I have struggled with this particular blog because the last thing I want to do is sow discord. The two previous blogs were gentle attempts to broach this subject. I believe that in the pew this is not a subject that is routinely discussed, like the old “elephant in the room,” we know it’s there but look the other way. Experience has taught me that the act of avoidance is akin to blissful ignorance. Wake up! This elephant is not going to go away. There is a debate that encompasses the whole of the United Methodist Church, is divisive at its very utterance and is quietly destroying the faith. It is particularly disturbing because the leadership of our denomination is itself spinning in the wind in hopes that enough dust will cover a subject that draws lines quicker than a room full of architects with pencils and drawing tables.
The subject of discussion is Homosexuality, Same Sex Marriage and what the church believes to be the correct path forward. Like the Israelites we too have been wandering in the wilderness, for at least forty years, and having our faith questioned. For us there seems to be no Mosses and the Promised Land is hidden from view behind trees of words. These twelve words have given birth to well over several million words over the last forty years.
Leviticus 18 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
I alluded to a path the church is traveling and it is troubling that so few of those of us from the pew are walking it with the leadership of our denomination. I purchased a book last week that has opened my eyes and contains enough red flags that one would think it was May Day in China. Here is the title, “Finding Our Way: Love And Law In The Methodist Church” This book has several authors, all respected clergy and ordained elders of the church. I recommend you start your journey down the path by reading this book. This book was used at a recent clergy meeting in Pigeon Forge TN as a guide in small discussion groups.
Next week’s blog will go into some detail about this subject and where this layman is at this point. This is my thought and it could be wrong. I believe that most pastors don’t like divided or unhappy folks in the pews. That makes for an unhappy church which the DS surely does not like and the conference likes it even less. Point is this issue is being discussed among the clergy and some Lay-Leadership but we, the folks in the pew aren’t at the table yet. Remember Leviticus 18:22….well folks this debate is not about a verse of twelve words. It goes to the very core of the faith. Come back next week, buy the book, ask questions, get informed. I’ll be waiting here in the pew.