In a well-written post on the current debates regarding the pastors who are forsaking the Book of Discipline, David Watson writes,
Church law matters because it allows us to go about our work together. It is not always right, but it is a necessary way of organizing our corporate life. Apart from this realization, the UMC cannot exist.
Intercourse, the title of this post, is not just about sex. Intercourse is about the exchange of ideas and the connection between people. The Book of Discipline is our intercourse. It is how we exchange our ideas and form our connection. When it is broken, we no longer have a connection. A sexless marriage is a roommate situation. An intercourse-less UMC is a baptist denomination.
News is breaking almost constantly of UMC pastors who, in breaking their vows to God and to the rest of the UMC, decide to officiate homosexual marriages. This is against their promise to uphold the BoD. I wish news would break equally about UMC pastors who refuse to follow other rules, such as the social principles, but alas, no news exists.
You know my position on this. Whether it is achieved by Luther’s Two Kingdoms or through the 14th Amendment or because I believe it is right, homosexual marriage should be allowed. There are a lot of sins, but I do not believe this is one of them. Further, I believe the denial to the human the right to love is an abomination to Natural Law and is in of itself a sin.
If the BoD was unchangeable, then the avenues the pastors are traveling may be more acceptable; however, it can be changed while maintaining the proper place for Scripture. Therefore, I cannot follow these pastors who would break the BoD. After all, I don’t support the more conservative pastors who likewise break the BoD.
There are two comments on Dr. Watson’s blog I wanted to respond to, but did not feel his blog was the proper place. In one, a commentator decries bigotry but uses the ignorant phrase regarding pharisees. This is a self-inflicted wound, but it is one showcasing a lack of introspection. The other one is rather jumbled, more so than my usual lack of writing skill. To deny that homosexuality is a sin is not to change the authority of Scripture. Rather, it is to uphold the authority of Scripture in all matters of salvation. What we deny is the usual interpretation. These are the same arguments that once revolved around women ordination and segregation. Scripture is primary in the United Methodist Church and must remain so, however, we must allow that our opinions about it are not.
We need less sex in the UMC and more intercourse. We need that connection rather than momentary meetings, such as General Conference or Annual Conferences. Rather, we need to respect one another in our connection and try to resolve these tensions without ignoring the concerns of the other party.
- Eastern Pennsylvania UMC Evangelicals Respond to Mass Covenant Breaking (juicyecumenism.com)
- United Methodist Church Still Wrong-Headed on Same-Sex Marriages (ukprogressive.co.uk)
- Pennsylvania UMC Pastors Vow to Co-Officiate Gay Wedding (juicyecumenism.com)
- The Furture of the UMC or lack thereof. (bmoresp.wordpress.com)
- Talbert Becomes First UMC Bishop to Bless a Same-Sex Union, in Open Defiance of Church Law (juicyecumenism.com)
- Two Simple and Central Questions for the UMC (wtmcclendon.wordpress.com)