Friday, March 23, 2007

Avoid Accusations of Discrimination -- Accept All of Them with the "Right Hand of Fellowship!"

A rumble happened some months back, featuring a mainline denomination -- perhaps more like a volcano eruption in the state of Virginia. A United Methodist pastor refused to receive a practicing homosexual man into church membership -- a complaint was filed -- he was suspended by a vote of his peers at the annual conference Executive Session -- the Judicial Council (sort of like a church supreme court) ruled the pastor was to be reinstated and reimbursed back salary, etc. It was a real slap in the face for the bishop and her Executive Session. Sometimes good things do happen and a person who holds to Biblical convictions is vindicated!

But UMC bishops stick together -- those boys and girls support one another no matter if one their own has fouled up big time! Some of them can teach heresy and it's quite OK because they are part of the "club!" So they drafted a "pastoral letter" which in effect said the guy who was practicing sodomy should have been received into church membership, the Judicial Council was wrong in its ruling, blah blah blah (add as many blahs as you wish).

So then, with all the mounting pressure within the United Methodist Church to accept practicing homosexuals and lesbians as members of the church, and also the political hanky panky going on to accept these people into the ranks of the clergy, why stop with just this group? There are others who will feel they are victims of prejudice and feel rejection if we do not offer the same welcome and be in "ministry to and with" them as is stated about the homosexual crowd in the UMC's Book of Discipline.

Let's get the campaign rolling for resolutions to the General Conference of 2008 which will permit the following to become members of the United Methodist Church without any questioning, criticism or censure regarding lifestyles:

  • fornicators, whether they just have a "relationship" with a "significant other" or they like to party with a number of members of the opposite sex at the same time on Saturday night!

  • adulterers, who are committed to "open marriage" and who don't hesitate to let it be known that intimacy with other persons beyond one's marriage partner is a good and healthy thing!

  • incest practitioners who claim that their approach to human sexuality is the best way to teach their children the "facts of life" and they will grow up with a good attitude about sexual issues and have a high sense of self-esteem!

  • rapists who have strong convictions that the persons whom they attack really invite and desire such aggressive behavior, so that in the end, both parties in the rape encounter have been "fulfilled!"

  • child molesters who are misunderstood by clergy especially -- they are just starting the education of children in a different way -- children learn by "doing!" Failure to accept these persons into church membership will definitely open the church and its leadership up to accusations of being self-righteous, judgmental, etc. as happens often in the case of homosexuals and lesbians!

  • bestiality practitioners who feel that having sexual experiences with their dog or pet goat in the back yard is a "normal" thing (don't you often hear that reasoning in the campaign for acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism -- that it is "normal?") and one ought not to knock it until you've tried it. So if Jane Doe is having a "love" thing going with her German Shepherd we ought not to be judgmental and if she shows up at the local United Methodist church and wants to join with Rex in her company, who are we to object?

Objections to these recommendations? If even the bishops are suggesting that homosexuals and lesbians should be admitted to membership in the United Methodist Church, how can you draw a line and say that the above mentioned persons should not be admitted also?

Did I hear someone say those are immoral acts -- violent acts -- acts that degrade and take advantage in some cases of very young persons? Oh, and how do you determine that? You can't appeal to the Bible due to the fact that for some time we have been told that where homosexuality is condemned, it really isn't so due to our tendency to incorrectly "interpret" Scripture etc. So, where there is reference to such activities as those mentioned above, we are likely doing a wrong "interpretation" as in the case of same gender sexual activity! Haven't we been told repeatedly that it is morally acceptable for 2 males or 2 females to be in a "committed and loving relationship?" So, what if individuals in one of the categories above makes a similar claim? Are we going to be prejudiced and say that it's OK for Sylvester and Joe down the street to be a loving "couple" but it's not OK for those others previously mentioned who have their particular sexual "lifestyle?"

So in the denomination that prides itself on being a church of "Open Hearts! Open Minds! Open Doors!" let's make the necessary changes so that along with homosexuals and lesbians we welcome all persons who have their unique ways of practicing human sexuality and never make the mistake of suggesting to them that such behavior is unacceptable!

And now a PS on this matter -- There are still a few who believe God means every word which is recorded in His inspired Word and that through His Holy Spirit we will be able to correctly interpret what is written regarding the sexual boundaries which God has clearly established, including the issue of homosexuality.

It is most unfortunate that a number of United Methodist bishops have yet to be aware of the fact that this is how it really is! But should you encounter one who insists that homosexuality and lesbianism are morally acceptable in our society, then you can respond that if that is really true, then so are the other sexual lifestyles as mentioned above!

Some parting food for thought -- notice the transformation which occurred in the lives of some people who apparently were trapped in sexual immorality of various kinds as mentioned by Paul the apostle:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. --- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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