03 November 2005
Since it's Disciplinary . . .
I was reading the blog of the Rev. Dean Snyder, my former boss and pastor of Foundry UMC in Washington, DC. I've yet to really dive into the discussions of recent Judicial Council rulings (Stroud and Johnson). I enjoyed reading on his blog today about the Baltimore-Washington Conference caling for a special session of the General Conference to discuss the Johnson ruling. Then I read the comments on the blog. Here is one that was most disturbing from a UM clergyperson:
"It is true that I would not allow a homosexual person who I knew was sexually active become a member of my church. Neither would I let a sexually active single heterosexual person become a member of my church or couples living together or those living in adulterous relationships, or those practicing any sin without a sense of remorse and the desire to repent and change. My congregation supports me in this. So it's not about purging gay people. It's about purging sin. And the trouble with sin is that it looks like people which makes it hard to deal with. We are a church called to spread scriptural holiness across the land. If we tolerate sin that is shoved in our face we are anything but a holiness movement."
Wow! The Holy Spirit is begging and pleading and groaning for a revival of the United Methodist Church. I just know it when I read things like most of these conversations on UM blogs.
The Book of Discipline language . . . it's tricky. Yes, pastors should be able to walk potential members through the process and help determine their readiness to join. Pastors must help us take membership in the church seriously. But can we really deny membership according to our interpretations of a hierarchy of sins in a church where each of us are beautiful letdowns before the throne of God? We must revisit this in a prayerful, faithful special session of General Conference.
BUT if we don't, my friend Jennifer and I decided that we need a pastor to now kick President Bush out of the UMC for the authorization of killing thousands of people. I mean, since it's faithful to the Discipline and all . . .