A Response to Same Sex Marriages

cropped-unsettled-Christianity-logo2.jpgUnited Methodist Reporter was kind enough to allow me to pen a response to the latest highly publicized same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Before writing the piece, I did reach out to Bishop Talbert and offer him an opportunity to comment or to make a statement for the piece. In the email I sent him I was upfront and honest telling him that the piece would be critical of the actions he took but not of him as an individual or as a Christian. He politely and graciously responded that he would chose not to as I had said from the outset that the piece would be critical of the decisions he had made.

Before you click on the link below, please understand that this is not a statement or argument about what the Bishop,  others who have taken vows to god through the church, or indeed any Christian believes. This is about how you choose to act upon those beliefs. We accept acts of civil disobedience often enough, but it is also fair to ask if there is room for that in the church and what it should look like. As a people who are called out of the world and into the community of Christ, it seems to me that our protest and disagreement, in whatever form it takes. should be noticeably different than the world that we were called out of. We should also consider if the protests and disagreement of pastors and bishops should appear different. We all accept that we hold those who take vows to God through the church to a higher standard. Is it unreasonable to expect that, as a part of that higher standard, that their protest and disagreement looks differently than what we have seen?

At any rate, enough of the preamble. Take the time to read and as you do so ponder not about the beliefs involved for a moment, but in how those beliefs have been expressed. How we do things is just as important as why we do them. Read the piece from the United Methodist Reporter.


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6 Replies to “A Response to Same Sex Marriages”

  1. Well said.
    The biggest issue for me is not homosexuality. I personally may see things differently than I do now- but not through arrogance intimidation and threats. The real issue is the demogoguery of the left–implying all who disagree (and by implication all those in church history and today’s Orthodox and Catholics as examples) are filled with hatred. bigotry and homophobia. It implies that geographical and theological diversity on UMC boards and agencies would put ideologically inferior people in positions of leadership. It says that there is no room for accountability to church law or the wisdom of delegates who differ. It is the arrogance if “inevitability” by power, division, and “civil disobedience” to vows. And finally, it is the diversion from a Christocentric message to the world to a political agenda that creates not only division but hostility. (Yes, that is true also on the right when it digresses into cultural wars rather than personal and social transformation through the Christ.)
    So as per the slogan: “Love wins” if you agree with my beliefs and agenda. This arrogance is the tragic and un-loving state of the UMC today.

    It did not have to be this way.

    1. Meanwhile, the rightwing Bible thumpers are consigning all inclined to disagree with Bronze Age mentality to the pits of hell.

  2. In the spirit of Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:41-42 , it would seem the Christian critics of homosexual marriage would be better served if they concentrated on improving heterosexual marriages in the church.

    Thus far, the most generous thing Christian apologists seem able to say is the divorce rate of Christians is no higher that it is for anyone else. in all honesty, that’s really not much of testimony.

  3. The author seems to suggest that the only appropriate venue for the Spirit to intervene in making change is the UMC’s conference structures. The invocation of the “Bride of Christ” in arguing against “marriage equality” stands the heart of the Christic Gospel on its head..

    The Spirit live, loves, and guides believers in all times and all places. Rarely does authentic transformation in institutions come from the top down. It can be even more difficult in religious institutions where people believe everything they do is preveniently anointed.

    \We can never know what is beyond our understanding until our last day as we stand to account before the Lord for all the good and error of our ways in the world. We can only “be the word” and “love each other as we have been loved,” making condemnation and exclusion wholly incompatible with Christian teachings.

    The United Methodist Church is still a miracle in the making – not in spite of who we are but because of whose we are . . . each other’s.

    1. I imply that we trust the Holy Spirit to move the church in the direction that God through Christ would have us go. In the UMC we have set up a structure where the church has one voice that speaks for her, that voice being the GC. I said that we should indeed trust the Holy Spirit to speak through that.
      The policy of the UMC does not condemn anyone. It does say that an action is a sin. That is not condemnation anymore than saying that telling a lie is a sin. (Yes the language in the social principles is bad. Yes the church has clarified it’s position in subsequent revisions to the BoD). The policy of the church does not exclude anyone unless of course you are trying to say that the church should marry and ordain anyone who asks. The church would (rightly) exclude me from ordination as I do not meet the standards and qualifications required.

  4. Is a church to be Biblical correct or politically correct? Is God a democracy or a spirit that created us? My personal belief is in the bible not in politics.

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