan is always just [a fantasy in people’s minds].

  • Obviously, your opinion is that a church should continue their cruel bigoted policies, not only because they are morally proper, but also in order to maintain their membership numbers, and thus their income.

    Overall, members of mainstream denominations are more open to rational thinking and ideas than rigid Christian zealots like you. And therefore I suspect they would lose many more members if they did not change their policies. And furthermore, I also suspect that many of them, by allowing rational thinking into their lives, are also moving closer to becoming nonbelievers.

  • “Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin.”

    That is a bald face lie! Jesus never uttered a single word about homosexuality in the recorded Gospels. He did have something to say about the sin of adultery, however, (Matthew 5:27-28, among others), a sin repeatedly committed by not-my-president whom you undoubtedly support.

  • A person can hold something as essential for themselves while allowing that others can reasonably disagree and God’s the one responsible for judging that. Romans 14:4?

    The One Church Plan is applying that consistently, where both pro– and anti– folks have to show the same respect for other Methodists’ beliefs, assuming that folks want to abide by “love your neighbor as yourself”, which—combined with the parable of the Good Samaritan defining “neighbor”—could be translated in modern parlance as “Show others the same respect that you do yourself, even if you think them heretics.”

    If someone can’t see how the plan is asking the selfsame concessions on both sides of the fence, they probably don’t want to be convinced, so why waste the time seeking to do so unless or until they show interest in conversation?

  • Obviously, your opinion is that a church should construct its policies by wetting its corporate finger and holding it up in the air to see which way the wind blows.

    I, on the other, tend to favor their making decisions that are morally proper, based on whatever foundational core beliefs the institution is founded on.

    Membership numbers, and thus their income, has a relationship to picking one or the other, but that would not play any role in my personal decision in choosing one.

    Apparently in your mind “mainstream denominations” are those that “are more open to rational thinking and ideas”, which appears to be synonymous with agreeing with you.

    The two largest Christian bodies in the USA, the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, disagree with you.

    That seems to indicate that – in your mind – they are not “mainstream”.

    Yes, it appears the folks who agree with you are on their way to becoming ex-Christians.

  • Churches that follow society are churches on the way to hell because that is where society is headed.

  • If only in the Garden it was truly Adam and Steve.
    Then we wouldn’t be arguing on this forum!

  • Hilarious, Bobosé the hypocrite claiming to be “morally proper”.

    Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA
    shill presenting himself frequently in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • There was no pristine garden for Adam and anybody. That’s all a story for children who aren’t very smart.

  • But your duplicitous posting fits in with common Christian vices perfectly, Bobosé.

    Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself frequently in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • Actually, the whole Christian thing is in decline and on its way out. Good riddance!

  • Actually, the Christian god of the bible is far nastier and less moral than even most of the worst humans.

  • Sandi Luckins, you are merely a deluded old windbag.

    Now go thank your lovely “god” for giving your dad cancer again…

  • Love to see all this Christian infighting.

    I hope the whole Christian apparatus collapses from within, but really Christianity just looks to be fading away. Good riddance to that horrid enterprise either way.

  • “Imagine if trump and his alleged adulteries and romps with porn stars tried to blame his behavior on his being heterosexual?”

    One supposes that is rather presumed.

    “Double standards. Without them, the heterosexual world would have no standards at all.”

    Of course, we wait in vain for a good description of your standards.

  • Of course you believe in the concept of sin.

    You define it as disagreeing with you and/or your agenda.

    “My morals are quite consistent, quite well developed, and rely on simple precepts that require no translation, or interpretation: that I don’t harm other people, that I strive to be kind, that I live by my morals, that I keep my hands off other people’s stuff, that I don’t try to manage people’s lives for them, that I stay out of their business, that I tell the truth, and treat them as I would want them to treat me.”

    So you say.

    Then you engage in ad hominems, deny majority rule, allege minority rights with no basis, tell “Christianists” what they should do or not do, and comment repeatedly on religions which appear to be none of your business.

    And right after alleging all that, you write “That is what you and your ilk don’t understand (you), can’t understand (JP), prefer not to understand (Blob or Jose, whichever personality makes its appearance today), don’t give a small gd about sunderstanding (sandimonious)…”.

    In other words, do what you say, not what you do.

  • When God punishes its because people have broke His law. Its His Law all human beings will be judged by and be condemned unless they repent and believe in Christ.

  • It already does follow society. The church only exist because of cash flow. That is why they eventually turn a blind eye to things like divorce. The divorce rate is 50%…..they would miss out on 50% of potential customers/donors. Gay marriage will follow this same path. If you eliminate all the sinners the church would be a very empty place. We ALL sin.

  • They’re fine, thank you. If you are supporting homosexuality though, perhaps you should apply that to yourself

  • Division has been a part of the Christian experience since Peter baptized a bunch of Gentiles who in response to his preaching manifested the presence of the Holy Spirit. (today’s Gospel from the Common Lectionary). It’s in Acts to make the case that you don’t have to become a Jew first, before becoming a Christian. That opinion was not widely accepted at the time. The first Council was called in part to settle that question. It didn’t really. Jesus prayed that “they all might be one”, but Christians being human divide as often as unite. Still Jesus’ prayer tells us where God’s will is in all this.
    The One Church Plan is a prayer that this time people of good will can find a way to work together despite their differences. I said, “people of good will”. I live in hope. We shall see. Nevertheless, God will have God’s way in the end.

  • Once again, you have dumped a pile of
    Sincerely Held Infallible Truth on us.

  • Jesus spoke of sexual immorality right alongside adultery as an action that makes us unclean (Matt.15:19). The various forms of sexual immorality are listed for you in Leviticus 20, You’re welcome.

  • Are you an Anglican/Episcopalian? I am and I am also a former editor of a number of years of the Episcopal Cafe. I have followed these issues from the inside and I am much more aware of them than someone on the outside. Or perhaps you’re a schismatic, one of 1%.

    BTW, TEC hasn’t been in impaired communion with the Anglican Communion. Certain conservative Anglican churches in the Global South have stated that they are in impaired communion with TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Scottish Episcopal Church because of their stance on LGBTQ Christians, ordination and same sex marriage.

  • David, I really don’t care if you’re a Venusian and used to run the Wall Street Journal.

    You have not presented ONE fact supported with ONE citation.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/january/episcopal-church-suspended-anglican-communion-gay-marriage.html

    I’ve been long enough to have been personally acquainted with the late Canon Albert Dubois of the Church Union, and I have seen this smoke blown by folks not much different than yourself like Erman “Louie” Crew, Jr.. In short, I am no dilettante.

    I have my facts in order.

  • Yes, I suppose a person can do that.

    However, a church which purports to teach probably does not have that option.

    It becomes, as the late Flip Wilson used to call it, “The Church of What’s Happening Now”.

  • Christ is the Word of God and He is God Elag. He taught from Genesis to the Book of revelation. He taught that homosexuality is a sin. He also taught that He will forgive and cleanse us of our sin should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him, but, if one’s sin is more important to you than Him, he has a result for that also.
    He loves you enough to assure that you know this Elag

  • You can argue almost anything from Scripture.

    A church, on the other hand, is supposed to represent some sort of belief.

    If it turns into a potluck and coffee and doughnuts, it should change itself to a restaurant.

  • He was crucified for his beliefs.

    I don’t see too many folks lining up for that.

  • On the other hand, there was not a body of Scriptures and Interpretations going back to the beginning of the Old Testament saying that baptizing those from the nations was an abomination and a capital offense.

    Peter was the recipient of a special charism (two Sundays hence) fulfilling Christ’s promise to send the Paraclete to guide him and the others.

    He had the new revelation and was in fact part of that revelation, which ended on the death of the last Apostle.

    God will have God’s way in the end, but there seems to be some indication that he expected us to actually pay some attention to the revelation rather than beating us about the head and face.

  • So now Romans 14:4 trumps Romans 1:26-27? Ain’t gonna work, honestly.

    But you’re right: God IS the one responsible for judging that.

    However, we church folks cannot afford to pretend, as the world routinely pretends, that God ain’t got the guts (or the holiness) to do exactly that.

    We church folks better THINK about what it means to experience the very judgment of God. There are spiritually dead, cold, frozen, lifeless churches out there right now. WE just don’t have wiggle room to spit in God’s face.

  • The importance of being an editor for a respected website that reports Anglican Communion news, is that I also attend many of the meetings in question and have firsthand experience with what occurred.

    Contrary to the article you link, the Primate of TEC has remained a fully active participant in the Primate’s Meeting of the AC.

    TEC’s representatives at the Anglican Consultative Council also fully participated with voice and vote at the ACC meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in April 2016. The Primate’s statement was read at the beginning of the ACC meeting, but was immediately ignored, as the primates have no authority over how the ACC runs itself. Their statements are advisory at best.

    The only aspect of the Primate’s statement that was given effect were a couple of AC commissions over which the AB of Canterbury makes appointment’s. He replaced TEC’s two reps on those committees.

  • I’m not sure If I have this exactly correct, but it’s pretty much to the same point – “Today’s morality consists of, “Is it consensual.” T4G

  • Let’s look at three of their many lies….

    Homosexuality is innate.

    Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    “Their women exchanged natural relations…..” “Men abandoned natural relations….”

    To do such, one needs to make a choice.

    They still make that choice today, until they are so bound up in the sin they no longer care.

    Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire

    Please not “gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion” – a choice

    Homosexuality is immutable.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Please note verse 11: “11 And such WERE some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” One gets right with Christ, Christ cleanses us of our sin.

    Homosexuality is natural.

    Back to Romans 1: “exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones”……. “men also abandoned natural relations with women” Guess it isn’t so “natural”.

    So, as children are being lied to from a platform that does not even have a honest base, how many more children are going to die because of the lie of homosexuality, when Christ gives hope and life eternal?

    Anyone seen the gay gene yet?

  • Yes, there will always be folks who disagree. I’m not searching for freedom. I have freedom through Jesus Christ my savior redeemer.

  • Not if you are rebelling against Him sexually. Sorry, you’re not. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, but that is contingent on wanting to follow Him – not wanting to go to Heaven.

  • I can provide a few dozen articles from that many sources reporting the impaired relationship between the Episcopal Church, USA, and the Anglican Communion.

    We can then get into its relationship with other churches in the Anglican Communion.

    I’ll provide references, you can provide unsupported denials and vague assurances.

    I am sure the Church Times in the UK is an acceptable media source.

    I appreciate the fact that at your website you fiddled while Rome burned and, like Louie Crew, was hardly a disinterested party. That actually makes you less credible and reliable rather than more of either.

  • There is no impairment in communion between TEC and the Anglican Communion. Period. Full stop. Many conservative Anglican provinces of the Global South have stated that they are in a state of impaired communion with TEC. There may be more provinces that assert that they are in a state of impaired communion with TEC than those that state they are in full communion with TEC, I haven’t bothered to stop and count them. There are also provinces that are fence riders, not wishing to impair relationships some of their individual dioceses may have with TEC dioceses. The entire Communion and individual provinces are two different things.

    As to offering up links to articles on the internet, You can find as many representing schismatic folks who will agree with your POV and I can find as many agreeing with mine. I don’t happen to feel obligated to waste my time trying to convince you who have never agreed with anything I have had to say. I have better and more enjoyable ways to spend my Sunday afternoon.

    Moving on.

  • There’s no “trumping” because those are two quite different things. Per Romans 14:4, what a person believes on Romans 1:26–27 is God’s place to judge—full stop. There’s more than one way to read that text, especially if you look at the Greek instead of the English.

    And then other texts, like I Corinthians 5:11, tell us to distance ourselves from folks who we believe are in egregious sin, not to browbeat them.

  • > A church, on the other hand, is supposed to represent some sort of belief.

    “This can be interpreted more than one way” is a belief, and Romans 14:5 even applies that to interpretations of the fourth commandment.

  • You may want to (re?)read Romans 14. It applies to both individuals and churches as a whole, and it gives multiple examples of folks having diverging views on things, even the Sabbath commandment (cf. v5), and calling that a good thing, not something that should cause contention.

    To that end, the One Church Plan is actually a compromise on all sides of the issue, for if they believe it’s a conscience issue as the plan suggests, they should then want the congregations to implement that, as well.

    Popular culture can be what it takes to kick a person into thinking through assumptions and testing them against their foundational beliefs, be that Scripture or something else. After all, it’s much easier to get sufficient discussion and data to have a well-articulated and properly supported position when something’s being popularly discussed.

    ETA: I doubt this will succeed in stopping the schism, since there are always folks who want echo chambers and insist they’re necessary, but at least they’re trying in a reasonable fashion.

  • Well, I see the usual “God Hates Fags!” people are here (sandi, floyd and shawnee). Those three never miss an opportunity to broadcast their undying hatred of gay people. People that are obsessed with hating other human beings have got mental problems.

  • Do the Methodists think The Bible is not true? Do Methodists think God is too incompetent to express Himself the way He wants to express Himself?? Do Methodists think God changes His mind because God learns new facts? Do Christians believe God is a liar?

  • Do you how many denominations no longer believe The Bible and which ones they are?

  • I think there are two kinds of churches. I think you were right to identify one kinds as “God’s churches.” I could call all the others either Satan’s churches or men’s churches. I think people have to choose. The “great falling away” is tragic.

  • By the way, the UMC’s motto is “Open hearts, open doors”. The hard-core fundamentalists want to add an asterisk (*) to the motto that says: (* Except Gays). They want gays declared as “persona non-grata” in UMC churches. They’re freaked out that they might have to set next to a gay person at church.

  • You can change it to any other denomination you wish, as you condemn each and every Christian that is not your sort of Christian for not being a True Christian (TM) like you.

  • If only more people were gay. And the heterosexual majority accepted them as fully equal.

    We wouldn’t be choking ourselves to death, and every child would be a wanted child.

  • God’s plan seem to be to tell you are dead wrong about gay people. You lose elections, you lose court decisions, majorities of people everywhere in the civilized world are rejecting the homophobia and bigotry would you consider just and loving. If there is a lid in church leadership, as you assert, maybe your god is doing his best to inform you that your leadership is as dead wrong as you are.

  • And Paul lays out how we are to handle those of our churches openly engaged in sexual immorality (and presumably other serious sins), in 1st Corinthians 5. Which would mean that anyone in the United Methodists still holding that same sex relations are sinful are REQUIRED to not associate with those members of their church openly involved in a same-sex relationship without repentance. The one Church Plan, by imposing the non-essential status of our understanding of sex and the marriage as the official doctrine of the United Methodists, means any member of that body that demonstrates their love for their fellow Methodists by following Paul’s instructions is a heretic.

  • Correction:

    “So, as children are being lied to from a platform that does not even have a honest base, how many more children are going to die [or suffer] because of the lie of homosexuality [Christianity], when Christ gives [an ancient book claims there is] hope and life eternal [despite there being no legitimate evidence]?”

  • By setting the issue congregation by congregation, a person can choose to be in a congregation that believes the same as they do about whether homosexual activity is innately sinful, keeping from congregations that they believe are in the wrong.

  • Because they would have falsely labeled the issue a nonessential. Looking at God’s prohibition of adultery, I’d say that He disagrees.

  • Yes. After many many years of misinterpretation, rapidly increasing numbers of people are finally realizing that God hates Fanatical Anti-Gay Syndrome (FAGS).

  • Scripture tells us to separate from folks we believe are in egregious sin and that God’s the one responsible for judging folks’ beliefs. The by-congregation thing would let folks separate by congregation without splitting the denomination.

    You read homosexual behavior as adultery. Some folks read it as wrong for other reasons. And yet others read being against it as wrong for yet other reasons.

    All of it can be argued with coherent and consistent interpretation of Scripture, though sometimes it takes digging into the Greek.

  • Not sure where my reply went, so let’s try this again:

    > So now Romans 14:4 trumps Romans 1:26-27?

    You say that as if there’s some conflict. Romans 14:4 outright means that how you read a text (including Romans 1:26–27) is His affair to judge. We’re told to judge fruits—the consequences of belief—not beliefs themselves (cf. Matthew 7), and to distance ourselves from folks we believe are in unrepentant egregious sin (cf. I Corinthians 5:11).

    Fact is, each of us has the responsibility and right to have our own beliefs. You have no more right to demand I change my belief than I do to demand you change yours. God’s the only one with that authority, and behaving as otherwise is putting yourself in the place of God.

    Since I’m celibate by inclination, the question of “Is homosexual activity sin?” is irrelevant to my own practice.

    It’s not that hard to understand how a person can come to a different conclusion than your own from the same sources. Being able to coherently argue the other side is harder; this isn’t helped by the fact that most folks who explore another side’s beliefs play straw man fallacy. But doing so is well worth it and helps a lot with understanding and defending your own beliefs—and with deciding when to implement the acceptance of Romans 14 or the distancing of I Corinthians 5.

  • As I recall this baptism was in the name of Jesus, something characteristic of Christian baptisms.
    If I understand you, since Peter had a “special charism” he was able to change Christian practice. However, since the Spirit fell on them all and we know that at least some of them didn’t agree, why was it necessary to call a Council to settle the disagreement?
    My point is simply that the Church has been riven by disagreements since the beginning. Compromise and revision have been present virtually since the Ascension.

  • Umm, it’s 6:11, not 5:11, that you want to look at. It’s what Jesus did for the Corinthian homosexuals. Former homosexuals, that is.(Somebody please email the Methodist Bishops.)

    Both 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and Romans 1:26-27 read the same in Greek as in English. Just as sharp. Can’t escape their prohibitive force by reaching for Greek. Can’t make them optional.

  • I used the reference I intended. If you want to bring up I Corinthians 6, the terms translated as referring to homosexuals can also be translated as “rapists” and “sycophants”.

    Those aren’t the only possible meanings, but when one of the terms is used in reference to men’s treatment of their wives as late as the 6th century, and the other has a general meaning of “soft/delicate” in the sense of someone being yielding and weak-willed, believing that it’s necessarily speaking of homosexuality is an assumption you have to inject. Especially since Greek HAD words for describing penetrator and penetrated (erastes and eromenos), and Paul didn’t use those words.

  • You people who have no idea what they are talking about and guided by malice. There is a reason it’s not called therapy. It has no basis in medical/scientific facts. Its just religious dogma and abuse.

  • Because Christians can’t keep it to themselves. They feel a need to attack others in the name of their faith.

  • “Any moral act could be justified by it including rape, murder and being anti lbgt”…

    …if you claim its god’s word.

    This is why religious believers like yourself have no concept of morality.

    Following arbitrary rules is not morality. Seeking legalistic excuses to attack others and lie with impunity aren’t either. But that is what you do and the “system” you support. Any relation to morals and values are coincidental.

  • Um, he doesn’t say he isn’t gay anymore, but that he discovered himself fully in Christ. Oh, and that Christ is love. I discovered both of those things too, and so can you, floydlee. We’ll pray for you.

  • So they should be trying to get out of society altogether. Forego political power and influence. Stay out of civil society.

    Oh wait, they don’t really want that at all. You are wrong. They want to control society and even those who do not follow their faith.

  • No, you misunderstand me.

    Peter and the other Apostles completed the revelation.

    The author of Hebrews states Revelation in Jesus was not partial, as it was in the prophets. It was full and complete. Whatever he revealed to the official witnesses constitutes all that will ever be revealed as Divine Revelation. These witnesses were the Apostles, and so it is from them that we learn what Christ has revealed.

    St. Paul states,

    2 Thessalonians 2:15

    “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”

    Paul gives clear standard for Divine Revelation through the Apostles from Christ, it is the teaching of the Apostles either written down or orally communicated.

    The Council of Jerusalem illustrates several things: the practice of consultation and agreement among the Apostles and their successors, the lack of which led to pernicious schisms and heresies when individuals proclaimed this or that interpretation as authoritative without consultation; the role of the episcopate in the threefold hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon; and the necessity to provide clear guidance on importance issues to the entire church.

    Where all this has gone walkabout is the notion that “the Spirit is doing new things”, which has progressed to the point of what only be described as new revelation which does not reinterpret the revelation given once, but overturns it, contradicts it, expands it, or otherwise adds or subtracts from it.

    This leads to a theological equivalent of Gresham’s law – the principle stating that “bad money drives out good” – in which innovations back those holding as Paul admonished to the tradition and revelation to eventually leave a denomination.

  • At least he paid for it and kept his pecker out of the payroll, which is more than can be said about John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton.

    Of course this “revelation” has backfired on the sore grapes party, as it should.

  • You do understand that only you and Bill Lindsey keep this up, and in both cases because you have nothing substantive to provide and want to make everything personal?

    I’ll give some thought today as to what you two have in common that might lead to this obsession.

  • When Luis says “struggles of perversion”, he’s direct talking about gay self-identity and behavior.

    Somebody got him free.

  • I’m sorry, but although you take 14:4 seriously (which is good, I do too), your particular twist there is mistaken.

    The second sentence of your post there, is critical.

    It effectively reduces every single verse in Romans (including the ‘Salvation Through Christ’ verses) to merely regardless of the actual English or Greek words.

    If I were Richard Dawkins, I would immediately use your position to knock out John 3:16, the 10 C’s, the Lord’s Prayer, and any other text that calls on any person to acknowledge God at all. It’s just a way to deny the Bible’s trustworthiness.

    (Besides, the same guy who wrote Rom.14:4, also directly judges — sharply judges — the
    Galatians’ beliefs in Gal. 1:6.)

  • I responded to a similar line from Tom Downs earlier, and provide some of the same text to you in response.

    However, using Romans 14 illustrates the theological bankruptcy of your position since it begins in verse 1 referring to “disputable matters”, “determinations of reasonings”, “scruples”, “doubtful disputations”, and the like – in other words, nearly trivial matters.

    Whether Jesus Christ was both God and Man, whether extra-marital sex is moral or sinful, whether same-sex relations are moral or sinful, whether Jesus Christ rose on the Third Day are all not trivial matters.

    Peter and the other Apostles completed the revelation.

    The author of Hebrews states Revelation in Jesus was not partial, as it was in the prophets. It was full and complete. Whatever he revealed to the official witnesses constitutes all that will ever be revealed as Divine Revelation. These witnesses were the Apostles, and so it is from them that we learn what Christ has revealed.

    St. Paul states,

    2 Thessalonians 2:15

    “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”

    Paul gives clear standard for Divine Revelation through the Apostles from Christ, it is the teaching of the Apostles either written down or orally communicated.

    Where all this has gone walkabout is the notion that “the Spirit is doing new things”, which has progressed to the point of what only be described as new revelation which does not reinterpret the revelation given once, but overturns it, contradicts it, expands it, or otherwise adds or subtracts from it.

    This leads to a theological equivalent of Gresham’s law – the principle stating that “bad money drives out good” – in which innovations back those holding as Paul admonished to the tradition and revelation to eventually leave a denomination.

    A good example is the Episcopal Church in the United States, where bad theology first drove opponents of ordaining women out, then ended discussions with the Catholics on possible recognition, and then ended intercommunion with the Polish Nartional Catholics, and then led to the conclusion that a bishop could not be tried for heresy for disputing Christ’s divinity, and then ended any accommodation to conscience of those opposed to innovations, and then ended the pretense that the church was not authoritarian, and then led to wholesale acceptance of same sex relations, and on and on until what is left is nearly undefinable theologically.

    Those who learn nothing from history are doomed to repeat it.

  • True, Paul didn’t use erastos & eremenos. He used malakoi & arsenokoites.

    And in what famous Non-Gay-Affirming verses, of what chapters, of what famous Non-Gay-Affirming Old Testament book, did Paul get that compound word “arsenokoites” from?

  • As a member of another Christian church that is governed very differently, I have a genuine question about United Methodist polity. Are there any other matters of doctrine or practice that are left to be decided by individual pastors or individual conferences? Do individual congregations or conferences establish their own creeds and confessions? Do they differ on who may receive Communion or who may be baptized and at what age? If not, it seems that this proposal to declare these issues of human sexuality, ordination and marriage “non-essential” is opening the door to a loose association that is very different from the way I am used to thinking of this denomination.

  • Galatians 1:6 expresses surprise at someone abandoning previous beliefs. Full stop. Being astonished at something and judging something are quite different things.

    Then verse 7 outright says that the changes are not actually another gospel, just a distorted one. The context goes on to specify that he’s speaking to changes to the “gospel of Christ”, which gets explicitly defined in various texts as Christ’s “I am the Door.”

    The only way that reference to distortions could refer to homosexual behavior is if homosexual behavior is already defined as anti-Scripture, so it’s not pertinent to answering the question of “Is homosexual behavior anti-Christian?”

  • > However, using Romans 14 illustrates the theological bankruptcy of your position since it begins in verse 1 referring to “disputable matters”, “determinations of reasonings”, “scruples”, “doubtful disputations”, and the like – in other words, nearly trivial matters.

    Romans 14:5 gives an example of folks having conflicting views of the Sabbath commandment, so that “nearly trivial” is disproved in the text itself—which would make make yours the “theologically bankrupt” position (if one exists in this context), because you’re taking your presuppositions and opinions to define what qualifies as “trivial”. That is overstepping human authority.

    “I believe X is a false belief because Y” ≠ “X is wrong and anyone who believes it must be Z” (which is mostly if not always a straw man fallacy, anyway).

  • Ouch! I have cheered you on until you uttered the most fatuous of revisionists’ arguments. There is a much more plausible interpretation of Paul’s vice lists, including the list in 1 Corinthians 6, which interpretation is even espoused by conservative scholars famous for their opposition to the homosexuals’ campaign for equal treatment by the Church. This interpretation supports a larger proof that God wills marriage of homosexual couples just as God wills marriage of heterosexual couples. Ask me for it by email: rsbell@ameritech.net

  • That certainly bypassed the context and meaning of Romans 14 altogether.

    The church as a whole has already exercised its authority over the questions you think are trivial, which demonstrates that you’ve made a wrong turn and head down the wrong road in your exercise of human authority to trump the church’s.

  • One of us is misreading the other, I think. My point there was fully congruous with a pro-homosexual marriage standpoint, and it was a direct counter to floydee’s claim that it’s only possible to read the text as anti-homosexual behavior.

    What specifically are you finding “fatuous”?

  • I understand that you are making a point fully congruous with advocacy of same-sex marriage. That is why I recalled the arguments of revisionists.
    Specifically, I find fatuous many revisionists’ insistence that malakoi (“the soft”) and arsenokoitai (“those who lie with males”) may as well be translated in ways that do not imply homosexuality and that Paul’s failure to use erastes (“penetrator”) or eromenos (“the penetrated”) implies that he was not referring to homosexuals. If these revisionists’ insistence is good faith, I can only believe they are wishful thinkers.

  • You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

    PECUSA (The Episcopal Church in the United States of America) is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Full stop.

    It is in impaired communion with some of the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion.

    It is restricted in participating in the functions of the Anglican Communion as a result of unilateral actions it took which required consultation with the Communion as a whole before proceeding. These actions dealt with same sex relations.

    https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/14/world/episcopal-church-suspended/index.html

    It is in ongoing litigation with some of its dioceses. Such success as it has had in that litigation has come from adopting the Dennis Canon imposing a trust on parish property, dropping any pretext of freedom of conscience – which had been promised forty years ago, asserting full plenary power of the Presiding Bishop over every parish and diocese, every deacon, priest, and bishop, making it identical legally to the Catholic and Orthodox churches in the USA, thus availing itself of the St. Nicholas Cathedral precedent.

    I take it from having read your comments, including at Episcopal Café, that you came to the party somewhat late and did not come disinterested but with a position you wished to advance, which position has in fact advanced over the years.

    PECUSA is approximately half the size it was in 1970 or so prior to the illegal ordinations in Philadelphia.

    Thanks to bishops Pike, Spong, and Robinson it would appear that it is now impossible to try a bishop, or for that matter anyone else, for heresy.

    Thanks to former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts “Take No Prisoners” Schori, it is quite simple to try a bishop, priest, or deacon for failure to obey.

    There are a number of churches made up of former members, most of which are noted here:

    http://www.anglicansonline.org/communion/nic.html

    Totaling their memberships it does not take long to exceed the “1%” you proposed left.

    They can be divided into two broad classificatons:

    Those out of a Bible-centric evangelical background to whom the ordination of women and same-sex relations are heretical – they would be considered “low church” if still in PECUSA; those out of an Anglo-Catholic background to whom the ordination of women, same-sex relations, and the acceptance of orders from churches without pretensions to apostolic succession are heretical – they would be considered “high church” if still in PECUSA.

    In addition there are those parishes and communities which exited and joined the Catholic, Orthodox, or Old Catholic communions en masse.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/global-sisters-report/episcopal-nuns-priest-join-catholic-church

    Now, it may well be that you consider all of this, and the bitter battles that went with it, a success. After all, you have what you were looking for and those pesky folks who disagreed with you are elsewhere, just like the folks you moderated or banned at Episcopal Café ceased annoying you.

    But from a distance it certainly does not look like success.

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/03/the-unhappy-fate-of-optional-orthodoxy

    Moving on.
    .

  • All I am saying is that the church should stay true to its teachings and not adjust to man’s latest impulses.

  • I agree that God’s will shall prevail but “unity in essentials” and the command to not be “unequally yoked” (2 Cor) pretty much guarantee a split similar to Presbyerians.

  • Ah. So you’re assuming it’s revisionism that produces the variant translation. To be perfectly frank, that’s what I expected to find when I started looking into it myself, and I was quite surprised to find otherwise.

    I’ve found some historic indicators that the homosexual translation itself could be revisionism, comparable to how folks today commonly assume “good” in Scripture carries a meaning of “pleasant”. Not definitive, mind you, but enough that I’m working on improving my Greek so I can dig into source texts, myself.

  • > That certainly bypassed the context and meaning of Romans 14 altogether.

    The meaning you get out of it, you mean—even though my counterpoint was actually from the context.

    Appeal to common belief is logically fallacious. If you want to trust that what you perceive as “the church” is correct in their interpretation of something, that’s fine for you, but argumentum ad populum doesn’t actually doesn’t prove anything.

    Think that through. If common belief necessarily correlated to what was correct, then the Jewish leaders of Jesus’s day would’ve been the correct ones.

    Common knowledge is commonly wrong. Matthew 7:13 can even be understood as a reference to that, rather than as only applying to those inside the church vs. those outside it.

  • The teachings they find important changes with time and man’s latest impulses. Priorities change as a given. Especially with a church. Its fanciful thinking to believe it is even possible.

    All churches have done such things. Even the whole idea of fundamentalist or literalism is pretty much a late coming concept to belief.

  • Isn’t Ruiz currently not describing himself as “ex-gay”? From what I’ve read, he has said “it’s not that I’m gay, it’s not that I’m straight.” In other words, his identity, not his orientation, has changed. He does not identify as gay. It doesn’t mean he isn’t attracted to men.

  • These “split the difference” deals never never work.

    They are always motivated by money and politics and are doomed from the start.

  • It is fanciful to call something a church whose teachings change with times and man’s latest impulses.

  • I believe they’d very much like to convert any gays who are engaged in same sex behavior.

    The old saying was “love the sinner, hate the sin”.

    Apparently the new one “love the sinner, love the sin, endorse the sin”.

  • Of course you don’t even have to claim it’s a deity’s word, you can just fire when ready.

  • And you feel a need to attack them in the name of the anti-faith.

    Seems even to me.

  • So, when the Christians were fed to the lions, the smart ones offered incense to Caesar?

  • So, the United Methodist Church becomes the Disunited Methodist Congregational Church.

  • I provided you multiple translations specifically to head off “(t)he meaning you get out of it, you mean”.

    I don’t know where you finding this stuff, but you need much better sources.

    This is NOT a discussion about “common knowledge”, and citing a text discussing scruples does NOT advance the argument you’re trying to make.

    Btw, the reason why the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day were not correct is that Jesus was delivering the final revelation, and possessed the authority to do so. That trumped anything they thought about matters.

  • If Luis is still gay,

    (1) Why does he openly call it a “perversion” coming from “the enemy”? Not a very gay-affirming description there.

    (2) Why does Luis refer to his “perversion” in the past tense ?

    “The enemy had its grip.” “Now God has taken me from that moment.”

    Somebody surely talking like they ain’t gay no more.

  • I agree, he does not identify as gay. This is not questioned. But he himself agrees that he is still attracted to men.

  • Which of course is the point of most of the posts you’re arguing against – the party may already be over.

  • What, you’ve never heard of logic? I provided an outright link to a resource on it for you. Though I find your confusion about it odd, considering how much my southern baptist and reformed presbyterian schools took pride in having a clue about it.

    Common knowledge = what’s commonly believed in a group. You cited what’s commonly believed in a group to back your point. Ergo, you cited common knowledge. Formal logic 101.

  • Apparently you’ve never heard of:

    – definitions
    – exegesis
    – revelation

    What the church believes as a whole is not “common knowledge”. It wouldn’t know it were it not revealed.

    Ergo, you’re in combat with revelation.

    An example of something you call “common knowledge” which meets the definition of “revelation”:

    I believe in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.
    I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried;
    he descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again;
    he ascended into heaven,
    he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
    and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

  • Unfortunately for your argument you’re arguing without realizing that the party is over already.

  • If you understood what you were talking about, then you’d realize you’re mixing up quite different things. The Apostles’ Creed is common knowledge in much of Western Christianity, but that doesn’t make it prove anything—it’s a belief, something taken on faith. It’s also not shared by much of Eastern Christianity, which tends to go for the Nicene Creed.

    I never said common knowledge was always wrong, or that it was wrong to believe something that’s common knowledge. I said that common knowledge is often wrong.

    Everyone takes some things on faith, which involves trusting something that we can’t objectively prove (cf. Hebrews 11:1). Ignoring the distinction between things that are objectively provable and those that are subjectively known prevents a person from being able to defend their beliefs in a manner that actually addresses what is said by folks who are starting with differing data or underlying beliefs.

    Case in point: our conversation here.

  • Christians who interpret the Bible differently than you do would be the example I’ve been giving all along.

  • So you’re completely unaware that there are longstanding large church traditions that don’t believe the Apostles’ Creed? The Coptics and Greek Orthodox are two easy-to-look-up examples.

  • I wouldn’t call him gay, I’d call him a homosexual hating homosexual, a self loathing homosexual, a homosexual who takes no responsibility for his behavior in the past (acting on his perversities) or now (done gib mahself to Jeeezusj.

    There are lots of homosexual hating homosexuals. Ruiz has decided that’s the way to go. For that. Like the others you quote, he get’s your praise.

  • This sounds a bit like the UCC…maybe we should move over and let the UMC eat at our table after all

  • I believe you’ll find they do not use the Apostles’ Creed, not that they disagree with it.

    http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Creeds.htm

    The reason they don’t use the Apostles’ Creed liturgically is that it is not a full statement of the faith. For example, it does not state that Jesus Christ is divine.

    The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is the product of ecumenical councils and is a full statement, The Nicene Creed, unlke the Apostles Creed or the Athanasian Creed, is the only creed proclaimed by an Ecumenical Council and thus the only creed vested with the authority of the Orthodox Church.

    Its use is completely congruent with the Orthodox ethos.

  • No, the example you’re giving is people who have rejected the consistent interpretation of the church, and the Jews preceding, in favor of some new porridge of their own concoction.

  • Is there something in the Apostles Creed not contained in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed?

    If not, what’s your argument?

    If so, substitute the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in my post and let’s move along.

  • I’m still waiting for your response on gay slave masters.

    I could give a rodent’s rump about Stormy Daniels or what happened a decade or more ago.

  • Always reminds me of what the Romans said to the one saint John saw fit to mention by name in the Revelation: “Antipas, don’t you know the whole world is against you?”

    When the world starts telling us how great we are, THEN it’s time to worry.

  • There’s plenty you can support from the phrasing of the Apostles’ Creed that you can’t support from the phrasing of the Nicene Creed, and that’s just when you consider what’s been omitted.

    Then there’s “the holy catholic Church” vs “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”. The phrasing of the Apostles’ Creed is saying “the universal church exists,” whereas the phrasing of the Nicene Creed is more specifically “there is only one church, and it is both universal and founded by the apostles.”

    And then you have “the communion of the saints,” which isn’t in Nicene Creed at all. The Nicene Creed can often but not always substitute for the Apostles’ Creed.

    Aside from that, even the Apostles’ Creed can be read more than one way. For example, “the holy catholic Church” bit can be read as referencing particular denomination(s), as omitting particular denomination(s), as everyone who is genuinely saved, as everyone who’s physically part of the church, etc. How you read and apply that is going to have significant impact on how you interpret other things. If you’re discussing a conclusion that’s based on how you read that line, you can’t someone reads it differently than you do, citing that line won’t support your argument.

  • > I believe you’ll find they do not use the Apostles’ Creed

    We’ve been talking about citing something as proof, so yes, that’s what I said. They don’t believe it’s authoritative.

  • They don’t believe it was approved by an ecumenical council.

    They do believe it is true, if incomplete.

  • Apostles Creed: “the holy catholic Church”

    Nicene Creed: “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”

    The Apostles Creed does not suggest that there is more than one church nor that it was not founded by the Apostles. It is silent.

    Is there something in “the holy catholic Church” you reject or believe the church rejects?

    If not, on to the next minutia.

    “(T)he communion of the saints” “isn’t in Nicene Creed at all”.

    So, you believe the communion of the saints is not true?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_of_saints

    If it is true, then why bring it up?

    I think you’re grasping at straws.

    Let it go.

  • Erastes and eromenos have nothing to do with penetrator/penetrated. They have to do with the relative ages of the partners. Small wonder that Paul didn’t use those terms — they were not nearly broad enough.

  • The universal consistency is debatable, and it assumes a consistency of word definitions and cultural delineation that may or may not be warranted. There’s also plenty of precedent of folks thinking they’re fitting the historic view while actually not doing so (ex. King Josiah).

    Regardless, the historicity of a belief doesn’t actually prove anything except historicity itself. It doesn’t prove truth or falsity of that belief. Belief in a flat earth or a sun god is quite historic. That doesn’t make either true. (That’s the argumentum ad antiquitatem fallacy.)

    Moreover, Ecclesiastes does tell us “there is nothing new under the sun.”

    Something being historic per your sources can be sufficient proof for you, but that does not make it objective proof, nor does that make it indisputable.

    And if you like the Apostles’ Creed so much, note that a person can believe that and still believe homosexual marriage is fine. So you’re adding to creed and scripture, to form your definition of what a Christian is.

  • Me: X doesn’t prove Y.

    You: X and Y are both true!

    Truth is only relevant after you have valid logical structure in place—you need the structure in order to demonstrate that Y is true. Otherwise, you’re just making assertions and not actually proving anything. As I said before, logic 101.

    You’re the one “countering” my points with things that aren’t even relevant or disproof of my point.

  • No, actually whether they think it is true or false constitutes acceptance or non-acceptance.

    Just like the immorality of fornication or same sex sexual activity.

    Questions are not open until an ecumenical council makes a declaration on them.

  • No, what you’re arguing is that assertions are as good as gold, as good as the Scriptures, and as good as the church’s belief.

    If suddenly some congregation decides that fornication is swell, your position is that is as valid as the church’s constant belief otherwise.

    Of course this leads to chaos, and the examples are prolific.

  • You’re fixated on the Apostles Creed.

    I am sorry you took some undergraduate courses in logic, so that you can avoid dealing with what is settled in the church by leveling a ridiculous allegation of an argumentum ad antiquitatem fallacy.

    I am even sorrier that you think any and all beliefs are up for grabs.

    You’ll fit right into whatever it is the United Methodist Church will be ten years hence.

  • 1. Not what I said. You are bearing false witness.

    2. My position is that it’s God’s place to judge, and ours to remove ourselves when we believe someone’s in egregious sin. I have stated this before. With Scripture citations, even.

    3. There already are churches that believe “fornication is swell.” Some of that’s based in a differing understanding of what precisely constitutes a marriage before God. (Ex. If a person believes sleeping with someone constitutes marriage, then civil ceremony is unnecessary, although some believers would consider that fornication.)

    Your statement of what leads to chaos is also ignoring that what you’re saying causes chaos is itself caused by extreme order. Which would mean extreme order is what ultimately causes the chaos—if that’s actually what causes the chaos—and you seem to be assuming that differences are an innately bad thing, despite Romans 14 saying otherwise.

  • The fact that there are already churches that believe “fornication is swell” does not tells us anything at all about what constitutes marriage before the Creator.

    It indicates that your fuzzy thinking has been sufficiently common that large numbers of Christians on the road to becoming ex-Christians.

    Your entire position on Romans 14 is based on misreading the very first verse, which limits the rest of it to basically trivial matters.

  • > The fact that there are already churches that believe “fornication is swell” does not tells us anything at all about what constitutes marriage before the Creator.

    I didn’t say it did. I said that what someone believes constitutes marriage before the Creator can lead to them believing “fornication is swell” by another person’s definitions.

    I define “weak in faith” of Romans 14:1 by looking at the examples of diverging views, which includes divergent views of the Sabbath commandment in v. 5, which I’ve said before. If I am misreading something, it would therefore be Romans 14:5, not Romans 14:1.

    Reading that differently than you do does not make me unChristian, any more than your reading it differently than I do makes you unChristian.

  • You’ve pretty well gummed up Romans 14 altogether.

    Well, good luck going down that road. I’ve been there and seen the results, but find out the hard way for yourself.

  • You’re the one who brought up the Apostles’ Creed and kept harping on beliefs about if it’s true or not when I’ve kept pointing out its usefulness or lack thereof as proof in argument. You keep demonstrating that you don’t understand what I actually said—at least I hope you just don’t understand logic, because that’s better than the alternative, that you’re wittingly bearing false witness.

    Appeal to history is logically fallacious by definition. The point of fallacies isn’t that they make something true or false—fallacious arguments don’t actually prove anything. The entire point of a fallacy is that you have insufficient information to conclude if something’s true or false. When something’s fallacious, the evidences don’t actually produce the conclusion.

    Arguments are like a pile of marshmallows. If C is the number of chocolate marshmallows and V is the number of vanilla marshmallows, those will only be pertinent to the total number of marshmallows if either chocolate or vanilla marshmallows exist in the pile. If only vanilla ones do, then V is the only relevant number, so C doesn’t contribute to the total. If all the marshmallows are orange-flavored, then C + V won’t give you any of the marshmallows (and this is what a fallacy is). If some are orange and some are vanilla, then C + V will give you some of the marshmallows.

  • This conversation was never about success. I don’t know that any of the hierarchy of the various Anglican provinces have had what one would consider a very successful run during their terms, recently past or current. There is a mess around most of it. And no two people who were “in the room” appear to have the same POV as to what occurred.

    About the Episcopal Cafe, I did not have access to the moderation/banning backend software. That was tightly handled by others with higher pay grades.

  • 1. Applying εραστής and ερωμένος to age instead of position is assumption, one that doesn’t fit with translations I’m seeing. Another possibility is it’s a both-and.

    2. The terms Paul did use have non-homosexual meanings (μαλακός more clearly than ἀρσενοκοίτης, which takes a bit more digging [Sibylline Oracles line 87, allegedly Patrologiae cursus completus, Series Graeca 88:1893-96, though I’ve not yet tracked down the line to double-check]), so the “not broad enough” argument can actually work against the homosexual meanings—and there look to be more sources tying ἀρσενοκοίτης to homosexual rape in particular.

    If you want to believe that the homosexual meanings are intended there, that’s your choice to make. My point is that the terms have other meanings which could have been intended instead. Which definition(s) a person thinks likely will influence how they read and apply that text and others.

  • And it’s really hard to act upon that attraction tied to a hospital bed. Well, unless he’s hitting a some cute nurses!

    Let’s see how long he lasts once he’s back on the street.

  • > No, actually whether they think it is true or false constitutes acceptance or non-acceptance.

    Only if the question is “Do they accept it as truth?” But that is not the question. The question is “Do they accept it as authoritative?”

    After you determine what someone considers authoritative, then you can have a serious discussion regarding what they consider true. The distinctions between how Peter preached to the Jews and how Paul preached to the Gentiles illustrate this.

  • “Applying εραστής and ερωμένος to age instead of position is assumption, one that doesn’t fit with translations I’m seeing.”

    Big surprise there…not.

    Nevertheless, it’s hardly assumption. Plato, Aristotle, and Aristophanes used these terms enough that we have a good idea of what these this particular relationship looked like. If Paul HAD used these terms, then the standard line of gay apologia would without doubt have been that he only condemned pederasty. Instead he used a word composed of the two operative words from Lev. 20:13 which clearly condemned sexual contact, consensual or otherwise, between males of any age or status.

  • Well, you may look far and wide for other senses of arsenokoitai and you may find some, but we are interested only in Paul’s sense of it. Scholars of ancient Greek generally agree (a) that Paul was the first to use it and (b) that Paul formed it from the Septuagint’s rendering of Leviticus 20:13. The revisionists have not impeached that general agreement. As a fellow revisionist, I feel embarrassment whenever they argue that Paul’s sense of arsenokoitai was something other than those who lie with males. (By the way, I feel even more embarrassed by other fatuous arguments of revisionists.)

  • > Plato, Aristotle, and Aristophanes used these terms enough that we have a good idea of what these this particular relationship looked like.

    A relationship that included multiple factors, not just age, and that’s been recognized by items that turned up in my research. I provided links to one of the resources.

    Assumptions aren’t innately bad things. They can be reasonable or warranted. The issues come when you forget that you are presupposing something.

    Basic case in point here is the entire “Jesus the Christ, Son of God and man, is real” that we both presuppose. We believe this is true. We can give reasons we believe this. But we cannot definitively prove this to someone who does not agree with our starting assumption.

    In the case of εραστής and ερωμένος, what I’ve read of Greek and Roman literature seems quite sensitive to the position, as the primary item of cultural significance. Thus why I summarize the terms as penetrator and penetrated—which also fits with the dictionary having a female form for ερωμένος (ερωμένη), but not εραστής. If ερωμένος referred specifically to the younger party in pederasty, why would there be a female form?

    One unfortunate consequence of human limitations is that any research we conduct will necessarily be incomplete.

    > Instead he used a word composed of the two operative words from Lev. 20:13 which clearly condemned sexual contact, consensual or otherwise, between males of any age or status.

    That is one interpretation for where the term came from and what it means. There are also arguments against that (and one of uncertain strength that the pertinent verses in Leviticus 18 and 20 are actually referring to shrine prostitution).

    Regardless, word origins don’t necessarily have a direct effect on word meaning. “Protest” is a case in point, where it actually means the outright opposite of what the prefix and root indicate.

    That’s why usage is a stronger indicator of word meaning than a word’s literal meaning. There’s at least one case example of ἀρσενοκοίτης being used in a non-homosexual context, but I haven’t seen any usage yet that couldn’t mean rape in the modern sense—which itself strikes me as a bit odd, since from my reading, the legal concept of rape has changed quite a bit, over the centuries.

  • Actually, scripture tells us to separate from members of our own church that are openly living in unrepentant, flagrant, egregious sin. Paul points out that this applies only to members of our church, that if we tried to apply that rule to everyone we’d hardly be able to leave our homes.

    But you’re still missing the point. The One Church Plan tries to maintain unity by reducing sex and marriage to issues no more important than dances, music, or movies — or to use another example from Paul, eating meat sacrificed to idols. And this just doesn’t fly, because whatever you may say about sexual ethics in the Bible, the one thing you can’t say is that they aren’t important. Sexual immorality is condemned often and loudly, over and over, Old Testament and New. Whatever else can be asserted about sex and marriage, that they are nonessentials isn’t one of them.

  • No, the question is does the church accept it.

    “Authoritative” is equivocal, that is, it has more than one meaning.

    In the case in discussion, the United Methodist Church, what has been put into play is something which was considered settled.

    The arguments include lack of a specific scriptural prohibition, the same of which can be said of fornication and incest; ambiguity in the scriptures, the same of which can be said of the Trinity; and new revelation – from the Spirit, from evolution, or from some other source. This last basically opens all the doors and is the ticket for a bobsled to hell.

  • That “no two people who were ‘in the room’ appear to have the same POV as to what occurred” simply illustrates the human capacity to disregard the facts in favor of what they like.

    As someone inherently fact-driven, I have somewhat less tendency along those lines – e.g., I don’t pop “1%” out until I have done the math.

  • Just remember, fallacious arguments don’t prove anything, as you are demonstrating.

    In addition, even with impeccable logic, GIGO.

    Thus when we disregard the fact that the very first verse in Romans 14 makes it clear that the discussions is about trivial matters or matters of taste, using it to argue that a tenet of the church is up for grabs leads to an erroneous conclusion.

  • You and your hateful friends are the lies and deception, goddamned hypocrites.

  • Luis still has a homosexual orientation. Nothing in his words says otherwise.

  • Word roots or origins also don’t necessarily have a direct relationship to word meaning. Otherwise, protest would mean the opposite of what it actually does. Thus why usage can be more significant.

    What’s really needed, for seeing how Paul meant it, would be contemporary understandings of Leviticus 20:13, and I’ve seen conflicting allegations about those, including one claim that a contemporary interpretation was “shrine prostitution”. I haven’t done sufficient research on that to truly have an opinion on it. The fact that later users of the word included rape in it, though, is odd if the term’s so clearly about homosexuals—if it is, where did that “rape” meaning come from? Were homosexuals stereotypically categorized as rapists, in that culture? That would be useful to know, if we could. Alas for human limitations.

    Researching this would take more Greek primary sources and study to give due justice than I can give it, at the moment. When I have the wherewithal to research, I’m currently focusing on historic precedents throughout the world of man and woman being treated as a matter of social role more than biology, like Nzinga. I am finding more examples than I expected, though none (yet?) that are directly relevant to Scripture.

    I have seen some Jewish sources treating man and woman as roles, but I’ve only seen assertions about the apparent six genders of Judaism, not primary sources, and the origin isn’t the clearest to track down in English. The six genders can be summarized as masculine male, feminine female, feminine male, masculine female, having both male and female genitals, or having neither male or female genitals—but this summary is a translation of a translation, and it could easily have connotation that isn’t in the original, or omit connotation in the original. In any event, at least one resource I saw attributed the concept to an author who lived fairly close to the time of Christ. I’m unclear on how Jewish tradition gets those genders, though, and I don’t read Hebrew, to be able to dig into that.

    There’s also the factor of intersex persons. If your definition for something doesn’t account for all situations, the definition is necessarily incomplete or wrong. So is the common definition that ignores intersex persons (who aren’t nearly as rare as some folks believe) just incomplete, missing a caveat to account for them, or is it wrong altogether?

    It’s this logical web where each point influences the meaning and implication of the others. Making an assumption at one or more points is simpler and can be useful, but that doesn’t make it necessary. And then finding and testing those assumptions is one reason to debate with others.

    I’m frankly more of a logician than a revisionist. I care far more about folks actually supporting their own arguments than I do about them agreeing with my personal view, which often is “X and-or Y”, even when I personally think one more likely than the other.

    Ex. Is Genesis history or allegory? I believe history, though I understand and can even defend the allegory view some. I suspect the genuine answer is more like “both, with more history than ‘allegory’ folks think and more allegory than ‘history’ folks think,” but I figure we’ll find out after in the next life.

    Romans 10:9 doesn’t list that much for what is needed to be saved. From there, a person’s fruits will display if they’re legit loving others as themselves and God above all else.

  • You’re missing my point, that considering homosexual marriage part of condemned sexual immorality requires a specific read of Scripture that requires certain assumptions to be made in translation. If you believe those assumptions are warranted, that’s fine for you, but to insist that folks who read those other ways are necessarily shoving what they want to see on the text is itself shoving what you want to believe on the discussion, elevating yourself over others.

    You have bias, too. If you’re honest enough to recognize and acknowledge it, that can strengthen your position and argument.

    If the concept of “man” and “woman” was solely driven by biology, we’d have at least one more gender to account for intersex persons (which estimates put at up to 1% of people, with about 0.05%–0.01% of the population being visibly intersex and the rest as genetic, like the XY females in Swyer Syndrome). Instead, cultures with third genders look to focus or have focused on folks’ biology not matching their social roles, and it’s possible to find historical examples of persons dressing and living as the role that doesn’t fit their biology being accepted as that role. (Note the possibility that the translation to English has added or removed connotation in the discussion of third genders.)

    Sometimes that acceptance has limitations, as in the Albanian sworn virgins, who look to have had the rights and responsibilities of men except for being forbidden to marry. Sometimes, not so much, as some African references I’m seeing, where the male who dressed and lived as a woman also married as one, including bride-price.

    My research is in the early stages, but I’ve already found case examples of such things, with primary sources that predate the LGBT movement in the US by centuries. This historicity doesn’t innately prove one side of the argument or the other, but it does conflict with some common arguments made—arguments that don’t actually prove the points they’re applied to anyway.

    If the anti-homosexual folks hadn’t been so quick to ignore “There is nothing new under the sun,” they could’ve even referenced this historicity in support of their position—and without an appeal to history fallacy, to boot. If folks bothered to double-check those premises, instead of making assumptions about them and those who contest them, and if they paid attention to logic, then they could better support their arguments.

  • I’m not disregarding “trivial matters”—I’m defining “trivial matters” from Scripture. Verse 5 gives an example of folks having divergent views of the Sabbath commandment, which tells us differences over the Sabbath commandment qualify as “trivial”.

    Jesus Himself said we’re to love our neighbor as we do ourselves and love God above all else—and, when you dig into the Greek and consider that word would have the same meaning in both commands, the “love” could be translated “respect” or “honor”. Jesus also defines “neighbor” via the parable of the Good Samaritan to mean “other human beings, even when you think them heretics”.

    So another way of phrasing Jesus’s commands would be “Treat others the way you do yourself” and “Don’t elevate yourself over others because God’s the only one who goes there”—and that read is entirely consistent with Scripture, which outright says those things elsewhere.

    Frankly, the biggest and primary reason I’m inclined to disbelieve the anti-homosexual side is the fruits it demonstrates. When your arguments hinge on misuse of English, double standards, misrepresentations or falsehoods, assumptions that the other person must necessarily be unChristian—there is nothing Christlike about that.

    And the single reasonable argument that can be made against homosexuality for Christians? Nobody uses it (that I’ve seen), even though the argument gets applied to some other contexts that it works for, insofar as it does work. (It relies on contextual definitions, so application can vary quite a bit depending on your understanding of terms.) I can only assume that’s because it can’t apply to non-Christians and therefore sabotages arguments against a secular culture allowing or even promoting homosexual unions.

  • The single reasonable Christian argument that can be made against same sex sexual relations is that was forbidden in the Old Testament and was brought forward with the OT moral code into the New. There has never been any other interpretation for 3,000 years, which either means everyone before now was remarkably stupid, or that it was part of the revelation.

    Unfortunately YOUR arguments hinge on misuse of Koine, Hebrew, English, double standards, misrepresentations or falsehoods, and unproven assumptions to the point of being trivial.

    Taken to their logical conclusion, e.g., the Episcopal Church in the United States, the sky is the limit.

  • Most words have more than one meaning. Equivocation fallacy is when an argument shifts which meaning is being used in an argument.

    Which makes it quite odd that you bring up equivocation, since you have repeatedly violated elementary English syntax to commit equivocation fallacy with your use of “accept it”. Easy mistake to make on accident, though your persistence with it suggests it’s not an accident.

    > In the case in discussion, the United Methodist Church, what has been put into play is something which was considered settled.

    A century ago, maybe, but it’s been not-settled by multiple denominations for a while now.

    > The arguments include lack of a specific scriptural prohibition, the same of which can be said of fornication and incest; ambiguity in the scriptures, the same of which can be said of the Trinity; and new revelation – from the Spirit, from evolution, or from some other source.

    Fornication and incest do have specific prohibitory examples without alternate translations, so that’s a misrepresentation. (The guy with his father’s wife?)

    You’re correct about the Trinity, but that’s nothing new—there have always been folks who doubt that the Holy Spirit is a distinct person, and it doesn’t affect salvation.

    You have conflated the concepts of special revelation, natural revelation, and recovered information. Those are quite different things. I’ll focus on the directly pertinent one here, which is recovered information: new-to-them teachings due to recovery of resources that were lost has precedent in Scripture, such as in the example of King Josiah.

  • While most words have more than one meaning, interpreting the same words to mean both avoid same sex relations and same sex relations are A-OK defies commonsense.

    No, I have not repeatedly violated elementary English syntax to commit an equivocation fallacy with my use of “acceptance”.

    In theology in general, and in Christianity in particular, the correct interpretation of Scriptures is that which everyone accepts.

    It is generally summarized as “we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all”, which is known as the Canon or Rule of Lerins, and is taken from his Commonitorium (2.5 to be precise).

    When you write “A century ago, maybe, but it’s been not-settled by multiple denominations for a while now.”, you admit right off that you give not a fig for the “faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all” and wish to man (or woman) the barricades and foment something new and innovative.

    Were this politics and not religion, I’d bid you godspeed.

    Given that it’s religion, I bid you adieu.

  • > The single reasonable Christian argument that can be made against same sex sexual relations is that was forbidden in the Old Testament and was brought forward with the OT moral code into the New.

    That’s actually a consequence of the single reasonable Christian argument I was referencing.

    > There has never been any other interpretation for 3,000 years

    That’s an impossible-to-know argumentum ad nauseam. We don’t even have records of all debates or contentions over the past 3000 years.

    You can at most claim that the view has been consistently held by the church for the past two millennia, but even that assumes the cultural comprehension of gender, sex, and orientation of the time had direct correlations to the modern delineations. There were certainly different conceptualizations of such things, so delineations may or may not correlate.

    It also requires you to assume certain translations of terms that were at least sometimes euphemisms, though I’m uncertain when they were used as euphemisms vs. when they were used in the texts.

    Maybe those assumptions are warranted, but maybe not, and ignoring them entirely sabotages your ability to have evidence either way .

    > Unfortunately YOUR arguments hinge on misuse of Koine, Hebrew, English, double standards, misrepresentations or falsehoods, and unproven assumptions to the point of being trivial.

    If my view is trivial, then we’re back to Romans 14:1 and trivial matters. Quite direct sabotage of your own argument, there.

  • ” Luis used to be gay. But he met Jesus Christ, and now Luis ain’t gay no more. ”

    Those are your words. There have been many ex-gay testimonies that have failed because they were not realistic. Time will tell about Mr. Ruiz.

  • Christian gays aren’t going away either. So what may be the best answer about this matter?

    Man’s ways are of the Lord, so how can we fully understand not only our own ways, but the ways of others also?…………Proverbs 20:24

    We all must eventually work out our own lives as we know and learn and see what’s best for ourselves.

  • There’s a lotta angry gay and pro-gay folks who are, even now, seeking Luis’ downfall.

    Watching and waiting like Dracula on steroids, for Luis to make just… one… mistake.

    They wanna make an example of Luis. Some have already put out threats on him. But kneejerk threats are NOT their primary weapon. Far from it.

    They can’t devour him now. But they are watching. Waiting. Their gay stomachs are patiently growling. The war for Luis, has only begun.

  • Actually, I stand for the people you despise. The Luis’s of this world. You’re free to despise ’em; I’m free to defend ’em.

  • Not at all. It isn’t hypocrisy to want someone to be with Jesus, instead of satan.

  • I don’t despise the people; I despise the lies and the self-hatred. I know plenty of self-respecting gay people who have found salvation, healing and deliverance in Christ.

  • How would you know who is with Jesus and who isn’t??? Is that your judgment to make?Your arrogance is a sin.

  • I’m sorry, but the next question is unavoidable and poignant:

    If they have found salvation, healing, and deliverance in Christ, why are they still holding on to a gay self-identity? Why still holding on to homosexual behavior when they could be free?

  • Who are you to say they are not free? I’m sorry, but you don’t know s**t about life or about gay people. You’re enslaved to ignorance and prejudice.

  • Your response had nothing to do with my last post, so let me try again. To repeat the mantra, “In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.” Do you consider the doctrine and theology about sex and marriage to be nonessential? I do not, and I suspect a large number of the United Methodist congregants don’t either. And if they don’t, then the One Church Plan will be a nonstarter — as an essential, church unity on issues of sex and marriage is required.

  • > And if [“a large number of the United Methodist congregants”] don’t [consider “the doctrine and theology about sex and marriage to be nonessential”], then the One Church Plan will be a nonstarter.

    Precisely. That’s not the point of it. The point is to see if sufficient folks are willing to cede the same amount of ground on all sides of the argument, balancing the separation of I Corinthians 5:11 and the acceptance of Romans 14:4, in order to prevent a schism.

    It’s the only option they have to potentially avert a schism. From the phrasing in the article, I doubt they expect it’ll work. That doesn’t mean it isn’t reasonable or reasoned.

    > Do you consider the doctrine and theology about sex and marriage to be nonessential?

    You’re presupposing that homosexual relationships are necessarily in the same boat as fornication and marital fidelity. The common translation(s) that support that view make assumptions, which may or may not be warranted.

    If you don’t make those assumptions, you can end up with a consistent and coherent message that does not specify—one that is actually a bit more consistent with how Scripture handles some issues than the anti-homosexual point of view. Intersex persons are an example of a situation where the pro-homosexual camp is more consistent with Scripture than the anti-, which dismisses and ignores them at best, and at worst abuses the “male and female He created them” to demand they identify as one or the other, which is applying a different standard to people than we do to animals, where mutations and genetic variance are accepted—otherwise, you’d have to call various subspecies of animals sinful.

    “Male and female He created them” a description of how folks were created. It’s not a definition of what folks must be. The original verse in Genesis (3:16?) is actually ambiguous for if that “male and female” is applying to Adam the person or humankind, with the immediate context actually being Adam the person. (The pronoun used for “them” is a singular pronoun in cases of indefinite gender in both English and—from the word’s use elsewhere in the Bible—Hebrew.)

    And then if you’re not presupposing Jesus is against homosexuality, you’ll notice He didn’t actually say anything against it. He might’ve even spoken in support of it, if “eunuch” was a euphemism for homosexual persons (which I’ve seen claims of but haven’t yet double-checked cited primary sources). (If “eunuch” has this meaning, then Philip is a case example.) There’s also an argument that the Roman centurion’s “honored slave” that Jesus healed used phrasing that referred to ἐρώμενος (the recipient in a Roman pederastic relationship), but I haven’t investigated that yet, either.

    You keep making a lot of unwarranted assumptions about the One Church Plan, what precisely it’s doing, and why it was made.

    (And yes, my comment was quite pertinent to yours, and if you can’t see that, it’s because you’re not paying attention to the logical consequences of your own position.)

  • I know precisely what the One Church Plan is trying to so, it is trying to reduce the issues of sex and marriage to the level of nonessentials in order to allow different congregations to hold different stances and remain in the same church. It isn’t going to work, and here’s a simple example to prove it. Paul gives us a great example of a nonessential in his time in practice — eating meat sacrificed to idols. He makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with eating meat sacrificed to idols, it’s just meat, but that if it would offend other Christians and weaken their faith he WON”T DO IT. Would you give the same advice to gays and lesbians? “There’s actually nothing wrong with being in a same-sex sexual relationship, and therefore everything right with marrying, but because it would offend many of your fellow Christians and might weaken their faith DON’T Do IT.” I don’t think so, because the issue really is that important. It is an ESSENTIAL, and therefore requires unity.

  • The “don’t meat sacrificed to idols if it would upset your sibling in Christ” is in a context of specifically “don’t show contempt for your fellow siblings in Christ”—which comes after explicitly saying that it’s fine to eat meat sacrificed to idols and that neither side of such an argument has the right to demand the other change.

    You’ve never met a person who, say, found out you disliked the word f—— and then intentionally used it? That’s the unChristian response; the Christian one would be to seek to respect your preference when appropriate.

    But if you who dislike the word f—— and go to the home, party, or church of someone whose own conviction is it’s fine, that same obligation of respect would apply to you. Making a big deal about words used is itself a stumbling block, to some.

    The application also goes both ways if homosexual relationships are conscience issues. Condemnation of homosexual relationships is just as much of a stumbling block to some folks as support of them is.

  • “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

    Of course to my aging self, I remember that being said about another made-up “sin” that’s not a sin, the “unnatural sin (like incest and bestiality!) of miscegenation Acts 17:26 blah blah blah at tedious length.”

    Methodists should remember that the merger with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in the late 1930’s left the Methodist Church with a race segregated administrative structure until the EUB merger that created the United Methodists in 1968.

    Only equality everywhere is actual equality.

  • Has anyone seen a left-handed or an intelligence gene yet? Yet there are left handed people and intelligent people…and then there is you…

  • awwww…..I’m still waiting for the “pick your nose” gene – oh wait – that’s a choice also

  • Well, left handed people can “chose” to write with their right hand, but it’s an unnecessary impediment in their life if they do.

  • Christ didn’t write anything in the Bible, with his left or his right hand. He certainly didn’t write or say anything about a rather obsolete, now near pejorative late Victorian social construct like “homosexuality.”

  • Christ taught:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

  • The Bible is clear regarding Homosexuality. If we are to make Biblical teachings here optional, why not make those regarding theft, murder, adultery and the worship of idols optional as well?
    If the church runs away from controversy it will soon be “out-of-business”.

  • Gay men don’t lie with a man as with a woman…why would they even want to to that?

    But, I guess that a straight man might, so…if you’re straight…don’t.

    However, as the context reveals, the verses have nothing to do with today’s mutually consensual, loving relationships (of which there are very few examples in the Bible), and everything to do with rituals in fertility cults such as with Moloch.

    So, don’t do as the ancient Egyptians and Canaanites did…not that there’s a convenient altar place to Ba-al or Moloch on hill near you.

  • God didn’t “make” anyone. I doubt that God “made” you an awful person.

  • Christ did make me. He made you; He doesn’t make people in a form He calls “unnatural” to do “shameful acts” in what He calls, “dishonourable passions” (Romans 1)
    He died so that people do not need to remain in that bondage should they turn to Him, renounce their sin, and follow Him. Christ is a loving God.

  • That’s just self important, pseudo-pious hypocritical bleating to justify the most rank kind of bigotry… that which privileges yourself at the expense of an oppressed people.

    I heard it all before in the 1960-70’s from “conservative” evangelicals.

  • no self importance whatsoever. God is important and His word says these things. If you have no respect for Christ, fine, but,don’t hurt those who can be helped by Him. That would make you self important.

  • not at all. There is no hypocrisy in wanting to protect people from Hell. You have strange values, my friend.

  • “God is important and His word says these things”

    So said every evangelical racist.ever. But of course, the Bible doesn’t say” those things that you arrogantly presume to be God’s because you want to religiously legitimate your bigotry..

  • The UMC departed from God’s Word as their standard of truth and practice long ago. My family and I left it 25 years ago because we saw this coming. It is beyond sad.

  • God’s Word says they are in bondage to sin, just as are all people who are enslaved to immorality of any kind. The Lord is not willing that they should perish in Hell, but that they should have eternal life in Heaven with Him. That is pure Love.

  • Actually, it is all coming to pass just as Christ Jesus and the apostles said. Truly faithful Christians have always been a minority. Jesus said the way to destruction is a broad road, and many go that way. But the way to eternal life is a narrow way, and few there be that find it.

  • That’s your uninformed, unsupported opinion, formed in ignorance and superstition. But thanks for sharing!

  • I have no need to hide. That is the point. And if you knew anything about Jesus, you wouldn’t post the crap you do.

  • The day will soon come that you will know better. I pray you will be prepared when that day comes.

  • There’s not one word in the Bible against “miscegenation”, not one. Moses was married to an African woman. When his sister criticized him for it, God struck her with leprosy and she would have died of it if Moses had not interceded for her.
    God’s Word clearly condemns all immorality, including homosexuality, in both the OT and NT. Christ Jesus clearly defined marriage. There is no comparison between those two issues, only contrast.

  • So the Methodists are on their way toward becoming an ecclesiastical flophouse like the Unitarian church.

  • Misti, this is true to a point. My family and I attended a UMC for almost 20 years. During that time I learned (I wasn’t raised UMC) that it’s a hierarchal church as opposed to congregational. What this means is that all tithes and donations are not only given to the local church, but each local church is required to pay set apportionments to the upper levels, all the way up to the national leadership.
    What this means is that even if one is a faithful Bible-believing Christian, he or she is also supporting the evil national agenda. We didn’t learn how evil that is (it was already so more than 25 years ago!) and when we learned, we got out of that denomination. 2 Corinthians 6 — “Come out from among them…”

  • As I said before, “A person can hold something as essential for themselves while allowing that others can reasonably disagree and God’s the one responsible for judging that.”

    The One Church Plan is ignoring the folks who are going to schism anyway if they don’t get the answer they think they should hear—there’s no way to make all of them happy. It’s suggesting something that requires equal concession from all positions on the matter (that homosexual activity can be okay, that it cannot be okay at all, and that it’s a conscience issue).

  • Christ Jesus commanded His people to “Judge righteous judgment.” Righteous judgment is based on His Word, not personal opinions.

  • I’m sure you did not invent the word “homophobia”, so I’m not criticizing you. It has always struck me how foolish that word is. No one who believes God’s Word as it is written is afraid of homosexuals or anyone else. “Phobia” means “fear”.

  • Some churches do follow society, ’tis true. Those churches are not only completely ineffective in God’s kingdom, but they also lead millions astray, and their leaders will answer to God for their souls.
    It is true that no one is perfect, without sin. At the same time, the New Testament differentiates between those who have confessed their sin to the Lord, have repented of it, have been born again, forgiven of sin, have become children of God — and those who are still living in sin, not forgiven, because they are unwilling to agree with God’s Word that they are sinners.
    The NT definition of “saint” is simply a forgiven sinner who is walking in fellowship with the Lord each day. When he or she sins, the Holy Spirit who is always with us convicts us of it, and we confess it to Him. He has promised that as we do this, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins and cleanse of all unrighteousness.

  • I was not suggesting that others must do as we did. I was just saying that when we learned that our tithes and offerings were going to support abortions (a national-level “ministry”) as well as other evils, we could not continue there in good conscience anymore.
    Twenty-five years ago this year, we saw the UMC take the first step toward this current issue when they co-sponsored the Reimagining Conference. We prayed about it and left that denomination.
    Later that year, we learned that a local UMC university was allowing homosexual “marriages” to be performed at their chapel on campus. In 1993! When that came out in the newspaper, the local UMC conference looked into it. When they learned it was true, they ordered that the campus chaplain immediately cease and desist conducting those ceremonies. His statement was he would, BUT that since he couldn’t do that anymore, he also would not conduct normal weddings anymore. This defiant attitude is now seen throughout the denomination. Not in all its members, no. But it has become prevalent among its leadership. Another denomination moving quickly toward apostasy, away from God’s Word. It’s beyond sad.

  • If you don’t see the racism in what you wrote…you’re reading the Bible in a racist light like racist ‘white’ Evangelicals have done throughout the Modern Era.

    “Race,” like “homosexuality,” are Modern Era social constructs, though “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” are late Victorian/20th Century social and obsolete scientific constructs.

  • A veteran pastor with a great sense of humor once said, “Some minds are so open, they need to be closed for repairs.” Speaking from a scriptural POV.
    Ironically, he was a UMC pastor, and said that years ago before the current motto was adopted.

  • You’re the only one who’s mentioned race. I know “race” is not a scriptural term. The Word of God says that He has made of one blood all men.
    Centuries and millennia before anyone coined the words “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality”, the Word of God addressed those issues. He determines what is moral and what is immoral. He is the only Righteous Judge before whom all men will give account for their lives.
    Are you assuming I’m white?

  • When I was a young man in the early 1970’s, I was told that I was going to go to hell for advocating the “unnatural sin of miscegenation Acts 17:26 (and a long list of other so called “proof texts”), unless I repent of my dreadful “sin” and accept Jesus as my personal savior. I was a Methodist.

    However, to paraphrase Frederick Douglass, I found that it consented to the same spirit which held my LBBT+brethren in chains of greedy bigotry.

    “…I attached myself to a small body of colored Methodists, known as the Zion Methodists. Favored with the affection and confidence of the members of this humble communion, I was soon made a classleader and a local preacher among them. Many seasons of peace and joy I experienced among them, the remembrance of which is still precious, although I could not see it to be my duty to remain with that body, when I found that it consented to the same spirit which held my brethren in chains.”

    My Bondage and My Freedom
    by Frederick Douglass
    CHAPTER 22: LIBERTY ATTAINED
    1855

  • I don’t care about your ‘race.” You’re abusing scripture to privilege yourself at the expense of an oppressed minority.

    How white of you.

  • Is that all you have? Threats? Your prayers are meaningless. As is your “faith”. Love (demonstrated by action, not words) is the mark of faith. You don’t have any of that.

  • And that is why sex and marriage are NOT nonessentials. Would you be willing to tell a gay couple that what they are doing is fine, but that they shouldn’t do it anyway in order to protect their fellow Christians? I doubt it, nor should you. They MATTER in a way that profanity, dancing, or going to movies don’t. Which means that a church needs to be unified when it comes to issues of sex and marriage or it will ultimately fail to stay unified. In a way, the One Church Plan reminds me of the gag rule about slavery in the House of Representatives before the Civil War — a forlorn hope that if they didn’t talk about it, the problem would go away.

  • There is no one righteous. No, not one.

    See? You can always find something in your bible to prove that someone else is wrong. When you are free from sin, you can feel free to judge away.

  • So if your male coworker is living with a girlfriend, you’re going to demand they stop living together? That’s a sex issue—one that can be considered marriage, from Scripture.

    There are Christians who do that, shack up without legal marriage while accepting themselves as married per Scripture. This is a position they can defend, from Scripture.

    Declaring they must be right or wrong is not your call or mine. We can doubt, question, discuss, and separate from someone’s company if we think they’re in egregious wrong [and engaging in fornication], but when it comes down to things, whether persons with such beliefs can be sincere Christians is not our call to make, but God’s.

    The most we’re authorized to do is look at their fruits and respond to that, but if we’re going to do that, it’s best done consistently. Otherwise, how are we to notice when we have beams sticking out of our own eyes?

  • God never said any of those things. They are the words of men. Ancient men. Dead men.

  • Nope. The Bible teaches that, and the Bible teaches that if we turn to Christ, renounce our sin, He will be faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of our sin

  • I prefer to stand up for things that are written in the Bible. If it’s not there, one is wasting their time

  • I see. God will only love us if we love him. If you don’t love him, he throws a tantrum.

  • God loves you right now, silly. Why are you trying to argue things you know nothing about?

  • I know things you will never know. God loves me as I am. I know this because God brought me and my partner together. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

  • That is not “God’s Word” — it is your word. The word of a perverted, immoral fake Christian.

  • The word “homosexuality” appears nowhere in the Bible. So to claim that is is “clear” is hogwash.

  • So said every Evangelical racist that I ever met or read…and I’ve met and read plenty.

  • The descriptions are there and are explicit. To deny that is foolish. You don’t have to believe the Bible. But for those who do it is clear.

  • Christ loves you and wants better for you honey. He does not want you wrapped up in sin that is going to cause you to perish. Christ will not endorse that which He has taught against;
    But, He will forgive and cleanse you of your sin, should you repent, turn to Him and follow Him as every other Christian has needed to do.

  • Your “belief” in the Bible amounts to idolatry. You read into it what you want to read into it.

  • Christ will deal with your “kids” in His time – what are you going to say to them when they ask why you chose to rebel against Him?
    What are you going to do when He asks you the same question?

  • No, I don’t have “kids” — I have kids and grandkids. They genuinely love their grandfathers. I am not “rebelling” against anyone — except ignorant and arrogant bigots like you who choose to spread poisonous hate. Why are you going to do when He asks you about that?

  • Yes you are and you aren’t even wise enough to see how satan is using you Canis.

  • That’s the point, there is no scripture on racism because white Evangelicals made it all up…scavenging ripped out of historical and intratextual contexts :inerrant proof texts” that privileged themselves at the expense of others.

    (But if you insist, Acts 17:26 was the race segregationist Evangelicals’ go to “proof text,” and they had a great many others, about forbidding the mixing of “kinds,” the “curse of Ham,’ the Tower of Babel, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah… They claimed that it was miscegenation ( a Victorian era social construct) that motivated God to create Noah’s Flood…and on and on…)

    And…they and other “conservative” Christians (and other patriarchal minded people in other religions) are doing it again over “homosexuals,” whatever they think “homosexuals” are as it’s a rather obsolete and useless concept with a lot of long discredited scientific and scientistic baggage ( much like “race.”)

  • white evangelicals did, eh? I thought they didn’t appear until recently. It was Christians who stopped the slavery, so you are trying to call Christianity a house divided also?
    Sodom and gomorrah had nothing to do with racism. I have no idea about ham, I think that is of the mormon cult, Babel, they spoke different languages, so, you’ve shown nothing but a lack of knowledge of the Bible.

  • I am not a member, but the Unitarians serve our community and its people here more than any other denomination. They demonstrate the love that is missing from most Christian congregations.

  • Most white Southern Protestants were proslavery. Proslavery Protestants founded the proslavery Southern Baptist Convention and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Southern Presbyterians such James Henley Thornwell were some of the most intellectual of the proslavery Evangelicals.

    One of the most popular proslavery tracts was by Thornton Stringfellow. Stringfellow was one of the founding fathers of the Southern Baptist Convention. Search for his name and his proslavery tract

    SCRIPTURAL AND STATISTICAL VIEWS IN FAVOR OF SLAVERY,

    1856 edition will likely be towards the top of the list.

    When it came to slavery, Evangelicals were definitely a house divided.

    Two things that white evangelicals who were proslavery, and those Evangelicals who had an antipathy towards slavery, had in common…they were racists and they hated the radical abolitionists (many of whom were also racists.).

    There were radical abolitionists who were evangelicals, especially among the Congregationalists of New England, but there were also non-Evangelicals among the radical abolitionists, such as Unitarians and Quakers.

    Antebellum Southern Quakers immigrated North rather than compromise with slavery.

  • The Unitarians I knew mostly just served up left wing politics in my face, along with plenty of nebulous moral relativism. For actual community service, I went elsewhere.

  • Well, you’re just full of reactionary baggage, aren’t you? “community service” my ass.

  • You mean Quaker Christians in the age of Deism, Unitarianism and Reason.

    Abolitionist Christians were opposed conservative Protestants who founded proslavery denominations, and who would plunge the country into a very bloody civil war decades after other Christian countries had abolished slavery.

    However lightly whitewashed, the proslavery Protestant’s white theology lives on today in “conservative” Evangelicalism.

    Fred Clark of the Patheos “Slacktivist” blog has written a lot about that.

  • And you’re just another typical “non-judgmental” liberal. Non-judgmental, my ass.

  • I’ve never claimed to be non-judgmental. That’s just another whiny talking point from those reactionary hypocritical conservatives who spend their lives judging others. I judge when I feel like it.

  • Just another whiny talking point from liberals who shout racist, bigot, fascist, or homophobe at anyone who disagrees with them (while professing to believe in tolerance, pluralism, and diversity). Join the club. I also judge when I feel like it.

  • Just another whiny liberal talking point from those who shout racist, bigot, fascist, hatemonger, and homophobe at anyone who disagrees with them, (while professing to believe in tolerance, pluralism, diversity, etc. etc, ). Join the club, I also judge when i feel like it and will continue to do so.

  • No one should tolerate your racist, bigoted, fascist and homophobic views, snowflake. In many places, such discrimination is illegal.

  • In other words, you’re all for tolerance, except when someone comes along with a perspective that doesn’t tickle your fancy.

  • You really don’t get it. Bigotry, fascism and homophobia shouldn’t tickle anyone’s fancy.

  • You haven’t explained how I have advocated bigotry, fascism, or homophobia. You’ve explained no such thing because i have done no such thing. I am forced to conclude. therefore,that those words are just “catch all” terms for any opinion that doesn’t tickle your fancy — much the same way that fundamantalist Christians shout “cult” at any religion that they don’t like.

  • You haven’t demonstrated how I have advocated bigotry, fascism,or homophobia, because i have done no such thing. I conclude, therefore, that those words are just catch-all terms for any opinion that doesn’t tickle your fancy — much the same way that fundamentalist Christians shout words like “cult” at any religion that they don’t like.

  • You’ve demonstrated my point — fascism, bigotry, and homophobia constitute any perspective that is different from yours. The typical knee jerk reaction that i have come to expect from liberals.

  • Did you take a class in philosophy/logic at all? It isn’t “Because you are a homosexual, you are perverted,” it is “Not following God’s moral code is perversion”. Yes there are standards. God’s Word is that standard. Thank you! Oh and don’t worry, the more gay people get glorified for their perversion the more Children of God will wake up, get up, and start going to church! Because of fear of God! Which is the beginning of Wisdom!

  • All the beauty in the world is His Creation. He created us. He didn’t NEED to created it all. He WANTED to. He wanted to create every single person…including the persons being murdered in mothers’ wombs.

    Filthy minds? Loving God and Truth is not filthy. Shame on you.

    I think more damage is done to religion by people who come into the church claiming to be Christian, but then become Pastors and then become openly gay, and then break down the House of God by giving into the seducing spirits. Methodist Church isn’t a real church anymore.

    Goodbye.

  • The last person I would go to ever for any advice is a bible believing Christian. Your morals are no better than they ought to be,

    And no, you are just telling yourself stories. Everywhere in the West, the church is in decline. My being gay Has nothing to do with other people finding god. But your assertion that it is so simply tells me that your god cannot atttrsct people by the weight of his own glory.

  • Revelation 22:18-19 King James Version (KJV)
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Amen!

  • It took me years to recover my wounded spirit after I allowed my faith to get devoured by lions like you. You are doing a good job of it again. So you can ease up a little. Don’t try so hard.

    It’s easy to see things from your perspective. I really wish you could see things from mine. Of course, telling people how to live their lives has never worked. All that ever truly worked was love and knowledge. When it comes down to it, people don’t know what they don’t know. Having this debate equates to sitting on opposite sides of a wall where one side is color white the other is color of a rainbow.

  • Oh, please. Poor little victim you, getting devoured by the big bad ol’ lion me— in an anonymous forum on the internet, no less. You snowflakes! To many electrons make you fade? can’t find the mouse? No you have to whine about what a victim you are of big, bad gay. Nonsense.

    You believe what you believe. You have no evidence for it but your faith and your book. You are absolutely entitled to it. The problems come with the insistence that my lifestyle is somehow ungodly, and I believe you used the word perversion, and that I should be disenfranchised from participation in society. So please don’t tell me how much you love me.

    It’s funny That I can reject the entirety of your religious belief, and this may Merit a large ho-hum from you. But let me say that I’m gay and reject this little bit of your belief, and by extension, yo7r belief that you have or ought to have dominion over my life, and boy, do you have a lot to say about it.

    But you are right about one thing. And one I have learned in my 47 years of fighting this fight isn’t anti gay bigots simply cannot see the objects of their contempt as people, as anything other than walking sins. You know nothing of my life, the lives of my friends and families, the lives of millions of gay people. But you are pleased as divine punch that you can tell me, in your moral and spiritual arrogance, everything you don’t know about me. You are even willing to tell me all about my relationship with god, if I believed in one, but I don’t.

    Exactly who are you to divine the relationship of god to anyone on the planet?

  • The one moral real Christian, by today’s values a progressive socialist, they hung him up on a cross. Everyone else, being human, fails. What *they* have is comparative righteousness.

    33,000+ distinct Christian denominations, all of whom believe all the *other* 33,000+ are destined for eternal damnation on matters of faith, as a matter of faith. Their only community is one of a projected self-loathing.

    “No true Christian” indeed. It’s not just a convenient exception, it’s a tautology. There aren’t any. The more you “sin,” the more you can “repent.”

  • He is held up to esteem here only to the extent that he drank the koolaid. He is likely to “sin again,” but that is already built into the program. Ample opportunity to deny his humanity in an unending struggle, to find more forgiveness. In most ways, the best thing for him *as a Christian* is to simply continue his previous “ways,” just always followed with a suitable psychological douche. Like with *any* narcissistic charade, it’s all about the optics, the conviction to believe your own lies. Have your cake and eat it too.

  • Any faith that measures itself by how far and often it can “lift me up from depravity” is simply measuring a personal affinity for that very depravity, even in the midst of its denial. The hypocrisy isn’t the blueberries in the muffin, that if you’re diligent you can avoid, it’s the muffin in the muffin.

  • So, without sin, specifically without *your* sins, you’re just another hapless critter scutlling along, surviving. Eat or be eaten. I’m just looking for common ground here.

  • Majority rule, with protection of majority rights, is built into the Constitution, which is *not* a moral fabric, it is one of doing what one can get away with. (That is its commonality with religion.) If you’re not indicted and convicted, you’re good. Even then, sometimes pardons await, if despite the condemnation, you *still* adhere to the program, show appropriate loyalty to the administration. Religion, like government, has always had the same agenda: to keep enough people complaint enough that others can work it to their advantage. While both *can have* altruistic, socialist, “Christian” perspectives, both also play right into any narcissist’s wheelhouse.

    That you deny “allege[d] minority rights with no basis” is that you deny the most fundamental part of the Constitution, and the only part of the Bible that really should matter.

  • You believe what you believe. You have no evidence for it but your faith. You are absolutely entitled to it.

    The problems come with the insistence that your beliefs should be imposed upon society, that people must genuflect at the shrine to your preferences, even to the point of conditioning their participation in public life and business on doing so.

    In short, you’re the very thing you decry.

  • Yea like when I watch the bachelor or the bachelorette. I am not hurting anyone, am I? What about if I say I don’t want the gay man on the show, which the lbgtq wants to push now, then I’m a monster all of the sudden. Get your own freakin show. Get your own freakin church. Get your freakin definition of unity don’t call it marriage. You are the one stepping on me!

  • Playing with your friends hair and giving them a backrub or holding hands. Or walking arm in arm. Doesn’t mean you’re gay. You can love friends deeply and care about them. Sleep while holding each other. It doesn’t mean youre gay. But apparently now it does because you have perverted the meaning of love.

  • Again, you are simply playing the victim when nobody is picking on you. If you think you’re being a monster, maybe you should stop being one. I mean. really! The bachelorette is the hill you want to die on?

    I will call my marriage exactly that – a marriage. Nothing requires you to, except reality. No I’m not telling you how to live your life, in fact, you just told me that I am not allowed to call my marriage and marriage. Sorry — no I’m not – that my marriage or the idea of my marriage upsets you so much.

    For your own sanity, get over your sense of persecution because I am no longer your inferior, whether legally, Morally, maritally, or anything else. You’re Not being persecuted. You are simply having to acknowledge that other people’s lives are every bit as valuable and important as yours. I get that you don’t like that, not one bit.

    Too bad.

  • At this point, I can only conclude that you were obviously gay obsessed, or have some severe mental issues. Please tell them to your therapist, not to me.

  • I think he may have meant a strict, literal interpretation like the fundamentalist evangelicals follow… the ones responsible for Trump. There are many of us, including in the United Methodist church that are Progressive, don’t follow a literal interpretation of the Bible or use individual verses to justify destroying people’s lives, believe in science, and have come around to see that God created trans and gay people in his image as well, and IMO is today’s test to see if we’ve learned ANYTHING from our past of using the Bible to justify things like slavery, Jim Crow laws, banning inter-racial marriages… and most recently, separating children from their parents.

  • What do you think a denomination even IS?? It’s not some magical entity, all it basically IS, is a group of people that share a common opinion on how the Bible is interpreted and how they practice their faith. The UMC itself evolved from splits off the original Methodist church, which later came back together (hence the “United” in the name), others remaining apart. This Wiki page is all the churches that have branched from the original Wesleyan church… and that’s only ONE protestant branch of Christianity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Methodist_denominations

    BTW – nothing I stated in anyway goes against the UMC Book of Discipline (it very much supports all this) with the exception of the evolving position on gays, which is of course, what this entire article is about, and the recommendation to remove the language as to it being a sin from the BOD. As is true with ALL denominations, they are not static in their positions, but constantly re-evaluate and change on various issues…. even the Catholics who of any denomination are known for their traditional values.

  • A religious denomination is an association or organized subgroup within a religion which operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.

  • The “bishops” want to take Methodists down the Boy Scouts’
    blasphemous road like the fools spoken of in Psalm 53:1

    As they think to keep more money what’s Biblically true and
    really not funny is the exodus of the faithful has already begun !!!

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