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AC2015 to vote on Discipline’s homosexuality language

AC2015 to vote on Discipline’s homosexuality language
Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

By Jessica Brodie

Annual Conference members will vote in June whether the church should remove language from the United Methodist Book of Discipline about homosexuality being incompatible with Christian teaching.

A resolution submitted to the Annual Conference secretary calls on the South Carolina Conference to petition the 2016 General Conference to remove the sentence found in Para. 161F of the 2012 Book of Discipline that states, “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”

The resolution was signed by more than a hundred United Methodist clergy and laity, many of whom are part of Reconciling Ministries of South Carolina, a group that works to help the UMC become more open and inclusive to all people, including all sexual orientations and gender identities.

The resolution maintains that Para. 161F has been argued by biblical scholars and theologians to be inaccurate and in conflict with what many Christian educators indeed teach, and that it contradicts Para. 162, which affirms all people as equally valuable in the sight of God.

“In each subsequent year since adoption, this statement is rejected by more and more United Methodists as an insufficient way of communicating our most honest and forthright understanding of human sexuality and human value,” the resolution states. “The statement has been the source of tremendous harm to countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons, families and friends.”

The resolution also states that the previous understanding of homosexuality presumed that it is a choice, “and the current understanding is that it is a state of being which therefore can be affirmed in a life-long, covenant relationship that embodies ‘celibacy in singleness and fidelity in marriage.’”

The full text of the resolution is online at www.reconcilingministriessc.org.

 

33 Comments

  • do not agree, I have gay’s family members but do not condone their lifestyle. If UNC change this discipline then what next Gambeling, drugs . god loves us all but our church and myself does not condone Homosexuality

    • How do you feel about divorce and remarriage? Should the church condone divorce and remarriage regardless of the reasons for the divorce?Christ was very specific when he spoke of divorce, yet never mentions homosexuality. Does the current policy of the UMC conform to Christ’s teachings and if not then why would anyone oppose removing this language with regard to condemning homosexuality?

  • It is so sad that some Pastors are caving in to public pressure. You should be able to love all people and still tell them the truth about what is acceptable according to the word of God. Where will it end? If prostitution becomes legal and popular in our society are we going to say that’s ok too. We as a church are supposed to be a voice to stand up for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What happened to teaching, “Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If we are going to conform to this worlds desires we are no better than any other cult out there in society. Christ died for us. We should at least try to live for him. Just remember we as Pastors will be held accountable for what we teach others. Before you open your mouth to agree with liberal society, ask yourself are you sure it is the truth according to the word of God.

    • I agree with you 100%.

    • Did the church cave on the matter of divorce?

  • Please do not remove the sentence in par 161F inThe Book of Discipline 2012. We just need to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens.). We do not need to conform to their needs, they need to seek Jesus and live according to the way The Bible states, a marriage is better a man and women.
    1st John 1:9 NKJV.

  • If the United Methodist does not believe the Bible as the divine Word of God in that homosexuality is a sin and choice of lifestyle then after 67 years I can no longer be a United Methodist. What your mind feeds on becomes a way of life to you. If you think of Godly things you will become Godly. If you think on sexual things then you will want to experience with that and it will eventually consume your mind. I do not believe the medical society. My belief is on the basic principles of the Bible to love all but not to compromise God’s Word. You remove this and we will not be able to teach our children this is a sin, then the next thing you will allow homosexual marriages to be performed in our churches. Do not let the devil win. John Wesley would roll over in his grave to see what the Methodist have become.

    • Currently the UMC’s Book of Discipline says this about homosexuality: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-the-denominations-position-on-homosexuality — the article only references a resolution about what COULD be.

    • No,he would not..John Wesley had three simple rules, to love God, to do no harm and to do good…now tell me how condemning homosexuality conforms to those rules.?

  • So sad to read these comments. The book of disciplines contradicts itself just as the Bible does. Homosexuality is not a “choice” or a “lifestyle” It is the way people were created by God and I hope that soon Methodists will educate themselves into the 21st century

    • It is a choice that you make.

    • Janet, what scientific proof are you able to provide that states, without question, that homosexuality is a naturally occurring (from birth) human attribute (in humans) that is not influenced, in any way, by outside forces or experiences after birth? Please, educate us.

    • Divorce is a choice, homosexuality is a chemical makeup of and individual just as all sexuality is. How do all you people feel about divorce, do you condemn those who choose to divorce? Maybe you should think about how God see’s you?

  • Love the sinner, hate the sin. We love and accept all our brothers and sisters, regardless of sex, race or age, but it is the behavior that is not acceptable. Welcome and encourage sinners to repent and live a Godly life, and a Godly life will never be an easy road. Mankind can not undo a behavior that is a sin. Will adultery be the next, “it is not a sin any more” change in the United Methodist Church.

  • Why noy just throw out the bible, rip the book of discipline up and become political correct. Sodom payed the price and people still have not learned. The United Methodist are going the way of the devil and will loose more people just to make a small number enforce their way. This has killed the Boy Scout program. The baptist have it right it appears. Love the sinner not the sin.

    • If the Methodist church wants to continue this path, there are many churches willing to accept homosexuality and people who do not condemn it…one church does not fit all…let God be the final judge. Let the Methodist keep the righteous and I am sure there are churches who open their doors to the sinners. I know God does.

    • I hope you are not one of those that believe Jesus said “love the sinner, hate the sin”, because he didn’t. What he did say is love each other, and what you do to the least, you do to me. And a church is tasked with opening its doors to sinners…that’s what church is for. If your church is a museum for saints instead of a hospital for sinners, you’ve got it all wrong.

  • It is sad when some groups want others to bend to the way they think so that others will agree with them and see that their way is right, even if they are wrong. What is amazing is that they won’t listen to anyone else because if they don’t agree with them, then the others are wrong, no matter what. They won’t listen to reason.
    Part of the resolution says “Whereas, from its adoption, the statement has not fully represented all United Methodists.” If this resolution were to pass, then those who are opposed to it can argue the same argument to get it repealed. There is no way human beings can write anything that everyone will agree with.
    Jesus said that He is the truth. But those who advocate the LGBT movement seem to be asking, along with Pilate, “What is truth?” It appears that they think it is defined by the individual person and others must agree with them. That is Humanism, making us out to be god instead of God being God.
    Jesus defined our marriage relationships to be between one man and one woman, a husband and a wife. If homosexuality is a way of life that is not chosen, but is something a person is genetically born with, them why didn’t Jesus define marriage as between one man or woman with one man or woman?
    Love the person but don’t condone the sin. That is what the Bible and the .Discipline both advocate

  • Political correctness does not trump God’s word. The bible is pretty clear about homosexuality. I will pray that the delegation from Mount Horeb will stand strong.

    • What did Christ say about homosexuality…

  • I do not agree with this new resolution and I will not vote in favor of it. The United Methodist Church is apparently going the way of the world. We are supposed to be ‘in’ the world but not ‘of’ the world. What happened to the Christians who were not afraid to tell the truth in love? Homosexuality is a sin. The Bible says it is and that’s what I believe. I thought that’s what the UMC believed also. As earlier people stated, hate the sin and not the sinner. We can show love and compassion to our homosexual brothers and sisters, but real true love is to tell them they have a soul to save or to be lost, so repent and be saved! Let’s not get wrapped up in the ruler of this world’s tricks and schemes. (he), the devil, Satan, has been spewing the same lies since the Garden and trying to instill doubt of what God’s Word says. Don’t be fooled!

  • Why do we continue to point to Jewish beliefs (In Leviticus) that are more than 3,000 years old. Yes, they say homosexuality is a sin (according to their world view) BUT they also say that unrulie children should be taken out and stoned. Are we ready to go there?
    Others point to Paul’s letters. Paul approved of slavery and of “not allowing women to speak in church.” How long has it taken us to realize and escape those “rules of being a Christian.” Paul was also wrong and, in my opinion, speaking out of his own prejudices when he declared homosexuality a sin. As a retired United Methodist pastor I proclaim that my transgendered daughter is one by birth, not choice, and is loved by God as she is. I really am tired of the debate. I will never abandon my daughter but I will worship my God without the need of some earthly designed church.

    • If homosexuality were a choice, then I would ask anyone who believes this if they made the choice to be heterosexual-and if it is a choice, then why choose heterosexuality? Sexuality has as much choice with it as your height and eye color. Science has, actually, derived a lot of very conclusive information from performing forensic autopsies on a vast array of persons, noting differences in their hypothalamus. Sexuality is not a choice, a personality defect or anything of the such. It’s who someone is. To quote scriptures accurately, you need to go all the way back to the original, unadulterated verbiage. It paints a clearly different picture. the current BoD is contradictory, and it does not adhere to the 3 rules: it does harm, it is not good, and it sets up hindrance for some people. We are not here to judge and persecute each other; Jesus was very clear about that. Of all the rules, laws and guidelines, He told us that Love was the greatest of these. Pray-ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to the kind of love that Jesus instructed.

  • First of all, I don’t like the fact that the Annual Conference is coupling the issue of bullying with homosexuality. This is just
    the sort of thing we all hate about the “loaded bills” that get passed in Washington DC. Medical science has declared
    that irregular brain functions have been found in mass murderers, child molesters and other deviates. So are these
    people part of God’s creation ( as stated) and deserve the same rights that we all enjoy? My point is that the Conference
    is making a dangerous “leap” in this case in order to appease a particular segment of society. Is changing Methodist
    doctrine going to save lost souls or save numbers? As long as we live like Jesus wants us to live, we won’t have to
    rely on doctors and scientists to interpret the Bible for us.

    • My comments are awaiting an awakening of common sense!!!!

  • Everything may be permissible but not everything is beneficial. We are all sinners and have been born with a sin nature. It is easy to sin. We have to make a conscious decision everyday how to act and the Bible is our guide book. We are not to kill, we are not to gossip, etc. This is our “go to” source and we need to rely on its truth. If homosexual behavior was God designed then it could reproduce biologically. God loves all of his created people and he knows that we are sinners but the Bible says he detests homosexuality. When you start to pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible, then you loose the truth. The enemy likes to distort the truth to cause division and to destroy. We have to hold onto Love for everyone because we all fall short and are sinners. Love covers a multitude of sins but also hold firm to truth and call sin a sin. Do not be deceived!! Jesus healed but he also said, “Go and sin not more.”

    • Did God despise homosexuality or did Paul? the two are not the same..Christ was God incarnate and yet he never mentions homosexuality…

  • […] news spread about a resolution at Annual Conference on whether the church should remove language from the United Methodist Book of […]

  • […] Book of Discipline language change resolution (to remove the sentence found in Para. 161F of the 2012 Book of Discipline that states, “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching”) […]

  • I would respectfully add that Jesus declared God’s design for healthy and holy human sexual relationships as those between one man and one woman. Christ defined marriage as such when He was asked about the issue of divorce. In Matthew 19:4-5, Christ quotes the Old Testament and declares, “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?”

    The Bible is clear that divorce is not God’s design. Scripture also declares that homosexual practices are not God’s intention for His people. This is not to say that anyone is exempt from straying from God’s design, but I pray we do not set aside God’s standard of what is right and good and true simply when our actions don’t rise up to it.

  • God never changes and neither does His Word. Satan got Eve to believe that it was a good thing to eat the fruit by convincing her of a lie and he still convinces us today of wrong beliefs by lying to us. You are not being mean to people by disapproving of sin, but ,hopefully, saving their souls.

  • […] has drawn heated conversation, both in Advocate letters to the editor and on the Advocate website here and here), both for and against the […]

  • Ms. Hardwick, your repeated comparison to divorce is valid in respect to it being sinful. God does not in any way, shape or fashion condone divorce. However divorce is a sin where one is able to confess one’s sin and be able to regain integrity and honor in their life by living a Godly life.

    Homosexuality does not allow for living a Godly life as outlined by scripture. True the Bible does say that all are equal in the eyes of God, but no where in Scriptures does it say God condones or accepts homosexual behavior. Sodom and Gomorrah or the fall of the Roman Empire might be appropriate reading on this subject. Oh and as to Jesus not speaking against homosexuality…I believe He said that He came not to do away with the law but to fulfill the law, ie, Old Testament law. Jesus did not talk about many other aspects of life that are sin and abominations and it doesn’t change the fact that they are contrary to God’s word.

    Ms. Hardwick, any homosexual person can can confess their sin…seek God’s grace and favor…and live a Godly life because His grace is for all His children.

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