"...The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching..." --- Statement from Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church recently retained by vote of the General Conference meeting in Fort Worth, Texas on April 30, 2008
The pressure was intensified as never before at the quadrennial gathering of delegates to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. The "politickin'" process had been going on for a long time prior to the April sessions in Fort Worth, Texas.
Part of the growing problem on this issue is the growing number of sympathizers and supporters from within the ranks of the UMC. These include bishops, pastors and a number of lay persons. So it really boils down to a war on all fronts.
Soulforce is a very high profile organization which is quite aggressive in pushing the agenda for LGBT persons. A picture above shows the attempt to use the present slogan of the UMC to their advantage!
Soulforce is not an organization to be taken lightly -- they have a lot of smart people, strong financial support and have been implementing some very effective stragegies to wear down resistance.
The above mentioned vote on retention of a statement in the Book of Discipline will not make them go away and forget it -- they will be back, stronger than ever in 2012 -- that is, if this country is still standing by then and hasn't in the meantime been judged by Amighty God for all its abominations -- with one of the leading ones being the destruction of over 100,000 unborn children each month throughout the year! Oh yes, sexual immorality in all its variations fits in there somewhere too!
A couple of the strategies is the all too often successful effort to lay a guilt-trip on those of us who refuse to accept sodomy, lesbianism etc. as legitimate moral practices under any condition. If you let them, they will really do a number on you.
Another strategy is to draw us into doing "dialog" -- they just want to talk and and seek "common ground" -- work together within the church, etc. You can disagree if you want, but you MUST respect them and their position on issues related to the practices of sodomy and lesbianism. It's simply resolved by saying "We disagree a bit, but we will work together for the common good, and will respect one another, etc!"
This last strategy on the "dialog" matter is being used effectively in the W. PA Annual Conference.
But enough of that -- read for yourself from the "horse's mouth" -- or am I confused and it's the other end -- oh well, here are a couple of links to let you see for yourself what the "other side" is saying. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the "open letter" to United Methodists:
We call on the United Methodist clergy who know the tragic consequences of those words to take their stand against them. Welcome us. Marry us. Ordain us. Confront and condemn your fellow clergy who dare to use those words to deny membership to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians. We ask you to take steps immediately to join the Reconciling Ministries Network and to make it known to your community that you are an Open and Affirming Congregation.
We call on members of the United Methodist Church to support your local congregation if it is (or is rapidly becoming) a Reconciling Congregation. But we call upon you to leave your church if your pastor continues to enforce the words that "...do not condone." At least refuse to pay your tithes and offerings until your church opens their doors to all people as Christ commands.
For the entire letter, go to A Soulforce Open Letter to Members of the United Methodist Church Use reverse feature on web browser to return here.
Here is a link to an album of pictures from the "encounter" at the United Methodist General Conference -- Soulforce Pictures at UMC General Conference 2008
Finally, ponder the paragraph below -- another statement from that "open letter" to United Methodists in a republic known as the U. S. of A!
We call on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender United Methodists, their families and friends, to refuse to finance your own oppression by giving your tithes and offerings to a church that refuses to see you as fully human. How can we continue to support a local congregation where the pastor insists that our relationships are impure or unholy and thus refuses to marry us or insists that we are not really called by God to serve the church and thus refuses to ordain us? How can we even think of staying in a congregation that denies membership to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons? And as you leave, take down that sign or banner that reads "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors." Store it until the United Methodist Church earns the right to use it once again.
Be prepared to be labeled with an even greater intensity and viciousness if you suggest that sodomy and lesbianism are abominations in the sight of a holy God and the only cure is repentance, as is demanded by God in regard to all sins which are sexual in nature!
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as if with a cart rope; that say, "Let Him make speed and hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it." Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! --- Isaiah 5:18-20