from “Anthem”, by Leonard Cohen

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Dark Day in UMC History

Today, the majority of a Board of Ordained Ministry in a United Methodist Conference voted against the heart of the Gospel, saying they had no choice but to do so.

Today Frank Schaefer received the harshest possible punishment available from the church, simply because he stood up for his own child.

Today, the UMC won a significant victory against people who, though harming no one and having no choice in the matter, are not heterosexual.

Today, our church officially ignored the salient and important insight that in 
every single verse where the Bible refers to homosexuality, 
the writers who wrote those verses were saying that 
since ALL human beings are             
totally and completely heterosexual,             
they should not be having sex with
with other human beings who were
totally and completely heterosexual.

(In that context, few of us would disagree with the Bible's view - that two people should not have sexual relationships if neither is attracted to the other.

HOWEVER, in our own time, we have come to realize that our sexual orientation can be other than hetero - a truth unknown to Bible writers.

THEREFORE – the Bible says absolutely nothing– has no specific advice - zero – about sexual morality as it pertains to people 
who do not have a heterosexual orientation.

 - - - - - - -
In 1836, the General Conference of the Methodist Church voted the following Resolution, almost unanimously:
"Resolved, by the delegates of the Annual Conference in General Conference assembled, That they are decidedly opposed to modern abolitionism, and wholly disclaim any right, wish, or intention, to interfere in the civil and political relation between master and slave, as it in the slave holding States of this Union."

A few years ago the General Conference of the United Methodist Church proclaimed an Act of Repentance on behalf of those who had harbored and encouraged racism.

That act of repentance included language in which we (white people) acknowledged the ways in which the BIBLE was used WRONGLY 
against BLACK FOLK.

Our church had a similar act of repentance for WOMEN.

And, most recently for NATIVE PEOPLES.

How long will it be before we offer the same service of repentance
for all we have done against GAY folk?

All of which begs Bob Dylan’s perennial question -

How many years can some people exist

Before they're allowed to be free?

Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,

Pretending he just doesn't see?

How many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?

Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows

that too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
the answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Today has been a terrible day in the history of a 
communion of people who should know better.

Jesus weeps.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Steve for speaking so honestly and eloquently on this important issue in our church! I stand with you!