Depiction of Methodist Church and LGBT splittingApparently, being gay is not really OK. That’s according to one popular Methodist church in Texas, anyway. 

Grace Fellowship UMC, with a congregation 2,800 members strong, has voted overwhelmingly to leave the United Methodist Church altogether over the mainline church’s ongoing debate over homosexuality. 

Earlier this year, the United Methodist Church, second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., nearly came to schism over their official stance on LGBT issues. The heated debate over whether to remove the church’s longstanding anti-LGBT beliefs ultimately ended in favor of maintaining the discriminatory status quo, and church rules were rewritten to say homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” and to reaffirm that LGBT people cannot get married in the church or serve as ministers. 

The church decided to adopt these blanket rules rather than allowing individual churches to decide their own position on homosexuality. 

That decision left many churches and congregations quite upset. With the debate still raging in Methodist circles, the congregation voted to leave the Methodist Church entirely.

Church Exodus

While a number of UMC churches are taking steps towards leaving the UMC for their anti-LGBT stance, Grace Fellowship is doing so for the exact opposite reason. Founding pastor Jim Leggett told the Christian Post that “in the last year, it has become clear to us that despite having biblical standards of morality on paper in the denomination’s Book of Discipline, the leadership of the United Methodist Church is unable or unwilling to live by those standards.”

Leggett also mentioned that his senior leadership team was spending upwards of 30% of meeting time “discussing the issues of the UMC” - presumably the debate over LGBT acceptance - and that he realized that “this was not good stewardship of our time and resources for the Kingdom of God.” 

It seems Leggett’s congregation agreed. They voted to leave the United Methodist Church by a whopping 96% margin, hoping to excise themselves from “the dysfunctional fighting going on in the United Methodist Church.”

The church intends to join the Free Methodist Church, a much smaller and much more conservative denomination that defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

The Debate Must Go On

Even though the question of whether or not the church should accept LGBT was settled in February, the embers of the debate still continue to burn - and brightly, at that. The church came perilously close to schism in 2019. And the church’s 2020 General Conference, to be held in May, still might result in the breakup of a church with 12 million members worldwide, including prominent membership in Africa and Asia.

The issue is so contentious that some are predicting the church will split into three new denominations - one for centrists, one for pro-LGBT liberals, and one for anti-LGBT conservatives. There are many who think a split is the only way to resolve an issue that has been dividing the church for over 40 years.

But the UMC is hardly the first church to grapple with issues of LGBT acceptance. It’s simply the church that is having the most visible debate on the issue. And it is very likely not the last denomination that will come close to a split between those accepting of gay marriage and those in opposition.

What do you think? As LGBT people continue to gain mainstream acceptance and recognition, is it inevitable that denominations will split up along the lines of acceptance? And should churches embrace the changing tides of LGBT acceptance?

What do LGBT rights mean for the future of faith?

91 comments

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully... any organization; especially a "religious" organization that professes to respect God, that does not treat 100% of all "varieties" of human beings as equal, should fold its tent and go away, as it is ungodly...Peace...Tom B

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      and you know that this is your opinion only.....right? They go by what their bible is telling them to do and if you cant seem to understand that then maybe its you that should fold your tent and go away.

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Daniel Gray, and you know, don't you, that it is ONLY YOUR!! and other homophobes' OPINION!! that you can do unto homosexuals otherwise than you would be done unto and not love them as yourselves and not do unto them as you would do to Jesus himself when the Bible plainly states "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me"?!! Jesus said that love is the heart of the law, not the religious teachings against homosexuality, which were only put into God's mouth in order to reinforce them and make them easier to impose on other people, and that by this love for one another will all men know that we are Jesus' followers!! You and your ilk continually place a lesser teaching put into God's mouth, from the Bible writers' own prejudice, over what Jesus called the heart of the law (LOVE!!) and so miscalculate and misunderstand God and his truth and law altogether!! Why don't all of you homophobes try practicing Jesus' and the Bible's teachings yourselves before telling other people to practice them and removing the BEAMS!! from your own eyes before trying to remove the specks from your brothers' and sisters' eyes?!!

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          why is it when someone disagrees with you, you end up calling names like a spoiled 5 year old. Jesus also said that a man shall not lay with a man as a woman, but I see you do not want to abide by that statement so maybe you should take your own advice?

          1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Daniel Gray, Jesus never said that or anything against homosexuality. That statement about a man's not lying with a man as with a woman is found in Leviticus. Get your sources straight!! The people of that time and place were very unknowledgeable about human sexuality, anyway, and so their views about homosexuality can't be taken seriously or followed by intelligent people today. You have a tendency always to call anyone who disagrees with you a "child", "spoiled 5 year old", etc., as though you think that you are so "mature" and "such a great adult over everyone else here", but that is certainly only your egotism telling you that because misquoting Jesus, evasiveness, and other such traits and tactics as you display and practice all of the time here are certainly not indicative of any greater maturity than anybody or everybody else!! You prove yourself to be the child and immature one here by all of that!! You still are evading answering the question why you and other homophobes place a teaching which, obviously, came out of human bigotry against homosexuality over the heart of the law, which is LOVE, as every actually MATURE!! and truly RESPONSIVE!! person would do!! Until you do so or "prove" that the teaching against homosexuality didn't come from the bigotry of the Bible writers (good luck with that!!), you only prove yourself to be the child here in this blog!! NO MORE EVASIVENESS!! Just answer the question!!

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              Wrong Sir, he clearly and repeatedly stated that homosexuality was wrong in (Rom 1:3-5 Rom 1:18-32 and Rom 1:24-28)

              or lets quote this

              Epistle to the Romans 1:26–27 (English Majority Text Version, EMTV): “ For this reason [viz. idolatry], God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error."

              Now YOU claim them to be bigots and that may be to your interpretations, but that is only YOUR opinion child. So grow up and get over it.

              1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                Daniel Gray, you are WRONG once again!! That was Saint Paul, not Jesus, who wrote all of those verses that you cited. Jesus, once again, never said anything against homosexuality. Someone, such as Paul, claiming to speak for Jesus or on his behalf, still doesn't count as Jesus' actually saying anything against homosexuality. So, you prove yourself to be the CHILD!!! here, as usual. by your considering Saint Paul's writings to be the same as words directly from Jesus and merely ascribe "childishness" to other people out of your own insecurity about yourself and your unrealistic and baseless egotism about yourself!! Only a very immature and STUPID!! person, such as yourself, would believe something as obviously idiotic as that!! You are the one here who is in desperate need of GROWING THE HELL UP!! and so why don't you do that?!! You also still haven't answered the question why Paul's opinions about homosexuality overrule Jesus' command to us to love our neighbors as ourselves and do unto others as we would have others do unto us and the heart of the law, which is LOVE, but I realize that answering that is certainly way over your comprehension and maturity level!! So, I understand. That does put you in the category of bigots, of course, even if, in your distorted view, it is I and other people who are the "bigots", which is just to be expected from someone as delusional as yourself!!

                1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                  Daniel Gray, my post to you above certainly wasn't very loving at all or anything other than hateful toward you and so I anticipate your saying to me "Why aren't you loving your neighbor as yourself and doing unto others as you would have others do unto you?". It's because you don't understand or respond to reason and love and so I'm giving you what you do understand and respond to and a taste of your own medicine that you give to others: condescension and disrespect!! Let's see if you like it any better than we do and it will teach you to stop condescending to and disrespecting others. Love and respect are wasted on you and Jesus also said "Don't caste your pearls in front of pigs, lest they turn again and rend you". You have to hit a mule between its eyes and then you can have a conversation with the mule!!

                  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                    are you calling yourself a mule?

    2. Andrew Kelly's Avatar Andrew Kelly

      I suppose that would include paedophiles and those that practice Beastiality. God is more interested in righteousness than human happiness. He sets boundaries not to restrict us but to strengthen us. Sexual desires can be overcome as having sex is not the be all and end all. Western society wants you to believe Gay or straight its in ur DNA well it’s not. Jesus actually recommended abstinence. God is not saying you can’t have these thoughts and not be a Christian he is saying you can’t act on them. And as for love they neighbour as thyself. All that means treat others how you wud want to be treated. It’s not complete acceptance of their lifestyle, I don’t expect that for myself.

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Andrew Kelly, homosexuality has nothing to do with pedophilia or bestiality and doesn't lead into them, which is just a "slippery slope" argument and scare tactic that conservatives and homophobes use to turn people against homosexuality, because homosexuality involves consentual relations between two adult human beings, unlike sex between adults and children or human beings and animals. There is no sensible reason for people to abstain from consentual loving relations with other people, which doesn't involve sexual promiscuity, rape, sexual harassment or molestation. Some straight people might be "noble enough" to say that "even straight sexual relations shoild be abstained from", just as a subterfuge tactic to state that "gay sexual relations should be entirely abstained from" and include that, too, out of their bigotry against homosexuality!! Gay sexual desires can't be overcome, but only covered over with a pretense and veneer of "having been cured". Do homophobes also believe that heterosexuality can be "cured" through "conversion therapy"?! Definitely not! So, their belief that homosexuality "csn and should be cured" is entirely due to their bigotry against homosexuality and is a double standard! Loving your neighbor as yourself most certainly means accepting them as they are naturally, as long as they aren't hurting other people (which consentual love and sex don't do) because that is what you want for yourself and how you want people to treat you. The definition of that only becomes different than for yourself when it comes to people against whom you are prejudiced, such as toward gay or transgender people, the same as white racists define "loving your neighbor as yourself" differently toward black people than toward white people.

        1. flugo's Avatar flugo

          'jonny fartin': You and countless others of your ilk misuse, bandy about, and pervert the term of God's 'love', . . .to your possible eventual peril, I may say! It is 'love' to compassionately and firmly confront an LGBTQxyz-er about their sinful lifestyle. Their abnormal, unnatural, lifestyle is an affront (sin) to a holy, righteous God, and the result of the continued lifestyle is eternal death (hell). It's like a 'loving' person that would try to warn/rescue an occupant from a burning house fire.. Too many 'inclusion', tolerance', 'love everybody', 'if it's feels good, do it' false and other dangerous opinions abound. There has to be a standard by which to live. And, that benchmark is the written Word of God.

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            “There has to be a standard by which to live. And, that benchmark is the written Word of God”

            Well, Mr Bob Flugo, would that include stoning people to death, and bringing back slavery, all condoned by the Christian god.

            Should we respect a deity that is infanticidal, and genocidal. Personally, I think not. You may worship it if you so choose, but that type of deity, if it exists, isn’t for me. If there was one I’d look for one that was exemplary in its behavior and morals.

            In your reply please don’t forget to mis-characterize my name as you do with all others out of a sign of disrespect. I’m sure your god is very pleased with you and your very immature behavior. Presumably you represent him?

          2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Flugo Marx, considering that Jesus argued against and contradicted your ilk of the self-righteous and pretentious people, known as Pharisees far more than anyone else, and never argued with and contradicted homosexuals at all, which he would have if he had thought that they were worse than Pharisees, it is obvious to everyone, except a dimwit like you, that he considered your ilk to be far worse than anyone else!! It is your kind who have actually perverted God's love!!!

          3. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Flugo Marx, the actual word of God isn't what homophobe Bible writers or homophobes today said or say that it was or is, but is only LOVE and it isn't love to try to impose your sexual bigotry upon anyone. It is love to accept people as they are, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else, which consentual love and sex between adults doesn't do. For the ten thousandth time, homosexuality was only called a "sin" in the Bible because homophobes wrote the Bible and merely put their words into God's mouth, in order to reinforce their views and impose them on other people even easier. It is you and your ilk who have perverted God's love, not those of us who are liberating God's love from your false interpretation of it!!

        2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

          Correction: So their belief that homosexuality "can and should be cured".

      2. Patricia Ann Wileman's Avatar Patricia Ann Wileman

        I agree with you. Also as a priest a pastor or a chaplain they have to be set to a higher standard. just because society says anything goes these days it is not in the word of God which is the Bible. It does say we have all sinned. However when we get saved that same we won’t make mistakes we don’t go back to the same lifestyle. As an example if you were a pastor you should not be shacking up with the same sex or the opposite sex. You should be married to the opposite sex if you’re a woman you need to be married to a man and a mansion marry a woman. These people that want to run a church and live in sin is not acceptable. As an example in my younger years I did sleep without being married with a man that is unacceptable as a pastor or a Chaplain. Just because I did it then when I got saved I knew then it was wrong and now I know it’s totally unacceptable. Doesn’t matter what society says is what the Bible says. And I’m not saying that I don’t make small sins because I’m still not perfect. However I am not trying to go back to the lifestyle that I was with my younger years because that is not who I am at this time in my life that God is made me. I don’t look down on homosexuals I don’t look down on anyone. In the end God will be the judge but there’s things from the Bible that I will not participate in because that is God’s word. I can’t change somebody’s thoughts if I’m belligerent to them. No more than it would’ve change my thoughts and your days if someone was belligerent to me when I came to the Lord.

        So I can be kind and well mannered but I don’t have to except that woman says something or not ever man says they’re something they’re not. If two people are shacking up melon female it’s still a sin no different than LGBT. As far as I’m concerned one sin is the same and I’m saying it’s all wrong. All Season sin equal so a little white lie is just as bad as a really big one. Shacking up between a male and female is just as bad as LGBT. In the Bible neither is acceptable but that does not mean you need to be belligerent and unkind. I would welcome them into my church however I would not let them preach I would not let them teach our kids but they could set under the teaching. And that calls for anyone that’s not living by the word of God. However you can’t change if you don’t hear the real word and not water down which is happening in a lot of the churches these days. I have friends that are not married and living together I also have friends that are LGBT. They do not put on me that they know what I accept and what I don’t but that does not mean I still cannot be friends I am. They also know as two females or two males I cannot marry them and I will not marry them. Because marriage is between a man and a woman and I’m not losing my license for that reason also.

        1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

          Patricia Ann Wileman, so, do you seriously believe that there is just no possibility that the Bible writers could have put some of their own views in the Bible and passed them off as "coming from God", so as to reinforce those views and impose them on other people even easier, because of their having "divine sanction"? If no merely human opinions got put into the Bible, it would have been the first book in the history of the world or even in the universe not to have done that and so the odds are overwhelmingly against that not having been done in the Bible!! Even today, people are making "God" say whatever they want "Him" to say and people were no different thousands of years ago, when they wrote the Bible, than they are today and so they would have done the same thing in the Bible and made "God" call homosexuality a "sin" as people are doing today. If you still insist that the Bible writers didn't put their own views about homosexuality into God's mouth, where is your proof that they didn't do so? My proof that they did do so is that their bigotry is there in the Bible and since God isn't a bigot, He didn't put it there and so it had to have been put there by human beings!! So, again, where is your proof that they didn't put the bigotry against gay people in the Bible, which is, in fact, in the Bible? If this post gets on the blog, I'll be waiting to read your answer to this question.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully...Quoting from a book that was written and continually modified by people only serves to underscore a lack of understanding of love and God...as I have said before, Jesus never advocated the formation of a "religion", and God never signed a publishing deal...it is hard to understand how so many people can feel such a lack of understanding of love...Peace...Tom B

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    A few thing those standing on Biblical texts should take into consideration: 1. The writers of the Bible wrote in times when sexual orientation was not understood. Sexual behavior was varied, and in some places included practices not approved by the Hebrew nation (among others). 2. Practices among the Hebrew nation (God's chosen people) included polygamy and patriarchs siring offspring by handmaidens. 3. A New Testament apostle counseled against the practice of men having sexual relations with other men "contrary to nature." He did not say male-with-male sexual relations were contrary to nature, but said that when they ARE not the natural proclivity they were wrong. He and other apostles also spoke out against ANY exploitation of others, sexually and otherwise. Greco-Roman and other surrounding beliefs and practices around them found men often using boys sexually, not because of sexual attraction but because boys would not get pregnant. Some boys used sexually were prostitutes; others were slaves or servants. 4. The sin of Sodom was gross inhospitality. The sexual abuse the mob around Lot's home wanted to visit on his visitors was the kind of dehumanizing, vicious torture used throughout history to show hatred or contempt for those who have been conquered or are considered enemies or inferiors. One of Lot's attempts to save his visitors from the mob was an offer to let them have sex with his virgin daughters! Heterosexual rape. 5. Jesus said he came to FULFILL the law of the Mosaic Covenant (Ten Commandments). What part of FULFILL do we not understand? Humans have never been capable of living up to the requirements in full, but Christianity is based on the idea that Christ did so on behalf of all, and also atoned for the sins of all, and also enacted the New Covenant, the Covenant of Grace. He said there are TWO commandments in the New Covenant: that we love God with our very being, and that we love our fellow humans unconditionally. (Think about the Decalogue and the New Law of love, and you will see that the Two Commandments subsume the Ten, without the nit-picky stuff that invites people to rationalize or crochet loopholes by the yard.) 6. Our responsibility as Christians is not to legislate sin out of existence, and such efforts have been calamitous failures. Alcohol use, Sunday sales, sacrilegious speech, for example. But our responsibility IS to seek converts and support other Christians through fellowship, prayer and sharing within the "family of God" or the "Kingdom." The person prevented from some sinful can scarcely claim virtue! Christians are commanded to teach the gospel and convert others, not by secular laws or force of arms or the Inquisition, but by pointing others to Christ and to salvation through confession of sinfulness, asking God's forgiveness, and accepting Christ as Savior and Master. 7. If we believe the unborn have souls, would it not follow that God salvages those souls and they will be whoever he designed each to be, with God throughout eternity? The unborn, like the newborn, have not rebelled against God and have no sins to be removed by baptism.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    The "organized" religion of today is based on archaic texts written a couple of thousand years ago. The translation cannot be proven, and the only known translation comes from 2 authors because that is what survived discovery. Your beliefs are your own. Now, if you are of a lifestyle NOT supported by this archaic system, why would you want to be part of it? It makes no sense to me considering in this age we know so much more, we can form our own groups and share our own faith. Please, stop trying to breath life into these old, bigoted beliefs and just let them die off. I am really trying to understand why anyone wants to be part of a belief that...HATES YOU. Please, someone explain it to me. I was baptised catholic and yet I will never step foot in a catholic church. I consider the catholic religion to be the original and most prolific cult, yes I said CULT. I really wish people would stop fighting so hard to join something so evil. I will not fight the religion, and I will not support either. I am content to watch it hang itself with its' own hate

  1. John R's Avatar John R

    Christ condemned the religious conservatives and other hypocrites of His day, and warned against the influence of mammon ... He didn't say anything about homosexuality. That's simply the truth.

    All I can figure is that religious hypocrites (pretenders) in my country don't read Jesus' teachings, but instead listen to voices that they prefer to agree with and base their views on that. My whole life I've watched the self-named "faithful" straining at gnats and following private conmen who can smell their self-centered hypocrisy and have made fortunes sealing them in their own hard hearts.

    I want to thank John D. Partin and others for standing up against the religious falsehoods against gays. Glad some people actually do read the Gospels and are trying to walk the path laid down by Christ--not some tax-exempt preachy pretender. The Word is ever new and flowing with healing spirit. It's great to see that not everyone is drinking from the bitter fountain.

    1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

      John R, I appreciate your comments about me and others who are standing up against the religious falsehoods against gays very much!! Happy New Year and best wishes to you this year and let's all keep doing our part against these lies!!

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    Well.......BYE!

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      And what you are not posting or hoping that nobody knows is that the United Methodist Church is suing this other church because they are leaving. Just like the American Methodist Church left the English mother church and so did ones in South and Central America as well as ones in Africa. So are you going to tell these hundreds of millions of faithful "goodbye" because they are standing on what their religion tells them?

      1. Brien's Avatar Brien

        Nope, gonna ignore them completely. As with all things, they will fade away. Peace

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          No sorry they wont, and the schism is so great that the United Methodist will be split into three different versions with only one of them being able to keep the name.

      2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Daniel Gray, what their religion tells them is to love their neighbors as themselves and do unto others as they would have others do unto them and do unto others as they would do unto Jesus himself. If they choose, instead, to substitute condemning homosexuals for loving them because loving and accepting them as human beings is just too hard, they deserve to be abandoned and told "goodbye"!! You conservatives and homophobes are always substituting homophobia, right-wingism or something else for loving and accepting other people and doing unto them as you would be done unto and as you would do to Jesus himself because all of that is too hard for you and so you always take the easy way out!!

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          And as usual when fact shows up your claims as wrong, the best you can do is to call names like a spoiled three year old

          1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            The facts haven't proved me wrong at all, except in your distorted view, becausr you are, in fact, substituting condemning homosexuality and homosexuals for loving and accepting them, as Jesus told you to do by saying "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me". So, I was entirely correct, not wrong, about all that! As for the "name-calling", factual description and classification of yourself and your attitude and actions don't become something else just because you, immaturely and idiotically, choose to consider and call them such, out of your distorted view and mental illness, since they actually fit you perfectly and are the truth!!

          2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Daniel Gray, the facts have shown YOU!! to be WRONG!! twice in your citing of Scripture: when you claimed that Jesus said that "a man shall not lie with a woman", which is actually found in Leviticus, and when you cited those Bible verses as "said by Jesus", which were actually written by Paul (and more often than that about other things). So, that makes you the spoiled three year old here, by your own "standard", since you made that comment about me when you were shown to be WRONG!!, over and over again!!

            1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

              Correction: "man shall not lie with a man as with a woman".

            2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              And he did, if you would have read the scripture you would know this. But you didnt. And its clear that you didnt

              1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                It's clear that YOU!!, Daniel Gray, didn't read the Scripture because you said that Paul's worda and worda in Leviticus came from Jesus. A typo is one thing and I corrected that, but you haven't adnitted to and corrected your mistakes yet. So, why don't you admit to and correct them, if you believe in repenting of your sins?! Confession is good for the soul!!

                1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                  if confession is good for the soul, then you sir need about 30 years worth

                2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                  Correction: "Paul's words and words in Leviticus".

              2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                Daniel Gray, you are the one who didn't read the Scriptures or you would have known that Jesus didn't say those things which were said only in Leviticus and by Paul in his epistles. A typo is one thing and I corrected that, but when are you going to admit your mistake about Jesus' words and correct that mistake and stop being such a Child?!!

                1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                  I did read the scriptures and it clearly states what I posted. If you wish to dispute that then you need to go speak with the writers of the scriptures.

                  1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                    Daniel Grray, you DIDN'T!!! read the Scriptures, no matter what you say, because you are still ascribing Paul's and Leviticus' words to Jesus, which you wouldn't be doing if you had read those Scriptures!! I don't have a dispute that they wrote what they wrote, but only with you for ascribing their writings to Jesus and saying that he said them, which he didn't. Why won't you admit that you made a mistake in saying that Jesus said what he didn't say and be honest in your posts, for a change! As for the Bible's prohibitions of homosexuality, if you are going to go strictly by what the Bible says is "good" or "wrong", it also says that slavery is "good" and if that teaching had been followed, the Civil War that was fought to free black people wouldn't have happened and they would still be in slavery. The Bible also prohibits wearing wool and linen together, eating shellfish, and many other things, but you and others single out homosexuality from among all of these other things that are prohibited for paying any attention to, out of prejudice against homosexuality. Why is there this double standard?! Love overrules any prejudice against homosexuality or anything else. Jesus said that his followers would be known by their love for one another, not by their prejudice against gay people or persecution of them. Many people try to have it both ways and have their cake and eat it, too, by saying that "love is proved by warning people about this practice (homosexuality), which is sinful", according to them, but that is, quite obviously, wrong-headed thinking. Love isn't submissive to bigotry or defined and deternined by it. Bigotry submits to love and is ended by it, not the other way around. I don't need "confession for 30 years" because of opposing your and other people's bigotry against gay people and homosexuality. So, that was a ridiculous and illogical statement for you to make. Just answer why Paul's and Leviticus' prejudices against homosexuality should overrule, in your opinion, the love of Christ and stop being evasive!

                2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                  I DID read the scriptures and as anyone can tell by your hysterical and name calling posted reply, its very clear that you didnt

                  1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

                    Daniel Gray, you can go on saying that you "read those Scriptures" and that I'm "just being hysterical and name-calling" in calling you out on not actually doing so and exposing your lie until you turn blue in the face and your head swells up and explodes, but as long as you still continue to ascribe Paul's and Leviticus' words to Jesus and say that "he said them", you are only embarassing yourself and making a bigger fool of yourself in the eyes of everyone else here because your continued insistence on that proves you to be a LIAR!! and actions speak louder than words!!! These same people here that you say "can tell by my hysterical and name-calling posted reply that I didn't read the Scriptures" are actually, except in your self-justifying delusions to yourself, seeing that YOU!!! didn't read those Scriptures, no matter what you say, by your continued insistence that "Jesus said them", instead of Paul and Leviticus writing them. It isn't hysteria or name-calling to just point out the fact of your error, except, again, in your delusional "thinking"!! Why should I waste any more time on something like you and go on belaboring the obvious (to everyone else here!!) just because you stubbornly, ridiculously, self-righteously, and insanely refuse to admit it?! Go and waste somebody else's time and keep telling yourself all the lies and fantasies that you want, to your heart's content!!

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    If you're a bigot then you're a bigot......take ownership of your beliefs and stop pawning your asshattery off on religions and their tomes. It's 2019 and by the gods it's time to grow up and listen to Scientific and Medical knowledge over manuscripts that have been interpreted in so many ways and languages since initially written. Written by people with Bronze Age knowledge at best mind you. And yet those of you who argue in their favor either will willingly not face facts or are unable to face them, but either way it's lunacy of the highest order!

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      What facts are you speaking of child? There is no medical or scientific proof that homosexuality is normal or that they are born that way or that there is a gene that causes it. And you might say that it happens in the animal kingdom but that would be equating you to being equal as an animal...is that what you are trying to say?

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Daniel Gray, animals also urinate, defecate, sleep, eat food, drink, perspire, dream, love, hate, think, and do many things that human beings do. So, are really "equating ourselves with the animals", as you put it, by saying that the sexual need of homosexuality is also found in the animal kingdom, but merely and actually stating the obvious that there are universal laws and needs for all living species?! And so what even if we were equating ourselves with animals because man is an animal, despite his pretensions to and about himself, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being what we are! Homosexuality is certainly due to genetic predisposition to it and not to merely environmental influences because two people brought up under the same supposedly "gay producing" environment will not always both turn out to be gay--one will be gay and the other will be straight. There are gay truck drivers, auto mechanics, police officers, wrestlers, cowboys, bar bouncers, and people in other professions, who should all be only straight, according to the "environment produces gayness" theory. Conversely, there are straight hair dressers and beauticians, fashion designers, florists, interior decorators, ballet dancers, and others in professions that "produce gay people", according to that theory. So much for "environment produces gayness" and this proves that gayness, the same as straightness, is genetically predetermined. Also, nobody would choose to be gay in this homophobic society, where gay people are routinely insulted, discriminated against, beaten up, and even killed, anymore than someone would choose to be Jewish in Nazi Germany!! So, the statement that "homosexuality is a choice" is ridiculous and illogical!!

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          So you want to say you are equal to animals? Good luck with that

          1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

            Daniel Gray, man is an animal, despite his greater intelligence (well, except for you and your ilk!!) and his "spirituality" and pretensions to and about himself, because, quite obviously (again, except to your kind), no "purely spiritual being" has hair or bones or internal organs or blood or needs to eat, drink, sleep, urinate, defecate, have sex, sweat or perform all of the other animal functions that human beings do. We can't share all of these things in common with the other animals and still, honestly and consistently, say that we aren't animals, too. Man is a mammal, which is an animal. God's having spoken to man and Man's having spoken to God, more awarely and knowledgeably than the other animals do, only makes us the ANIMAL!! that that has happened to, not something totally different than animals.

        2. Jules P. Guidry's Avatar Jules P. Guidry

          "Homosexuality is certainly due to genetic predisposition to it...". Please provide all the links to the sites which provide proof of your statement. Can't seem to find the definitive studies which absolutely refute all the naysayers as to the cause or origins for gay behavior. Hmmmmm. Then, there is the bit about God(pick one) creating us and giving us "free will". Which, in my humble opinion, allows us to live as we want. As long as that lifestyle does no harm to others. Which fits into the general advice of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", or something like that. There is no definitive proof, one way or another, for heterosexuality nor homosexuality. No gene studies, no career choice studies, no nothing. Just behavior of those who would be either one way or another. Is it a choice? I don't know, and I don't care. Should folks be punished for the way they relate to others? Nope. Just don't shove in my face and we'll get along just fine. Its worked for me for 70+ years and I've known quite a few folks with homosexual lifestyles. Never had a problem with it. Just sayin'.

          1. Andrew Kelly's Avatar Andrew Kelly

            God gave free will not free reign. God makes the rules. You can actually live anyway you please, But there are consequences and that is unfortunate. That is what the bible states. There are really only two choices according to the bible as far as I’m aware and your feelings on the matter will probably have little sway.

      2. flugo's Avatar flugo

        Excellent!

      3. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Daniel Gray, animals also urinate, defecate, sleep, eat food, drink, perspire, dream, love, hate, think, and do many things that human beings do. So, are really "equating ourselves with the animals", as you put it, by saying that the sexual need of homosexuality is also found in the animal kingdom, but merely and actually stating the obvious that there are universal laws and needs for all living species?! And so what even if we were equating ourselves with animals because man is an animal, despite his pretensions to and about himself, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being what we are! Homosexuality is certainly due to genetic predisposition to it and not to merely environmental influences because two people brought up under the same supposedly "gay producing" environment will not always both turn out to be gay--one will be gay and the other will be straight. There are gay truck drivers, auto mechanics, police officers, wrestlers, cowboys, bar bouncers, and people in other professions, who should all be only straight, according to the "environment produces gayness" theory. Conversely, there are straight hair dressers and beauticians, fashion designers, florists, interior decorators, ballet dancers, and others in professions that "produce gay people", according to that theory. So much for "environment produces gayness" and this proves that gayness, the same as straightness, is genetically predetermined. Also, nobody would choose to be gay in this homophobic society, where gay people are routinely insulted, discriminated against, beaten up, and even killed, anymore than someone would choose to be Jewish in Nazi Germany!! So, the statement that "homosexuality is a choice" is ridiculous and illogical!!

        1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

          Correction: "are we really equating ourselves with the animals", etc.?

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Seems that way.

  1. Thom's Avatar Thom

    I read these comments and giggle at the number of personal opinions, attempts at directing a person to one verse or another. The worry is what will happen because the Methodist church is going to break apart. Well, the Methodist church is a break off of the Episcopal/Anglican church. And the Episcopal/Anglican church is a break off of the Catholic church. And the Catholic church is a break off of the Jewish faith, and so on. Then we can break it down even further than this and get all the way down to non-denomination churches mega or small. This will never stop. Organized religion is ever changing but, the basic beliefs are going to stay the same no matter what. I want a church which teaches morals and ethics and not one which throws fire and brimstone all around. Take the statement from Bill and Ted, "Be Excellent to each other". Very powerful but, a simple term.

    I want to believe I have the ethics and morals of a good human being and I want others too as well. If someone is gay, fine, be gay. But, don't throw it into my face. I don't want to hear about it. The whole act is not natural to me and I don't like it. But, I am not going to deny it happens, I just don't want it around me. Now, I don't like burssle sprouts but, my wife does. However, to enjoy them she has to dress them up in all sorts of spices and sweeteners to make them edible. This is what happens with religion, we have to find a new recipe after a while to liven things up and make it more edible for others. So, don't judge them on the little things, just keep teaching the majors and we should all be fine.

  1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

    HAHAHAHAHAHA Not my circus, not my monkies. The collapse of organized religion is the best thing that could happen for Godliness. Churches are more interested in having you follow their tenets than actually walking with God. If you are Christian (whichever sect you choose), literate, and have an ounce of deductive reasoning, you can read your Bible yourself and understand how you should conduct yourself as a Christian. All of the various tenets, rituals, edicts, procedures, rules, etc... of the various sects are just window dressings with smoke and mirrors to entertain and control the marks. Anyone that truly walks with God will tell you that it is a VERY personal, one on one relationship. If being Christian is your desire, approach your Lord with an open heart and an open mind and accept his teachings first hand. "The Church" is not required. Jesus said that the only way to salvation is through him. Through HIM! Not a pastor, not a priest, not a Pope, not a church. THROUGH HIM!

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      "If you are Christian (whichever sect you choose), literate, and have an ounce of deductive reasoning, you can read your Bible yourself and understand how you should conduct yourself as a Christian."

      Just wondering then if Christians should adopt slavery, and continue the practice of stoning people to death being as the Jesus guy preached and followed his God which, strangely, people like to think was him?

      Just asking!

      1. Howard Pippin's Avatar Howard Pippin

        Lionheart, Don't you think you should get out of the Hebrew Scriptures and get into the New Testament as preached by Jesus and his apostles?

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Thank you Sir Howard. I can quote from the New Testament if you wish. Here are some very interesting scriptures that show some very narcisistic tendencies. I don't remember being taught these at Sunday School, only the good bits.

          Luke 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

          Luke 19:27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

          Matthew 10:35-37 For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A mans enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

          1. Howard Pippin's Avatar Howard Pippin

            Mr. Lionheart. I'm sure you're aware your first two quotes out of the book of Luke were not actual happenings, but are stories that were used for their teaching ability, better known as parables.The quote from Matthew is just a prediction, by Jesus, of what would happen in the Jewish household if any one person Would accept Christ over objections of his family. I'm also sure that you are educated enough to know, that the parables were written in such a way, that a common person could understand what they meant and practically all of them have a punchline, something that Jesus was trying to get across to those whose ears were closed.

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              Yes Sir Howard, I am aware of parables but when I look at those two versus in Luke I'm not seeing any metaphorical logic. Like you, I'm sure they didn't happen, hopefully. Perhaps you could enlighten me? What in your opinion was he really saying, and do we know whether your opinion, or anyones, is correct? Was it indeed a parable? Was it a bad interpretation by whoever penned those words? Did he really ever say it? So many unknowns!

          2. Howard Pippin's Avatar Howard Pippin

            Mr. Lionheart, from the ending of 12; 48, "a lot will be expected from everyone who has been given a lot more will be demanded from everyone who has been entrusted a lot." Were you given a lot?

            Luke 19; 26, "I can guarantee that everyone who has something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who have much." Tell me, just how strong is your faith?

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              If I was given anything I would say I was given an abundance of love, with a huge amount of understanding, empathy, and patience for my fellow man.

              How strong is my faith? As a secular humanist I cannot rely on faith to make intelligent decisions. I’ve always had the ability of freedom of thought to be able to make rational decisions using logic and reason.

              Relying solely on faith is the reason why this world of ours has so many religions all claiming they have the truth.

              Thank you Sir Howard for your questions.

              1. Howard Pippin's Avatar Howard Pippin

                Good afternoon Mr. Lionheart. I feel it's sort of chancy but I would like to comment again on this Scripture that you quoted me out of Luke and then I ask how your faith was. This particular Scripture has come up many times in Bible studies I attend and I can only give you my own take. The Scripture is, Luke 19; 26, "I can guarantee that everyone who has something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who have much." The reason I ask you how your faith was, is I believe that is what is being discussed. If you have much, you will get more if you have little, even what you have you will lose. I would hope this opens up a can of worms.

                1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                  To be honest I really don’t know what is being discussed/suggested in that scripture. I see it as possible hyperbole, or do I take it literally? My guess will possibly be as good as yours. We will never know for sure! Writings of old scribes?

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully... any organization; especially a "religious" organization that professes to respect God, that does not treat 100% of all "varieties" of human beings as equal, should fold its tent and go away, as it is ungodly...Peace...Tom B

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'tom tom': You've got your head in the sand . . . or up somewhere else! Where in the Bible does it say that God TREATS all human beings equal?

      1. Tom's Avatar Tom

        flugo...Respectfully...the bible, koran etc are just books made up by those that want to control other people...God never went and made a publishing deal;...all organized religions do is make it harder for people to realize God, as they are an unnecessarky distraction...Peace...Tom B

      2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Flugo Marx aka Bob Fluess, Matthew 5:45 is where it says that God treats all human beings equally: "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and makes his rain fall on the just and the unjust, that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven".

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          It’s an interesting thought isn’t it that God treats all human beings equally, however, it really doesn’t seem that way when you read about his condoning of slavery, and the killing of infants when he was angry at Pharaoh etc,. What are your thoughts Sir John?

  1. Rodney Knight's Avatar Rodney Knight

    Well said Tom in my opinion the churches have for far to long used God as a weapon to keep thier followers in line obey or be cut off from God one one on this earth except you can cut you off from the spirt and presences of God no one let them squabble and schism when I was kid they had posters that said God don't make mistakes and God don't make junk he loves use all Jesus taught love one another as I have loved you.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      Rodney...thank you...you are right; all everyone has to do to know God is to love everyone else...Peace...Tom B

    2. Tom's Avatar Tom

      Rodney...thank you...you are right; all everyone has to do to know God is to love everyone else...Peace...Tom B

  1. Richard James Venerable's Avatar Richard James Venerable

    Whether the actions of another are a sin in the eyes of God, is a judgement that resides above my pay-grade. Those are things God will reveal to us on our day of judgement.

    Until that day, the only activities of another that I find repulsive, are those that harm or are abusive to children or women.

  1. JKM's Avatar JKM

    So let them leave. Religion is a man-made construct developed to frighten and control people...and keep them divided. Information is easily manipulated and we have seen that if a lie is repeated often enough it is believed. The winner gets to write their version of history. Using religion as a reason to discriminate and persecute people is a tactic as old as time. So people should believe what resonates with them and practice without impunity as long as it doesn’t harm others or affect the vulnerable or those unable to give consent. People should not don’t expect the rest of us to follow along and abide by man-made rules written in various religious text written with an agenda in mind. That’s why government is responsible for writing the rules rather than a certain population’s beliefs regarding how to conduct themselves now and during the after life. It’s really not complicated. You do you.

  1. Melisa Anne Anderson's Avatar Melisa Anne Anderson

    The Methodist church is voting in a split in the near future due to an overwhelming number of ministers and congregations supporting gay marriage. Perhaps the author should update this story.

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    For a church that is known to be quite a liberal leaning organization, it surprises me how much ignorance there still is in it. If those who are against having homosexuals in their church in any leadership role actually studied their own historicity of the Bible, they would know that homosexuality is not even addressed.

    The Sodom & Gomorrah story, for example, was about inhospitality and rape - NOT anything to do with two people of the same gender who love each other.

    The old Leviticus 18:22 was not about homosexuality, but about the Canaanite religious ceremonies that would use male temple prostitutes.

    Romans 1:26-30 - Paul's input about his observation of a fertility ritual to the goddess Diana. This ceremony was meant to improve crops and increase calvings & lambings. It would end in an orgy. It had, again, NOTHING to do with two or more people of the same gender.

    1Cor 6:9-10 - If one only takes a few moments out of their day to look at the KJV1611, the term "homosexual" is not even mentioned regarding those who would not "enter the kingdom." It was a fairly recent addition in newer bibles. So much for "not adding to nor taking away from the Word of God, not one jot, not one tittle."

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I'm glad prejudiced christians have a denomination and church where they all fit in together. I hope all of the rest of those homophobes hear about the UMC, and join it and stay there with the rest of the them, away from good, open-minded people in other sects.

  1. Sister Ann's Avatar Sister Ann

    How has it come to pass here in the United States that religious belief is being dictated by The State? God's Law is always above all others. I am not going to quote chapter and verse, but I will say this: Jesus said to welcome sinners, which we all are. Jesus did NOT say we should ask The State what "comtemporary morality" ,(as opposed to the gospel) we should obey.
    As an American I understand that originally matrimony was strictly religious in nature and expectations. I also understand that The State took over in order to rule yet another aspect of our lives. If some people can not live by the mores of their church then by all means feel free to move on. It is incomprehensible to me that the general public has come to think they have a right to dictate what my religious beliefs and convictions should be.

    1. Carl Lewis's Avatar Carl Lewis

      I don't think the State is so much the "problem" as it is people of faith who happen to be LGBTQ who are asking our Christian siblings to extend us the respect that following the same Lord should accord, even if you don't agree with what that looks like. Notice, I said "Respect" not "agree with." They're different. Christian charity demands one but doesn't demand the other.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Nope you have just proved what I said, you attack other religions and then get mad when questioned as to why. I feel sorry for you

    1. Br'er George's Avatar Br'er George

      It was pointed out that your "quotes" from Jesus about homosexuality did not come from Jesus but Paul. Why are you not correcting your error?

  1. David Yonts SR's Avatar David Yonts SR

    DAVID YONTS I HAVE A SOUP KITCHEN THAT I STARTED 2011. WE HAVE SERVERED OVER 200,000 MEALS TO ANYONE THAT COMES IN TO EAT. I BELIEVE WE NEED TO LOVE THE PEOPLE NOT THEIR SIN. WE NEED TO BE A WITNESS TO EVERYONE. I THINK WE NEED QUIT DEBATING AND START SPENDING OUR ENERGY FOR GOD.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    Who Would Jesus Hate?

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Those that didn't follow him in the way he would have liked. See above to my reply to Sir Howard Pippin.

      1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

        Sir Lionheart (or is it Your Grace?) - OK, so you equate punishment with hatred. I beg to differ. Jesus hated rich men, and only rich men. But I do agree that Christianity has nothing in common with Democracy.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Thank you Sir David. For me, I don’t see terminating someone’s life, which would have been in a very bloody and gruesome way for not following someone as punishment. It’s dictatorship of the highest extreme. Why would anyone want to watch someone being put to death? What’s going on in their head to make that edict? What satisfaction would Jesus get from seeing such an event, so yes, I see that as hatred for that person/people.

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    For a church that is known to be quite a liberal leaning organization, it surprises me how much ignorance there still is in it. If those who are against having homosexuals in their church in any leadership role actually studied their own historicity of the Bible, they would know that homosexuality is not even addressed.

    The Sodom & Gomorrah story, for example, was about inhospitality and rape - NOT anything to do with two people of the same gender who love each other.

    The old Leviticus 18:22 was not about homosexuality, but about the Canaanite religious ceremonies that would use male temple prostitutes.

    Romans 1:26-30 - Paul's input about his observation of a fertility ritual to the goddess Diana. This ceremony was meant to improve crops and increase calvings & lambings. It would end in an orgy. It had, again, NOTHING to do with two or more people of the same gender.

    1Cor 6:9-10 - If one only takes a few moments out of their day to look at the KJV1611, the term "homosexual" is not even mentioned regarding those who would not "enter the kingdom." It was a fairly recent addition in newer bibles. So much for "not adding to nor taking away from the Word of God, not one jot, not one tittle."

  1. James R. Fulton's Avatar James R. Fulton

    OK....Everything written in this ever repeating blog is not going to change peoples minds and opinions of gays or not gays...The world has changed you are not going to change what people are or what people do or believe with their sexuality...Leave it alone...The hidden hate throughout this entire blog is worse than the belive in the way someone wants to live. The Devil has worked his way into all these posts...Do not cast stones.....,.I personally do not find any type of gay participation attractive or desirerable. But the way it is commonly and openly displayed on TV, and around the world is not going to change...As disgusting as I personally believe it is, is my personal belief...But I am not going to change my belief because someone does not agree with it, Likewise you and I are not going to change the way they live or believe either... So get over it folks

    1. Andrew Kelly's Avatar Andrew Kelly

      Why wouldn’t it change. It wouldn’t be much of a plan if the world didn’t change. This is what the bible teaches that God loves the world and the he has a plan that changes lives, towns, cities and nations. Or what’s the point. This is not about rights. Marriage is not a right. Christianity is not a right. Being accepted as you are in church is not a right. Being an elder or pastor is not a right.

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    Wow! Lots of comments, and some very heated ones at that! Each one of us has his or her opinion of the possible split of the Methodist Church. I find the whole affair rather sad. However, many have very firm ideas as to what is acceptable and what is not, in terms of what a marriage is, and who is allowed to be in a church, and so on. As to whether or not being gay is a genetic thing, well, that can be a whole other discussion.
    When in doubt, perhaps we might think of what has been called "The Golden Rule"; treat others as you would wish to be treated.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      CB...you have pointed out the real heart of the matter...i have always felt that the only helpful commandment is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"...people avoid this to an extent that is sad...Peace...Tom B

  1. Joshua Daniel Browning's Avatar Joshua Daniel Browning

    As a TEXAN I can guarantee you that your every day run of the mill TEXAN doesnt give a shit what you do in your own bedroom. Keep it to yourself and we dont care.

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