Before I begin, Lord thank you for the beautiful creation you have made in each one of us. May the truth of your word stand firm always. May the words I write be full of love, righteousness and truth. Send your healing spirit to all that is unhealthy in this nation. Come soon, Jesus. In your name I pray.
The conversation between the LGBT community and organized religions is always an emotional one. For some time now the Lord has been calling me to learn about what He says about who we are in Him and the role our bodies play in living a Holy life. In regards to the latest UMC decision on LGBT community we must think objectively in order to make sense of it. There are a few questions we have to ask ourselves before we say the UMC was right or wrong in their decision. The two questions the church was facing are:
- Should gay and lesbian pastors be ordained in the UM church?
2. Should same-sex couples be able to be married in the UM church?
What we need to ask is:
How would the UM church go about making these decisions?
Just as any other organization, they have set “core values” that the elders or leaders of the church refer to in making decisions for the future of their congregation. Again, just as in any other organization they have set requirements that candidates must meet in order to be qualified for a leadership position. It is important to note that the United Methodist church was founded on biblical truths and values. The two questions that the UM church had to answer were rooted in this one question….
Is being involved in a gay relationship a sin?
Lets look at Romans 1:24-27.
So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.
That is why God abandoned then to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and as a result suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.
I chose this scripture (though there are many) to reference because it gives such a good description of how God feels about sexual immorality. Now sexual immorality is not only a description of gay sex. All of us who participate in sexual relations that are not as God intended are guilty of sexual immorality. I myself have a past full of sexual immorality and this is why this subject is so dear to my heart. Seeing people freed of being involved in or free of being full of shame because of their involvement in sexual sin has become a passion of mine. I want to mention that this verse is from the New testament. I often hear things like, ‘Oh, only the old testament talks about homosexuality and its very vague. ” That simply isn’t the truth but we wont go into all of that now. Take some time to search your bible for what the Lord says about this, on your own.
Based on this verse alone ( again, though there are many) the biblical answer to this question is Yes. This yes is reason enough for the UM’s ruling but..
*Let’s take the sin out of it…
Taking sin off the table, every organization , no matter the their denomination or function, is founded on “Core Values” . When I opened the Dance project I had to complete an exhaustive application to become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. When the process began I was frustrated by the redundancy of the questions, What is your mission statement? How will you execute your mission? What is your vision? How will you execute your vision? Who will serve on your board of directors? What will their role be in maintaining the integrity of your vision? After completing the application I found myself appreciative through the years of those in depth questions because they gave me a firm foundation to lean into as I made decisions for the future of Dance Project.
If an organization is looking to hire someone to teach “A” and after the interview process the organization realizes that that candidate does not feel they should teach “A” but will teach “B”, it would make sense that they aren’t the right fit for the position because the core values of that particular company ( and the task at hand) will not be upheld in this persons teaching.
What’s our logical takeaway?
I think it is safe to say that a man or woman who is participating in a same sex relationship believes that this is morally acceptable and if asked they would condone their behavior. I also think it is safe to say that a man or woman who wants to be married as a same sex couple are choosing this because they feel their is nothing morally wrong with their decision. The UM church’s teaching’s are based on the biblical foundation that participating in homosexual behavior is not natural to God’s intentions of sexual relationship. To ordain a priest who is participating in a gay relationship or who is living a gay lifestyle simply does not fit into the foundational values that the church was founded on. The UMC was founded on the biblical belief that God intended marriage to be between a man and woman. To marry a same sex couple simply does not fit into the foundational values that the church was founded on. Based on these simple facts, the UM church would be correct in their ruling to deny same sex marriage participation and the ordainment of a man or woman living a homosexual lifestyle. The United Methodist church is a Christian organization, formed on biblical values, it is not strange or hateful or selfish for their ruling to reflect their foundational values.
With all of this said,
*I have seen posts slashing the United Methodist Church. Saying they have “kicked God out of church”. “Doubled-down its opposition”, they are “desperate defenders of their own relevance.” These are all bogus! It’s disheartening to me that the public speaker who said these things is heard by hundreds of thousands of men and women. I challenge the one who posted these things to ask those questions of themselves. Who’s the real “defender of their own relevance”? It seems to me that the United Methodist Church has acted as a TRUE defender of the word of God.
*There is no sin greater than the other. We are ALL in need of Jesus’ covering. Jesus’ blood has washed us all white as snow. I pray you seek Him always.