Methodist LGBT supporters
Methodist LGBT supporters react to news that the church leadership will continue to discriminate against LGBT members (AP Photo/Sid Hastings).

Mainstream Christianity still cannot figure out how to treat gay people within its ranks.

After several years of emotionally charged debate, the United Methodist Church has decided to maintain its longstanding official position that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” as outlined in its Book of Discipline.

Delegates from the UMC recently voted to reject the “One Church Plan,” a measure that would have allowed regional denominations to determine their own positions on homosexuality. The “Traditional Plan” approved in its place maintains the Methodists’ status quo stance against homosexuality, gay marriage and ordaining gay people.

It even designates punishments to ministers who choose to defy church rules and perform gay marriages anyway. For the first wedding performed, ministers will now receive a minimum one-year suspension without pay. If they perform a second, they risk being permanently removed   from the ministry.

A Church Divided

Although the traditional wing of the church prevailed, the vote served to expose a widening schism on LGBT issues within Methodist circles.

Some members were thrilled to see the church uphold a ban on homosexuality. “The Bible tells us that we need to stay faithful to the Word,” said Ble Leon Nathan Ake of Cote D’Ivoire, who found himself on the winning side of the vote. “It’s God’s plan, it’s the will of God, it is the biblical way.”

But a growing faction within the church thinks it’s past time to adopt progressive views toward LGBT inclusion. Delegate J.J. Warren, who is gay, spoke against the Traditional Plan. “Jesus told the little children to come when the disciples tried to shoo them away,” he declared on the conference floor. “Don’t shoo us away. Let us come.”

Adam Hamilton, lead pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest United Methodist congregation in the United States, called the Traditional Plan “regressive” and alienating to progressives. “You’ve inspired them to action. They’re mad, they’re upset, they’re hurt.” His comments were met with resounding cheers and applause.

Others expressed their frustrations online:

Lingering Questions

While some protestant denominations have become more accepting of homosexuality in recent years, Methodists remain amongst the least tolerant and most resistant to change. When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, the news sparked intense divisions in the Methodist Church – divisions which have only become worse over time.

Despite numerous efforts to come to a compromise, fundamental disagreements over how to treat gay people have prevented the church from finding a unifying stance that satisfies both sides.

The pace of social change is clearly putting pressure on traditional religious views. Opinions that were widely held just a few decades ago (that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married, for example), have become less and less popular – to the point that many consider holding such views reprehensible.

What does the future look like? Will traditional religious institutions embrace progressive causes or stick to their ways? If they go the latter route, could it affect their ultimate survival?

106 comments

  1. Miranda Allison Young says:

    My very own church here where I live preaches against homosexuality. When I tried to tell them that I am a lesbian, they wanted to pray over me. One of the elders said that some of his co-workers ‘think’ they are ‘gay’. I love the preacher and the elders of my church, as they are wonderful people, but when I comes to this subject, they are hopeless. However, they do not discriminate against me, meaning casting me out, but they are sorry that I ‘think’ this way. They just have totally closed minds on this subject. Only the preacher, the three elders, and the church secretary are aware of what I am, none of the members have any of this knowledge. I have no idea of what their consensus would be.

    1. Jim D says:

      Good people don’t judge. I think you need to reconsider whether or not they are “good people”.

      1. John Owens says:

        Jim, I like reading your comments, and I think I understand what you mean, but this particular comment may deserve a caveat or two.

        “Judge ye not” would be more accurately translated as “Do not condemn”. Still, in another place, we are enjoined, “judge not by appearances, but judge righteous judgment.” That is, make rational, balanced determinations.

        We MUST have opinions, we have to make determinations, and we must have standards. I mean, a church cannot accept just anyone, regardless of their personal life. Neither can a motorcycle club, or a political party, or an employer, or a country club.

        I’m not saying here that in this case they are right or wrong. I’m just saying, regarding your comment, that good people DO judge certain things. That is, they make decisions about things. That IS judgment. I mean, your statement implies that you are determining that they are not good people because they made a certain determination.

        1. Jim D says:

          John, I see your point. There are several interpretations of the word “judging”. I was suggesting to Ms. Young that perhaps she should not consider these people to be so “wonderful” when they think she is broken (they pray over her and are sorry she “think[s] this way”). That’s not acceptance, but like Miss Young said, they are not casting her out… yet. I believe one of two things will happen. Either they will accept Miss Young, and other like her, as she is, or they will ask her not to return to their church. Right now, she is a piece of the puzzle that does not fit. How long do you think the church elders will tolerate that?

          1. John Owens says:

            I think most would tolerate her from now on, if she doesn’t make it an issue.

            No one in any church is without fault, and most sensible people remember that most of the time. I have a couple of tattoos, and my people don’t believe in them, but they don’t give me a hard time about it, as long as I am not advocating everyone get tattoos.
            Some in our number smoke, although we do not believe that is a godly thing to do. We have had divorcés, single mothers, single fathers, I have been in an MC for quite some time, one pastor is a former prize-fighter, people from all walks of life.

            Each of us struggles to find, and then walk on a golden path, and if we can encourage one another along the way, without betraying our deity, that is our duty in life.

          2. Jim D says:

            John, I understand what you are saying, and I agree with much of it. But there is something you said that intrigues me: “I think most would tolerate her from now on, if she doesn’t make it an issue.”

            You used the example that your church does not believe in tattoos. You have tattoos, and no one gives you a hard time about it as long as you don’t advocate for others to get tattoos. Would you advocate that others have the right to do with their bodies as you have? Doesn’t have to be tattoos. What about piercings? Style of clothing?

            In Miss Young’s church, you think she would be left alone if she doesn’t make an issue out of being a lesbian. Okay, so she won’t try to convert the women in the congregation into lesbians. Fair enough. What if she wants to marry her lesbian partner, marriage being something that everyone else in the church gets to enjoy? She’s not advocating for anyone else do something. She would be advocating for herself to do what everyone else gets to do. My guess is her church would not allow it. What do you think?

            And Miss Young, if you’re reading this, I would love to hear your opinion too.

          3. John Owens says:

            She is free to marry her lesbian partner, but not in a church that doesn’t bless lesbian marriages. Homosexual couples are nothing new. The actual marriages are, but as far as I know, there have always been homosexual couples. If they didn’t show up at church all hugging on one another, I really don’t think it would be a problem in most churches. People don’t typically pry into the friendships between attendees.

          4. Jim D says:

            Exactly, John. And that’s my point. It is not unreasonable for someone to want to get married in the church to which they belong. But I fear if Miss Young wanted to marry her partner in her church, I doubt they will let her. So does she really belong to that church, or do they just tolerate her presence because she willingly and happily puts money in the collection plate every Sunday?

            Unless Miss Young can enjoy all the benefits and services the church offers (like every heterosexual member), then she really isn’t considered a member of that church.

            You also mentioned that it wouldn’t be a problem as long as they weren’t “all hugging on one another”. I’m sure heterosexual couples are not engaging in steamy love sessions in the middle of the aisles. Why would anyone be concerned that a gay couple would do that? A person’s sexual preference does not affect one’s tendencies toward overt displays of affection.

            No, I’m sorry, but I think a church has to accept you as you are. If they won’t, they shouldn’t beat around the bush about it. Say openly, but kindly. Once said, it’s time to move on and find a church that is more accepting.

      2. Renee franks says:

        Correct god pee judges and never looks again

        1. Jim D says:

          Sorry, Renee, I have no idea what that means. Perhaps you could proofread before you post. Thanks.

          1. John Owens says:

            I can’t make sense of it, either.

      3. richard H. says:

        The bible says to use Righteous Judgement on your neighbor.
        Or you could be tricked into sin

    2. Pastor Dave says:

      Give it a break folks.
      Personally I find homosexuality unnatural.. Sin or no sin? I don’t care! At least those that have the courage to come out of their closet should be admired by their courage. As a pastor it is not my place to pass judgement. That is left for the Father in Heaven for when we all stand before him and open wide our own closets and expose our own sin. Because we all have it. Sin that is. Jesus was the only perfect man to walk on earth.
      A challenge to all readers, are you willing to expose your own personal skeleton in the closet? To those that are not, shut up then! In the words of the Master, “Judge not let ye be judged.”
      If you don’t hold with the Methodist stance, seek spiritual support from another church. Heaven knows there are a slew out their that support the LGTBA philosophy..
      Meanwhile I will consider LGTBA folks as friends when the opportunity arises. Accepting then as they are, Non-judgmental and embracing them as friends, warts and all!

      1. Renee franks says:

        All Homosapiens are bad you do not start creation this way, it’s more like demons in clothes that sadly we turned into humans because of Jesus shine… Son of god is not a man just confused for a minute or pretending to be … Passover

        1. Pastor Dave says:

          Not sure if I understand you. Adam and Eve were sinless until the snake intervened. Tree of knowledge and all that?
          ??? Jesus was God become flesh. That is what the New Testament tells us. And in flesh Jesus remained pure. That’s why his death on the cross was the atonement for all of our sins.

          1. Lionheart says:

            If you can actually somehow comprehend what you just wrote, then you should also be able to comprehend that if you believe no one created your god, in essence, you worship an atheist …..right?

          2. Lori says:

            Oooooo, cool Lionheart. I never looked at god from that perspective. An athiest! That’s what happens when we (as humans) try to define something that cannot be defined. I’ve been enlightened!

      2. richard H. says:

        Your views are ridiculous Homosexuals should not be force feeding Breeders their demented ways of life

        1. Pastor Dave says:

          :o) You are welcome to your opinion. I do hope most understood my message.

        2. Zob Va says:

          Please do some self-examination Richard, and ask yourself why you made an ad-hominem attack on the poster rather than explaining your own point of view in a civilized manner. It makes one wonder just how strong an argument you might actually have/not have when you resort to Trumpian language.

    3. Looking for the Truth says:

      The bible is wrong on this I KNOW that the real GOD couldn’t care less about it if you are gay or not. This is a man made rule of the times when the OT was it. The NT, Jesus did not mention homosexuality or even abortion in his recorded teachings. If it was that important, he would have let us know. Jesus did speak about sexual impropriety. He even spoke about adultery and came up on the side of the offender against her accusers.That leaves the rest against man made rules based on the belief at the time. So what is maddening is these so called christians who use their unbiblical beliefs about the bible to justify their prejudices and bigotry. For that, they should be rebuked.

    4. Renee franks says:

      Do what’s right… and leave the church. Jesus is not for everyone. God is love…

  2. Rev. Rene says:

    It is a fact that a horse which always had blinders on cannot process the rest of it’s world when they stand removed! So too our Methodist Christian brothers and sisters who were raised in the belief that there is just one way to be a good Christian. They are wrong, but we must still love them as fellow man!

  3. Dr. Gordon Francis Blaney Jr. says:

    While I’m a member of the LGBT community, I support individual churches and religious communities determining what their doctrine is to be. In addition, as a member of said community, I support the individual’s right to be. If a fellow member of the LGBT is discontent with their religious affiliation, then their choice is clear to me — renounce their religion or renounce their nature. I’d select nature each and every time. If I select nature, then does that mean my spiritual journey is over? Not at all. It means I’m choosing to interpret scripture that is different than the religion that doesn’t who I am. I’m free to find a religious organization that’s supportive of the LGBT community. This all being said, it’s entirely ethically and morally wrong to berate someone from having a different way of life.

    1. Jim D says:

      Oh, Dr. Gordon, if only everyone thought as you do, the world would be a much better place. A very healthy outlook on society.

    2. Patty Wileman says:

      I wish more would think like you. Each of us make a choice and a Christian with what they choose to live by the Bible is their choice as well as you have a choice.

    3. Pastor Dave says:

      Pure wisdom Dr. Gordon. I firmly believe and always will that we all will stand before God and be judged. What right do I have to judge my fellow man when I am saddled with original sin.

  4. Tom B says:

    Respectfully…the Methodist majority does not understand God…Peace…Tom B

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Disrespectfully, the Methodist majority are morons, and I won’t waste my time on such people.

      1. Tom B says:

        Carl…Respectfully, how little “time” do you have, that you would comment like that?…Tom B

        1. Carl Elfstrom says:

          Tom B… Respectively, I don’t understand your intent.

          1. Tom B says:

            Carl…my “intent” was to question as to why you would take the time to write a totally denigrating comment, when you could have said nothing…i disagree with the Methodist position, but i would not call Methodists “morons”…what does name-calling accomplish?…Tom B

    2. Renee franks says:

      Correct read the bible like forward and backward and sideways till all ways are pointing to Jesus … he will come back

      1. Lionheart says:

        Yes, I did that, and thankfully having studied it in great detail I came to my epiphany that it is indeed a load of fictional rubbish. Then, finally, with no religious guilt hanging over me, no blackmails of hell, I went into recovery, and life became so much happier and I could truly see how much religion, and my indoctrination, had screwed up my life. All ways for me pointed to EXIT, as fast as possible. I have honestly never looked back. Life is now very good, and my eyes are fully open.

        Those of you who are still deeply immersed in religion won’t be able to see as I now do, and you will more than likely be saying I am going to hell, and that’s okay, I know where you are, I’ve been where you are.

        1. James Hopps says:

          I sort of believe you Lionheart. Except that you comment here quite frequently. I’m not so sure you can get away from the religion. Sort of think you’re addicted to the drama.

          1. Lionheart says:

            You are of course quite right. I’m angry at having been so heavily indoctrinated for so long. I guess I’m still working my way through it all, so please bear with me.

            🦁❤️

        2. Tom B says:

          Lionheart…to me, you are progressing in the right direction…Peace…Tom B

          1. Lionheart says:

            Thank you so much, that means a lot. My heart is heavy for those who have not yet seen the light, especially those causing mayhem, death and destruction for their faith, even though they will think I am the one to have been led away from the truth. Only at death will we all “truly” know. ✌🏻☮️

            🦁❤️

          2. Tom B says:

            Lionheart…you are apparently an older soul…we each have our own path; many have countless lifetimes to experience before they see the light…Peace…Tom B

  5. Clayton Beardmore says:

    God’s condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear – He opposes it in every age:
    In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28).
    In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).
    In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50).
    In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 2 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8).
    Why does God condemn homosexuality? Because it overturns His fundamental design for human relationships – a design that pictures the complementary relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33). Why, then, have homosexual interpretations so successful at persuading so many? It’s simple; people what to be convinced. As a Christian, you must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality – ever. No matter how much you desire to be compassionate to the homosexual, your first allegiance belongs to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness. Homosexuals stand in defiant rebellion against the will of their Creator who from the beginning “made them male and female.” (Matthew 19:4).
    Homosexual advocates have futile reasoning – their arguments are without substance. Homosexuals, and those who advocate that sin, are fundamentally committed to overturning the Lordship of Christ in this world. But their rebellion is useless, for the Holy Spirit says “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
    1 Corinthians 6 is clear about the eternal consequence for those who practice homosexuality – but there’s good news. No matter what the sin is, God has provided forgiveness – embrace it.

    1. The Rev. Brother Robert Barker says:

      Clayton Beardmore: The bible is not the final arbiter. It is merely a human book written over millennia by mere humans giving their peculiar understanding of god. They do not speak for god but for themselves and need not be taken seriously, The majority of people don’t hold to the bible as god’s word but merely man’s word.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Different people and religions believe in their deities in different ways. Even sects within the same religion have different beliefs. Instead of condemning Methodists for having different beliefs on this subject wouldn’t it be better to simply ignore them, and stay clear of them, letting them live in their own little, lost, narrow minded world all by themselves. I once knew a man who started out as a Baptist minister, retired as a Methodist minister, and then had his own gay christian church, and kept getting retirement benefits from the Methodists. So they aren’t all without hope. Some of them come to their senses, and stray. However, talking about the ignorance of that Christian denomination isn’t going to accomplish anything, other than make us more frustrated.

    2. Patty says:

      I’m glad that you read the verses from the Bible. The Bible is Gods word. Some people think it’s just words from a human being. But it’s God’s word wrote using a human being. You take all the books together and all the different times that nobody knew each other and they all coordinate with His word. So thank you for describing what the Bible really does say. People have free choice to believe or not to believe. And I believe that are we all perfect no. But I do believe most Christians that have a one on one relationship with the Lord tries to live by His word. Doesn’t mean that a gay person can’t come to church just means we can’t partake what church does or says or participate in a number of areas. But I would say they’re welcome because hopefully they’ll be changes and we’ve all sined. I don’t think it’s any worse for a man and woman living in sin or a gay persons living in sin it still a sin. We need to get right with Jesus and God and it does contain these things in the Bible. Thank you again for showing the verses and if they don’t want to except it that’s their choice but I do

      1. Howard Pippin says:

        Thank you Patty, either the Bible is God’s design or make your own. Methodist don’t condemn you for what you are, you are condemning yourself. I have no problem setting with gay people at church. I have no problem with a gay minister. I do have a problem with a gay practicing minister, the same way I have a problem with a practicing drunk minister..I keep trying to put my sins behind me, Jesus has forgive me, do you?

      2. keith says:

        Muslim say the same thing, do you consider that they are wrong?

    3. Truth Seeker says:

      LIve in that world with that god then, That is not the reality of Source. Source does not condnem his creation on the basis if sexuality… which he made us by. What foolish religious nonsense is this? I want no part of it.

      1. Howard Pippin says:

        You’re on the right track, just keep on looking.

    4. keith says:

      God did not state that he opposed homosexuality, that was the word of men. Genesis and Leviticus, I believe , were the words of Moses, and Romans was down to Paul, I can’t comment on the others. However, as Christians, we should be following exclusively the teaching of Christ, and he didn’t even mention homosexuality.

  6. Clay says:

    God’s condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear – He opposes it in every age:

    * In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28).
    * In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).
    * In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50).
    * In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8).

    Regardless of whether you agree with them or not, the Methodists are correct. We shouldn’t “bend” that which is clearly stated in the Bible to fit our own agendas.

    1. Nathaniel Robert Hunt says:

      and other religions refuse to bend to christians and their laws anymore, we have our rights to practice as we see fit

      1. keith says:

        None of the books cited by Clay are the words of Christ, and as Christians, You should be following Christ’s word and only Christs word

  7. Rev. Brien says:

    I am truly amazed by how mountains are created from mole hills. Please spare me all of your worthless arguments and just answer this one question: Why in the hell would you want to attend ANYTHING knowing that you are not welcome because of who and what you are? Why not just form your own church? Ok, that was 2 questions. None of you will be able to answer that without including some nice and tidy political soap box. Stop trying to change views that will not change. Form your own church and change the views over time.

    1. Clayton Beardmore says:

      The only thing you said that really makes any sense is “stop trying to change views that will not change.”

      The Bible is already written – it is the Word of God – it WILL NOT change, no matter how it’s “viewed.”

      1. Dr. Gordon Francis Blaney Jr. says:

        Clayton, I’m not aware of your background in religious studies. However, the Christian faith has changed the words of scrolls as well as voted on the inclusion and omission of a plethora of scrolls. In case the word scroll is confusing, the bible is a collection of scrolls. What is even worse is the original meaning is lost in translation from the original or from another translation. In short, the word of God from a historical perspective has changed. If the word of God didn’t change, then you’d require no less than 3 ancient languages and original manuscripts as well as the wisdom to decipher. I’d suggest reading more on these issues and educate yourself rather than attacking someone’s statements with falsehoods. I, however, don’t blame you, because you’ve been indoctrinated by misinformed people who are fearful of God.

      2. lionheart2020 says:

        Yes, your god loves slavery, and killing people, especially when he gets angry. He’s actually quite a pathetic figure, but keep following him if that’s what pleases you.

        If people want to share their love for one another, let them get on with it.

        1. John Owens says:

          It’s not the same if God kills someone. He can resurrect them, and kill them again.

          1. Lionheart says:

            Oh that sounds absolutely wonderful. How very kind of him. He sounds like such a nice man.

            I think though, that I might just pass up any offers to meet him. There’s something that is really starting to put me off, but, I’m sure, deep down, he’s a really nice guy. Very troubled, but I’m sure a nice guy.

          2. John Owens says:

            I don’t know, but the scripture says ALL the dead, small and great, will stand before Him. We call that the second resurrection.

          3. Lionheart says:

            If that second resurrection thing that Christians believe was ever true, I think I’d try and work my way towards the back of the line for as long as possible. I figure that way, from the billions of people in line, I might be able to somehow grab myself a few beers (and I’m talking high ABV craft beers, not the fizzy pop Budweiser stuff), and throw a few parties, before his holiness gets to me, puts me on his lap, and sends me to the red trap door of doom. Try and put in a good word for me John when it’s your turn, I’ll slip you a beer way before you go and jump on his lap, Hopefully, he won’t notice. 🍺

            🦁♥️

          4. Jim D says:

            Seriously? And is that a good quality one should look for in a God?

        2. Preacher Richard H. says:

          GOD gave us humans FREE WILL
          love who ever you want But we will all be judged
          and don’t bring your love life into the Church
          That see’s GODS WORD so differently than you do. Why force your decisions on those who know it is sin.? that is Fascist an immature behavior
          Hence the same sex sex
          go n sin no more
          amen

          1. Lionheart says:

            Oh stop it and grow up. Your god doesn’t exist, but sadly you don’t know it yet.

            If people want to love each other, let them do it. God is love, right? Amen and Hallelujah. LOL.

            🦁❤️

          2. preacher richard h. says:

            GOD Loves his creation an calls what you like an abomination, The punishment for sin is Death, (to be forever out of GODS GRACE.)N yes he exists
            we talk all the time

          3. Lionheart says:

            I’m good with that. I actually don’t want to see him. He sounds like a nasty piece of work to me with multiple personality disorder.

            I’d pray for him to get better in that department, but I’m thinking it might just fall on deaf ears. Hopefully he’s praying for his own betterment but who does he pray to? Weird isn’t it?

      3. Lori says:

        The Bible is the words of men. A collection of chosen story’s from the past that can be, and are, interpreted in any number of different ways. It is frequently viewed the way a particular group “wants” it to be viewed, when, in fact, the true and historic fact of its passages have been explained by anthropologists, philosophers and interpreters as they were intended to be. The sad thing is that most Christian communities cling to the BS of past leaders who manipulated and twisted text to suit their own needs. The people believe what ever they’re told.

      4. Rev. Brien says:

        Like I said, another political bigot soap box. This happens on all sides. You missed the point entirely. You have your nice little ignorant stone age church. What do you care if people form their own? It is funny to think that your ignorant judgements do not welcome people because of….wait, the reason does not even matter because the funny point to this is they would probably welcome you into their church even if you are a straight, judgemental bigot. Do me a favor, only respond if you can use your own words, and not something out of some dusty book that has been POORLY translated over the last few hundred years. Also, that dusty book that you quote from is one of the MOST mis-quoted books of all time. Congratulations.

      5. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON says:

        Clayton, the bible was originally stories passed down orally in Aramaic. They were written in Greek from these, and then translated into Latin. While in Latin, they were copied by hand for approximately 1000 years. In the 1400’s Gutenberg produced a printed version. Then, James VI of Scotland wanted a version in English. This became the King James version, which was used as the standard from which all modern translations are based. Each time a new translation was (and is) made, the translator makes minor (at the time) choices in which word to use to translate (because very few words have the same meaning across different languages, there is usually a nuance of definition different between them). That is 4 translations involved, not counting the books that were dropped each time politics got involved (Nicene and following church councils, and the KJV), in order to satisfy the demands of the political leadership involved), nor the minor errors which creep in when copying (think of what happens when you photocopy a copy of a copy of a copy… ad nauseum; after about 50-100 copies, the document becomes unreadable). The bible you think is unchangeable HAS changed.

        1. Lionheart says:

          Thank you for this John. It’s what most of us know, but it’s sort of pushed aside into the corners of the brain by those who really don’t want to know, because it if they think about it long enough they might start to see the truth that what they have been believing for so long might not in fact be true at all.

          Perhaps the real Aramaic story was that some woman cheated on the man who loved her, so they dreamed up this wild story of a deity making her pregnant. I’m sure they thought no one would believe it and must have been overwhelmed when they found people were buying it. Much like the GoFundMe couple that dreamed up the story of the transient helping them out. They made over $400,000 on that scam. What’s amazing is that people actually buy into stupid stories, and I think it’s because they want to believe it. The story line is great, so why not, and while we are at it, let’s add a talking snake and a talking ass to see how gullible some people really are?

          Reality is, the Biblical scam is making some people extremely rich, unless you are a skin and bones starving child in Africa.

      6. Casey says:

        Will not change? Yeah, right. The Codex Sinaiticus (4th Century AD) is the oldest known Bible, and its version of Mark omits Jesus appearing to the disciples. 400 years of tradition, editing and change just between the events and that version, let alone the 2000 we presently have.

        Why is Revelation in there, when the author was almost certainly not John the Apostle or John the Baptizer? If you claim they are, you’re saying that this man lived into his 80s at a minimum, when life expectancy in the Roman Empire for someone of Jesus’ time was 35, and even if you survived childhood, 70 was something to seriously celebrate.

        If I found a first-century, verifiable, printing of Mark that listed Mary Magdalene as a co-founder of the church, would your views change? It is older than what we have.

  8. Chris says:

    Most American Methodists voted in favor of catching up with the times. Unfortunately, Methodism has a much larger hold in other parts of the world where they actively persecute homosexuals, and they had enough support to swing the vote in their favor. As with some other aspects of life, it’s those with closed minds who shout the loudest, and in this case they shouted enough to continue discriminating.

    It’s interesting Jesus never said one word about homosexuality and yet so many who claim to follow him don’t understand what he was really about.

    1. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON says:

      Most, if not all, of the quotes used to support the anti-homosexual agenda for Christianity, and considered to be Yeshua’s words, were actually written by Saul of Tarsis, who brought in the Jewish point of view when he converted. Yehsua himself said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about people’s sexuality. (You are correct, Chris). This Jewish point of view coincided with the Roman one, so when the Nicene council convened to decide which books of the bible would be orthodox, and which would be heretical, they chose the ones which would have the support of the Roman emperor.

  9. The Rev. Brother Robert Barker says:

    United Methodists new motto: Closed Hearts; Closed Minds; Closed Doors.

  10. Kirk says:

    There are a lot of churches out there. Pick one that accepts you! Think of a church like a friend, you don’t force someone to be your friend.

  11. John Owens says:

    Something very difficult to accept in life: Not everyone is going to accept you. They don’t have to do it, and they aren’t going to do it. It is not necessary. Maybe they are wrong. Maybe not. Either way, you cannot make them accept you. As long as they tolerate you, you have nothing to cry about. Tolerate them.

  12. Jorge says:

    These bad called “christian” don’t accept gays, but they don’t accept anyone, for example in Paraguay they discriminate with the aborigen people. The excuse to heat LGTB is because the bible bla bla, but what about: don;t judge, love anyone, etc? Nobody knows how many elders, and methodist members are LGTB like the catholic church, which are no LGTB but pederastians

  13. John Owens says:

    Just an FYI to everyone who feels all persecuted:

    To a person of any of the old belief systems, fornication is any physical activity between two or more people, involving a penis or vagina, besides that which occurs exclusively within a heterosexual married couple.
    That definition does not actually discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. It also includes heterosexuals, swingers, and everyone else who is not married to the person(s) with whom they are diddling, fiddling, tossing, whatever.

  14. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Has anyone considered that the Methodist clergy and hierarchy could be comprised primarily of closet queens, like we recently learned about the Catholics. Only the Methodists might do a better job of covering it up. That would explain a lot.

  15. Krystal says:

    This decision is not a judgment. It is keeping in line with what church and Christianity is about, to abolish sin as much as we can as humans. Homosexuality is a sin, sex outside of marriage is a sin, coveting is a sin. I am a sinner. The last thing I want to do is go into a church that cheers for a sin. What would be the point of going to church? No one is perfect, no one is above sin. I go to church for the encouragement to be a better person and to fight against as much sin as I can. No one should be turned away from church, again, this would defeat the purpose of church. Jesus walked among the sinners, he did not join in on their sin. He taught them the right way to walk in life. So taking the stance that this is judgment is simply not true. To say that hate is involved is beyond ridiculous.

  16. William M Vinson says:

    I am a Christian pastor for the Universal Church Life Church and a gay man. To those that despise us, I forgive them all. To those who are not welcome elsewhere, you are welcome here. My Master Jesus spoke the truth. Unfortunately, he did not write the bible. Many use a version of the bible that was sponsored and edited by King James. It is even named after him, “King James Bible.” Please notice it is not called “God’s Bible.” A book written and edited by people is inherently flawed. Parts are God inspired. Other parts are very evil. Approach these subjects with love and compassion for others and you will more likely find your own way to the truth.

    1. Preacher Richard H. says:

      Right away pastor you use heated language saying those that despise homosexuals that instigates.

      I find it compelling and you are not Unique to this. You state your title as Pastor an Identify the Church name ,but Why do you find it so necessary to inform us of your Sexual Preference ? Your self created victim group raises it like a weapon to attack us who are the Norm. and DEMAND we accept an you ALSO expect us to Celebrate your decision to sleep or lie with another man . an then Vilify those of us who except the word of GOD. Kings version or not.

      One more point you say parts are very evil an written with malice , But aren’t people Today say even 20 30 years ago REWRITTING the Holy bible to Fit their own agenda n Lifestyle choices
      an that’s Fine but Don’t try to corrupt others or pressure them to accept SIN or celebrate a Unholy union.

      Bible says to use Righteous Judgement concerning our neighbors an Flee less we be Corrupted.
      I say Go an start a church or find one that makes Ya’ll happy, but don’t force your lifestyles on a moral community,
      Go in piece n sin no more
      amen

  17. Qrez says:

    abrahamic religions are toxic… sure some may champion a more liberal views but they are only giving cover and legitimacy for the toxic dormant elements waiting to emerge…

    the satanic panic was not that long ago and that was basically a witch hunt in modern times only constrained by secular society to much greater an extent.

    If you ask me all abrahamic religions are a virulent plague on humanity only good for being a dark ominous faction in fiction or inspiring variant… all the really good threatening factions are that way in literature.

    I see no other merits to it… sure it stopped viking slave trading but that was about it… after that it’s all crusade, genocides and witch hunts and bigotry with normal people mixed in with some positive messages… but nothing really good comes from the so called “good book” (and it seriously isn’t good anyway.. it’s just boring as hell!)

  18. Rev. DONNA says:

    I see a LOT of arguing back and forth about what should and shouldn’t be. The destruction of the church (as in the building where people meet once a week) is taking place due to fighting amongst one another. There are divisions based on politics, ethnicity, titles, etc. I should also add the numerous cliques, which normally produce and keep gossip going. With all of that, how do we direct people to Christ? Certainly not by bickering about what people should and shouldn’t be doing. God is NOT the author of confusion. My goal is to lead as many people to Christ, while I have a chance. I see their pasts. But, I also remember I have a past as well. I have learned to see that each person has a soul, whether or not they’re a favorite of mine. People have major issue’s they’re dealing with, where thy need a Savior. My job is to let them know that Savior is available to them just like He is to me. I love freely, which has released me from so much anger and man made biases. I refuse to engage in fruitless conversations about the Bible or religion. The Holy Spirit let me know my mission is to draw all men (men and women) unto Him. I pray for The Church, not that building where people meet once or twice a week. I pray for the church the Christ is working within. We, The Church, have work to do.

  19. Rick Keith says:

    I always thought the Methodist Church was a church of tolerance and acceptance. This issue and vote is probably against the constitution. Let’s let God sort this out, when we all meet our maker. For now, I am for the tolerance and acceptance sooner than later.

  20. Michael says:

    I think the UMC had better issues to deal with. First they should allow LGBTQ, to be a part of the church in all aspects. Secondly, I used to belong to a UMC, a Pastor we had, had a serious drinking problem, he was sent to rehab. He was not supposed to be making any calls, but he called the church secretary almost daily, then he signed himself out. Our church wanted him gone, so they transferred him and gave him 2 churches. When he left he stooled the identity of another church employee and opened up credit cards in his name. The church did nothing to him, he is still preaching

    1. Renee franks says:

      Jesus is not for everyone. No one is a sacrifice and a world against God is the real dream. So leave him alone and find something else to do

  21. William Mullins says:

    Schism is the only answer. When your church has no respect for you or those you love, it’s time to get out. There are plenty of progressive faiths that are willing to welcome you.

  22. Eagle Alum says:

    Long ago I attended the American University in Washington, DC, a school owned by the Methodist Church. It amazed me that students at the time were not required to attend services or take religious classes. The school was incredibly open to a variety of ideas. And now a Church which was once so welcoming to so many has turned inward. I’m profoundly disappointed.

    1. Kendall Odum says:

      Keep in mind that it was the International UMC that voted against the One Church plan. The American delegation voted to accept the gay community by a wide margin. Some of the overseas conferences are from parts of the world where secular law calls for execution of gays. Also keep in mind that by UMC rules (by-laws constitution, whatever), the North American Book of Discipline is voted on by all divisions of the Church, and can only be amended by a majority of the world-wide vote. The various overseas factions, such as African, Asian, etc., have their own Book of Discipline which is completely independent of outside votes. That is the rub, so to speak. Seems like the American Church gave a way their autonomy with that rule.

      1. Eagle Alum says:

        Thank you. This is very helpful.

  23. Oldaabill says:

    There is still a Protestant Church that follows the Bible. For those who are interested. “1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. 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.”

    1. pjmarengo says:

      Jesus’s Apostle John: God didn’t sacrifice his Son to judge the world, but to save it.
      Methodists: Pay no attention to that bearded man in the robes; he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  24. David Atkins says:

    Acts Chapter 15 relates what happened at the “Jerusalem Conference,” when the early church decided Gentiles need not follow Jewish law to become Christians. They had seen how God gave the Holy Spirit to Gentiles as well as Jews.

    I know LGBTQ+ persons who have the gifts and grace to serve God, some as clergy and others as laity. Yet my beloved United Methodist Church has chosen to retain hurtful language in our Book of Discipline which says “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” I believe scripture is clear that we must not discriminate against those who God works through.

  25. Lyn says:

    Religion is an opinion. From that “belief” system other opinions are made about all kinds of things. What you can eat, who you can marry, how often you observe religious congregation, how you observe marriage, the age of consent for marriage, how you worship, where you worship, who you worship, etc.

    I will say it again. Religion is an opinion. It’s not fact based like, say for example, algebra. Or even arithmetic. If a particular religion has the OPINION that gay people are unacceptable, you don’t have to approve of their opinion. But why would you want to be around these people? There are so many denominations that do accept gay persons, I don’t know why anyone would want to hang with bigots. Or, should I say, people who have a different opinion than you. It’s their loss, right?

    1. Preacher Richard H. says:

      Opinion . So You wee there between 2 n 5000 years ago.
      did you enjoy the miracle’s JESUS performed?
      You call people Bigots because they follow the word of GOD.
      I have yet to see a Christian call homosexuals Names but you don’t agree with them so they are bigots, Unreal.
      im sure you are a democrat

  26. pjmarengo says:

    The Methodist Church needs to now change its motto, “Open hearts, open minds, open doors.” This is now officially not the church’s credo. Merely a feel-good euphemistic catch phrase to make smug hypocrites feel good about themselves.

  27. Herbmeister says:

    The Bible clearly denounces homosexual activity. How can any homosexual want to participate in a religion that condemns their chosen lifestyle? To me, it’s obvious: they don’t want to participate as much as they want to infiltrate and destroy from within.

  28. Secretary3rd says:

    If one church does not change to reflect the views of those that attend that place, start your own church. Walk out and take your wealth with you. $700 and a IRS application and you can start you own church.

  29. Monrovia says:

    The Bible was written for people and by people. Men are related to sisters, cousins, uncles, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters and especially Mothers. Mothers who witnessed sodomy of their sons, depreciation of their spirits and degradation of their manhood. Mothers whose only hope was to cry out in agony to a Supreme Being for and end to the anguish generated by the reprobate.
    Mothers who knew in their soul and were able to judge the difference between right and wrong even though they were not allowed to vocalize it the silent prayers do not go unheard.
    I love my Church even if it don’t love me. There must be righteous judgement somewhere in this world. All cannot be lost.

    Minister Hicks

  30. John Lobello says:

    I would like to say this on behalf of homosexuality: you can take let’s say 10 homosexuals, line them up in a straight line, and I can honestly say that each one of those homosexuals will be JUDGED DIFFERENTLY from the next one by the Almighty God through Jesus Christ. ONLY OUR LORD has the final say at the Judgement, and ONLY OUR LORD KNOWS what is in the Human Heart of a person. We don’t..Some people look mighty Pious on the Outside, but on the Inside they are full of Hypocrisy..And some people look like Losers,, Failures, and Uglly on the Outside, while on the Inside, their HEARTS are PURE and Righteous…”Judge Not, lest ye be Judged.”

    1. Lionheart says:

      Don’t worry John. As an atheist I have a belief also, and that is, you will be perfectly okay just being who you are. Enjoy your life just giving love. Love is all there really is! If you don’t believe me, come and see my dog. He’s has no education, he has no religious belief system, he doesn’t understand religious blackmail of a judgement, or a hell, but he loves me unconditionally. Black labs matter! 😇

      🦁♥️

      1. Howard Pippin says:

        Hi Lionheart. I have a hard time understanding what an atheist is doing on a religious site. Shouldn’t you be with the evolutionist and those that want abortion in all secular things that are contrary to biblical beliefs? I’m also amazed A bout your love of love. For the Bible says God is love. Here you are again, diving into the Bible?Surely there’s a discussion group that follows Darwin, or are you only on here to try and discourage those of us that think we are Christian to become followers of the unChristian? Maybe we’re supposed to be trying to indoctrinate you? Peace.

        1. Lionheart says:

          No problem Howard. You’re obviously not alone in your understanding from comments I read on this wonderful blog. I actually don’t see this as a religious site. I tend to see it more as a spiritual/love-of-our-fellow-man site where people can express their views of how they interpret what they see love means to them relative to the topic at hand.

          I do like to delve into passages of that book you call the Bible just to open peoples minds of what it contains. Many seem to just look at the “nice” things it contains and forget about the blood, gore, hell and damnation stuff from a jealous, infanticidal, pestilential god. And that’s okay if they want to honor and revere all of that stuff, but it’s certainly not for me.

          You are right though, in that I do follow logic, and reason, believing in evolution.

          My intention is not to discourage anyone, merely make my own points of view as I see it, just as others do.

          Thank you for your thoughts though and letting me help you understand my part in this blog.

          Love really does exist among atheists. It’s not just for those who see themselves as religious, as I’m sure my dog would testify if he could speak, but he does show it all the time. Love exists in the atheistic animal realm, not just with homo-sapiens.

          🦁❤️

    2. John Owens says:

      I would pretty much agree with most of what you say, John Lobello. Some people want to create DEGREES of sin in their minds and sub-cultures, but those degrees only exist in the minds of humans. I mean, throwing a dirty look at someone is not as bad as throwing a brick at them, but spiritually, it is.

      I guess people who live in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones, and we ALL live in glass houses when it comes to not being perfect.

  31. Arnaldo Garcia says:

    Many religions, must update their positions, be more tolerant and humane

    1. precher richard h. says:

      What your saying
      Church elders Must Change what they believe to be GODS word
      in order to be complacent to Groups of Sinners with guilty feelings for performing acts against nature
      Perhaps they should rewrite the Holy Bible with passages to celebrate Homosexuality.

      1. Robert Walters says:

        Although one could interpret the vote to indicate continued discrimination, the actual vote was to accept or reject the One Church Plan. I read that plan and will confine my comment to it.

        I found the plan a plausible compromise, allowing for individual churches and clergy to use their own convictions to determine their choices. I’m sorry it wasn’t accepted.

        Minster Bob

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