I’m not linking to this article because I agree with the outcome, but rather because it’s something major that’s going on within the United Methodist Church.
I should note that there are a couple of pieces in the Washington Post article that aren’t perfectly clear. First, this decision was a conference-level decision, which means it doesn’t necessarily effect anybody outside of the Pacific Northwest Conference. This is made more clear in the UMC’s coverage.
My church is in the Virginia Annual Conference.
Secondly, the Post article refers to clergy members as “ministers.” By United Methodist belief, all Christians are called to be ministers of the faith. The clergy are just the ordained ministers, who are generally referred to as pastors.
As a United Methodist, I believe that homosexual people should be welcomed into our churches and treated with love and respect (just like all the rest of us sinners). But I have a problem bringing avowed gays and lesbians into the clergy.
Yes, we are all sinners, even our pastors, but I doubt whether somebody who is openly and actively continuing in a particular type of sinful relationship should be permitted to preach to us every Sunday.
If this trend begins to spread outside of the Pacific Northwest, you might get a rant out of me that will more fully explain my views on this issue. If you’ve read my past rants on homosexuality, you’re well aware that I’m a supporter of gay rights in general—but I do draw a few lines.