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Methodist university presidents call on denomination to amend LGBTQ policies

A copy of the Book of Discipline rests on a table during an oral hearing on May 22, 2018, in Evanston, Ill. The United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, heard arguments regarding a request from the Council of Bishops for a ruling on whether United Methodist organizations, clergy or lay members can submit petitions for the special General Conference in 2019. The hearing was part of the court’s May 22-25 special session. Photo by Kathleen Barry/UMNS

(RNS) — Ahead of next month’s special session on sexuality intended to resolve an issue that has dogged the United Methodist Church for decades, a group of affiliated college and university presidents issued a strong call for full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians.

The group, which represents presidents of 93 United Methodist-affiliated colleges and universities, urged the denomination to amend its policies and practices to recognize the “sacred worth” of people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

The three-paragraph statement won unanimous approval in a vote taken Friday (Jan. 4) by the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church.

“We call upon the leaders of the United Methodist Church at this 2019 Called General Conference to honor the past and current practices of inclusion by amending their policies and practices to affirm full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation,” the statement reads.

The 93 affiliated schools serve more than 260,000 students across the United States. They include large institutions such as American University, Boston University, Duke University and Emory University, as well as dozens of smaller schools such as Randolph College, Otterbein University and Greensboro College.

At issue is the denomination’s rulebook, the Book of Discipline, which bars “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained as ministers and forbids pastors from marrying them in the church.

The special session called for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis is intended to resolve once and for all an issue that has divided the United Methodist Church despite repeated attempts to resolve it going back to the 1970s.

Last year, the denomination’s Council of Bishops endorsed a plan that would allow regional decision-making bodies called annual conferences to determine whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy and allow individual churches to vote whether to perform same-sex marriages in their buildings.

While the university presidents did not formally endorse that plan, they made it clear they want the language on homosexuality in the Book of Discipline stricken.

Scott D. Miller, president of Virginia Wesleyan University. Photo courtesy of Virginia Wesleyan University

“The presidents are really firm about full inclusion,” said Scott D. Miller, president of Virginia Wesleyan University and a board member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church.

“It is my disappointment and the feeling of many of my colleagues that this has been one of the reasons contributing to a decline in membership and attendance,” Miller said. “The church has not stayed current with the people it serves.”

The statement on sexuality issued by the university presidents is their fourth in the past 13 years. In 2006, 2011 and 2013 the presidents drafted similar statements calling on the church to offer LGBTQ people full inclusion.

Sexuality was so divisive a topic during the denomination’s 2016 conference that 56 different legislative petitions were submitted to try to resolve it. Instead, delegates voted to defer all proposals to a special Commission on a Way Forward.

Last year, that commission concluded its work and put forth three proposals. The Council of Bishops endorsed the so-called One Church Plan, which would allow the most flexibility while keeping the denomination’s various factions together.

Lacking any resolution, the denomination has been plunged into chaos.

Many regional United Methodist bodies have made their own decisions regarding ordination and marriage of LGBTQ people.

In 2016, the Mountain Sky Conference elected Karen Oliveto, a married lesbian, as the denomination’s first openly LGBTQ bishop, and dozens of individual pastors have publicly or secretly celebrated same-sex weddings. Some have been summoned to church trials and stripped of their preaching credentials.

But while the United Methodists’ 7 million U.S. adherents might be inclined to change the rules regarding gays and lesbians, the denomination is a worldwide body active in 136 countries. Many of its African churches oppose any steps toward LGBTQ inclusion.

Regardless, some university presidents said they would disaffiliate rather than back down, though that was not mentioned in the statement.

“Some institutions that feel very strongly about inclusiveness could very well say we no longer wish to be affiliated with a denomination that, in their view, discriminates against the LGBTQ people,” said Miller.

Amy Novak, president of Dakota Wesleyan University. Photo courtesy of Dakota Wesleyan University

Many of the universities that backed the statement receive some financial support from the United Methodist Church, mostly for chaplains or scholarships, ranging from $50,000 to $1 million annually. But many of the schools also receive financial contributions from churches in their region as well as individual United Methodist donors.

Amy Novak, president of Dakota Wesleyan University, in Mitchell, S.D., about 75 miles west of Sioux Falls, said she’s aware that some in the denomination may want to withdraw support for her school because of its inclusive approach to sexuality. But she said she’s prepared for that.

“Ultimately, I think we’re doing the higher good by continuing to welcome students of all backgrounds to our campus in support of the kind of transforming education that United Methodist institutions offer,” Novak said.

And, she ventured, that’s what John and Charles Wesley, the 18th-century founders of Methodism, would have wanted.

(National reporter Emily McFarlan Miller contributed to this report.)

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

148 Comments

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  • “Self-avowed practicing heterosexuals,” said no one ever. Such language itself is blatantly discriminatory, never mind the policies.

  • No, it is actually very clear in describing a certain subset of homosexuals. Excluded from that description are those not openly avowing their homosexuality, and not engaging in homosexual contact. People of that subset were considered qualified to be ordained in that denomination.

  • Methodists now locking into Free-Fall mode. Altimeter decreasing rapidly.
    Terminal Impact = less than 50 days.

  • Of course the bigots sharpen their knives to attack fellow Christians who choose not to hate as they do.

    What else is new?

  • TRUE OR FALSE: “Inclusive approach to sexuality … [i]s what John and Charles Wesley, the 18th-century founders of Methodism, would have wanted”?! That’s what Amy Novak, president of Dakota Wesleyan University said. Which sounds like what Ralph Blair said (cf. “Wesleyan Practice & Homosexual Practice”, Evangelicals Concerned Inc., July 25, 2017). VOILA: “John Wesley … knew what it was like for a gay person to be refused ordination in the established church because he, too, was excluded by the established church for honestly being himself. … Wesley … ‘organized various self-help projects, cottage industries, literacy classes, credit unions, medical clinics, and other means of coping with the degrading and impoverishing impact’ of the equivalent of today’s homophobic structures throughout society. … [In the sermon, “True Christianity Defended”] he asked: … ‘What will it avail to tell the Judge of all, “Lord, I was not as other men were; not unjust, not an adulterer, not a liar, not an immoral man [and, we might add, not a practicing homosexual]?” Yea, what will it avail, if we have done all good, as well as done no harm,—if we have given all our goods to feed the poor,—and have not charity?'”

    FALSE. Read my lips: Over. His. Dead. Body. (John’s.)

  • You read it yourself. “The denomination has been plunged into chaos.” What happene? You and I already know what happened.

    You I are faced with no less than 93 Methodist-affiliated schools, serving 230K vulnerable students, whose fifth-rate admins have ALL decided to sell their patooties out to Old Scratch.

    Look, Spuds. We both know exactly what the Bible says. We know both its big prohibitions and its big promises to rescue people.

    We also know that the Methodist altimeter has entered the Red Zone, and this time it’s for real. In 50 days, it’s gonna be The Cataclysm for them, unless they publicly vote for the Bible 100 percent. But they’re fading fast.

    Obviously, if your atheism is true, if God does NOT exist at all, then you’re right and I’m wrong. But otherwise ….

  • You aren’t attempting to duck the specific points of my response, are you? I’m seeking to offer you a considered response, and you can afford to reply in kind.

  • It has always made more sense for universities to lead churches than the other way around, but who knew?

  • On what planet has “It has always made more sense for universities to lead churches than the other way around”? They’re making it clear they’re the problem, not the solution.

    One of the first things Mao Zedong did on rising to power in China was empty the universities and put all the professors to work on farms.

    His belief was that getting some dirt under their fingernails would reacquaint them with the reality of Chinese life.

    In this case some basic Bible study would appear to be in order.

  • So the issue of acceptance of gays is tearing apart churches. Bronze Age, welcome tothe 21st century.

  • The issue is not the “acceptance of gays”, but the acceptance of sin. Churches are quite willing to accept those who have fallen into sexual sins of all kinds (including homosexual ones), as long as they are willing to repent of said sins. Repentance has long been the gateway into the church, from the very first words of Jesus’ preaching. (Matthew 4:17)

    Also:

    Bronze Age: 3000 BC – 1200 BC

    Church Age: 33 AD – Present

  • He can’t. When he’s led down a path where he realizes he may not be correct; he bails on the conversation.
    Reminds me of an old girlfriend.

  • The goat understands what most do not – that universities are where the political correctness brainwashing is fine tuned.
    They begin in elementary school with social engineering language and projects; contradicting everything moral their parents have taught them.
    It’s a shame. Back in my time in college you needed a “cultural diversity” course to graduate; so you could be well rounded. It was nothing more than the beginning of the I hate white male movement.
    Now, 3/4 of the curriculum is this type of crap.
    It’s no wonder why the Chinese are landing on the moon and we’re worried about what bathroom a dude who thinks he’s a chick can use.
    Sad.

  • A sect chooses not to share your prejudices do you wish ill of them and expect their demise. This is not a new stance for you. Nor is it one that lends itself to being taken seriously.

  • She’s still waiting for someone to give her a scriptural case for affirming homosexuality to cut and paste. She doesn’t read scripture so of course she can’t find it herself, but she’s sure it’s in there somewhere if someone will just clue her in…

    Until someone tells her the answers, she’ll go on pretending to “not take it seriously.” 😀

  • Scott Miller is quoted in this article as saying, “The church has not stayed current with the people it serves.” Wow – and this is a board member. He thinks the church is designed to serve people. Forget the sexuality issue for a moment because this is where they have lost their way.

  • Acceptance of sin doesn’t seem to be a problem for sects which are discriminatory towards gays. They apparently through their actions love accepting all manners of sin. Especially if their leadership feels it can benefit from largesse of such usually unrepentant sinners.

    Its just that specific sin. It gives them excuses for being openly bigoted in public without the expectation of being piloried for it.

  • Don’t worry, I am still waiting to see an example of moral thinking allegedly derived from religious beliefs coming from all three of you. We seem to live to disappoint each other. 🙂

  • Does any Christian think that Jesus didn’t recognize the sacred worth of all people regardless of their behavior? But he never compromised on sin.

  • “It is my disappointment and the feeling of many of my colleagues that this has been one of the reasons contributing to a decline in membership and attendance,” Miller said. “The church has not stayed current with the people it serves.”
    Staggering! John Wesley would not recognize the movement he began.

  • “to affirm full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed…”

    Creed? In other words, people can believe whatever they want and still be United Methodists?

  • So what groups are promoting acceptance of their sin other than homosexuals? Adulterers? Fornicators? Thieves? Embezzlers? Liars? Murderers?

    None that I know of. Only homosexuals are demanding that the Church rebrand their own particular sin as morally acceptable.

    People guilty of “all manners of sin” are welcome to enter the Church, as long as they pass through the gateway of repentance. Homosexuals don’t get a free pass.

  • Back in my time in elementary school I remember we started the day with a Bible reading – usually a Psalm. That always made a deep impression on me, and is one of my fondest memories of my early school years.

    It seems like things started to go wrong with the schools when they got rid of that.

  • Yeah hard to tell from the picture if Spuddie is a he or a she – or maybe “identifies” as a Kaiju!

    Shawnie has long said Spuddie is a “she”, and since Spuddie has not contested that, I accept it.

  • Yep. I always find the pro-homosexual commentators fulcrum to be acceptance of the behavior as opposed to acceptance of the individual.
    I have stated before: ALL sinners are welcome at mass. The problem is the behavior is tied to who they are.

  • Yes. What most of our athiest brothers don’t know is that the Protestants started many of the “public” school systems in the country.
    My, how times have changed.
    Now, kids don’t know Christ; but they can’t read or write either.

  • Evangelical Christians have all rallied behind adulterers, fornicators, swindlers, cheats, thieves, rapists, and at times murderers on a regular basis. Lying about, deflecting from or just ignoring their sins. Seeking acceptance by avoidance and indifference to their sins. They accept such people and even consider them godly if it means furthering personal agendas.

    Their take on how sin should be addressed appears to be entirely self serving and guided by nothing more than prejudice. Entirely worthless. As it seems they only care about the acceptance of the sin of homosexuality and not actual immoral conduct.

    Calling homosexuality a sin is not the same as calling it immoral. Sin and morality are not synonymous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the relations of consenting adults.

  • It is very revealing, the reason for this “new position” is that we are losing people! Which being interpreted…$$$! What do the Methodists have as their moral foundation? Certainly not the clear teaching of the Word of God! They have adopted “Hath God said?” Certainly all people should be welcome to a church, no matter what their “spiritual condition”, but to be a member of that church…what of repentance of sin? What of receiving the Christ revealed in Scripture, not in the windmills of one’s mind! “Christ Jesus came into the world to to SAVE SINNERS…1Tim.1:15

  • What about the NT and its prohibitions? Not exactly Bronze Age material.

    (Although we apparently still haven’t rationally shown that God was magically incapable of communicating with humans during the Bronze Age!)

  • ” to amend its policies and practices to recognize the “sacred worth” of people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” They have “sacred worth”. Christ died for them also, should they turn to Him, renounce their sin and follow Him
    ” full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation,” the statement reads.” All unrepentant sinners are probably welcome in any assembly. To be a member of Christ’s church, one needs to renounce their sin,
    Acts 3:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
    19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”
    Couple that with following Jesus, they are cleansed
    “to determine whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy and allow individual churches to vote whether to perform same-sex marriages in their buildings.” It would be better if they became Christian first
    This is what you get with female pastors.

    ” to amend its policies and practices to recognize the “sacred worth” of people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” They have “sacred worth”. Christ died for them also, should they turn to Him, renounce their sin and follow Him

    ” full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation,” the statement reads.” All unrepentant sinners are probably welcome in any assembly. To be a member of Christ’s church, one needs to renounce their sin,

    Acts 3:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

    19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”

    Couple that with following Jesus, they are cleansed

    “to determine whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy and allow individual churches to vote whether to perform same-sex marriages in their buildings.” It would be better if they became Christian first

    This is what you get with female pastors.

  • absolutely
    “English Standard Version

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24

  • You failed to answer my initial question. So I will ask it again:

    “So what groups are promoting acceptance of their sin other than homosexuals? Adulterers? Fornicators? Thieves? Embezzlers? Liars? Murderers?”

    I have no interest in defending what you claim to be the misdeeds of Evangelicals. Go talk to an Evangelical about your allegations.

    Christians will indeed accept all sorts of sinners -provided they acknowledge their sins and repent. They do that because the Lord does the exact same thing. Cases in point: King David, Apostle Peter, St Augustine, St. Mary of Egypt. By ignoring the aspect of acknowledgement of sin and repentance you are deceitfully ignoring the crucial element. (It is precisely their failure to embrace these two steps which makes it impossible for the Church to accept many homosexuals.)

    “Sin and morality are not synonymous.” That is correct. Sin and immorality are synonymous. Sin and morality are antonymous.

    “There is nothing wrong with the relations of consenting adults.” Just because two people consent to commit sexual sins does not magically make them right.

    “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats, and wipes her mouth, and says: ‘I have done nothing wrong.'” (Proverbs 30:20)

  • Indeed. The name “methodist” itself was originally a derogatory term that Wesley’s more worldly and “current” university classmates used to mock the seriousness with which he and his associates approached Bible study. Eventually they adopted the insult as a badge they were proud to wear, for the very last thing on their list of concerns was being “current.”

  • God says a lot of things. Its how you use it that counts. There is a lot of the Bible which would make terrible guides to actions with others if done nowadays.

    When you are pretending your personal prejudices are OK because you can throw a bible verse to justify it, you are not only a bigot, but spineless bigot. One too afraid to own up to their personal beliefs and wants to pretend their malice is beyond criticism.

  • The question was asked and answered.

    You just didn’t like the answer.

    See above Evangelical Christians promote acceptance of various sins and immoral conduct in their actions as I described already if it means getting their agenda moved forward.

    You have no interest in calling out sin amongst your own but feel the need to go after others. “Motes and planks” in the most obvious sense. Talk about sin and repentance requires first acknowledging the offensive behavior to begin with. Again not done by your crowd.
    Morals and values are not something to be followed but instead used as an excuse to attack others. Values for thee and not for me.

    “Just because two people consent to commit sexual sins does not magically make them right.”

    Of course it does. It is not a wrong at all. There is no moral basis behind your position. Only the following of an arbitrary authority here.

  • E.g.:

    http://anglican.ink/2019/01/11/presiding-bishops-response-to-bishop-william-loves-november-10-2018-pastoral-letter-and-directive/

    I am therefore persuaded that as Presiding Bishop I am called upon to take steps to ensure that same-sex marriage in The Episcopal Church is available to all persons to the same extent and under the same conditions in all Dioceses of the Church where same-sex marriage is civilly legal.

    I am aware that Bishop Love’s conduct in this regard may constitute a canonical offense under Canon IV.4(1)(c) (“abide by the promises and vows made when ordained”) and Canon IV.4(1)(h)(9) (“any Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Clergy”), and that conduct has been referred to the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for Pastoral Development and Intake Officer for disciplinary matters involving bishops. Accordingly, in order to protect the integrity of the Church’s polity and disciplinary process and, thereby, the good order and welfare of the Church, and pursuant to Canons IV.7(3), (4), and IV.17(2), I hereby place the following partial restriction on the exercise of Bishop Love’s ministry:

    During the period of this restriction, Bishop Love, acting individually, or as Bishop Diocesan, or in any other capacity, is forbidden from participating in any manner in the Church’s disciplinary process in the Diocese of Albany in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage.

    Nor shall he participate in any other matter that has or may have the effect of penalizing in any way any member of the clergy or laity or worshipping congregation of his Diocese for their participation in the arrangements for or participation in a same-sex marriage in his Diocese or elsewhere.

    This restriction is effective immediately and shall continue until any Title IV matter pending against Bishop Love is resolved. In the meantime, I or my successor, should this matter continue after my term, shall review the continued necessity of this restriction from time to time and amend or lift it as appropriate.

    ***

    This is the denomination that has shrunk to 50% of what it was forty years ago.

  • No, you did NOT answer the question. You did not name one single group which is demanding the acceptance of their sin as non-sin. I did not like that you did not answer, and are now pretending that you did. You have now another chance to prove that you did answer it. Don’t muff it up by whining and prevaricating that “I did answer it.”

    Evangelicals are neither “my own” nor “my crowd”, so try again. Your criticism of them is missing the mark. Kind of like calling out Methodists for the misdeeds of Russian Orthodox. Try talking to an Evangelical about Evangelicals, now there’s an idea! LOL.

    The moral basis behind all morality is the Lord. Much sounder than following your own fallen and arbitrary predilections.

  • It has been rightly said that, “Where orthodoxy becomes optional, it will eventually be proscribed.”

    The Methodists are well on the road to that.

  • Why of course they can. Some leftist progressive potatoes will even “identify” as carrots and rutabagas!

  • I answered the question. Just not according to your canned script. It is not a single group, it is a vast collection of people who can fall under the banner of Conservative Christian here.

    They are notorious for their acceptance of all manner of immoral conduct while pointing fingers at others in service of their personal prejudices. People who knowingly support unrepentant and obvious sin and immoral conduct but feel the need to attack others.

    You are demonstrating my point in your desire to attack the sins of others but refusal to address the sins within your own circle.

  • The history of the Episcopal Church since 1974 illustrates what happens.

    It’s all about “freedom of conscience” right up until the inmates seize the asylum.

  • Now you just proved that you not only did not answer the question, you did not even UNDERSTAND the question – or else that you DID understand the question, but were afraid to answer it.

    Only ONE group is demanding that their sin no longer be considered sin: homosexuals.

    As for “my own circle”, the sins of all are addressed equally. Adulterers, fornicators, thieves, etc., are required to confess their sins. Afterwards, the penitent can at some point be readmitted to Communion. The same procedure applies to penitent homosexuals. I personally know homosexuals who have been reunited to Communion in this way – just like all other sinners. As one person from Russia said, “All sins are the same before God.” That is why the same spiritual discipline applies to all.

  • “God says a lot of things…”
    Implying what? He’s wrong?
    Or, that you just don’t agree with him?

  • Yup – the second one. (S)he understood and is not willing to continue.
    I had her pinned yesterday regarding the wall and she pulled the same move.
    Just bring up slut-shaming; that’ll get her fired up.

  • I think this resolves itself by cutting ties with the Continental African branch, allowing them to go their own way. The U.S. church is more amenable, probably much more amenable, to inclusion. The UMC has seemingly over-reached its abilities in trying to be global. Time to retrench and get their local house in order.

  • Yup. Especially considering the knowledge base of his bronze and Iron Age intermediaries doing his dictation at the time. Hence the need for creationists to lie about established facts to fit their narratives. Especially since people hearing him now tend to be branded as schizophrenic

  • You want to see Christians extolling sin and immorality just talk to any conservative Christian. They love making excuses for immoral and sinful behavior among their own. That is the answer to your question.

    You are offended to read such frank views of your group but it is far more honest than the hypocritical finger wagging phony moralizing coming from you and your cohorts. It’s all about pretending to have morals and values but really just making excuses to be malicious and spiteful. Extolling sinful behavior and demanding its acceptance. Just as you asked about.

  • Who makes excuses for sin among their own?
    Ohhhhh; this is still your hang up because people didn’t vote for the virtuous Hillary.
    HA HA HA!
    Pppfffft….
    You still don’t get it….

  • But Sandi in HELL believes that Jesus was/is the God of the Hebrew Testament, so that makes the Church’s teachin Bronze Age to a tee.

  • The Great Leap Forward was a failure, leading to one of the greatest mass executions in history, the Great Chinese Famine, in which millions perished of starvation.

    Stupid, heartless example.

  • Unlikely cause and effect. An obvious violation of separation of church & state and not establishing a national religion.

  • Really the fight comes down down to two completely opposing factions:

    1. Those who see gay people as vermin, and their lives of no human value. They want the UMC to issue a declaration that gay people are “persona non grata” in the UMC. And for good measure they’re demanding that anyone who doesn’t agree with them on the issue to be thrown out of the UMC. They’re prepared to “burn down” the denomination if they don’t get their way.

    2. Those who see gay people as human beings and their lives of great value. They want the UMC to welcome everyone. They don’t want anyone thrown out of the UMC or declared a “heretic”. They want the denomination to stay together.

    Just as Methodists split over the humanity of black people, it may well split over the humanity of gay people. Well, Christians have never been very good at getting along with each other, which is why there are a gazillion denominations. It looks like it will soon be a gazillion and one after the United Methodist split up.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see which side wins.

  • For those who are unfamiliar with the 1958-62 “Great Leap Forward” in Chinese history, this article appears to be concise and accurate:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward

    Readers will note the example I gave was NOT a feature of the Great Leap Forward.

    Another bitter comment from a participant longing for the days of JoeMyGod II.

  • As I said, the ONLY group demanding that their sin no longer be considered sinful is homosexuals.

    The conservative Christians I actually see around me in Church do not make excuses for sinful behavior, and the observant ones got to confession for their sins. Neither do they want the Church falsely claiming that sins are suddenly not sins, as you do.

    Your remarks do not ring true to what I actually observe, and seem to be based on your own internalized radical ideological commitments. Others have observed that about you too.

  • BREAKING NEWS: In spiritual sudden death overtime, the Team 3 “side wins” – comprising only born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard followers of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation! ‘Til Tuesday didn’t make it either!

  • Now you are shifting goalposts. Again, you have an answer to your question. Just not the answer you wanted to read or can work with using your canned script.

    You want to see Christians who extol sin and unrepentant sinners just look in the mirror. There is nothing moral about looking for excuses to hate as you are doing here. Just because you claim God says its OK only means you are too spineless to own up to your position here. Trying to pretend everyone has to define their religious belief by whom they hate as you do. Celebrating sin and immorality in its plainest form.

  • Sorry Charlie, I never extol sin and unrepentant sinners – unlike many homosexuals and, for that matter, you.

    Name one sin I extol. You cannot. (Mic drop)

  • Yes, two factions:

    1. Those who believe gay people need to repent of their sins, just as other people are required to do. In other words, they want to treat gay people just like everybody else.

    2. Those who see gay people as a privileged group who do not need to repent of their sins. In other words, they want to treat gay people differently than everybody else.

  • The Wesley’s are spinning at the ludicrousy. The Biblical illiteracy calling LGBTQ ‘s Christians is stunning. Please read 1 Cor 6 and Rev 21 or are these passages too ‘fundamental’ to the PC obsessed leadership crowd? “….away from me you evildoers I never knew you.”

  • Satan wormed his way inside anglican, PCUSA ‘churches’ so it’s no surprise the ‘christian’ schools and universities are starting to fall. The good news is the invisible Church will stand to the end.

  • No one is hating and I suspect you know this full well. It’s a common ad hominum approach by people who are more interested in doing what feels good than what Scripture commands. Matt 7:23 is a warning to all of us especially those who corrupt the Bibles teaching.

  • Bullcrap. This is all about looking for excuses for treating people maliciously. Using religion as pretext as to avoid social stigma. You are spineless in your bigotry. Looking for religious excuses to act badly to others and treat them as your social inferiors.

    Nobody is compelled to treat gays badly or discriminate against them. They choose to do so and use religion here to justify it. Out of all the faiths/sects out there and all the different versions of “God’s word” to choose from, you chose the one which gave excuses for treating others badly. Go figure.

  • You do so on a regular basis. Your very position here is sinful. It is merely false witness to malice. Pretending hate is something that is godly.

    “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother?”
    Romans 14:10

  • It was the fitting response to the ridiculous comment. Entirely meant to be juvenile. Sorry you didn’t get it.

  • “No one is hating and I suspect you know this full well.” Do not make the mistake of overestimating Spuddie’s knowledge. She lives under a rock and really DOESN’T know what scripture commands. Never opened it in her life.

  • Name someone I despise and pass judgement on.

    Are you thinking, pray tell, of homosexuals?

    I treat them exactly the same as everyone else – as sinners in need of repentance and spiritual healing.

    Tell me how treating homosexuals the same as everyone else is hateful.

  • You are doing so for an entire class of people. You wish them treated as less than people. You have analogized them with murderers, thieves and other miscreants. You are trying to tell me it is not an expression of hate, of prejudice? How spineless are you?

  • Nice try. I treat them the SAME as all people. I also consider them the SAME as people who lie, have been angry, impatient, prideful, lazy, despondent, gossip, disobedient to parents, don’t trust God, never go to Church, in short – sinners, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.

    You seem to have trouble understanding that ALL people are sinners, and that all sins are basically alike.

  • Obviously not, given your willingness to overlook or excuse liars, thieves and adulterers when it’s suits your purposes. The fact that you lump them in with murdered and thieves is nothing but reviling and slander. All people are sinners, but THOSE people are a special case where you feel you can harass, discriminate or even advocate their murder because you cite to bible quotes out of context to justify it. There is no part of your “calling out sin here” which isn’t hypocritical self serving garbage to make excuses for vile bigotry.

  • 1. Name one time when I have overlooked liars, thieves and adulterers, and said that lying, theft and adultery are not sins.

    You cannot. Because i never have.

    2. Name one time I have advocated murdering homosexuals, “citing Biblical quotes out of context”.

    You cannot. Because I never have.

    I advocate treating homosexuals in the same way Jesus compassionately treated the woman caught in adultery, when he told her “Go, and sin no more”.

    3. Homosexuals are NOT a special case. They are sinners just like everyone else, needing repentance and spiritual healing as much as everyone else. See my previous posts.

    It is YOU who want to treat them as a special case, maintaining their sins are not sinful – unlike those of any other people.

    Your fantasies about about what I say and advocate don’t fool anyone, and only indicate how desperate you are to cling to your own narrative, even when it doesn’t fit the facts about the posters you are responding to. You frequently do this to other posters as well, and it is why they eventually block you.

  • LOL. Apples and oranges, dearie.

    Voting for politicians and canonizing saints are not the same thing.

    Saints are canonized on the basis of their personal sanctity and devotion to God. Trump fails miserably at that, being in my opinion of rather despicable character. Not commendable or praiseworthy in the least, as far as I can tell. “Unrepentant Sinner in Chief” probably suits him -as it does Bill Clinton and other Chief Executives.

    Politicians are not elected on the basis of their personal sanctity and devotion. If that were the case, no politician should get any votes, as they are mostly of low moral character.

    That being the case, we hold our noses and vote for those low lifes whose policy positions – not their personal lives – most appeal to us.

    If I were to only vote for political candidates who were also candidates for sainthood, I would not have voted for anyone in the past 50 years. But we do not vote for them to wear halos, but to implement their policies and to get the job done -in spite of their reprehensible character.

  • Does “Unreprentant” mean he won’t “reprentant”?

    Wouldn’t he have to “prentant” first?

  • Nope. Hypocrisy in its plainest form. Worrying about the sins of others where its convenient or feeds your personal prejudice. Ignoring the sins of others where it is convenient and embarrassing to do so.

    Conservative Christians have thrown their lot in unquestioningly to a serial adulterer, fraud, compulsive l1ar, swindler, who embezzles from charities and accepts bribes. To make matters worse, they call him a “Baby Christian” despite his complete lack of regard for anything resembling religious belief and unrepentant nature.

  • It’s like you ignore anything one says to you, and simply repeat your talking points in an endless loop.

    Someone with their fingers in their ears going “la la la” would be a more appropriate picture for you. LOL.

  • Your whole position has been disingenuous and canned. Relying on euphemism and nonsense arguments to cover what is plainly obvious to those who are looking at it honestly.

  • Spuddie (translation): “La la la!”

    What euphemism? LOL, I don’t think you even know what that word means.

  • I can’t help it if the arguments presented by you are obviously dishonest, evasive and practically scripted. Trying to hide ones prejudiced behind religion require such an approach.

  • Discrimination and bigotry = “calling out sin”

    Since it is clear there is only one “sin” in your book which gets the treatment you are asking for.
    All others get excused.

    Then there is the analogizing homosexuality with criminal behavior involving trespasses upon others. There is nothing genuine about your entire position.

  • “Calling out sin” simply means calling a sin a sin. I don’t see how calling laziness a sin equates with “discrimination and bigotry”. The same applies to homosexuality, etc.

    I have made it abundantly clear that ALL sins “in my book” get the treatment I am asking for.

    And that treatment is repentance and spiritual healing.

    I ask for no other treatment.

    And none are excused from it.

    And I equate homosexuality with ALL other sins, INCLUDING not trusting God, laziness, and not going to Church.

    Tell me, how are “not trusting God” “laziness”, and “not going to Church” examples of ” criminal behavior involving trespasses upon others”?

  • Sloth is one of the deadly sins. 🙂

    LOL! Its like claiming a jaywalker is the same as a murderer. Yet you pilory and attack the jaywalker and ignore the murderer. There is nothing remotely honest about your approach to “sin” here. It smacks of phony pretext. Hypocrisy and excuses are the only thing applying here,

    Putting discrimination and bigotry in quotes does not negate it. It points to the spinelessness of your position. Seeking religious excuses for malicious behavior towards others as to avoid criticism. Pretending they are not your views.

    “I have made it abundantly clear that ALL sins “in my book” get the treatment I am asking for.”

    And you are an obvious liar.

    You only seek to treat one kind of “sinner” in such a way and no others. Especially those whose sins are actual crimes against others.

  • Yes,sloth is a sin. Tough if that offends you.

    And yes, ALL sins require repentance, honey.

    Even ones you like.

    How am I an obvious liar? Because what I say does not fit your LGBT victim ideology?

    That seems to be your problem. Putting LGBT sin at the same level as every other sin (like sloth, or not going to Church), requiring only the same treatment -Repentance, and not burning at the stake, stoning, etc., really throws you for a loop, doesn’t it? You can’t play the big victim if your sin is put at the same level as sloth, or not going to Church, can you?

    Oh, how you guys are addicted to victimhood! You don’t know how to function without it. Poor thing.

  • Not all sins are alike. It would be immoral to make such a dishonest argument. You are willing to lie and make excuses for truly heinous sins and trespasses upon others while going after people in consensual relationships with an arbitrary sectarian taboo attached to them. You are trying to pretend immoral conduct is godly. Your desire to discriminate and vent your prejudice is far more sinful and immoral then the people you attack.

  • Sorry, but all sins are alike, insofar as they all separate us from God, the Giver of Life, and thus make us partakers of eternal death. When someone drowns, it doesn’t really matter if they drowned in six inches of water, or six fathoms -they’re just as dead.

    So you think exhorting homosexuals to repent of their sins – just as Christians do to all sinners – is “immoral”. That is truly absurd.

    Your claim that I am “willing to lie and make excuses for truly heinous sins and trespasses upon others” is getting stale, especially since you have no evidence to back it up.

  • You are lying to me. Even you don’t believe what you are saying here. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is not the same as murder, theft or lying. Some sins are completely forgotten in the NT. Sin and immorality are not the same thing. Being gay is the worst sin imaginable to you, but all others, ones which are actually harmful to others are ignored, excused or even supported. Your views are self-serving and do much to undermine any respect you hope for your religious views.

    “Love thy neighbor” is not the conditional statement you expect it to be. But the most important commandment of all.

    ” ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””

  • One might think that schism is the easiest, most obvious, and inevitable outcome. Each side calls the other “bigot” or “sinner,” as the case may be, in a clear case of irreconcilable differences. But as Baptist Albert Mohler points out in his recent commentary (The Briefing for January 11), a schism will lead to a fight over who owns the assets of the denomination, including pensions and annuities. Hence there is an effort to maintain or appear to maintain unity where there is, in fact, division.

  • When do we get to see you repent of your sins? Your sins of bigotry, willful ignorance, hatred, pride.

  • I can’t see the African UMC making an overture to split. The American church funds much of their ministry. They will likely have the greater numbers only if the American church continues to support then financially.

    The American church is the trunk — and is “evolving”; younger replacing older. Change, any change, cannot be stopped. It can only be delayed by various means. Full inclusion is inevitable in the American UMC. If the African branch balks, as it surely will, the American UMC will have to choose — be inclusive as the members will demand (setting the African branch free), or let the issue fester to the point the membership drops, churches close, and the denomination is present in only token ways in America, with the African UMC becoming the trunk.

  • All sins separate us from the Lord. The same Ten Commandments that told us not to murder, lie, or steal told us not to take the Lord’s name in vain.

    Immorality is the same thing as sin. The immoral person murders, lies, steals, etc., led into those acts by their contempt for God and the moral compass He provides.

    “Being gay is the worst sin imaginable to you…”. ROFLMAO!

    Although all sins have the potential to lead us away from God and into judgement, being gay is hardly the worst sin by a long shot. Not even close, Spuddie.

    Probably the worst, most dangerous sin is despair. Despair cuts us off from the path of repentance, which is the path to the forgiveness of all sins.

    You equate love with the approval of one’s sins. That is hardly love – it is enabling.

  • As long as they acknowledge their sin and renounce it, yes – just as with other classes of sinners.

    You’re welcome.

  • Whatever sins I have, you won’t get to see me repent of them unless you are a Priest or Bishop hearing my confession.

    Otherwise, you are not qualified.

  • And other people do not get to dictate what I believe. Other people have no say over my life.

    Goose, gander.

  • Keep piling up excuses here. Obviously one “sin” gets special treatment from you where all others get ignored, supported or deflected from. You aren’t remotely credible about how you handle any other perceived sin.

    Christian bigots always come up with the most creative ways to dodge the obligation to “love thy neighbor” and pretend they are not acting as maliciously as reality objectively suggests.

    Immorality is not sin. Sin is an arbitrary taboo determined by one’s sect bad because “God says so” and no other reason. Subjective and based on creative interpretation. Immorality is acting in a way which is actually objectively wrong and easily shown to be beyond “God says so”. Acts which require no religious justification to know they are wrong. Murder (the worst immoral act we have in society) is not the same as being a polytheist (the worst sin in Abrahamic religions). Both are sins. To claim them both as equal is complete hogwash and even you don’t actually believe that. You are lying to me in the most obvious fashion.

    Your efforts at “calling out sin” are immoral on their face. They are just warmed over malice. An expression of your hypocrisy and spinelessness.

  • Even Jesus’ listeners, who had the benefit of familiarity with the Torah, had difficulty with this concept. It’s hardly surprising that Spuddie can’t get her head around it.

    What you’re trying to explain is exactly what Jesus was trying to communicate in the Sermon on the Mount — that lust will separate us from God just as surely as actual sexual immorality, and rage as surely as murder. Ending the whole thing with “Just be as perfect as your Father in heaven is.”

    Can’t you just imagine the open-mouthed stares that THAT produced?

    Impossible, of course. Which was the entire point. Fortunately for us, He had a Plan B to offer.

  • Yes. And the whole concept threatens her Hierarchy of Sacred Victimhood, which is essential to her ideology.

  • My local Priest is married with two children. He is also not a pedophile, and would probably kick your azz for suggesting that. Good luck with that.

  • He sounds like a real gem. “Married with two children” doesn’t rule out abuse, since most child sex abuse takes place within the family.

  • You sound like an even bigger gem, accusing a person you do not even know of being a pedophile.

    But you thought you were real cute, and just because he is a Priest you slandered him as a pedophile.

    I wonder, do you slander all school teachers as pedophiles just because a number of them are in the news as pedophiles?

    No, huh? That’s because you are a low life anti-Christian bigot.

    Little big man behind a keyboard.

    You deserve to have someone kick you azz into the next state, loser.

  • How Christian of you. Is kicking someone’s “azz” a highlight of your faith practice? You’re just another homophobic bigot masquerading as “Christian”.

  • The Church considers St. Constantine and St. Justinian to be saints. Draw your own conclusions about what it means to be a true Christian. “I do not think it means what you think it means”, Ugly Dog.

  • I’m pretty sure that Jesus never threatened to kick anyone’s “azz”. It’s apparent to me that you have little to do with Jesus.

  • It seems you forgot about Jesus violently kicking the moneylenders’ azzes out of the Temple – with a WHIP, at that! Much more severe than kicking someone with a basically bare foot.

    It’s apparent to me that you know little about the real Jesus. Or His Church. Or Christianity.

  • If so, I won’t learn it from the likes of you. Your threats of violence show you to be a weak person.

  • Your posts show you to be feeble minded.

    And I never personally threatened you with violence, you little poster boy for bigotry.

  • Most homosexual people don’t regard their sexuality and relationships as “sin”. Just because you do doesn’t make it truth.

  • It does not matter that you or “Most homosexual people don’t regard their sexuality and relationships as ‘sin'”.

    It is only because God does so that makes it the truth.

    Your opinion about it counts for nothing.

  • Since it’s my life and my conscience, it counts for more than your bigoted opinions. Funny that your “God” just so happens to hate the same people you do. How convenient.

  • So then, you’re indistinguishable from the Methodists. You can believe whatever you want. Thanks for clarifying.

  • We can all believe whatever we want, silly dog. We still have freedom of belief here, protected by the Bill of Rights. I do not get to dictate what you believe, just as you do not get to dictate what I believe.

    It is the CONTENT of our beliefs that distinguish us.

    And in the content of my beliefs, I am QUITE distinguishable from the Methodists.

  • The “content of your beliefs” is the problem here. You believe your content to be unassailable. You believe yourself to be superior. Blah.

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