August 26: Sexuality | Romans 1:16-25; 2:17-24; 3:21-26; 13:8-10; 14:1-4; 15:1-13
What does the church teach on the issue of homosexuality? How should we approach the division this issue has created within the life of the church? The first question has two answers…
On paper (The United Methodist Discipline) we state that homosexual behavior is incompatible with the teaching of scripture, and that no United Methodist pastor may perform a ceremony celebrating a same sex union. Likewise, no self-avowed practicing homosexual shall be ordained in the United Methodist Church. We do, however, affirm the sacred worth of homosexuals as persons. In practice, we don’t know. The denomination includes a growing minority voice that genuinely believes in an interpretation of scripture that says otherwise. This minority believes that the traditional language is embedded in a human culture of prejudice and misapprehension that has mis-colored our interpretation of scripture… Persons on both sides of this issue present scriptural evidence to support their case. Both sides include believers with strong moral convictions and deep faith in Jesus Christ. The denomination is currently at a standstill on the issue, trying to find a way forward.
In my (BRUCE’S) opinion, the second question is now more important. I do not believe that any consensus will emerge from the fray in February. The real question is how we will proceed in light of our profound disagreement.