Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When They Say "Full Inclusion" Do They Really Mean Full Inclusion?

Dear North Texas Annual Conference:

The following clergy of the North Texas Annual Conference support the decision of the 2016 General Conference to empower the Council of Bishops in leading the United Methodist Church beyond the current tensions rooted in our disagreements over human sexuality. We are grateful for the acknowledgment that “our Discipline contains language that is contradictory, unnecessarily hurtful, and inadequate for the variety of local, regional, and global contexts.”

As the Council of Bishops explores “options to help the church live in grace with one another—including ways to avoid further complaints, trials and harm while we uphold the Discipline,” we pray that members of our Annual Conference will demonstrate a spirit of unity and diversity even when we are not of one mind. We know that brothers and sisters in the covenant of ministry will face difficult choices in the coming months and years. As they do, we desire to prayerfully and actively work toward full inclusion in our annual conference.

We hope you will stand with us in claiming the power of religion over the form of religion. “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?” ---- text of a letter signed by a large number of clergy of the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and dated June 1, 2016

On June 1st a letter was sent to the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It was signed by a large number of clergy who serve within that conference. As you can see from the text, the clergy are urging support of actions taken by the recent General Conference meeting held in Portland OR.

The main focus is about including a group that falls into a category known as LGBTQ – a group that has been at the heart of much controversy in recent decades. The initials stand for: lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and Q, a letter more recently added, represents queer or questioning. It has been said by a representative of a human rights organization that either use of the Q is acceptable.

This group of North Texas conference clergy emphasizes that they “desire to prayerfully and actively work toward full inclusion in our annual conference.” But do they really mean full inclusion, or is it limited to those identifying within the LGBTQ groupings?

Surely you are aware that there are persons who are sexually oriented differently than those already mentioned and identified.

For instance there are persons who are sexually oriented to have sexual escapades with very young children. That is their big enjoyment when it comes to sexual activity and the “icing on the cake” in these activities is to video tape the proceedings for even later enjoyment!

There are those whose orientation involves sexual activity with animals. Look at John Doe with his Holstein heifer and notice that John not only enjoys sexual relations with his heifer, but is hoping for the day when our culture will take the next giant step and a Supreme Court ruling will declare that it is now “legal” for men and women to marry their pets with which they are sexually involved!

But hold on – growing in popularity is the practice of “swinging” – mainly married couples get together and exchange partners for sexual enjoyment. Some will even go so far as to say that their marriage was falling apart and they were on the way to divorce court when they got an invite to a swinging party! And that is what saved the marriage with the couple saying their marriage is now stronger than ever!

How about the guy who is oriented to raping young women – that is his specialty! He confesses that there is no greater enjoyment than to force a young woman to have sexual relations when she doesn’t want to!

So when you say you want “full inclusion” within the United Methodist Church, are you willing to include persons such as those just listed above in addition to the LGBTQ crowd?

Their reasoning is the same in that they also claim they were “born that way” and their orientation is as legitimate as those making similar claims within the LGBTQ group.

What’s this? You object on moral grounds to those previously described? How can you? What is your source of moral authority for taking that position? You can’t appeal to the Bible because the same Bible that you claim condemns some of those sexual activities mentioned above also condemns same-sex intimacy, referring to that activity as an "abomination!"

You object by claiming that God does not accept such things as sex with small children, or with animals, or multiple partners which violates the covenant of marriage, or forcible rape. Well, if He accepts and gives approval to same-sex intimacy, why would He not give His stamp of approval on these others? After all, variety is the spice of life, is it not? Don’t forget we are “born that way” aren’t we?

So will “full inclusion” be really that or are we going to still marginalize some when it comes to their sexual orientation and just include some others? Will you shut the door in John’s face when he comes to worship with the “love of his life,” his heifer, Penelope, which he hopes one day to marry?

Do not use the term, “full inclusion,” if you do not really mean it!

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. [Luke 17:26-30 (KJV)].

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. [Isaiah 58:1 (KJV)].